‘You could never expect this from such a young horse’: Second blue sash of the show for Team Homer with five-year-old mare

  • In the intermediate championship at the 2021 Royal International Horse Show, horses on opposite ends of the experience scale took champion and reserve, with a five-year-old mare getting the nod over a 14-year-old gelding.

    The three classes — small and large show riding type, and show hunter type — were judged in the Horseware Ireland Ring 2 and the quality was evident throughout the sections.

    Alice Homer won her second accolade of the championship show aboard her family’s Sylvano mare Ballinclare (Annie). The show riding type — who was third as a small hack earlier in the day — belied her lack of experience to secure the small class on route to the section title, pipping animals over half her age to the top spot.

    Just a year ago, Annie was crowned overall novice supreme at the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) summer championships and, like many former winners of this prestigious honour, the little bay show-stopper has gone on to become one of the circuit’s top open campaigners.

    “You can never expect such a young horse to come out and be so successful straight away in open ranks,” said Alice. “Her way of going is excellent for her age.”

    Annie is out of a pure-bred Thoroughbred mare and Alice says the fine pedigree is evident in Annie’s temperament:

    “She has her little quirks,” said Alice, who has qualified Annie for Horse of the Year Show, winning two qualifiers from two starts. “But any good show horse has them and it makes them much better for this job.”

    The Homer’s part own Annie with her Ireland-based breeder, Jane Bradbury.

    “Jane was planning to come to the RIHS but she couldn’t make it due to the current situation,” Alice added. “We used to go and see Annie over there when she was a foal. I was ticking down the minutes until I could have her in a stable at home.”

    Reserve was the winning show hunter type, Sarah Chandler’s Jokey Pokey 14-year-old The Politician piloted by Ellis Tavaner-Burns.

    Chris Yates and Simon Somers judged all three intermediate classes:

    “Our champion was only a five-year-old but she held herself, went beautifully and was quality; she was a worthy champion,” said Simon.

    “Our reserve was true to type; he couldn’t have been anything else but a show hunter,” Chris added.

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