‘I wasn’t even meant to ride him’ — Sarah Walker deputises for husband Robert to add hack title to team’s record tally *H&H Plus*

  • The hack classes provide some of the strongest competition. Find out how the championship went down and who else placed in the classes

    While husband Robert was in another ring, Sarah Walker came to the fore to pilot Miranda Wallace’s large hack Forgelands Hyde Park to win his class and stand overall champion in a stunning field of horses.

    Sarah, who had enjoyed wins with both cobs and hunters earlier in the day, was certainly not expecting to take the 10-year-old Kilvington Scoundrel gelding into the ring, let alone into the Castle Arena championship in front of a busy afternoon crowd.

    “I wasn’t meant to be riding him today,” said Sarah. “Robert couldn’t get out of the novice hunter ring so I had to step in. I’ve sat on him a few times, though Robert usually rides and does everything with him at home. I’ve never ridden him in the ring so it was a bit nerve racking.

    “In the championship he felt beautiful and he was completely relaxed throughout,” added Sarah, who admitted the pressure was on, as her ride is already a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Royal International (RIHS) champion with his former producer Jayne Ross.

    The large hack class was arguably the most star-studded of the day. Despite only three horses being presented for judging, the top three were Sarah and Hyde Park, former HOYS intermediate champion Holmestone Tailor Made (Vicky Smith) and RIHS, HOYS and former Windsor champion Elusive (Jo Bates).

    A Windsor morning for both Robert and Sarah starts before sunrise:

    “Its a long, tiring show; we usually get up at about 3.30am,” added Sarah. “But we love it. Today has been stressful and the anxiety levels have been through the roof but I’m delighted.”

    When asked if she will be opening the Champagne back at the lorry, Sarah replied:

    “To be honest I just want a water and then I want to go to bed!”

    Section reserve was Jordan Cook riding Cindy Dilasser’s winning small, the 10-year-old Stanley Grange Regal Heights mare Stanley Grange Lady Elenor. The winning amateur combination was Katy Saggers with her own Whalton Razzle Dazzle, while topping the novice field was Amanda Picillo piloting Carol Taylor’s home-bred five-year-old Dare To Dream.

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    Read more reports from Royal Windsor…