A disabled rider has fulfilled her ambition to qualify for the Horse of the Year Show, (HOYS) after picking up an SEIB Search For A Star ticket.
Sam Moss and her Irish Draft gelding Frenchfort Mike (Flynn) were placed second in a strong show hunter class at Osbaldeston (April 23) on their first attempt at qualifying.
Chesterfield-based Sam has suffered from a series of debilitating conditions, including scoliosis of the spine and severe congenital leg problems. She was badly affected by ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) after contracting psittacosis from a pet parrot, and then was severely injured in a car accident six years ago, which led to ongoing balance and confidence issues, forcing her to give up her career in the probation service.
“This result has given me a massive self-esteem boost, but I have to keep pinching myself – I can’t believe I will be riding at Horse of the Year Show,” she said.
“I also hope it might inspire other disabled riders to have a go too.”
Sam bought Flynn as a three-year-old and backed him herself with help from a friend. While she shows him in ridden classes, other friends have shown the gelding in hand and hacked him out.
“I’d dreamt of doing Search For A Star since I first bought Flynn, but never really thought it would happen,” Sam added. “Due to my health problems, he had five months off as a five-year-old and six months off the following year. I was worried he wouldn’t be as well schooled as some of the other horses.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with him — he’s my horse of a lifetime. He’s such a gentleman and really looks after me — so much so that I’ve now bought his three-year-old full-brother.”
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SEIB marketing manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “It’s an absolute triumph for Sam to qualify for HOYS, and it does show that if you put your mind to it, dreams really can come true.”
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