Amateur showing enthusiasts in Scotland and the north-east now have a more local qualifier for the hugely popular SEIB Insurance Brokers 2018 Search for a Star competition.
For the first time, Alnwick Ford Equestrian Centre in Northumberland will host the July fixture in the series, which culminates in a prestigious final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in October.
Osbaldeston, Lancs, was previously the only northern venue for HOYS hopefuls, so the date at Alnwick Ford means that this year, qualifiers are more evenly distributed around the country. The move has been widely welcomed.
Several changes to the rules are also in the pipeline and will be published soon.
“Competitors must make sure they read the rules carefully,” emphasised SEIB marketing director Nicolina MacKenzie. “It is heartbreaking for all concerned to have to disqualify someone because of a technicality that could probably have been avoided.”
The judges will be David and Chris Bartram-Lawton, Jane Hubbard and Richard Ramsay.
Qualifiers for 2018 are:
15 April, Osbaldeston, Lancs
20 May, Stretcholt, Somerset
10 June, Bury Farm, Bucks
8 July, Alnwick Ford Equestrian Centre, Northumberland
5 August, Vale View, Leics