Posted: 8th October 2018 | Back to news feed

View Point holds onto his crown in the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter of the Year Championship

 The fantastic View Point didn’t let his Show Hunter crown slip away on day three of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as he reclaimed the Catplant Group of Companies Ltd. Show Hunter of the Year Championship from last year. Robert Walker rode Jill Day’s seven-year-old Sports Horse to success in the Lightweight section early on in the morning, making up a hat trick of wins having piloted the gelding’s brother, Vantage Point, to the same title at HOYS 2015.

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“Our main aim last year was to try and retain his crown,” said Robert who’d been saving him for HOYS. “With a good horse like him, we don’t need to take him out a lot...” “He’s just a class act,” he continued. “He has such cadence and rhythm and wants to be a show horse, which makes my job easier!”  

View Point has had a hugely successful season winning every time out, and also going Supreme at Royal Windsor and the Royal International. His breeder Sean Jones had flown in to watch him here at HOYS. Heavyweight Show Hunter Twinshock Warrior stood Reserve Champion with Jayne Ross in the saddle. Owned by Jill Marsden, this bay gelding is just six years old. The Middleweight section was won by Susan Granger’s Treganick ridden by Claire Oliver.

The Show Hunter of the Year is also 70 years old this year, having appeared on the HOYS schedule every year since the very first show in 1949.

High spirits in the Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship 

Having started her HOYS journey under saddle, Crafton Blythe Spirit has won one of the most prestigious and sought-after titles in the showing world - and on only her second outing this year! The 11-year-old broodmare, shown and produced by Jerome Harforth, claimed the Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship on day three of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

 Cuddy Supremem in hand Champion HOYS 2018

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Shown with her foal at foot, the part-bred Arab mare won the up to and including 148cm section earlier in the day. This was a class that had taken a long time for the judges to reach a decision on due to the number of quality entries coming forward, including three Mountain & Moorland ponies that had all contested ridden classes earlier in the week at HOYS. Crafton Blythe Spirit is no stranger to HOYS, having competed here under saddle in the past in show pony classes. Jerome has shown and produced her for the past two years after finding her for her new owner, Mark Buckley.

“I love her; she’s a very correct mare and very well put together. Her biggest strength is her movement and quality of limb movement for all her years under saddle,” said Jerome.  From a winner with a successful ridden career already under her belt, to one with his ridden career in front of him, MHS Morning Master won the Horse section and clinched the Reserve Champion title.

TJ, as he is known at home, is owned by Jill Day, shown and produced by Robert Walker and was bred by Tom Brennan. At three-years-old, he was broken in just after the Royal Three Counties Show this year where he qualified for the Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship. “He was bought as a ridden horse,” said Robert, who hasn’t done much ridden work with him since, due to his preparation for the Cuddy, but says it has helped to keep this good doer in great condition.

Graffiti makes a statement in the Miniature Horse of the Year Championship

 Leonie Wroe’s eye-catching Miniature, Scott Creek Monarch Red Graffiti, stole the show ahead of 15 other starters to win the Miniature Horse of the Year Championship at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) - a title he last claimed in 2015.

Miniature horse of the year champion hoys 2018

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 “He’s a real showman but a character too - he’ll do anything for a back scratch!” said Leonie. Graffiti, as he is known at home, is no stranger to HOYS; he finished first in his section in 2016 and 2014, including Reserve Champion in 2014, second in 2017 and Champion in 2015. This year, the stallion was joined in the ring by one of his offspring, Allstars Graffiti in the Spotlight, who finished seventh. After standing Supreme Champion at the Royal International earlier this year, Graffiti now has both of the big championships under his belt. “He’ll continue to stand at stud,” said Leonie. “He’s only eight so has a lot of life left in him!”

Second place went to Nicola Nelson and Charlotte Leonard’s, spotted filly, Karosel Alamo’s Perdita. Charlotte is also a regular at HOYS having taken the runner-up spot three times previously with other Miniatures.

Harry Charles takes his claim on the NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes

 Harry Charles produced a performance that bristled with star quality as he won the NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes at Horse of the Year Show on Friday at Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena. The 19-year-old son of London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Peter Charles had it all to do in a class when riders planned their own jump-off routes, while he was also last to go after Ireland's Richard Howley set the pace with Chinook in 23.25 seconds.

