Dales stallion performs like a ‘true superstar’ to be crowned HOYS M&M champion

  • A stunning showcase of native breeds was witnessed in the Andrews Bowen international arena as winning and second placed ponies vied for the National Pony Society/Baileys Horse Feeds HOYS M&M ridden pony of the year title at the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    But only one combination could take the top honour and this year judges Jo Jack (conformation) and Tweetie Nimmo (ride) selected five-year-old Dales stallion Griseburn Major and Joe Watson as their champions.

    “What a tremendous line up of ponies,” said Tweetie. “Jo and I were on the same page throughout the classes, and we liked the same ponies. Our champion was beautifully balanced and he looked like a complete partnership with his rider. He was a very good example of the breed and in the championship he went like a true superstar.”

    Joe and his partner Rob Mcivor bought the stallion as an unbroken three-year-old from Helen Horn’s Griseburn Stud. He is by Wolsey Viking out of Tarbarl Kate Boss, and 2022 is his first full season under saddle.

    Reserve in the HOYS M&M ridden pony of the year championship went to Rebecca Penny riding Lynn Scott’s consistent Welsh section C stallion Lynuck The Showman, supreme BSPS Heritage champion at London International last December.

    “Our reserve had a tremendous walk,” said Jo. “During the class, he really caught our eye, as did the second placed Welsh section C [April Gilmartin’s Gems Malt Whiskey] who really shone in the championship, too.”

    “Both the Dales and the Welsh C classes were two of the strongest,” said Tweetie. “It was obvious that Jo and I had a type, too, as there were ponies from the same studs featuring in the top placings consistently.”

    “They had to be true ponies in type,” confirmed Jo.

    Lancashire-based Joe was emotional after his first ever HOYS championship win: “This just doesn’t happen to someone like me,” he said. “Major felt amazing in there and I honestly can’t believe this has happened.”

    You might also be interested in…

    Don’t miss a second of the action from HOYS on HorseandHound.co.uk with no limit on how much you can read from as little as £1 per week with a Horse & Hound unlimited websitesubscription. Join now. Plus enjoy our full 22-page HOYS magazine report, including in-depth analysis of all the showing and showjumping, plus exclusive comments, on sale Thursday 13 October

    You may like...