Three days of competition among some fantastic amateur combinations culminated in the overall Championship of the SEIB Search for a Star where Working Horse winner, Follow Her Home and Hannah Moore took the top honours with Working Pony winner, Hunky Dory and Theodora Hopkins, in Reserve.
Excitement was in the air as the final six horses and riders had the opportunity to ride on the world-famous spotlight of the Andrews Bowen International Arena at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Hannah has had the Irish Sport Horse, Follow Me Home, owned by Michelle Moore, for just 10 months, but the judges were quick to praise her on what a great job she had done with the mare’s training. The six-year-old grey gave the judge a lovely ride in the TopSpec Arena earlier on in the day and showed a nice way of going over the fences with a snaffle mouth.
“It’s unbelievable,” said a delighted Hannah. “I knew her temperament is very good but I never expected her to cope that well in there… she’s not at all mareish or phased by anything.”
Reflecting on her HOYS experience, Hannah said: “It’s all so surreal and has been a bit of a blur since we arrived on Wednesday, but I can finally take it all in now. It’s been an amazing experience.”
Reserve Champion Hunky Dory, known as Dory at home, is a Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and riding school pony who has been owned by Claire Robinson since he was just four months old. Theodora has ridden him since they broke him in, and was taught to ride by Claire when she was eight!
“This is the best thing ever!” said Theodora. “He does anything you want, he’ll be anyone’s friend and is just happy go lucky.” Dory has been to numerous RDA, Riding School and British Dressage Championships with various riders and Theodora enjoys showing him in Workers and Coloured classes at home.
The full list of class winners is as follows:
Show Cob of the Year:
Ballygar Joker and Gillian Purgac
Working Horse/Pony of the Year:
Horse: Follow Her Home and Hannah Moore Pony: Hunky Dory and Theodora Hopkins
Riding Horse/Hack of the Year:
Horse: Castors Son and Megan Barlow Hack: Carrhouse Dark Silk and Charlotte Hall
Hunter of the Year:
Urswick Rock Solid and Caroline Airey
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