Search For A Star returns to Scotland for the first time in 20 years

  • Showing series SEIB Search For A Star (SFAS) and SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse headed to Scotland for the first time in over 20 years, as competitors flocked to Netherton Equestrian in Perthshire (11 — 12 June) to vie for coveted tickets to both Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Your Horse Live.

    The last time qualifiers for the SEIB SFAS championships were held in Scotland was during the mid-1990s. SFAS organisers SEIB acted on the comments from many competitors asking for the series to hold a Scottish qualifier this season. The last SFAS held north of the border was at Gleneagles when the format was a photo competition; the competitors with the best pictures as decided by the late Robert Oliver were invited to come along in person with their horses.

    “We regularly hold northern qualifiers for SFAS and have often debated coming to Scotland,” said SEIB marketing manager Nicolina MacKenzie. “We feel it is only fair for SFAS to be inclusive and to give as many competitors as possible the opportunity to compete for the chance to qualify for HOYS and Your Horse Live. Plenty of people said they wanted a qualifier in Scotland and many of these entered, came along and have supported our decision. The times we live in were also a motivating factor in helping competitors. Diesel prices and inflation are hitting everyone and if there is a way we can try to help people, we will.”

    Emily Mcquillian from Aberdeen won the working show horse qualifier riding her bay gelding, Graffite V.

    “I’ve always wanted to go to HOYS and as soon as we saw that SFAS was coming to Scotland we decided to give it a go,” she said. “We went to the Saturday workshop which was invaluable. I’ve never done quartermarks before and the plaiting session was very useful too. In the ridden section of the workshop the judge ran through the show and that definitely helped polish our performance.”

    Winner of the ridden part-bred traditional Your Horse Live qualifying class, Amy McIntyre, said: “I would have loved to have taken part in this class last year, but couldn’t as I was pregnant. It looked as though the part-bred traditionals might not run this year and I messaged SFAS over the winter asking for the class to keep going; it turned out to be a double bonus as not only did it run, but the qualifier was in Scotland too!”

    Senior SFAS judge, Richard Ramsay said: “The atmosphere at Netherton was simply fantastic. We had many competitors that are new to the series and they were genuinely grateful for the opportunity. The competitors that came to the workshop on the preceding day, listened, took note and we saw many improvements on the Sunday.”

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