Vicki Rogers reflected on what she described as an “absolutely amazing” feeling after winning the SEIB Search for a Star Championship on day five at the Horse of the Year Show.
Vicki, from Salcombe in Devon, triumphed with the eight-year-old show hunter mare Yorkies Purple Diamond at Birmingham’s NEC, while show hunter pony Greensyke Sonny Boy, ridden by Amelia Jesson, was named as reserve.
The SEIB Search for a Star series offers an unique opportunity for amateur horses and riders to learn and improve from showing’s best. During qualifying shows, riders are encouraged to discuss with the judges where they might be going wrong, and gain help and encouragement to improve their turn-out and horse’s way of going.
During the Championship, the judges give commentary on each horse during the class, which has been contested at HOYS since 1998.
For Vicki, it has been an eventful few days – which included a long return journey to her home from the NEC.
“I came up on Wednesday, and she was a little bit stressy in the stable. She was on her own and in with the shires, so I had to go gome on Friday, which is five hours, then come back up in the lorry last night,” Vicki said.
“It’s been quite a week – and then I was ill twice this morning – but sleep is for wimps!
“I’ve had her since she was a yearling, and we’ve been through our ups and downs. She has had two foals, I’ve had two children. She literally could not do more for you, this horse.
“She is a star, which I knew when I bought her, but I never knew she was this good. It is absolutely amazing.
“It was a really strong class, and I feel absolutely honoured to be part of it. I have probably had about seven hours’ sleep in the past week, but my youngest is only 16 months, so I don’t get sleep anyway. We will be heading back to Devon today, and I think there will be a celebration drink as well!”