Blog,  Shows & Country Lifestyle

Horse of the Year Show – 2019

Here it is, the HOYS 2019 blog for you, I hope you enjoy! If you follow me on social media do check out the HOYS highlights on my profile to see the action throughout the day! Whether you have never been to HOYS before, you are going, or you’re having to miss it this year, this blog is for you. I hope you enjoy x

Held at the NEC, Birmingham, Horse of the Year Show is one of the biggest equestrian events in the calendar. Running since 1949, HOYS has continued to grow and develop, producing a show like no other, and it is a show all horse owners and riders aspire to compete at.

This year, running from 2nd – 6th October, HOYS promises to provide, entertainment, shopping and the very best of Equestrian Sport. I attended yesterday, Friday 4th October, however the show still has two days to go, before concluding on Sunday 6th.

HOYS for me has always been the point where I start to think of the ‘C’ word, dare I say it, I’m going to, CHRISTMAS! For me it marks the excitement of Autumn, the end of the Equestrian season, and the beginning of Christmas shopping!

Show day…

The show opened at 6.30am, I arrived for about 8.45am so that I was able to sign in and collect my pass prior to the shopping village opening at 9am. I spent some time highlighting the classes I wanted to watch, and then set about the start of the day!

There is so much to see and do at HOYS, as well as the two arenas, there are different zones hosting talks and information, and of course, the shopping village!

Being totally obsessed with horses, one of the first things I did was head over to the ‘Meet the Horses’ section at the show. Of course, I wouldn’t have passed on an opportunity to cuddle some ponies. I met the gorgeous Bandit who is a Dales pony having travelled from Sussex to be at HOYS. Any excuse to be near a horse and I am there.

Clare Balding had a book signing at 5pm in the Live Zone. Interviewed by the fabulous Sam Gerrard-May, Clare shared with the crowd information of her books and career, as well as answering questions from the floor. Following this discussion, Clare held a book signing for her new book, The Racehorse who learned to Dance, which proved incredible popular!

I have then watched several classes and displays in the arenas, have a look before for a round up of the excitement from Friday 4th.

The Grandstand Welcome Stakes International Showjumping (Two Phase Special)

The Grandstand Welcome Stakes International Showjumping (Two Phase Special) took place at 11.40am. This is the first of the International Competitions for the Event. Riders from Sweden, Netherlands and Ireland. There is no jump off for a two phase class, it is the clearest with the fastest time. 22 riders coming forward for this class. First to go was National Under 21 Champion, William Fletcher for GB riding Persimmon, sadly kicking things off with 4 faults. There were thrills and spills throughout the class, with Angeline Von Essen taking the early lead. The winner of the class was the incredible Anthony Condon, riding for Ireland. He completed clear in an incredible time of 22.86. Emma Stoker came in 2nd with a time of 23.05 and 3rd place was taken by Harriet Nuttall with 23.35.

The Pony Club Mounted Games (round 2) and Musical Ride

Friday hosted the second round of the Pony Club Mounted Games. I actually get a bit jealous every time I watch this as I always think I wish i had started riding a bit younger and had the whizzy little ponies to leap on and off of. These riders are just incredible, and not forgetting their ponies, who are equally as impressive. Mounted Games has you on the edge of your seat the whole time, the whole crowd was cheering and supporting each team, waiting to see who would take first place. It was the West Hants that took first in this round! More rounds still to come though!

The Pony Club is something special to me as I was a member myself and had some great times on my horse with the Branch I was with. This year The Pony Club are celebrating their 90th year, how incredible is that. To celebrate this the East Cheshire Pony Club performed a Musical Ride, it was so great to see riders aged four to twenty one riding in the Andrews Bowen Arena celebrating the Pony Club. The riders compete regularly as a team and they united for such a wonderful performance here at HOYS.

NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes

I love watching the International Showjumping. I have broken too many bones jumping and I now admire these riders so much, they make these huge fences look so easy. A total of 25 riders coming forward for the NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes, with the crowd enjoying some incredible rounds, and nail biting moments. It was a win for GB with the incredible round from Georgia Tame, aboard Quintella. In second place came our earlier winner, Anthony Condon. Harriet Nuttall was the 3rd place finisher.

Mélie Philippot – My Little Sister

I have never seen this display before but, wow, I loved it. It is just too cute. Mélie is a French performer bringing entertainment and laughter to the audience with her dancing duo comedy performance. Mélie rides Quizas whilst the cheeky little Shetland, Diego mirrors the movements. The audience were so engaged and amazed by this performance, whilst also laughing and ‘awwwing’ constantly – this is definitely a must see!

