‘He made our wildest dreams come true’: Farewell to pioneering maxi cob and ultimate supreme specialist Hallmark IX

  • The legendary show cob Hallmark IX (Brandy) has been put down aged 17 after a short illness.

    The prolific gelding enjoyed illustrious careers as both a lightweight cob and a maxi cob, standing supreme at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as the latter type in 2013 with Simon Reynolds.

    Brandy, by Welcome Flagmount out of Rebel Rose, was found in Ireland by Rosemary Hetherington as a four-year-old. He was produced and ridden by Jack Cochrane, who piloted him to win the lightweight cob of the year title at HOYS in both 2009 and 2010, also standing champion after his second victory. He was also a Royal International winner as a working cob.

    Following his HOYS championship, Brandy was measured out of class and was sold to Tom and Heather Clay and produced by Simon and Natalie Reynolds. 

    “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time when Brandy came for sale,” said Heather. “He was a horse who made our wildest dreams come true. I rode him myself on a few occasions with the proudest moment winning a huge class of amateur cobs at Windsor and riding him in the main ring.”

    While partnered with Simon, Brandy topped the maxi cob class at HOYS four years running from 2011 to 2014, scooping the supreme after their third win.

    “When he moved up into the maxi cob category, he had a point to prove,” said Simon. “He was only just over height by an inch and was always one of the smallest in the maxi class, although his enormous presence, performance, and movement more than made up for it.”

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    Simon and Brandy’s tally also included two £1,500 Great Yorkshire supremes, two British Show Horse Association (BSHA) supremes and two North of England £1,000 cob supremes. 

    Brandy bowed out from open classes in 2015, contending amateur ranks with Heather the following year. He was retired from the show ring in 2016.

    “He was best known for being a supreme specialist,” said Simon. “There are good horses, and then there are exceptional horses and I was so lucky to have Brandy in my life. We were a partnership, and he wanted to win as much as I did. He wasn’t just special for hitting the headlines, most of all he was my pal. If I was to sum him up, I would say he was as near to perfection as you could wish for in a show horse.”

    • Today’s Horse & Hound magazine includes a special tribute to Hallmark IX, as part of our legends of the sport series, p68-71

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