Vote For A Qualifying Story
Vote for your favourite Qualifying Story!
1. Chloe Waugh and Hinwood Casanova
Hugo has given me the best rides over the years, being Home Produced just makes it even more special when you finally get the chance to ride at HOYS. Our journey hasn’t always been easy a lot of sweat and tears has went into our friendship between me and Hugo it took us time to get used to how we both work, now it just Clicks we are a dream team together.
Finally after all the hard work and working in the NHS through a pandemic I got my smile back we had qualified for Horse Of The Year Show at Great Yorkshire show, me and my family couldn’t believe it they were so happy “we have done it” but we did it as a team!
Just to Ride at HOYS is a dream so here we go ….
2. Hope Fisher and The Wolf
The Wolf is quite a character!
He belongs to Louise Brockwell and lives his life to the fullest. He is part of our cob family first and foremost; the showing is a bonus. He is 13 years old and will be our forever horse. Louise bought The Wolf in 2016, he had originally been purchased from Ireland where he was spotted by Luke O’Connor tied up amongst farm machinery at a sale. He has also won British Novice with TGCA in British Dressage, proving he was never just a one trick pony. The best seat in the house is looking down between his ears. As a family we couldn’t be prouder.
The Wolf is ridden by Poppy Fisher but due to other commitments he qualified with her sister, Hope Fisher onboard at Lincoln Show. There were tears, frantic facetimes and utter elation that our boy had got his golden ticket.He has the most amazing character, will happily tow you around the field when the mood takes him but equally happy for our junior jockey to groom him. He has been known to visit our office on the odd occasion and simply takes it all in his stride. His most favourite treat is a whole banana! The Wolf is, in every sense of the words – our Super Cob. No matter the result we will be proud parents watching from the side-lines.
3. Emily Dewhurst and Ballyhoulihan Rags to Riches
5 years ago, I was sat in a wagon in the 02 Truck Park, almost bankrupt. I spent my last £1000 on a little unseen horse, found starving in a barn, no daylight, name, breeding or history, was about to change my life forever.
After her arrival, it was discovered that her jaw had been broken, a fear of men, unable to trim her feet fully for 6 months. Feeling full of aspirations and dreams, then COVID arrived. My partner Dan’s business, which is events haulage, came to a hault and later on that year, my much-loved Jack Russell, Bobby, lost his 2 year battle with cancer. I felt I couldn’t go on, trapped inside my own manic head, with no way out, but Raegan kept me going and gradually I started the long climb back out of the sinking hole Id fallen into.
2021!! Lots of qualifiers entered, upped my Visa Card limit, snuck as much diesel as I dared and more through the business, temporally ‘borrowed’ the company Visa! The Royal Highland was a show that I really wanted to do, so with Dinky literally bending in the middle loaded with Prosecco, more Prosecco and Raegan squashed in, we arrived and I saw the sea of magnificent boxes and Horses, I began thinking, what are we doing here. The next day it became apparent what we were doing!! I cannot find the words to describe such overwhelming, hysteria, pride, and shame that I’d not bothered to brush my hair or put make up on!!
We load in the lighting for HOYS with our wagons and on the last loadout, 2019, I took a cup of surface and I said, Raegan…… one day you WILL walk on this I promise.
Emma Dewhurst and Ballyhoulihan Rags to Riches will make their debut in the Ladies Show Horse. It’s the fairy-tale ending, the horse with nothing that’s given me everything. As she takes her place along the best in the country on hallowed surface at the NEC, the final chapter of the book is written….. and my friends… I am bankrupt!
4. Annie Thomas and Ysselhofs Hallmark
On January 15th 2019 (my birthday) a chance flick through Facebook and there he was for sale on one of the section A pages. Within an hour I had placed the deposit on him. I knew straight away he had to be ours. Caspers’ sire is the amazing stallion Heniarth Quinell, also making him a brother to previous HOYS winner Powys Sprite who is owned by our good friends the Latter’s.
