Dales Believed Lost in Blaze Qualifies for HOYS

“I think it’s his way of saying, thank you,” said an emotional Sarah Field as she exited the Dales breed qualifier at Derbyshire Festival, HOYS ticket in hand.

The Lancashire based producer rode six-year-old Carrock Comet to victory in his first ever HOYS qualifier just two weeks after his stable was torched during a potentially catastrophic yard fire.

Sarah, partner John Clayton and their two children had been due to attend a christening but in a ‘you-couldn’t-write-it’ sort of day, they’d been delayed due to thieves found on their property and the ensuing police visit. Fatefully, this meant that the couple were still on the yard when one of the livery owners’ lorry caught fire with her horse on board and causing the timber stable blocks nearby to also catch fire.

Mercifully, swift action from Sarah, John and Sarah’s brother Robert meant that a plan was swiftly enacted to mobilise the yard staff and rescue all of the horses.

“I ran towards his stable as I could see it spreading and thought he was going to be trapped inside and we’d lose him,” said Sarah, still visibly shaken by the episode. “All I could think was that I had to get him out if I could. In that moment, I never imagined that I’d see him again never mind get to compete him. To qualify him was an absolute dream come true; this lad has yet to let me down.”

Comet is owned by Abbie Allen who purchased him as a foal from his breeder, Glynis Cockbain. He was broken in by Sarah before being campaigned lightly as a four-year-old, winning on every occasion including at the BSPS championships. As a five-year-old, he was left to mature and has returned to the ring to maintain his unbeaten record. He won the Dales breed class at Derbyshire by three marks and was thoroughly deserving of the highest ride, executing a flowing, mannerly and forwards show in blistering heat.

Image by Equinational

Find out more about who won what at Derbyshire Festival in the full report appearing soon in Showing World.

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