Walker wows to win fourth Showing supreme

Top show producer Robert Walker lifted the Winston Churchill Trophy today at Hickstead  

Robert Walker & View Point (2)

Cheshire showman Robert Walker was crowned the British Horse Society Supreme Ridden Horse champion today at the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

Riding Jill Day’s 11-year-old bay gelding View Point, Robert came out on top after a thrilling ride-off against Danielle Heath and hack victor Forgelands Hydepark.

The Supreme final sees each of the week’s champions come forward to do a freestyle individual show in a bid to impress the panel of three judges. This year’s judges - British Horse Society President Martin Clunes, Hickstead patron Sue Bunn and top breeder Michael Maryan - gave both Robert and Danielle a score of 29, meaning the pair had to ride again before the overall winner could be decided.

With Robert showing off his hunter’s balance, rideability and effortless gallop, Danielle impressed by riding one-handed, then galloping along the arena before returning to a halt and dropping both reins to showcase her hack’s immaculate manners. But in the end it was Robert who got the nod with Danielle taking reserve.

“In the ride-off I wanted to keep it short, sharp and snappy and keep the judges looking at my horse,” says Robert, who had finished reserve supreme in 2019 and 2021, and previously won in 2003 (Boy George), 2005 (Broadstone Doulton) and 2007 (Sleeve Nambon Mist). “This is the fourth time I’ve won the Supreme, with so many near misses, so it was fantastic to win again today."

Robert has had plenty of success with the lightweight View Point, who has won the hunter title at the Royal Windsor Horse Show three times. “He owes the owner and myself nothing. This is his fourth outing this season and he has won all four. He is just a horse of a lifetime – he has certainly got a stable at our place for the rest of his life!”

Danielle had qualified two horses for the final, with the De La Hey Family Supreme Riding Horse champion Times Square II also coming forward for today’s final. The nine-year-old bay had given producer Heath her first ever Riding Horse title at the show.

In the Supreme Products Supreme Pony championship, Mia Donaldson and Wilderness Early Bird took the title for the second year in a row. The pair had just won the Leeman Family BSPS Supreme Show Pony Championship before returning to the Longines International Arena, where they gained 28 points from the panel of judges.

Yorkshire-based Mia, 17, is enjoying a final season with the 13-year-old mare. “She’s an amazing pony, but this is my last year on her so next year, we’ll keep her and put her in foal,” she said. “She’s amazing, she just loves to perform in that ring. There was a lot more pressure on us this year, having won last year, it’s amazing to come back and get the title again.”

In reserve was the Leeman Family Show Hunter Pony champions, Merrycorner Mister Bui and Zara Brookes, on a total of 26. Cheshire-based Zara was making the most of a return to their happy hunting ground, having taken the show hunter pony honours for the second consecutive year.

Showing round up

Prolific Hickstead champion Jayne Ross got her week off to a winning start on Tuesday, taking the Oyster Wealth Planning Supreme Skewbald and Piebald Indian Trail championship with KBF Crescendo. The pair then went on to score a second title when winning the Ladies’ Hunter class, then finished third in the overall supreme.

The O’Donnell Family Pure Bred Ridden Arabian Championship went to Clare Fitch and the stunning grey 10-year-old Aja Guilliano, a former HOYS winner, while the UKPH Young Riders’ M&M Supreme Championship title was awarded to Daisy May Allen, Crumpwell Harry Potter, a 12-year-old grey Welsh section A.

The Surrey Envelopes Supreme Cob Championship was won in fine style by Justine Armstrong-Small, on Horton’s Magnifico. “We heard he was for sale as a five-year-old, he hadn’t really done much, so we went to see him in the middle of the night, it was December and was dark and we said ‘we’ll have him’ on the spot!” said Justine. “We call him Captain Chaos, as he’s always throwing his water buckets over his door and getting the reins in his mouth, but he’s got a great temperament and takes everything in his stride.”

Danni Radford’s Ladies Man, known as 'George' at home, took home The Jackson Fine Home Ltd Supreme Intermediate Championship. Ladies Man is the first horse Danni has ever bred, and he was ridden by experienced show rider Poppy Carter. 

The Peter & Pip Baker-Beall BSPS Supreme Mini Pony Championship went to Woodview Iola and Lilly-Mae Howard, while Ruby Ward won the LG Show Team BSPS Supreme Working Hunter Pony Championship on Noble Ronan, a pony they’ve owned since a youngster. Eleanor Hirst took the Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Working Hunter Championships on her own Noble Gladiator, achieving her first Hickstead win.

The Corroconsult BSPS Heritage Mountain & Moorland Supreme Ridden Championship was won by Sandra Burton on her own Aniar Cashel. “I was champion here with the sire of this one, Banks Timber, in 2017 and I didn’t ever think I’d be here today winning it again with his son, it’s just amazing. He’s just a lovely person for a stallion, very well behaved, with a lovely attitude to his work,” she said. 

For all this week's showing results, please click here

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