A Somerset equestrian centre is offering a two-year-old show jumping and dressage prospect as the prize in its New Year’s Eve draw.

To take part in the draw, at The Hand Equestrian Centre in Clevedon, participants pay £25 for a ticket and answer some horse-related questions.

However, the move has been condemned by some horse-lovers who say the young horse could end up in the hands of an unsuitable owner.

But The Hand’s Nick Davis believes there is no more danger of this happening than at any auction or sale.

“This is a perfectly legitimate offer to inject a bit of fun into show jumping and dressage for someone who cannot afford the £12,000 to buy a horse like this,” he said.

The unbroken filly, by KWPN stallion Lupicor, was brought to an auction at The Hand by Hambro Horse Direct (HHD), a company that deals in German and Dutch youngstock. The filly was not put into the sale as she had a slight injury.

“We were talking about the problems of being able to offer quality horses to young riders in the UK and HHD offered the horse,” said Mr Davis. “You can never say who will buy, or indeed win, a horse, but people buying tickets for the competition are likely to be involved with the stables and will be given every opportunity to get it right. Every effort will be made to get her to the correct type of home.”

A minimum of 250 and up to 400 tickets will be sold, ensuring the filly makes at least £6,250 for HHD.

Log on to the equestrian centre’s website — www.handequestrian.com — for more information.