History made on the third evening of Horse of the Year Show

History made on the third evening of Horse of the Year Show

Robert Walker landed his seventh Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter of the Year Championship, and third in a row, for owner Jill Dayon the third evening of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

The Lightweight Hunter, MHS Morning Master, gave the team another well-deserved spotlight down the centre line at “the world’s most famous horse show”, after impressing judges Gilly McCowan and Peter Crafts.

The bay gelding won the prestigious Supreme In-Hand Horse Championship here at HOYS as a three-year-old and stood overall Reserve Champion. Now, five years later, he’s had his winning moment under saddle.

Rob said: “He’s a performer; he’s always been a little operator into his bridle.

“We’re very lucky to have him, he’s had an unbelievable season.”

Rob took this Championship four times with the legendary View Point before his retirement after going Supreme at HOYS last year.

Reserve Champion went to Liz Prowting’s Middleweight Hunter, Bloomfield Eloquence, ridden in the ring by Loraine Homer, while Alice Homer fulfilled her duties over in the TopSpec Arena finishing fourth in the intermediate working hunters. She also joined her mum in the ring this evening on Liz’s second placed heavyweight, Bloomfield Distinction.

Eloquence, an eight-year-old grey gelding by Watermill Swatch, also took the Middleweight title in 2021 and has won the Royal International Ladies Hunter title twice with Alice.

“He’s been a superstar to our team, we adore him,” said Loraine. “He rode beautifully in there this evening; like riding on a piece of string.

“We have just started jumping him, so we may do a few novice workers next year and see how that progresses.”

Loraine and Alice are also looking forward to him having another year or two as a middleweight and contesting some more ladies’ hunters with Alice.

Dublin Street Fighter, owned by Mesdames Hookham and Treleaven and ridden by Matthew Ainsworth, reclaimed the Heavyweight Show Hunter of the Year title from 2021. Now in his third season with Matthew, the Irish Sports Horse proved what a true-to-type heavyweight he is.

Speaking after the class this morning Matthew said: “He’s been phenomenal. He’s a true heavyweight and just seems to smile at this show.

“He went superbly today and that’s credit to all the team.

“He’s very straightforward at home. My partner Charlotte basically treats him like a Labrador; he has no pressure at all. He hacks around and has a nice time.”

Dublin Street Fighter was also awarded the The Worshipful Company of Farriers overall Best Shod award, which was presented separately in the ring. Matthew also finished second in the Middleweights with Lyssa Sheppard’s Alfie Connor in third.

The Price Family Supreme In-Hand Championship is widely considered the hardest Championship to qualify for here at HOYS, but the ultimate one to win. To qualify, horses and ponies must have stood In-Hand Champion at a major county show.

Angela Smith and Paul Mortimer’s three-year-old colt, Tremarl Timber (Tim), was awarded the prestigious accolade after winning the Horse section.

Handled by Simon Charlesworth in the ring, Vicky Smith was eagerly watching from the side lines and was over the moon with the win. Vicky has had much success here at HOYS in ridden classes and also placed with her coloured mare in the In-Hand Supreme, but had assumed that would have been the last of her In-Hand success.

“My mum [Angela] has been coming here to HOYS for years to watch me ride and she’s never owned a horse. I spotted him and said to her, ‘mum, we really need this horse’.

Vicky contacted Paul [Mortimer] and didn’t even have a photo to show him, but they knew the horse had potential and made the purchase. Simon has been helping to give him an education and the future looks extremely bright for Vicky and Tim.

The Welsh stallion Gwynfaes Seren Wledig stood Reserve Champion, handled by Dorian Lloyd and owned by the Evans family. The 12-year-old by Gwynfaes Culhwch qualified at the Royal Welsh where he also stood Supreme this year.

Dorian said: “We’ve been fortunate to be able to show him since a two-year-old and he’s won in every corner of the country. In 10 years of showing him he’s only ever been second twice and they were as a youngster.

“He’ll probably retire to stud now… His progeny have gone on under saddle so we’re very fortunate.”

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