15 year-old Hannah Lindsay, a Clydesdale competitor in the National Stallion Show

Have you always been keen on showing?

I’ve not always had horse. I first got into horses when I was 10 years old, but my mum has had horses since she was young so it is safe to say they are in my blood.

What got you started in the show ring?

I started in Clydesdale showing when I was 12 with my main horse Dillars Rascal. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started showing Clydesdales as I only had small ponies and horses for jumping. We bought our first Clydesdale Dillars Rascal when he was a yearling back in 2016. Rascal and I have grown up together and he is my go to horse for showing. I’ve showed him in many in-hand and young handler competitions including the 2019 Royal Highland Show were we placed 3rd!

How many horses do you have? Do have a favourite breed?

We currently have five Clydesdales and 12 other different breeds of horses and ponies. My favourite breed of horse though is definitely Clydesdales as they are such beautiful and rare breed. Clydesdales are very different than all the other breeds of horses even though they are huge powerful beasts they have the kindest and most loving nature and personality. I also love thoroughbreds as I have two myself who we are currently retraining for eventing as they used to be racehorses.

What was your first show experience?

The first show I went to was the East Kilbride Agricultural Show which was held at the Museum of Rural Life.

Do you have a favourite show?

My favourite show ever is The Royal Highland Show 100% as it has the best atmosphere and it’s just such a welcoming show. In 2019 I came 3rd in the young handler class and reserve champion for young stockmen which is when you prepare a Clydesdale from start to finish on your own in 1 hour and 30 minutes then do a in-hand show were you get judged on both presentation of horse and how you handle it during your in-hand.

What do you think the best bit of showing, is?

The most rewarding thing about showing is that when you work super hard on preparing a horse, showing it yourself and are fortunate to be placed well in the judging, it shows that your hard work has paid off. Additionally, I love seeing all my friends from around the UK at shows.

Have you had any disappointments, on the show circuit?

Disappointments from showing are definitely when, after you have left your horse spotless the night before then come to pick your horse up in the morning and they are covered in muck and stains and it doesn’t wash out!

I was also gutted – as lots of people were – that only a few shows could run last year and this because of Covid. My last Clydesdale show was the 2020 National Stallion Show which took place just before we entered our first lockdown.

Could you name any big influences in your show career?

The Clydesdale community is one of the most welcoming and hardworking community I’ve ever met, I adore and I am absolutely inspired by so many of the competitors but I think the people who have inspired me and helped me throughout my journey in showing is Bob Hamilton, Ron Brewster and the Burks family. So much of the fellow Clydesdale competitors have supported and helped me so much throughout the years. The best advice I’ve been given and always remember is to don’t just make your horse look good make yourself look presentable even if that’s just putting your hair in braids or putting on some make up as it helps compliments the horse and shows that not only have you made and effort with the horse but with yourself too.

How do you spend your spare time?

Although not from a traditional farming family we definitely make up for it on the equestrian side. I help out at our yard every day, from mucking out and washing, to riding and driving the horses.

My main hobbies and interests outside of Clydesdale showing is show jumping and eventing. I am hoping to become affiliated this year and even eventually work my way up the ranks to international and hopefully even Olympics. I ride horses all shapes and sizes, all different capabilities from showing Clydesdales to eventing my mare to breaking in and training up my youngsters. I am also a part of and represent Lanark and Upperward Pony Club and I am working up to gaining my horse riding instructing qualifications so I can start my own business of teaching riders and training their horses.

What are you plans for the future?

My plans for the future with the Clydesdales is to compete in the big ridden Clydesdale classes. Most Ridden Heavy Horse classes are restricted to those aged 16 and over. I turn 16 this year and to hope to work my way up the ranks and I am planning on competing at The World Clydesdale Show which is coming to Scotland for the first time next year and is getting held up in Aberdeen.

I am hoping to always have horses a part of my life and moving onto my own farm in the future and to be a fully accredited instructor and to even start judging for many different Clydesdale classes.

Do you have any top tips for any young person that might be keen to show?

My advice and tips for young people trying to get into showing is to make sure at shows you have extra of everything and when you’re in the show ring to relax and always smile!! The more relaxed and happy you are when showing the more natural you will look to the judge and your horse will be more relaxed to, and if you ever feel like you’ve messed up in your walk and trot up just go to the start give yourself a shake and start again!!