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Farewell to ‘scruffy gypsy cob foal’ who became HOYS champion

A “scruffy little foal” bought out of pity who went on to be a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) champion has died aged 26.

Mr Moses, who was bought from travellers as a months-old colt, went to HOYS on 10 consecutive occasions, as well as standing champion at the Great Yorkshire and Royal Highland shows – and appearing on the cover of Horse & Hound.

“That’s not bad for a little gypsy cob,” owner Frank Slattery told H&H, adding that he had not seen Moses’s potential at first.

“I just bought him because I felt sorry for him. He was just a scruffy little foal; I never thought he’d be a champion.

“We broke him to drive but when we got him under saddle, we realised the way he moved was unbelievable.”

Moses is the only horse Frank has ever owned, and he was ridden by a friend’s daughter, Zoe Hyslop, in the ring, in 14.2hh coloured pony classes.

“We were very lucky with him; he was the one of a lifetime,” he said.

Out of the ring, Moses was very gentle, he added, and a “lovely soul”, who was pleased to see everyone.

“A judge at the Royal Highland, where he’d won his class and stood champion, said his ears were always forward; which they were. He could switch off and be a scruff at home, but he loved the applause; the bigger the show, the more he enjoyed it.

“He was one in a million.”

Mr Slattery said Moses became popular with other owners of coloured horses, adding that walking into the HOYS arena, at Wembley, was an “unbelievable” experience.

“It was beyond my wildest dreams,” he said.

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Moses retired from showing some years ago and had since enjoyed spending time in the field and hacking out.

“He was absolutely fine, but the clock ticked down,” Mr Slattery said. “We had to get the vet out but it was very peaceful, and he was at home with us.

“They leave a big hole; he was very special.”

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