Our journey with Casper began 3 days later when we collected him from Lancashire, having bought him unseen we were definitely not disappointed, he was everything I imagined the would be. Casper was a real novice and was easily spooked when we first bought him. On a few occasions out hacking he would spin and shoot off, I will admit there were a few times I questioned had I bought the right pony for Annie. However from day one Annie absolutely adored everything about him and kept telling me they would get to HOYS.
The end of the 2019 season saw them progress enough to try the last few HOYS first ridden qualifiers, to our delight they were placed in them all. This gave us so much to look for to in 2020. Covid hit and put a stop to the show season but they had so much fun hacking , bare back riding and jumping, cementing their partnership further.
Our plan for 2021 was to try and qualify for Royal International and HOYS. The Royal International wasn’t to be – Annie’s dad injured his back which meant we couldn’t make a few of the qualifiers. Having placed in most of her HOYS qualifiers this season and being second in one, we headed to one of our favourite shows, the NPS summer champs. Annie and Casper produced the most amazing show, I was beaming with pride and when I went in to strip for her I told her how proud I was and that even if she didn’t place it didn’t matter as their show was fantastic.
There were 26 in the class and as they called out the results in reverse order Annie’s sister, Megan, and I waited ringside. As the second pony was announced I thought to myself ah well never mind. Megan shouted mum it’s Annie. I looked over and Annie was crying, Megan and I burst into tears and I dropped to my knees. The most amazing moment and one that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. She’d done it with her absolute best friend, the pony that’s means the absolute world to us all! We can’t wait for October and whatever the result we feel so privileged to be going to HOYS and already feel like winners.
5. Harriet Green and Breaffy Honey Drop
Breaffy Honey Drop (Harold) is an 8 year old Connemara with a heart of pure gold who has been my best friend since January 2018. Harold has given me many fabulous memories, but winning the Search for a Star Working Pony class at Onley tops them all! It’s a dream come true and there were lots of tears. It means so much to qualify for HOYS, but to do it on a pony who I have produced myself and learnt the ropes of competition on makes it all the more special.
As a teenager I had major spinal surgeries to correct Scoliosis by fusing titanium rods and screws down the length of my spine. I was told I might never be able to ride again. A year after my first operation, my surgeon finally said I could ride, but must avoid falling off because of the risk of impact.
Mum bought me Splash; he’s 18 now and still my best buddy. He is a cheeky chappy of a cob who taught me how to ride and deal with his ‘moments’. I was a novice to competition when I got Harold as a green 4 year old. A month into owning him, we went to a Dressage competition: a first for both of us. He was fabulous; I went the wrong way; we left smiling knowing I had much to learn but was bringing home the best boy.
Since then we’ve had fun learning together, from ringcraft, to progressing through the scales of training, how to jump, and much more, and always with a smile on his face. We’ve grown together from that first test, to achieving good results at affiliated shows in good company.
My mum and I were at HOYS in 2018 and watched the Working Pony class. I had owned Harold for 8 months and we had popped a couple of cross poles at most, but I said to my mum, “I should aim for this class with Harold”. Well here we are, and there is no better pony to realise my HOYS dream with than my Harold.
6. Kirsty Budd and Summerhouse Greta
It started with a little girl from a non horsey family, with a love of ponies and a once a week riding lesson at the local riding school. The dream of riding at HOYS seemed just that: a dream.
Age 11, my parents bought my first pony. I walked to and from the livery yard every day, I schooled my ponies myself and I learnt how to turn them out by watching the professionals. My parents help with mucking out on dark evenings and my dad is my show groom, we are a real family team. I bought Greta as a 3 y/o having been lightly backed in walk and trot and turned away. I instantly fell in love. I jumped on her back when she hadn’t been sat on in months and she was perfect. I have done everything with her myself. Not once has she been to a trainer or producer.
Greta can half pass, leg yield, traver and shoulder-in. We are at the top of the Regional British Dressage Quest League out of hundreds of competitors! In the show ring we have won both mare classes at the Dorset Fell Breed Show for two consecutive years and taken the ridden championship and reserve supreme of show. We have also been champion at Royal Cornwall which meant having an exciting spin in the Cuddy qualifier!
