Searching for an amateur star

  • Search for a Star 2001 sees a wide variety of riders and horses heading for Wembley

    What do an in-foal mare, a Russian-bred working hunter, a retired teacher, a 71-year-old rider, a girl who exercises racehorses for a living and a horse which has competed in international dressage have in common?

    They are part of the 60-strong line-up for this year’s South Essex Insurance Brokers Search for a Star competition at the Horse of the Year Show.

    The competition, now in its sixth year, is designed to give amateur riders and owners an opportunity to compete at Wembley.

    Showman Robert Oliver – who judges at Wembley with Anne Pritchard – describes it as “one of the great showing successes of the past decade,” and added: “I am always thrilled to judge this class. We have found some wonderful horses that have gone on to great careers.”

    Jean Head, from Cerne Abbas, Dorset, qualified her cob, Andy Capp, last year, but then could not travel to Wembley because of high winds. Now she has her second chance. Click here to read her full story.

    Sibling rivalry will be the order of the day in the pony class where Jade, 17, and Josh Whitlock, 13, from Holt, Dorset are competing against each other.

    In the working hunters, Newmarket owner Katie Barrett’s skewbald mare Pawneese is in-foal to Welton Chardonnay and will move to light duties after HOYS.

    Another Newmarket entry is the riding club show horse Dash For Cash II, owned by stable lass Naomi Maxted-Massey and her partner, Paul Tasker. Naomi works and rides out for trainer Henry Cecil.

    Retired teacher Vivien Hawker-Bond’s Russian Gold steps into the working hunter class after Mark Philpott’s Varston Nobleman was injured. Vivien, from Braintree, Essex, says she fell in love with the russian-bred horse after one short hack three years ago.

    In the same class will be Bally Shannon, bought to event by Lucy Payne, 16, from Bristol. Bally Shannon was on last year’s silver medal-winning team in a friendly under-21 international dressage competition.

    The pony, riding horse and hacks Search for a Star sections will be judged inthe Horse & Hound arena on Tuesday 2 October, with hunters and cobs on Wednesday 3 October. Working hunter and riding club show horse classes will be held on Thursday 4 October, with the final taking place on Friday 5 October.

    For tickets contact (tel: 0870 121 0125). For more information about the show visit www.hoys.co.uk

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