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Can it really be HOYS time again? The most exciting show of the year is upon us!

October 6th, 2017

HOYS – The Horse of the Year Show – marks the end of the equestrian season. As competitors begin to wind down from a summer of early starts, long drives, stressful competitions and exhilarating wins, the HOYS organisers are working hard to provide a show that provides a finale to a season of hard graft. For the lucky qualifying competitors, it is a chance to show the industry what their horses are made of; HOYS is the pinnacle of the showing calendar.

(Above – from the HOYS archives – HOYS at Haringay 1958). The show was born in 1949, designed to feature a range of show jumping, (perceived to ‘draw in’ the wider community of equestrian enthusiasts and their families), and showing classes. Horses and ponies that have won major accolades throughout the season are invited to contest their class at Birmingham’s NEC Arena, which boasts increasing visitor numbers every year, and ends with a reading of Robert Duncan’s famous Ode to the Horse.

Tip tips for first-time competitors at HOYS

Be aware that HOYS is a very unnatural environment indoors, with the heat, bright lights and atmosphere.

Clip if you need to, as trying to make a hot sweaty horse look good is impossible!

Make sure you use the opportunity to do the warm up sessions allotted in the arena, to get your horse acclimatised to his surroundings.

Allow plenty of time to get to your ring on time, as it’s a ten minute walk to the arena from the stables.

Try and enjoy the experience, as qualifying is such a fantastic achievement. It’s very easy to allow the stress of the preparation to take the enjoyment away.

Visitors – check out the HOYS website for more info

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*England, Wales and Scottish Lowlands