Skewbald mare makes Hickstead history by taking second RIHS championship

  • Just 48 hours after she was crowned overall supreme ridden coloured champion at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), Michael Cook and Tony Reynolds’ home-bred mare KBF Crescendo (Daphne) lifted the RIHS ladies’ hunter championship, becoming the first coloured horse to secure both accolades in the same week.

    Daphne was partnered, as usual, by her producer Jayne Ross, who was visibly shocked to take the class with the Free Spirit nine-year-old who she has ridden for multiple seasons.

    “It can be hard for a coloured horse to compete in hunter classes, as they’re just a bit different,” explained Jayne, who has strong form in the RIHS ladies’ hunter championship, having taken the title on numerous occasions. “But to Daphne’s credit, she is a special mare and she gives a fabulous ride.”

    Daphne has only been shown in a side-saddle four times before she took to Ring Five at Hickstead.

    “She’s the most loving, genuine horse; the judge said she gave her the most perfect ride,” said Jayne, who had landed reserve overall in the supreme hunter championship earlier in the day with Rose Bailey’s winning heavyweight Twinshock Warrior.

    Second and third place in the ladies’ class went to established side-saddle rides; Seabourne Silent Valley, owned and ridden by Francoise Babington stood ahead of Alice Homer and Liz Prowtings’ Bloomfield Eloquence, last year’s class victor and a winner in the middleweight hunter class earlier in the day with Lorraine Homer.

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