First Receiver carries the King’s colours to victory at the Horse of the Year Show

Horse Racing

‘It means a lot’ – former Sir Michael Stoute-trained gelding stars in Birmingham.

First Receiver, bred by the Queen and now owned by King Charles III, was crowned champion in the Racehorse to Riding Horse class at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The gelding was bred by the late monarch and was trained by Sir Michael Stoute to a seven-length maiden win and a second-placed spot in the Listed Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2020.

Subsequently retired from the track and sent to begin a second career in the show ring with Katie Jerram-Hunnable, the five-year-old gained his place at Horse of the Year Show when winning a qualifier at Burghley Horse Trials last month.

Jerram-Hunnable has been riding show horses for the head of state for two decades and also competes former chaser Barbers Shop alongside a handful of other non-thoroughbreds who were owned and bred by the Queen.

At the National Exhibition Centre, First Receiver came out on top to give his rider a royal triumph after four previous second-placed efforts on horses owned by the Queen.

“I was so upset, like the country and the whole world were, after losing Her Majesty, it was the worst thing that could possibly happen,” Jerram-Hunnable said after the victory.

“Her passion for her horses was her homebreds, I’m riding five of them here this week.

“The one thing, when I first rode for her 20 years ago, that she wanted to win was at Horse of the Year Show – and I’ve done it!

“I was absolutely terrified, it was just the anticipation and that I wanted to finish the job properly. I made it.”

Of her mount, she added: “He was with Sir Michael Stoute, he was out of training 18 months ago and he was an entire.

“He’s by New Approach and he was a tricky little number when he first came in, his first time in the school was quite interesting!

“We took our time with him and got to (a qualifier at) Hartpury this year and, knowing the Queen desperately wanted her best horses to come here, we wanted to get him here and we did Hartpury and he came third in his first open (class).

“Then he won Burghley and the Queen was told after that he was off to Horse of the Year Show, it was the last show horse winner that she had and he is now the first (for the King) – it means a lot.”

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