Winning at HOYS – from the horse’s viewpoint

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |

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What does it feel like to win at HOYS
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What does it feel like to win at HOYS? Billy tells it all….

Billy is just, like, whatevah! Since he got back to the yard after his triumph at Horse of the Year Show, the other ponies have been really mean to him. Billy can hardly believe he went champion at HOYS — it was the best day of his entire life.

He can still recall that amazing feeling of galloping down the centre line, with Amy holding the reins in one hand as she fist-pumped the air with the other, and everyone around the arena clapping and cheering. And then afterwards, when she dismounted and hugged his neck really hard, and he felt her warm tears in his mane. It was the best moment ever.

But now, every time he tries to talk about it, the other ponies either jeer at him or ignore him. It’s not fair. Don’t they know how special it was? This morning when they were turned out he tried to talk about it again, and Badger actually nipped him! Didn’t he know that if he left a scar it could ruin Billy’s showing career?

“What’s the matter, Billy?”

Billy is jolted out of his sulk by Lola, the dear old thing in the next stall. He puts his head over the door.

“The other ponies are being mean,” he tells her. “Every time I say anything about having been champion at HOYS, they tease me or run away. Nobody knows how special it is.”

“I do,” says Lola. “I was champion at HOYS many years ago, and there’s nothing like it in the world…”

For a moment, her eyes look into the distance as she remembers, and Billy can glimpse, just for a second, the beautiful, well-bred filly she once had been.

“I had no idea,” he says, wonderingly.

“No,” says Lola, snapping out of her reverie. “I don’t talk about it much, Some memories are like rare jewels, which we should take out only once in a while to appreciate their glow, in private, so that it doesn’t dim. Do you see?”
And Billy does.

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