The owner of last year’s Cuddy supreme in-hand championship completed what’s thought to be a unique double when he also bagged the 2015 edition at Horse of the Year Show. This year, Martin Wood took the title with Romanno Royale — a three-year-old by the Oldenburg Rubin Star N — who qualified at Newark and Notts back in May, his only other outing this season.
“Winning two years in a row is just unbelievable — I don’t think it’s ever been done before,” said Wood, who won last year’s Cuddy final with the pony Rendene Royal Charm, and showed Royale here as a yearling. “I’m so proud of him. Simon [Charlesworth, handler] showed him absolutely amazingly. I love the horse and Simon for showing him.”
Charlesworth, more usually seen in the saddle, added: “This is what everyone in showing works for all year round — it’s the best thing in the world. This horse has everything: he’s a great mover, he carries himself, he’s a lovely balanced horse and he has correct conformation.”
Judges Matthias Werner, of the German Trakehner Verband, and Chris McGrann obviously agreed, and it was a popular decision. Wood is great supporter of showing, with both his own horses and those of his daughter, Michaela, who is competing at HOYS this week.
Also popular was the choice of reserve, Lisha Leeman’s Kellythorpes Ooh-La-La, second to Romanno Royale in the horse section. Leeman’s Kellythorpes Strike A Pose headed the Cuddy supreme Pony of the Year class. In what is thought to be another HOYS first, the Kellythorpes pair were shown by twins Dain and Frazer Atherden.
Image: Romanno Royale by E.S. Photography, courtesy of the Horse of the Year Show