The SEIB British Showing World Awards’ Show Personality of the Year was the first of three decided by the Showing World panel, not by public vote.
It was awarded to Katie Dashwood and Minella Rebellion (Reg), her TB gelding.
Reg began his ridden career as a racehorse on Nicky Henderson’s yard. Despite his experience and Reg’s decorated bloodlines, his racing career was nothing short of disappointing. Luckily for Reg, Henrietta Knight spotted something in him and told her good friend Katie about him. Meanwhile Katie had shown a string of former racehorses successfully in the Jockey Club’s RoR Series, but had never enjoyed much luck with the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse, not quite managing to qualify for the HOYS final.
When Katie saw Reg, she “instantly fell in love” and he was consigned to Jo Bates’ yard for production as a show horse.
In 2021, Katie and Reg not only qualified for HOYS, but won the SEIB Racehorse to Ridinghorse final as well as the supreme championship at the Jockey Club’s RoR Championships at Aintree.
Last year we saw the pair hold their own in open classes and stand champion amateur riding horse at the Royal International Horse Show. But this year, Katie and Reg became a force to reckon with, and at the pinnacle of the season, that disappointing racehorse found himself a champion show horse, standing Riding Horse of the Year.
Whilst the pair’s achievements are notable, it wasn’t results alone that drove the Showing World panel to choose this pair as their Personality of the Year. Rather it was because Katie waited decades, watching friends competing over the years, before her own opportunity to ride through those special purple curtains at HOYS. The pair are a lesson in what you can achieve if you’re patient and never give up on your dream.
Photos throughout by 1st Class Images