For anyone wishing to keep up to date with showing results at the British Horse of the Year Show, visit The Show Register. They are continually updating results in real time which is great as it saves me from getting RSI from typing them all out!
You can also fill in all your entry forms online and make all your payments at the same time which saves on all those hours you usually spend licking envelopes and buying stamps. I wish it had been available when I was showing in the UK, that's for sure!

Also, check out the photos at The Event Photographer when they become available. See if you can spot any relatives of your own animals, especially in the show pony ring. I know there are a few Rotherwood and Courtland horses and ponies in the winner's circle already.


Well, the British Horse of the Year Show kicked off at the NEC Arena in Birmingham today. This event, which will be held from 7-11 October this year, is what all showies in the UK aim to qualify for. Even picking up a HOYS ticket is tough- the county shows which hold qualifying classes attract huge numbers of competitors and you often have to beat 30-40 other combinations to qualify. The horses and ponies that win at HOYS are truly the cream of the crop. I will keep this blog up to date with results as and when I receive them.

Show Hunter Of The Year Championship
Champion - Finn McCool III (Guy Landau)
Reserve - Pride & Joy (Robert Walker)

Class 26a - Lightweight Show Hunter Of The Year
1st & Ch - Finn McCool (Guy Landau)
2nd - Suppose So (Robert Walker)
3rd - Shannon Beau (Lorraine Homer)
4th - Sutton Place (Charles Le Moignan)
5th - Azarax (Katie Jerram)
6th - Agherlows Sir Walter (Magnus Nicholson)
7th - Cracker (Louise Bell)
8th - Bryon Lodge (Lyndsey Kelbie)
9th - Jazz Band (Sue Simpson)

Class 26b - Middleweight Show Hunter Of The Year
1st & Res - Pride & Joy (Robert Walker)
2nd - Standing Ovation (Jayne Webber)
3rd - Lord Litchfiield (Justine Armstrong-Small)
4th - Magnifire (Sam Kitson)
5th - District Court (Kirstine Douglas)
6th - Woodfield Indo (Katie Jerram)
7th - Foxtrot Du Mesnil (Peter Bridle)
8th - The Star (Vanessa Ramm)
9th - Royal Hero (Leon King)

Class 26c - Heavyweight Show Hunter Of The Year (top 9)
1st - Loughkeen Dancing Lord (Robert Oliver)
2nd - Book Of Kells (David Tatlow)
3rd - Manton II (Robert Walker)
4th - Foxcourt All Talk (Jo Jenkins)
5th - Cabra West (Rory Gilsenan)
6th - Avalanche II (Kevin O'Connell)
7th - Mr Gibson (Sarah Jones)
8th - The Fieldmaster II (Irene Susca)
9th - Grand Tavern (Sam Kitson)

Class 28a New Forest & Connemara M&M Pony of the Year
1st) Lecarrow King (Sam Roberts)
2nd) Knockanroe Champ (Rosie Bloor)
3rd) Skellorn Harrison (Stuart Mason)
4th) Rebel's Ghost (Emma James)
5th) Mosstown Windy (Jessica Major)
6th) John's Cuckoo (Matthew Lawrence)
7th) Kingstown Barney (Alex Humble)
8th) Rosenanharley Ban Rion Laura (Jemma James)
9th) Misty Blue (Leanne Goodwin)
Runners up (final 11)- Loughfadda Best Man (Charlotte Band) and Oasklands Donatello (Stephanie Averis)

Class 28b Fell, Highland & Dales M&M Pony of the Year
1st) Dunedin Marksman (Matthew Lawrence)
2nd) Xander of Mendick (Georgina Burton)
3rd) Castle Hill Raven (Hayley Marie Reynolds)
4th) Thornville Jake (Michelle Offen)
5th) Waterside Ben II (Tracey Milward)
6th) Kilmannan Black Magic (Richard Telford)
7th) Kilmannan Black Wizard (Victoria Hesford)
8th) Darrenvale Warrior (Charlene Richardson)
9th) Sunglow Lady Paula (Sam Roberts)
Runners up (final 11)- Faradale Barney (Sarah Pinfield) and Kilmannan Black Velvet (Henry Hird)

Class 31a - SEIB Search For A Star Cobs (similar to NZ Rising Stars)
1st - Chinwaggfinn
2nd - Hot Property II
3rd - Traffic Cob
4th - Weeden's Earl Grey
5th - Rose Of Leamlara

