Hawick rider Hilary Mactaggart enjoyed a “lifetime experience” competing at last week’s Horse of the Year Show, returning with a much-coveted finalist rosette.
Hilary, of Greendale, near Hawick, rode her gelding Harley Street in the Irish Horse Gateway Small Hunter of the Year Championship at Birmingham’s NEC.
The pair qualified after winning at the Royal Highland Show in June, and months of preparation for prestigious horse show have followed.
“I’ve had an unbelievable season with Harley,” said Hilary, “and to compete at HOYS was just the icing on the cake.
“He’s won seven championships, and already qualified for next year’s Royal International at Hickstead.”
Accompanied by her husband Bruce, and her mother, Helen, from Galashiels, Hilary was enjoying a first-ever experience of competing at the event.
“It was an incredible experience, and one I’ll never forget,” she added. “We had warm-up slots at 9pm the previous night and again at 5am the next morning, before I went into the ring at 7am, so it was all go.
“Harley was a star and just took it all in his stride and it was lovely that Mum, now aged 85, was there to share it, as she’s his number one fan!”
Harley will now enjoy a much-deserved six-week break, before preparations begin for the 2016 campaign.
“He’s taken me on a dream journey, and I’m so proud of him,” concluded Hilary.