Stoneleigh Stakes hoys 2018

Julian Portch Photography

But the Hampshire-based rider responded brilliantly to the pressure as he took a £7,390 top prize by just 23 hundredths of a second, clocking 23.02 aboard Victor. Harry was quick to acclaim Richard's round - which also saw him change his jump-off plan. "I saw Richard's round, and I thank him for the course," he said. "I had a different one planned, but I saw Richard's, and I thought it was way quicker than my original course. My horse is an ex-eventing horse, so I knew he could do the turns easily and maybe shave a fraction of a second off, and he did. It has been a dream start to the show for me."

Harry finished earlier as one of four joint winners of the Five Fence Challenge alongside Helen Tredwell, Robert Murphy and Joseph Stockdale, and he took that form with him into Friday's headline class. "He is brave," Harry added, of Victor. "The more I dare him, the better he jumps. We have a great system at home, so when we come to a show, everything works like it has. I want to thank everyone behind me for making moments like this possible. This show is right up there, and there is nothing like a home crowd. It gives you that extra bit of drive as well."

Trevor Breen crowned the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Champion 2018

 Trevor Breen completed an impressive Horse of the Year Show double when he won the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship on Saturday. It was a tense jump-off but he did it aboard Diamants Aurora, an eight-year-old grey mare owned by Tracy Priest that he had never even sat on until a day before the show started this week.

 Trevor Breen National ShowJumping Champion Hoys 2018

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Trevor maintained his remarkable unbeaten record in the Talent Seekers, incorporating the seven-year-old Championship on Wednesday, having taken the ride due to its owner and regular rider being away in Barcelona. It was Buckinghamshire-based Trevor's fourth win from four attempts in the Talent Seekers class, and he also came up trumps in the Grade C Championship, clocking a time of 35.60 seconds to take a 10 horse jump-off. He had a winning margin of almost half a second from Danielle Farnsworth and Inglenook Eline, with Benjamin Clark and LCC Comanche taking third, just ahead of Lance Whitehouse and Bazento.

"I must say that the horse jumps fantastically and makes my life very easy," Trevor said. "Tracy Priest, her owner and normal rider, is away this week and I have been lucky enough to get the ride. She has done a great job producing her, which makes it a very easy horse to ride. "She was over the moon when we won the other day. She said before we came here that maybe the Talent Seekers would be about me getting to know the horse a little bit, and then have a good chance of winning on Saturday. So when I won the other day, she was like 'I can't believe you won it' - and now she has gone and done it again. The mare is such a fighter in the ring; she loves the crowd and atmosphere, and I think she wants to win as much as I do. She just makes my life very easy because she is so careful."

British Horse Feeds, makers of Speedi-Beet, is the equine feed division of I’Anson Bros Limited and is based in Masham, North Yorkshire. British Horse Feeds is best known for its flagship product ‘Speedi-Beet’ which, thanks to the unique patented process has revolutionized the feeding of beet pulp. Speedi-Beet has improved nutrient availability and soaks in just 10 minutes, compared to 24 hours for sugar beet pellets. It’s a great way to add quality fibre to your horse’s diet for slow release energy. Fibre-Beet, a formulated blend containing Speedi-Beet and alfalfa has the benefits of Speedi-Beet with extra conditioning. For more information contact British Horse Feeds on 01765 680300 or visit our website on

Angelie von Essen takes the Thistledown Stakes

 Sweden's Angelie von Essen produced an ice-cool performance to win the Thistledown Stakes at Horse of the Year Show for the fourth day of competition at Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena. The one round jump-off class had a thrilling conclusion, with the lead changing hands from Michael Whitaker to Denis Lynch, and then last-to-go Angelie eclipsing them both.

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Eight combinations from 28 starters made it through, and it was Julie Andrews and Ayrton IV that set the initial pace in 37.92 seconds, but she was passed by Michael and Valmy de la Lande as he showcased all his experience on a testing course to clock 35.78. After shaving almost two seconds off Julie's time, Michael could then only watch as Irish star Denis guided Caruso home in just over 34 seconds and left Angelie with a considerable task. But she proved more than up to it on the 13-year-old grey mare Cochella, going 17 hundredths of a second inside Denis' time to claim the top prize of £3,300.

