When Jayne Ross and Di Stennett’s Time 2 Reflect triumphed after a nail-biting supreme at the Longines Royal International Horse Show on Sunday (August 2), it was a poignant moment for the horse’s breeder, Sue Rawding.
When she and her husband John came to name the horse, they knew John didn’t have much time left. As the mare is by Cameo’s Reflection, the name had a double meaning. John died peacefully in his sleep in April 2011.
Time 2 Reflect came out originally as a riding horse, but entered the supreme as champion hunter at Hickstead, having won her lightweight class.
The British Horse Society horse supreme proved an exciting contest, with the hack champion Fleetwater Xecutive, ridden by Jordan Cook; the cob champion Chaplin (Oliver Hood); the Arab Sameon Maroukh (Ben Hester), riding horse High Treason (Brogan Taverner) and Time 2 Reflect. First out to do their individual show — in which practically anything goes — Hood earned riotous applause from the crowd when he and the lightweight (which is co-owned by Rawding, Time 2 Reflect’s breeder, and the Wilson family) appeared at the top of Derby Bank. The judges, Nick Brooks-Ward, Brian Williams and Margaret Shaw, scored him 26 points out of a possible 30.
Ross galloped Time 2 Reflect around the perimeter of Hickstead’s massive International Arena, to the delight of the crowd, and scored 27 points. Fleetwater Xecutive, a sublimely elegant small hack who beat the former RIHS supreme horse Pearly King en route to this final, produced a breathtaking show, with a square halt straight into canter and a stirring gallop, which from the ringside appeared to be enough to claim the overall accolade.
But while two judges awarded the top score of 10, Williams clearly preferred Time 2 Reflect and only gave a seven, leaving the hack and the hunter level-pegging. After the judges conferred, Time 2 Reflect got the nod.
This was Ross’s fourth supreme title at the Royal International, and clearly meant every bit as much as the first.
“I knew I had to pull something out of the bag after Oli went up the bank,” said Ross. “So we just let rip. Time 2 Reflect is all hunter and she has an amazing gallop.”