The 2011 South Essex Insurance Brokers Search For A Star Championship qualifiers continued at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, Bedfordshire on 5th June, where another strong entry competed for the chance to attend The Horse Of The Year Show finals, held at the NEC Birmingham in October. This excellent new venue proved popular with riders and organisers.


Working Hunter
1st, Tem, owned by Lyn O’Sullivan and ridden by Kim Doran of Chesham, Bucks
2nd, William, owned and ridden by Sally Hayward of Acton Bridge, Cheshire

Riding Club Show Horse
1st, Tio Pepe, owned and ridden by Kim Lee of Hargrave, Cheshire
2nd, Hortons Pink Panther, owned by Amy Williams and ridden by Rosemary Williams, of Kent
3rd, Linkwood Dancer, owned by Karen and Carolina Faulkner and ridden by Carolina, of Romford, Essex

Show Hunter
1st, Exclusively Centrestage, owned by Debbie Charlesworth and ridden by Emma-Jayne Meredith of Knutsford, Cheshire
2nd, Melford George, owned and ridden by Louise Allen of Ipswich

1st, Kavanaghs Daydream, owned by Allyson Barton and ridden by Jayne Barton (13) of Warrington, Cheshire
2nd, Burfield Moon God, owned by Joanne Taylor and ridden by Emily Taylor (11), of Ingatestone, Essex

Riding Horse Hack
1st, Just Maybee, owned and ridden by Sarah Lindsey of Newbold Verdun, Leics
2nd, Count On Me, ridden by Ellie Brassey of Marlborough, Wilts
3rd, Granite, owned and ridden by Abigail Munro of Luton, Beds

1st, Checkpoint Charlie, owned and ridden by Nadia Edgar of Dorking, Surrey
2nd, Lockwoods Lou, owned and ridden by Prudence Bowley of Church Stowe, Northants

These are the winners of the classes but not all will qualify for Horse of the Year Show due to passport irregularities.


Well known and highly respected show judge, Richard Ramsay judged the Riding Horse/Hack, Cob, Ponies, Riding Club Show Horse, Show and Working Hunters and was assisted by ride judges David Ingle, Ian Smeeth and Matthew Maher Burns. “A good number of entries came forward to this new venue and we are pleased that Search For A Star is so well supported by riders. This competition gives amateurs the chance to compete at HOYS, a dream which many riders would love to realise. There was a positive yet competitive atmosphere in all of the classes and the standard of horses and turnout was excellent”, commented Richard.

Working Hunter
The attractive working hunter course, the first to be jumped at this new venue, jumped well and 6 clears came back before the judges, Richard Ramsey (Conformation) and David Ingle and Mathew Maher-Burns. The top spot went to Lynn O’Sullivan’s 11 year old Tem, ridden by Kim Doran. Lynn bought him as a 2 year old from Holland, and he has done show jumping to Foxhunter level with her daughter, Julie, and dressage to novice level. “This is the first time we have tried showing and I didn’t even expect to get clear. It is the first working hunter course he has ever jumped, and the first show he has been to for a long time”, said Kim, an Air Hostess. “I had a good feeling about today. My competition number, 183, was the same as my old house number, which has always been lucky”.

Second place went to Sally Hayward riding her own 13 year old, William. “We did a bit of showing last year and won the local show at Warrington. Our neighbour did Search For a Star last year and we all had a fabulous day out at HOYS supporting her, so we thought we would give it a go this year”, said a delighted Sally, who expects her neighbours will look forward to another day out at HOYS. She has owned the impressive bay gelding for 2 years, having bought him to hunt with the Cheshire Forest. “He is a brilliant hunter as he is fantastic over hedges, gates, rails and ditches, and is the lead horse for Pony Club Rides. His next outing will be to do the hunt relay at Cheshire Show before having a bit of a holiday”, explained Sally, who plans to get some lessons before HOYS. “HOYS always seemed unattainable as a child. It is the crème de la crème and it is such an achievement to have qualified. Then he will go hunting again next season”. Sally rode as a child up until her late teens and then had a break for career, marriage and children. Her 2 eventing daughters persuaded her to get back into riding 6 years ago and there’s been no looking back since then.

