Victory at the Royal Highland Show has secured Hawick rider Hilary Mactaggart and her horse Harley Street a first-time place at this year’s Horse of the Year Show.
Hilary rode the 15.2hh gelding to head the ridden small hunter class at Ingliston, qualifying for the prestigious final at Birmingham in October.
“I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since,” said Hilary, from Greendale, near Whitehaugh.
“The Highland is one of my favourite shows and I’ve missed riding there for the last three years through injury, so I was just pleased to be back.
“I’ve been second twice with another horse and been runner-up at other qualifying shows, so there have been a few near misses. I can’t believe we’ve finally done it.”
Just two qualifying shows for ridden hunters are held in Scotland – the other being the Scottish Horse Show next month.
With three wins and a second from four outings, Hilary and Harvey have had a good start to the season, having already qualified for the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. Hilary bought the gelding in Cheshire four years ago, and he has become a firm favourite with her mother, who accompanies her to all the shows.
“Mum’s a great support, and I couldn’t do it without her,” said Hilary, “She just loves Harley, and there’s always a bag of carrots in the picnic for him.
“I usually have to leave for shows at some unearthly hour, but Mum – aged 85 – will be standing, picnic bag in hand, waiting for the lorry. She’s so enthusiastic.
“Having her there to share it, made it even more special,” added Hilary, who has also celebrated two wins to date with her lightweight hunter, Windsor Wood.
z Selkirk owner Diana Taylor watched with pride as her horse, Jacksonville, landed the Scottish Tattersalls retrained racehorse show series.
The 18-year-old gelding, who qualified at Yarrow and Ettrick show, was ridden to victory by Steven Renton.
Jacksonville now heads to the RoR National Championship show at Aintree in August.