British rider Ben Hobday (30) last completed Badminton in 2016 with Mulrys Error his entry this year. Ben, from Rossendale in Lancashire is now based near Morpeth in Northumberland, where he runs his own business Shadow Sport Horse Ltd producing event horses.
Ben began riding aged four, progressed to local shows and was a winner of ‘first ridden’ at Ponies UK. With Lancashire’s Holcombe Hunt Pony Club Ben qualified for the Pony Club championships in all three phases; the first to do so in his pony club for 25 years. Keen to become an event rider he went as a working pupil to Cheshire based Hannah Bate, then went to work for show jumper William Funnell. He now trains with Chris Bartle.
In 2006 Ben won the U21 National Championships (Uptons Who) and was selected for Britain’s young rider squad. In 2007 he and Upton’s Who represented GB at the Young Rider European Championships, finishing on their dressage score in 6th place. In 2008 the pair won European team gold & individual bronze at Kreuth. In 2010 Ben competed in his first four-star at Pau with Gun A B Good, where he was 11th and in 2012 at Burghley the pair was 33rd with a double clear and Ben won the prize for the highest placed Under-25.
In 2010 he was the winner of the four-year-old section of the Burghley Young Event horse final with Shadow Boxer and in 2011 the pair was second in the five-year-old final. In June 2015 he was diagnosed with cancer (Burkitts Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). He completed chemotherapy in September and in March the following year with Mulrys Error competed in his first three-star since diagnosis.
Outside of eventing Ben enjoys ‘all extreme sports’. His father Steve was a British National champion in motocross and also competed in formula Ford, legend and stock car racing.
Ben trains with dressage rider Matt Frost. Ben is married to Emma.
Mulrys Error is a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding of unverified breeding albeit according to his breeder Mark Mulry he is by the thoroughbred Eves Error (a son of Be My Guest) out of a Clydesdale mare. He was bought by his owner as a four-year-old and was produced by Sally, who was taught by Ben, to one-star when she asked Ben to ride him. He has ridden him since and exceeded all expectations; in 2014 the pair completed Burghley with a double clear – the horses first four-star. Ben says; ‘he is the event horse with the biggest feet but also has a heart of gold’ and describes him as ‘the V8 supercob sent to give the average cob hope that anything is possible’. Ben claims he turned down a top job working for Budweiser as part of the Clydesdale advertising team.
Clydesdale x TB,
16.1hh , bay , gelding
Sire Eves Error
Breeder Mr Mark Mulry
Owner(s): Sallie Ryle, Ilkley, W. Yorks.