‘There could be no end to this horse’: Joe Stockdale’s emphatic HOYS win on super stallion

  • “If he keeps improving like this, there could be no end to him.”

    Joe Stockdale and Ebanking showed just what they’re capable of this evening at Horse of the Year Show, as they took the Grandstand Stoneleigh Events Cup from 32 starters.

    Joe has been riding Barbara Hester’s nine-year-old for about a year, during which time they have been building their partnership and taking things steady. So this ranking class, only the stallion’s second 1.60m, was the first time Joe had put his foot down.

    “I watched Lorenzo Luca’s round and he was really quick, there weren’t really many options,” said Joe. “But he jumped so well in the first round, I knew I could dare him a bit, and he didn’t feel like he was going to touch a fence.”

    The big chestnut showed impressive acceleration, and also an ability to turn effortlessly in his own length, coming home a fifth of a second ahead of Lorenzo on F One USA.

    “I think the second-last and last were particularly fast,” said Joe. “I got the perfect shot to the second-last and knew I could take a chance. He’s a quick horse anyway, and now he’s proved what he can do at that top level. I couldn’t be happier.”

    Joe praised Ebanking’s attitude, focus and overall temperament, adding: “He was focused from the start, he didn’t let the crowd get to him and as soon as a fence was in front of him, he was switched on.

    “He’s such a sweet horse; a big teddy bear and the girls on the yard love him. He’s always with you and wants to do his best, he’s got a massive heart.

    “He’s super competitive, got great balance and always knows exactly where his feet are, which really helps in a jump-off. And he just seems to get better every time he goes in the ring. If he keeps improving like this, there could be no end to him.”

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