Hunter day at Royal Windsor is always special and this year’s classes didn’t disappoint. There aren’t too many chances for promising youngsters to be shown these days, so the talent-spotters had a field day.
There were good numbers — and plenty of quality — in the novice section, where H&H columnist Katie Jerram took top honours with her lightweight winner, Gortglas Rinarinca. Known as “Ringo” at home, his name apparently means “Green field king of dance”.
Even nicer was the fact that his breeder, Co Carlow-based Sian Carson, and previous jockey, event rider Ian Walsh, had flown over for the day specially to watch.
It was their first visit to Royal Windsor and “Wow, just wow!” was their joint verdict.
Shopping was next on the agenda. Fortunately, they were flying with Aer Lingus and not Ryanair, so there would be room for a few “extras” in the baggage.
Robert Walker may have been showing for “several” (tongue in cheek!) years now but he’s still just as enthusiastic about finding and producing new young horses as he ever was.
Around the ringside, the general consensus was that the four-year-old class was one of the best for several years so he was thrilled to win with Jill Day’s Pride Of Place, a full-brother to the mega-successful contenders Pride And Joy and Party Time.
The going in the grass Copper Horse arena was absolutely spot on — last night’s rain had soaked in and taken the sting out of what was threatening to be pretty hard ground.
The organisers said they’d been irrigating too, so all came good on the day. Most of the ringside distractions have gone as well, so horses this year did not have so much to spook at – it will be interesting to see if the ponies cope better, too.
In the Castle Arena, it was great to see the open hunter class winners really going for it, and Danielle Heath thoroughly deserved the top spot with the 2011 HOYS champion, Oathill Take The Biscuit. They clearly relished every moment of their lap of honour — treating the spectators to not one, but two extra gallops. Following swiftly on, they won the ladies class too.
A good day at the office all round, then.