The Horse of the Year Show – HOYS is the ultimate celebration of the horse. HOYS takes place annually at the NEC in Birmingham. The show started by Captain Tony Collings as he felt there needed to be a finale in the year to celebrate the end of the equestrian season. His idea was picked up by the Chairman of the British Show Jumping Association (BSJA) and British Horse Society (BHS).
The show started in Paris at the “Le Jumping” famous indoor arena. The show was then moved to Wembly in 1959 and after 40 years in 2002 moved to the NEC Arena in Birmingham. Horse of the Year show is the absolute climax of show jumping and is where many horses owners and riders aspire to compete. John Whitaker described the show as “winning at HOYS is the pinnacle of every equestrian’s career.”
One of the highlights of the show is “the Puissance” competition. This is where riders take on the jumping a wall. Each time they jump clear the wall, the wall is made bigger. This year Guy Williams and Robert Whitaker took the title jumping a massive 7ft2. The THEx Team are impressed – congratulations!
Robert riding Major Delacour jumped the wall clear first, followed by Guy Williams riding Mr Blue Sky UK, who also won the puissance last year. Mr Blue Sky UK has now won four out of four puissance competitions on his record.
The HOYS show ends with the poem Ode to the Horse by Ronald Duncan:-
Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity?
Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent;
there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
England’s past has been borne on his back.
All our history is in his industry.
We are his heirs;
He is our inheritance.