Boys (and girls) in the hood: titanium headwear all the rage at HOYS

  • Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) viewers may have noticed several horses, in national and international classes, sporting liquid titanium hoods — and they’ve been the talk of social media this year.

    The masks, made with or without ears, are much feted as appearing to have a calming effect on the horse. H&H spoke to some of those using them.

    The Old Lodge Stud’s Night Of Glory OL, whom Harriet Biddick rode to victory in the accumulator at HOYS today, is one of those sporting the look.

    Harriet told H&H she had been struggling with the fact the 10-year-old mare, who is very quiet at home and in the warm-up, changes when she gets into the ring.

    “It seems to help keep her calm,” she said, adding that the recommendation is to put the mask on well in advance of riding. “She wears it from 7am on the day she jumps, and it really seems to help.”

    Two of Guy Williams’ rides; Mr Blue Sky UK and Cicero II, who came third in the Stoneleigh Stakes and second in the Grandstand Welcome Stakes respectively, have both also been wearing liquid titanium hoods.

    “They’re both a bit nervous and a bit ring-shy,” Guy told H&H. “So I put them on and they do seem to work. It’s not that they’re not brave, but a bit flighty, and it’s really helpful.”

    Another spotted sporting the mask was Ikar K, Alice Watson’s eight-year-old KWPN gelding who jumped beautifully to come third in the senior newcomers final.

    “He’s hot and sharp; nothing nasty and he’s so brave, but he gets a bit excited sometimes,” she told H&H. “I tried it, and it didn’t go badly, so I’ve never taken it off! His fly veil was slipping and annoying him, so it gives me something to attach it to as well.”

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