The day started out early as I was giving a presentation at the Live Zone at 11am and I wanted to get some practice in before I headed to the show. I was lucky enough to give the presentation earlier in the year at an evening with Simon Constable vets so I was excited to talk once again on a subject that I love – my experiences in Equestrian Vaulting with my horses and how we keep them in competition fitness.
Before it was time for my presentation it was great to catch some of the National Pony Society/ Snuggy Hoods 153cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year in the Top Spec arena. After, I headed down to the Live Zone and had some words of advice from Sue who has been giving the Equine Pilates talk – everyone at Horse of the Year Show is so supportive – I am unbelievably thankful for the people I get to meet.
It was an honour to give the presentation in the new Live Zone at HOYS – I could talk about my horses and the experiences I have had with them all day as I always feel incredibly lucky. After the talk it was great to go round the trade stands and try out some of the products. I loved having a go on the pro step mini – a very weird sensation and I could really feel it working my core and legs. Next, I went to visit the Naylors stand who are sponsoring the Puissance this year. If you’re at the show go down and visit the team at their interactive stand, you can go and see the puissance wall that the riders will be daring to jump on Saturday night and enter a raffle in order to win a whole host of amazing prizes.
I fell in love at the show this year. I met our sponsored guide dog puppy, puppy HOYS, and he was adorable – I instantly fell in love him, he just melted my heart. Horse of the Year show are sponsoring puppy HOYS through his first three years and we are so thankful to his ‘adoptive mum’ Diane for taking such good care of him. I love you puppy HOYS and I cannot wait to see you develop through the years into becoming a guide dog. I want to shout out as well to the people on the Guide Dogs stand – incredible, friendly, welcoming people and extremely informative it was a joy to visit. The puppy cuddles were an added bonus.
Yes!!…I finally got a chance to watch the Caspian Horse Display. So interesting, informative and entertaining to be taken through the story of the Caspian Horse. Such a joy to watch and to see the various different disciplines that the Caspian Horse competes in.
Wow – The five fence Challenge is definitely a favourite of mine at HOYS. I love the fact that with this competition there are no second chances – if you knock a fence down you don’t progress. Each round the fences get higher and higher. At the end of the fourth round there was a tie at the top with Holly Smith, Helen Treadwell & Shane Breen all jumping clear to tie at the top. The three competitors made the decision to split the win as the jumps were already of a considerable height at 1.80 metres (5ft, 11 inches).
It was great to see Holly, Helen & Shane Ride in side by side to claim top honours in prize giving. I was lucky enough to speak with our joint winners after the event and it was great to hear how much the show and the win meant to the riders – even competing at the highest level it means so much.
After interviewing our jumping superstars I jumped straight into a golf buggy and headed up to Atkinson Action Horses show stables with the Display media team to interview Ben Atkinson. Their display has been wowing the crowds at HOYS and it was great to catch up, chat and hear how much he is enjoying his time at the show. I am constantly in awe of the whole Atkinson Action Horse team their skill over multiple equestrian disciplines inspires me to want to try new things with my horses. Especially the liberty work, I have dabbled a little bit with it but I am fascinated by it and I think it would be great to strengthen my connection with my horses.
It was then back to the hotel for a quick turnaround to get glammed up for the evening performance, then straight back to the show to grab a bite to eat and down to our ringside studio to join our presenter Laura for the live stream.
There was amazing array of early evening action starting with the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year, the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter Championship and then the Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship. Then we were straight back into the intense Scurry driving which saw last to go Nigel Olliffe snatching the win from Jemma Millman. Next the Pony Club Mounted Games took to the arena, once again resulting in a nail biting competition, with Oakley Hunt West coming away with the win – They are looking incredibly strong going into the weekend.
The ringside studio made for the perfect position from which to watch Atkinson Action Horses – not only is their display insane but they are just genuinely lovely, friendly people and they leave the crowd aghast with their impressive tricks.
The final event of the night the NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes got underway – wow – what I love about this competition is that in the jump off they can pick their own route- which makes for an extremely exciting and unpredictable jump off. John Whitaker came through with a completely different route from his fellow competitors to take the title in emphatic style.
Wow what a day! Tomorrow there is a lot more action coming our way including the scurry driving final and the big event (literally) we have all been waiting for – the puissance.