‘Things like this don’t happen to me’: young Dales stallion springs surprise HOYS victory

  • A stunning performance at his first ever Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) saw five-year-old stallion Griseburn Major take the HOYS Dales championship under owner Joseph Watson in a hugely competitive class.

    Joseph bought the beautifully put-together stallion as a three-year-old from the Griseburn stud. He is by Wolsey Viking out of Tarbarl Kate Boss, and was bred by Helen Horn.

    “When he arrived, he was really wild – I was scared to death of him,” admitted an emotional Joseph. “Rob Mcivor, my partner, has done all the work with him from the beginning. We broke him in and have taken it really slow with him.”

    After a couple of novice classes in his first season last year, the stallion has done four qualifiers this year, winning his ticket at North of England show.

    “Things like this don’t happen to me,” Joseph commented. “I was not expecting it at all, especially after last night’s working in – he kept calling to the other horses and I was worried he’d do the same in the ring, but he behaved really well.

    “Stood in the line-up with the final three, I kept looking at the other two trying to work out which one would be first and second – I didn’t even imagine it would be me in first place. My heart was pounding.”

    Joseph explained that Major, who hasn’t yet covered, likes his food and that he gets turned out next to his Highland pony best friend.

    “I was wondering whether to do the BSPS Heritage championships at the end of the month, but I think he can have a well-deserved winter off now and come out again next year,” Joseph added.

    Second place went to Nipna Midnight Rambler ridden by Sarah Parker, and third place went to the winner’s half-brother Griseburn Lester ridden by Aimee Devane.

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