View Point makes history as the four-time winner of the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter Championship

View Point makes history as the four-time winner of the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter Championship

Six stunning show hunters took centre stage in the Andrews Bowen International Arena on Friday night at Horse of the Year Show for the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter Championship. The prestigious championship has been a part of the Show since it started in 1949.

Riding to victory and making history as the first four-time-champion of this class, was the beautiful bay gelding View Point ridden by Robert Walker. By Loughahoe Guy out of Quality Dame, View Point is now 11-years-old and has enjoyed a successful career standing champion at every major show across the country including the 2021 HOYS Supreme Horse of the Year Champion title.

“Unbelievable!” said Robert. “Two weeks ago we weren’t going to bring him [View Point] simply because we thought we can’t top last year. Then his owner Jill, who never normally has a say in the entries, she said to me she’d really like him to go. She said he’s a horse of a lifetime so let’s go and enjoy him. So we did, and it couldn’t have worked out better. I know it can’t last forever but we’ll see how Sunday evening goes in the Supreme. He’s just one of those horses, very gentle and kind. He’s been with me since he was a two-year-old and he’ll never go anywhere.”

Robert also took the gelding’s brother, Vantage Point, to the same title of Show Hunter champion at Horse of the Year Show 2015.

Standing reserve, and ridden by Robert’s wife Sarah Walker, was the middleweight section winner Crystal Cove who Robert triumphed on earlier in the day. The six-year-old grey gelding looked very at home cantering around for the lap of honour alongside his master.

Robert said: “Being a Covid novice he’s had very few outings. He won the novices at Stafford and Cheshire this season, so we decided to try a HOYS qualifier. He won and qualified at TSR Summer Show and now he’s won his first HOYS class and stood reserve in the championship. He’s just one of those horses that everyone on the yard loves. He has a very bright future ahead of him.”

The Heavyweight section winner from the morning was Lauren Brill riding 10-year-old grey gelding, Fuerty Emperor, owned by Jonathan Fryer. The gelding has previously been competed by Jonathan himself, however, since getting the new Dowdstown Purple, the ride passed to his partner Lauren Brill.

Lauren, who is used to competing in the pony classes, said: “That was my first ‘horse’ ride at HOYS. I’ve only been riding him for a couple of months. We just did a couple of qualifiers to get him out and about because Jonno has been focusing on the younger one and then we picked up our HOYS ticket and ended up winning the class here today. I can’t believe it. He felt fantastic and really knew what he was doing to the point where he just took me round.

“Winning was just beyond my wildest dreams. I thought I just hadn’t got a rosette when they were calling out the placings, but I thought never mind, he went well and I’ve had a good time. He is just phenomenal and very precious to us.”

Lovestruck bows out in style as The Price Family Supreme In-Hand Champion 2022

The Price Family Supreme In-Hand Championship celebrates the supreme light horse or pony shown in-hand, irrespective of breed or type.  Widely considered the hardest Championship to qualify for at HOYS, the Champion of each breed at a qualifying show comes head-to-head to compete here in the final at HOYS. 

Taking the spoils for 2022 was the gorgeous chestnut mare, Lovestruck, produced and led by Steve Pitt. Having competed in the same class here at HOYS in 2011 as a three-year-old where she won the Exc.148cm section and stood reserve champion, her career has come full circle as Steve Pitt announces her retirement.

“It was such an honour to do that last show with her; a very special moment. She can put her feet up now and bow out in style. That’s it, she’s retired. To go out on that is just incredible. We did say that’s it now, she’s done her job and what a way to finish.”

Owners Rosemary Penn and Vicky Smith could not speak more highly of the deserving mare. Rosemary, who has had her since a foal, said: “She is called Lovestruck because she used to follow me round everywhere as a foal and we said ‘she is lovestruck’. She has a very sweet nature and Steve Pitt is the ace producer who has worked with her since a three-year-old.”

The mare has only attended one show this season, Midland Counties, where she picked up her golden ticket to compete at Horse of the Year Show. Co-owner and previous jockey Vicky Smith added: “I can’t put it into words. That mare never gives up. She never looks sour, and she tries every time. She is just amazing. I mean to take the supreme here is just the perfect end to her career.”

Reserve champion went to Scott Dixon with 10-year-old grey mare, Skaergaardens Delicious Love owned by Vanessa Clark.


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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