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Mix up over M&M HOYS qualifiers

The use of the wrong points scoring system spells disappointment for five would-be HOYS M&M competitors

Elation at qualifying for the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has turned todisappointment for five mountain and moorland competitors after their qualifications were declared invalid.

The five riders won their HOYS tickets for their respective breed groups at Wincanton Show, but were told by the championship show’s office that their qualification was not valid because the show had used the wrong scoring system.

In a letter to Horse & Hound magazine, Mark Wein, a director of HOYS organiser Grandstand Media, expressed regret at what had happened.

We are aware of the disappointment it created for those competitors who felt they had qualified for HOYS. However, we are now clear that the classes did not take place under the guidelines and scoring system specified by Horse of the Year Show.

“We have also requested that all entry fees, including the HOYS contribution, are returned to all the competitors who attended and competed in the classes in question at Wincanton.”

The show has agreed to do this, and, to give these competitors the maximum opportunity to qualify for HOYS, Frome Show on 14 September has agreed to restage all five of the qualifying classes with entry restricted to those who competed at Wincanton.

“It has left a bitter taste,” said Maria Large, owner of the New Forest and Connemara qualifier Willoway Minstrel.

I don’t see why we should be penalised for someone else’s error. Alison Gordon, who rides the pony, will probably want to try to qualify because it would give a boost to her mother, who is terminally ill, but otherwise, I’m not sure I’d bother.”

Read more showing news in this week’s Horse & Hound (5 September), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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