Cumbria competitors all set for the 'World's Most Famous Horse Show'

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THE "World's Most Famous Horse Show" takes place next week and Cumbria equestrians are all set for the big occasion.

Cumbria riders, owners and horse breeders are heading to the Horse of the Year Show for the prestigious championships.

Those who won enviable qualification tickets from the hotly contested UK-wide qualifiers are now Birmingham-bound to compete at The NEC venue and fulfil ambitions and dreams.

HOYS, which also features our Team GB Olympic stars in the show jumping and dressage events, runs from Wednesday October 4 to Sunday October 8.

Cumbria is strongly represented by horsemen and women who have won HOYS qualification through their successes at the UK's county shows and society championships with their beautiful horses and ponies.

Barrow's Joanne Heap is delighted that her homebred gelding, Northern Chapter, will be competing in the Topham Barnes Large Riding Horse of the Year. The seven-year-old, known has Harvey, is out of Mrs Heap's mare Diva La Scala (Connie). Harvey is produced by Tracey Brooks and Victoria Shaw, of Kirkby Lonsdale, and ridden by Mrs Shaw. He qualified at Stoneleigh Horse Show.

Mrs Heap, who will be at HOYS to watch, said: "It's a childhood dream come true qualifying a horse for HOYS, but the fact he is homebred just makes it all the more special."

It's been a fantastic season and year for Mrs Shaw, she was over the moon to qualify four horses for HOYS and to get married in August. The newlywed also qualified Alison Fearn's Tarnbrook Take It All in the Coloured Ridden Non-Native Pony of the Year, while Let's Dance, owned by Jane Rooke, and Woody III, owned by Ingrid Reid, compete in the Coloured Ridden Native/Cob/Traditional Pony of the Year.

Barrow's Morgan Pearce has qualified for HOYS for the first time with her Welsh Section D Pentrecoed David (Edward) to compete in the The British Show Pony Society Mountain & Moorland Exc 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year.

Mollie Mae Jeffrey, of Ulverston, has qualified her pony Annandale Hallmark in two classes at HOYS. The 12-year-old Ulverston Victoria High School pupil will compete the Welsh Section B gelding, Reggie, in The British Show Pony Society Mountain and Moorland 133cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year and the National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods 133cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year. She and the nine-year-old novice pony qualified at NPS Area4 show, York and The TSR summer show, Coventry.

Mollie had a remarkable debut at HOYS two years ago, winning first place with her former pony, Doylan Chilli Pepper, in the The British Show Pony Society Mountain and Moorland 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year.

Proud dad, Wayne Jeffrey, said Mollie has had a fabulous season with Reggie, but HOYS will bring a tough test for them and the most important thing is for the partnership to enjoy the experience.

Mr Jeffrey said: "The biggest and most difficult part is qualifying for HOYS and the most important thing is that Mollie comes away with a smile on her face."

Emily Myerscough, of Ulverston, has qualified for HOYS with her mare Arturos Toast for the National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Intermediate Working Hunter Pony of the Year.

HOYS will be an emotional occasion for three rider and pony combinations who will be making their final HOYS appearances together this year. Kate Wilson, of Ulverston, will compete Glenis Cockbain's Dales mare, Tarbarl Mary Jane, for the last time in the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain and Moorland Ridden Fell/Dales Pony of the Year section. The pony is to become a broodmare.

Ellie Simmonds, 14, a UVHS pupil, rides Shetland pony Birchmoor Admiral (Andy) in the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain and Moorland Ridden Dartmoor/ Exmoor/ Shetland Pony of the Year. They qualified for HOYS at the Shetland Pony Breed Show.

Andy, owned by Elaine Tomlinson, is 16 and this will be his eleventh class at HOYS. This will be Ellie and Andy's final ridden class.

Ellie said of the cheeky Shetland: "This is my third time riding at HOYS, my second time on Andy but the first time riding in an open class.

"I am very excited to ride again at HOYS but the occasion will come with hints of sadness as this will be my last time riding Andy."

HOYS will be Georgie Osmond's final competition on her Welsh Section A pony Llafar Tia. They are competing in the The British Show Pony Society Mountain and Moorland 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year for a third year.

This summer the 13-year-old Windermere School pupil, of Barrows Green, near Kendal, and her pony were victors at the Longines Royal International Horse Show, winning the Mountain and Moorland 122cm WHP class at Hickstead.

Another two Cumbrian Longines Royal International Horse Show winners are heading to HOYS.

Abbie Kirkbride, of Dalton, will partner Rebecca McColl's Hopgarden Playboy at HOYS in the Coloured Ridden Non-Native Pony of the Year.

The 13-year-old UVHS pupil won first place in the section at the Royal International and then junior champion at the prestigious show.

Hopgarden Playboy is produced by Emma Boardman of Brampton, Carlisle. Miss Boardman will ride her Welsh Section D gelding Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso at HOYS in the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain and Moorland Ridden Welsh D Pony of the Year. This combination won the Heritage Mountain and Moorland Open Ridden Section C and D Championship at The Royal International.

Also heading to HOYS from Miss Boardman's Brampton yard is lightweight show cob Randalstown Brannigan with his owner Emma Litt, of Cockermouth.

Highland pony stallion Harris of Mendick will be partnered by his rider and producer Brian Williams of Long Marton, Appleby, for owner Aileen Curle. The six-year-old was the first Highland to qualify for HOYS in 2017, he qualified for the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain and Moorland Ridden Highland Pony of the Year on his first attempt at The TSR Spring Show, he then won a second HOYS qualifier class at Midlands Counties Show. His long list of 2017 successes include Supreme at the Native Pony Festival, Reserve Supreme at the Highland Breed Show, Champion at Honley and qualifying for the Olympia semi final, Champion at North Eastern Counties, Reserve Supreme at Blair and champion at Westmorland County Show. He will contest Olympia qualifiers after Horse of the Year Show.

Dannii Thexton, of Kendal, has qualified two horses for HOYS. Miss Thexton will compete Jardine Rio in the Small Show Hunter of the Year Championship and ex racehorse Allied Answer in the Topham Barnes Large Riding Horse of the Year. Both horses are nine-year-olds and owned by Anne Wilson who owns Larkrigg Riding School, at Natland, near Kendal, where Miss Thexton works.

Miss Thexton qualified the horses at The Royal Highland Show and the Scottish Horse Show. Allied Answer was a two-time winner in his racing days.

Shetland stallion Lotuspoint Cassius is also HOYS bound. Bred by Chris Hodgson of the Lotuspoint Stud, Wigton, Cassius is off to HOYS for a second year after winning the two HOYS qualifiers he contested in 2017. He was a supreme of show winner on the first time out this season and he has qualified for the Olympia semi-final. The stallion is owned by the Nevanscott Stud, County Durham and ridden by Emily Alice Stobbart.

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