‘He’s just a gorgeous horse’: 19-year-old rider heads strong ladies’ hunter field

  • At just 19 years old, Alice Homer produced an impressive first Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) ladies’ victory riding Angela Coggins upstanding grey middleweight hunter Bloomfield Eloquence (James).

    The seven-year-old gave both Alice and ride judge Anna Levy an incredible sit on in the Science Supplements Ring 5, to be pulled top after the initial go-round and stay in poll position throughout the class.

    Watermill Swatch-sired James is relatively new to the side-saddle game, and here he beat a super-strong field which included Georgina Wilkes and her prolific Mexican Summer — ladies’ champion at Royal Windsor just a few weeks ago — and Francoise Babbington aboard her reigning Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) champion Seabourne Silent Valley.

    “I’m elated; I can’t believe it,” said Alice, who rode in the ladies’ class here for the first time two years ago aboard Sarah Van Vegchel’s Hardingville Sunrise.

    “James only started taking a side-saddle at the end of last year and contended his first ladies’ class in the September. He’d been over in Ireland at the Bloomfield stud where he competed astride with Jane Bradbury before coming over here.”

    Over in his homeland, James was champion at both Balmoral and Gorey shows.

    James is also off to HOYS this year as a middleweight and ladies’ mount, qualifying in the latter class with Alice’s mother, Lorraine, in the saddle.

    “I’ve stolen the ride back for the day,” added Alice.

    Angela is best friends with Loraine and bought James as a six-year-old.

    “He’s just a gorgeous horse,” Alice concluded. “He loves hacking and is so straightforward. It feels incredible to have my name up there with all the riders who have won this title here before me.”

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...