Horse & Hound
Big Ben is like clockwork
Teenage horses are better than ever, in-handers show promise and new partnerships gain more experience
FRESH from their working hunter victory and first reserve supreme at the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) Autumn Gala, Hannah Horton and Lucinda Freedman’s upstanding grey hunter Big Ben flew through the card to stand overall supreme.
This time, middleweight contender Big Ben, now 14, was produced on the flat to stand overall hunter champion, pipping Esme Humpston’s small hunter victor Good Idea (Amy Tough) into reserve position. Ben has only recently forayed into working hunter classes.
“Our aim is to try to get him to
Horse of the Year Show [HOYS] as a worker next year,” said Hannah. “I have the ride this year as Lucinda has been off with a bad back. He’s the most phenomenal ride and has manners to die for, with a true hunter gallop.”
Reserve supreme went to the overall reserve in-hander and top Welsh breed Devonhayes Arkose (Bobby). The four-year-old Welsh section B stallion – who is destined for a ridden career – is by Carrwood Bronzewing out of Cennen Seraphine. Owner Laura Stewart bought him from breeder Jamie Frost two years ago.
“Bobby is the nicest person and a real showman,” said Laura. “He has had a very successful in-hand career and he will be broken in over winter. He just loves his job.”
Abbie Dark’s evergreen small hunter Wycliff, 17, was crowned mixed ridden horse champion on his first – and last – outing of the year. The grey gelding was gifted to Abbie in 2018 by the Binks family. Before his career in the
UK, “Sherbert” was a showjumper in the Netherlands until 2009.
“We had a fantastic 2019 qualifying for HOYS in the open hunters and finishing eighth in the veteran final at Olympia,” said Abbie. “I live on the Gower and can often be found galloping across the beaches. I haven’t done any jumping since Pony Club days, but I’ve recently got into it and have even entered a winter series.”
Team Holder reigned in the pony championship with William
Parkin scooping the overall sash riding Diana Hannam’s sixyear-old first ridden Stretcholt Pussykin ahead of team-mate Cerys Holley aboard open winner Mount Pleasant Welsh Rose.
In worker ranks, Helen Newbold piloted Cassie Cross and Mark Whitney’s intermediate horse winner, Thanks A Billion, to land the championship over David Arranz Alvarez aboard Christine Fordham’s challenge class leader, Bally Flagmount.
“He has a true hunter gallop”
HANNAH HORTON ON BIG BEN