Riding Club Show Horse
Thirteen horses came before the judges, with Ian Smeeth judging the ride. First place went to the 7 year old Tio Pepe, owned and ridden by Kim Lee, who bought him as a just broken 3 year old. “We have done mainly dressage, but everyone said we should have a go at showing and my instructor said we should do Search For A Star. This is our first ever showing show and I am really chuffed”, said Kim. They have qualified for the Summer and Winter Regional Championships and got to the national winter championships at Hartpury in dressage this year. “We qualified for the elementary regionals yesterday, so we are having a fabulous week” said Kim. “I did showing as a child and never dreamed I would ever get there. HOYS was always the ultimate. We plan to do more dressage and start jumping this year and will be doing the Riding Club dressage and show jumping teams, and more showing now that we now we can do it!” she added.

Second place went to Horton’s Pink Panther, ridden by Rosemary Williams and owned by her sister Amy Williams. Amy has had the 10 year old grey gelding, known at home as “Kuba”, for 5 years and he has been in the same home since imported from Poland in 2006. She bought him to show, but currently they compete in dressage and show jumping on behalf of Moat View Riding Club and has represented the club at Hickstead and Kent County in Show Jumping and regional level BRC Dressage. Rosemary and Kuba were members of Moat View RC’s winning SEIB Quadrille finals at Olympia in 2007, 2009 and 2010. He has also been 3 times winner of London & SE Pas de Deux finals 2008, 2009 2010 with different riders on each occasion, as well as Pas de deux winners and overall champion at Emile Faurie’s “Strictly come Dressage in 2008 and 2011. “He is a true riding club horse in every way and he also has a well developed sense of humour and removes costumes during the quadrille. The whole family rides him, he is a safe gentleman” said Rosemary, who has the ride this year as sister, Amy, is expecting a baby. “HOYS is just the icing on the cake. It is the thing every little girl dreams of – it is the magical thing to do”, Rosemary said.

Third place went to Linkwood Dancer, owned and ridden by Carolina Faulkener. Carolina has owned the mare, known as “Tigger”, for just over a year and does mainly riding club activities. “This is the first major thing we have done. I bought her to show jump, but we have been doing everything else. Last year we did the working hunter and ridden hunter at the Royal London Show. I have always wanted to have a go at SFAS but have never had a horse good enough”, said Carolina, a veterinary nurse for Galleyhill Equine Clinic. “Hoys is a dream, we always go to watch. I can’t believe I am going to ride there”, she said.

Show Hunter
Top spot in the Show Hunter class went to the lovely small hunter, Exclusively Centre Stage, owned and bred by Debbie Charlesworth and ridden by Emma Jayne Meredith. Now a 5 year old, the mare is by the eventing stallion, Bazaars Exclusive, out of a section D mare. She was unbeaten in hand as a 2 and 3 year old in hunter breeding classes and last year they started doing ridden classes and were second at Stafford County, won and stood champion at the Derby Festival and did the Burghley Young Event Horse. Then Emma fractured her back in August and was out of action until February. “Annie” came back into work in March. “I have always dreamt of going to HOYS. It has not sunk in yet!” said Emma Jayne, who works full time at Barclays Bank. “She is a lovely mare – she led the main parade at the Flint and Denbigh show as a 2 year old – she is just so relaxed”

Second place went to Milford George, owned and ridden by Louise Allen, who has owned him for 3 years. “He is a real character. He likes taking rugs and headcollars off other horses”, said Louise who does mainly side saddle with him, including equitation classes and hunting with the Essex & Suffolk. “He is great for nannying the children out hunting, he is such a rock”, she said. They are also part of the East Anglia Side Saddle Display Team as well as winning novice HW hunter champion at the East of England show. “I bought him to have fun and that’s what we do. I have always wanted to go to HOYS, and I could never get there except through SFAS”, said Louise, who works as Charity Accountant for Ipswich Football Club. Milford George was bred by Wendy king and is by the HIS stallion, Melford Ben.

