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Two major players of the cob world took the championship honours on Saturday evening at HOYS. Lightweight winners Natalie More and Cassanova took on the former HOYS cob, coloured and supreme champion, Camilla Neame’s heavyweight So Smart, ridden by Robert Walker.

Both cobs went well, both galloped and both stood ears pricked before judges Ann Hooley and Maurice Wright. After winning here three times, and standing reserve twice, Cassanova was bridesmaid no more. He gave Natalie More the best wedding present ever when taking the Equimax & Eraquell cob title at the third time of asking, with So Smart standing reserve.

Cassanova was found at Gorsebridge Sales in Ireland, with his mane and tail almost touching the ground by the father of Natalie’s fiancé, Simon Reynolds’s. The nine-year-old has proved ultra consistent, and he always rises to the occasion.

“He loves it here, the bigger the atmosphere, the better he performs” said Natalie, whose wedding takes place at the end of this month.

For the second year running, Vanessa Ramm’s Templebready Fear Not claimed the Benson Group small hunter of the year title. When ridden by his producer Katie Jerram last year, the low mileage Irish-bred gelding surprised his connections as he had been primarily been brought to the NEC just for experience.

Even though he remains lightly shown this term, he gave his owner a great ride to retain his crown, as he soaked up the electric atmosphere of the Caldene Arena’s preliminary judging, and the final reckoning held in the international arena.

Bred at the Templebready Stud, the six-year-old is by the Connemara stallion Templebready Bui out of the TB mare Chester’s Hope. Talent spotted by Katie Jerram at Lincolnshire Spring Show (2007), the quality bay gelding was quickly snapped up from the Fairburns.

“After being so successful last year, this was more than we dared hope, but he was such a good boy,” said Vanessa.

Horse showing results Saturday 11 October

Equimax & Eraquell cob of the year (M Wright & A Hooley) lightweight – 1 & ch, N More’s Cassanova; 2, Mr & Mrs Gale’s Barneebus; 3, C Bardo’s Incobnito. Heavyweight – 1 & res, C Neame’s So Smart; 2, Baileys Horse Feeds’ Lynx; 3, M Wilkinson’s Orion III.

Benson Group small hunter of the year (M Low & I McKie) – 1, V Ramm’s Templebready Fear Not; 2, I Kobbe’s Jemoon Star Catcher; 3, Beaverfast Ltd’s Lambwath Classic Moment.