‘The perfect old man’s horse!’ Derby winner takes HOYS speed spectacular

  • Shane Breen joked that Scarteen is “the perfect old man’s horse”, after the pair put in a blistering round to take the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) speed horse of the year title.

    In a thriller of a competition, Shane and the 10-year-old gelding, who he owns with Marianne Schindele, held their lead from ninth draw in the 31-starter class, seeing off the challenges of speed demons such as Mark Edwards (Royale Tale), who was fast but not clear, and the mighty effort by Jodie Hall McAteer (Catoki), who finished a fraction of a second behind.

    Shane bred Scarteen and five years ago sold half of him to Marianne, who produced him to 1.50m level. Then a few months ago, he bought him back, winning the derby at La Baule a few weeks later.

    “He’s been wonderful,” said Shane. “He’s super consistent and really careful. He can jump grands prix, he’s incredible for these speed classes as he’s so naturally quick. I haven’t had a huge number of wins with him as there’s always someone there to beat you, and it’s always lovely to win here, it’s such a special show and a great crowd. It’s a pleasure to ride in front of such an appreciative audience.”

    Shane said he did not know whether he had done enough to take the HOYS win, with the quality of the riders behind him, but Scarteen’s speed, control and rideability were enough to secure the HOYS win. The stunning, versatile little grey looks likely to succeed in whatever he turns his hoof to; the speed is effortless, the scope doubtless and the enjoyment for his job clear at all times.

    “He is really special,” Shane said. “I don’t think a horse has to be just for one specific class, they should be versatile, once they know what’s expected and you’re training and building a rapport and friendship, and know their limitations.

    “Scarteen is super-brave, in the derbies, and really scopey for grands prix, and as we’ve seen, he’s fast, so he’s perfect.”

    Shane said the Cardento gelding does not need to do too much in the warm-up, nor at home; he does plenty of polework and goes in the field every day, and does “a lot of slow, easy work”, but he “gets himself quite fit”.

    “From a preparation point of view, he’s very easy,” said Shane, adding that Scarteen will “ignite” to do his job but then stand quite happily in a prizegiving, for example.

    “He’s perfect,” he said. “You don’t have to stress about riding him before a show and there’s no real riding to him, it’s just a bit of a steering job. He’s the perfect old man’s horse; I’m getting old and he’s perfect!”

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