Finn McCool claimed the Horse Deals supreme horse championship on the closing evening of the Horse of the Year Show. Foot perfect all the way through for Guy Landau, John Dunlop’s hunter champion gave a blistering gallop, which impressed the capacity audience, and judges, racehorse trainer Paul Nicholls, and Jim McTiffin. “Over the years, I’ve been very privileged to ride some fantastic horses, but this one ranks as one of the greatest of all time,” said Guy, who hunts Finn McCool with the South and West Wilts.
After taking the coloured championship with Red Andes, Jayne Webber clinched her second title of the week, when Carol Bardo’s The Philanderer stood riding horse champion. After winning his large division, the elegant grey seven-year-old retained his sparkle to take the title. “He gave me the best ride ever” said Jayne. Successfully shown in hand, The Philanderer, who stood reserve here last year, franked his early 2008 winning form, by taking the supreme ridden horse championship at Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show. Reserve champion was HM The Queen’s Windsor champion Petition, who finished second to The Philanderer in his class. Home bred by Petoski out of Reverie, the quality six-year-old is fulfilling all his early promise. “He’s a real gem of a horse who always gives 100%,” said his rider, and producer Katie Jerram.
Folllowing on from winning their intermediate section, Victoria White and Kelsterton Merlin clinched the Underwood working hunter pony of the year title. In her third season with the Goes Without Saying 11-year-old, Victoria gained two early wins at Wincanton and South of England before concentrating on other ponies for the remainder of this season. “A lovely pony, who jumped a super round, and really let down and galloped,” said judge Mary Allison.
Harness champion of the year, was the Hackney stallion Royal Sunshine. The Benthofs Amir sired 10-year-old helped his driver, sixteen-year-old Lucy Smith become the youngest ever whip to win at Horse of the Year Show.
Don’t miss H&H’s special report from HOYS, on sale Thursday 16 October
Results Sunday 12 October
The Gridley small riding horse (J Bryer & G McGowan) – 1, S Church’s The Queen of Hearts; 2, S Ambler’s Intrepid II; 3, M Boundy’s Silken Story. Large riding horse – 1 & ch, C Bardo’s The Philanderer; 2 & res, HM The Queen’s Petition; 3, A Sherriff’s Broadstone DolceVita.
Underwood WHP (V Appell & M Allison) 133cm – 1, Z Woolley’s Vale Park Holiday; 2, A Bebbington’s Rushmoor Sunrise; 3, C Bower’s Zelston Bellquest. 143cm – 1, M Sargent’s Twilight Taragon; 2, S Taylor’s Oscar Charles; 3, D Wittrick’s Folly II. 153cm – 1, A Brewster’s Freckleton Maximus; 2, W Shaw’s Carnival Chaos; 3, D Gardham’s Belle Vue Royal Prince. 158cm – 1 & ch, V & B White’s Kelsterton Merlin; 2 & res, C Richardson’s Lough Crew; 3, L Watson’s Meath Busy Body.
Harness champion of the Year (R Robertson, J MacInnes & J Clixby) – 1, Smith Bros Royal Sunshine; 2, J Vyse’s Glenshane Playboy; 3, Osborne Refrigerators’ Hamewith Lochnager.