Cheshire rider and producer Robert Walker gained his third win of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) when heavyweight Starry Night won the cob of the year title.
After standing reserve here last year, Robert and Camilla Neame’s Irish-bred six-year-old stepped up to take the spotlight and tricolour this time.
“He is a super sort of cob with great limb and movement, and he seems to improve with every outing,” said Robert.
The cob classes were again brimming with quality — Charles Le Moignan stood reserve with Joanne Graham’s winning lightweight Tom Crean of the Antartic.
Also coming into the final reckoning were the runners up, Jill Day’s Chesterton (lightweight), and Lizzy Oseman’s Ledbury hunter Ballyell Turbo, who was ridden by Robert Oliver.
The 2010 open cob champion Hallmark IX up-graded in style to win the inaugural Leeman maxi cob championship.
Ten finalists came through to this first championship and Simon Reynold’s had Heather Boden’s Hallmark IX just pinging along.
The Welcome Flagmount seven-year-old has had a great first season in the maxi cob division (the majestic chestnut also contests Irish Draught classes) and he includes the overall supreme at Great Yorkshire in his seasonal tally.
“He’s a true showman who always gives a great ride,” said Simon.
Just hours earlier the pair looked unlikely contenders as they were hit by a car when hacking back to the stables after breezing up neighbouring gallops.
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Saturday showing results
Equimax & Eraquell cob (Ms D Atkinson, Mrs A Burrington) lwt.– 1 & res, J Graham’s Tom Crean Of The Antartic; 2, J Day’s Chesterton; 3, Lady C Tyrell’s The Comedian. hwt.– 1 & ch, C Neame’s Starry Night; 2, L Oseman’s Ballyell Turbo; 3, C Bardo’s The Keystone Cob. Leeman Family maxi cob (Mr A Varley, Ms A Lance).– 1, Boden & Clay’s Hallmark IX; 2, N Armstrong’s Tank Top; 3, J Thompson’s Father Ted VI.