Cuddy working hunter competitors were once again treated to a sizeable course of fences at the 2018 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The David Cole-designed championship track saw 31 horses come forward to navigate the 12 rustic fences, which included a horse shoe wall. The course appeared to provide a flowing route with a couple of tricky uprights causing problems for some pairings.
Do you think you and your horse would be up for this ultimate working hunter challenge? Make your mind up when you’ve seen the fences…
1. Hayrack Oxer
For two unlucky combinations, the 2018 Cuddy crown slipped away right at the first fence when they got a bad stride to this oxer and rolled the front pole. Also struggling with this debut fence was Nicky Turriff and her own Lux O’Neill who failed to negotiate the first jump and retired with two refusals.
2. Plank Tower
This proved one of the easier fences to jump as it stayed intact throughout the class.
3. Rabbit Oxer
This oxer coming across the diagonal, which gave riders the choice of either side, looked inviting but the wobbly top pole proved problematic for some and it was knocked 11 times. The final horse to jump, Kimberley Stanworth’s Evola W hit the fence and pulled up lame afterwards so was withdrawn.
4. Hedge Upright
This inviting solid-looking fence saw only one pole rolled throughout the class. This was by Oulart Pasquellino, ridden by Kirsty Aird.
5. Bush Oxer
Another breezy oxer that only one horse rolled.
6. (A & B) Flower Trough Double
The first element of this two-strided combination was hit twice, while the second part also fell a few times.
7. Horse Shoe Wall
The impressive looking horse shoe wall — where horses were required to ride in through the gap and jump out over the blocks — proved quite uneventful. Only one combination knocked the bricks from the solid wall; Noble Queen Bee and Jasean Spraggett.
8. Castle Oxer
This oxer may appear easy on the eye, but several were caught out by this fence three quarters of the way around the course. It fell nine times and was annoyingly the sole fence down for Libby Cooke and Mousa Kousa.
9. Stone Pillars
A 100 per cent success rate was achieved at this fence.
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10. Bridge Water (tray)
A few surprising combinations hesitated at this four-pole upright with water try underneath, including Melanie Hennah riding Anchorman and Steph Callwood with Mr Seniority, the latter duo managing to get over and secure a clear. Working hunter superman Rory Gilsenan and Vision Impossible were eliminated at this fence. It certainly got horses to pick their feet up!
11. Green Pheasant Feeder Oxer
This penultimate oxer was heading towards the entrance gate from a corner and was knocked down five times.
12 (A) Stile Castle
The final double saw the first fence fall from the cups eight times. For Katy Green riding Vulcanite and Alice Barnes with OCS Double Vision, it was their only fence down.
12. (B) Rustic Oxer
This fence was knocked just twice during the competition.
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