It is one of the most prestigious finals of the year and one all the professional riders want to win - the Foxhunter final. Here is the class of 2017.
Jamie Wingrove and Heartstring. This Cicero Z Van Paemel/Heartbreaker mare owned and bred by Mark and Helen Wells and Georgia Reynolds qualified at Wales and West and is currently contending the seven-year-old classes at the world breeding championships in Lanaken.
Carron Nicol has two in the final. Carron bought the talented six-year-old Diamant De Semilly/Sandro Boy stallion Galerius (pictured from Jim Barry at Sovereign Equestrian a year ago and has clocked up wins and consistent places both at home and abroad. They won their Foxhunter qualifier at Keysoe and recently finished second in Addington Manor’s non British-bred six-year-old final. Carron also has the seven-year-old Singapore/Cassini I stallion Finnegan D in the final after taking qualification at the National Championships, Stoneleigh.
Chris Smith has qualified two but Elmo Hill has recently been sold to Tim Wilks. However, Chris still has the eight-year-old stallion Warriors Glory (Warrior/Caretino Glory) in the final after winning the BS Area 14 Cumbria qualifier. And they also contenders in the HOYS grade C final after topping the qualifier at Warrington back in May.
Douglas Duffin and the British-bred Clarius/Ahorn nine-year-old Pyjama Jack. HOYS grade C finalists last year, this partnership makes a return to HOYS after finishing second in the BS Area 14 Cumbria qualifier.
Emma Crawford and Ferragamo L. This is Emma’s first year out of ponies and she got the ride on the Ustinov/Haarlem seven-year-old last July jumping at discovery/newcomers level. They picked up their HOYS qualification at the National Championships, Stoneleigh with third place.
Helen Tredwell and Funnycan. This Zavall VDL/Monaco seven-year-old was originally produced by Laura Mantel and won the Hickstead novice final in 2016. Helen took over at the end of May and has qualified for three HOYS finals – the Foxhunter, grade C and talentseekers.
Jess Dimmock and Billy In Fashion. Jess only got the ride on this seven-year-old Billy Congo/Kannan mare in July and almost immediately qualified for the Foxhunter final at Addington Manor.
James Smith and Just Max. James introduced this Berlin Casco eight-year-old to competition at discovery level three years ago and has produced him steadily, gaining experience on the Vilamoura tour early this year. The pair finished second in South View’s Foxhunter qualify and is another to contend the HOYS grade C after taking second at Bramham.
Annabel Shields has a busy HOYS with two in the newcomers final and Rubin in the Foxhunter and grade C finals. The Zenith/Chellano Z seven-year-old Rubin topped the Scottish Summer Extravaganza Foxhunter qualifier in July and claimed second at Warrington in the grade C.
Jay Halim and Jaque Mate. Jay and the Berlin/Quite Easy eight-year-old qualified for the Foxhunter final with second place at Keysoe and also finished third in the Hickstead B and C final.
Joe Clayton and El Wee Widge. Joe has ridden this Wheawij Landetta/Lester eight-year-old since May and won the Foxhunter qualifier at Addington Manor. He shares the ride with his boss Michael Whitaker, who recently jumped the gelding in a two-phase class at the 5* St Moritz show.
Katie Pytches and Jolie Fleur Van De Noordheuvel. HOYS grade C and newcomers finalists last year, Katie and this eight-year-old Cassini II/Dollar Dela Pierre mare return to Birmingham in the Foxhunter final after taking second in the qualifier at Bicton.
Kellie Taylor and Halltown Lucy. Kelly and the eight-year-old Ars Vivendi daughter Halltown Lucy won their newcomers second round at Weston Lawns to qualify for HOYS in 2016, and 12 months later headed the Foxhunter qualifier at Weston Lawns to return to Birmingham this year.
Louise Saywell has Sultanah OL (pictured) and Hashtag in the Foxhunter final - both qualified at the National Championships, Stoneleigh. Louise has only ridden Old Lodge’s home-bred seven-year-old Quintus/Voltaire mare since June and the mare has since gained further experience in the young horse classes at the recent Moorsele meeting in France. Louise also rides the Luidam/Touchdown seven-year-old Hashtag in the final for Billy Twomey.
Mark Edwards and Montreuxs Tale. This home-bred seven-year-old by Mark’s top ride Tinkers Tale and out of a Corleone mare won the Foxhunter qualifier at Bicton just a week after topping the newcomers second round at Wales and West. And the consistent pair added a third HOYS final to their tally by heading the talentseekers qualifier at Hickstead’s All England Jumping Championships at the beginning of September.
Matt Sampson and Ebolensky. Matt got the ride on Rachel Evison’s talented eight-year-old Clinton/Heartbreaker mare and hit winning form, jumping on the Spanish sunshine tour before taking the Blue Chip B and C title and winning South View’s Foxhunter qualifier. They clocked a double win in Fontainebleau and recently headed a strong class in Lier to win more than £5,000.
Miles Pearson and Castiel. Miles and the Larino/Pouchka III seven-year-old finished fourth in the newcomer second round at Weston Lawns to just miss out on qualification, but more than made up for it with second in the Foxhunter qualifier just two days later to claim their HOYS finalist place.
Paul Kennedy and Destiny Second Life Z. Newcomer finalists last year, Ireland’s Paul – who is based with Dave and Sharon Quigley in Shropshire – and the Diamant De Semilly/Cassini I seven-year-old mare Destiny won the Foxhunter second round at Hickstead’s Royal Imternational Horse Show to guarantee a return to HOYS.
Rachael Connor and Fantastic. This big-jumping Casantos/Oklund seven-year-old mare finished eighth in last year’s newcomers championship and finished second in the Foxhunter qualifier at the Scottish Summer Extravaganza to return to HOYS this time. The pair also contend the talentseekers final after winning the qualifier at Weston Lawns.
Yazmin Davis and Zanbowa Z. This consistent Belgian-bred Zandor Z/Calvaro Z eight-year-old won the Wales and West Foxhunter qualifier and the Foxhunter Masters at Stoneleigh’s National Championships and also topped a 2* class at Scope Festival’s Oswestry meeting.
Gemma Ellison is also in the Foxhunter final on the seven-year-old Cynthia Flint after taking second in the qualifier at the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead.
Photos © Jumping Around