Pull-In Order:
1 - Chinwaggfinn
2 - Hot Property
3 - Donny Brook
4 - Traffic Cob
5 - Weeden's Earl Grey
6 - Miss PartyPants
7 - Rose Of Leamlara
8 - Finius Fog
9 - Ardenteggle Boy
10 - Fergus IV

Class 31b - SEIB Search For A Star Riding Club Show Horse
1st - Innish Verdel
2nd - Mr Mick
3rd - Lambrigg Spotlight
4th - Glenavy
5th - All That Jazz
(Retired - Indian Opposition - pulled first but didn't stand for presentation)

Pull-In Order:
1 - Mr Mick
2 - Mister Julius
3 - Indian Opposition
4 - Glenavy
5 - Sandro Isabella
6 - All That Jazz
7 - Innish Verdel
8 - Clogherboy Lucky Boy
9 - Daid O'Diamonds
10 - Lambrigg Spotlight

Class 29a - Stallions Miniature Horse Of The Year
1st & Champion - MHB Apollo
2nd - Dukes Country Colours
3rd - Spotlights Rough Diamond
4th - LTDS Wildcard
5th - Dukes Twist Of Colours(Placed to fifth)

Class 29b - Mares/Geldings Miniature Horse Of The Year
1st & Reserve - Scott Creek My Key To Fashion
2nd - Strike A Little Star
3rd - Alamos Daisy
4th - Lewingales Electra
5th - Conundrum La Bella Milan

Class 29c - Youngstock Miniature Horse Of The Year
1st - Dayhill Travelling Technicolour
2nd - Hailstone Ready To Rumble
3rd - Ujenik Bantam's Little Princess
4th - Scott Creek Call Girl Dot Com
5th - Aesthete Lavender BlueChampionship
Champion MHB Apollo, Reserve Scott Creek My Key To Fashion


The weather in Auckland has been absolutely abysmal recently- rain, rain and yet more rain! I think this is probably part of the reason my poor yearing filly has developed a yucky little abscess. I haven't had to deal with one in years and the only ones that I have had any experience with were caused by very obvious stone bruises. I was in an absolute panic when I saw her limping around the field- all sorts of nightmare situations flashed across my mind. Thankfully, the vet took one look at her trotting up and said abscess, which was a huge relief. Although, I have to say, poulticing a yearling with a sore foot is one of the trickier things I've had to do!

It got me to thinking about feet though- and how important they are. They really should be one of the first things that a show judge looks at, as without a well put together foot, a horse or pony is probably not going to keep going for as long and in some cases won't be able to perform its job to the best of its ability (think of the Hunters which are supposed to be capable of travelling over undulating terrain all day long) Do you think judges pay enough attention to the feet? I know that those judging the native pony classes (Welsh, Fell Ponies, Connies etc) place great importance on good, strong hooves but it should be just as important a consideration in show pony and show horse classes...

Thinking about hooves also got me musing on the strange things that some people do to enhance movement. Some more humane than others!

Show hacks and ponies: Use of lightweight aluminum plates. Often, producers will ride their animals in normal shoes day-to-day and then switch to the plates the day before the show. Apparently, the horses feel the difference in weight and display a more exaggerated movement. A word from someone in the know: these shoes cost a blimmin fortune and literally melt off the feet if you even dare look at a road!

Some people take the shoes off the day before a show, for the same reason as above

Welsh Cobs: There has been much controversy regarding the Welshies over the years, as some people have been caught employing questionable techniques to achieve 'correct' movement. This includes fitting weighted shoes to encourage a snapping up of the knee- sometimes on ponies as young as yearlings! This is actually a pointless exercise as it ultimately ruins their action. They end up practically trotting on the spot, throwing their legs all over the place and not moving freely forwards as they should.

Saddle Seat Horses: High action is prized in the Saddle Seat Horse. Therefore, many horses shown in Saddle Seat are shod with pads and special shoes. The shoes are often held in place with a metal band, as well as cinches, because of their weight. Longer toes and heavier shoes encourage a Saddle Seat Horse to lift its feet and knees higher, or reach them out farther , with more snap and flash. Toe length and shoe weight is an often controversial subject among competitors.

The most controversial practice used on some Saddle Seat Horses, primarily the Tennessee Walking Horse is soring: the placing of a caustic ointment on the coronary band and pastern of the horse, to cause pain so that the horse picks up its feet as quickly as they touch the ground

Anyone know of any other breeds/types where people really put themselves out and use various gadgets to enhance the animal's movement?