A hackney gelding with a love of cross-country is flying the flag for the uncommon British breed as he demonstrates simply how versatile these horses might be.
East Yorkshire-based Emily Gautier’s 16-year-old Skelton Romeo has been awarded the Hackney Horse Society’s 2022 efficiency award. The award, which relaunched this 12 months, goals to recognise the achievements of hackneys participating in several sports activities, because the society goals to boost consciousness of the breed’s suitability for quite a lot of disciplines and nearly as good all-rounders. Earlier award winners embrace hackneys who’ve excelled in dressage and showjumping.
Emily Gautiers purchased 15.2hh Romeo 4 years in the past as a common driving and hacking horse.
“I didn’t purposefully search for a hackney as I had no expertise of the breed, and I’d at all times thought they had been largely used for displaying,” she mentioned.
“Romeo hadn’t accomplished a lot after I obtained him dwelling and to begin with he couldn’t even stroll over a pole, however he was very light and prepared.”
Emily mentioned taking Romeo cross-country education for the primary time final 12 months actually “introduced him out” and allowed him to shine.
“He beloved cross-country from the beginning and he’s actually good at ditches and banks. It sounds cliche however he realized to belief me,” she mentioned.
“Two months after our first education session I took him to our first British Eventing competitors at Norton Disney – and final season we didn’t have any cross-country leaping penalties.”
This 12 months Emily and Romeo have been competing at BE90 and under-18s lessons, and so they hope to step as much as BE100 subsequent 12 months.
“It’s humorous as I at all times point out on the commentary sheets that he’s a hackney and the commentators at all times sound shocked and like they’re having to re-check his breeding once they learn it out,” mentioned Emily.
Within the 2022/23 Uncommon Breeds Survival Belief’s watchlist the hackney horse and pony options within the “precedence” class and the belief issued a warning in regards to the breed’s unsure future, after solely 31 registered foals had been born this 12 months.
Emily mentioned she is eager to assist promote the breed and present how versatile they’re.
“I’m actually proud that Romeo is a hackney, particularly as I haven’t heard of many others eventing. He’s by no means lame or sick, and I’ve by no means had a horse like him. He completely loves his work,” she mentioned.
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