Virtual Horse Show: The results are in!

Than you thank you thank you to everyone who entered our first ever virtual horse show. We had almost two hundred entries and raised over £1,000 which will make a huge difference to the charity - especially at this very challenging time that we all find ourselves in. All the horses and humans here at HorseWorld have been blown away by your enthusiasm and generosity - thank you.

All of our judges have said what a tough decision they had to make; you didn't make it easy for any of them! But after much deliberation we can reveal the winners and the runners up. Our winners will receive a bunch of five-star goodies from our friends at NAF, PLUS winner and highly commended of the Golden Oldie category win a pair of magnetic bands from our friends at EquiStreamz. Everyone mentioned below will receive a special certificate via email, and we'll be squeezing as many as possible of you into our next newsletter due out later this year.

Once you've seen our wonderful winners it's up to you to decide who will be Best in Show! Head on over to our Facebook page to vote for your favourite and the horse with the most likes and/or loves will be crowned Best in Show. Don't forget to help us spread the word and share the post - but please remember that it's only likes and loves on our original post which will be counted.

Please start the drum roll as we announce.....the winners of the first ever HorseWorld Virtual Horse Show!

Matt Campbell from EQU StreamZ was our judge for this category which celebrates our sometimes underestimated OAPs. He said "There has never been a better time to brighten up the world with more daisies as right now. We are sure Daisy brightens up the yard at home and is a worthy winner of the golden oldies category. This wonderful photograph of Abbie helped us reminisce on all our wonderful days of riding, which we're missing very much at the moment, and she looks such a happy horse!"

Goodness me there is some truly big hair out there! We were delighted to see so many styles, shapes and artistic interpretations. Judge of this category was Claire Sully from Tickbox. Claire said "Kitty is quiff-tastic and is rocking her Elvis look. It’s classic, it’s cool and we wonder – no mousse? Minnie deserves to be highly commended for that windswept look (without the wind). Makes me want to roar with appreciation!"

Another tricky category which was judged by BBC Radio Bristol presenter Steve Yabsley. Steve said of DHAC (which stands for Didn't Have a Chance!) "With echoes of a llama, an ostrich, candy floss and possibly a toilet brush, this equine ticks all the boxes. Avoiding the cliché of protruding teeth, the photo captures the inherent silliness of the beast – who is not afraid to brandish an impressive tongue." Fjord comes in a close second because "Perfectly encapsulating the angst of the current pandemic this shot is deeply powerful. The look in the creature’s eyes suggests confusion and concern – but on this occasion probably only because the carrots have run out."

We had some truly spectacular entries for this category, so HorseWorld's friend Martin Clunes had a real challenge on his hands (much like the humans who had to try and clean up these two beasts). Martin said "The winner, by some way for me, has to be Gussy Boy he’s clearly really put his shoulder in to this competition and in the face of some quite stiff opposition from two pairs of boots and a rug… that is real determination and should be rewarded, well done all at team GB. Highly Commended is Kat for not only getting really really muddy but also for putting quite a nice shine on that bit of mud."

This category was judged by our friend, and long-term supporter of HorseWorld, Melissa Newman from NAF. She said "This was a really tough choice, I loved all the entries so much but to match your horse’s hair colour and coordinate your accessories that’s pretty brilliant! Also this image really resonated with me and highlights the strong bond you can form with a horse, this is a friendship and you can really see that." And as for her choice for Highly Commended? Melissa said "I feel as though this entry had to be recognised even if they did have a bit of an unfair advantage. We’re all suffering from ‘Lockdown Hair’ but this takes the biscuit! Mr Clunes, absolutely fantastic!"

A niche category but one which generated some truly tremendous photographs and enough fantastic facial hair to make even the hairiest hipster green with envy! Judges for this category were friends of HorseWorld and long-term supporters Sarah Pitt and Dave Parkinson. Sarah said "Whisky’s moustache is very elegant and appears very well groomed and cared for. She looks very at ease with her moustache, and shows that anyone can carry off any style if they do so with confidence in themselves. Eric’s moustache is quite something. Although he looks like he’s not quite sure about it himself in this photo, but he can be sure that everyone will know when he’s around!"

A truly heart-warming category, this one. You all shared so many precious moments each one of them deserved to win. The judge with the almost impossible task was HorseWorld's new Chief Executive Petra Ingram. Petra said "The photo of Cyril has beautifully captured the two way hug, there must be great trust between them both, something we all aspire to have with our horses. It looks like there is perfect harmony between Jess and her human; the horse is relaxed, eyes closed and ears focused. It captures the perfect relationship between the two of them, a virtual hug through their minds, something we are doing a lot more during Covid-19!"

Patron of HorseWorld, founder of Intelligent Horsemanship, and all-round lovely human Kelly Marks had the unenviable job of judging this category. (And just in case you're wondering, we didn't tell her which charities any of the entrants had been re-homed from so there couldn't be any favoritism!) Kelly said she chose Duke as the winner because "they’ve achieved so much together. Their example might help people see ‘rescue horses’ in a new light. They shouldn’t be stereotyped as ‘just companion’ horses - they can get out and compete with the best of them!" And as for Prince? "Who could fail to be impressed by Prince the Perfect Pony taking little Aemilia over that jump?"

Who knew our excellent equines were so gregarious with their choices of chums? This category was judged by our very own Assistant Yard Manager Vicky Greenslade. Vicky said Annie and her bovine friends were the winner for her because "horses are often terrified of cows, but here is Annie not only is sharing her field with them, but happily sharing her hay too! Plus they all blend together so well. Very sweet." Phoebe and Pickles came in a close second because "these two look very comfortable together - like genuine friends. Phoebe looks very happy to have Pickles around. And I love goats!"

And for our big finish - the Best Equine Teacher category judged by HorseWorld patron and horse whispering legend Monty Roberts. If there's a man anywhere who knows the value of learning from horses, it's Monty, and he had some really wonderful nominations to choose from. Monty said of his winner, JoJo "What appealed to me about Jojo is that it was a clear message Jo Jo taught her owner; and I have always felt flight animals could teach if we would but listen closely. The message was clear and to the point and very emotional. I suppose the strongest reason for me choosing Jo Jo as the winner is that I, too, share these opinions. There are many things in my life at this moment in time that I just won’t give up on." And as for runner up Auntie? "My second choice is Auntie and it must be said that I have known Charlie for many years now. We all love him and share his appreciation for equus."

But the fun doesn't end here!

Head on over to our Facebook page where we've uploaded all the category winners into a very special album. The photograph which gets the most likes/loves, by 5pm on Monday 1st June, will be crowned Best in Show! Please share the post and help spread the word, but remember that only likes/loves on our original post will be counted.

So what are you waiting for? The final decision is in your hands! Click here to go and cast your very important vote....

Posted on: 22nd May 2020