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2019 showing nostalgia: best of July — A Fell stallion comes out of retirement, a pupil beats her trainer and a novice worker reigns above the rest

While the showing community plans a comeback after the Coronavirus lockdown, H&H takes a look back at its July 2019 showing reports to garner our motivation for some late summer showing.

We bring you some thought provoking quotes, horses we loved watching and some headline-worthy stories from some of the season’s biggest showing fixtures.

Quotes that stuck…

“The winner’s correctness of type and responsive, forward-going show just gave it the edge — it really sat up and looked through its bridle” — Judge Charles Wilkerson on the North of England amateur supreme champion Saatchi (Kimberley Wright)

“My criteria when I bought him was that he must stand while I mounted as I have a knee injury” — Charlotte Gilston on trusty Irish Draught Hawklands Argento Amore who won the ladies’ side-saddle qualifier at Ashby with Floriann Gilston in the saddle.

“It’s great to beat the boss as it certainly doesn’t happen often” — Rose Bailey (Jazz It Up) when she beat her mentor Jill Wormall (Colour Coded) in the ridden supreme at Derbyshire County.

Stories we loved…

At Lincolnshire County, Team Marriott-Payne won a record haul of five wins, five Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) tickets and two championships in the Mountain and Moorland (M&M) classes. Winning the large breeds section was Claire Wigley’s multi-garlanded stallion Greenholme Warbler (above). Warbler retired after appearing at HOYS in 2015 to become a happy hacker.

“Claire phoned me this year to say he was looking so good, perhaps we should try showing him again,” said Katy Marriott-Payne. “He feels amazing and is loving life.”

At Royal Norfolk, Rose Cassapi-Paskins and her Welsh section A mare Westfirle Golden Oriole (above) were called forward as the winners of a strong M&M lead-rein qualifier. Rose’s mother, Tracey Paskins, admitted that she finds lead-rein difficult as she suffers from severe arthritis in her left ankle.

“I’ve been told there is no cartilage left in the ankle but I refuse to have it fused as I won’t be able to run at all,” said Tracy. “I thought I would have to get someone else to lead, so the fact we’ve qualified together has made it all the more special.”

On her Great Yorkshire show debut, accountancy student Bronte Thompson, 19, took third place and a HOYS qualification in the heavyweight hunters riding Elysiums New Dawn.

“We’ve never quite managed a golden ticket before and to do it here is just surreal,” said Bronte. “I produce him totally myself and he does a bit of everything — he even goes to Pony Club.”

Lucinda Burnett topped a strong HOYS working hunter qualifier riding Scarthill Kingdom at the Festival of Hunting. Having had a hip replacement nine weeks previously, Lucinda was not sure whether she should be riding, let alone competing.

“I only started riding six days ago and tried a couple of fences yesterday,” said Lucinda. “When I decided to ‘brave it’, I thought if I felt wobbly, I’d come out.”

Tips we took home…

Judges Matt Cooper and Gemma Stanford ensured overly fat ponies were penalised in the part-bred and Pretty Polly supremes at the North of England pony show.

“In both classes, we were looking for ponies which were fit and not fat, and who also looked like they were enjoying their job,” said Gemma afterwards.

The horses we wanted in our stables…

Topping the open M&M ridden championship at the Royal Highland was Welsh section D stallion Northwick Notorious (above) ridden by accountant Claire Evans. The pair had gained their HOYS qualification at Royal Cheshire County just a few days earlier.

“I wasn’t going to bring him here as he’d already qualified,” said Claire. “But we didn’t have anyone to look after him at home so we brought him along. He lives the life of a gelding at home and is 100% in every way.”

At the National Hunter championships, the supreme working hunter title went to the novice winner Hardingville Sunrise (above) ridden by catch rider Libby Cooke.

“What a lovely forward-going mare she is,” said Libby. “Nothing fazed her and she jumped round a treat.” Earlier in the day, Alice Homer rode the lovely mare to take second place in the ladies’ hunter class and fifth in the HOYS side-saddle qualifer.

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