Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another year over for HOYS 2008

HOYS ends …. We come home with plenty of news, stories and interviews with all the top riders and go behind the scenes to bring you all the gossip!

I just simply didn’t want it to end. Seven and a half thousand magazines, four very exhausted staff, a few disks full of photos later we left the NEC. Thank you all for coming to see us and supporting us.

I am thrilled to say Katie Price was such a huge hit that she was invited back to take part in the closing ceremonies and again perform her dressage to music display with Andrew Gould and Henry Boswell. The crowd loved her. We at Horsemart take our hats off to you; you have clearly worked really hard and deserve all the credit you get. It was also lovely to hear Richard Davison praise you at the BETA conference this week.

For those of you that didn’t get the chance to visit HOYS here is all the news and behind the scenes gossip.

Sunday concluded with an exciting mix of prestigious showing and show jumping championship finals alongside a memorable Finale that featured our favourite equestrian heroes.
Sunday provided even more thrilling action including the Grand Prix class, leading Show Jumper of the Year, with over £22,000 of prize money on offer. Irish rider Billy Twomey produced a double clear in Bob Ellis’s technical course on Je T’aime Flamenco to be crowned Leading Show Jumper of the Year. Top British rider Michael Whitaker on Insul Tech Wonami Van Den Aard had to settle for second place with only 0.23 seconds separating him from the winner. Ben Maher also rode a double clear on Robin Hood W to take third place. Billy also received the Penwood Forge Mill trophy as the most successful foreign rider at the Show. Guy Williams was Leading Gentleman and Ellen Whitaker received the award for Leading Lady of the Show.

Fifteen year-old Roberta Roe was in great form today in the My Horse Club Leading Junior Show Jumper of the Year. She had two rides in the jump-off and took the title on New York Spritzer and also came fourth riding Aroldo. Second place went to James Smith on Mr Nice Guy.

Brits ruled the roost in this morning’s Grandstand Classic, securing all of the top five slots. William Whitaker took the lead early on with his compact little Puissance horse Insul Tech Leonardo, but his time was quickly squashed by Geoff Billington. Stellar performances from crowd favourites such as Geoff and Helen Tredwell just weren’t enough to catch Paul Barker on Sue Clark’s Darco mare Elegant C. The extremely agile, sparky little chestnut, put in some nail-biting turns to take the lead with a blistering time of 31.71seconds.

The National Grade C Championship is a true indicator of the young talent coming through and gives us a glimpse of the horse and rider combinations that are going to be contesting the A and B grades in the following season. This year was no exception, some top-class horses are being produced and were showcased here today. Laura Renwick built on the fantastic form she has shown all week to put in solid clears and claim the second spot with Roller Coaster III. Louise Whitaker looked a very strong bet but had to settle for third spot. The worthy winner, with a display of pure class, was Phillip Miller on Di Cornish’s beautiful stallion Univeau by the world famous Numero Uno.

Competition was fierce in the Zinc Management Speed Horse of the Year but no one could get near the blistering pace set by Ellen Whitaker and Kanselier who is Ellen’s long term campaigner. The combination proved to be unbeatable with a time of 52.13 seconds. Twenty-five top class speed horses lined up but many struggled to get the perfect balance between speed and accuracy. Only three of the 25 riders managed a clear with fence two causing most of the trouble. Favourites such as Guy Williams, the Whitaker men and Ben Maher all came to the table guns blazing, but it was the women that had this class all wrapped up. Laura Renwick and Beluga came second with a time of 53.84 and Cian O’Connor took third riding Baloufina in a time of 55.98. See pics from the show on our forum