17 novice show horses to keep on your radar during 2022

  • In the final edition of our new faces to watch during 2022 series, we round up some extra special horses who will be debuting or stepping up in the show ring this term…

    Libertys Lord Of the Dance

    Lucy Done’s heavyweight show cob is currently based with producer Simon Charlesworth.

    “He’s a five-year-old and we’ve taken our time with him hence why he didn’t come out at four,” says Simon, who will take the ride on the impressive gelding.

    Carnsdale Centurion

    Producer Danielle Heath is preparing Pauline Binks’ four-year-old small hunter, by Martin Phaidin Mhoir, for the ridden circuit. The liver Chestnut gelding was bred in Ireland and discovered by Shelly Argyle.

    “We’ll only run him in a few novice classes this year,” says Danielle. “He’s got a fantastic temperament and was ridden away as a three–year-old by my head girl, Tiffany Smith, in November.”

    Iron boy

    This 16hh Dutch Warmblood has been with his new owner Lucy Hibbert for two months and she has aims of competing him at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as a riding horse.

    The eight-year-old is by Charmeur and out of Damona.

    “He was bred for dressage but I’m hoping that showing is our thing,” says Lucy. “We were brought together by fate and I can’t wait for him to get out there.”

    Verona’s Buddy B Good

    Hannah Iddeson’s first home-bred will be out under-saddle this term as a rising five-year-old. As a foal, “Buds” received the highest foal score at Futurity (2017) as well as the highest event score across all ages of youngstock. As a yearling, he won the breeders cup at the Sports Horse Breeding of Great Britain championships and was a victor at Herts County.

    “I want to aim him towards riding horse classes this year and I’m super excited to get him out when the time is right,” says Hannah.


    Four-year-old ex-racer and small hack contender “Bertie” was bought by Annabelle Burne from Mick Easterby just over a year ago. He raced six times on the Flat, coming fourth at Newcastle on his best run.

    “In 2021 I managed to show him in-hand successfully as a three-year-old,” says Annabelle. “At NCPA Pony of the Year he won his hack breeding class and was reserve champion. Last year I gave him plenty of time to loosen, mature and put some condition on after racing. I will carry on retraining him and I hope to get him into some nice novice hack and RoR classes.”

    Sandbank Mr Majestic

    Karen and David Smith’s home-bred five-year-old by Helsington Dark Secret out of Trellech Magic Dream is heading out as a novice hack and intermediate show riding type while being produced by Vicki Casey.

    “I need to find him an intermediate jockey, but I’ll ride him in hack classes as well as in the dressage arena,” says Vicki.

    Amrita’s Night Owl

    This novice intermediate/small hack, known as “Birdie”, was bred by Charlotte Duffin and was purchased by Jennifer Petza during 2020 after spending some time with show producer Ian Boylan.

    “She’s had a fabulous season in-hand and will hopefully make an appearance on the ridden circuit in March 2022,” says Jennifer. “Throughout January and February I will be focusing on getting her ready for the season ahead. Very sadly, my amazing instructor and dear friend, Sue Craven, recently passed away. We had some exciting things planned for the coming season and had high hopes between us for some good results, so this year will be dedicated to her.”

    Dowhills Brun Fonce

    Seventeen-year-old Brooke Molyneux is moving her seven-year-old riding horse “Arnie” up a gear this year following a successful run in novice and unaffiliated ranks during his first season in 2021.

    Arnie was bought as an unbacked three-year-old and missed his five-year-old year due to Covid.

    Absolutely Beautiful

    Bred by Vicki and John Keen, this four-year-old large intermediate show riding type contender, owned by Lara Berrie, is by Whiteleaze Dominion out of Absolutely Exclusive and is a half-sister to the reigning HOYS part-bred pony of the year Absolutely Classic.

    “We think she is definitely one to watch,” says Lara. “She loves her work and we are excited to see what the future holds for this young mare.

    Balinmore Sea Rebel

    This two-year-old Irish Draught colt by Skip And Sea will be out and about this season ending with the Great Yorkshire and the Irish Draught Horse Society breed show.

    “This will be his first season — and mine after a 10 year break — in the ring,” says his owner Amelia Greenwood.

    Real Steel

    “Paddy”, a five-year-old full Irish Draught, will be making his debut with his new owner Georgie Bailey after some success at county level. The gelding will now campaign maxi classes with Georgie, who has owned him since September.

    Diptford Pollyanna

    This rising six-year-old by Diptford Great Expectations will make her ridden debut this year in novice classes with Katie Bennett. During 2021 she tallied some impressive in-hand results, including supreme champion at NPS Area 10’s spring show, reserve supreme in the Ottergayle hack final at the NPS summer championships and champion at NPS Area 10’s summer show.

    “She was broken in during 2020 and she continued her education last year after a break,” says Katie. “We aim to get her out to some clinics in January and February to set us up for the season ahead.”

    Ballylaffin Sam

    Ben Meadows’ four-year-old middleweight hunter is broken to ride and is showing promise as a ridden prospect. Bred by Catherine Long in Ireland and found by Sara Forde, the upstanding grey is by Yeats and is currently standing at 17.1hh.

    Curious George

    Sam Winn sourced her show cob as a four-year-old project in 2019 and the gelding has proved a versatile buy, successfully contending both showing and eventing.

    “We ended last year taking supreme at Puddledub’s Christmas show after winning both the cob and coloured classes under two different judges,” says Sam. “In 2022 we are looking to venture further afield, dipping our toes into the real showing world, including some qualifiers to see what we can do. George has never been a dope on a rope but he just makes his rider smile and he really does turn his hoof to a bit of everything.”


    This dun Polish Warmblood is a prospect middleweight hunter and is a new face for his owner Samantha Dudley.

    “He’s not my usual type,” says Samantha of the 11-year-old. “He’s such an unusual colour so I hope he’ll catch the eyes of the judges. He has a fantastic personality and is a very big, powerful ride with a lot of elegance. Ideally, we’ll work towards ladies’ classes as well as hunting with the Suffolk Hunt.”

    Jacob’s Finn

    The Irish Draught cross KWPN is a five-year-old 17.1hh gelding and was purchased by his owner Karen Shutler just over 18 months ago when she lost her horse of 16 years.

    “He arrived home with me in September 2020 as an unbroken three-year-old,” says Karen. “We took our time getting to know each other and to my own surprise I managed to back him myself. We’ve never looked back and he’s been a gem.

    “We did some local showing and dressage last year, finishing our season with reserve overall champion at Notts Derby Horse Show and a great experience at Penistone Show where he was placed after being ridden by a ride judge.

    “I’m looking forward to expanding his horizons this year and will be aiming for some county shows and possibly some Search For A Star qualifiers.”

    Doylan Summer Sunshine

    Jessica Surples will be riding her own novice intermediate/small riding horse during 2022 after handling the mare to many successes in-hand.

    “She’s a lovely mare and is a pleasure to work with,” says Jessica.

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