Heavy horses’ time to shine and new £500 prize announced

  • A new heavy horse class – and a new £500 prize – have been announced for the 2023 SEIB Search for a Star (SFAS) series.

    The series was founded more than 20 years ago, to offer a “unique competition opportunity” for amateur riders.

    It hosts qualifiers shows around the country, offering tickets for the SFAS finals in classes hacks, hunters, working pony, working horses, riding horses, traditional gypsy cobs, show cobs, and the racehorse to riding horse final, at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The ridden open veterans, Pony Club horses and ponies, in-hand mountain and moorlands, heavy horse, plaited horse, plaited pony and mountain and moorland veteran finals, take place at Your Horse Live.

    An SEIB spokesman said following a “bumper” season in 2022, the series is “well set for the year ahead” – and 2023 will include a new in-hand heavy horse class. Also new for this year is a £500 prize for the open veteran championship, following the success of this final last year. In the racehorse to riding horse series a new amateur-only competition, run by The Showing Register, will take place on 15 July at Stoneleigh Park, with two HOYS tickets up for grabs.

    “Last year a Shire qualified for the Your Horse Live Search for a Star championships and to celebrate this success we have created a class for heavy horse breeds. We are looking forward to seeing more Shires plus Suffolks, Clydesdales and maybe a continental heavy draft horse or two competing,” the spokesman said, adding that the new £500 first prize in the open veteran finals this year will add an “extra dimension” to this class.

    “We are delighted to have secured the opportunity to take two more horses forward to the racehorse to riding horse HOYS championship. We have long listened to our competitors in the class and these two extra places will be only open to strictly amateur riders and their thoroughbreds.”

    The first SFAS and racehorse to riding horse qualifier takes place on 23 April at Vale View Equestrian, Leicestershire.

    “The SEIB Search for a Star judges and stewards will be on hand to help and mentor all competitors at qualifying shows,” said the spokesman.

    “In addition to this, Search for a Star has two ‘weekender’ events planned for 2023. These will include a day of training followed by a full qualifying show for HOYS and Your Horse Live, with one in Scotland and one in England.”

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