Contrasting fortunes for Wilson and Townend highlight another super year for Yorkshire stars

THERE has been plenty to celebrate this year for Yorkshire's riders and owners, as well as some bad luck to overcome for others.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in the world of eventing. Northallerton's Nicola Wilson has had an exceptional year, while a crashing fall put paid to a great run of successes for Oliver Townend.

The Huddersfield-born rider, who now lives in Shropshire, has had what he describes as an eventful season.

His fall from Ashdale Cruise Master on the cross-country course at the Rolex Kentucky event in April ruined his chances of winning the Rolex Grand Slam and a prize of 222,000.

He suffered a broken collarbone, shoulder, sternum and four broken ribs in the fall but rode at Burghley in September to defend his title. He was placed fourth with Carousel Quest.

For Wilson, this year will be one to remember. Riding Opposition Buzz, she was a member of Britain's gold medal winning team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. It was our first eventing world team title for 16 years.

Earlier this month at Olympia, Wilson was one of four leading riders to be presented with medals of honour by the British Equestrian Federation for outstanding achievements in their respective disciplines.

Former Olympic rider and Bramham winner Ian Stark took over as designer for the cross-country course at Bramham International Horse Trials in June.

It proved to be a course that rewarded bold riding and was won by a delighted Pippa Funnell with Redesigned.

There were many successes in the world of showing, including a terrific end to the season for Dartmoor stallion Pumphill Buckthorn, bred by David Hinde from Aberford.

The seven-year-old won the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Supreme Ridden title at Olympia and has now won some of the top prizes in showing. The horse is owned by Sue Hughes and produced by Sarah Challinor.

The Great Yorkshire Show provided some memorable moments, particularly for Kath Barley and her 21-year-old mare, Drummacy. The mare won the Lightweight Hunter brood mare class and went on to win the championship and the best Yorkshire-bred brood mare award. Her filly foal, Drummatic, also won its class and the foal championship.

Ripon-based breeders Sue and Nigel Cowgill have also had a good year with their part-bred Cleveland Bay filly, Hawlmark Classic Twighlight, which included wins at the Great Yorkshire and at the National Supreme Hunter Championships.

For Dawn Gant and her partner, Paul Smith, from Normanton, the Great Yorkshire proved to be unforgettable.

They won the prestigious Cuddy Supreme Championship with their home-bred Welsh Section C mare, Kirkhamgate Lady Rhiannon and her foal. This qualified them to compete at the Horse of the Year Show, a dream come true for the couple, where they were placed sixth.

The Emmerson family from Stokesley had the thrill of winning the overall Supreme Pony of the Year title at the Horse of the Year Show with Charn Secret Legend which they produce for owner Karen Fuge and which was ridden by her daughter, Abbie.

Point-to-point rider Charlotte Cundall, who broke her back in a schooling accident several years ago, fought her way back to fitness and had her first victory.

Riding Major Shark, she beat her father, Chris, into second place at the Sinnington point-to-point. Charlotte won the 'Ride of the Season' award for her amazing comeback which she received at the Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Championship awards dinner.

This summer, Bishop Burton College near Beverley was the setting for the FEI European Pony Championships.

It was a major coup for the college, which pulled out all the stops to make sure this major event ran smoothly. The championships were being held in this country for the first time in 13 years and for the first time in Yorkshire. The event ended on a high note for Great Britain when our team took eventing gold.

For Harvey Smith, one of the country's best known and most controversial show-jumpers, 2010 turned out to be to be the year he finally joined the equestrian establishment.

In a career that spanned 40 years, his uncompromising attitude led to numerous confrontations with judges and show-jumping's elite but endeared him to the public.

Earlier this year, he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by British Showjumping.

Bingley-based Smith is also a member of the sport's executive board, aiming to get the British team on top form for the London Olympics.