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For the first time in the 26-year history of the prestigious Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship, a coloured horse will contest the HOYS final.

Richard Meade’s momentous decision in selecting Tracey Veale’s three-year-old skewbald filly, Shybont Bean Dance, for the top in-hand accolade at Royal Cornwall marked a milestone for breeders and producers of coloured horses all over the country. Word spread quickly.

“This is a great day for coloured horses,” said Lynda Lodge, British Skewbald and Piebald Society (BSPA) chairman. “Judges have started to look beyond the colour.”

For Devon-based Tracey Veale, who works as a part-time secretary and produces her horses from a DIY livery yard, it was a dream come true.

“The past couple of days have been surreal,” said Tracey. “Our lorry broke down twice on the way here and then my hunter kicked me in the leg, leaving me too lame to run up my filly. If it wasn’t for Tracey Kelly, I could have packed up and gone home. I didn’t ring her until 10.30pm, but as soon as I told her of my plight, she offered to show my mare.”

“This was a very interesting class, full of extremely fine specimens,” said Richard Meade. “It was a close decision, but my winner was well balanced and very well-proportioned for a three-year-old. I liked this filly very much and she deserved to win.”

Bred by Susan Hale of the Shybont Stud in Wales, the daughter of Wendy Bartlett’s stallion Masterpiece was acquired by Tracey when spotted by her mother, Greta, winning the yearling class at Devon County.

  • Read the full report from Royal Cornwall in tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (22 June ’06)