Advancing on the eighth place achieved last year, Willmont Braveheart, an eight-year-old Fell gelding, pulled off a stunning show to land the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) Fell championship ridden by Emma Burrow.
Owned by Antonia Mitchell, the gelding is by stallion Underwoods Gideon out of dam Townend Liberty.
“He’s had a really good season and qualified for HOYS at his first qualifier at Stoneleigh where he was champion,” said Emma. “It’s meant he’s had an easy year as we did it so early in the season.”
This is Emma’s second season producing ‘Bert’ from her base in Carlisle.
“I definitely didn’t come here expecting to win this year,” she added. “When I was stood in the last three line-up, I felt like it should have been us, but you never know until your name is called.”
Emma describes the gelding as ‘great to do’ at home.
“He likes doing lots of fun things and he hacks out a lot,” she said. “We went jumping before he came here just to keep him occupied. He’s such a good boy. He’ll be put to bed now and no doubt get covered in shavings before the championship tomorrow.”
Antonia has owned Bert since a foal.
“This is really special to her – she can’t stop crying,” Emma mused. “He was bred at Antonia’s yard, and she ended up keeping him.
“He’ll go to the BSPS Heritage championships next and then he goes home to Antonia’s for a holiday. He has the winter off so is completely roughed off and turned out to be a horse. He’ll come back to me February time.”
The runner-up spot went to Rundales Trooper under Aliya Khan, while third place was awarded to Holling Foxglove and Georgia Boswell.
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Credit: Peter Nixon
Credit: Alex Robinson
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