‘This has been on the bucket list for a long time’: First season combination steps up to clinch SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse title

  • The nine-year-old gelding Minella Rebellion belied his lack of ring experience to give his owner/rider her first Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) victory in the SEIB Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse (R2R) championship.

    Katie Dashwood was on board HOYS debutante “Reg” who will be back in the International Arena in the riding horse final later in the week. Katie and Reg are only contending their first season together.

    By Kings Theatre out of Afdala, Reg was in training with Nicky Henderson during his career. He ran five times in total and was placed twice, before retiring from the track in 2017. The duo qualified for the R2R finals at the Onley Grounds qualifier.

    “This has been on the bucket list for a very long time,” said Katie. “When I was around six years old I went to HOYS when it was at Wembley for the first time, and from that moment on I always wanted to compete here.”

    Reg is produced by Jo Bates, whose team won the R2R title at HOYS in 2019 with Grandeur. At the Jockey Club Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) National Championships, Reg was crowned novice champion before bagging the coveted Jockey Club supreme title. This was the first time in the show’s history that the novice champion has been pulled to take the supreme.

    Reg is a full brother to Cheltenham Festival winner and Grand National runner-up Balthazar King and was purchased for £90,000 at a Tattersalls Ireland sale at Cheltenham in May 2016. He was first acquainted with Katie, rider of the successful ex-racehorse Barlow, in lockdown last year following a recommendation from her friend Henrietta Knight.

    “Henrietta told me to come and have a look at a potential show horse she thought would fit the bill,” said Katie. “Reg is a true showman; he loves it. It was a real thrill to qualify Reg for HOYS and he really enjoyed being in the ring here.”

    Taking second was marketing lead Abi Sole on board her own Hero Worship, who was advancing on his previous best placing of third achieved in 2018. The Kalanisi 18-year-old had three starts on the flat for trainer Michael Jarvis, winning twice and earning just under £20,000.

    Collette McGoldrick and her Edward Young-produced nine-year-old Mumford took third.

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