October 10, 2014 at 10:22 PM

TopSpec_Show_Hunter_of_the_Year_Championship_presented_by_Regional_Director_Jane_Powell_-_Credit_E.S._Photography.JPGRobert Walker wrote the latest chapter in his remarkable Horse of the Year Show success story by winning the TopSpec Show Hunter of the Year Championship with Ceasers Palace.

The Cheshire-based rider can reflect on more than 30 victories at the event during his glittering showing career, but the magic of HOYS remains.

"It is like the FA Cup to the footballers or the Champions League final. It's a dream to win here," said Robert, following his victory aboard the five-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse gelding.

"I am lucky because I have experienced it here on many occasions, but two of my good friends who I show with week in, week out, have just experienced their first wins here, and the emotion that was written all over them brought it back.

"It's a passion, and all those heavy hours and sweat you put into the job, a day like today makes it all worthwhile.

"It has been a lucky show for me - I think that is the 32nd championship I have won at HOYS - but with that success brings added pressure because you have got to maintain it."

Robert first saw the middleweight hunter as a three-year-old in Ireland, liked him immediately, and then received a phone call.

"After seeing him in Ireland, I left to get a flight, then Jill Day - who now owns him - rang me from a lay-by in Wexford and said she wasn't leaving Ireland without buying that horse, and she made the call and bought him.

"He is very smooth to ride and he is class. He has got all the attributes for a top show horse.

"He is only a young horse, probably the most inexperienced horse in there, and to do that tonight - although I felt he had the capability - you have to be a top horse and settled in what they are doing."

Young Northern Ireland rider Jodie Creighton made the long journey to Birmingham from County Antrim, and she was rewarded by winning the Underwood Working Hunter of the Year Championship with the nine-year-old Welsh Section B Stambrook Miss Bellini.

It was 12-year-old Jodie's final competitive ride on the pony, and they bowed out in style.

Jodie's three previous HOYS visits had produced third, fourth and fifth-placed finishes, and she admitted: "I wasn't expecting it. This feels amazing to have won.

"She is now going to be a brood mare, so it adds an extra bit of emotion today.

"I have been here a few times before, and now to win is just fantastic."

The Guy Fawkes III Intermediate Show Hunter of the Year Championship, a stepping stone event for competitors aged under 25, was won by the Amy Bosworth-owned Trudi Thornton and ridden by Matthew Cooper, while Heather Clay's Hallmark IX - ridden by Simon Reynolds made it four successive HOYS victories in the Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year.

And the Hutchinson Domestic Staff and Barley Hill Show Team Ridden Purebred Arab of the Year Championship went to the grey gelding Khaazari, owned and ridden by Lisa Phillips.

Audio to download, courtesy of HOYS: Cheshire's Robert Walker and Ceasers Palace took the Top Spec Show Hunter of the Year Championship at this year's Horse of the Year Show today (Friday 10 October). Walker, from Tarplee, now goes forward to the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship on Sunday (12 October).


Category: News