Road to HOYS: Owner to compete in honour of her late cousin and horse who was stabbed 16 times in brutal attack

  • A miniature horse owner whose horse was stabbed in a random violent attack is heading to the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at the NEC with her other beloved horse, two years on from the case being tried at crown court.

    Harriet Wood has qualified for the miniature horse of the year final with her own Summerrose Little Hawk (Jasper).

    Harriet’s first ever miniature horse, Sol, was bought in 2016 and Jasper was purchased soon after, becoming a multi-breed and county show supreme champion.

    In April 2018, Harriet found Sol in his stable covered in blood after man had broken into this stable and stabbed him 16 times.

    “I was beyond heartbroken,” Harriet says. “It really was touch and go, but against all the odds, he survived.

    “I felt like my dreams of competing at HOYS were probably over, but my family encouraged me to take Jasper to the The British Miniature Horse Society (BMHS) star seeker final where he won his hardshipping rights, passing with 100%.

    “I started to show him with BMHS and the following year Jasper qualified for HOYS.”

    However, Harriet’s first trip to HOYS in 2019 was clouded by the fact that Sol’s crown court trial took place on the day of the miniature horse final.

    She continues: “I spent the morning in court, and had phone calls from the police right up until my class. It was heartbreaking that this crime had taken so much from me and was also taking my HOYS experience. Although HOYS was amazing, it was very hard to keep my mind off Sol and it made the day very difficult.

    “Sol’s case came to an end over winter and during lockdown, I concentrated on Jasper, with the aim of having my day at HOYS with nothing to distract me. We have worked as a team and this year Jasper has exceeded our expectations and was crowned gelding champion and overall reserve supreme at the Royal International, and qualified for HOYS again.

    “This year’s show will be very special as I will be able to enjoy being there with Jasper who will also be showing for Sol as well as my cousin, Mel, who sadly passed away from Covid earlier this year. She was one of my biggest supporters. We talked a lot about my goals for Jasper. I’m so excited to be at the world’s best horse show with the world’s best horse. Jasper is truly the horse of a lifetime.”

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