By Susan Cook

One of the major milestones in the show jumping calendar is the prestigious Horse of the Year show held at the Birmingham NEC,

The culmination of many months of jumping double clears and chasing qualifiers several Scots headed south in the hope of a chance to ride under the spotlights in front of a packed audience.

For one young lady all her dreams came true when she finished fifth in the 128cms championship at her very first appearance at HOYS.

Eleven-year-old Cults Academy student Millie Lawson on her father David’s Priestwood Hardy Qualified at the Scottish Home Pony back in July at their first attempt at this class.

Not the only Priestwood pony at HOYS the Welsh section B gelding by Carolinas Purple Emperor out of a Rotherwood bred mare ‘Hary’ was the only one show jumping taking to the atmosphere and relishing the up to height track to jump clear in the first round.

In determined style Millie set off at speed but going around a fence on the longer route to the planks at speed saw Hary just clip the fence behind but still record a time that could’ve been good enough for second place. A superb result for Millie who is out of 128cms at the end of the year but has Olympia and Liverpool International to look forward to and was also seen at Tillyoch recently qualifying Hary for the winter second rounds.

Hailing from just outside Strathaven, Gillian Anderson a full-time nurse partnered her own Scottish bred JJs Prince Chaccomo to fourth in the Grade C final returning a foot perfect double clear.

Produced from her West Kype base Gillian has brought this nine-year-old gelding bred by friend John Jamieson just twenty minutes from her home since his baby days sharing the ride occasionally with Andrew Wilson who was also seen in the working hunter ring with him.

Seven jumped clear over a strong 1.40m track with Gillian going on to produce another clear in the jump off to be deservedly delighted with her fourth place.

Emma Crawford was unfortunate to rub the last fence out in the same class with Dukes of Hazzard but this pair travelled next to Arena Uk where they finished seventh in the seven-year-old Grand Prix adding to some useful rounds jumped by new ride Gina Gold, an eight-year-old by Numero Uno and fourth in the six-year-old Grand Prix on the impressive Zandor PC Z.

Leo Lorimer was another Scot to bring home a much-coveted HOYS rosette when he and Candela 50 just rolled a pole in he jump off of the Silver League finals for a very good seventh place.

Leo was another to travel onto Arena Uk where he was in the money on Hi Midnight Millie, Amadeus and Candela 50.

The Scottish Horse of the Year show was well attended offering some fabulous prizes, trophies and rugs to the winners.

In the junior sections Eleanor Archibald dominated the 128cms Championship with a one-two on board her Scottish 128cms league winner Pondhead Dexter and My Little Sweetheart the former recording the only double clear but both ponies going on to Myerscough to collect their second double clear in the winter first rounds.

Amy Morris will now completely move onto 148cms following the sale of Forest Brambles but not before she claimed the 138cms Championship title then headed the 138cms at Muirmill where Brambles was picked up and left for her new home.

Big sister Megan was seen jumping horses at SNEC and will now join the senior ranks.

Ruby McCornick was the only other clear in the 138 championship on Kiltormer Curragh but big sister Emma went one better to land the 148 pony Leading Show Jumper title.

Riding her own Scottish JC points league winner Castletown Lady Ricardo, found whilst on a pony shopping trip in Ireland, Emma was delighted with ‘Callie’ who continues to improve and looks an exciting ride for next year’s second rounds and bigger classes.

In the senior ranks Greg Taylor won his third class in as many weeks with Jim Wilmer’s impressive Just White who took the Discovery title.

HorseScotland Development squad rider Lucy Stewart was seen galloping to victory in the Intermediate championship on Glow DK then putting the foot to the floor again this time on Cancun to secure the 1.20m title.

The Puissance was once again a crowd pleaser with plenty of spectators turning up purely to watch this class creating a fabulous atmosphere. In the end it was down to two ladies to leave the wall standing at 1.73m and share the honours.

Ben Wentink’s stallion Erdento may have had a year off but his lack of match practice made no difference as he happily tackled the big red wall to share with Aileen Craig on a borrowed ride Jennifer Christie’s Enirico Blue.

Further afield again and James Smith is having a fabulous show in Vilamoura where he has been based since the start of the month.

His most recent result was a win in a 3* ranking class on the aptly named Simply Splendid. This horse has hardly had a fence down for the duration picking up placings in the 1.45-1.50 sections. Twix De La Roque was fifth in another 3* Grand Prix and The Black Flyer, Just Max, Elmo Brown and The Movie Star have all been in the money.

In the Young Horse sections the Scottish bred seven-year-old HBF Delmar continues to impress jumping clear and winning a 1.35-1.40 class.

Crossing the water and Dan Ockenden and Scott Coyle made their trip to Cavan, Ireland a successful one when with a team of horses between them they recorded a good few double clears and several top placings.

Dan jumped the 1.30s with Moment in Life and the novice classes with Good Life BF but it was the six-year-old Camelia who was clear almost every day and first in a 1.10m and a 1.20m. This set her up for a win when she returned home in a Blue Chip Power qualifier at SNEC

Coolpark Blazing Sarco had a warm-up win at SHOYS in a Discovery before heading to Cavan to win red in a 1m and 1.10 then head home to stand first and second at SNEC all with Scott Coyle on board.

Heading off to the World Young Horse Championships in Lanaken Declan Irvine rode Richard Duncan and Anneliese Aitken’s Eldorado an De Zeshoek-sired Iggy in the six-year-old classes and although it didn’t quite go to plan the first two days the mare came out to jump a clear on the final day and will now have a break until the new year when the team plan to head out to the sunshine tour.

Anneliese is currently in Oliva and was seen jumping clear on Eagele Z in a 1.30 and Frau Antje in a 1.35m.

Around the centres Errin Heenan and Balhagarty Q Cumber were first and second in a 95cms and a 1m at Muirmill beaten by Emma McCarter on Bluefaulds Cleopatra who went on to head the 1.05m.

Alice Cameron took two reds home from Blue Ridge with her own Citi Business after wins in the 1.10m and 1.20m. Jules Coburn also headed two with her own Skye victorious in a 95 and 1m at The Cabin EC.

Alana Hood took three out of the four top places in a Newcomers/1.10m at Tillyoch with Evolution, Carneyhaugh Harmony and Miami Headliner split by 1.15m winner Ryan Leavey on Mandalay.

Alicks Ramsay and RRC Roulette also took two wins at Tillyoch in a 1.05 and 1.10m.

Chloe Templeton won a 1.15m Open with Vurelise at Arena UK where Mark Turnbull jumped some super double clears on Ashton Dakota and Cartouch.

At Aintree David Harland was third in a Blue Chip qualifier with JJ’s Sure to Fly whilst also being in the money throughout the show on JJs Here to Impress,

Born To Fly and He’s Our Harley.

At this show Kelly Connor rode George SCAIS and Bailande Van De Kapel into the money whilst helping Gemma Kennedy an Amy Green jump double clears.