Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) organisers have been praised for the way they rectified mistakes made during the announcement of places in the small breed classes of the Mountain and Moorland of the Year finals on Thursday 4 October.

The first mishap happened in the Dartmoor, Exmoor and Shetland class where Dakota Keys and Julie Barton’s Shetland stallion Waulkmill Redstart were unplaced during the final call out of the class. It later became clear that the marks — which competitors are able to see after the championship — showed the the combination had actually been placed third.

HOYS allowed Dakota and her Shetland to come back into the ring the following day to be presented with their third placed rosette, to the delight of connections.

Dakota’s mother Anna Chaplin said the error was brought to her attention when a Facebook post about an incorrect result was circulating.

“We then went to the office and while the marks had been added up correctly, the back number had been written down wrong — Dakota was 765 and 756 had been noted down, which unfortunately was the number of another competitor, who was then called into third. It was a complete human error,” Anna explained.

“HOYS were just superb; the marks were taken down straight away, the official result was amended and Dakota — who was having her first ever ride at HOYS — was invited back into the TopSpec arena the following day to do her lap of honour. The steward was so apologetic and went straight over to her. They really went above and beyond.”

In the Welsh section B class, Nicole Wayman and her own Cadlanvalley Bentley finished eighth but were sent out with the back line during the prize giving. It is believed the commentator made a mistake when calling out the numbers and wrongly announced another combination as eighth.

Grandstand Media issued the following statement: “On Thursday 4 October we regret that at Horse of the Year Show there has been some human error made in the announcements of the final line-ups in the following classes.

“In the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh section B Pony of the Year all mark sheets were correct, however, instead of calling forward competitor number 707 the commentator called forward 717. This was a genuine error which affected eighth place and this has now been rectified in the final results.

“In the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Dartmoor/Exmoor/Shetland Pony of the Year, both marks in question were correct and totalled as expected. However, when the competitor number was transferred to the placings section on the mark sheet, 756 was transcribed instead of 765; this error affected 3rd place. All affected competitors have been notified of this and all placings have been rectified.

“Over the years we believe that the track record of the show and of our volunteers has been exceptional, however we acknowledge that this is not a pleasant situation for those involved.”

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