‘I’m sure Mum was watching over us’: amateur’s home-bred Clydesdale collects his first HOYS ticket

  • A dream win in the show ring at Blair International Horse Trials means Clydesdale Coulbank Hamish, his breeder and his rider will all be making their debuts at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) next month.

    Sharon Hepburn’s home-bred 14-year-old, who was contending only his second ridden heavy horse qualifier, collected his HOYS ticket at the prestigious Scottish event with Sharon’s friend, Marion Maclennan, in the saddle.

    Sharon is an Inverness-based amateur and Hamish was co-bred by Sharon and her late mother, Aileen Campbell, who passed away in 2020.

    “He qualified for HOYS almost two years to the day of Mum’s passing,” said Sharon. “This made the moment very poignant. My mother was always our biggest supporter, and she was always at the ringside cheering us on. I’m sure she was watching over us with pride when he qualified.

    “When she died, I didn’t think I wanted to carry on showing, but now I’m so glad I did.”

    Sharon competed Hamish’s dam, Westerton Rosie, at Blair some 18 years ago. Remarkably, Hamish is Sharon’s only foal. He was bred to contend the ridden circuit, though Sharon never believed he’d be a HOYS finalist.

    “To qualify at a Scottish show was also a dream come true,” continued Sharon. “Hamish is a very versatile horse and he absolutely adores being out and about.

    “I’ve had lots of fun with him over the years, showing him in ridden Clydesdale classes, taking him to the beach, taking him on pleasure rides and going on riding holidays. He also did a 20-mile charity ride in memory of Mum in 2021. He does everything that is asked of him with a smile on his face.”

    Sharon has decided that the World Clydesdale Show held in Aberdeen (20-23 October) will be Hamish’s final show.

    “Never in a million years did I think we would be going to HOYS and it’s lovely that Hamish will be retiring in style,” she continued. “I am lucky enough to have a fantastic team of friends who will be coming down to HOYS to help and support us.

    “HOYS prep is going well so far; everything is going to plan and I’m just keeping Hamish fit. We’ll be breaking the journey [across multiple days] as we’re travelling down from Inverness.”

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