Ingliston Equestrian very kindly hosted the 3rd Scottish Veteran Horse of the Year 2016, and this year the competition was stronger than ever.
The VHS is now gaining popularity in Scotland each year, with many new Members qualifying through and also some familiar Members were out to try and retain their titles.
In-hand Supreme Final
It all began with In-hand Supreme Final early in the afternoon. 18 beautiful veteran paraded infront of Judges Lesley Mcnaughton-Wells and Mr Martin Adams. the class hosted a range of ages, heights and breeds. The oldest was Gillian Rosen’s coloured Warpath, and looked stunning for 32 year of age, right down to 15 year old Unicot L shown by Loretta Cruickshank. As the horses lined up to give their individual show, you could see the concentration on the judges faces, it wasn’t going to be an easy decision.
After each horse and handler had down their best to impress the judges, it was time for the scores to be added and checked.
It was a tension in the air and the line-up was just a credit to every horse and owner, some of which had travelled the day before and stayed over night so their veteran could be bright and refreshed ready for the event. One of those competitors was junior Member Benjamin Rogers with 19 year old Raemoir Hoity Toity, travelling down from north of Scotland.
Finally the judges had added and had their scores verified.
In 6th place was Loretta Cruickshank and 15 year old Unicot L, 5th place went to Aztec Skye the 14.1 hh 18 year old and shown by Linzi Crichton, 4th place was taken by young Benjamin Rogers with Mrs Rogers’ 19 year old 12 hh pony Raemoir Hoity Toity, 3rd and 2nd Reserve went to another junior Member, Katie Bremner and Mrs Bremners adorable Howen Bluey aged 21. 2nd and Reserve Champion had again retained her title and this went to Arlene Sommerville, whose smile showed how much this meant to her and her beautiful little M&M grey gelding Major Attitude now 18 years of age. Then with much anticipation the winner was announced. Cheers of jubilation and tremendous clapping as Emma Duncan and her own Wind Wizard aged 19 became the new In-hand Supreme Champion 2016. The stunning pure bred liver chestnut Arab, stood for photographs and the presentation before showing the most beautiful paces in his lap of honour.
Junior Ridden Supreme Final
The next class forward was new to the Scottish Championship and was the very popular Junior Rider Supreme Final. The class is not about which is the best show pony, but which combination of pony/horse rider, but it is also apparent that the rider prepares and cares for their pony as best they are able to and shows the most potential and together make a lovely combination. So care and welfare comes very highly in the marks. It is all about encouraging junior members to not only show their veteran correctly but reward them for all their hard work and dedication. This class was hugely popular in Scotland and if they were awarded this at any show, they had automatic qualification to the Supreme Final. All competitors looked very excited to be there and their veterans were beautifully turned out, congratulations to them all. In 6th Place was little Kara Hodnett, with Mrs Hodnetts pretty 11.2 hh palomino, Lippens Sweetcorn aged 19. 5th place went to Lucy Ellis riding Toberdoney Springtime who was one of the oldest veteran in the competition aged 27, Lucy is new to VHS showing and has done fantastically well for her first Supreme. 4th place was given to Amy Conchie riding another 27 year old a lovely example of a Diamond veteran Islandview Lad, who stand at 128 cms. 3rd place and second reserve was another new competitor to the Supreme Final and young Madeline Collins riding Mr & Mrs Collins’ 21 year old Connolly, the family were overjoyed to become 2nd Reserve Champion. Reserve Junior Champion went to Kara’s brother Glyn Hodnett and the beautiful 25 year old, 12.3 veteran Codona Eclipse. The winner and the 2016 Junior Champion went to Rachel Urquart, last years Reserve Supreme Champion. So Rachael had done it, she had become Champion and the whole family were over the moon. Rachel works very hard with her 18 year old Chinook Morning Breeze, looked just beautiful as they were presented with the award. Then a lap of honour from everyone.
Ridden Supreme Final
Finally the Ridden Final, 21 beautiful veterans showed their paces for the judges and then lined up for their individual show and were striped so the judges could see each veterans condition and movement.
The judges efficiently went through the class until the scores had been finalised and verified.
The line up began with 6th place going to Amy Conchie and Island Viewland, 5th place was given to the 25 year old 15.3 hh, Millie, ridden beautifully by Siobhan Stalker-Clarke, 4th place was Rachael Urquart and Chinock Morning Breeze, 3rd and 2nd Reserve Champion went to Loretta Cruickshank and Unicot L, Reserve Ridden Champion was awarded to the beautiful coloured Touchmill Star aged 19 ridden and owned by Emma Thomson. The overall Ridden Champion, Emma Duncan had done it again with Wind Wizard had done the double and won both in-hand and ridden Championships. Emma was just over the moon.
Finally the stewards called all 1st and 2nd places back for the overall Scottish Veteran Horse of the Year 2016. The judges watched each champion and Reserve go round and called the class to line up for the final judging.
Then it was announced the Reserve Champion was the 19 year old coloured Touchmill Star. The winner and Scottish Veteran of the Year 2016 was Wind Wizards ridden and owned by Emma Duncan.
Emma and Wind Wizard did a beautiful and well deserved lap of honour, we managed to catch up with Emma after the event and were amazed to know that she nearly didn’t make it to the Supreme due to a recent injury.
Wiz has been with me for 17years. He has had a formidable career in the showing being a champ and supreme champ many times over including being British Amateur Champion in 2007.
He broke his n/s hind leg again for the second time in October 2009 and was back out competing in May 2010 picking up ridden arab champion no one told him he was going to be a field ornament!
He qualified for the veteran finals at Olympia in 2012 and we made the marathon 3 day journey to London. He loved his time in the big ring! and was a creditable 8th.
my daughter was very ill a couple of years ago and spent 6 months in hospital. Wiz was my sanity during what was a very stressful time.
He is my horse of a lifetime and the yard revolves around HRH Wind Wizard but he has earned and deserves every bit of pampering he gets.
Well what can I say about our day at the Scottish Veteran Championships 2016….
We never expected to do so well as all the veterans forward were truly stunning.
To win the inhand championship was amazing and unexpected, and a few tears were shed. But to win the ridden final as well was just surreal!
To then be awarded Scottish Supreme Veteran Champion 2016 was a moment we will never forget. I have been told he is the first horse to do the ‘Treble’ .
Wizard is an out and out showman and loved his time in the spotlight and I have a sore face for two days because of all the smiling.
Lesley McNaughton-Wells did a fantastic job of judging with Mr Martin Adams and spoke after the event
‘The classes were very well filled and we had some lovely quality horses and ponies to judge, which were a credit to the owners. I thoroughly enjoyed judging the Supreme final and wish to thank each and every competitor for making such an effort on the day. Wishing everyone all the very best for 2017’.
Photos courtesy of Adrian Sinclair