Find out which three combinations jumped clear in the NAF Five Star Working Hunter classes, and what secured the championship title for the eventual victor...
The country’s best working hunter riders took to the stunning Castle Arena at the 2021 Royal Windsor Horse Show for the ultimate rustic fence showdown to compete for the NAF Five Star Working Hunter Championship.
Northerner Kelly Ward made sure her long journey from Cheshire was well worth the effort as she jumped the only clear round in the lightweight working hunter class before galloping to the section title on Cheryl Farrow’s impressive Alda Cruise nine-year-old Bloomfield Incognito (Cruz).
This year, riders were given the chance to jump a 12-fence track in front of the grandstand crowd and despite Covid restrictions being in place, the main ring provided an electric atmosphere, which required horses and riders to be focused throughout.
The up-to-height fences included a sizeable wooden bridge and several jumps had been dressed with overhanging branches.
“It was a good course, with interesting aspects which asked some questions,” said Kelly. “Cruz loved it; the bigger the fences and the more there is to look at the better he jumps.”
Kelly and Cruz jumped the only clean round out of 17 lightweight entries. In the championship, their blistering gallop secured them the tri-colour and the result was met with huge applause from the spectators.
Next, the pair are heading to the Royal International (RIHS) in July, after qualifying at Cheshire Premier earlier in the season.
“This is his second season (in workers) but first as an open; it’s also his first Windsor appearance,” said Kelly, who was also competing on royal turf for the very first time. “We’re northerners so it’s a long way for us.”
Section reserve went to the youngest rider in the class, 19-year-old Alice Homer aboard her mother Loraine Homer’s winning heavyweight, eight-year-old Little Joe, who scored only one of two clears in a heavyweight field of 13, which included the 2019 champions, Carlingfords King and Justine Armstrong-Small.
Making up the championship was the second placed lightweight, 11-year-old Ricardo Z gelding Westwicks Mackenzie (Tara Glen) and heavyweight runner up, eight-year-old Jack Of Diamonds gelding Renaissance Man (Laura Juniper).
The following places were also achieved:
3rd Ballymurphy Alice (Jill Wormall)
4th Jagermeister Van T Moleke (Judy Blackmore)
5th The Troika (Jason Newbold)
6th Errig Graf (Lily Ennis)
3rd Ballypatrick Liberty (Will Morton)
4th I’m A Diamond (Katy Green)
5th Carlingfords King (Justine Armstrong-Small)
6th DSL Jackaroo (Edmond Mahony)
Kicking off day on in the Castle Arena was the working show horse class and it was a win for Jessica Taylor riding her own Randal, a 17-year-old grey gelding by Randi Ellite out of Veekee.
Keep up to date with all the news from Royal Windsor Horse Show here on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show and don’t miss our full indepth reports in next Thursday’s magazine. Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find out more about getting the magazine delivered to your door every week
Read more reports from Royal Windsor…
Check out the full list of 2021 Royal Windsor Horse Show showing judges
“We are determined to produce one of our best events for the horse world to enjoy”