Having previously lost my confidence with jumping, Greta has filled me with confidence. I trust her so much and she always give 100% in anything I ask her to do, she really is the perfect pony. We have contended in a handful of working hunter classes, winning and taking champion each time! With my new confidence, I aimed for the Working Pony classes. With the pandemic last year, I juggled my work as a mental health therapist throughout lockdowns with extra training so that we would be even more prepared for 2021.
When my number was called forward, the tears flew, my parents cheered with delight. Finally, after many dedicated years, that once little girls dream of qualifying for HOYS had become reality.
7. Sophie Anderson and Beezies Topic
I started riding before I could walk, and the dream has been that one day I’d get to Hoys. I got Topic just before Christmas 2019. He had lost his way with jumping and lacked confidence. In a way, covid helped our progression by being able to take the pressure off of not having any shows and being able to build him up gradually. It has taken a lot of work and dedication, but I have with my mum’s amazing coaching built him up in the last year and a half to doing 1.25cm comfortably and confidently. Topic and I have created such an awesome partnership, when we are in sync we are unbeatable which has been proved this year with the titles we have picked up: Royal Highland Show JC Champion, Scottish Outdoor JC Champion, Won Foxhunter Second Round and qualified for Hoys, National 148 Silver League Champion
We have got a few shows in the meantime for the build-up in preparation for our best shot at Hoys, we are so excited and so far Topic has given me the best last year on ponies.
8. Harriet Wood and Summerrose Little Hawk
In 2016, I had my first BMHS miniature horse Sol. I started successfully showing Sol with a dream to one day compete at HOYS. I also bought another miniature called Jasper who quickly became a multi supreme champion at miniature and county shows.
In April 2018, I found Sol covered in blood in his stable after a young man had broken into his stable to attack and stab him 16 times. I was beyond heartbroken, and spent the next few weeks sleeping in his stable and washing his wounds. It really was touch and go, but against all odds, Sol survived. I felt my HOYS dream was over, but my family encouraged me to take Jasper to the The British Miniature Horse Society Star Seeker final where he won his hardshipping rights, passing with 100%. I started to show him with BMHS and in 2019 Jasper qualifed for HOYS, making what felt like my impossible dream, finally come true.
However, Sol’s case went to crown court and the first court date was the day of HOYS! I spent the morning in court, and had phone calls from the police right up until my class. It was heartbreaking that this crime had taken so much from me and was taking my HOYS experience too. Although HOYS was amazing, it was very hard to keep my mind off Sol and his case, which made the day very difficult. Sol’s case came to end over that winter and during lockdown. I concentrated on Jasper, with the dream of having my day at HOYS with nothing to distract me. We have worked as a team together and this year he won champion gelding at RIHS, RIHS reserve supreme miniature horse – and he has qualified for HOYS again!
This years Hoys will be very special for many reasons. I will be able to enjoy being there with Jasper who will also be showing for Sol & he will also be showing for one of my biggest supporters my cousin Mel who sadly passed away from covid earlier this year and i’m sure she will be cheering me on. We talked lots about my dream of Jasper and HOYS, and qualifying again has given me the chance to show for her and sol. I will just enjoy being at the world’s best horse show with the world’s best horse. Jasper is truly the horse of a lifetime!
9. Sarah Warburton and Hillmoor Lucky Lady
Lucky arrived into the world 5 years ago and tragically lost her mummy, as well having a twisted back ankle (at the time I was 19) her owners at the time decided that the kindest thing to do would be to put her to sleep. HOWEVER, I just couldn’t let this happen as I believe everything deserves a chance at life, even if she had lived for just two weeks at least I know I would have tried. She continued to be bottle fed every 2 hours, she started out with a big teddy and later moved onto her best friend Rodger the sheep, Rodger lived with her for around 4 months, and they were inseparable, she really struggled with the mare replacement milk but eventually managed to settle on it and we managed with the help of the vet to sort out her twisted back ankle. Lucky’s journey didn’t finish here, at 4 months old she got an umbilical hernia which she later underwent surgery at three years old (when I finally plucked up the courage to send her in) it was the worst 5 hours of my life, as I had convinced myself she wasn’t coming back out. As they say it comes in threes, she also suffers from sweet itch however with the help of our sponsors (Snuggy Hoods) we manage to keep that under control. Growing up Lucky was the ugly duckling not one leg went it the correct direction and I was always told she would be nothing more than a pet however she’s defeated all odds and proved everyone wrong, I have never doubted her for one minute and truly believe she knows what she’s achieved! She is the loveliest animal with a personality to die for. I my self have competed at Hoys before however this time the most special and memorable moment to qualify! And I cannot wait to share that amazing feeling with my girl, trotting round that main arena. She is truly LUCKY! Qualifying was literally surreal moment for me!
