After an exceptional career in the show ring, producer, international judge and IDHS(GB) President, ROBERT OLIVER was honoured by being presented with the Equestrian of the Year Award for 2018, in a moving ceremony at the 70th Anniversary of the Horse of the Year Show, in recognition of the fact that he has dedicated his whole life to the equestrian industry, where his opinion is sought after and respected.

It was fitting that life-long friend Jeff Osborne, Honorary Vice President of The Horse Of The Year Show, presented the magnificent Trophy, as these two have competed together at HOYS since 1970. An emotional Robert said he was both humbled and proud to receive this prestigious Award.

Since his first HOYS in 1970, where he won the Small Hunter of the Year, Robert has broken all the HOYS records, winning more than 38 HOYS Championships, from Working Hunters to Hacks and Riding Horses to Show Hunters and Cobs, one of the most famous being the Heavy Weight Cob, Super Ted, who won six Championships including the Supreme Horse of the Year title in 1990.

This was Robert’s 21st year of judging the SEIB Search for a Star Competition Finals at HOYS, from which he has now sadly retired. He said that the Search for a Star was probably one of the most important competitions for horses and ponies in the country and has been responsible for launching the showing career of many exceptional equines who have gone on to win major titles at HOYS

A lifelong supporter of the Irish Draught, Robert became our Vice President in 2001 and has been our President since 2011.

He has participated in many workshops, judges’ assessment days and inspirational talks over the years and, as this Award indicates, he is still one of the most respected experts in the equine world.

Robert and wife Claire still produce top class show horses from their home base in Gloucestershire and always have Pure and Part bred Irish Draughts in their yard.


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2019 Yearbook