A spotted British Miniature stallion, Spotlight Bo Diddly, owned by Roger Parsons and shown by his wife Alison, was crowned Miniature Horse of the Year Champion 2016 at recent the Horse of the Year Show.
This outstanding achievement topped that of 2015, when he finished second in his class to reach the final, delighting his owners, who live in Chichester area. Alison and Roger are amateur breeders of miniature horses and this was a well-deserved accolade for Spotlight Bo Diddly, coming at the end of a highly successful 2016 season.
He has had an impressive season, winning two qualifiers at County Shows and coming fourth three times. On top of that he also won at Hickstead in July. His successes meant that he was awarded the Tagg La Liga consistency prize given each year by HOYS for the miniature stallion with the most points in qualifying shows
His season began with a fourth place at Royal Windsor, followed by another fourth at Royal Three Counties. By July he was just warming up as he won his HOYS ticket and the championship at Kent County- followed by another win and championship at New Forest and Hampshire.
“Within days of this he was at Hickstead winning the Miniature Stallion Championship at the Royal International Horse Show. Through August he had a well earned break before coming out again for the BMHS Breed Championships in Somerset where he was crowned Grand Champion and qualified for Royal International 2017.
Alison recalled: “At the two qualifiers where he had done particularly well-Kent and New Forest- we had the support of family, with our son and daughter in law at Kent and two of my sisters and their husbands at New Forest. This was unusual as the family are not fans of showing, but they thought they would come along. When I knew my daughter would be coming to watch at HOYS it had to be a good omen.”
Throughout September preparations for HOYS went well and rumours that Bo Diddly was the hot favourite for the HOYS title this year reached Alison’s ears. The pressure was on. She has often found it helpful at times like these to take a leaf out of the professional athletes’ book and focus on what you can have an effect on and not worry about other things.
“This mantra helped a lot when it came to our class. I was focussed and Bo was ready, and we managed to pull it off,” she said.
She added: “When our number was called out as the winner, the feeling was overwhelming. The lap of honour was like a whirl. The championship took place in the evening performance in the International Arena. At precisely 7.10pm, following a show jumping class, the miniatures were called into the arena entrance. As they had won the first class, for stallions, Bo Diddly led the six competitors, which were first and second placed animals in the three classes.”
Bo rose to the audience, pricked his ears and walked proudly round. When they were lined up, the judge had a last look, the music played and the champion for 2016 was announced. Alison could not believe it was their number being called, the crowd were cheering, the music playing as they went forward to collect a very special rug and rosette in front of a phalanx of photographers.
“The lap of honour went right round the huge arena and down the centre line all in the spotlights, and we were waving to the crowd as we went. What a wonderful feeling it was. Bo and I just flew around the arena.”
Bo Diddly will now have a long break through the winter and will come back into work next April in preparation for Royal Windsor where he will be trying his best to qualify for 2017 so they can hopefully repeat the prestigious win.