‘He loves going up the gallops’: change of routine proves key for top Fell at Horse of the Year Show 2021

  • RUTH ROBERTS’ 12-year-old stallion Wildhoeve Okidoki performed a foot-perfect individual show to stand at the head of the line up of fabulous Fell ponies at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) 2021.

    The Dutch-bred Fell by Klompjes Ivanhoe out of Uldale Black Misty was given a meticulous ride by Clare Fitch.

    “We’re absolutely over the moon,” said an emotional Clare. “He is such a character, I love him.”

    Clare has had the ride on the stallion for four seasons after his previous owners the Millers sold him to Ruth in 2018. The pair gained their qualification at Stoneleigh Horse Show.

    “He’s been to HOYS every year with us, so to finally win is brilliant,” said Clare. “He was amazing today.”

    Clare puts the stallion’s success down to a change of routine.

    “It’s taken him a while to settle, so we’ve changed his routine a little bit and it works for him now,” said Clare. “He goes out every day, but we’re keeping him out for longer, and I very rarely take him in the school.

    “I do a lot of hacking with him and we are lucky that we are based close to racehorse trainer Thomas Symonds who allows us to use their gallops, which he loves – it keeps him fresh for showing.”

    In second was Zoe Marsden’s Wellbrow Diplomat, ridden by Hayley Reynolds, while Rhea Shakespeare piloted Christina Clare’s Lunesdale Dixie into third place.

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