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  • Writer's pictureShow Circuit Magazine

Saturday Showing at Horse of the Year - Ring One

Hack of the Year Hastings’s Sue Reynolds rode off with the prestigious Hack of the Year title on Seattle yesterday, a horse she bought sight unseen from Australia just five months ago. Sue bought the six-year-old Thoroughbred from Adelaide after watching a video of him, and the goal was to get to Horse of the Year Show and win the Rising Star title. Though they may not have quite achieved that goal, taking runner-up in the Rising Star class, they more than made up for it with today’s efforts. They also won the Livamol Thoroughbred Show Horse of the Year earlier in the show, making it a very good week at the office. Sue was pleased with the horse’s efforts in the ring today, especially given heavy rain earlier in the day made the conditions challenging. “He went super in the conditions, he really tried his heart out…I was ecstatic (to win).” Sue is no stranger to success at HOY, winning many titles with the well-known X Factor, and it looks like she has another special horse. “This is just amazing. I’ve had the horse such a short time, we’re still getting to know each other. When I got him he was a very green Thoroughbred, he couldn’t canter left!” Although she made the decision to buy the horse after watching a video, she says his type was evident even then. “He’s a super type, very elegant.”

Riding Horse of the Year It was an emotional win for Tirau’s Ben Thomson and TC Artistry in the Riding Horse of the Year title class, as it is the last time riding the horse. Ben, who runs TC Equestrian, training and producing show horses and ponies, has had Art for three seasons but recently sold the horse to Waverley’s Brittany Lupton, who was on hand to witness the win. Art is an ex-racehorse by Bernardini and raced in Hong Kong as Watch Master. Ben was full of praise for the horse, who he previously partnered to win the Hack of the Year title in 2016. “He’s a beautiful horse. I thought he would be in the line-up, but he had a couple of slips and struggled a bit in the mud. But he did some very nice work as well and showed everything he needed to show.” Contrary to feeling excited on hearing his named called out as winner, it hit home the horse had been sold. “I felt upset because it’s my last ride on him. But it’s a great way to finish.” There were tears from both Ben and new owner Brittany, who has purchased the horse to get back into riding. “I bought him (Art) a couple of months ago. Ben is heading over to Europe and he has done three seasons on the horse, so I wanted him to go out and finish on a high,” she said. “My plan is to do much the same with the horse, we’ve got a big dairy farm and I wanted to have him at home as a farm hack and get into competing. I wanted to buy something that’s quiet enough to be at home with the cows but also take this hobby up. “I rode ponies but I had a knee reconstruction, so I’m just getting back into it six years later,” she said. “It’s so cool for Ben, he’s such a hard worker and the loveliest guy. He puts so much work into them.”

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