1. Bowing out at the top
One of the highlights of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) was the sight of Jill Day’s exceptional lightweight hunter View Point being lead out of the famous arena for the last time after collecting the Supreme Products HOYS supreme horse of the year title for the second year in a row. Described by his rider and producer Robert Walker as “a formidable horse” who had given the Walker team “some great days”, there was barely a dry eye on the stands. Robert said: “He never gives less than 120%, but they can’t do it forever. At some point we have to call it a day, and why not go out on the top.”
2. A worker is crowned supreme pony
Also on the final day of top-class equestrian action in Birmingham, the HOYS pony supreme went to the picture perfect combination of 10-year-old Elsie Lynch and the Ward Family’s working hunter pony Noble Peppermint (Pepper). Elsie and Pepper were making their HOYS debut as a partnership and Pepper, HOYS working hunter pony champion in 2018 with Ruby Ward, never missed a beat retaining a jolly disposition throughout. The judges said: “She had gorgeous charisma and she just had something about her” and “She just smiled the whole way through the judging process.”
3. A heavy making history
The winner of the HOYS British ridden heavy horse of the championship has gone down in the history books as the first Shire to qualify for both the HOYS ridden heavy horse championship and the in-hand Shire of the year final in the same season. At 17.2hh, Westfield Calendar Girl is a relatively small example of her breed, but as her rider and producer heavy horse specialist Emma Green says: “though she be but little, she is fierce”.
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