As avid equestrians the fall brings many pleasures from autumnal hacks in the countryside to snuffly horse breath in the crisp air but none is more eagerly anticipated than the end of year horse shows. Britain is currently hosting The Horse of The Year Show or HOYS. The show runs every October and incorporates a full programme of international show jumping, the British National Show Jumping finals and a range of displays and entertainment including the Pony Club Mounted Games for the Prince Philip Cup.
As former Pony Clubbers ourselves we appreciate the the spirit of competition and horsemanship demonstrated by the youngsters that make it to these finals. In our current culture of self obsession, equestrian sports remain a bastion of gentility (and yes inordinate expense), deference and sportsmanship in which the well being of another animal occupies more space than one's own personal wants. The lessons of horse management serve more than their function as they teach a kind of respect for self and beast that we see few other places
But we digress! Due in part to its high standards of competition and its placement at the end of equestrian year, the Show has become a national treasure in the UK, rich in heritage and tradition and is considered to be the most famous horse show in the world. But American equestrian fans should not fret as soon we too will be celebrating our nationals at our very own 125th National Horse Show.
Images of Riders from Barnwell compete in the Prince Philip Cup Pony Club Mounted Games and Katie Price and her horse 'Jordans Glamour Girl' performing Dressage to Music via Getty Sports