The season opener for the 2016 SEIB Insurance Brokers Search For A Star series at Osbaldeston, Lancashire, on 9 April 2016, lived up to expectations. A strong entry across all the sections gave the team of judges, Richard Ramsay, David Bartram, David Ingle and Chris Lawton, plenty to think about.
The day started with the working hunter and a strong but inviting course saw 11 clears go through to the second phase.
First place went to Robyn Taylor riding her own lovely 5 year old, Crunchie Million. Robyn bought the unbroken chestnut gelding, by Splash Million out of a warmblood mare, 2 years ago. “He was very straight forward to back and we have done Pony Club activities and some showjumping”, said Robyn. The pair also stood third in the Show Hunter class.
Second place went to Sarah Cairns, riding Julie Thwaites’ Ballyblood Sinbad. Sarah, 18, from Formby, has been riding the 10-year-old coloured for the past 4 years and they have done mainly hunting and eventing.
Third placed Rebecca Wolfenden, secured her ticket to HOYS riding her mother Angeline Briggs’ Lord Lancer. The 6-year-old bay gelding known as “Balou”, is homebred, by Lord Louis out of an Irish Sport Horse mare, and the family also have his two younger siblings. “He was bred to show jump, but he does anything”, explained Rebecca
Riding Club Show Horse
Two fences and negotiate trotting poles in the first phase, leaving 7 clears for the final judging. First place went to Santana’s Special Edition, ridden by Phoebe Mallinson, 18, and owned by her granddad, Joe Hewitson. The pair have been successful at the SEIB Trailblazers Championhips, winning the Working Hunter and the Prelim Dressage finals.
Second place went to the 7-year-old bay gelding, Meaux Constellation, owned and ridden by Mrs Emma Harris from West Yorkshire. Sadly the top two places could not take their HOYS ticket, and third placed Rebecca Wolfenden had already earned her HOYS place in the Working Hunter.
So it was fourth placed Louise Harrison who took the HOYS qualification with an impeccable performance, riding her mother Sheila Harrison’s 12-year-old Irish mare, Penny Princess. Louise uses her as a Ride Pilot for the BHS, taking groups out on hacks on local bridleways. They have been successful in the SEIB Trailblazers series and they won the NCPA Intermediate Working Hunter Pony in 2015.
A quality entry was split into 2 sections for preliminary judging by Richard Ramsay (conformation) and David Bartram (ride). First place went to Fielding Fairytale, known as Doris, owned and ridden by Angela Hesketh, from Cheadle, Staffordshire.
Katie Atkinson, 28, took second place riding her own Malibu Dancer. Katie bought the 8-year-old ex-racehorse straight out of racing in 2012 and this will be their first season showing. The pair won the amateur class at Aintree Show last year and plan to do riding horse and ex-racehorse classes this season. “I never thought that going to HOYS would be within our grasp”, said Katie, who works as an aircraft electrician and also loves to go racing.
Show ponies and Show Hunter Ponies are combined for this class and a good entry was judged by David Bartram and Richard Ramsay. In the final placings, the top spot went to the lovely show hunter pony, to Balfour Hawkeye, owned by Vanessa Donald and ridden by her daughter, Madeline, 12. The 7-year-old chestnut gelding was bought 2 years ago for working hunter pony classes and the pair have competed in Welsh Section B classes and won Champion Show Hunter Pony at BSPS 2015.
Second place went to Joanne Jesson’s Greensyke Sonny Boy, known as Murphy, ridden by her 10-year-old daughter, Amelia Jesson. Murphy, by Hollyhill Drummers Dream out of Parkton Silver Mist, was bought from his breeder in 2012. Amelia has done clinics, fun rides and schooling and won BSPS Winter Championships Working Hunter Pony Cradle Stakes in March this year.
Another good entry came before Richard Ramsay (conformation) and David Ingle (ride) and in the final placing, Astor, owned and ridden by Georgina Doran, 24, stood top. The 11-year-old grey gelding is by the show jumping sire Odermus R, and Georgina loaned him for 2 years before buying him last October. They were Reserve Champion Riding Horse at the North West Championships in 2015.
Second place went to the aptly named Huntsman, owned and ridden by Emma Field. Emma, 15, is an active member of the East Shropshire Riding Club and does many of their clinics and events. Emma wanted a show horse and bought the Irish Sports Horse called ‘Oliver’, in September 2014. “He loves cross country and I would like to do working hunters eventually”, explained Emma.
The standard of entries was again high in the cob section that came before the judges David Bartram (ride) and Richard Ramsay (conformation). In the final placings, Benjamin Payne, 27, a vet from Essex, took the top spot with his brown gelding, Spartacus, known as Bruno. “We decided to give SFAS our best shot and do all the qualifiers, hence the 5 ½ hour drive from Essex” said a delighted Ben. Bruno lives out and Ben produces him from the field.
Second place went to Kathryn Riddle, 28, riding her own Corrabaun Kingdom. Kathryn has owned the 5-year-old pure Irish Draft for 2 years and does ID and cob classes. They have already tasted some success, standing second at the ID Breed Show in 2015, and winning two novice cob classes. “He lives out all the time on the farm and is used to going out with the cows”, said Kathryn.
The SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class attracted a quality entry that was split into two sections for preliminary judging by Jenny Banks (ride) and Ros Hargreaves (conformation). Top spot went to Matt McGivern, 29, riding his 12-year-old bay gelding, Eight Palms, given to him as a birthday present 2 ½ years ago. The gelding was in training with Paul Nichols, and then went pointing and he had been out of training for 7 months when Matt bought him from a picture. “He loves the outdoor rings, but we have had to work on the indoor”, said Matt, who had driven 6 hours to the show. “He was badly injured last year, but he came back into work in February and he is fine. Jo Bates has helped me tremendously and has changed his way of going completely”.
Second place went to Alastair McCulloch’s Pastoral Prey, ridden by Richard Telford. Richard bought the 6-year-old in 2013 to fill the gap after losing a good show hack. “I had a look at him and bought him for not very much. He was straight out of racing and could be explosive for no apparent reason. Then we found he had ulcers and after treatment he became a different person”, explained Richard. Last year they swept the board with 7 shows and 7 wins, mainly in ex-racehorse classes, including Blair International Horse Trials.
More information on the Search for a Star series is available at www.search4astar.org.uk. Please visit www.racehorse2ridinghorse.co.uk for more information on the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship. You can keep up with the latest news on social media at www.facebook.com/SEIB.Search4AStar and www.facebook.com/SEIB.R2R.