What is a hack and what are the judges looking for? In the following video, retiring RIHS ride judge Ann Hooley answers these key questions, and reveals why Jordan Cook’s Fleetwater Xecutive claimed the Alexanders Horseboxes Supreme Hack Championship title at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) this afternoon (1 August).
Rider Jordan Cook revealed that the 16-year-old Fleetwater Xecutive, by Pascal, was a handful as a youngster. He tells us more about the horse in the following video:
Ann, what gave Fleetwater Xecutive the edge?
“He was poetry in motion; the perfect hack we were looking for with beautiful manners, movement and lovely self carriage. We were totally in love with him; the quality of the horse and his manners were fantastic.”
Ann judged alongside Paul Brightwell (conformation).
Ann, what do you look for in a hack?
“I’m looking for manners to burn and a horse who is sheer joy to ride.”
And what is a hack’s job outside of the show ring?
“To go for a hack and be a horse you can just sit on and let him take you in a lovely rhythm. A hack is a horse you get a lot of pleasure from and is never uncomfortable.”
This is Ann’s final hurrah before retiring from ride judge duties. How does it feel to sign off at RIHS?
“To have this quality of horses to ride is a memory that I will never forget. It’s been an absolute pleasure.”
Jordan, why do you think Fleetwater Xecutive is such a good example of a hack?
“He’s very fluent and elegant, with great movement, manners to burn and so much presence.”
And how long have you had him?
“Since he was a four-year-old. He was Search For A Star supreme at Horse of the Year Show in 2007.”
What’s he like in his character?
“When he was younger he was difficult because he can be cheeky and he had a high spirit. Now we’ve got a bond, though, and he trusts me to ride him and just gets on with his job.”
Sarah Carey and Pearly King stood reserve supremes after topping the large hacks championship.
Don’t miss the full RIHS report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (6 August).