Last year's Prince Philip Cup winners, Oakley Hunt (West) branch of the Pony Club, are returning to HOYS this year to try to claim their 9th title. You can follow the highs and lows of their competition with daily updates on HorseandHound.co.uk throughout the show

The heavy rain that hung around Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on Saturday made it really challenging to keep the ponies and children clean and dry. Typically this was the day we had a very important tack inspection PPC-tack-check by Geoff Osbourne, vice president of HOYS, and Lady Howick (pictured right).

Mr Osbourne and Lady Howick have a reputation for being even more thorough than the King’s Troop are, so our tack was meticulously cleaned, ponies were washed and some stables had to be emptied and re-done as they were flooded by the rain. We came 2nd to Cheshire. Those points will go towards the cumulative total for the tack and turnout cup, which will be presented on Sunday evening.

Saturday afternoon was a free session for our team and the competition was won by Strathearn. Heading into the Saturday evening session we needed to accumulate a good number of points to ensure a place in the final on Sunday evening.

Handing over the flag

The pressure was on, but the team rode really well and managed to win the session — as the kids say, we did it “Oakley Style”! They collected 21 points from the session which gives us 51 in total.

Colecting their rosettes

In high spirits, the riders wanted to stay up and watch the puissance, but an early night was in order as it is a long and important day on Sunday. Fingers crossed all goes well.