"She is an unbelievable, amazing horse," Angelie said. "She is quick and so careful, you just present her to the jump and you know she will jump it. For me it was just about getting round as quick as I could. Horse of the Year Show is an amazing show. I am so happy every time I can get here to compete. The atmosphere is always so great."

Colour Index puts his stamp on The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year Championship

 Colour Index won The Leeman Family Maxi Cob of the Year Championship on day four of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), securing his place in the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship on Sunday evening. Imogen Yates’ nine-year-old skewbald gelding has qualified for the Maxi Cob at HOYS for the past three years, but never before been placed, so to go Champion on his third attempt was reason to celebrate!

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A very proud Imogen said: “I’m absolutely over the moon! He’s home produced and it’s just everything I’ve ever dreamt for.”  Imogen has competed at HOYS in the SEIB Search for a Star classes in the past, but it is Angela Lance who has taken the ride on Finn, as he is known at home, each time in the Maxi Cob. “He was wonderful in there,” said Angela after the class. “He was light and forward and I thought to myself, he knows it’s his day today.”

Imogen works Finn at home and says they have found a straightforward routine that works for him, including schooling once a week with a dressage trainer, lunging twice a week and hacking out and just having fun the rest of the time. She’s owned him since a four-year-old.  

Nina Armstrong Finlay’s seven-year-old Chestnut gelding Coast to Coast claimed the Reserve Championship ridden by Ian Smeeth.

Holly Cooper takes the Pony Foxhunter Championship title

Holly Cooper added her name to the Horse of the Year Show roll of honour by winning the Pony Foxhunter Championship on Saturday afternoon at Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham. The 15-year-old, from Northamptonshire, did it in style on Valentino Supreme, a nine-year-old bay gelding that Holly has only been riding for less than a year.

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Nine combinations from 31 starters made it through to the jump-off as many of Britain's top pony showjumpers relished appearing in front of a big Saturday afternoon crowd in the Andrews Bowen International Arena.  Holly put on a superb jump-off round which saw them clock a time of 32.10 seconds to finish well clear of the field. Tatiane Mauree, riding Horseabout Zibu, took second place, with Courtney Young riding Neil 55 finishing third. It meant that she joined an illustrious list of former winners, which includes riders like William Whitaker, Louise Pavitt and Matt Sampson.

 "It was so nerve-racking," Holly said. "But I am really happy with him. In the newcomers earlier this week, I took a couple of strides out and had a couple of poles down, so I wasn't going to take the stride out to the last today, but I just knew he could do it and we went for it. I was really nervous so I was just happy I got a clear round to be honest. There were quite a few good people to go after me in the jump-off, so I was obviously wary that my time might have been beaten.

"He is an incredible pony. He's quite young, so I am a little surprised with what he has done, but I have been riding him for just under a year and I knew he was capable, definitely."

Geoffroy De Coligny wins the Accumulator

Frenchman Geoffroy De Coligny produced a sparkling display of precision and sheer speed to win the Accumulator class at Horse of the Year Show on Saturday evening. In doing so he pipped 19-year-old British star Harry Charles, who was seeking a third international class win on his Horse of the Year Show debut.

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Harry looked to have done enough with Victor in pursuit of a £7,390 top prize, finishing on the maximum score of 65.  Points are awarded for each fence jumped with an option of an extra points-scoring 'joker' fence at the end. Harry finished on the maximum in a time of 47.37 seconds, but Geoffroy had other ideas as he guided Raimondo du Plessis through the course in 44.95, with Britain's Guy Williams taking third on Rouge de Ravel.

 "It was an amazing competition," Geoffroy said. "I am very happy to be here, and after finishing fourth in a class on Friday here, I am really happy with how it has gone. My horse is very quick and wins a lot of classes like this one. He is ideally suited to this type of class. I only have one word for this show - perfect. It is a great competition, good for the horse and I could not be happier to be here."

