‘Today she was exceptional’: mare lifts HOYS ladies’ sash at final show before retirement

  • Mexican Summer, beautifully ridden by owner Georgina Wilkes, provided a fairytale result in the first showing class, the Mears Flooring HOYS ladies’ show horse final, in the Andrews Bowen international arena this morning at the 2022 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). 

    The ever-mannerly 14-year-old, appearing at her last show before retiring to the maternity wing, glided round as if on oiled wheels, ears pricked throughout, to head the 17-strong HOYS ladies’ show horse class under judges Michaela Bowling (ride) and Kathy Bowdler (conformation).

    “She never put a foot out of place,” said Michaela, who awarded the mare her highest ride mark. “She went mega.”

    Kathy agreed. “She caught our eye from the moment she came into the ring,” she said. “She just owned it throughout.”

    The top two horses were close, though, and second spot went to one of the few cobs forward, Guy Mears’ handsome grey, Brookdale Limited Edition, who looked to give producer/jockey Danielle Heath a super-comfy ride.

    “There was very little to choose between them,” agreed Michaela and Kathy. “It could have gone either way.”

    Third place went to another side saddle “regular,” Lucinda Martin, this time with Sam Powell’s upstanding seven-year-old Bloomfield Greystones.

    “Mexi,” a daughter of the prolific sire Ramexico, has been with the Wilkes family throughout, but until today, the top spot in this class had eluded her — her best previous result was second in 2018.

    She also contests intermediates and small hunters successfully, and is due to appear in both these guises later in the week — Georgina will take the hunter ride and Sophie Beaumont contests the intermediates.

    “She’s always easy, but today she was exceptional,” said a beaming Georgina, for whom it was a first HOYS win. “She just had that bit of extra pizazz. She’s so laid-back too — she hadn’t had a side saddle on for two months before today, but she just had 10 minutes’ warm-up and in we went.”

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