A ‘showman’ who ‘loves the atmosphere’ of the arena was crowned Supreme Horse of the Year at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Champion hack Forgeland Hyde Park (Will) wowed the judges and took the premier position on the final evening of the event (8 October). He was ridden by show producer Danielle Heath and is owned by Guy Mears and Isabella Mears-Wood.
“He’s such a showman; he carries it off and I can just enjoy the moment,” said Danielle. “To do it on a horse like this is a once in a lifetime moment.
“You can feel him just grow the minute you walk in the arena. He loves the atmosphere and gets better and better. It’s a dream come true.”
Will is by the prolific sire Kilvington Scoundrel and he already has three Hack Championships and two Intermediate Championships in his HOYS portfolio.
“He just deserves it,” said Will’s owner Isabella, who this year competed in her final Intermediate with him. “He wants to win it more than we do.
“It’s everything we’ve ever dreamed of. He’s always doing more and giving more. For him to finally get that recognition of the Supreme title is all we ever wanted for him.”
Swan Lake takes the pony title
The five-year-old Partbred Champion, Swan Lake, pulled off another flawless performance to take the Pony of the Year title.
On her first time at HOYS, Jerome Harforth’s homebred mare was ridden by Sophie Staveley. It was also a first time Supreme ridden title for both Jerome and Sophie.
By Llanarth Top Cat out of Dance All Night, Swan Lake was shown by Jerome as a yearling and took reserve twice in the In-Hand Horse of the Year qualifiers, while her dam, Dance All Night, won here back in 2012 in the Children’s Riding Pony of the Year with Lucinda Elliott.
“She was a beautiful foal,” Jerome said. “When she came out I thought ‘this is a bit special’”
Sophie has only been riding the mare since March.
“I can’t believe it,” she added. “She pulled it out of the bag for me today. We’ve looked after each other”
Lead image by 1st Class Images