In my head I had written my blog before the curtain fell on HOYS 2014. Now I am glad I waited a few days. It always amazes me how time lets the dust settle and views can vary when given this precious time.
I still haven’t decided if my personal HOYS was a triumph or disaster. I didn’t get to trot down the centre line, or watch my daughter do it — which of course anyone who follows my blogs would know was my preference.
The ladies class was a massive disappointment for me with Boswell Bay (pictured top) spooking at a sign that was then moved as it caused quite a bit if trouble. I commend this decision — it was a good one.
Lyndsey Wallace had a super ride on Boswell Bay in the lightweights the next day and she and her family went home pleased with their HOYS experience.
This show gives an opportunity to catch spare moments and watch throughout the week, which I thoroughly enjoy.
The hunter weight classes were a pleasure to watch with the ride judge up to the task in fitness and ability. There were many rumblings about some other ride judges. HOYS organisers Grandstand Media have a responsibility to provide the top judges for their competitors who spend an absolute fortune to get there, not to mention the hours of work involved.
I am not certain they always get it right I’m afraid. Like others, I wonder at the choices made and who advises in this capacity. I am a big supporter of the show’s organising team and the office are friendly and helpful, but is that enough?
Points versus the art of conversation
When you have watched as many judges as us well trodden competitors have you can tell if a conformation judge is looking at a horse or into a horse. Believe me there is a big difference.
To those of you who say it’s personal opinion, it is not. Conformation is fact, it is what has been proven to stay sound over the years. Star appeal is important yes, but it must not over power make, shape and type.
Marks can’t be a good thing when you see how results pan out from using them. I wonder if results would alter tremendously with the old fashioned art of conversation. Personally I would welcome back the old system with marks as a guide. It is too easy to cook the books putting a mark on a piece of paper rather than standing there justifying your reasons to your co judge.
We saw a few unlikely winners based on the year’s results, which always happens here. I am always sorry when this happens as the title “of the year” should mean just that in my opinion. There is no way round it though so it goes to prove HOYS is just another show.
Disappointments and sad farewells
I have to admit to holding my head in my hands in a moment of disappointment in the show hunter pony classes when Alice did not manage to pull off the ever illusive win. In my opinion, she could have done no more, her shows were faultless to my eyes and I could not have been more proud of her and both her ponies. We will return with Annandale Maria in 2015 for another crack of the whip.
Gingerboy (Hightopps Jazz) leaving us after the show caused us both great upset and I still feel tears prick my eyes writing about him. But we wish Martha Jobling-Purser as much fun and success with him as Alice has enjoyed.
I don’t always stay to watch the showing supremes, but I promised Alice we could stay to watch her fellow Warwickshire Hunt Pony Club friends in the final on Sunday night, which they won.
I have to say the pony supreme was a little disappointing with the exception of the two show pony champions and the horse supreme was won by a country mile in my opinion. Congratulations Jane Ross — readers, do you have any idea how incredible it is to win a fourth supreme title at HOYS?
Seeing how much a win at HOYS means to people is quite incredible. It is like the rest of the year’s results don’t matter any more. They do — I wouldn’t swap a successful year of consistent success for one show.
Speaking to my father (David Tatlow) summed it up. He said he never cared about winning in a tin shed. Perhaps that’s why he won it so many times and we are all just trying too hard!