Two-time HOYS Champion partners a young jockey to victory in The Price Family Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship

The 2018 Price Family First Ridden Pony of the Year class had the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2007 overall Champions among the ponies contesting the prestigious title. It was the 2015 Champion - Woodview Ianthe - who reclaimed The Price Family Mini Show Pony of the Year Championship with a picture perfect performance on the penultimate day of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

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Nine-year-old Maisie Binks started her first HOYS in true style, riding her Grandma Jane’s 12-year-old bay mare to victory. Ellie, as she is known at home, is produced by the Emmerson Show Team. Jane Bennison bought the pony one year ago and Maisie has only ridden her at a handful of shows over the season including three on the lead rein. As dad Jimmy Binks said: “She was chucked in at the deep end a bit,” but did a fabulous job in the ring nonetheless!

 Mum Amy said: “We didn’t think she [Ellie] would top going Supreme at the BSPS Summer Championships, so this is just fantastic! We just go out and enjoy it.”  

There are five daughters in the Binks household and they all ride. Between them they’ve qualified and been placed on a number of ponies at HOYS over the last few years, and have three rides this year. 

Reserve Champion went to the winner of the Lead Rein section, Megan Gilbert’s Chaseford Actor ridden by six-year-old Bella Gilbert. The bay gelding is also just six years old and was bought from the breeder as an unbroken three-year-old. He is produced by Julie Templeton and, despite his young age, has already been to HOYS twice. Speaking after the class, Julie said he “really came into his own” this year.

The Price Family Lead Rein Pony of the Year gives children under the age of seven the opportunity to ride in a competitive environment, while The Price Family First Ridden Pony of the Year gives riders under the age of 10 their first chance at riding in the ring by themselves. First and second place from each go forward to the Championship.

 Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry of the Year Championship


 Sally Edwards-Marshall delivered an emphatic display when it mattered to win the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Championship at Horse of the Year Show. The Genting Arena's Andrews Bowen International Arena was close to capacity for the Saturday evening performance, and the scurry drivers rose to the occasion superbly.

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No-one more so than Buckinghamshire driver Sally, with the Marlow Saddlers L 4 Leather pony team, as they flew around the coned obstacle track in a time of 49.06 seconds. Despite some strong performances elsewhere, notably by Charlotte Adams-Lane, who took second with Balanced Fast & Furious and third with Balanced Horse Feeds Chaz and Dave, Sally had a winning margin of more than 1.5 seconds.

Fourth spot, meanwhile, went to Gareth Roberts and Darkhorse Fred and Barney, and the top six was completed by both of Jeff Osborne's drives - Twitter and Tweet in fifth, and sixth-placed Dollar and Dime.

Silver Diamond shows his worth in The Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship

 With the excitement of every Saturday night at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) comes the prestigious Colosso Family Cob of the Year Championship. A tightly run contest as always, it was the joint-youngest in the field, Sue Tennant’s six-year-old Irish Draught Silver Diamond, who took the spoils. 

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Ridden by Magnus Nicholson, who was celebrating his second HOYS win this week, the Heavyweight Cob was on just his sixth show. It was a big ask,” said Magnus, “but he held it together and I’m over the moon with him.”

 The grey gelding, who was homebred by Sue, will now go hunting over the winter and generally see a bit more of life. Magnus credited his brilliant character to achieving this much at such a young age: “He’s the nicest person in the world.” 

Reserve Champion went to the Lightweight Cob, Bling Cobsby, ridden and owned by Vicky Smith.

Second in the Lightweight Cob was Paul Mortimer’s Freddie Kruger ridden by Robert Walker and second in the Heavyweight Cob was Hayley Hyde-Andrews’ Randalstown Columbo ridden by Jayne Ross. Silver Diamond will return to the Andrews Bowen International Arena in the Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship tomorrow evening.

£300 pony is crowned HOYS Lead Rein Pony of Hunter Type of the Year Champion

 The final Champion to be crowned in the TopSpec Arena on Saturday at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) was Alexandria Aungier’s Welsh section A, Uphill Toy Soldier, ridden by daughter Gracie. A delighted Gracie gave Colin, as he is known at home, a big cuddle of appreciation as she stepped forward to receive the prestigious prize.

