HOYS Wednesday 6th Evening Showing

Team Commercial News

Third time lucky for Working Hunter of the Year Champion Ricruiso

Wednesday afternoon at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is Working Hunter heaven as the Andrews Bowen International Arena is temporarily transformed into the Great British countryside for the Working Hunter of the Year Championship; a prestigious part of HOYS since 1951.

The challenging course of fences, each one up to 1.20m in height, asked plenty of questions of the huge field of 36 starters. From the stone bridge and water to the large brick archways and skinny gateway, in the end there were just six clears over David Cole’s tricky track.

Ten combinations were invited back after the jumping for the ride and conformation round judged by Wendy Gibson and Angus McDonald, respectively. As fierce as the competition is over the fences, the style and conformation marks play a big part in the overall result and the competitors then had the nerve-wracking wait until the evening performance to see who had done enough to secure the title.

In the end it was Lucy Greenwood’s 12-year-old Chestnut gelding Ricruiso who was crowned 2021 Working Hunter Champion. Ridden in the ring by HOYS regular, and 2019 winner, Hayden Hankey, Ricruiso gave a confident clear over the course and a foot-perfect ride on the flat.

“I’ve had him since a four-year-old and we do show jumping and workers together,” said Lucy who produces Ricruiso herself and is taking this season out of the ring after having a baby.

The win was made even sweeter because Ricruiso has qualified for HOYS three times but has never made it to the final due to injuries. He is also Lucy’s first HOYS winner.

“He has an amazing personality and just loves his job,” she said. “He’ll have a break now and then show jump over the winter.”

Reflecting on the day, Hayden added: “He didn’t put a foot wrong… He felt like the winner and I was very confident in him. The course wasn’t a walk in the park. They always build a tough course with the right number of clears. I just got in a rhythm and kept going.”

Reserve Champion was MJM Laszlo owned by Paulette Cooper and ridden by Nicole Lockhead Anderson.

Hayden and Ricruiso will be back in the Andrews Bowen International Arena on Sunday to contest the Supreme Products Supreme Horse of the Year Championship.

ENDS

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]