Four amateur riders claimed hunter championship titles at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) today (31 July), with Hannah Binks taking the supreme amateur hunter title on her small winner Wycliffe.
“I work for my family’s property business, converting mills into apartments,” said Hannah. “Myself, my two sisters and our father head the company and we have a great team behind us. Somehow we squeeze in riding around that.”
Hannah has had the 10-year-old Wycliffe for four years.
“He’s such a princess and he had his dancing shoes on today,” added Hannah. “He’s really quiet, poohs in a pile in the corner and is generally a gentle person to have around.”
Hannah to talks to H&H’s showing editor in the video below:
‘The number of horses I have might grow’
Mother-of-two Sara Neachell and her chestnut Royal Oak topped the middleweight amateurs and went on to stand reserve supreme.
“He’s only been shown lightly because I’ve been saving him for this class after finishing third at Royal Windsor,” said Sara, who funds her showing by working in the family business selling Ifor Williams trailers.
“It’s quite flexible and I only have Royal Oak, who is a nice easy horse. It makes it possible to ride and keep up with my two children,” said Sara, who has two daughters, five-year-old Olivia and Daisy, two.
“The girls are starting to become interested in riding now, though, so the number of horses and ponies I have might grow.”
Becky Patterson and Hartbeat finished reserve small hunter champions, while Angela Hunt on Benjamin Bailey were named reserve middleweights.
‘He’s like a pet Labrador’
Business development consultant John Fryer riding Ducal Royal Emblem clinched the heavyweight title ahead of Hayley Curtis on Lord John.
The winning equine is stabled with Sophie Buckley, who topped the lightweight class on The Prof, at Culworth Grounds Farm in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
“I’m either riding very early or very late, but when I’m away working I know I don’t have to worry,” said John, who bought the 17.2hh liver chestnut from Hilary Green and Ken Moore two-and-a-half years ago. “We have a special bond — I know what the horse is thinking usually before he does and vice versa. He’s like a pet Labrador.”
Kenus Carrera finished reserve lightweight with Christian Kwek in the saddle.
Don’t miss the full RIHS report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (6 August).