A Shire, who qualified for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) three times but missed one year due to a virus, has come out on top at this year’s event.

Eight-year-old gelding Cotebrook Sgurr Alasdair (Al) enjoys hacking at home, but excels in the show ring, as his HOYS performance highlighted.

Ridden by William Morton and owned by Gemma McClorey, he won The Barber Family Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year Championship against a ring full of Clydesdales and Shire horses all hoping to take the title on the final day of the competition (8 October). The class was judged by Katie Duxbury and David Curtis.

He was unable to compete in his first year after coming down with a virus just a few days before the show. Gemma rode him last year, finishing sixth, and this year everything has come together.

“Gemma asked if I would take the ride on Al this year,” Will said. “He was a bit green last year but this year he’s come out and he’s incredible.”

Credit: 1st Class Images

Gemma said she was so grateful for him and Will following the emotional win in the Andrews Bowen International Arena.

“Al’s taken us on an amazing journey,” she said. “I bought him as a three-year-old stallion, so this is mine and Will’s work today.

“He hacks out at home and is going to go hunting at the end of the month. He’s my whole world.”

Brian Bisset’s Clydesdale, Stobilee Zac, stood Reserve ridden by Lucy May Stewart.

Find out how the HOYS Prince Philip Cup champions kept their cool, and which horse and pony were named the ultimate champions at this year’s event.

Lead image by 1st Class Images

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