British-bred winners at Horse of the Year Show 2023

Monday, October 23

British-bred winners at Horse of the Year Show 2023



Mark Edwards scores a victory double at Horse of the Year Show


Mark Edwards has enjoyed a phenomenal summer season with his horses, most of them bred and produced at home on the family farm in Cowbridge, South Wales, and his success looks to continue as he bagged two major wins at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show at the NEC, Birmingham.

Never a slouch against the clock, Mark came out fighting for the win in the first of the three-star international classes, the Grandstand Welcome Stakes, with his father Martyn’s Dillinger NE.

“It’s his first three-star show but he jumped here last year in the Foxhunter and Grade C so he has a little experience in that arena, but he went in there and really grew into the occasion,” said Mark.

Thirty riders came forward over a course standing at 1.45m with Sienna Charles, daughter of 2012 London Olympic gold medallist Peter, taking an early lead on Chawton before being relegated to an eventual third by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca.

  But third-drawn Mark was determined from the off, slicing into every corner and tight line on the 8-year-old gelding to edge ahead by 0.15 seconds.  However, last to go Joe Whitaker gave Mark a run for his money, flying round on Icaterina to beat the winning time by an incredible two seconds – but the top rail on the penultimate vertical hit the floor to drop Joe down the line.

“It was a long class to watch and I’m not a great watcher, I thought I’d probably be second or third when I came out of the ring.  I knew the last couple were the ones to watch in the draw and it wasn’t over until Joe Whitaker jumped but it’s a great start to the week,” said Mark.

Mark has produced Dillinger (Diarado x Carismo) from 2020 and his novice days, progressing though the grades to contend the 2022 HOYS Foxhunter and Grade C Finals and winning area trials on the county show circuit in 2023.   

“He’s a great horse and the breeders, Ros and Denis Palmer were here watching him today and we really think a lot of him.  I think he’s got a real big future ahead of him and hopefully there’s more to come,” added Mark.

Mark was firing on all cylinders to record a second win later in the day, piloting Royale Tale into the top spot of the NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes.

“It’s a very strong field this year but she’s so naturally quick and I got in a good rhythm, everything came as I wanted and she tried her heart out,” said Mark.

Twenty-five competitors, including Tokyo Olympians Scott Brash and Harry Charles, contended the fiercely competitive three-star 1.45m speed but the British proved the fiercest of the lot, filling the top five places.

Nonetheless, on-form speed king Mark, built on his first win to hit the turbo button and, with the pedal to the metal, took the tightest of lines to win with more than three seconds to spare on the equally enthusiastic Royale Tale.

This 8-year-old, winner of the Newcomers and Grade C Finals at Horse of the Year Show in 2022, was bred by Sean and Charlene Daly and is sired by Mark’s home-bred former top ride Montreuxs Tale and out of a Cavalier Royale mare.  Mark and his father Martyn spotted her potential early on, secured her purchase and have produced her from the beginning from a 4-year-old.

“This is her third win here, she won two national classes last year and has stepped up to the international stage.  She’s a great mare and she wants to win as much as I do,” said Mark.


Kindly Supplied by British Showjumping
Images supplied by 1st Class Images

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