Introduction to the Horse of the Year Show
The Hong Kong Equestrian Federation’s (HKEF) annual Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is the highlight of the competition season in Hong Kong and at the same time marks its end. Three titles are awarded, namely, the Dressage Horse of the Year, the Jumping Horse of the Year and the Eventing Horse of the year. Each of these titles honours the best horses of the season in the relevant category and is hotly contested by riders.
The Horse of the Year Show culminates with the awards for the Dressage Horse of the Year, the Jumping Horse of the Year and the Eventing Horse of the Year.
Dressage, derived from the French term “dresser”, meaning “to train” or “to prepare”, dates back to the Renaissance era, when it was a training method for European cavalries. Often described as horses performing ballet, it is looked upon as the sport of a horse and rider working together to perform a routine of beautifully choreographed dressage movements. Dressage consists of horses and riders performing set movements in a 60m x 20m or 40m x 20m arena. Tests are tailored to suit different standards.
Jumping started in the early 1800s and is still the most popular equestrian event. In this sport, a combination of horse and rider tackles a course of colored jumps including a variety of fences and riding challenges. Depending on the standard of the class and its rules, a jump-off may take place to determine the winner. The jump-off course may be shortened with fences raised, and or against the o’clock. A second jump-off may take place in certain cases.
Eventing is akin to an equestrian triathlon that combines three disciplines. The first phase is a dressage test. This is usually followed by one round of cross-country. The final phase is a showjumping round. In the second phase, horses and riders tackle a course of solid fences including ditches, banks, water jumps and multiple combinations of obstacles within an optimum time. This format takes place over one day. The total score of the three phases will determine the winner.
End of Season Awards
To recognize the outstanding achievements of horses and riders during the competition season, the HKEF gives out the following seven annual End of Season Awards.
|Jumping Horse of the Year Award- The Good King Cup||This is awarded to the best performing jumping horse of the season.|
|Dressage Horse of the Year Award- Dragon Hall Dressage Trophy||This is awarded to the best performing dressage horse of the season.|
|Eventing Horse of the Year Award||This is awarded to the best performing eventing horse of the season.|
|Overall Horse of the Year Award- The Helen Griffiths Memorial Trophy||This is awarded to the best performing horse which has the highest combined ranking in all three individual disciplines (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) during the season.|
|Junior Rider of the Year Award- The Jose Remedios Memorial Trophy||This is awarded to the best performing junior rider who aged 18 or below on 1st September in the year of the start of the season.|
|Grimshaw Plate||This is awarded to the winner of the top class in Jumping at the Horse of the Year Show. The Grimshaw Plate was named after the founder of the Hong Kong Horse Society and the first manager of Beas River, the late Major A. Grimshaw.|
|Wrinklies Rice Bowl||This is awarded to the winner aged 40 or above in the class named Wrinklies Rice Bowl Competition at the Jumping Horse of the Year Show.|