Organisers of the Guernsey Horse of the Year Show have once again faced several extra obstacles presented by the ongoing Covid pandemic.
But their hard efforts have culminated in a return to near-normality for the GHOYS, which runs tomorrow to Sunday at Chemin Le Roi and hence falls only marginally short of the usual five-day format. The lack of English visitors is the only other significant loss.
It is a welcome step up from last year’s three-day, purely local ‘Guernsey Together’ show, a development that BS Guernsey stalwart and star jumper Sarah Jackson is rather pleased about.
‘It’s very exciting that we can have the biggest show of the year again – and it will be the biggest show of the year,’ she said.
‘All of our top riders are available for the show, which will be very exciting.
‘It had only been agreed in the last couple of weeks about the team competition.
‘When we knew that visitors would be OK and they would not need to isolate, the probability was much higher. We were just leaving it to the last couple of weeks.’
Jackson and mount Follyfoot Arkadia are one of four combinations who have made the senior team, captained by Eleni Falla and Mistro I.
Meanwhile, Ella Gidney and Bria head up the Guernsey junior team.
The first round of the team competition unfolds tomorrow, when the Ladies’ and Gents’ Championship classes are also key attractions.
Friday will be dedicated to the showing classes, while Saturday concludes with the Keen final and Grand Prix.
As the show culminates on Sunday, the team jumping reaches its climax and the top combinations will vie for Showjumper of the Year.
In another hallmark of the return to normality, esteemed course-builder David Cole will be travelling from the UK to ply his trade.
Action will take place across each of Chemin Le Roi’s three arenas and spectators are welcome.
Seniors: Mistro I (Eleni Falla, captain), Follyfoot Arkadia (Sarah Jackson), Cobrino Cruise (Paullette King), Company Business (Kelly King).
Juniors: Bria (Ella Gidney, captain), Blue Dream (Ruby Tetlow), Loughkey Bobby (Alexa Lambourne), Lucky Boy (Georgia Rihoy).