Whichever day you choose to visit, the show jumping at this year’s HOYS will be the best you can see
Riders from 12 nations will be vying for almost £79,000 in prize-money in the show jumping classes at this year’s Horse of the Year Show (2-7 October), where Britain’s best riders will be fending off considerable opposition.
International competitiors include America’s Candice King, who has already taken home this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup, while Dominique Hendrickx and Philip Lejeune from Belgium should figure among the awards.
Hauke Luther represents Germany, while Dutch stars Roelof Bril and Cary Huis in’t Veld will be trying to repeat Peter Geerink’s victory last year in Friday’s £3,500-to-the-winner Leading Show Jumper of the Year class.
Regular visitor Geir Gulliksen once again represents Norway, Ireland’s “young guns”, Billy Twomey and Robert Power, should be there or thereabouts, and there are also visitors from Japan and Mexico in Tadayoshi Hatashi and Jamie Guerra.
Robert Smith, stole last year’s show with seven victories and came close to claiming one of the prizes that could see one rider take home an additional £100,000.
It’s a tough task, as the same rider has to win the leading show jumper of the year, puissance, speed horse of the year and grand prix to qualify. If no rider manages to win all four classes, £50,000 is on offer for anyone who can head the leading show jumper, puissance and grand prix.
Among our home riders is another set of “record breakers”, as five Whitakers – John, Michael, Robert, Louise and Veronique – are due to compete.
The hard-working Tim Stockdale always gives of his best, as does Mark Armstrong, while Scott Smith will enjoy a national audience. Look out for the jet-propelled John Renwick in the speed classes, while Damien Charles is due a major victory soon.
Corinne Collins, who is only just out of young riders, is tipped for the top, and the amazing Liz Edgar is still winning at the highest level.
With the pint-sized superstars of the 128cm and 138cm sections in action on the opening day, and the Paul Fabrications Leading Show Jumper of the Year on the Sunday, the best junior show jumpers will also be on show.
Click here to read the Horse of the Year Show timetable