There were so many highlights in the show ring during 2015, and we have gathered pictures of some of the best.
1 Spectacular cobs
Few will forget the moment Oliver Hood rode Sue Rawdling’s Chaplin to the top of the Derby bank during his individual show for the supreme title at the Royal International.
And then there was Vicky Smith’s Fait Acobbli at the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) national championships. He stood rooted to the spot with his ears pricked as Simon Charlesworth stood up in the saddle to conclude their supreme ride-off.
Neither lightweight cob took the overall titles, but they were brilliant moments all the same.
2 Exciting ride-offs
Tension was rife when Time 2 Reflect and Fleetwater Xecutive both scored 27 in the supreme at the Royal International (RIHS), requiring Jayne Ross and Jordan Cook to ride off.
Jordan’s hack looked the epitome of elegance, while Jayne’s full lap of the huge international arena at full gallop made everyone want to borrow Dianne Stennett’s hunter for a day following hounds. It was hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck stuff.
3 Battle of the greats
The two most successful cobs ever to grace the show ring — Heather Clay’s Hallmark and Camilla Neame’s Starry Night — went head to head in maxi-cob classes, and what a battle it was. With two wins apiece as they entered the show ring at Horse of the Year Show, tension was rife while waiting for the judges’ decision to be announced, and Starry Night retired as the ultimate champion.
What these two brilliant maxi-cobs have done for the showing world — drumming up excitement among spectators and attracting media interest — can only be a good thing.
4 Santa’s reindeer sparkles
Beat The Boss became the second-ever working hunter pony to be crowned supreme pony at RIHS, ridden by 13-year-old Susie Eddis.
Boss used to pull Santa’s sleigh through the streets of Killarney and then competed successfully in showjumping — he’s a talented chap!
5 A native nails HOYS
Sarum Rembrandt looked spectacular under the spotlight in Birmingham’s NEC arena, where the Joyners’ Welsh section A was crowned supreme pony. It was a memorable moment for the stallion’s rider Sarah Parker, who celebrated her first HOYS supreme title on her third time of trying.
6 Racehorses rule
Retrained racehorses got their moment of fame at the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses national championships, held at Aintree in August. The Queen’s Barbers Shop stood overall supreme with Katie Jerram and there were some brilliant thoroughbreds on show.
7 Dolly’s domination
Dianne Stennett’s Hello Dolly had only worn a side-saddle once when she entered the show ring at Royal Windsor, but she duly won the ladies class. Dolly remains unbeaten in these classes after success at the BSHA hunter championships and then HOYS, with Jayne Ross in the saddle each time.