Two Royal International championships in two hours for untouchable horse

  • The stunning gelding Briarhill Buddy Bolden became Saturday’s star of the show at the 2023 Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) as he netted two overall victories in the space of two hours.

    Meg Edmondson’s Kings Cornet seven-year-old began his day by securing a pass into the Longines International Arena after being called into the top 10 of the Culford Lodge Commodities small hunter final.

    Meg was on board throughout, and the pair were eventually called forward to accept the winner’s sash, providing Meg with her first RIHS victory in horse ranks.

    There was little time to celebrate, though; as soon as Buddy left the main arena it was a quick dash across the show ground where his intermediate partner Harriet Dennison steered him to glory in a strong intermediate show hunter class, before they topped the Jackson Fine Homes Ltd supreme intermediate championship.

    “He’s just a joy to ride,” said Harriet, as she was called forward as champion with the horse who is based with Team Helliwell in Cumbria.

    Meg bought Buddy from Russell Skelton and James Murno in 2021, and last year Harriet piloted him to win the intermediate show hunter of the year title at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Buddy, a Royal Highland show winner earlier this year, has been knocking on the door of a major small hunter win; at the 2022 BSHA National Championships he was novice supreme, and he finished eighth at HOYS as a small hunter last season.

    Harriet’s 2023 RIHS form has matched Buddys, as the talented rider had two rides qualified for the intermediate championship. But reserve for the overall intermediate tricolour was Alice Binks riding her grandmother Jane Bennison’s small campaigner Roseberry Fascinator, who was mirroring her 2022 results.

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