‘I wanted this for him, but HOYS is a lottery’: another major win for consistent Connemara

  • The reigning Royal Windsor and London International Horse Show M&M supreme champion ticked another accolade off his bucket list, as he netted the National Pony Society/Baileys Horse Feeds M&M ridden Connemara pony of the year title at the 2023 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Amanda Sharman’s impeccable Glencarrig Knight eight-year-old Castle Kestrel gave his producer/rider Lucy Glover her first HOYS victory since 2018, when she finished as supreme pony champion aboard part-bred Carmens Novello. In the same year she won the Welsh section B pony of the year final riding Carrwood Shimmering Gold.

    Lucy was emotional after the win on Kestrel, a former H&H cover star, who she backed herself and has produced since he was a novice.

    “I didn’t think he’d win this one as well, though it was the one I have wanted for him and he does deserve it,” said Lucy. “The more he wins the more pressure I do feel, but HOYS is such a lottery and all I did was go in and hoped he went well. There were so many beautiful ponies in that ring.”

    Lucy said Kestrel, who is out of Castle Melody, is a relatively easy stallion to produce, thanks to his level head and generous temperament: “He’s so kind; my four-year-old niece goes in the stable with him. He’s very vocal and you know you’ve got him, but he’s so friendly and he has a big heart.”

    Kestrel’s breeder, Henry O’Toole, was ringside to watch the triumph.

    “He came over especially to see him which has been very special,” said Amanda. “Everyone connected to him is here.”

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