Lorenzo – The Flying Frenchman

I absolutely love this display, I have watched Lorenzo quite a few times before and he never fails to amaze me! Lorenzo made his first debut at HOYS in 2004, with his incredible team of horses from the South of France. A crowd pleasing display of daredevil stunts, Lorenzo makes standing between to horses whilst going over jumps look positively easy. If you haven’t seen Lorenzo perform before, this is an absolute must to see, you would love it!

Retail Village

We all know how much I love shopping, so heading into the retail village was a must for me. There were some of my favourite stands exhibiting so I had some brands to catch up with and some friends to see.

My best friend had her first stand at HOYS this year, I am so incredibly proud of this girl and the business that she is building. Her stand is called J and T Plumes so if you are there do go and say hello, she has the most beautiful tweed ponchos on her stand! Perfect for the upcoming races and great for layering!

HOYS hosts approximately 250 trade stands for the duration of the event, shops open from 9am, with all day shopping available. There is also a bag drop area, so you really can ‘shop ’til you drop’!

I mentioned on my instagram that there were a couple of stands on my must visit list, and I went over to these to catch up on some new products!



Grays are one of my favourite stands, their display is always beautiful, their products are of the highest quality, and the team are some of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever met. They have three new products that have been launched for HOYS this year, the Mary Handbag, the Elizabeth Evening Bag and the Barrington Croc Overnight Bag. Have a read below to find out about each one.

Mary Handbag

This beautiful handbag is the one featuring on my social media, that I took with me for the day. Launching newly at HOYS, this handbag is a take on the original Mary Handbag, but it now features suede side panels. The bag has plenty of space inside, it features a large main compartment, two smaller pockets and a zip compartment. I took an awful lot with me to HOYS and this bag didn’t let me down, I had plenty of space for everything I needed without it feeling too bulky. The tan colour is available to buy at HOYS now, and will be on the website shortly, there will also be a darker brown available by the end of the month.

Elizabeth Evening Bag

I own this bag already in the croc print and absolutely love it. It was the first Grays bag that i ever purchased and I had had my eyes on it for a long time. This bag has now been launched in a beautiful smooth leather Tan colour. I would have this bag in every single colour if I could, it is so versatile and easy enough to dress up or down. Inside the bag is a main compartment – which is bigger than you think, it the has ten card holders – this means that you can actually leave you purse behind, making more space for anything else you want to take with you. The bag fastens easily with a magnetic popper at the front. Available at HOYS now!

Barrington Croc Leather Holdall Bag

I have featured this a couple of times already so if you follow my social media, you will know this is one of my favourite pieces that Grays have launched. Brand new to their collection, this is a croc leather holdall. I stay away a lot with work and I rely on a really good quality overnight bag, so for me this ticks all of the boxes. I don’t want to give too much away about this one, as I have some more information coming for you very soon! This is available at HOYS, and is now on the website.



I always have to come and visit the Welligogs stand to see which new pieces are on my wish list. You’ll know if you follow me on social media that I am just a little bit obsessed with their clothing, I love it! Welligogs have loads of new Autumn/Winter pieces launching at the moment, so I popped over to the stand to play dress up and try on some new pieces. It’s official, I wanted to try everything on (Spoiler alert – I think I pretty much did!). I could go on all day about the new collection here, but I’ve just picked out three of my favourite stand out pieces:

Perditta Jacket- Similar to the beautiful and very popular Odette Jacket, the Perditta is a new wax jacket to the collection. These jackets fit so nicely, they are very flattering and there is the option to bring in or loosen the back of the jacket, making it the perfect fit for you. This jacket is in a beautiful navy colour, with an incredibly beautiful lining. The end of the sleeves feature very useful zips and the jacket is beautifully contrasted with suede features.

Quilted Jacket– I wouldn’t normally opt for a padded jacket like this, but Welligogs have done it once again, I am hooked. I absolutely loved this new addition to the range. This quilted jacket is very reasonably priced and was so cosy and warm! The jacket is a flattering fit and very comfortable. The jacket also has a concealed hood – perfect for this very changeable weather!

Knightsbridge Wine Jacket- This is one of my favourites from the new collection. My Welligogs Balmoral is a firm favourite of mine and this jacket is similar but in a new colourway. I love the deep, dark Autumn colours featured. These jackets are such a flattering fit, and really do dress so well up or down.


Fairfax and Favor

This stand never fails to amaze me, Ben always does the most amazing job of creating such a beautiful space. There have been some beautiful products launched recently by this brand so I went over to have a look. I have been a F&F customers for many years now and have the most ridiculously extensive collection of boots, belts and bags. It is safe to say from my very first pair of Reginas all those years ago, I became completely hooked.

