Banburyshire producer and trainer Jo Bates won the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship at Britain's premier horse show yesterday.
Bates, a top show horse producer was riding Grandeur, a top-quality ex-racehorse who has successfully swapped the track for the arena at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). Grandeur, an ex-racer with 10 race victories and just under £600,000 of winnings to his credit, showed that a successful change of career is entirely achievable.
Yvonne Jacque’s 10-year-old grey gelding came to showing producer Jo Bates' Claydon yard just six months after finishing his racing career as a six-year-old. It’s third time lucky for the pair after they claimed the title, having been placed twice before in this class at HOYS.
Ms Jaque has owned ‘Grandy’ since he was a two-year-old. He was race trained by Jeremy Noseda and is now thriving in his showing career with Bates, having been placed third in the Hack of the Year last year, which he contests again today (Thursday) at HOYS.
“What a star!” said Bates as she left the Andrews Bowen International Arena. “He was totally with me today and relished the big occasion.”
Jo says it is Grandeur’s intelligence which has made him so successful in the show ring. She said: "We have travelled a long, hard road together and he is a very special horse."