Supercob and home-bred mare lead coloured field as 2023 Royal International gets underway

  • After a mammoth day of judging in the Roger Stack Arena on day one of the 2023 Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), only one combination could be pulled forward to take the overall RIHS supreme skewbald and piebald ridden championship title as well as the coveted Indian Trail trophy.

    Stars of the show were last year’s reserve supreme champions, Janay Atherden and her own and her mother Lisha Leeman’s supercob Red Rock III, who kept their cool to win their class, the horse championship and the overall title. Janay and home-produced 11-year-old Red, reserve coloured champions at last year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) final, have been the pair to beat this year; in May they made history by becoming dual coloured and cob champions at Royal Windsor, and they’re already booked in to return to the NEC in a few months in both cob and coloured ranks.

    Reserve for the supreme title was Stephanie Fitt’s home-bred mare Castra ridden by Rhianon Loader. The duo had stood at the top of an ultra-competitive pony championship, ahead of the reserves, Pippa Kirby and her home-bred traditional stallion Monivea Black Magic.

    Stephanie Fitt’s home-bred mare Castra ridden by Rhianon Loader is overall reserve supreme.

    Castra, a Strinesdale Matador seven-year-old who is produced by Elliee Stunt, was a runner up at HOYS last term in her debut season under-saddle. She is certainly bred for Hickstead glory, being out of former RIHS supreme horse winner Fairfax C. She will feature at this year’s RIHS again later in the week as she’s also booked in to contest the part-bred final.

    Reserve for the horse championship was Jayne Ross in the saddle of the second placed plaited horse, KBF Lucia, who is by Free Spirit, the same sire as last year’s RIHS supreme skewbald and piebald ridden champion KBF Crescendo.

    Loren Gaskin and Supernova landed the junior championship, ahead of Daisy Darby riding Tara Redfern’s Bang On Trend.

    Top honours in the amateur championship fell to Amelia Lockhart riding Martina Lawrence’s Cherokee IX, with Penny Williamson and her own Ottawa clinching reserve.

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