10. Rose Sinclair-James and Cloneyhea Clancy
To ride at HOYS has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. In October 2019, when an advert for Cloneyhea Clancy, a beautiful, eye-catching ladies horse popped up onto my newsfeed, the dream became closer to reality. Mum (Kay) and I are best friends and do everything together, but our family dog was poorly, and she could not leave her to come to Ireland with me to view him. So, within a few hours, I found myself on a (very rough!) ferry crossing. I got to Clancy at 11pm with a warm welcome, and by 12 midnight I was riding him under the lights! I fell in love with him from the moment I stepped into his stable. We agreed the sale and I made the journey back home to Wales. In the coming days, my house sale which I was reliant on fell through, meaning I no longer had the funds to buy my dream horse. My non-horsey Grandmother, Sonia, saw how devastated I was, and both her and Mum pulled together to ensure Clancy became part of the family.
Of course, then Covid struck, which put a pause on our plans. However, we used this to our advantage; having lots of no-pressure fun and getting to know each other, competing in arena eventing, going on beach rides and much more. Then came 2021! We started off the season with great hope, placing well at our first HOYS Ladies qualifier. Then the weekend after, my world came crashing down quite literally, when I had a rotational fall cross country with my old event horse. This resulted in me breaking not one but both of my elbows. Having never broken a bone in my life, I was shocked and gutted beyond words, and it really got me down. I was so disappointed that I would be losing yet another season with the lovely Clancy, who I so wanted to do justice. Then, Simon and Natalie Reynolds, who were producing our other lightweight hunter Under Attack for us at the time, (also HOYS qualified with Simon), very kindly offered to produce Clancy for the rest of the qualifying season, in the hopes of making the dream a reality. I was completely shell shocked by their offer and couldn’t believe my luck!
Fast forward 6 weeks, and with the help of the super talented Faye Ludlow who very kindly took over the reins in my absence, it happened!! After just missing out coming 2nd the day before at the Side Saddle Nationals, Clancy won the HOYS Ladies qualifier at Stoneleigh. I will never forget that feeling of pure joy and disbelief. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it! I had made the 10 hour round trip to watch and it was so, so worth it; it really was the best day with the best people. I really can’t thank Simon, Natalie and Faye enough for all they’ve done for me. Words just can’t explain how much this means to me. They made what had the potential to be the worst year, the absolute best! This will be my first ride at HOYS and against all the odds, and all being well, my horse of a lifetime Clancy and I will be riding through those magic curtains into the International Arena at HOYS. I will love every single second and remember just how lucky and fortunate I am to be there, as we all are. I will never forget the kindness shown to us this year; it really is showing at its best.
11. Ella Connolly and Twyford Captain Morgan
After visiting HOYS in 2019 with friends, it has been Ella’s dream to ride there ever since.
We bought Twyford Captain Morgan in May this year and Ella had a broken collarbone so she had to wait three weeks to finally being able to ride him. They have become an amazing little team in such a short period of time.
After a lot of convincing from Ella, We entered the HOYS qualifer in Wexford. It is Ireland’s only HOYS qualifier. The heavens opened for the day of the qualifier. Ella and Morgan jumped their socks off as I peeped through one eye to watch them. Our friends cheered them on fence by fence. When Ella and Morgan were announced as winners of the golden ticket, there was tears of delight from friends, previous owners and Ella’s riding instructor.
We would like to thank everyone for the good wishes and the fairy tale is about to begin.
