Bloomfields Horse of the Year 2022

Welcome to the Horse & Hound Awards 2022, which are back for the seventh year to celebrate the stars of equestrianism, in partnership with NAF

  • This award is to celebrate our equestrian hero of today, the horse who is at the top of his or her game and is a pure joy to watch.

    The 2022 winner

    Vanir Kamira: 17yo Irish Sport Horse mare, Camiro De Haar Z x Dixi
    Rider: Piggy March
    Owner: Trevor Dickens
    Breeder: Kathryn Jackson

    The much-loved veteran mare stepped into an elite club as only the 14th horse to win both British five-stars when she won Burghley this autumn. The Covid years left Vanir Kamira without the big events at which she excels. To see her come back to Badminton – where she was fourth – and Burghley on such incredible form has been heart-warming for fans

    Piggy’s openness about the fact “Tilly” isn’t the easiest horse to manage or ride makes her all the more endearing.

    “This horse isn’t naturally the best mover or the best jumper. It’s her personality, her heart, her will to do the job for you – that’s what stands her apart from any other horse I’ve had and makes me so proud,” said the rider after the pair’s Burghley win.

    Also shortlisted were:

    Banzai Du Loir: 11yo Selle Français gelding, Nouma D’Auzay x Livarot
    Rider: Yasmin Ingham
    Owners: Sue Davies and Janette Chinn
    Breeder: Pierre Gouye

    Yasmin repeatedly described Banzai – whose moniker is the banana emoji and who loves nothing more than a good roll – as “the ultimate event horse” during their week of winning World Championship individual gold. And his performances throughout every phase bore out her approbation as he scored 22 for third after dressage, finished just three seconds over the cross-country optimum time and showjumped clear over a tough track.

    “He’s incredible in the dressage, fast, agile and brave across country and coming into the showjumping, he showed everybody he was jumping a clear and there were no two ways about it,” she added.

    Banzai was also the runner-up in the US five-star at Kentucky in April, and there is so much more to come from him.

    Can Ya Makan: 16yo Holstein stallion, Canturo x Fier Du Lui
    Rider: Shane Breen
    Owner: Team Z7
    Breeder: Gerald Lenaerts

    Shane Breen described jumping the Hickstead Derby with Can Ya Makan as like sitting in a “comfortable armchair at home”. Although he’s proved to be a superb Derby specialist, there are many more strings to this stallion’s bow, with five-star wins at Royal Windsor, Barcelona and Dubai over the years. But it was his spectacular clear round to win this year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby that brought this stunning stallion firmly into the spotlight.

    “It was third time lucky at Hickstead and he was just perfect,” says Shane. “He’s so easy, brave, careful and intelligent – all I did was steer! He has all the ability, so if he has trust in you, he’ll jump anything for you – he’ll give it his best go anyway.”

    Glamourdale: 11-year-old KWPN stallion, Lord Leatherdale x Negro
    Rider: Lottie Fry
    Owners: Van Olst Horses
    Breeder: Joop Rodenburg

    Glamourdale is the black stallion who wowed the crowds at this year’s World Dressage Championships. Under Britain’s Lottie Fry, Glamourdale led the British team to silver in the grand prix, before winning individual gold in both the special and the freestyle – the latter with more than 90%. He made the Herning crowds gasp with the power and quality of his canter work, and relished the atmosphere at his first senior championship.

    “The feeling he gives when he goes in the arena is like no other. He is such a massive showman and he takes me with him in that,” says Lottie. “That extended canter and those changes; it’s just the best feeling in the world when he’s doing that.”

    Previous winners of this award include:

    • 2021: the world’s best showjumper and Olympic champion Explosion W, ride of Ben Maher
    • 2020: the legendary Valegro was crowned the horse of the decade (2011-2020) by H&H readers
    • 2019: Piggy French’s ride Vanir Kamira may be “a pain in the arse 352 days a year”, but this true five-star horse “comes into her own at Badminton and Burghley”
    • 2018: Arctic Soul, the former racehorse turned elite eventer, ridden by Gemma Tattersall
    • 2017: Nip Tuck, Carl Hester’s outstanding equine partner
    • 2016: Valegro, the elite dressage star and world record breaker, ridden by Charlotte Dujardin

    About the Horse & Hound Awards 2022

    The Horse & Hound Awards returned for the seventh year in a row, running again in partnership with NAF. Some 300 people, including Olympic and Paralympic superstars, gathered to enjoy a glamorous evening of champagne, winner reveals and dancing at Cheltenham Racecourse. As in previous years, the H&H Award winners were nominated and voted for by you, the readers. We seek to recognise both the big names who have made 2022 special and the unsung heroes who make it possible for all of us to enjoy equestrian sport and our horses, at whatever level.

    You may like...