Lucky Number Seven!

November 11, 2019 2:51 pm by
Posted in Horse of the Year Show, HOYS, Jayne Ross, News, Sponsored riders

Jayne Ross proves that all good things really do come in seven’s, with a 7th Supreme win at HOYS, alongside four additional champion titles. We look back at her week in Birmingham …
“To say I’m on cloud 9 is an understatement. Never did I think I’d achieve a 7th HOYS Supreme title; it really was the icing on the cake of what had already been an incredible week. It was a fantastic reward for the huge effort that the team have put in all year – in fact, ever since the end of HOYS last year, when we started planning for this season!

Our week began on Tuesday, when Mark (Chesters), Jo (Powell) and I headed north with the two ladies horses for the Wednesday classes – CSF Cummer Paradise (Audrey), Dharmavallye (Tim) – as well as the small hunter, Church Rock Cashel (Rocky), small hack Whalton Reprise (Ruby) and large hack Forgelands Hyde Park (Will). Audrey and Will had been to the gallops at 7am that morning for their final workout, and all horses were bathed prior to travelling. Another lorry followed behind us with 30 bales of shavings and 14 bales of hay, plus the wheelbarrow, trolley and rug bags!


On arrival, we headed straight to the vet checks, which we got through pretty quickly. It’s always a nerve-wracking moment, even though you’ve triple-checked everything! We were delighted to see our stable allocation was for some new metal stables; these stayed warmer and drier than the older ones which have completely open fronts. We bedded them down quickly and the horses moved in for the week. Us humans then made ‘camp’ in the back of the lorry, organising the feed and tack, making sure everything is accessible so that we can get to it quickly when we’re in a hurry. Jo and I stayed at the hotel, nice and close to the stables. We took 17 horses in total, for 20 classes, so organisation was key – even down to putting all the show bridles out in order of the days they were needed! All was sorted by 6pm, so it was a chance for supper and an early night.


Wednesday morning saw Audrey and Tim in the International Arena at 5.20am for their warm-up. Systems were changed this year; instead of unrestricted use, each class was given an exercise slot. Overall, it seemed to work well and meant there was no over-crowding, but it certainly helped that the outdoor arena was open at that time too and the weather was kind – if we had had torrential rain, it wouldn’t have been so fun to work the horses outside before trying to turn them out to look their utmost.


We were delighted with Audrey’s 2nd place in this her first HOYS ladies’ class, after winning 3 qualifiers this year, but never having done the class before. She was a very relaxed, happy girl with no spooking in the arena, so we were left cautiously hopeful for her riding horse class on Sunday. I then exercised the hacks ready for Thursday. Alice Homer, who had the intermediate ride on Church Rock Cashel, took him out for some familiarisation – but nothing fazes Rocky, he just loves life!


Thursday was an earlier start, with two hacks and two small hunters to get ready. Mark fed them at 3.30am and Jo was out at the stables for 4am. As well as Alice, Olivia Minihane joined the team for the duration and both girls were a great help and did a lot of riding. The process was the same as Wednesday; 5am in the international arena, then back to the stables to prepare for the classes. Whalton Surprise (Ruby) went beautifully and we were over the moon for her taking 3rd place in the small hacks as she was a novice at the start of the season and is only a 5-year-old, her temperament is amazing. Forgelands Hyde Park (Will) performed outstandingly to take the class – the first time I have ever won a hack class at HOYS! A quick change on to Rocky and he put his best foot forward to give me another first – I’ve never won a small hunter class, so 2 ‘demons’ were laid to rest in the space of a couple of hours! It was also a first win for Rocky’s owner Kay Campbell, who was ringside to support, which made his win even sweeter!


Having finished relatively early, it was time for a champagne celebration and lots of our owners got together to toast Rocky and Will. By 5pm however, it was back to work and time to swap the horses. Olivia who transports for us, arrived with Temple Ogue (Verdi) for the Lightweight hunters, Twinshock Warrior (Bernard) for the heavyweight hunters and last year’s supreme, Time2Reflect (Betty), who after 7 HOYS under saddle, was back this time as a broodmare for the Cuddy final on Friday. Louise Hancock who had travelled up with them, had taken both boys to the to the gallops in the morning and put the finishing touches to their preparation, so once they had been settled into their stables, it was time to get Will ready for the hack championship. He was absolutely faultless to take the championship – my third first! And thus, he had done the double – hack champion at both RIHS and HOYS in the same year. What a star.


