For the first time since 2012, a mountain and moorland breed landed the supreme pony title at Horse of the Year Show. Sarum Rembrandt, a Welsh section A stallion, painted the perfect picture under the Birmingham spotlights to land to the top accolade — the last M&M to do so was the Highland Stirlingdene.
The eight-year-old Rembrandt, by Heniarth Quinnell out of Cledwyn Red Rose, was produced to perfection by native pony specialist Sarah Parker. While Parker has been in the final several times before — including last year with Rembrandt — this was the first time she has won this prestigious accolade.
“It was nerve-racking waiting,” she admitted. “But Remi loved it — the more the crowd cheered the more he showed himself off.”
The line-up for the HOYS finale was as strong as ever, including the show pony champion, Rhos Exception; the mini M&M Thistledown Van Der Vaart; the consistent working hunter pony Freckleton Maximus; show hunter pony Valentine Dignity, and mini show pony Woodview Ianthe, among others, coming before Jinks Bryer and Brian Williams.
Meanwhile, in what is thought to be a HOYS first, the same horse has won the supreme accolade two years running. Broadshard Simplicity, owned by Carol Bardo and ridden by Jayne Ross, was foot-perfect in the Andrew Bowen International Arena at Birmingham’s NEC to win the title for the second successive year. While the same horse has won this ultimate award twice before, it has not been done in consecutive years.
“This is up one of the best results of my career — I don’t think it’s ever been done before,” said Ross.
And Broadshard Simplicity, at seven, is possibly one of the youngest horses to take the title. The gelding, by Llanarth Alleycat, made his first appearance at HOYS in 2013 as a hack, but as he grew and furnished, he found a different niche.
“After that first year, we had so many people saying, we don’t know if he’s a hack or a riding horse,” said Ross. “So having been champion at Windsor as a hack, he became a riding horse. He bulked up a bit and we would be hard pushed to keep enough off him for him to be quality enough to be a hack.”
It proved the right decision, as Simplicity still has quality to burn, but the bone and substance needed for a riding horse. He effortlessly took the riding horse championship again this time and, despite the strength and depth in the 2015 supreme horse of the year, was in a class of his own.
Image: Sarum Rembrandt by E.S. Photography, courtesy of HOYS