The 2016 SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star series reached a thrilling climax in the international arena at the Horse of the Year Show, as the eight class winning champions vied for the Supreme. Each put in a superb performance for their individual show, giving the judges, Robert Oliver and Katie Jerram, a difficult task in choosing their winner. But the hunter champion, Yorkies Purple Diamond,a pure Irish Draught mare owned and ridden by Vicki Rogers, was foot perfect to take the title. Joanne Jesson’s lovely show hunter pony, Greensyke Sonny Boy, ridden by 11-year-old Amelia Jesson, took reserve.
“This is a tremendous mare that really gave a good show of herself”, said judge Robert Oliver. Katie Jerram added, “She gave me a beautiful ride, she is light in the hand which you don’t always expect with these large horses”.
Vicky Rogers, 38, from Salcombe, Devon, took the SFAS Show Hunter of the Year title earlier in the week with Yorkies Purple Diamond, known as Lottie. The pure Irish Draught chestnut mare was bred by Gina Exley and Vicki has owned the 8-year-old since she was a yearling. “I bought her as a brood mare and she has had 2 foals”, she explained. The mare, by Connaught Grey out of Dalton Gem is a Hornby Premium Class 1 brood mare recognised by the Irish Draught breed society of GB. Her 2-year-old filly, Corringdon Carrera, by Porche, was reserve supreme yearling at the SHGB Hunter Show. Lottie was backed as a 7-year-old and only started showing under saddle last year. “She had just the nicest nature could not do more for you. She loved the atmosphere and hasn’t flinched all week!”, said Vicky after the championship. “I am so proud to be a part of all this. She’s had two foals; I’ve had two children. I really am a proper amateur and I can’t thank the SEIB team enough for all the support. I’ve only had 7 hours sleep all week, but I’ve loved it”, she added, remembering that she would be returning to work as a special needs teacher the following morning.
Taking the SFAS Show Hunter Pony and Reserve Supreme title was 11-year-old Amelia Jesson, riding her mother Joanne Jesson’s Greensyke Sonny Boy, known as Murphy. “Everything I’ve worked on just all came together”, said a delighted Amelia. The family, from Harrogate, have owned Murphy, by Hollyhill Drummers Dream out of Parkton Silver Mist, since 2014 when they bought him from his breeder. He had done very little when they got him and Amelia has worked hard to prepare him for the show ring. They love jumping and want to do more working hunter pony classes, having already gained success winning the BSPS Winter Championships Working Hunter Pony Cradle Stakes. “He always does his best for you. He is so honest and never puts a foot wrong”, said Joanne. “When we were called I was so proud. He always does a really good show”, said Amelia, who loved her experience at HOYS and was thrilled to be sharing the collecting ring with Michael Whitaker.
The week got off to a fabulous start on Thursday with the first of the SEIB Search for a Star finals producing two superb champions in the Riding Horse/Hack section.
Chloe Hiscock of Salisbury took the SFAS Riding Horse of the Year title in fine style with her lovely dun gelding, Aramis. The pair, who qualified at Bury Farm, focus mainly on jumping and have only recently taken up showing at riding club level. “He just loves the atmosphere and has taken everything in his stride”, said a delighted Chloe, who bought Aramis, now 5, as an unbroken 3-year-old and has brought him on herself.
The SFAS Hack of the Year went to Terri Melnyk’s Izzat Starlight, ridden by Elishia Melnyk, 21, from Wigan. The 7-year-old grey mare was the result of an accidental covering when her dam, an ex-racehorse, got in with a friend’s pure bred arab stallion, Quedaro. “We’ve done lots of practice with friends, music and clapping and shaking a bag of rocks to prepare for the atmosphere. She was so good, it all went so quickly”, explained Elishia, who had to dash home to be at work as an administrator in a motor company on Friday before returning to HOYS for the Championship on Sunday. “I’ll go in wearing my sash!” she laughed.
In the Riding Club Show Horse final, Jenny Eyton-Jones, 25, from Lancashire, took the honours, riding her own 7-year-old bay gelding, Kerannen Brynn. “His show name is derived from the names of his breeders, Anne Miller and Keren Field”, said Jenny, who got married 3 weeks ago and had to put her honeymoon on hold until after HOYS. “We are limited to what shows we can do as we have to borrow a wagon to get there. But he just loves the limelight”, she said.
It was a group of nervous riders who eyed the colourful working hunter course on Friday. Hounds decorated the arena and fences were beautifully dressed, including a crescent shaped castellated wall and several tricky turns. However, they had done their homework to produce 4 clears and everyone got round. The popular grey, Geoffrey, owned by Louise Halsall and ridden by Emma Wilson, 33, from Warwickshire, took the coveted SFAS Working Hunter of the Year title with a smooth clear round and impeccable manners. The 5-year-old rose grey gelding who is by the ID stallion, Cranag Hero, came over from Ireland last December and hunted with the Warwickshire last season. “He was very green when we got him but he knows how to jump and likes to get in the air. He didn’t look at any of the fences in there. He is awesome to jump out hunting and just takes everything on”, said a delighted Emma, who works for Louise as a hunter groom. Geoffrey, has done some dressage with Louise and Emma has done some show jumping and a few local shows with him before coming to HOYS.
