Tim Stockdale made his Horse of the Year Show debut in 1982 in the grade C class.

How was your first HOYS ride?

“I was absolutely terrified. I rode Barola in the grade C. I was relieved to have four faults and not have to do it again. I worked for Graham Fletcher and rode the horse for him at the qualifier. We knocked Graham off the top spot. I was over the moon, but soon realised it wasn’t the best idea to beat the boss. But he generously said I could keep the ride.
I’d never been to HOYS, even as a spectator. I didn’t have a red jacket, so Graham gave me an old one, which my mum patched up and embroidered ‘Good luck Tim’ on the inside.”

What about this year’s chances?

“I’ve got Fresh Direct Corlato, Animation and Una in the international classes, and Talori in the seven-year-old final. The horses are all on great form, so I’m hopeful.”

Which other classes will you watch?

“I don’t really go to spectate. In between classes, I usually chill out.”

What have been your high and low points?

“My best moment was winning the 2002 grand prix on Parcival. He was a great horse, fresh from the World Championships, and everything went according to plan, which is rare in this sport.

My worst was when I broke my collar-bone four days before the show. I took a few pills, wore a clavical brace and jumped over 7ft on Supermarket in the puissance.”

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full HOYS preview, including the Foxhunter form guide and other top riders sharing their first HOYS memories, in the current issue on sale now (27 September, ’07)

For more information about the Horse of the Year Show and to book tickets visit www.hoys.co.uk