12. Kimberley Morton and Dudley Do Right
It’s took eight years to get Dudley to the point when he qualified for HOYS, via search for a star at Richmond Equestrian Centre. But it’s never been an easy ride with Dudley, nicknamed sick note.
I first saw him in a field with a few other colts that had been swapped for a cement mixer. He just had something about him, when he stood staring at me. So I went home and got my grandparents to buy this scruffy little foal for £75 as my Christmas present.
He was shown as a youngster and certainly made us sweat, drew lots of blood and drove us to tears, he was a handful, and a half.
As a youngster we also discovered he had broken his tail as a foal and had an issue with his illicit.
When the time came I backed him myself and he seemed flat, not the fiery youngster we were used too, deep down I thought it was more then him growing up. I happened to see a post on Facebook in a coloured group about vitamin deficiency so decided to get his bloods done to see if he was deficient in anything. Nothing prepared us for the shock of finding out he had an issue with his liver. The next 6 month it was a battle to keep him alive, for months he didn’t improve and was close to liver failure. But he finally got better.
This wasn’t the end for of sicknote in June 2019 we finished second search for a star, just missing out on qualifying. Then weeks before the last qualifier Dudley developed a cough, which turned out to be asthma.
All set for 2020 Covid struck, but we have got there in the end in 2021.
We have gone through so much together and it’s satisfying to know Dudley is all my hard work. Qualifying makes those early mornings, late nights, rain-soaked hacks, and endless baths worth it.
Me and Dudley-do-Right can’t wait for October when my dream will come true.
13. Jules Chadwick and Cayberry First Edition
My name is Jules and this is my story of how you can dare to dream, then dare to dream again.
As a 12-year-old, my dream was to have a pony of my own, but coming from a working class non-equestrian background, this was not to happen, however this is when my love affair with HOYS began. As a special birthday treat on becoming a teenager, my Mum took me to HOYS as a spectator in 1972, then held at Wembly. I was enthralled, and vowed that one day I would compete with my own pony at this prestigious show.
The opportunity to start showing didn’t happen till much later in my life, around the time I was diagnosed with the debilitating disease – Multiple Sclerosis in 2004. I purchase a couple of youngsters and brought them on, selling them as 3-year-olds, as I have never been able to ride!
In 2010, I acquired a yearling Dartmoor – Brandsby Witchcraft aka William, and started showing him in hand. As he approached his 4th birthday, I was completely smitten with his cheeky personality, and decided to find a rider and produce him from home. In 2015 the unbelievable happened, and my amazing little man qualified in both the Open M and M Dartmoor, Exmoor and Shetland class, and the First Ridden M and M class. Oh my days at the age of 55 I was finally realizing my dream, so off to Birmingham we went !!William was such a good boy, and won 3rd in the First Ridden Class, the only Dartmoor in the final 10, 9 of which were Section As!! He was knocking on the door with a number of close shouts with 2nds in 2016 and 2017, and we were gearing up to try and get that “Golden Ticket” when cruelly, William died at the ripe age of 9. I was devastated.
Later that year a young Cayberry First Edition was purchased, and needed quite some work, so a slow and patient approach was taken. He was entered in 1 HOYS class in 2018, where he was pulled 3rd in a very strong junior class. During the pandemic, I have been working front line NHS as a Respiratory Physiologist in full PPE, which has been exhausting, and despite increased issues from the Multiple Sclerosis continued to home produce this gentleman, working him from the ground before and after work hoping to try and achieve that elusive dream again.
Sunday, 3rd July 2021, wet and gloomy trip to NCPA Staffs, last class of the day for qualifying classes for the M and Ms, nervously awaiting results, and the steward called the winning number forward, sooooo disappointed, it wasn’t us, a tense wait, no one came forward and then the Steward realized she had read the number 7 as a number 1 and called the winner… Cayberry First Edition had done it with Lillie Whittaker on board, the same jockey who had successfully partnered Will at HOYS as a little 9-year-old!!! Now, nearly a pensioner at 61 I cannot believe that I have dared to dream and achieved the opportunity to compete at HOYS again.
Wishing all competitors, the Best of Luck, enjoy and make memories, and please remember that every one of you are winners!!!!