A coloured show horse who has won on the flat at the Royal International (RIHS) and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) netted the first red rosette of the 2022 Royal Windsor Horse Show in the working show horse class, finally securing glory on royal turf after standing second on four separate occasions.
Show producer and event rider Vicky Smith and Alan Marnie’s plaited horse, Bart, won the Mr and Mrs Michael Rider-sponsored working show horses with Vicky in the saddle.
Bart is a famed show horse; he’s the reigning RIHS reserve supreme coloured and has won the plaited horse of the year final at HOYS three times, but is a relatively new face to the worker scene.
Vicky was in tears after the win with her ‘horse of a lifetime’ as earlier in the week news broke that her good friend Alec Heyworth of Chatham Horseboxes had passed away.
“Alec was meant to come down with us to the show,” said Vicky. “This win was for him.”
Vicky and Bart were third to jump round the Lisa Kelly-designed track in the Castle Arena.
“He’s been second here four times on the flat,” added Vicky, who travelled down from Cheshire to compete at Windsor. “This is his first season as a worker, and his third show of the year.
“I event and jump a lot so I was more relaxed than I thought I’d be. The course was nice as there’s plenty of room, but there was enough for him to look at. I was third to jump so I made the decision to not watch anyone before me. I walked the course and stuck to my plan. When I was going in, fellow competitor Allan Birch told me to watch the double as it was a bit short for a bigger horse, so that was helpful.”
This was Vicky’s first time jumping at Royal Windsor.
“I was walking the course thinking ‘how lucky am I to be here this week’,” she continued. “Bart has seen so many arenas that he just went in and said ‘I’ve got this, Mum’.”
Vicky is staying with showjumper and friend Jay Halim during the week, and said: “I think the show jumper vibes helped me today.”
Second in the Royal Windsor working show horse class was Emily Proud aboard her own six-year-old grey gelding HSF Lobo Royale.
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