‘It’s all about our team’: mother wins on championship catch ride after daughter’s Windsor double

  • A former Royal Windsor Horse Show four-year-old winner and novice champion rose to the occasion to scoop his third victory on royal turf. On this occasion, Liz Prowting’s head-turning lightweight Bloomfield President (Nicky) netted one of the most coveted titles on offer, the LeMieux 2024 Royal Windsor hunter championship.

    During the class, the seven-year-old grey gelding was piloted to glory by his usual rider, 22-year-old Alice Homer. However, when Alice also led the heavyweight field riding Liz’s OBOS Quality son Bloomfield Distinction (Nixon), also seven, her mother Loraine Homer was called in to take President’s reins during the final showdown.

    “There wasn’t really a discussion about which horse we would ride,” said Alice. “Mum does more with Nicky at home, and I know Nixon much better than she does. It’s such a big occasion to ride something you’ve never ridden before, and they both needed a good experience. It’s all about our team and the opportunity for the horses at the end of the day, and we made the decision based on who knew which horse best.”

    Judges Nigel Wakley and Lesley Anne Jones assessed lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight fields in the main ring before they returned for the final championship. The heavens opened part-way through the second class but the judges continued their appointment, Lesley Anne soldiering on with riding in a stylish and sympathetic manner, Nigel continuing to cast his eagle eye over the conformation of the exhibits.

    Eventual champion Nicky is a seven-year-old who was bred by Daphne Tierney out of Bloomfields Rebekah by Emperor Augustus. Rebekah is also the dam of this year’s amateur hunter champion, Rose Bailey’s middleweight gelding Bloomfield Greystones.

    “He really relishes it here,” said Alice, Windsor novice hunter champion with Nicky in 2022. “Last year he was a bit overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the open lightweights, but this season he’s come out as a different horse. While he’s always been beautiful, his mind is there now. He’s so laid back that it’s taken a while for the penny to drop.”

    Loraine has won the hunter championship at Royal Windsor twice prior on legends Major Moylaw and Bow River. Her father David Tatlow also netted the title several times during his own career.

    Nixon holds dear to Alice, as she explained: “He’s gorgeous and I adore him, especially as Grandad bought him as a foal.”

    Both horses were shown in-hand in Ireland prior to joining the Homers in the UK. In 2019, Nicky lifted the traditional-bred championship at Royal Dublin, while Nixon was All Ireland champion as a two-year-old. The Bloomfield Stud’s very own Daphne Tierney rode him to be champion hunter at Balmoral Show in his debut ridden season in 2021, too.

    Section reserve was seven-time Royal Windsor hunter championship winner Robert Walker, this time partnering Jill Day’s 2022 Horse of the Year Show middleweight of the year Crystal Cove. The Rehy High Society nine-year-old is out of Kilfearagh Breeze and he was bred by the Costello Family. He has only ever been lightly shown, but has managed titles at Devon County among others during his career.

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