Michaela Wood had intended to take four of her show horses to the BSPS Summer Championships, but ended up taking only one. Having only left her sick bed the day before, following a serious throat infection, she triumphed in both the HOYS mountain and moorland section and the ultra-prestigious Olympia qualifier at Arena UK.
“I was meant to go down to Lincolnshire on the Tuesday [of the championships] with four horses but ended up going on the Friday with just one,” revealed Wood, who underwent a tonsillectomy the week before. “I needed to take one that didn’t need plaiting, didn’t need quarter marks and I could get on 20 minutes before the class, because I literally didn’t have the energy to do any more.”
Her choice was the Welsh section D Swchyrhafod Brenin, an eight-year-old by Fronarth Victor. He won his HOYS class and stood champion, before going on to claim the ticket for the Blue Chip BSPS Heritage ridden final at the London pre-Christmas show.
“At the start of the week, I thought I wouldn’t make the championships because of my blooming tonsils. And then he wins both his classes and goes champion twice,” said Wood, who was quick to thank her sponsor Derby House, for which she is a brand ambassador. “There was a lot of pressure for the Olympia because it’s so hard to qualify and this was my first and last chance.
“He’s a stallion but he doesn’t act like it,” she added. “I don’t think he knows what he is! When he about three or four he covered a mare, but I think he escaped into a field — it was one of those sort of situations.
“But he is so safe and such fun to ride. I love my boy!”
Michaela Wood and Swchyrhafod Brenin, courtesy of Michaela Wood