1st, Barbers Shop, owned by HM The Queen and ridden by Katie Jerram of Great Dunmow, Essex
2nd, Valentine Jak, owned by Mrs Gill Bolt and ridden by Mrs Donna Bamonte of Cullompton, Devon
This popular class attracted 36 entries that were split into two groups for provisional judging by Jeanetta La Four (conformation) and David Ingle (ride). In the final placings, first place went to Barbers Shop, owned by HM The Queen and ridden by Katie Jerram. Barbers Shop was a HOYS finalist last year and has numerous wins in ex-racehorse classes but this was his first showing outing since HOYS last year. However, having also been a successful racehorse, he is required to put in other public appearances and has paraded at Newbury Racecourse and the Cheltenham Festival this year. “I am amazed how well behaved he is after having paraded at Cheltenham. Terry [Pendry, stud groom at Windsor] was worried that he would fret after taking him back into the racing environment, but he was completely chilled today. He let down well during the winter months but was kept in work. His field companion is Dunbeacon [2013 Ladies Hunter of the Year and now retired] and they are inseparable in the field. He is my first ride of the day, and then he goes out in the field. He is turned out every day and has a strict routine, which is what he is used to in racing, and he is loving it. I won’t do much with him this year, he will do the Royal Welsh and I would like to do Burghley and then HOYS, and he will also parade if asked. Next year we are aiming at ladies side saddle. It is quality of outings rather than quantity with him now”, said Katie.
Second place went to Valentine Jak, owned by Jill Bolt and ridden by Donna Bamonte of Cullompton, Devon. Jill is racing secretary to Rod Milman racing and rode Valentine Jak to qualify for the Racehorse to Riding Horse Championships in 2012 but did not take him to the finals. She had also competed him in dressage and Le Trec. Donna rides work for Rod Milman and Jill offered her the ride after the tragic death of Donna’s horse, Stevey’s Lad, who was killed in a road accident on the way home from HOYS last year. “It means a lot to come here and do this, especially after everything that happened. I did not have much confidence to ride in the ring but I have worked on him and it has helped build up my confidence”, said Donna.
The pair have won in local hack classes and Donna hopes to qualify him in open hack classes. “I have done lots of clinics and ROR events and some dressage to music. He likes going out”, she added.
The judges were impressed with the standard of horses coming forward in this class. Conformation judge, Jeanetta la Four, said “it is several years since I last judged the racehorses, and the standard has risen incredibly. They are beautifully presented, competitors are listening and taking advice and enjoying it. It was lovely to judge this class, and the standard today was exceptionally high”.
“We were spoilt for choice. To have such quality is such an honour to judge, I just wish more would come in to talk to the judges as there are some very small things, bits of advice that would help make all the difference”, said David Ingle.