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Led in the ring by her sister Georgia, who also produces the 10-year-old pony, Gracie finished her last season of lead rein classes in true style. Georgia said: “He just knows his job and rises to the occasion.” The family bought Colin as an unbroken three-year-old for just £300 and have home produced him into a HOYS Champion. He’s qualified for the class every year since 2015, finishing sixth in 2015 and third in 2017.  “He owes us nothing,” said Alexandria, who explained that Colin will now be retired from competition and become Lily - Gracie’s sister’s - ‘play’ pony.

Richard Hulbert’s 12-year-old Little Briars Bartholomew, shown by Lily Varley, stood Reserve Champion.  

This class aims to find a pony suitable to take its rider on country and town activities on the leading rein. Each pony is required to perform an individual show and negotiate a few rural obstacles, including walking in between a line of trees and through a fenced pathway.

It’s a night to remember for the Till family in the Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year

 The Till family had a hugely successful day in the Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year Championship on the Saturday evening of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) with daughter India piloting two of their ponies to the top spots - Drakemyre Puttin on the Ritz (Alfie) in the 138cm section and Rotherwood Rainmaker (Rupert) in the 128cm section.

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With two forward for the overall Championship, India had a decision to make on who to ride in the Andrews Bowen International Arena in front of the Saturday night crowd. Mum Henrietta explained that she chose Rupert because “she wouldn’t be where she is now without him,” having grown up together in the 128cm classes.  In the end it was Alfie who took the ultimate accolade, ridden in the ring by Emily Bettany. Aged just five, the family have owned the bay gelding for two years and he and India have really got it together this season. “He’s very level-headed and takes it all in his stride,” said Henrietta.

 Unfortunately, producer Katy Carter could not be with the family to celebrate at HOYS, as she is currently unwell. “When we found out Katy wouldn’t be here India said to me, ‘I’m going to ride my best and make her proud’,” said Henrietta. “It’s just shown what an amazing horsewoman and show producer she is,” added Henrietta, reflecting on the ponies’ phenomenal success. “We’re so thankful to the team for all their hard work.”

Yorkie Jobling-Purser’s eight-year-old former broodmare - and 148cm section winner - Litton Cerise stood Reserve Champion with daughter Martha in the saddle. She’s had a brilliant first year under saddle and has been ridden by Martha since the start of the season.

 HOYS welcomed a very special guest back to the Show to co-present the Summerhays Cup to Alfie and Emily. Lady Elizabeth Kitson (nee Spencer) was the very first recipient of the Show Pony Championship at the first show on 13th September 1949 at Harringay. She rode her 13.1hh gelding, Legend, and was presented with the exact same Summerhays Cup. Lady Elizabeth also presented a signed copy of her book - a story of the most famous show pony ever ‘Legend’ - to both the Champion and Reserve Champion; a fantastic momento of their prestigious wins.

A two-way tie in The Thistledown Puissance

 A capacity 9,000 crowd found itself treated to one of the greatest Puissance classes in Horse of the Year Show history on a memorable night at Birmingham's NEC Genting Arena. The sold-out audience in the Andrews Bowen International Arena were wrapped up in a thrilling contest that ultimately provided joint winners in Guy Williams and Alfie Bradstock. There was also a special performance by third-placed Joss Williams, who was competing in memory of teenage Welsh schoolboy Bradley John, who tragically died last month.

 HOYS puissance 2018

Julian Portch Photography

Both Guy and Alfie jumped 2.16 metres (7ft 1in) with Mr Blue Sky UK and H D'Or, respectively, as they completed five rounds of jumping over the iconic red wall. Joss bowed out at that height, but not before he was given a rapturous reception on a night that encapsulated everything great about the sport of showjumping.

"It was really nice," Guy said. "My horse is a young horse who has never done a Puissance before. Alfie was really good, he has been going well and has got a really big jumper. You need two of you to go head to head in the arena and try to get the result; it's great for the crowd, they were screaming and shouting and it's great. This show is fantastic, I bring my children every year and they love it. It's such a lovely event."

Alfie also revelled in the atmosphere, and he added: "It is definitely the biggest crowd I have ever jumped in front of. The horse has got so much jump in him, I don't think there is much he couldn't clear. You could not have got a much bigger stage than that of the arena tonight, the audience were right there with me."

Kimberly White finished fourth with Catapult, but there were heroic efforts throughout the initial 14-strong field as the height increased from 6ft 3in in round one to the final challenge of almost a foot bigger.


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