There was a thrilling three-way tie in the Grandstand Media Five Fence Challenge at HOYS (6 October) as the international showjumping classes kicked off.

‘Great performance’

Holly Smith (Hearts Destiny), Helen Tredwell (Sebasatian VII) and Shane Breen (Can Ya Makan) agreed to share first place after round four, which finished with a fence at 1.80m (5ft, 11in).

The Five Fence Challenge involves a course of five fences that increase in height with each round. If the rider jumps clear they progress to the next round.

“It was a great class,” said Shane. “I think we did the right thing to divide the prize. We’ve got two more days of jumping, so we wanted to leave something in the tank. ”

‘Unusual class’

Helen has previously been a joint-winner and finished equal third in this competition and said it was one of her favourite classes. However, it was Holly’s first Five Fence Challenge and novice horse Hearts Destiny’s first time at HOYS.

“It is quite an unusual class and I suppose the trick to it is to try and keep enough tempo up to give them the power to jump the fences and not rush it,” she said. “You also need a very scopey horse with a lot of ability.”‘

Prestigious title

Opening the evening performance was the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year, won by Scottish teenager Shaunie Greig and Casino Royale VIII. This class started in 1949 and previous winners including Michael and William Whitaker.

This was followed by one of the most prestigious titles in showing, the Cuddy Supreme In-Hand Championship, which was won by Broadstone Dolce Vita. The 17-year-old mare, owned by William Moran and Pearl Underwood, enjoyed a prolific ridden career with Amy Underwood. She’s been with William for the last three years and they have claimed numerous championship tiles together.

“I’ve been breeding for 25 years and it’s always been my dream to win the horse section of the Cuddy, let alone the Supreme!” said William. “When I first saw her I thought, that’s good enough to win the Cuddy.”

Search for a Star

Day three at HOYS also saw the announcement of the SEIB Search for a Star Supreme Champion. The Championship class featured winners of the Show Cobs, Working Show Horse/Pony, Riding Horse/Hack and Hunter classes, but it was the Riding Horse winner Mista Fezziwig, owned and ridden by Lynsey Lawrence, who took the title.

Reserve Supreme Champion went to Hevans Forever in my Life and Ellie Simmonds.

‘Found a star’

Lynsey bought ‘Ralph’ as a yearling from his breeders, who were there to watch.

“I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I said today, ‘Imagine what it would be like to ride down the centre line under the spotlight’ and then a few hours later, here we are. It’s incredible!”

Lynsey plans to contest Open classes next season and would like to try him with a side saddle over the winter.

“We have found a star,” said Robert Oliver, who was one of the judges. “This is what this series is all about.”

You can watch the Grandstand Media Five Fence Challenge on H&C as well as other highlights from yesterday’s thrilling action.

H&C’s daily round up of HOYS 2017 airs at 7.30pm from 5 – 9 October on Sky 253, or you can watch online via H&C Play.

HOYS 2017 on H&C is sponsored by