Annabel Drake was the rider to beat on day four of the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as she secured both HOYS part-bred pony of the year and 148cm show pony of the year championships with her elegant seven-year-old Stanley Grange Gilt Edge (Edward).
The Turberry Top Cat-sired gelding, who is out of Shimmering Silk and was bred by Jerome Harforth’s Stanley Grange Stud, took two spins around the TopSpec Arena and on both occasions he exuded winning manners and flare.
‘I’ve always knew he could do it,” said 17-year-old Annabel, who last won HOYS in 2019 on Cadlanvalley Allegro.
Edward was bought as a four-year-old from Sue Palmer who had shown him in-hand. Edward is produced from home with help from trainer Jo Bates, hack of the year earlier in the week with Ballinclare.
“This is his first season as a part-bred; in 2021 he came to HOYS and was fourth in the show ponies,” explained Annabel. “This is his first full open season. On his first two outings this year he was show pony champion, and he’s just got better and better.”
At the BSPS summer championships, Edward lifted the coveted show pony supreme:
“I’ve had two big dreams in life; to win a BSPS flower sash and to ride in the international arena at HOYS, and he’s done both of them for me,” said Annabel, who rode Edward completely one handed during his canter work in the part-bred class. “He rides like a little hack; he also does a perfect rein back so in the part-bred class I was able to pull that out of the bag. He’s trained so perfectly by Jo.”
Jo was ringside to watch the win: “I’m such a proud trainer. It has made everything worthwhile. This is a trainer’s dream. Annabel is like a sponge; she soaks everything up and she’s a perfectionist. Edward’s performance makes him; he can do all the tricks and twiddles.”
Back in the top line-up in the HOYS part-bred championship was Lola Carabine riding Jenny Harker’s HOYS 128cm winner Ardenhall Blenheim, who took second after enjoying a centre line moment earlier that morning.
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Credit: 1st Class Images
Credit: Peter Nixon
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