Guernsey Press

Everything in place for an exciting, exhausting week

THE highlight of the domestic showjumping calendar returns in its full five-day glory next week.

The Guernsey senior team for next week's Horse of the Year Show. The combinations are, left to right: Amy Parnwell, on Company Business, Justin Ogier on Zandokan, Sian Staples on Billy Mont Blanc, Sarah Jackson on Follyfoot Arkadia and Sophie Ephgrave on Jayley. Also pictured are chairman Debbie Ashwell and chef d'equipe Terry Lihou. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32430620)

The Guernsey Horse of the Year Show will unfold over Chemin Le Roi’s grounds from Wednesday to Sunday, offering plenty of rosettes and silverware over the course of the competition.

That includes the senior team event, which this time around will be a duel between the hosts and the UK due to Jersey missing out. The UK go in as reigning champions after coming back from their Covid-induced absence to win last year.

Guernsey senior captain Sian Staples, who is riding home-produced five-year-old gelding Billy Mont Blanc, is excited for the challenge.

‘It is an honour to be selected to represent the Island and jump with the team,’ she said. ‘We have a great chance with fantastic combinations selected – hopefully we will do Guernsey proud and bring out the supporters.’

Justin Ogier riding Zandokan, Sarah Jackson on Follyfoot Arkadia and Amy Parnwell with Company Business complete Guernsey’s main senior team. Sophie Ephgrave takes the reserve spot with Jayley.

There will also be a fun junior team competition between Guernsey, Jersey and the UK.

BS Guernsey chairwoman Debbie Ashwell knows how entertaining the team competition will be.

‘The Guernsey team consists of some fantastic partnerships that we have watched all year at our other shows,’ she said.

‘This always makes for an exciting and entertaining event, and this year will be no different.’

Individual classes range from a full day of showing to rare disciplines like the puissance, together with the classy Ladies’ and Gents’ Championships, Showjumper of the Year and Grand Prix events.

Hard work from the local organisational team, together with helping hands from visiting judges and a UK course-builder, is also essential in the running of GHOYS.

‘A very, very busy exhausting time, but also a time that I love as we have the opportunity of welcoming all members, non-members, families and spectators to come and enjoy a great five days of competing in a friendly and supportive environment,’ Ashwell added of her first Horse of the Year show as chairwoman.

‘We have seen some great partnerships this year, new and old – GHOYS allows us to bring our fantastic equestrian show season to an end in style.

‘The energy that goes into this show is immense and if everyone leaves with a smile on their face, our committees know that they’ve done a good job.’