• Show Circuit Magazine

Working Hunter at Horse of the Year

Working Hunter HOY overview

Hain Untouchable in Working Hunter Last to go in the Working Hunter Horse of the Year title class, the irrepressible Merran Hain and Untouchable showed their experience, clinching the title. Merran, from Gisborne, is a familiar face at HOY. A fierce competitor, she has won numerous titles on many horses over the years – so many even she wasn’t sure how many times she had won the Working Hunter title. Untouchable is a 17-year-old Thoroughbred by Warsaw Pact out of an Icelandic mare, Melting Point. Merran had two aims for this season, to win the TiES Show Hunter series for Thoroughbreds, and to win the Working Hunter title at HOY. Both goals she can now tick off. She also took the prize for best presented in the Working Hunter title class. “I’ve never won that before,” she laughed. “He went better in the second round, I was happy when I came out (of the ring).” When asked if she would be back again next year to defend her title Merran was noncommittal. “My family are not too happy I’m still doing it. I had a fall in the spring. I don’t know.”

Pony Working Hunter Hastings is a long way from Cheviot, but the trip up to Horse of the Year Show was worth it for Skye Somerville and Fairburn Cosmic Star. It was the first ever trip to HOY for the 12-year-old, who never expected to take the title and was surprised to hear her name read out in first place. “He just pulled it out of the bag really, he was pretty incredible,” she said of her pony. She thought they had done a good round, but didn’t realise just how good it was. “I didn’t know it was so nice – I thought everyone did an amazing round.” Skye has had 14-year-old Mickey, as he is known at home, for two years and the pair do a bit of everything – showjumping to 1.10m, hunting, pony club and A&P shows. “I was really amazed and surprised,” she said of the win. “I’m really proud of him for his first time (at HOY), this is probably his biggest experience.” She described her pony as “really friendly, honest and quite a softy, but energetic”. Skye wanted to thank her coach, Olivia Waddy, friends, family and farrier, Brent Hannah, for their support.