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A broodmare contesting her final season in the show ring fulfilled all ambitions to land the HOYS Cuddy Breeders’ Supreme in-hand ticket.

It was the moment Cathy Wood will never forget, and one she will cherish forever – leading her own broodmare to glory in the top in-hand accolade at Royal Cornwall Show.

Having taken the riding horse broodmare championship with Woodlander Ilena, the Devon breeder returned to collect the HOYS ticket the following day.

The 12-year-old black mare sparkled as a packed grandstand followed Marion Thomas’s close inspection of the quality line-up of 18 finalists, which she eventually reduced to five.

“This mare has brought us a fantastic foal every season,” said Cathy, who jointly owns Ilena with Margaret Boyles. “We never normally do the Cuddy so I was already packed up ready to go home. We then decided we would give it a go so I had to ring my boss and ask for an extra day off,” she added.

By Woodlander Idor, Ilena has bred six nice foals – this year’s filly, currently unnamed, also won her class at the Wadebridge venue, while Ilena’s three-year-old son Elusive II, stood reserve to her in the riding horse brood mare and young stock championship.

“She’s a lovely mare who is so free moving and so correct,” said Marion. “She is producing nice animals because she’s so good herself. And I can see she has a lovely attitude to life.”

Cathy said: “I always think it’s fantastic to win against their own type, but to compete against other breeds is a different ball game all together.”

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report from the Royal Cornwall Show, on sale 21 June, ’07