‘He knows he’s the king’: Welsh stallion, 16, wins HOYS on his seventh appearance

  • On his seventh trip to the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), a Welsh section D stallion finally clinched the one title that had eluded him. Ross Keys rode Angela Jackson’s uber-consistent Dycott Welsh King to lift the Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. M&M exceeding. 143cm working hunter pony of the year championship at the NEC.

    The 16-year-old, who was bred by Clare Granger and George Mitchell out of Navestock Monica by Mitcheltroy Welsh Prince, has won the Royal International and Royal Windsor, and he’d been knocking on the door in Birmingham, finishing third on three separate occasions.

    “This result is beyond words,” said Ross, who has ridden King since he was a five-year-old. “This is the one I promised Angela when I first jumped a fence on him.”

    Angela bought King as a two-year-old colt from his breeders. She campaigned him on the flat with success before he commenced his jumping career.

    “As time progressed he’d had enough of doing flat classes so we focused solely on the workers,” said Ross’ partner, Anna Chaplin. “It did take him a while to get him to the level he is at now. He had stallion tendencies and he could be a little bit backwards. We’ve worked very hard with him, as while he’s very easy in some ways, he can be difficult in others.

    “He’s very intelligent; it’s like dealing with a human and he knows things horses shouldn’t know. He doesn’t like it if another stallion comes onto his lorry and he hates it if Ross rides another horse. Ultimately, he knows he’s The King. But, he has a heart of gold. He has an extra special, unique relationship with Ross, too.

    King has juggled stud duties alongside his showing career and throughout the winter he lives out with mares.

    “We have his grand-children at home,” said Anna.

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