A Trip to the Horse of the Year

In August at the All Miniatures Breed Show, Doncaster, Aesthete Tom Thumb did himself proud by qualifying for HOYS (Horse of the Year Show). This was to be held for the first time at N.E.C Birmingham April 9-13 2016. There have been ten qualifying shows around the country during the showing season for the British Miniatures Horses and there have been a couple of British Spotted Pony Society members who have dual registered ponies that have qualified and were at HOYS. Well done to those members and ponies.

The alarm was set for 00:30am but we were awake well before. We arose with the butterflies having already started in my stomach hours before. We loaded Tom Thumb onto the lorry and left the yard by 1:00am. We spent the next 4 hours on the road from Cornwall north towards Birmingham without another vehicle in sight. If only all journeys to shows were that easy. We arrived at the N.E.C by 5:00am and joined the long queue to enter via the vetting procedure. We passed the vetting and proceeded to get our bracelets from the ticket office and set off to park. It was still pitch black but there were horses being exercised everywhere.

We took Tom Thumb off to the exercise arena adjacent to the arena where the showing was to take place and let him walk and trot around for the next half an hour. We then put him back in the lorry for him to settle down. Not sure if he could with all that was going on around him. We then went and found a ‘Toastie’ and a cup of tea and proceeded to watch some of the mountain and moorland showing in the Horse & Hound Arena. The atmosphere was truly electric. Remembering that all these horses had qualified at shows during the year and they were the best of the countries horses here for the next 5 days.

We got Tom Thumb ready and I changed, took a few deep breaths and made our way to the showing arena. The classes started with the yearlings, onto the 2/3 year olds and then us…HOYS Miniature 4years & over. The s steward was calling us all, the curtain went back and we went in. I’m still not sure how my legs got me in there but they did, had a quick look around, so many faces which were all a blur, took more deep breaths and pretended it was just another show.

Aesthete Tom Thumb took it all in his stride as he done all the year and did me proud by being 4th and taking the Best Turned Out Rosette. I have a tear rolling down my face as I write this, still feeling so excited just being at Horse of the Year Show 2016.