New names claim first Royal International titles, and other things the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. The Hickstead eventers’ challenge champions

    Yesterday (28 July) Irishman Fred Scala and 15.2hh mare Corriebeg Supernova became the new Ashby Underwriting eventers’ challenge champions at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS). “I have wanted to do this class for ever. Growing up, it was always a highlight on the telly, it’s just been a dream,” said Fred. “I got the opportunity to come here, I had a little horse who is fast and careful, and if there was a class she was going to be good at, it was going to be this one.” Last year’s winner Gemma Stevens tried to defend her crown with Flash Cooley, but had to settle for second – and she was also third with Santiago Bay.

    Find out how the action unfolded

    2. A first RIHS championship

    Will Morton and Sarah-Ann Gunn’s winning lightweight Kilcarna Brilliant are 2023 RIHS hunter supreme champions

    Will Morton and Sarah-Ann Gunn’s winning lightweight Kilcarna Brilliant are 2023 RIHS hunter supreme champions.

    Young show producer Will Morton scored his first RIHS championship victory, the Sports Horse Breeding of Great Britain hunter supreme, with Sarah-Ann Gunn’s lightweight Kilcarna Brilliant. The victory came a month after the pair took the hunter supreme at the Hickstead Derby meeting. “The RIHS has always been a bit of an unlucky show for me,” said Will. “Last year, ‘Chubbs’ was pulled top in his class but he was dropped into second. Today, the lightweights was a big class, as always, and there was a lot going on around us. Chubbs felt slightly tense when he stepped into the ring, but I gave him a pat and he took a breath. I was nervous when he was pulled in top; I thought last year might be about to repeat, but I think I’ve finally broken my RIHS curse.”

    Read what else Will had to say about Chubbs

    3. The Waterford bit

    Shires Waterford Snaffle bit

    The Waterford bit has come under discussion on social media. The bit looks like a line of ball-and-chain link, and usually comes with plain loose snaffle rings, although you can also buy Waterfords with full cheeks or gag-type rings. It is a flexible bit that moulds round the horse’s mouth, creating an even pressure. It is moveable in all directions and horses find it difficult to lean on or take hold of it, giving the rider good levels of control.

    Read what bitting experts have to say about the Waterford

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