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Surrey-based producer Sam Darlington had mixed emotions when the enchanting 122cm show hunter pony, Wortley Celebration, headed a strong class before twinkling again in the main ring spotlight to take the section title at Horse of the Year Show.

The 12-year-old Royal Windsor reserve and Equifest champion was foot-perfect throughout a long day for Georgia Darlington, 11. He also stood second in the lead rein class for seven-year-old Kitty Jewson, having only her second outing on him.

It was an emotional time, though, as he is now being retired from flat classes and will concentrate on workers with Georgia next season.

Reserve went to the Rudd family’s home-produced 153cm victor, Burfordly Sea Lord, beautifully ridden by Briony Rudd to post her first HOYS win.

The Thomas team captured the 143cm class with yet another exciting four-year-old, Clemenstone Charlston, another pony giving its rider a first HOYS win.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” said jockey Lizzie Smith, 16. “I just hoped he would behave!”

This lovely bay is by Chiddock Time Limit, a half-brother to the class runner-up, Chiddock Over the Limit.

Rhoden Frederick and Katie Roberts took the 133cm red rosette back to Wales for the second year running, adding this to wins at Windsor, South of England and the BSPS championships, where they landed the Blue Riband title.

Charn Secret Legend, a five-year-old by Lechlade Quince, landed the hunter pony lead rein title for the Fuge family, beautifully-shown by producer Peter Emerson at the end of a long, free rein.

Yasmin Cuddy and the large intermediate victor, Opium Casa Leona, went one better than last year’s reserve spot to take the intermediate championship. The mannerly bay was also reserve hack last year with owner/producer Adam Winbourne.

Trainer Carol Gilbert-Scott, who helps Adam with the horse, also teaches the intermediate reserve, Henrietta Windsor Phillips, 14, who put up a superb performance to win the smalls on Wesswood Caste a Spell, posting a first HOYS victory for the family. The six-year-old gelding, who came from Australia where he stood at stud, is still technically a novice but has had an amazing season.

intermediate SRT (J Nash, J Burgess) sml. 1 & res, V Windsor Phillips’s Wesswood Caste a Spell; 2, S Hinchcliffe’s Roseberry Highland Fling; 3, L Edwards’ Valantino’s Royal Touch. lge. 1 & ch, A Winbourne’s Opium Casa Leona; 2, S Wood’s Royal Angel; 3, J Thomas’ Roseberry Ladies Day. SHT (H Barton, R Parker Jones). 1, Mr & Mrs M Underwood’s Utah; 2, S Cuddy’s Galtree Park; 3, Y Kobbe’s Jemoon Star Catcher. SHP (J Bettaney, A Lilley) 122cm. 1 & ch, S Darlington’s Wortley Celebration; 2, R Hulbert’s Caridines Little Lord; 3, J Armson’s Hanmere Showman. 133cm. 1, S Andrews’ Rhoden Master Frederick; 2, L Simms’ Missoni Starturn; 3, J Cambray’s Parkhills Ronaldo. 143cm. 1, D Thomas & K Smith’s Clemenstone Charlston; 2, N Haynes’ Chiddock Over the Limit; 3, M Lancaster’s Rhosyr Elizabeth. 153cm. 1 & res, V Rudd’s Burfordly Sea Lord; 2, L Jackson’s Kilmiston Sky Hawk; 3, L White’s Clorogue Touch. LR SHT (S Tanner). 1, K Fuge’s Charn Secret Legend; 2, Wortley Celebration; 3, Mr & Mrs S Welford’s Littlebriars April Louise.

Stay in touch with all the action from HOYS on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show, and don’t miss H&H’s special report, on sale Thursday 14 October