- 11th October 2017 by Rowen Barbary
The Road To HOYS....... - Donna Bamonte
I feel a quick update is due regarding the "coming and goings" of the team here at Southill Paddocks recently. The pinnacle of the last few weeks culminating in Jak picking up his HOYS ticket for the SEIB Racehorse 2 Riding Horse Of The Year for the fourth year in a row! A 4am start and an epic lorry journey was well worth it!
Jake has been coming on in leaps and bounds (quite literally!) since my last blog. He was on the sidelines for most of the season due to injury however swiftly came sound again and feeling great! We took him out to a little show where we won both his classes and took the ridden championship! I really had no expectations considering he hadn't been anywhere for almost a year so to make a comeback like this was amazing, he remembered everything and really shone like the star he is!
August was to bring Jake more success in the form of his first RoR win at Dunster Show, qualifying for the ROR Novice Final at Aintree 2018. This is my goal for next season so to have qualified is wonderful, topped off with superb behaviour. Stunt bikes graced the main arena as we were in our class, as well as a pack of foxhounds passing by topped with a nasty gale and showers! I didn't think he would cope yet he proved me wrong and we had a super day.
Since then we have had a couple more outings, Berkshire County being Jakes first County Show. He unfortunately had an encounter with a booming tannoy which unluckily for us always made noise just as we passed it, not to mention it being pretty much head height with Jake. He did however overcome his fears to stand in line and perform a nice calm show, all mileage and a learning curve. Not wanting to end his season with a fright I took him to Torbay and District Riding Club Show where the ambience was calming and relaxed. We left with two wins and reserve champion, Jake completely chilled and happy! As always he came home to a bowl of ReadyMash Extra for tea!!
Valentine Jak certainly lives up to his name, I have so much love for this boy! A true friend that always does his best for you. He really has exceeded my dreams and expectations qualifying for HOYS four times!! It still hasn't quite sunk in yet!
A ten hour round trip to Burghley Horse Trials was to be an emotional day in many ways. This was to be the first time we competed at the famous three day event, although not to actually tackle the Cross Country, Dressage and Showjumping!!! Judging by Jaks excitement as we rode across the park to the ring though, I think he would have liked to give it a go!!
Twenty Five competitors were to battle it out to claim the last two coveted qualifying places for this prestigious final, a final that I hold dear and represents everything I do and all my work with Retraining Ex Racehorses. We have had a consistent record in the qualifiers this year, always in the final placings however sadly always missing out on a ticket. Little did I know my luck was about to change! Jak stepped into the ring every inch the little showman he is and, after giving the judge a super ride he had done it, collecting this ticket for 2017. "My word he can accelerate!!" was the feedback I received after Jak has been asked to extend in his show! He had gone the best he had ever gone and I couldn't be more prouder of him then I was that day! He is always the smallest horse in these classes and yet he holds his own and is up there with all the countries top campaigners.. it is said the best things come in small packages, I totally agree!!
We also have a new member of the team for 2018 in the form of "Thenobleprankster" aka "Dino". He came to me from Emma Owen Racing, latterly Pat Eddery. He will also contend the ROR classes in good time, a winter project whilst my other boys have their winter break! I have already introduced him to Readymash Extra which he is very much enjoying, soaked with warm water it really smells delicious! I could almost eat it myself!! Exciting times!!