Robert Walker made the most of the new venue for the Alexander Horseboxes National Supreme Hunter Championships, held for the first time at Staffordshire County Showground.
Walker praised the “superb new venue” and was delighted with View Point’s second place in the four-year-old section. But more was to come. The five-year-old Shroughmore Emperor headed his class before going on to be overall novice champion. The lightweight, by Emperor Augustus out of Lisbawn Dancer, stood reserve novice champion at Royal Windsor in May and was a creditable second at the Great Yorkshire.
At the hunter show, Walker then partnered Jill Day’s established lightweight, Vantage Point, a big winner in-hand, to head the open sections and stand overall supreme.
“He went like an absolute star,” Walker said. “It was a very emotional evening, as Jill had said this week she was going to sell him. But I think after seeing how much he means to us and his grooms, she has decided to keep him.”
Not to be outdone, Caesars Palace, who has missed much of this season with a tooth problem after taking the championship at Windsor, booked his return ticket to the Horse of the Year Show.
“He was a little exuberant, but gave a fabulous ride,” said Walker.
The new Staffordshire County Showground venue got the thumbs up from ridden and in-hand exhibitors alike, with Martin Skelton, whose charges scored three first places and a second, saying: “A terrific showground and a lovely evening performance, with great surfaces.”
Billy Moran, whose Cuddy supreme in-hand contender Tiger Attack was in the stallion parade at the show, added: “What an amazing venue — busy with competitors and spectators, and a great atmosphere. And it’s brilliant for the show to have a more central location.
“The Sport Horse Breeding (GB) team should be proud. They have taken it up once again to a higher level, making it a worthy supreme show.”