Ben Hobday

Ben Hobday is a British event rider whose fight against cancer and comeback to ride at the top-level on the chunky part-Clydesdale Mulrys Error caught the public imagination.

Ben Hobday riding Mulrys Error at Badminton 2018

Ben Hobday riding Mulrys Error at Badminton 2018.

Ben grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. As a child, he was an enthusiastic member of the Holcombe Hunt branch of the Pony Club, qualifying for the Pony Club Championships in all three phases — the first rider in his club to do so in 25 years.

Keen to become an event rider, he became a working pupil for Cheshire-based eventer Hannah Bate, then jumped at the chance to work for top showjumper William Funnell.

With William and his wife Pippa’s encouragement, Ben went on to win the under-21 national championships on Uptons Who, followed by selection for Britain’s young rider squad. In 2008, he won team gold and individual bronze medals at the European Championships at Krueth, Germany.

Uptons Who went on to compete at the top level with Ben and he has ridden at five-star on a number of other horses too, including Harelaw Wizard and Mulrys Error.

Ben became the British national eventing champion at Gatcombe in August 2019 riding Shadow Man II.

Ben Hobday and Shadow Man become British national champions at Gatcombe in 2019

Ben Hobday and Shadow Man become British national champions at Gatcombe in 2019.

In 2021, Ben and Shadow Man II were named on the initial reserve nominated entries list for the Tokyo Olympics, although they were removed from the list when it was finalised.

What age is Ben?

Ben’s date of birth is 28 April 1988.

When did Ben Hobday have cancer?

Ben was diagnosed with cancer in June 2015. He completed his chemotherapy treatment in September the same year and returned to the saddle shortly afterwards.

At the time he was recovering from cancer, Ben was competing at the top level on the part-Clydesdale Mulrys Error. The horse’s unusual build and Ben’s comeback story proved a potent combination for popularity and the pair achieved a huge following on social media, via Mulrys Error’s Twitter profile, @Mr_Mulry, and Ben’s own social media channels, where he uses the hashtag #yehBoi

Ben also received a surprise get well message from Richard Branson in July 2015.

Ben’s double clear at Badminton Horse Trials after recovering from cancer, completing the cross-country with Willberry Wonder Pony strapped to his back, was voted the Charles Owen Most Memorable Moment of the Year Award at the inaugural Horse & Hound Awards in 2016.

Where is Ben based?

Ben runs his own business, Shadow Sport Horse Ltd, producing event horses from his yard in Lancashire.

Does Ben Hobday have a wife?

Ben married fellow eventer Emma Carmichael on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2016, but in March 2021 Ben announced on social media that their marriage had come to an end and they were going their separate ways.