Showing Round-Up Thursday 6 October Daytime

Showing Round-Up Thursday 6 October Daytime

A star in the making
It was a fitting end to a very successful year for 10-year-old chestnut gelding, Shanbally Legacy who took the title of the Hamilton Tarmac Small Show Hunter of the Year Champion 2022, ridden by Claire Oliver.

The Small Show Hunter Championship is steeped in history and tradition and has been a firm favourite on the timetable at Horse of the Year Show since 1954. The judges look for an attractive, well-mannered horse with a workmanlike attitude, and the class has seen some legendary horses take the title over the years.

Ride judge Nicholas Collins said of his winner: “He’s a proper small hunter, true to type. He’s the kind of horse that any member of the family could get on and hunt. He gave a comfortable and forward ride and had good manners, which is incredibly important.”

Lego, as he is fondly known, has deservedly climbed his way up the line after being placed eighth and fourth in the class in 2019 and 2021 respectively. But 2022 has been his year to shine, claiming supreme champion at Wiltshire Show, champion in the Small Hunters at Royal Windsor Horse Show, champion at Royal Cheshire County Show and now he bags his first HOYS Championship title.

Speaking of their win, Claire said: “He’s had a cracking season and he felt fantastic today. He’s been quite a straightforward horse to produce, and he loves to work. Whether you are hacking, hunting, jumping or schooling he gives you 100%. The ride judge rode them all beautifully, Lego went nice and forward and I am so proud of him.”
The horse is owned by Susan Granger but was found by Claire’s late husband, legendary showman Robert Oliver as Claire explains: “I remember Robert phoning Sue and saying to her ‘you have to buy this horse’ – he knew he’d be a star.”

He has certainly proved to be a star. The combination will return to the Andrews Bowen International Arena on Sunday night to contest the Supreme Products Supreme Horse of the Year title with all other Champion horses from throughout the week.

Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Pony of the Year Championship
Over in the TopSpec Arena it was the turn of the Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Ponies to take to the ring in their respective height categories. The testing course of working hunter fences, designed by David Cole, is set to represent that which they might see on the hunting field.

Winner of the 122cm section was Moonpenny Delphinus, an 11-year-old Exmoor pony owned and ridden by Debbie Barker-Runiewicz. The pony’s sire, Moonpenny Aquarius, is also at HOYS this week and was contesting the 133cm class with Debbie just one hour earlier.

Celebrating her first HOYS win, and in fact HOYS placing, a delighted Debbie said: “I’m ecstatic. I’ve had him for three years now. He was backed by Lauren Brill for his breeders, the Bryant Family. Then he joined Frankie Currell before he came to me in 2019.

“He’s fantastic and he just gets better and better. The course rode well. To be honest I was so busy concentrating on keeping him relaxed and focused, but he just loves it.”
Finn is a typical Exmoor, showing great versatility matched with a huge character. Debbie continues: “I’m a stay-at-home mum so I do the horses around home life. Last year was my first year at HOYS and I bought both Finn and Aquarius here with me then too. So, to win second time round is just fantastic.”

The top two placed combinations in each class were invited forward for the afternoon Championship in the Andrews Bowen International Arena.

Champion win for Welsh Section C in HOYS debut

As the winning combinations took to the Andrews Bowen International Arena for the Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Pony of the Year Championship, the atmosphere was tense. After much deliberation amongst the judges, Jocelyn Price and Barbara McGrath, they eventually pulled forward the 133cm section winner, Joyton Sunrise as their champion.

Tagged as ‘The Arena of Dreams’ the envious canter down the centre under the spotlight certainly made dreams come true for 12-year-old Ella Eynon, who has produced the pony herself with the help of her parents. The Welsh Section C gelding is only five-years-old himself, but he certainly made his Horse of the Year Show debut one to remember.

Speaking to Ella of her win, she commented: “I’m so overwhelmed. It’s taken so much hard work for him to get to this point. I didn’t expect that at all. He went so well; I couldn’t have asked for any better. I’ve competed at HOYS for the past six years, but this is my first ever win here and the first time I have ridden in the main arena.

“I’m so proud of him. I was slightly nervous before the class this morning as it was Dougie’s first time competing at a show like HOYS, but he was just great and jumped really well.”

Reserve Champion was the Exc. 143cm winner, King Rover who gave rider Amy Tough her seventh Horse of the Year Show working hunter title. The 10-year-old Connemara, Bertie is known for his loving nature on the yard and has been ridden by Amy for the past four seasons. “That was amazing. He’s been great throughout the four seasons I’ve ridden him, but this year has topped them all.”

Section winners:
Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland Exc. 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
Winner: King Rover ridden by Amy Tough, owned by Sarah Robson
Reserve: Laburnum Richard owned and ridden by Amy Smith

Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
Winner: Woodbank Smokey Sam ridden by Kirsty Aird, owned by Cheryl Mackintosh
Reserve: Lovelyhill Folklore ridden by Vikki Smith, owned by Penny Sutton

Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland 133cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
Winner: Joyton Sunshine ridden by Ella Eynon, owned by Rebecca Faulkner
Reserve: Joint Venture ridden by Rachel Turner, owned by Rose Bailey

Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
Winner: Moonpenny Delphinus ridden and owned by Debbie Barker-Runiewicz
Reserve: Dunkery Black Grouse ridden by Frankie Currell, owned by Jacqueline Wharton

Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. Mountain & Moorland Junior 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
Winner: Vennebos Pearly King ridden by Lola Carabine, owned by Sadie Osborne
Reserve: Elberry Suilen ridden by Lilly Richardson, owned by Lucy Richardson


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:

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