The Cuddy working hunter course at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is famed for suiting only the very brave — and this year's David Cole-designed championship track was no exception. A total of 37 horses came forward to negotiate 12 fences, built by Cheshire Show Services, and the theme was stately homes.
Could you jump them? Make your mind up after looking at the images below...
The Cuddy working hunter champion will be crowned on Wednesday evening (4 October), come back to horseandhound.co.uk to find out who wins. Read the full HOYS report in next week’s issue of H&H, on sale Thursday 12 October.
Fence 1: Box Hedge
This oxer provided horses with a confident start to their rounds and it only fell once — for Morse Code (Rosie Skier), whose round was otherwise clear.
Fence 2: Hay Gate Cottage
Four horses knocked down these hanging gates.
Fence 3: Oak Tree Oxer
This oxer was hit by five horses.
Fence 4a: Palisade Rail
The first element of this combination on a forward two-stride distance had a single dark green pole on top and eight horses knocked it down.
Fence 4b: Chatsworth Arches
Beautiful to look at but straightforward — there were no jumping errors at this pillared wall.
Fence 5: Brush Rails
This fence, sited by the entrance to the arena, has proved tricky in the past and its uneven rustic pole on the top will fall at the lightest of touches. This year, however, it remained in its cups throughout the championship.
Fence 6: Liverpool Water Spread
A couple of horses spooked at the water tray at the bottom of this spread, but it only fell twice.
Fence 7: Rustic Pillar Planks
These planks became the bogey fence, with 11 horses dislodging them altogether. Victims included the defending champion Dartans Barrack (Fiona Hirst).
Fence 8ab: Heatherbank Oxer
Five horses rolled a pole at the oxer (a), which was followed by a green upright (b) one stride behind. Only one horse knocked down the second element. This was Matthew Cooper’s ride, Toronto.
Fence 9: Flower Trough
Three horses hit this oxer, which was negotiated after turning away from the arena entrance.
Fence 10: Curved Wall
Back on the course for another year, this impressive obstacle caused a few sticky leaps but became the undoing of just one horse. This was Tinx, who refused with Southerly Roberts on board.
Fence 11: Antlers
An exacting upright, which fell to the ground twice.
Fence 12: Post & Rail Oxer
The finale fence was kicked out by two horses.