In a move that’s taken the showing world by surprise, Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) revealed that the judges for the 2016 Cuddy in-hand Championship will not be announced before the show.
This is “to ensure the prestige” of the competition, according to a HOYS statement. However, it does pose a dilemma for competitors, as, under general showing rules, no animal can be shown if it has a “connection” with the judge — and that could be something as simple as being on the same yard. The onus is on the competitor to ensure they are “legal” to show under the judge on the day.
Judges for the other finals were announced on Monday (23 November). Reigning side-saddle rider of the year Samantha Boxall will be ride judge for the ladies’ side-saddle championship — a secret she has had to keep since February.
“It’s the biggest secret I’ve ever kept,” she admitted. “Finally, it’s out! It’s such an honour to have been asked cannot wait.”
HOYS judging debutante Sarah Harrison will assess ride in the coloured classes with Len Bigley presiding over conformation. Harrison is probably best known for her partnership with the wonderful Chantilly Lace IV, supreme coloured pony at the Royal International in 2012, and more recently with Hello Dolly II.
Who better to judge a hunter than a Master of Foxhounds? Nigel Peel, joint-master of the North Cotswold, will be assessing conformation of both the working and small hunter classes at Birmingham next year. His ride judge is Lucy Killingbeck, an immensely experience rider. Highly respected equine vet John Gilliver judges the hunter weights, with ride judge Jenny Banks. Mathew Lawrence will have a busy HOYS as he is ride judging the cobs and maxi cobs with conformation judge Peter Crafts.
The experienced Joanne Griffin judges the children’s riding ponies with Elizabeth Crew. Robert Parker-Jones will assess the part-bred ponies with Julia Ryde-Rogers, as well as the mini mountain and moorland ponies.
The full list of 2016 judges can be found at: http://hoys.co.uk/competitor-zone/showing-judges/