The Cob final was yet another strong class, giving the judges plenty to think about. Andrew Johnson took the SFAS Cob of the Year title riding his own Quintons Ernest. The full Irish Draft chestnut gelding was bred by a friend and Andrew bought him as a 3-year-old as a winter project. “My other horse was injured and so I planned to work on this while he was recovering. He didn’t come sound, so Ernie stayed”, explained Andrew, a farrier from Warwick. “He was very timid to begin with and hid at the back of the stable”. They have worked hard to overcome his shyness and the pair have been successful in ID breed classes, winning the Midlands ID Ridden Championship and the Cob class at the annual ID show last year and this year they were highest placed amateur in the Blue Chip & IDHSGB £2000 Challenge. “He has gained so much confidence in the last 12 months. It has definitely been worth the wait. He rides so big, the feeling is phenomenal”, said a delighted Andrew, who plans to start jumping Ernie later this year and would like to take him hunting one day. “He felt a little tense when we went in, but once we got trotting he settled. He really rises to the big occasion”, he added.
Then it was the turn of the Ponies and taking the SFAS Show Pony of the Year title was Margaret Kivell’s Newoak Flow Girl, ridden by her granddaughter, Emma James, 13, from Helston, Cornwall. The family bought “Petal direct from the breeders, Joyce and Jacky Newbery at Newoak Stud, after losing their previous pony to laminitis. “She is just the most perfect pony, and the girls all love her”, Emma’s mum, Clare James. The family live on a beef production farm in west Cornwall and Emma regularly rides around the farm and the local village, with her brother on a quadbike. “This has been the most fantastic season”, said Clare, “They won the Pretty Polly at the RI, and the home produced at NPS championships. At 6 years old she is only a young pony and we couldn’t ask for more”, she added. “The atmosphere was electric, but she was brilliant”, said an excited Emma, who is a student at Camborne School where she is able to use equestrian activities as part of her GCSE in PE.
The 2016 series of the popular SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star began in April with five qualifiers throughout the country. Now celebrating its 20th year, SEIB Search for Star offers the opportunity for riders to experience the thrill of qualifying for and riding at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show for the first time. Search for a Star was created by SEIB to encourage amateur riders to produce their horses to a high standard in the show ring and the series has helped many horses to go on to a very successful show ring career, with some competitors going on to win open classes at HOYS. SEIB has a strong ethos of putting something back into equestrian sport and the company takes an enthusiastic interest in all the competitions they sponsor.
Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more. “The standard of all the horses in Search for a Star at HOYS was superb and is a testament to all the hard work these riders have put in to get here. The Search for a Star Championship series is a way to give amateur riders the chance to achieve their dream of riding at The Horse of the Year Show. The standard increases every year and we are delighted to give so many riders this opportunity”, said Nicolina MacKenzie, Marketing Manager at SEIB Insurance Brokers.
2016 SEIB Search for a Star Championship Full Results
Supreme Champion: Yorkies Purple Diamond owned and ridden by Mrs Vicki Rogers
Reserve Supreme: Greensyke Sonny Boy, owned by Joanne Jesson and ridden by Amelia Jesson
SEIB Search for a Star Riding Horse/Hack of the Year
1st (RH) Aramis, owned and ridden by Miss Chloe Hiscock
1st (Hack) Izzat Starlight, owned by Terri Melnyk and ridden by Elishia Melnyk
2nd Hyperions Lady Boy, owned by Ann Tideswell and ridden by Hannah Bird
3rd Runestone, owned and ridden by Mrs Catherine Marshall
4th Malibu Dancer, owned and ridden by Miss Katie Atkinson
5th Trevisquite, owned and ridden by Samantha Henshaw
SEIB Search for a Star Riding Club Show Horse of the Year
1st Kerannen Brynn, owned and ridden by Jenny Eyton-Jones
2nd Roos Dead Ringer, owned and ridden by Miss Sammy Clare
3rd Kass, owned by Anne Cooper and ridden by Miss Hattie Cooper
4th Rubiks Cube, owned by Claire Turner and ridden by Victoria Turner
5th Mystical Clover, owned and ridden by Louise Chamberlain
SEIB Search for a Star Show Hunter of the Year
1st Yorkies Purple Diamond owned and ridden by Mrs Vicki Rogers
2nd Equador, owned and ridden by Charlotte Blair
3rd Brogeen Bronco, owned and ridden by Mrs Kerry Dunkley
4th Purple Prince, owned by Sarita Schmid and ridden by Sarah Booth
5th Huntsman, owned by Mrs Amanda Field and ridden by Miss Emma Field
SEIB Search for a Star Working Hunter of the Year
1st Geoffrey, owned by Louise Halsall and ridden by Emma Wilson
2nd Harry Duke, owned by Carolyn Elwes and ridden by Georgie Patrick
3rd Zorra Verte, owned and ridden by Carol Pearson
4th Lord Lancer, owned by Angela Briggs and ridden by Rebecca Wolfenden
5th Diamond Rambler, owned and ridden by Jemma Wenman
SEIB Search for a Star Cob of the Year
1st Quintons Ernest, owned and ridden by Andrew Johnson
2nd Corrabaun Kingdom, owned and ridden by Kathryn A Riddle
3rd Spartacus III, owned and ridden by Mr Benjamin Kingsley Payne
4th South Hill Farm El Torro, owned by Lyn Bugler and ridden by Sarah Nicholls
5th Cobra, owned and ridden by Carly McGuinness
SEIB Search for a Star Show Pony/Show Hunter Pony of the Year
1st (SHP) Greensyke Sonny Boy, owned by Joanne Jesson and ridden by Amelia Jesson
1st (SP) Newoak Flower Girl, owned by Margaret Kivell and ridden by Emma James
2nd Thirkleby Easter Parade, owned by Vicky Hill and ridden by Miss Bethany Hill
3rd Cadlan Valley Orpheus, owned by Gill Neve and ridden by Miss Chloe Perry-Neve
4th Balfour Hawkeye owned by Vanessa Donald and ridden by Madeline Donald
5th, Mary’s Delight, owned and ridden by Daisy May Drury