Red Why Salute was crowned the Cuddy working hunter of the year at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) yesterday evening (Wednesday 4 October).
Ridden by his owner Danny Carroll, the eight-year-old British warmblood, by Why Me out of Red Sonnet, came to Birmingham after standing supreme working hunter champion at the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead, in July, and is the only horse to do the double in recent years.
“Now I can officially say that he’s the best working hunter in the country in 2017,” smiled Danny, who posted one of 10 clear rounds from 37 starters in the championship.
He has ridden the 18hh Red Why Salute since the horse was a five-year-old, having bought the bay after seeing him in a field “with no job to do” but certain of his potential from the outset.
“When I first saw him I thought, ‘that’s going to win HOYS one day’,” added Danny, who runs a yard in Whixall, Shropshire. “He’s brave and has a big heart. He’s like my best mate. It was a tricky course today but once he got going he jumped brilliantly.”
The judges were Andrew Collins (ride) and Andrew Spalding (conformation), and they awarded Red Why Salute a style mark of 13 out of 20 for his performance over David Cole’s 12-fence working hunter track.
The course had a stately home theme and included the new Chatsworth Arches, a water tray and daunting curved wall. Check out the fences, which were designed and supplied by Cheshire Show Services, here.
Two greys filled the next two places, Derek Morton piloting Steph Scott’s Opis Day into the runner-up spot ahead of Steph on Andrew Callwood’s Mr Seniority in third.
Out of Order (Ginny Rose) finished fourth, with Bellevue Tomboy (Matt Cooper) fifth.
Don’t miss the full HOYS report in next week’s issue of H&H, on sale Thursday 12 October.