1st, Sister G, owned and ridden by Mrs Jill Wormall of Ibstock, Leicestershire
2nd, Steveys Lad, owned by Mrs Donna Bomonte and ridden by Samantha Osborne of Middlesbrough, Cleveland
A massive entry of 32 horses were judged by Sarah Chapman (conformation) and David Bartram (Ride). The class was split into 3 sections for preliminary judging, before the top horses came back for the final placing. First place went to Sister Gee, known as GG, owned and ridden by Jill Wormall. The 11 year old bay mare, by Desert Story out of a Saint Estephe mare, was in training with Reg Hollinshead until 2 years ago and she was the last ever horse Reg bought at the sales. Jill had success with “GG” last season in the show ring, winning at several county shows and the HOYS SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship qualifier at Burghley Horse Trials. Since then they have won at Newark & Notts, Staffordshire County and Midland County this season before heading to Badgworth to try to qualify for HOYS for a second time. “When she was in training she used to be ridden by anyone and everyone so she is very relaxed for the judges to ride. She has definitely won more showing than she did racing”, said Jill. Sister Gee ran 22 times and did not win but was placed several times on the flat during her racing career. Jill has had great success as a jockey, having ridden 45 winners in racing as an amateur in point to points and under National Hunt rules and she has also won three times in the show ring at HOYS.
There was a sense of de ja vu when second place went to Steveys Lad, ridden by Samantha Osbourne and owned by Donna Bamonte. They finished second to Sister G at the Burghley qualifier last year and went on to take 7th at the HOYS Championship. Steveys Lad only came out of racing in April 2012 and was still half owned by the racing partnership, Philip Kirby Racing, last season. They won and stood champion at Ponies UK and British Elite shows and their local Barrowby Show last year and it was the biggest surprise for Samantha when they qualified for HOYS at Burghley. After the Horse of the Year Show the racing partnership decided that they wanted to sell Steveys Lad but Samantha could not afford to buy him. “That’s when Donna stepped in as our saviour”, said Samantha. Donna is married to member of the goth band, The Cure, Perry Bamonte, and he agreed, along with Donna’s father, to buy the horse an early Christmas present for Donna. She also has another ex-racehorse, Phantom Wisper, who had raced on the flat, and Donna herself has had race rides and is currently a work rider for racehorse trainer, Rod Millman. Sam, a school teacher, regularly rides out for trainer, Edwin Tuer. Sam and Donna could not live further apart, with Sam in Yorkshire and Donna in Devon, but the arrangement works as Steveys Lad lives in Devon with Donna and she is also able to compete with him. Donna rode him to qualify for the ROR championship at Hickstead and Sam will travel down to ride him at the final. Donna is also having dressage lessons and has won at preliminary level with a score of 67%. Donna will continue to compete in show classes with him at local county level in preparation for HOYS.