Friday saw another day of successes, beginning with RIHS winner and reserve champion Verdi, finish off his season in style with a fabulous 2nd place. Next up was Bernard, who was so light and athletic on his feet and was outstanding, taking the win. The next lorry load of horses (this time the cobs) and Ciara Mullen arrived that afternoon, so once we settled the newcomers, we then got ready for the hunter championship. What an honour it was to have 2 horses in that very prestigious championship. Having ridden Verdi at the National Championships, Alice jumped back on board and belied her 17 years to give him a cool ride. I am so proud of this young lady. Bernard gave me his all to take the top spot. It was the first time I had actually ridden the champion, so was in complete shock and had taken the team’s tally to 3 wins and 2 championships. Last but not least, darling Betty took third in her first in-hand class.


Saturday was the cob day and our owners and riders thoroughly enjoyed their rides in the main ring – Lisette Batchelor on Chantilly Sandman, Taran Hanover on the Kings Hand and Zoe Tennant on CobinHood, which was his 7th and final HOYS, where he gained a fantastic 11th place in the LW cobs. Alex Osborn rode his and Craig McLelland’s Randalstown Columbo in the HW class and I was thrilled with Debbie Harrod’s novice 5-year-old Randalstown Cromwell, taking 3rd place. It was then over to the intermediate show hunter in the Top Spec Arena where Alice took a fantastic 2nd place on Rocky. The day was rounded off with Kay Campbell’s A Masterpiece gaining 9th in the Maxi Cobs. Bex Hunter arrived with the riding horses and KBF Crescendo (Daphne) that afternoon, ready for Sunday.


The first class of the final day was extremely early, with Casino and Hello Dolly, owned and ridden by Lucy Cameron, in the small RH class at 6.45am. Casino proved herself to be an incredible mare, going beautifully to win her class for the fourth year in a row. Audrey was not to be outdone however and gave both myself and the judge fantastic rides to win for Michael Cook and Tony Reynolds – giving them their first HOYS win! It was quite a morning, taking both Riding Horse titles! After a quick glass of fizz to celebrate, I jumped onto Daphne in the coloured non-native horse, where she went brilliantly to take 2nd spot. These results meant a busy day ahead for the team, as we had 3 horses into the afternoon championships, with another 3 to exercise and plait ready for the supreme that evening! Not an easy task to achieve when the outdoor arena is taken up by 3pm, yet Olivia, Alice and Ciara all stepped up perfectly. I rode Casino to take the Riding Horse championship and Ciara showed a very cool head in her first HOYS championship to take reserve champion on Audrey.


Between this class and the supreme, we began packing up the lorry ready for the return home. Louise and Bex brought up a second lorry so that they could take a couple of the horses home, along with the wheelbarrow and rug bags, which we managed to get loaded whilst waiting for the supreme.


It was a fantastic supreme to be involved in. I was amazed how Bernard manoeuvred himself around the smaller Top Spec arena during the preliminary judging, maintaining his light and balanced movement. When you compare this ring to the one at RIHS, where he was able to let go and gallop, it makes me realise just what a horse he is. I was honestly lost for words when we were called forward as supreme champion. I never dared hope for another win after last year, but all of our team’s hard work truly paid off, giving us our seventh HOYS win. It was my best ever HOYS; I couldn’t be happier.


Huge thanks must go to all of my team up at HOYS – Jo and Mark, joined by Ciara for the weekend, Olivia Minihane, and Alice Homer. The team at home – Lou Hancock, Bex Hunter and Tilley Powell – did a fantastic job too, keeping everything running like clockwork whilst we were away. And of course, the HOYS organisers, Grandstand Media, for their hardworking teams of officials, judges and stewards who put on a fantastic show.


And now, a chance to breathe! Most of the horses are being roughed off – Audrey and Daphne have gone back to Michael and Tony; Will has gone back to Exmoor with the Wallace family and the Stennett/Cameron horses have gone home. Bernard may do a day or two’s hunting alongside a couple of the cobs and Rocky. Others are roughed off and out in the fields before we will start again with them in January. That being said, we do have a number of horses to get in and get going again, plus about half a dozen babies to break. No rest for the wicked!

HOYS Stats
• 17 horses ran in 20 classes – gaining 5 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds.
• Shavings used – 42 bales
• Hay – 14 bales
• ShowSheen and Miracle Groom – 3 x 950ml bottles of each
• SuperShine Hoof Polish – 6 bottles of black and 3 bottles of clear
• 80 miles walked by Jo from Tuesday afternoon to Sunday night, with the biggest distance on Friday with over 15.5 miles!