SOPHIA HILL & HUMBLE GLORY
When Humble Glory arrived in a stock crate at Sophia Hill’s Mansfield property in July 2017 to sell on behalf of a friend, she never dreamt of just how far the off-the-track Thoroughbred would take her. “He was a very unassuming OTT who had raced, spelled, and then done a little bit of stock work,” recalls 25-year-old Sophia.
A gelding by Bernardini out of Sharpen (Shovhog), he raced as Camon Houdini and was trained by Gai Waterhouse – but he certainly wasn’t a stand-out on the track. He raced a handful of times, mostly on Victorian tracks, and finished his career over hurdles at Warrnambool where he was eighth of 11 starters. It was his best race result in terms of placings, but when he crossed the line 82.2 lengths behind the winner, it was time for a new career.
“I think they thought he was going to be quite good at jumps racing, but then he lost by 82 lengths! He always jumped quite big; when I first started jumping him, he was over-jumping everything… like just a classic, careful young horse. I think he must have done that when he was racing as well!” she laughs.
“About a week after he arrived, I was blown away by his combination of scope, honesty and bravery. I thought he was a pretty nice horse and so I bought him from my friend with the view to selling him myself. Within three months, he had his first 95cm eventing start and won. He went so fast up the levels… within 18 months, he won the Young Rider Championship (equivalent to three-star level) at Adelaide.
“He was just such an honest and trainable horse, so I decided pretty early on not to sell him. Within two years of being off the track, he then won at four-star level; he’s had a few wins at four-star. The last few years have been very quiet with Covid – and he had an injury too – but he’s going well again now.
“He’s never had a cross country jump fault and he’s an amazing galloper. He usually always makes the time, even when other horses don’t. He’s just a really good jumper; he wants to be clean and wants to do the right thing. The biggest struggle for him is being uphill in the dressage, because he’s just not built that way.”