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‘We had a fantastic time’: final farewell to 18hh showing star

The successful ladies’ hunter Star Parade has been put down at the grand age of 30.

The 18hh gelding, who had “manners to burn”, took many county wins, as well as qualifying for both Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and the Royal International.

Owned by Kenny Moore and the late Hilary Green, he was competed under side saddle by Louise Graham throughout the 2000s.

“I first discovered him when Hilary was showing him in a hunter class at our local agricultural show, where I was judging,” Louise said.

“Alan Edmonds was judging the hunters and I was judging the riding horses. He had Star Parade (Arry) top and I had another horse and we needed to pick our champion, so Alan suggested we ride each other’s choices.

“I stood at the side of him and said ‘how will I get up there?’ Hilary was smaller than I am, and I’m 5’5”, and I thought ‘how ridiculous this woman has such an enormous horse when she’s so tiny’.

“They said ‘we’ll get you up madam’ and I popped up; within 30 seconds, I was gliding round the ring and I thought ‘this could be a side-saddle horse’, he was so comfortable, well schooled and lovely.

“The next opportunity I had, when I saw them a few months later at another show, I asked them if I could ride him side saddle said they said yes. We had a fantastic time.”

The combination got together in 2001, although missed much of that season because of foot and mouth, but took their first big win at Staffordshire County Show the next year. They were runners-up in the Sir Lancelot concours at the national side saddle show and also won twice at Ponies UK.

The Irish-bred gelding, by I Am A Star, finished fifth at the Royal International and took many county wins including Derby and Leicestershire.

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“He shone pretty much anywhere as long as he couldn’t see a motorway, he used to get transfixed, which was most strange,” Louise said. “One of his favourites was at Ponies UK in Peterborough; with the lights on and the audience he’d really rise to the occasion and used to look amazing.”

After his retirement from high-level showing, Arry dabbled in some veterans’ classes with his co-owner Kenny, with whom he spent his final years.

He also played a central role at Hilary’s funeral in 2015, where he and his companion Eros, who Hilary also owned, were led by Kenny during the procession.

“He was an all-round horse and he had a bash at eventing and showjumping, though he just wasn’t athletic enough to go to the higher levels. He did do lightweights, but wasn’t really right for it, so the ladies’ job was absolutely his thing. It was opportune that I fell in love with him,” Louise said.

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