A family effort to win the Barberstown Castle Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship

A family effort to win the Barberstown Castle Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship

On day four at Horse of the Year Show the TopSpec Arena set the stage for the Barberstown Castle Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship. Invited forward for the championship were the top two riders from the Lead Rein Pony of the Year and the First Ridden Pony of the Year, both sponsored by Barberstown Castle.

Securing her first win at Horse of the Year Show was the Lead Rein winner, five-year-old Millie Knipe riding Derw Dream Boy, known as Dave, led by Millie’s father James Knipe. The picture-perfect combination took off around the arena to celebrate their win, soaking in the atmosphere of the packed-out TopSpec Arena.  

Mum Jade Knipe said: “We bought Dave from his breeder Julia Owen in Wales as un unbroken three-year-old. We broke him in ourselves and have done everything with him. We purposely didn’t do any HOYS qualifiers last season with him because as a four-year-old we didn’t want to overdo it. But he just takes it all in his stride and has a wonderful temperament.”

Speaking of their own memories of competing at HOYS, Jade and James are yet to take a champion title. “We’ve both competed here all of our lives and the best we have managed to get is second place, so it is down to our five-year-old daughter and five-year-old pony to win it for us,” said Jade.

Despite his young age, the gelding has had a successful season winning at Cheshire County Show and then going on to take the overall supreme at the NPS Summer Championships last month.

“We try not to over show him. We both have full time jobs; James is a farrier and I am a hairdresser and run a glamping pod business so we are both really busy. Millie absolutely loves the horses and spending time with Dave at home grooming and playing with him. Honestly, he’s so easy and has such a lovely temperament. As a mum you can’t ask for better than that.”

The Gribbin Family Lead Rein Pony Hunter Type of the Year Championship

Judge of The Gribbin Family Lead Rein Pony Hunter Type of the Year Championship, Jennie Loriston-Clarke MBE, found her winner in the four-year-old bay gelding Newoak Midnight Blue. The pony, owned by Naomi Bradwell, was ridden today by five-year-old jockey Scarlett Smith (Naomi’s granddaughter) and led by Cheshire-based producer Adam Forster.

This class aims to find a pony suitable to take its rider on country and town activities on the leading rein. Each pony is required to perform an individual show and negotiate a few rural obstacles.

Speaking of the winner, a recent addition to the Jinks Show Team, Adam said: “He’s a four-year-old that we bought from the stud last year. The minute I saw him I said to David [Jinks] ‘we are taking that home with us’ – I knew he was a star. He is such a lovely mover and has the best temperament to match. He’s just amazing.”

Enjoying her very first Horse of the Year Show experience, young Scarlett may be yet to realise the enormity of her new HOYS champion title, which many riders spend their careers chasing. “Scarlett’s grandmother Naomi is one of our longest standing clients and it is her first win for the family at HOYS. I have also been competing in this class for years and have been second twice but have finally got my winner,” adds Adam.

Stanley Grange Gilt Edge crowned Partbred Pony of the Year 2022

Annabel Drake and seven-year-old bay gelding, Stanley Grange Gilt Edge, set the bar high in their foot-perfect show to take the Partbred Pony of the Year title 2022. The combination had also won the BSPS 148cm Children’s Riding Pony class earlier in the day.

Annabel, aged 17, trains with renowned showing producer Jo Bates who has also enjoyed a successful week here at the Horse of the Year Show. The talented bay gelding known as Edward was bred by Jerome Harforth’s Stanley Grange Stud and has been with Annabel now for three seasons.

Annabel, who last won at HOYS in 2019 on Cadlanvalley Allegro, said: “I can’t even put it into words. I knew he could do it because he’s just incredible. We bought him from Sue Palmer when he was a four-year-old. We’ve produced him from home and then Jo [Bates] trains us. This is his first full open season. On his first two outings this year he was show pony champion, and he’s just got better and better.

“I had two dreams this season; one was to win a flower sash which I did at the BSPS Summer Championships, and the second was to ride in the (Andrews Bowen) International Arena at HOYS and he has made both of those dreams come true.”

Trainer Jo Bates added: “I’m so proud. This is a trainer’s dream. Annabel is like a sponge; she soaks everything up and she’s such a perfectionist, they are a pleasure to work with.”

Taking reserve was Lola Carabine riding Jenny Harker’s 128cm section winner, Ardenhall Blenheim.

A win for Love Joy in the Harrod and Coles Family Cob of the Year Championship

Four of the highest calibre show cobs took to the Andrews Bowen International Arena for a final time to impress judges Richard Telford and Alan Mickleburgh in a bid to be crowned The Harrod and Coles Family Cob of the Year Champion 2022 at Horse of the Year Show.

The Cob of the Year Championship was amongst the first showing classes at Horse of the Year Show at Harringay in 1949 and has since seen many big names take the title including two highly regarded showing producers, Allister Hood and the late Robert Oliver.

Tonight, the honours went to the lightweight section winner, Love Joy, produced and ridden by Frazer Atherden. The seven-year-old chestnut gelding was bought as a three-year-old by Frazer’s father-in-law Richard Leeman and has headed up a strong line up of contenders in tonight’s championship.

Frazer said of his win: “That was surreal. He’s only really done a handful of shows this season, we bought him as an unbroken three-year-old, and due to covid he had a couple of seasons off, but it did him the world of good because it gave him time to mature. He is a lovely ride and after feeling a bit worried this morning he settled much quicker this evening in the championship.”

Taking the reserve champion title was Claire Oliver riding Freddie Kruger. Also in the championship was Frazer’s wife, Janay Atherden riding Red Rock III and Danielle Heath riding Bobbie Dazzler.  

Today was the day for Ardenhall Blenheim in the British Show Pony Society Children’s Riding Pony of the Year

The super-consistent show pony, Ardenhall Blenheim, rose to the occasion to win the British Show Pony Society Children’s Riding Pony of the Year Championship ridden by 10-year-old Lola Carabine. The combination had won the 128cm Children’s Riding Pony of the Year earlier in the day, making it Lola’s second win of the day.

Owned by Jenny Harker and previously competed at HOYS by her daughter Emma Harker, 13-year-old Joules as he is fondly known proved to be a super family pony. Emma was aboard her 148cm pony in the Championship, Rotherwood Fantasia.

Jenny Harker said: “He’s our boy and I would never sell him. We had him off the Jinx Show Team eight years ago and Emma has had so much fun with him. She was second with him here at HOYS in 2017 and now he and Lola have really hit it off.

Today has not only marked a first HOYS win for Lola, but also a first HOYS win for the family show team. “He’s our first HOYS winner!” continued Jenny. “Today has really been his day.”

Catching a moment with Lola after her win, she said: “I was a little bit nervous going in, but more excited than anything. I tried my best and just hoped that was enough. My plan for the supreme is just to have fun and to try my best.”

Reserve champion was 138cm section winner, Copybush Time Lord ridden by Harriet Storey.

ENDS For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2022, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email: press@hoys.co.uk

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