Home-produced and amateur fields are among the strongest, as a coloured horse secures one of the show’s tantalising prize pots at North of England Summer show
LANCASHIRE-BASED mortgage advisor Amy Riley hit the jackpot at her first attempt when landing the £1,000 Colosso Family amateur supreme show horse title ahead of a super-strong field of 18 at North of England Summer show at Arena UK.
Her partner, the 18hh coloured gelding Optimus Prime (Binky), caught the eye from the off, striding into the ring with a purpose which he maintained throughout. Despite the high standards across the class, judges Cathy Church and Antony Gribbin were unanimous in their choice of winner.
“This horse walked out beautifully, did a lovely, precise show and had super, clean limbs,” said Cathy.
As this was Amy’s supreme debut, she had little idea what to expect.
“I almost didn’t go in at all,” she said. “I thought we’d look really out of place against the lovely hacks, riding horses and so on, but then I decided I would have a go after all. I had planned a slightly longer show, but the judges asked for a short, sharp one – so that’s what I did.”
Nine-year-old Binky, by Keady Star, was bred by Sally Carpenter and has been with Amy for four years. She keeps him at Warren Farm, Formby, where he also competes in dressage with Rebecca Greenwood.
“He’s been very lightly shown, as he has taken a while to stop growing and mature,” added Amy. “But he was champion coloured at North of England Spring and is through to Hickstead in coloureds and amateur hunters. He’s a fabulous laid-back character but knows to show off when he gets into the ring.”
The highest-placed home-produced prize of £300 – donated again by Irene Susca – went to Sara Neachell and her lightly shown middleweight hunter Chasing Rainbows (Charlie), champion amateur at Cheshire Premier, already through to the Royal International (RIHS) 2021 in weights and amateur classes and reserve champion in the RIHS 2022 weights here.
“I just love riding him – he always gives his all,” said Sara, who works full-time in her family’s trailer sales business.
The family had more to celebrate when Sara’s daughter Daisy, eight, won her Pretty Polly lead-rein the following day with the aptly named Better B Lucky.
Amy Riley’s lucrative weekend was further enriched when Binky was third in the Vanguard Property Holdings coloured supreme the following day.
This title went to Vicky Hesford with Tracey Veale’s super-smart cob Red Rock, continuing their winning run which also includes Bath and West and Derbyshire Festival. Although Vicky has won the native supreme here a few times, she is a self-confessed “coloured newbie”.
This victory made up for an unfortunate start to the weekend when after numerous attempts to start the lorry – including summoning a breakdown mechanic – it transpired that Vicky’s partner Andrew Davies had been using the wrong key.
“My comment was unrepeatable,” laughed Vicky.
However, she was soon celebrating as her charge, Charlotte Alford’s lovely cob Silver Woods, was reserve in the amateur supreme on day one.
“Thankfully my mood was greatly improved by these two lovely horses!”
Third win of the week
ONE of the most hotly contested supremes of the weekend was the Plevin Family ridden native final, in which 23 went to post. Here, the title went to a “gobsmacked” Chloe Chubb with the smart Welsh B stallion Moelview Prince Charlie.
The six-year-old, owned by the Moelview stud and produced by Jo Burchell, surpassed all expectations in his four-year-old year, qualifying for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) – where he was fourth – and taking both Picton and four-year-old titles at the National Pony Society championships.
“He stayed at stud in Wales last year and his first show back was BSPS [British Show Pony Society] Area 14, where he won the RIHS qualifier and was champion,” said Chloe, who runs her own PR business. “We’ve had a busy week as he won at Lincoln and Hickstead before coming here.”
Amazingly, this was a first £1,000 native supreme for Chloe.
“I think this is possibly the hardest one to win as it is so well supported and the standard is very high,” she added. “I was gobsmacked – chiefly because after a clash of classes, Charlie had no work beforehand. We just chucked his tack on and went in.”
Sadly, a misunderstanding over eligibility marred the 15-strong Gribbin Family pony supreme when the original winner, Daisy Darby, 16, with her new ride, the experienced campaigner Bankswood Savoir Faire, was later disqualified as they had erroneously gained their place on the day solely via the intermediate section.
The £1,000 therefore passed to Team Walker’s charge, the Brookes family’s stunning Merrycorner Mister Bui, beautifully ridden by Zara Brookes, 17, to give her a first North of England supreme. This pair qualified via show hunter pony ranks at last year’s North of England autumn show.
The nine-year-old – second in this supreme in 2019 with Harriet Dennison and a former BSPS supreme of show – was snapped up by Team Walker when he appeared for sale last July.
“We’d got him bought within five minutes,” said Rob Walker.
The new partnership hit the ground running this term, with triumphs including the Cheshire Premier supreme, Area 1A and North of England tricolours and a win at Cheshire County just four days before this show. They also have their RIHS and HOYS show hunter pony tickets, along with an intermediate pass for Hickstead.
Wayne Thorneycroft emerged triumphant in the Mrs Candy show horse finale, another heading his first £1,000 supreme. His striking large riding horse, First Man, was champion at Cheshire Premier and the British Show Horse Association spring show – qualifying for this supreme at the latter.
“I only brought him for this one class, and as he’s never done one before it was amazing to win,” said Wayne, who intends to donate his £1,000 prize to charity.
The in-form Pickles/Ahern team was also on a roll, landing a win in the Bryony Gribbin mini supreme. Arabella Pickles, four, gave a confident display on the charming five-year-old lead-rein show hunter pony contender, Rosedew After Eight.
“It’s been a brilliant week,” said her mother Kirsty. “They were supreme tiny tots at the BSPS Midsummer show, won and qualified for HOYS at Lincoln, and now this.”
“He oozed presence”
FROM a strong field of 26 – the largest of the show – locally based Catherine Hudson emerged triumphant from a late draw in the Donaldson Family Pretty Polly supreme with her much-loved in-form section D gelding Gwynfaes Macsen Wledig (Max) – also third in the Plevin native supreme.
“This pony oozed presence from the moment it walked in,” said Pretty Polly co-judge Malcom Salter, who officiated alongside Lorraine Mallender. “He had that real ‘look at me’ quality, along with beautiful manners. Even after standing in line for ages, he came out and performed superbly. It was very close between the top two, though.”
Lucy Stewart was reserve with her riding horse/intermediate show hunter JST Silvermist (Polly), a seven-year-old novice in her first season under saddle.
“We’ve never even competed in one of these supremes before, so this is a huge shock,” said Lucy, who works full-time but is RIHS bound in three classes.
“It was well worth the 13-hour journey from Caithness to get here – and the £400 will help pay for the fuel!”
Heavy fall for amateur
FRIENDS and connections were shocked when Angela Hunt had a crashing fall during the amateur supreme and remained motionless on the ground before being taken to hospital by ambulance. Happily, she has now been released and is on the mend. Her ride, Aughnacliffe High Peak, suddenly jinked at canter and threw Angela heavily against the ringside fencing.
“We had just changed the rein and, unfortunately, he spotted what he thought was someone cantering towards him,” said Angela, who suffered extensive bruising and a broken rib, but is now recuperating at home.
This exclusive show report is also available to read in 8 July issue of Horse & Hound magazine
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