‘Brave and dignified to the end’: farewell to champion show hunter

A prolific heavyweight show hunter who started and ended his highly successful career with a win has been put down aged 19.

Ducal Royal Emblem, who was by Primitive Rising out of an Irish draught mare, had been enjoying a happy retirement with owner Mr Fryer until he succumbed to a bout of colic on 31 December.

“Malcolm” started his showing career as a yearling, standing champion at Ashbourne Show, and retired 15 years later as champion hunter of Britain at the Royal London Show.

“His achievements in the show ring for the 15 years in between are testament to his wonderful attitude to his work, his consistent soundness, his bravery, his love of showing off and posing, and of course his absolute adoration of his food,” Mr Fryer told H&H.

Malcolm was sold at weaning to Hilary and Kenny Green. Success at county level was followed by third place in the 2007 SEIB Search for a Star final at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

Mr Fryer bought Malcolm in 2013 and the combination qualified for HOYS that year.

“I wanted him immediately I saw him,” Mr Fryer said. “He took me to HOYS, then the next season, he won everything.”

In 2014 and 2015, the combination took wins and top-three placings at an array of shows including Royal Windsor, the Festival of Hunting, the Great Yorkshire Show and the British Show Horse Association’s national hunter championships.

Mr Fryer said the highlights were winning the amateur heavyweight hunter championship at the Royal International Horse Show on both years, and finishing ninth at HOYS.

Mr Fryer produced the horse himself, but Hilary and Kenny were “very much part of Malcy’s support team” until Hilary’s death in 2016.

“We retired him that year as champion, the same way he started his career,” Mr Fryer said. “Bless his heart.”

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Mr Fryer described Malcolm as a “complete and utter gentleman”, who was hacked out until he was completely retired in 2018.

“He did a phenomenal job; was never sick or sorry but he’d had a touch of colic about six weeks before and I’d been anxious. On New Year’s Eve, he got up to have his breakfast but went straight down again, and we had to let him go.

“He remained brave and dignified to the very end. He was a good old chap.”

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