We can’t believe the 2019 season is almost over, but its true what they say – time flies when you’re having fun!!!
We got the year off to a fantastic start with successful tour of the Middle East, enjoying the fabulous facilities on offer in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Billy McCain (Cevin Z x Cruising) finishing 3rd in their inaugural running of the Derby which was won by our great friend Hamad Ali Al Kirbi. Billy Diamo (Cevin Z x Andiamo) also had a great start to the season including finishing 3rd in the 1.55m Golden Cup.
February was spent preparing our young horses at home for the season ahead. It was great to have Pippa on hand, ahead of her eventing season staring, to help everyone with their flatwork. This combined with grid work and pole work and of course some lovely weather, saw great improvements in all of the horses!
In March the team headed to Spain for a 4 week tour taking them to Carmona and Pineda where all of the horses brought home the results week after week. Billy Mozette (Tangelo x Billy Congo) won a 7 year old Grand Prix with Lucy while one of her other rides Billy Kodak (Billy Mexico x Vechta) was victorious in a 1.40m Grand Prix. William’s horses were also i great form with Billy McCain winning a 1.45m World Ranking class and finishing runner up 2 weeks running the the Grand Prix’s. Every horse on the tour came home with wins or top placings which definitely made the drive home a lot easier!
April saw the official retirement of our legendary Billy Congo from top level sport to focus on his breeding responsibilities. He has enjoyed the most fantastic career with William and in the latter stages also with Pippa and for all we will miss the excitement of watching him compete, we are looking forward all of his offspring continuing his legacy!
April also saw the team attend the Welsh Masters where Billy Bakewell (Billy Um Bongo x Jazz) won the 5 Year Old Grand Prix. This lovely mare went on to enjoy a well deserved holiday and we look forward to her progress in 2020.
Royal Windsor is always one of the calendar highlights and this year was made extra special when Billy Diamo (Cevin Z x Andiamo) finished 3rd in the 5* Rolex Grand Prix. This performance saw him earn his Nations Cup debut for team GB in St Gallen. Billy Spiral (Tangelo x Billy Mexico) also had a great month of May beginning with a win in the 7 Year Old Grand Prix of Le Touquet and following this up when booking her ticket for the prestigious Foxhunter final at Horse of the Year Show
June signals the first Hickstead of the season and of course this year saw a bigger build up than normal with William and Billy Buckingham (Billy Congo x Clover Hill) being defending champions and also going for the record 5th win! It wasn’t to be this time with a very unlucky 4 faults for the pair but Buckingham added a 4th place to his impressive derby record! We were also delighted with the 9 year old Billy Angelette (Tangelo x Billy Congo) who jumped round her first ever Derby and followed this at the Royal International meeting when jumping clear with 1 time fault round the Queens Cup.
In July we booked a further 3 tickets for Horse of the Year show with Billy York (Cevin Z x Emilion) taking her place in the Newcomers final and Billy Take That (Billy Mexico x Wellington) and Billy Picador (Billy Mexico x Animo) both joining Billy Spiral in the Foxhunter final.
The beautiful Bolesworth Castle held their first running of the young horse championships and it was certainly a successful one for the stud! Pippa had an unbelievable week qualifying 4 horses for the World Young Horse Championships – Billy Lambert (Cevin Z x Andiamo) for the 5 year olds, Billy Sarafina (Tangelo x Billy Congo) and Billy Marmite (Billy Mexico x Vechta) for the 6 year olds and finally Billy Picador (Billy Mexico x Animo) for the 7 yer olds!
September saw preparations well underway for our online auction with all of the 3 and 4 year olds, as the weeks passed it was great to watch the progress of these young horses. Shane also paid a visit to the Arena UK festival where along with other great results, Billy Kat (Billy JJ x Iroko) impressed in the 6 Bar jumping 1.80m!
October was a busy month with the build up to the auction – we had visitors from all over Europe as well as the USA and South America to view the auction horses! A quick trip to Horse of the Year show amongst auction preparations saw Pippa and Billy Picador finish runner up in the Foxhunter Final!!! The 2 viewing days for the auction saw a full house and we were very proud of how our young horses behaved in the atmosphere! The auction was a huge success and saw our top priced lot go to Olympic Champion and legend of the sport Nick Skelton!!! Our team worked endlessly during the run up the the auction and during the course of our viewing days and we have them to thank for the success!
Following such positive feedback and many requests, the decision was made to hold another online auction in November for 5 and 6 year olds. The team set to work and once again the auction brought back fantastic results with yet another Olympic Gold medalist chosing to have a Billy in his stable – this time it was German rider Ludger Beerbaum who purchased Billy Iceburg!
October also William and Pippa take a team of horses to Spain for the Autumn tour in Oliva Nova. The horses all had fantastic results during the 3 week tour but it was Billy McCain who once again stole the show wining the 2* Grand Prix in fine style!
With only 2 shows left in our 2019 calendar (Olympia 5* and Liverpool 4*) we take the time to reflect on what has been another great year for the stud! There are many people and organisations that make this success possible and we couldn’t do it without any of them.
To our staff – we appreciate the hours you spend making sure all of the horses are happy and healthy. We love that you love the horses and we love that as a team we can chive so much together! Every result and every victory begins and ends with you!
To our sponsors – thank you once again for another year of your support. We are proud to be ambassadors of your brands. To everyone at Horseware Ireland, Kentucky, Allen & Page, Devoucoux, Sergio Grasso, Charles Owen, Toggi, Champion, SSG Gloves, Likit, Virbac and Claydon Horse Exercisers – THANK YOU!
And finally, to all of wonderful supporters – we hope you have enjoyed 2019 as much as we have! We are grateful for all of the messages of support and congratulations that we receive and we hope you are looking forward to another exciting year in 2020!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!