Former HOYS winner in the spotlight on ITV talent show

  • A former Horse of the Year Show winner has sung her way through to the next round of The Voice.

    Sophie Rohan (top, left) and Emily Burnett wowed viewers with their rendition of Delibes’ Flower Duet.

    The pair, operatic duo Belle Voci, were chosen by Jennifer Hudson, who was the only judge to turn her chair round during their duet.

    Sophie, 26, enjoyed success in the show ring as a child — winning the 1998 mini show pony of the year title at Horse of the Year Show aboard Colne Heiress. She also took the 2004 148cm riding pony title with the star mare Jackets Maybee.

    “The amazing thing about the showing world is you make so many friends,” Sophie told H&H. “It is so like the performing industry.”

    Belle Voci were formed when Emily and Sophie met through working at a pub four years ago.

    Dressage and showjumping fans may also recognise them for their performances at the 2016 Liverpool International and Bolesworth International Horse Shows.

    Sophie added that working with Jennifer is “every bit as amazing as you would think”.

    “We filmed the first show in October and we weren’t allowed to tell anyone other than very close family or employers,” she said.

    “It was hard keeping it quiet!”

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    Jennifer said the other judges were “crazy not to turn around for them”.

    “This is what a show called The Voice is supposed to be about,” she said.

    “I don’t care what genre it is, talent is talent.”

    Jennifer rose to fame through the 2006 hit film Dreamgirls, where her performance won her an Oscar for best supporting actress.

    Sophie is not the only rider to have made a strong start on the show.

    Eliza Gutteridge, who was chosen to join Tom Jones’ team following her performance of Birdy’s Wild Horses, was an active member of the Cumberland Farmers Hunt South branch of the Pony Club until recently.

    The Voice is next on ITV at 8pm on 17 February.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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