Three days of top class home-produced competition came to a head in the 2018 SEIB Search For A Star (SFAS) championship, held in the Andrew Bowens International Arena at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
It was a double success for the combinations who had been victorious over sticks, with Hannah Moore and her working show horse victor Follow Her Home getting the nod over the working show pony winners, Hunky Dory and Theodora Hopkins.
Hannah, who lives in Staffordshire and works in Wiltshire as a forensic science lecturer, qualified for the finals at the Osbaldeston SFAS qualifier.
Hannah has had the six-year-old Irish Sport Horse, who is owned by Michelle Moore, for 10 months, but the judges were quick to praise her on what a great job she had done with the mare’s training.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Hannah. “I know her temperament is very good but I never expected her to cope so well in the arena; she wasn’t phased by anything.
“It’s all so surreal and has been a bit of a blur since we arrived on Wednesday, but I can finally take it all in now.”
The reserve, Claire Robinson’s Hunky Dory, is a Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and riding school pony who Theodora has ridden him since they broke him in together. It was also Claire who taught Theodore to ride.
“He does anything you want, he’ll be anyone’s friend and is just happy go lucky,” said Theodora.
Take a look at the winners who have landed the individual class titles this week:
1. Ballygar Joker (cob)
Gillian Purgac netted the first SEIB SFAS title on Wednesday with this lovely black gelding. The pair won a HOYS ticket at Osbaldeston and were only contending their third ever show when they qualified.
2. Follow Her Home (working show horse)
The grey mare and Dr Hannah Moore jumped a cracking round on route to the class win. Hannah also qualified at Osbaldeston and is based in Staffordshire.
3. Hunky Dory (working show pony)
From Great Ayton near Middlesbrough, social worker Theodora Hopkins took the working show pony class on Claire Robinson’s native coloured gelding.
4. Castors Son (riding horse)
Castor is owned by Charlotte Dilworth and has been ridden by Megan Barlow for the past year. The pair qualified for the SFAS finals at the Vale View qualifier in August.
5. Carrhouse Dark Silk (hack)
Senior research fellow and Clinical trials manager Dr Charlotte Hall and her hack qualified at Osbaldeston. Charlotte has owned the mare since she was a two-year-old and shares the ride with her sister, Sophie.
6. Urswick Rock Solid (hunter)
Postman Caroline Airey rode her homebred gelding to take the hunter spoils. Urswick Rock Solid is in the third generation of horses Caroline has bred.
All pictures courtesy of Real Time Images
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