There is still time to bid for a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) place in the SEIB Search for a Star (SFAS) series. Spaces are available at the Bury Farm Equestrian Centre qualifier near Buckingham on 16 July and the final one at Vale View EC in Leicestershire on 6 August.
The new SFAS working show pony class is open to amateur riders over 12 years old on any type of pony — from show ponies to coloured to mountain and moorlands — over 12 hands high. Adults can compete on ponies, and children can compete on horses in the SFAS working show horse class, which is also new this year.
“This new class is open to anyone who owns a horse or pony and is eligible as an amateur to compete in Search for a Star,” said SEIB marketing manager Nicolina Mackenzie. “If you and your mount can do a simple show and jump a couple of small fences, you’re in with a chance of qualifying to compete at HOYS in October.”
The first of these new classes — there is a section for working show horses too — was held at Osbaldeston EC in Lancashire in April, which was won by Megan Taylor and Aberogwen Timothy (Timmy).
“I’m so grateful to Search for a Star for giving Megan and Timmy this wonderful opportunity,” said Megan’s mother, Sarah Jane Barnes. “Megan has done all the work with him and I’m super-proud of what she’s achieved.”
The first working show horse qualifier went to Becky Bolam and Glasson Fintan Kitty, a horse who came “straight off the boat from Ireland” three years ago. “The new class was perfect for her because she is a show hunter type but can do a bit of jumping as well, so it was something in between,” said Becky. “The whole experience was really useful.”
Other classes in this year’s popular SFAS series include those for hacks and riding horses, hunters and cobs. SEIB also runs Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifiers, which have their own final at HOYS, and the first ever Riding for the Disabled Show series, with a glittering final at the British Show Horse Association National Championships in September. The racehorse series has qualifiers at Bury Farm and Vale View, and there’s an RDA class at the latter, too. The next qualifier in the series is at The College, Keysoe, on 18 June.
So if you too have a burning ambition to ride at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show, enter whichever class best suits you and your horse or pony at Bury Farm on 16 July or Vale View on 6 August. Even if you are unplaced, the hugely experienced judges, Richard Ramsay and David Ingle, will give you invaluable feedback on how you can improve your chances in the show ring. Go to http://search4astar.org.uk/ for more information. Entries close two weeks before the show.