Sunday night at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) saw the crème de la crèmeof the week’s Champions crowned in the Supreme Products Supreme Horse of the Year and Supreme Products Supreme Pony of the Year Championships. This year, the lineup of Champions were judged by husband and wife team Philip and Rosemary Hilton.
Guy Mears and Isabella Mears-Wood’s Champion Hack, Forgeland Hyde Park (Will), had the ultimate star quality on the night. You could hear a pin drop in the Andrews Bowen International Area before he and show producer Danielle Heath were called forward into the spotlight and announced as the Supreme Products Supreme Horse of the Year.
Will is by the prolific sire Kilvington Scoundrel and he already has three Hack Championships and two Intermediate Championships in his HOYS portfolio.
Reflecting on her first major Supreme title Danielle said: “He’s such a showman; he carries it off and I can just enjoy the moment.
“To do it on a horse like this is a once in a lifetime moment.
“You can feel him just grow the minute you walk in the arena. He loves the atmosphere and gets better and better. It’s a dream come true.”
Will’s owner Isabella, who this year competed in her final Intermediate with him said: “He just deserves it. He wants to win it more than we do.
“It’s everything we’ve ever dreamed of. He’s always doing more and giving more. For him to finally get that recognition of the Supreme title is all we ever wanted for him.”
Audio interview with Danielle Heath: https://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/HOYS23_Heath_SHOY.mp3
The five-year-old Partbred Champion pulled off another flawless performance beyond her years to take the Supreme Products Supreme Pony of the Year title.
On her first time at HOYS, Jerome Harforth’s homebred mare Swan Lake painted quite the picture in the Andrews Bowen International Arena with Sophie Staveley in the saddle. This was also a first time Supreme ridden title for both Jerome and Sophie.
By Llanarth Top Cat out of Dance All Night, Swan Lake was shown by Jerome as a yearling and took reserve twice in the In-Hand Horse of the Year qualifiers, while her dam, Dance All Night, won here back in 2012 in the Children’s Riding Pony of the Year with Lucinda Elliott.
Jerome said: “She was a beautiful foal. When she came out I thought ‘this is a bit special’.
Another of Jerome’s homebred’s, Colbeach Caprice, also went Reserve British Show Pony Society Children’s Riding Pony of the Year Champion earlier in the week. But despite all of the HOYS wins over his career, the Supreme is still something very special indeed. “HOYS is the epitome of showing. It means so much.”
Sophie has only been riding the mare since March and said: “I can’t believe it. She pulled it out of the bag for me today. We’ve looked after each other”
Audio interview with Sophie Staveley:
A HOYS first timer took the Shire Horse of the Year Championship supported by the Shire Horse Society. Richard Bedford’s Shire filly, Batley Pepper Gray, was handled by Robert Bedford in the ring.
The filly is just three years old and this was her first HOYS ticket. She was National Champion in the Spring and has two Championships under her belt, with the HOYS accolade adding to the impressive list of achievements.
Robert said: “She’s quite a calm character. She takes things in her stride and has a good temperament as well, so it really makes the whole jigsaw.”
The Reserve Champion title went to Mr C Paulsson’s five-year-old Stallion Herkules Catching Fire handled by Paul Bedford.