When Nicola Wilkes won the SEIB Search for a Star Championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), it more than made up for missing her honeymoon to attend the show.
Nicola's win came on board her husband Anthony Wilkes’ Show Hunter, Rustic Midnight Moonshine - known at home as 'Monster'.
The six-year-old bay mare gave Anthony and Nicola the perfect wedding gift. Married in March this year, the couple were due to travel to Australia for their Honeymoon, before Monster qualified for Horse of the Year Show and they switch their plans to come to the NEC instead.
The reserve title went to the SEIB Search for a Star Riding Club Show Horse of the Year, Laura Lowcock’s Annagh Spider Monkey.
In the Cuddy Working Hunter of the Year Championship, showjumper Derek Morton collected his second consecutive win on June Snedker’s Keep Talking.
“He just went out and did it this morning,” said Derek. “It’s as if he knew what was at stake and thought ‘come on, let’s do it’.”
Another reigning champion, Carol Bardo and Mandy Hughes’ The Humdinger, fought off stiff competition to retain his title of CHAPS (UK) Coloured Horse and Pony of the Year for the third year running. This famous cob gave a classic performance, while the winner of the non-native pony section, Bryntegllwynau Daffodil, took reserve.
Ann Fowler’s Broadgrove Only You was crowned Kathleen Wood Children’s Riding Pony of the Year, making it a hat-trick of consecutive titles for the Broadgrove Stud. Ridden by Alexia Trodd-Bohin, the home-produced five-year-old gelding, by Cusop Dimension out of Wychways Overture, produced a foot-perfect show.
It was also third time lucky for Mr and Mrs Warner’s stallion Patros HB, who finally clinched the Arab Horse Society Ridden Purebred Arab of the Year Championship, having been placed second in his class for two years prior.
The eight-year-old winner of the Barley Hill Arabians Ridden Purebred Arab Stallion of the Year was ridden by Claire Fitch.