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‘I didn’t think I’d be winning HOYS this year’: fourth HOYS worker title for top Scottish rider


  • Scottish working hunter icon Kirsty Aird lifted the Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd. M&M 133cm working hunter pony of the year on a novice Welsh pony making his debut at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). Llanidan Bonheddwr (Henry), an 11-year-old gelding by Parvadene Reload, is owned by Caroline Casey. He qualified for HOYS at the North of England summer show.

    This is the first season Kirsty, HOYS champion in 2018 with Fell stallion Greenholme Emblem, has produced Henry.

    Prior to Caroline’s acquisition of him, Henry had been based in Orkney with Liam Mackenzie, who competed him as a working hunter and also did Pony Club activities with him.

    “This year I was unsure about how HOYS was going to go as I’ve brought a bunch of novices,” said Kirsty, who has won HOYS several times over fences, including in 2018 and 2022 with Connemara Woodbank Smokey Sam. “I admitted that I didn’t think I’d be winning anything!

    “To ride, Henry is brilliant fun,” Kirsty added. “He’s so easy but he’s got some jump in him. You can really trust his jumping ability. Today was the first time he’s seen so many people, but he took it all in and he coped very well.”

    Commenting on the David Cole-built course, Kirsty said: “It was very poley so you needed something careful. But, it was still up to height so you had to keep moving forward. The water-tray at the end was sneaky, too.”

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