The Scottish Horse of the Year Show was once again held at Morris EC, Kilmarnock and although numbers were slightly down in the novice classes compared to previous years, there was a still a good turn out with the championship classes especially hard fought.

The popular Scottish Branch Puissance was held on the Saturday evening and as per usual drew in the crowds to stay and watch.

Six starters went head to head over the big red wall which looked imposing in the vast arena but one young lady looked un-phased as she cantered down to 1.87m to clear it and take the championship, which is an annual title, along with a rug, trophy and sash.

Kirsty Aird was having her last outing over coloured poles before she swaps mounts and heads down to HOYS to contest the show classes with a string of mostly mountain and moorland ponies. This versatile rider divides her time between the show ring and the jumpers with Jumping Mac Flash her top mount having competed in the Highland show Grand Prix this year and regularly featuring in 1.30m classes.

They just missed out on the double when beaten by just over half a second in the preceding 1.30m SHOYS Championship by Mark Turnbull on Cartouch.

Mark was having a few weeks at home in between international shows at Zuidwolde then heading off to Bonheiden immediately after SHOYS.

Beating 6 other double clears over Robert Canney’s beefy track his winning mount was the Tangelo sired Cartouche, a 10year old who finished runner up in the Asten 2* Grand Prix earlier in the season.

Lucy Stewart is always fast against the clock and her speedy rounds in the SHOYS 1.10m Championship paid off when she scored a one-two with her own Cancun and Con 3.

Currently at the top of the North Silver League Lucy and Cancun have had a very busy season with visits to Scope, the National Championships as well as regular training sessions with Horse Scotland with this eight-year-old, by Carentino, proving ultra-consistent throughout this very hectic schedule.

Jumping two classes at this show they only narrowly missed out in the following 1.2m championship in which a good jump off forced riders to have to take an inside line back to an upright at the gate but also many turns and twists meant that speed was secondary to accuracy.

It was five years ago exactly that Gillian Anderson first partnered Congeniality B in competition making their first appearance at SHOYS in a British Novice but this year she laid claim to the 1.2m championship taking home another rug and sash.

Her tight jump off and super turn back to the final double saw her stop the clock almost half a second ahead of Lucy with Cancun and the only other double clear Declan Irvine with Kirk Ritchie’s Colgravin H.

Monkton-based Elspeth Jamieson is more often found on the eventing circuit but she scored a one-two on the first day of the show leading the way in a Newcomers with her own VIP Cooley a six-year-old by Harequin De Carel and runner up with Dassett Cooley Designed an 11-year-old by Welcome Flagmount who finished his season with a run at Blair in the CIC 1*.

Craig Hamilton and Ron Brady would be happy with their Lawito Sired nine-year-old Larry Z who looked very impressive jumping double clear to win a foxhunter.

Nicky Williams may have had a pole down in the jump off of Friday night’s 1.3m open but this was still good enough to win it as his time was two seconds quicker than the other four faulters, Rachel Walker on Bo Gi and Fraser Reed who had a good show with this ride Amadora JX as well as his younger grey Seapatrick Lumisty.

Onto the juniors and it was good to see those who will be heading off to HOYS in winning form.

Edinburgh’s Sandy McLean has been dividing his time between senior and junior classes winning in France at Moorsele and Jardy with Richard Duncan’s Eclipse.

Back at home and it was the lovely HOYS qualified Connemara Tobar King who stamped his authority on the Scottish Branch leading junior show jumper 1.2m class at the end of the show.

Breathing down his neck the whole class was Nicole Lockhead Anderson who has an incredible seven ponies through to HOYS but this time was on her dual qualified Scope and British National champion Gangnam Style.

Third was Shaunie Greig on her Pony SJ qualified Casino Royale who has topped the 148cm league.

Amy Morris is having a fabulous last year on the super Madonna who stood at the top of the line in the winter 128cm before she sets off to Birmingham to contest the 128cm final later in the week.

Shaunie was again in form taking the Winter 138cm with Drumaclan Flight with her ex ride Aristo Justice returning good results for Natasha Hamilton settling into second with another HOYS qualified combination, Mya Roxburgh Caira on Paddys Pet third.

Chloe Templeton was seen jumping her horse Vurelise on Saturday then swapped onto her ponies to steer the very useful Rockmount Casper into the lead in a Newcomers giving them a good final practise before they too head south.

LEADING awards

British Novice – 1, Rocheby Yorkshire Pride, J Ault; 2, Montana Vant Uilenhof, R Maher; 3, Diamond Are For Ella, T Russell. Discovery – 1, Rossdarragh Hickstead,A Steel; 2, Rocheby Yorkshire Pride; 3, Ugolino JX, C Hamilton. 1m open – 1, Castle Lyn, L Hill; 2, Jack The Lad, C Hamilton; 3, D’George, G Fergusson. Newcomers – 1, VIP Cooley, E Jamieson; 2, Dassett Cooley Designed, E Jamieson; 3, Serata. 1.1m open – 1, Con 3, L Stewart; 2, Zicher, D Irvine; 3, Ben Quicke, N McArthur. 1.3m open – 1, Floorludine S, N Williams; 2, Bo Gi, R Walker; 3, Amadora JX, F Reed. British Novice – 1, Ballysbarns Murphy, D McTaggart; 2, DSL Pasadobla, AL Conaghan; 3, Lena III, S Coull. Discovery – 1, Bandrum E Sprite, C Hamilton; 2, RSH Get Sanvara, C Jolly; 3, Ginat CL, M Farm. SHOYS 1.1m championsip – 1, Cancun, L Stewart; 2, Con 3, L Stewart; 3, Ballyhane Etto, G Taylor. Foxhunter – 1, Larry Z, C Hamilton; 2, Finishing Touch, E Crawford; 3, Harry DV, L Milne Home. SHOYS 1.2m championship – 1, Congeniality B, G Anderson; 2, Cancun; 3, Colgravin H, D Irvine. SHOYS 1.3m championship – 1, Cartouch, M Turnbull; 2, Jumping Mac Flash, K Aird; 3, Amadora JX, F Reed. Scottish Branch Puissance – 1, Jumping Mac Flash, K Aird; 2, Seapatrick Lumisty, F Reed. Pony Intro 70cm – 1, Miss Rosie D, S Roper; 2, Winnie Bothwell, L Watson; 3, Ardfry Sherpa, J Stewart. British Novice – 1, Waterslade Maggie May, S Wise; 2, Coolnakilly Trigger, M Aplin; 3, Leim Friar, D Whtfield.80cm open – 1, My Ballylynch Allison, M Aplin; 2, Ardfry Sherpa; 3, Miss Rosie D. Discovery – 1, Quantro,A McCullough; 3, Dexters The Boss, E Holland; 3, Doby, N Davidson. Intro 90cm – 1, Taraco Emerald, C Hamilton; 2, Applejack RB, E Campbell; 3, Third Pearl, P Archibald. Newcomers – 1, Rockmount Casper, C Templeton; 2, Doby; 3, Silver Shoe, S Greig. 1m qualifier – 1, Taraco Emerald; 2, AG Dynamo, C Rogan; 3, Applejack RB. Winter 128cm qualifier – 1, Madonna, A Morris; 2, Billibob, W Stewart; 3, AG Dynamo. Winter 138cm qualifier – 1, Drumaclan Flight, S Geig; 2, Aristo Justice, N Hamilton; 3, Paddys Pet, M Roxburgh Caira. SHOYS Leading junior showjumper – 1, Tobar King, S McLean; 2, Gangnam Style, N Lockhead Anderson; 3, Casino Royale, S Greig.