Showing rider gets engaged in the ring at Royal International Horse Show

  • Home-producer Katey Saggers got the shock of her life when her boyfriend got down on one knee in the ring at the 2021 Royal International Horse Show.

    After standing eighth place in the open small hacks aboard her mare Whalton Razzle Dazzle, Katey was called back into the middle of the ring by the judges, and her man, Alex Meeks, produced a ring and asked for her hand.

    This was the first time any such thing has happened in the show ring at Hickstead.

    “After my lap of honour the steward told me that the judges wanted to have a word with me,” said Cornwall-based Katey. “I wondered what I’d done! Then, the commentator announced that there was a gentleman who wanted to have a word with me and Alex came out from the pavilion into the middle of the ring.”

    Alex later revealed that he had originally intended to propose to Katey in the amateur hack class on Sunday, but changed his plans after he saw the weather forecast.

    “In hindsight, I did think there were a few strange things going on,” added Katey. “Alex looked very smart when he was walking down to the ring, and Mum was carrying a handbag, which she never does.

    “The stewards were very excited about it all.

    “Dazzle was such a good girl; she stood like a rock while I dropped my reins and my hat flew off. My horse means the world to me so Alex couldn’t have picked a more perfect way to propose.”

    Katey and Dazzle enjoyed third place in the amateur hacks on Sunday. This season they also picked up a win at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

    “Hickstead is a special show for us as Mum won here when she was a junior showjumper,” said Katey. “Alex is learning the horse job, too. This week he learnt what a Shetland was, so he’s getting there.

    “Hickstead were amazing. We went to the hospitality suite in the afternoon for some champagne and everyone kept saying ‘congratulations’ as we were walking around the showground.”

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