‘His trot just gets bigger and bigger’: Untouchable gelding secures Arab accolade for the second time

  • One of the most popular winners of the show so far was Kimberley Bates and Kerry Bates’ Arab gelding Rafeekah who took home the ridden pure-bred Arab of the year title at the 2021 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), reclaiming the prestigious breed class he secured as a novice back in 2019.

    “Coming back we had no expectations,” said Kimberley, who had ridden her grey nine-year-old by Designed out of Kaamelia to the ridden Arab championship at the Royal International Horse Show earlier this year. “I didn’t feel any pressure, as I know that he’ll perform for me all day long.”

    In 2019, “Meekah” was a new face to ridden classes and he was Kimberley’s first ever Arab horse:

    “He’s more established and mature now,” she said. “He was still very novice at HOYS in 2019; his trot just gets bigger and bigger.”

    HOYS preparation for the in sync pair has included a lot of hacking and plenty of variety:

    “I never drill him in the school and keep it all fun for him,” Kimberley said.

    Kimberley works for native show producer Katy Marriott-Payne who enjoyed three wins and a second place in the open mountain and moorland classes earlier in the week:

    “I got the opportunity to ride Welsh section C winner Fencers Royal Addition in the championship in the International Arena,” said Kimberley.

    Katy said: “She works really hard for me and it’s lovely to watch her have her own successes in the show ring.”

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