British rider Ben Hobday (34) completed Badminton in 2019 with Harelaw Wizard – his 6th completion of the event. Badminton however will be a first 5* for Shadow Man his entry this year. In 2019 the pair was crowned National Champion after second place in the British Open at Gatcombe.
Ben, originally from Rossendale in Lancashire recently relocated from Morpeth to Wakefield in West Yorkshire, where he runs his own business Shadow Sport Horse Ltd producing and selling 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 Ian Stark.
Shadow Man owned by his father Steve Hobday, Jane Chambers and rider is a 12-year-old Belgian-bred BWP registered gelding. He is jumping bred by Fidjy of Colors (a son of Le Tot de Semilly) out of a mare by the leading international showjumper Winningmood. He was acquired by Steve Hobday as a three-year-old and has since been produced by Ben. He was 10th is the World seven-year-old championship at Le Lions in 2017, was a member of the winning nations cup team at The Plains VA in 2018 and in 2019 won Ben the tile of National Champion at Gatcombe. Badminton is the first 5* for Shadow Man. The pair began 2022 with three weeks in Portugal showjumping in Vilamoura. In 2021 they also competed in international jumping classes at Keysoe, Hickstead and Harthill.
Clydesdale X TB,
16.3hh , bay , gelding
Dam Arnloss fairy (Assert)
Breeder J Pitchford
Owner(s): Charles Robson, St. Boswell, Melrose.