The ultra-consistent lightweight hunter Glenkeeran Dance In The Deep (Fintan) once again proved that home-produced horses can make it to the top in the right hands, as he was crowned Royal Windsor amateur hunter champion under his owner and rider Camilla Stowell-Davies.
Fintan, a Crosstown Dancer nine-year-old, has given Camilla a dream run of results, including the amateur championship at the Royal International in 2018 and a second in the open lightweight hunter of the year final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) last season. And while he’s won at all major shows up and down the country, including the supreme at the annual Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain championships, Royal Windsor had always eluded him.
“We’ve had two seconds here so it’s definitely third time lucky,” said Camilla, who produces Fintan from home. “He was second as a novice, and then he was second and reserve as an amateur ride last year.”
Fintan was a previous Balmoral young event horse finalist with Irish team event rider Clare Abbott and was also reserve supreme hunter at Royal Dublin as a four-year-old with Kieran Ryan, the same year he joined Camilla.
“We’ve had an incredible time together, but this was the one we’ve missed ticking off the list,” added Camilla. “He loves a show. Windsor is such a big event and he really likes watching what’s going on, so it suits him. He’s in his element here.”
Camilla and Fintan achieved greatness at the NEC last season, finishing second above many of the circuit’s leading producers:
“It was our first time at HOYS together,” she added.
When asked what the secret to Fintan’s success is, Camilla said it’s relatively simple:
“He likes going out and seeing things, but at home I mainly hack him out and about. I rarely school him; I was lucky that when I bought him as a four-year-old he already had excellent ground work in place. I’ll have a lesson every two weeks or so, but that sets me up more than him for the ring.
“He’s everything you’d want in a hunter. He’s got all the gears but is mannerly. He’s super balanced, too, and he looks forward through his ears all the time.”
Another home-producer scored reserve in the Royal Windsor amateur hunter championship. This was Amy Cook on her 10-year-old middleweight Mr Darcy Dancer, another by prolific sire Crosstown Dancer.
Credit: Alex Robinson
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