Actor Brian Blessed is to read the Ode to the Horse at Horse of the Year Show’s (HOYS) finale this October.

Horse-lover Brian, who is one of the RPSCA’s vice-presidents, will deliver the traditional reading at Sunday (7 October) evening’s finale at the NEC in Birmingham.

Ronald Duncan’s Ode to the Horse was written in 1954 and used to be read by Simon MacCorkindale.

The poem was written when Mr Duncan was approached by the first HOYS organiser Colonel Mike Ansell on a train journey to Devon.

He asked the poet to compose a tribute to the horse that could bring a close to the show every year.

For show information and to book, visit www.hoys.co.uk or tel: 0844 581 8282.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (31 May 2012)