Three Gorgeous Horses Making Their Riders Dreams Come True

That’s right, with three days to go, we have three handsome horses for you to peruse and three more lucky riders for you to cheer on!

Middleweight hunter Cummano Cassini (Fergal) will be giving Jimmy Hooker is first taste of riding at HOYS. “We bought him as an untouched three-year-old from Ireland and his owner Rob Scrine did an amazing job on the ground with him,” said Jimmy. This year, they started out as they meant to go on with an early supreme championship at the Royal Welsh Smallholders Fair in May, but the HOYS ticket elluded them until their very last outing at Moreton in Marsh show. “I was more then happy to be placed in the top three just to finish the season on a high as he’s only five,” said Jimmy. “To be pulled top and stay top was just incredible! I’ve always dreamt of taking a horse I’ve produced myself to HOYS and couldn’t believe it had happened and to then go champion was the icing on the cake. I’ve been so many times as a groom and always wanted to know what it’s like to ride in the International Arena and I’m finally going to do it. I’ve been overwhelmed by how nice the showing community has been and want to thank in particular Ezee Tails and Baileys Horse Feeds who I work really closely with, and my trainer Vikki Pengilly for her influence on me as a rider, and for her help and guidance.”

Losing her beloved large hack Royal Doulton left Health and Safety Officer Paula Robinson devastated. A few weeks later, Paula was browsing Facebook when a photo popped up of a then three-year-old Bobby Brown (Billy) and she “instantly fell in love,” and bought him over the phone from breeders Steve Pitt and Victoria Smith. Deciding that Billy shouldn’t be rushed, Paula first consigned him to intermediate classes, and a year later she decided to ride him in his PBA class at the RIHS herself.  “I was so excited for my first class on him, then, a week before I tore my ACL so badly that I could not walk for six months let alone ride. It seemed Billy’s season was over, but my friend Rachael Helliwell came to my rescue producing Billy at RIHS where he got a credible seventh,” said Paula, who spent the following winter rebuilding her strength riding a Fell pony. “I thought my hack lady days were over and began showing my Fell, but I ached all over and still yearned to be on a hack.” On a whim Paula decided to enter the Midland Counties, and despite feeling rusty, they qualified for the RI meaning more practice was needed. Paula entered the TSR championship show. “It was only our second hack class, he was a novice and I was 56 and still not fit enough to run him out for confirmation! I told my daughter to go get her Fell ready as we had no chance of winning, but to my surprise, I heard our names called forward as the winners! I burst into tears; all the hard work, the injuries and the disappointment were worth it! I’m so looking forward to riding my home-produced boy through those curtains into the International Arena and making my dream a reality.”

Hallie Booty, 19, will be having her first ever ride at HOYS in the middleweight hunter class on The Silent Master (Rocky). “I have been competing since I  was three in lead rein and always had my  sights firmly set on achieving my dream of one day riding at HOYS. I have always been super tall and quickly outgrew some brilliant young ponies I had brought on, each of which has gone on to HOYS with their younger, smaller jockeys. Rocky, a middleweight hunter bred by Damien Cary by Porsch out of Rockdrum Clover Lady, had previously been Allister Hood’s ride and then went on to field master with his son, Ben Hood at the Seavington Hunt. I had been riding Rocky to keep my hand in and immediately gelled with him I was very kindly offered by his owners Andrew and Mary Bowie the wonderful opportunity to take him back into the show ring to show me the ropes. Ironically, I  featured on the same page as the Allister and The Silent Master in a Royal Windsor magazine feature and admired him back then- never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be riding him a few years later.

“Rocky is such a gentleman that mum jokes if he was human he would be boyfriend material!” Hallie and Rocky stood amateur champions Suffolk and got their golden HOYS ticket at the BSPS championships. “Mum couldn’t watch the placings she was hiding behind the judges box and it still hasn’t sunk in. All the years of trying have been worth it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to all at the Hood Show Team who have helped to make the biggest of dreams come true and more importantly have always given me the encouragement and confidence to keep going and give it my best. Allister has given me so much encouragement and has given so much of his valuable time and wisdom which is something I will treasure for many years to come. I can’t wait to go through the curtains, although I think it won’t even feel real at that point because I never thought I’d get there. We’re going to enjoy every second of our time in the ring together.”

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