Showing highlights: ‘The best one we’ve ever had’ *H&H Plus*

  • Team Walker present their next string of top-class horses, while two young sisters reign

    The Lands Freestep Novice Show Horse Championship, Dallas Burston Polo Club, Warks

    Show horse supremo Robert Walker fielded both supreme placings with Jill Day’s two promising young horses.

    His showstopper was the four-year-old middleweight Greenhall Treasure Island (Larry). Bred by Derrie Rothman and by Island Commander, the lovely bay gelding was shown by Dessie Gibson as a two-year-old and his tally that year included the young horse supreme at Royal Dublin.

    “He has so much limb and movement but the best thing about him is his brain,” said Robert, who rode Larry to win the novice championship at UK Nationals the week previous. “My wife, Sarah, thinks he could be the best one we’ve ever had.’

    Taking reserve for the team was lightweight contender MHS Morning Master. “TJ” is another with a stellar in-hand CV; in 2018 he won and was reserve in the Cuddy in-hand supreme final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). TJ also won the three-year-old championship at Dublin just a few months before his victory at the NEC.

    Working hunters were also given the opportunity to shine. Section champion was Mark Whitney and Cassie Cross’ Thanks A Billion who was piloted by Helen Newbold.

    The seven-year-old is by the Irish Draught stallion Killea Hill View and out of a Carrick Diamond Lad mare. He was bought last summer as a hunter.

    “He was actually hogged back then and did a full season with the Grafton,” explained Helen. “He stayed with us after the season finished to further his education. We never expected him to come on as well as he has. He is incredibly genuine and wants to jump whatever is put in front of him.”

    Alice Homer took reserve with Ali Butler’s pre-novice winner Wil Celtic Gumdrop.

    Alice was also on Robert’s tail in both the lightweight and hunter championship with Angie Coggins’ impressive grey Bloomfield Eloquence.

    There was no stopping Alice as she also won the novice hacks with Loraine Homer’s Ballinclare and landed the young riders show horses on Kay Campbell’s Casino III.

    Jayne Ross’ lorry also landed the novice riding horse title with Jill Marsden’s Cashmere Aventus and the amateur show horses with Lydia and Imogen Trice’s Ballinasmeeda (Heidi).

    Five-year-old Heidi is by Silvano out of thoroughbred mare and was bred in Wicklow by Jane Bradbury.

    “Jayne Ross spotted her as a youngster and thought a lot of her,” explained jockey Lydia, for whom this was a debut in horse classes. “We bought her before lockdown and managed to get her over just before transport from Ireland was stopped. We have done a few training shows together and I will share the ride with Imogen, who will compete her as a small riding horse.”

    Heidi – who is a full sister to novice hack victor Ballinclare – will be heading to the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) summer championships as an intermediate show riding type.

    “She was not affected by anything today and she is the most lovely ride for such a young horse,” added Lydia.

    In amateur hunter ranks, Becky Patterson was top with her own big winner, Hart Beat.

    BSPS Area 6 M&M show, Onley Grounds EC, Warks

    An 11-year-old stallion impressed the judges to win another novice accolade. Producer Sharn Linney watched 13-year-old Lily Brennan pilot the Welsh section A Thistledown El Toro to stand section champion after winning a competitive class. El Toro did a handful of novices last term, scooping a mammoth class and the championship at Royal Cheshire County and also winning at Staffordshire County and the BSPS summer championships.

    “Our plan was to try to get him out to the big shows but obviously circumstances have changed,” said Sharn. “Fingers crossed next year is his year!”

    It was a great day for Sharn, who also led Thistledown Van-der-Vaart (Penny Richardson) to claim the open mini honours. Penny’s sister, Lilly, was victorious in the first ridden on her Shetland gelding Briar Snowman.

    In the novice mini section, Team Holder scored with Jane Lindsay’s chestnut Welsh section A Yerbeston Copper, ridden by her son Rocco and led out by Emma Holder. The 10-year-old Copper was introduced to the show ring as a five-year-old but has been enjoyed as a play pony since.

    “He came to us during lockdown for some schooling,” explained producer Gayle Holder. “When he came off the lorry we were all wowed. He’s a really old-fashioned, straight-moving Welsh pony which is really refreshing.”

    Katy Marriott-Payne produced a host of red rosette winners, including the open champion, Julie Joiners and Les Rayfield’s home-bred Welsh section D Harradene Rachel who took the title over Sarah Pinfield and her Dales Nipna Jackmani.

    Now seven, Rachel was shown in-hand prior to meeting Katy as a six-year-old. She was run as a novice last year and won the intermediate final at the National Pony Society (NPS) summer championships.

    “She’s taken a while to come but I really rate her,” said Katy of the mare who kicked off her open career winning her first Olympia semi-final championship back in March. “She’s very typey; she loves to put on a show.”

    The Welsh section D mare Rhencullen Bubette – making a show ring return after a three-year hiatus – stood junior champion with Phoebe Prater. Bubette did one season under saddle before returning to her breeder, Carol Prater, to have a foal.

    “Pheobe and I have now persuaded Carol to let us have her back for next year,” said Katy. “I absolutely love her.”

    Katy also rode the Welsh section C Bryncarrig The Bandit to stand novice reserve, while Lexie Laurens jumped on to stand second and reserve behind Bubette in the junior reckoning.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 3 September 2020