Caron Scudamore’s seven-year-old British Riding Pony, Absolutely Classic, has gone from almost being a field ornament to becoming a HOYS Champion. On loan to the Lockhart family after Caron’s daughter Zara went to university, Amelia Lockhart rode him to victory in the Roseberry Stud Ridden Partbred Pony of the Year Championship on the penultimate day of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Caron bought the mare from the breeder as a five-year-old and she had her first novice season with Zara, also doing some dressage. Quickly realising she was too good to just stand in the field doing nothing, Caron offered the pony to the Lockhart’s. Amelia also finished third on her in the British Show Pony Society 148cm Children’s Riding Pony of the Year this morning.
“We can’t believe it,” said a delighted Caron. “We knew she’d do well but were not expecting that in her first season!” Absolutely Classic will always have a home with Caron and she hopes to breed from her in the future.
It was a family affair in The Harrod and Coles Family Cob of the Year Championship as two sisters went head to head in their class and then in the Championship. Lisa Davey’s six-year-old Red Butler (Jenson) won the lightweights to stand overall Champion with Sarah Walker in the saddle. Alongside Sarah in the Andrews Bowen International Arena was her sister Victoria Hesford who stood Reserve Champion with Tracey Veale’s Red Rock III, having finished second in the lightweights.
“It was lovely to be in there together,” said Sarah who “pinched” the ride on Red Butler from husband Rob shortly after he arrived with them as an unbroken four-year-old. Sarah treats him like a king and said, “he rides like a blood hunter. He’s very quality.”
Lisa has watched horses of hers compete here at HOYS 11 times in the past but her best placing to date had been eighth – until today! “It’s completely surreal,” she said. “He just floats across the arena.”
Anne Leigh’s grey gelding Bobbi Dazzler won the The Harrod and Coles Family Heavyweight Cob of the Year ridden by Danielle Heath.
The final showing Championship of the evening was the British Show Pony Society Children’s Riding Pony of the Year where the winning 148cm pony, Kirsty Andrew’s Roseberry Final Edition, went foot-perfect all day to be crowned Champion. Ridden by 13-year-old Ellie Mae Harrington, the part bred Arab has exceeded expectations in their first year with the family. Although he has qualified for HOYS in the past with his previous owners, this was Ellie’s first ride at the show, which she described simply as “amazing.”
Cate Kerr piloted her show jumper Dunbarover IV to victory in the 128cm Showjumping Championship and tonight she shone once again in the show ring. Owned by Lisha Leeman who bred the pony, the eight-year-old Chestnut mare is another winner by Kilvington Scoundrel, who has sired so many HOYS winners, out of Thistledown Geisha Girl. He and Cate have only been together since 2019.
Winner of the British Show Pony Society Children’s Riding Pony of the Year 138cm section was Maria Rogers’ British Riding Pony Wycroft Forget-Me-Not ridden by Ruby Rogers.
The three Champions tonight have claimed some of the last remaining spaces to contest the Supreme Products Supreme Pony of the Year and Supreme Products Supreme Horse of the Year Championships tomorrow night.
For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2021, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email: [email protected]