Five-year-old defies lack of experience to win Dales final at Horse of the Year Show 2021

  • DESPITE only having only ever been indoors once before, five-year-old gelding Tarbarl Major Tom put on a professional show in the atmospheric TopSpec arena to land the Dales title at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Tom was ridden beautifully by Katy Marriott-Payne, who was given the ride in January by his owners Mandy and Tom Jackson.

    “Mandy backed him last summer and then we got him going through the winter,” said Katy. “From day one he has had a great brain for the job which makes him much easier and much more enjoyable to work with.”

    The pair qualified for HOYS at the NCPA Staffordshire Country Festival.

    “The plan was to give him a nice novice season, but there were a couple of HOYS qualifiers which I thought would suit him the way the classes were set up, and he won the first one he did,” Katy said. “We realised then that he’s definitely got the right brain for it.”

    With just six previous outings under his belt, Tom who is by Tarbarl Guiser out of Black Beauty XVI and bred by Michael Stonehouse, has proved himself an ultimate professional already.

    “It’s such an amazing way to start the week, especially as he’s such a young pony – we had literally no expectations whatsoever with him,” said Katy. “I didn’t want to ask too much of him, but he just kept going and giving. We’re over the moon with how well he’s coped with it all and how much he enjoyed it.”

    Katy feels that it’s the pony’s character that gives him the winning edge.

    “He’s got the most amazing temperament and really wants to please you,” she said. “He’s got so much character and likes to have a joke – if you leave the stable door open, he’ll be out. He’s ever so kind and really genuine.”

    The pair will enjoy a quiet winter and do some hacking – “there’s not much pressure to do anymore this year now. He’s definitely earnt a rest.”

    Sarah Parker rode Julie Pennell’s Nipna Midnight Rambler into second place with Kate Waite’s Nipna James Britannia in third under Vikki Smith.

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