Mules, new parents, home-bred Derby winners and daredevil commentators — some moments this year will be etched forever in our memories
The Price phenomenon
FOR a married couple to take both the Badminton and Burghley trophies home to one household in the same season is a special feat.
Jonelle kicked off the Prices’ effort at Badminton, riding the speedy mare Classic Moet to the fastest cross-country round of the day and on to victory. The rider explained that she had “come back even hungrier” after missing Badminton the previous season because she was pregnant with son Otis, born eight months before her landmark win. Jonelle also won Luhmühlen, the German four-star, in June on Faerie Dianimo.
Tim followed up with his first British four-star win, taking Burghley with a showjump in hand on Ringwood Sky Boy. This was the horse’s sixth top-12 four-star placing.
Both Classic Moet and Ringwood Sky Boy are 15 years old and the Prices’ successes are testament to their skills in managing and producing horses to the highest level.
Hayley Moore catches loose horse while presenting
THE At The Races presenter and former amateur jockey was knocked to the ground by racehorse Give Em A Clump as she stepped in to catch the three-year-old, who was running loose, at Chepstow Racecourse.
The moment Hayley — sister of former champion Flat jockey Ryan Moore, jump jockeys Josh and Jamie and daughter of trainer Gary — stepped out in front of the horse to catch it, was captured on film and went viral on social media.
Give Em A Clump unseated his jockey in the first furlong. He then completed two laps of the track before Hayley decided to take matters into her own hands. As he galloped towards the finishing line, Hayley walked on to the course and managed to grab his reins as he passed. She was pulled over and dragged a short distance, but hung on until the horse came to a halt. Superwoman!
Wallace the mule
WALLACE THE GREAT made history this summer as the first mule to be compete under British Dressage (BD). The 11-year-old, who was abandoned in Ireland and taken in by the Donkey Sanctuary, was originally denied permission to register with BD, but Christie Mclean refused to take no for an answer. When their story caught the attention of the mainstream media, quickly going viral, BD changed its stance.
When Christie rode Wallace to glory at their first affiliated competition at Summerhouse, in front of a huge fan club, it wasn’t just victory for their partnership, but for mules across the country.
“People from all round the world have been trying to get in touch; from Sweden, New Zealand, the USA — I hadn’t realised how few mules there are doing things,” said Christie, who was chuffed with their winning intro mark of 67.4%.
“But he’s super-cool; not fazed by any of it.”
William Funnell’s fourth Hickstead Derby win
ALREADY a three-time winner with the great Mondriaan in 2006, 2008 and 2009, this year William Funnell joined an elite band of riders — Harvey Smith, John and Michael Whitaker and Eddie Macken — to have won the Hickstead Derby an extraordinary four times. But what made this achievement even more significant was the fact that he was riding a horse he’d bred himself, the 10-year-old Billy Buckingham.
William, 52, lifted the Boomerang Trophy for the fourth time after a nail-biting jump-off against Holly Smith — with whom he went on to represent Britain at WEG.
“Clears don’t come round here very often, so it’s nice to get another one and win it on a home-bred by Billy Congo,” said William afterwards. “For me, the Hickstead Derby is the class of the year and it would be nice to do it a fifth time and be in the record books.”
Voting is now closed
The Award winners will be revealed at the H&H Awards dinner on 8 November at Cheltenham Racecourse, to which all those shortlisted will be invited with a guest.