Young riders dominated in the 2022 Royal Windsor Horse Show working hunter championship with last year’s winning heavyweight and reserve repeating their class victory and going one better in the overall to secure the title.
This was Alice Homer, 20, who rode her own nine-year-old gelding Little Joe, by KEC Maximus. Joe produced one of two clears in the heavyweight class en route to capturing the championship before judges Matthew Ainsworth and John Gilliver, who chose the second placed heavyweight, Dunkerrin Leader 10-year-old Noble Gladiator (Eleanor Hirst) as reserve in the Royal Windsor working hunter championship.
“I don’t think the course was as big or testing as last year,” said university student Alice, after her win. “But it caused just as many problems. Fence 11 had a water tray behind it, and a few horses didn’t see it. Some of the lines were long, and others short, but that’s where Joe is so adjustable. If the course gets harder, he tries harder and he jumps bigger. I’ve never sat on a horse that wants to jump a clear round as much as he does.”
When asked if she felt any pressure entering the ring on the reigning winner, who is owned by her grandfather David Tatlow, Alice said she didn’t.
“He doesn’t owe me anything and he’s our own horse. He’s my fun horse, so anything he does competitively is a bonus. Everyone on the yard knows he’s my absolute favourite. He gets away with murder at home.”
“He’s a clear round machine,” added Alice.
The lightweight class was topped by Ella Dalton, who was making her Windsor horse worker debut, aboard Esme Humpston’s Scarlet Ribbons. The nine-year-old mare by Wish Upon A Star, who also show jumps, has been partnered with Ella since January. Second was former Windsor working hunter pony champion Silver Lough with his usual partner and producer William Pittendrigh.
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