After spending a bit of the summer outside of the four walls of our office at some fantastic events (Hickstead and Windsor, to name just a couple), the indoor season has finally arrived, and first on our agenda will be HOYS (Horse Of The Year Show) at the NEC in Birmingham.
It gives us the opportunity not only to catch up with the press and our clients, but also our sponsored show jumpers and show riders who have made it here via qualifiers throughout the year. This year we have both Verdo Horse Bedding sponsored show jumper Daniel Moseley and Aloeride’s sponsored rider Loraine Homer attending and also in the show ring, so we are greatly looking forward to catching up with both and hopefully getting the opportunity to see them in action!
To be competing at HOYS is an achievement in itself, but to win at that level is indeed something very special and the highlight of any competitor’s career. Too often, though, people dismiss showing as just a “beauty contest” without skill or talent, because they naively think that getting a horse to walk, trot and canter nicely and “look pretty”, doesn’t take much training or expertise.
BUT, it takes great skill and talent to persuade a (often very well bred) horse to shine (not explode) in a huge indoor arena with spotlights, huge crowds and a big atmosphere – and also to train that horse so that anyone (including the judge) can sit on it and look/feel great in front of a big audience!
Perhaps one of our greatest international examples of a rider who started off her riding career in the show ring and then crossed over with huge success to a different discipline is Olympic Gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin, who currently ranks number 1 in the FEI’s individual dressage rankings. Another show rider who manages to win numerous national titles in both the dressage arena and in working hunter showing classes is Louise Bell. So you see, riding show horses takes a bit more than just looking pretty, and HOYS provides the perfect opportunity!
The Horse of the Year Show runs from 8th – 12th October 2014 at Birmingham NEC