Second time lucky for pensioner Jean Head and her lightweight cob, Andy Capp as they head for Wembley

Jean Head will be hoping for clear skies this year, after high winds preventedher from making the trip from Dorset to compete at HOYS last year.

The 71-year-old from Cerne Abbas, in Dorset, entered and qualified for the 2000 Search for a Star but, on the day she was supposed to travel, her hired transport refused to take her and her lightweight cob, Andy Capp, to London because bad weather conditions made the journey dangerous.

This year Jean qualified at the Hand Equestrian Centre in Clevedon and is determined that nothing will stop them from competing. “I’m really looking forward to it, although you tend not to get excited at my age.”

Jean, who lives on her own, also looks after a retired mare and her grandchildren’s pony.

“Riding definitely keeps me fit and gives me something to get up for in the mornings.”.

Andy Capp, whose stable name is Corker, was found by Andy Brake in Ireland two years ago. So far he has proved himself as an all-rounder, hunting in the winter and combining showing with riding club activities in the summer.

“He is a very polite horse and never pulls,” said Jean who added “but then he needs to be, as I’m only 7 1/2 stone.”

Jean has no special plans in the run up to their big day and is planning to carry on as normal competing locally and hacking out with her grandchildren.