Harry, three, from Devon stirs up a media storm at Horse of the Year Show
Rebecca Haywood reports from this year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at Birmingham’s NEC (October 9-13).
Three-year-old Harry Edwards-Brady has no qualms about his ever-increasing fame following five days of media hype at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
While the international press has called, texted and photographed him, this young charmer has been holed up in a horsebox.
It’s no surprise his big smile and cheeky laugh has won him some adoring fans following his debut at HOYS as the show’s youngest competitor.
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Riding Di and John Jordan’s Moortown Divine, Harry finished seventh in his first class – the mountain and moorland lead-rein pony of the year final.
“I’m just so proud of him,” said Harry’s mother Emma, of Hatherleigh, North Devon. “He’s had to cope with far more than most three-year-old children and he rode amazingly well. He has been in his element with a continuous string of photographers and cameramen following us around on the first two days of the show.”
Calls from around the world have included a request for Harry to launch the Year of the Horse in Bejing next January.
“I think his tolerance started to wear thin though,” admitted Emma, 37. “When the Daily Telegraph showed up he shouted ‘oh no, it’s the paparazzi’ and promptly hid behind the lorry!”
Harry had his second ride on the final day of the show when he finished ninth with Gryngallt Page Too in the Carrs BMW lead-rein pony of hunter type final. Cornish rider Victoria Dymond finished a credible sixth in this final riding Rowquest Copper Rivers, an 11.2hh chestnut gelding who won this class at Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) in July. The mini hunter pony has enjoyed a successful first season with Victoria and qualified for HOYS at Three Counties show.
Scooner Bay makes HOYS debut
Christina McHugh’s piebald gelding Spiritus was crowned coloured horse and pony of the year champion after being ridden to victory by renowned showman Robert Walker, but Devon-based producers Joyce and Jacky Newbery also looked on as Sam Roberts rode their own Chiddock Scooner Bay to second place in the coloured ridden non-native pony of the year. This six-year-old skewbald gelding was having his first outing at HOYS despite qualifying as a five-year-old in 2012. “Unfortunately he couldn’t take his place last year because the judge had shown him in-hand so this was his first year,” said Joyce, who added: “We’ve had one of our best seasons in years.”
Joyce first spotted Scooner when she judged him as a yearling at a British Skewbald and Piebald Association (BSPA) show. “He kept catching my eye and I was looking for something else to travel on the lorry with my other coloured horse at the time,” added Joyce, who went on to buy Scooner from his breeder, the late Gillie Davies, who lost her fight with cancer last month.
Fourth place for New Team despite eye injury
Claire Blackham feared the worst when she discovered her former racehorse with a nasty gash above his eye just days before he was due to make his first appearance at HOYS in the SEIB racehorse to riding horse of the year.
“We discovered him with what we feared at the time was a completely shattered eye socket – there was blood everywhere,” said Claire, who ended up finishing fourth in the final with New Team. “Our vet, Kevin Pegler, saved the day and reassured us that it would heal and he did an absolutely fantastic job stitching it back up. Unfortunately Claude then had repeated bouts of colic, so Kevin spent nearly the whole weekend with us,” said Claire.
New Team began his showing career this season, qualifying for HOYS at his first attempt. “This time last year he was still racing so we were utterly surprised for him to qualify so quickly,” added Claire.
“He’s a real gentle giant and a pleasure to have around, but we honestly thought we’d get at least a year under his belt as he is a complete novice.
“He’s a real showman but he sometimes reacts to the pressure of the crowd, especially clapping, so we've worked really hard to ensure he’s had as much exposure to evening performances as possible before HOYS,” said Claire.
“He couldn’t have done any more and to be pulled fourth in between more seasoned campaigners was just a dream and a fantastic end to the season.
“It’s been a real team effort and none of it would be possible without my parents or partner Duncan Langman.”
Clover Girl highest placed Westcountry horse in Cuddy final
Chantry Clover Girl finished the highest placed Westcountry horse in the Cuddy supreme in-hand championship. Led by Devon producer/breeder Charles Upham, Clover Girl took fifth place next to some of the country’s most successful in-hand champions throughout this year’s showing season.
The hunter broodmare clinched her ticket to the final after winning a 16-strong Cuddy class at Devon County Show.
Gareth William’s 15-year-old Welsh Section C, Synod Lady Lillian, took the prestigious Cuddy title with her five-month-old foal, Ringside Royal Flush, by her side.
Success in the hunter classes
Producer Brett McKinnon, of Gentian Hill livery yard, near Plymouth, watched Nathan Arnold finish sixth in the TopSpec lightweight show hunter of the year final.
And Cornish amateur rider Annette Buckingham took ninth in the Ripon Select Foods small show hunter of the year, riding her own home-produced Miners Town.
Other placings for Westcountry riders included a sixth for Lydia Stuart and Fairlies Red Flare in the 143cm mountain and moorland working hunter pony of the year, while Wendy Gibson and Majestic Cavalier finished eighth in the ridden purebred Arab of the year championship. Oliver Woodman and Barkway Moonflight took ninth in the Lego Friends lead-rein of the year.