The Elizabeth Gilet is the first clothing piece to be launched by the brand. Available in both tan and chocolate, this gilet is a must have styling piece for this Autumn/Winter. I couldn’t resist trying on the tan with my outfit I had on, it works so well with everything! I have actually gone for this gilet in the chocolate, so I am not going to give too much away, as I will have lots of content soon on styling this piece. The gilet is available at HOYS on the stand, go and have a try on, you won’t be disappointment.

I also tried on the gorgeous Marlborough shoes, which launched just slightly earlier in the year. I have had my eyes on these as they have a very elegant loafer style, with to contrasting tassels on the front. I tried on tan with the navy tassels, but the opposite colourway is also available.

Get The Look – HOYS 2019

I have had a lot of comments and messages about the outfit that I wore to HOYS. I went for something a little bit different this time, and you all seem to have loved it, just as much as I did. Find the details below.

Gilet – City Cows

My beautiful navy blue fur gilet is by City Cows. This gilet has pockets, which to me is just perfect! It is beautifully soft, and complimented the shoes I was wearing perfectly.

Find me here.

Dress – My Best Friends Wardrobe

The beautiful dress I wore is a new one from My Best Friends Wardrobe. The Penelope Paisley Smock Dress is one size, so no need to worry about different sizing. It works really well being nipped in at the waist. There are lots of different colours in the print, which means you can work with accessorising in lots of different colour ways.

Find me here.

Belt – Fairfax and Favor

I chose to style the dress with the beautiful Fairfax and Favor Sennowe Belt in Oxblood. This belt sat around my waist to nip in the dress, it matched some of the colours in the dress perfectly, adding a great finishing touch. The belt is a beautiful suede with the classic Fairfax and Favor buckle.

Find me here.

Shoes – Fairfax and Favor

I wore the beautiful new Victoria Navy Velvet Slippers from Fairfax and Favor. These shoes are to die for, they are stunning. They have an incredibly flattering and classic shape, with high density velvet uppers. The shoe is absolutely beautiful and worked so well with a dress, they will also work perfectly with trousers or a skirt – so you really could style these with anything.

Find me here.

Bag – Grays 1922

As featured earlier in the blog, I took the new Mary Handbag along with me. This bag seems to grow the more you put in it, I had it filled to the brim with everything I needed for the day and it didn’t let me down. This bag also complimented the beautiful browns found within the dress.

Coming very soon to the website!

Jewellery – Hiho, Pegasus, Pandora, County Equestrian Jewellers, Accessorize.

I wore a variety of jewellery to HOYS today. I have had a few of you asking about my earrings. They were from Accessorize but I think it was earlier in the year so I am not sure if they are still available now. I wore a Pegasus Jewellery snaffle necklace and the Hiho Silver long cherry roller necklace. I had three different snaffle bracelets on, one from Pegasus Jewellery and one from County Equestrian Jewellers, I then had on my Hiho Silver fox roller snaffle bracelet. I never take off my three Pandora rings, I then purchased a new snaffle bit ring from County Equestrian Jewellers for my other hand!

Watch – Morris Richardson.

I am rarely seen without my Morris Richardson watch, you all know how much I love it. I chose the red strap for this outfit as it again matched the colouring in the dress really well. The red strap with the rose gold is the Belton online, please see link below.

Find me here.

What to expect if you are heading to HOYS this weekend..

There are still two days of HOYS left, are you heading there this weekend? Here is a little insight of what to expect.


If you manage to read this blog before arriving on Saturday, or if you are at the evening performance then phew- I’ve managed to get it out as quickly as possible following the extremely busy day yesterday! The live zone timetable runs 10am to 5pm every day.

The Topspec Arena will host a variety of showing classes throughout the day, concluding at 6.15pm.

The Andrews Bowen International Area will host both a daytime and evening performance. During the day you can expect to see the cob of the year show classes, International showjumping, two displays and the mounted games.

The highlight of the Saturday evening performance will of course be the Ripon Select Foods Puissance. I am so jealous that I am missing this one, it is on of my favourite things to watch.


Sunday hosts an equally thrilling day time and evening performance. You can expect the five fence challenge in the Andrews Bowen Arena at 1pm, this is one of my favourite things to watch. The evening performance also includes a display of racing hero’s, something I am really sad to be missing!

In the live zone on Sunday there is a meet and greet with social media stars @pony_nuts (3pm) and @blobthecob (5pm). The Pony Club Mounted Games team will also be in the Live Zone, alongside several other talks.

I hope you have really enjoyed my HOYS blog, if you do follow me on Instagram and missed my HOYS Instagram stories, do go and have a look at those as they are now featured as a highlights on my profile. If you are thinking about going to HOYS, there are still tickets available for tomorrow!

I have another blog coming VERY soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

See you soon!

Lots of Love, Lucinda xo

‘The horse … here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave’ – Ronald Duncan

{Note some outfit items were given for this event}