Temperatures soared during a summer heatwave but this did not stop some sizzling competition seen all around the country in what has been the busiest months so far this year for show jumping.

Making the long trip south to Hickstead from just outside Strathaven, Mischa Irving scored a memorable win in this iconic arena on the home-bred and produced I Sir Marcus.

Mischa is in the enviable position of having a yard full of young, home-bred horses having spent the past few years with her mother, Allana, breeding from some good mares which Mischa had competed on herself and using some of Europe’s best stallions.

Jumping two foot-perfect rounds and eating up the ground between the fences in the jump-off, Mischa went into an unassailable lead to claim the Winter Novice Championship Final.

Mischa’s team had the winter off only coming out to jump in April with the Statinus son, I Sir Marcus – now an eight-year-old out of Casaretta – qualifying for the final at their first show together this year.

Travelling to South View from Cupar, Fife, Alana Hood earned herself a ticket to HOYS in the NAF Five Star Silver League Semi Final when she won the 44-starter class outright. The diminutive mare, Scherzinger FB, is by Sheikh IT out of Fyingbuck Sempra, and was bred in Cupar at the Flying Buck stud and had been produced by Alana since the start.

Their impressive third round clear in 30.87s stayed well in front of nearest rival Rachel Proudley, on Cartino III, in 32.86s for a very convincing win, leaving them delighted to be heading to Birmingham in a couple of months

Ayr’s Lucy Stewart must have won almost every title she can with the incredible little dark bay, Cancun. Reigning Scottish Branch 1.2m champions, they headed off to Arena UK to win no fewer than four classes before setting off for the British National Championships where, after a scorching jump-off, they galloped flat out to victory in the National 1.15m final.

Highfield of Howe hosted two second round qualifiers on the same day the first of which saw another Scottish bred horse stand at the top of the line. Fraser Reed was the jockey in charge of Gary Charlish’s HHS Leap Year, a daughter of Good Year VDL for that win.

This five-year-old has been gaining experience jumping the age classes at Northcote and Arena UK this summer returning to Howe to produce three immaculate rounds to stand above Greg Taylor, riding Jim Wilmer’s attractive chestnut, Larezzo P.

Heading to the Nationals, where last year they won the British Novice final, was Charley Hamilton, who stood at the top of the line at Howe this time in the Discovery second round on her own Innishannon Red Squirrel. Produced by herself with help from mum Sarah this pair returned the only double clear of the competition leaving Leona Urquhart in second with a four-fault round on Ruby Lux.

After a 15-year break, Gary Ulke’s return to the show jumping ring was halted by Covid-19, but this year he is getting out most weekends with his own Zimon Proterras. Formerly trained by Fiona Burgoyne, of Horsechoice, Fiona found the eight-year-old Orlando-sired ‘Kanga’ for Gary, coaches him and they travel to competitions together, and now co-own a few up-and-coming horses, mostly ridden by Sandy McLean.

A recent trip to Fieldhouse EC saw Gary win two Discoveries earning him the leading rider of the show title.

Logan Creighton hit top form at Weston Lawns, recently, where he was placed in the young horse classes on his stallion, Le Faut and Glasgow Z, but it was the Quasimodo-sired eight-year-old, Invite Me DHH, which was the star of the show winning a foxhunter, then the foxhunter championship up against very good company.

Logan and Invite Me DHH had warmed up for this trip south by winning two more foxhunters at The Cabin the previous weekend.

Jonathan Dixon headed north from his Carlisle base to win a few classes on the super consistent, Fiona, whose two clears were good enough to see them steal the Scottish North East Championship from the Scottish competitors.

Picking up the 'Leading Rider of the Show' award at The Cabin was Megan Cowan who was in blistering form throughout with her two speed merchants 16-year-old Tullycars Peekaboo and 19-year-old Hellza Poppin, with both taking four classes each and the latter earning the title.

Fordbank Equestrian Centre’s Fiona Fergusson is enjoying being back out competing again and was seen heading south to Aintree where she picked up a couple of rosettes on her own El Bandido Ninohorse.

Juniors have been having a hectic few weeks starting at the Scottish Home Pony at SNEC before heading to Hickstead, Wales and back to Stoneleigh, and the National Championships.

Junior shows in Scotland were understandably quiet at this time as everyone migrated south to try for the qualifiers and finals on offer.

Drew Ross is having an incredible summer adding another HOYS to her tally at Wales and West where the super-scopey Moon Man jumped two immaculate clears to share first prize in the foxhunter, adding this ticket to her newcomers ticket gained at Keysoe last month.

Sharing first prize was another Scottish combination of Sophie Paxton on the stallion Las Vegas, known at home as Asbo. Bred, backed and produced initially by his owner Lucy Simpson, Asbo’s dam was scanned with twins, one was nipped and when Las Vegas measured in as a 148cm they joked they had removed the large one and left the little one to be born.

Sophie took over the reins just a year ago and despite lockdowns managed to gain the necessary double clears and the mileage to tackle the second rounds under the tutelage of her stepfather David Harland. This will be their final year together with the pony being sold after HOYS.

Sister Aimee Paxton was also on winning form this time at the National Championships where she had to ride at high speed to beat a well-filled class in the Silver League 138cm final.

A recent winner of the 80cm final at the Scottish Home Pony this 13-year-old from Midlothian is no stranger to putting her foot down, steering Chapelmill Choirboy home to a red rosette.

Amy Morris was in the money at SNEC, Wales, the Nationals and only just missed out in the JC Final, at Hickstead, with the competitive Robe Silver Lady but picked up two HOYS tickets with her other rides, Tobar King and FC Flirty For Thirty.

Tobar King is through to the Pony Show Jumper Of The Year Final following his performance at Wales whilst Bec Claridge’s FC Flirty For Thirty now contests the Newcomers final. Bec bought this pure-bred Connemara out of Ireland as a four-year-old and has waited six years for him to qualify.

Gaining his double clears last year with Freya Hiddleston, he has only been with Amy a few months but they have struck up a great rapport going three rounds at Wales and SNEC before landing their HOYS ticket in the Masters at the Nationals.

Sophie Anderson is another to be having an amazing final year in ponies. Having taken time to regain Beezies Topic’s confidence their partnership looks strong having won championships at Blue Ridge, the Highland show and then they picked up a HOYS ticket winning the foxhunter at the Scottish Home Pony before heading to the Nationals where they won more than one class rounding off their show by securing the Silver League 148cm and under title.

Eleanor Archibald jumped four clears on her two ponies slotting into third with Glenford Starlight and fourth with My Little Sweetheart in the Silver League 128m final.

Fergal Holohan is splitting his time successfully between horses and ponies, riding his mother’s Kan Annie to two wins and two second places in young piders and 'children on horses' classes and Killossery Kameo to another two wins and a couple of places. Swapping onto JJ Lucky Star he then jumped two good rounds to earn a red in the Empire 148cm Series.

Nine-year-old Jennifer McLeish dominated the Naf 1* 'Style and performance' final at the Nationals when she stood in first place in the wonderful 24-year old Crag Storm and for good measure took third on Twilight Dancer.