What a week it was!

Yet again, a glit­ter­ing HOYS comes up trumps, with a fa­ther and son en­joy­ing the spot­light

Horse & Hound - - Letters - H&H Show­ing Ed­i­tor AIMI CLARK

HORSE of the Year Show (HOYS) is al­ways a high­light in the Horse & Hound of­fice, but this year it feels as if there were a huge num­ber of ex­cep­tional vic­to­ries to cel­e­brate. From the 17-year-old brood­mare bag­ging her first Cuddy in-hand ti­tle (p56), to the five-year-old coloured cham­pion at only his fourth show un­der sad­dle (p60) plus the mul­ti­ple back-to-back Royal In­ter­na­tional (RIHS) and HOYS ti­tle win­ners,

I’d be in­ter­ested to know how many bot­tles of cham­pagne were popped over the five days.

While watch­ing This­tle­down Van Der Vaart scoop his third suc­ces­sive mini na­tives ti­tle, I had an inkling he’d stand supreme on Sun­day evening. So small in the enor­mous An­drews Bowen arena, yet this lovely grey — our cover star on 1 June — com­manded at­ten­tion.

In the supreme horse equiv­a­lent, what a po­si­tion for Al­lis­ter Hood to be in for the sec­ond time this year — fol­low­ing RIHS in July — with two in­cred­i­ble an­i­mals qual­i­fied. Few would envy him hav­ing to choose which horse to ride, but he has long had a soft spot for Our Cashel Blue.

Di­a­monds Are For­ever gleamed un­der the spot­lights and was a wor­thy win­ner with son Oliver in the plate. This be­ing Ol­lie’s first-ever HOYS supreme gave even more cause for cel­e­bra­tion — plus it must feel good to beat your dad! H&H in an ap­pli­ca­tion form, my cer­tifi­cates, CV, a ref­er­ence from a BHS as­ses­sor and £50. I might also have to at­tend a rid­ing or knowl­edge as­sess­ment which I’d have to pay for!

Surely the point of tak­ing an exam is to prove that you are of a cer­tain stan­dard? Why then do

the BHS in­sist on mak­ing it as dif­fi­cult as pos­si­ble for peo­ple to use their ex­ist­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions? Alexan­dra van Rand­wyck Al­res­ford, Hamp­shire The Bri­tish Horse Society replies: “Through ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion and de­vel­op­ment, the BHS is proud to of­fer a va­ri­ety of BHS Ca­reer Path­ways to sup­port ev­ery in­di­vid­ual; whether your as­pi­ra­tion is to be a groom, a rider, or coach.

“The BHS Equine Ex­cel­lence Path­way has been de­signed to be flex­i­ble and align to other qual­i­fi­ca­tions, in­clud­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions from the Pony Club. We al­low any­one to use Pony Club qual­i­fi­ca­tion as a di­rect en­try into the next level BHS equiv­a­lent qual­i­fi­ca­tion. The BHS has worked closely with the Pony Club to put in place our recog­nised prior learning (RPL) pol­icy and this is now a free process.

“We do, how­ever, ask that the RPL ap­pli­ca­tion comes with a ref­er­ence from a BHS as­ses­sor to en­sure that ro­bust­ness of

BHS pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion is main­tained.”

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