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Meet Amanda Stoddart-West, Northumberland County Supreme Light Horse Champion Judge

One of the most prestigious accolades at Northumberland County Show is the Kielder Organics Supreme Light Horse Champion trophy. Judging a diverse line up of horses from every part of the Light Horse Equine Section is no mean feat and this year, respected horsewoman Amanda Stoddart-West has taken on the role. She is well known through her work at the Great Yorkshire Show and Equine Extra caught up with her to find out more about her life, her passions and hobbies.

Amanda Stoddart West Supreme Light Horse Judge 2019 riding HarryAmanda (pictured left riding Harry) lives in a small hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales, is married to Mark who also works at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society as the Financial Controller for the Group. Amanda looks after the competitive element of the Great Yorkshire Show and the autumn show Countryside Live.

She told us, “Amongst other things, I am very proud to work with the highly respected Equine Vet, Julian Rishworth on the “Suitably Mounted” issue, on which  the Yorkshire Agricultural Society has lead the way in the last few years. I am very keen to improve welfare for all animals and this particular topic is something I consider very important.”

When she is not at work most of Amanda’s time is taken up looking after their own horses and she is involved in the Echo Foundation, an equine charity working to improve understanding of the importance of whole body health and function.

We asked Amanda about her equestrian background, “I grew up around horses and was on ponies before I could walk. I trained in a top class showing yard in Worcestershire for four years where I was lucky to be part of the team that won the ‘Pony of the Year’ and ‘Lightweight Hunter of Year’ in the same year at HOYS.

I later ran a yard at my parents’ farm in Dorset for several years where my main clients were Wendy and Dave Wood and their girls Sam and Pud, who were 2 years and 4 years old when we started. Our own herd consists of two Irish boys, Harry and Teddy and two little people, Magic and Cosie, the latter at 7.1hh ruling the roost!” This season Amanda has been going out with the Highmoor Bloodhounds, which she describes as “A brilliant way to spend your Sunday, galloping and jumping over some wonderful countryside where the hounds are following a human scent, so it ticks all my boxes!”

In addition to the Great Yorkshire Show, Amanda was previously involved with Melplash Show and the Royal Bath and West Show, so shows are a big part of her life. She explains, “I believe Agricultural Shows have an important role to play enabling breeders and exhibitors to come together to show-off their animals.  I hope that they also provide a greater insight for the non-agricultural or non-horsey person who may go on to follow a career in agriculture or in the equestrian world.  Agricultural shows are a brilliant showcase for the countryside and are great for getting everyone involved; we all need to play our part in looking after things for future generations.”

NCS Light Horse Champions 2018We asked Amanda how she would approach the judging of the Light Horse Supreme Champion and she told us, “I am really looking forward to judging the Supreme Champion at this prestigious Show.  I’m confident that all the animals in the line-up will be worthy winners but on the day there can only be one Supreme and for me it will be the animal that stands out as the one I want to get on and ride, or in the case of a pony, the one I want to take home!” 

The 2018 Supreme Light Horse Champion is pictured right.  

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