Working hunters reigned supreme at HOYS on Sunday night as they claimed the supreme horse and pony titles to bring a highly successful show to a close.

BSJA stipendiary steward and former mounted police officer, Frank Grunnill, and Olympic dressage rider, Richard Davison, had “no hesitation” in awarding the top pony spot to 14-year-old Laura Collett and the enchanting Welsh section A working hunter pony, Penwayn Ryan. This pony’s mannerly performance combined charm, sparkle and enthusiasm to lift the coveted Timberwolf trophy.

No one was more taken aback than Justine Armstrong-Small herself when she was called forward to take the top senior spot with her working hunter champion, Zin Zan (pictured).

“This horse had something about it which made it stand out,” said Frank Grunnill. “And if I had to choose one to take home, I would have taken him.”

Sadly, the preliminary judging of both supremes was conducted behind closed doors, as members of the public were barred from the Horse & Hound Arena due to pre-set official “closing” times. However, all champions duly appeared in the main arena, although they did not give individual shows.

The Cuddy in-hand title went to pony winner, Ann Fowler’s home-bred three-year-old filly, Broadgrove Chatterbox, produced by Mark Northern. Reserve was Ann Vos’s prolific-winning hunter broodmare, Mountain Firefly, who headed the horse section.

It is possible that the exact split of the classes in the final will be re-thought next year, as there were only four horses but 16 ponies.

One major absentee was Moggy Hennessy’s charge, the hotly-tipped Hunter Show champion, Minora Bay. A lorry breakdown the night before the show kept them at home.

The traditional HOYS lottery was in full swing throughout the week as some in-form contenders finished out of the running while a refreshing number of fresh faces figured prominently.

  • Don’t miss the full report with pictures in the 2 October issue of Horse & Hound