‘We thought he was 16.2hh but when he arrived off the truck he was huge!’ 18hh showjumper is turning heads

  • Lucinda Stewart, who is currently sitting first, second and third in the Scottish silver league, showed the talent she has coming through the ranks when she topped the 1.20m Andrew Hamilton Coach Royal Highland Show novice qualifier at Tillyoch Equestrian Centre in the north-east of Scotland with her lofty eight-year-old Jortel La Vie.

    The imposing gelding was bought unseen as an unbacked three-year-old with grand prix tracks in mind, but did very little jumping until his six-year-old year as he is “getting on for 18hh”.

    “We thought he was only 16.2hh, but when he arrived off the truck he was huge!” Lucinda said.

    “He was really tall with long legs and a tiny, narrow body, so he needed to fill out. Initially, we thought he was a contender for age classes, but he was just too weak and as I was producing him for myself, there was no rush,” she added.

    After a slow start, “Joey” has sprinted up the levels, moving quickly up to Foxhunter classes, in which he now has all his double clears.

    “He also jumped the B&C qualifier this weekend, which was quite an ask for him as he hasn’t done anything that big, and he jumped amazingly – hopefully we’ll pick up that qualifier later on,” Lucinda said.

    “He’s at the point now where we can challenge him a little bit,” she added.

    Watch this space – not only do Lucinda and Joey tower head and shoulders above their rivals in the ring, but this eye-catching pair are definitely ones to keep an eye on as they progress up the showjumping ranks.

    • You can read about the other Royal Highland Show qualifiers at Tillyoch, and the best of the rest of this week’s sport, in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound, in the shops on Thursday 17 March.

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