Queen’s ex-racer proves a cut above

HM the Queen’s Barbers Shop landed the first SEIB Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier of the season, held at Osbaldeston EC in Lancashire. These classes were huge, with 38 entries and most forward on the day to be judged by Jean Wright and David Ingle, all aiming for the prestigious final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in October.

Barbers Shop, who was third at HOYS in 2015 and second in 2016, looked as fabulous as always, ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable. The former steeplechaser, who won £143,000 during his racing career, is due to retire at the end of this season as he is now 15 years old. By the Sadler’s Wells son Saddlers’ Hall, he has been an “absolute delight”, according to Katie.

“He is such a gentleman. When he came to me he had no idea how to canter — his paces were walk, push off from hocks, gallop!” she recalled. “He didn’t really know trot either. But I worked on his transitions, going from walk, trot, to canter, on both reins, then bringing him back quietly and doing it again. He’s very easy to do — if he were human, he’d be a proper country gent. You’d find him sitting in an armchair, wearing monogrammed slippers and smoking a pipe, watching the racing.”

The runner-up and second qualifier also caught the eye. Grandeur (Jo Bates) won almost £600,000 on racecourses around the world and the handsome Irish-bred grey by Verglas has the look of eagles about him. This was his first ever showing class and he is definitely one to watch for in the 2017 final at HOYS — in what promises to be a very strong section.

1st Barbers Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram, owned by HM Queen
2nd Grandeur, ridden by Jo Bates owned by Yvonne Jacques
3rd Clonard Lad, ridden by Paul Langrick, owned by Miss Rebecca O’Neill
4th Valentine Jack, ridden and owned by Donna Belmonte
5th Patureyes, ridden and owned by Rose-Marie Turner
6th Nicene Creed, ridden and owned by Hannah Chisman