In the Ponies class, for show hunter and show pony types, judge, Richard Ramsey, gave the top spot to Kavanaghs Day Dream, owned by Mr and Mrs Barton and ridden by 13 year old Jayne Barton. The 6 year old “Daisy” as she is known at home, has been owned by the Barton family for 3 years and the pair won the Home Produced Restricted Show Pony at Ponies UK last year. They have been trying to qualify for HOYS in Open Show Pony classes and their instructor suggested they have a go at SFAS. “We were 6th at the qualifier last year, and 4th at Osbaldeston earlier this year, so we are delighted to have qualified”, said Jayne’s mother, Allyson. “Getting to HOYS has been Jayne’s dream. She has ridden since she was 7 years old and eats, sleeps and breathes showing”, she added. “Jayne has type 1 diabetes but she does not let this hinder her riding in any way. Daisy is not just a pony, she is a pet and they have had good results and to ride at HOYS is Jayne’s ultimate dream”. Daisy was bred by Zanthie Baker-Wild who lost the mare, a former show winner, to colic after the foaling and so this, her only foal, was hand reared.

The delightful show pony, Burfield Moongod, stood second, owned by Joanne Taylor and ridden by 11 year old Emily Taylor. They have owned the 5 year old “Ben” as he is known at home, for over a year and have backed and brought him on themselves, winning his class at their first local show. “Our instructor, Katie Jerram, suggested we have a go at SFAS, and so we decided to come here. This is only his second show and we are over the moon!” said Emily’s mum, Jo. Emily has been riding since she was 10 months old, starting in a basket saddle on a Shetland pony. She also shows a Welsh section B and has dreamed of getting to HOYS. “We will do lots of county shows before HOYS, to get used to seeing the sights and sounds”, said Jo.

Riding Horse/Hack
A strong Riding Horse/Hack class saw 15 horses came before the judges, and the top spot went to the lovely hack, Just Maybee, owned and ridden by Sarah Lindsey. The 5 year old “Winny” as she is known, is home bred, out of Sarah’s part bred arab mare, by the TB stallion, Groomsbridge May I. “We lost the mare last year and Winny is her only filly foal”, said Sarah. They did SFAS last year but she was too young and this is their first season proper showing. They were successful in qualifying as a part bred arab for the Cherif championship and the RIHS. “She has matured a lot and her way of going has improved. We will do the Cherif championship in September and try some open classes. She is very level headed and a lovely ride, but we will go to some shows to get more used to the atmosphere”, said Sarah, from Newbold Verdun, Leics, who works part time as a cook at a day nursery and 3 nights a week in the kitchen at Caterpillar to help pay for the horses.

Second place went to the riding horse, Count on Me, ridden by Ellie Brassey. Ellie has had the 13 year old for 5 years and only done hacking and hunting. They have only attended a few shows and this was the pair’s first time in an indoor arena. “I don’t like going in a ring on my own, so dressage is definitely out, but I like showing as I can go in the ring with other people”, said Ellie, who found out about SFAS on the internet.

Third place went to Granite, owned and ridden by Abigail Munro. Abigail bought the 13 year old as a show jumper 4 years ago and he has previously competed in show jumping up to Foxhunter level. However, Abigail lost her nerve for jumping and so decided to have a go at showing. This is the pair’s first proper season and only their fifth show together. Abigail broke her foot last summer and was not able to compete until August, when they qualified for the Chiltern & Thames championship in both the Warmblood and Riding Horse classes, winning both classes and going on to win the championships. “We have stepped up this year. He thinks he is very clever and that he knows best, but he is a gentleman and looks after me. I am really grateful to Gary Wootton, Lisa Carey and Kirsty Harris who help me so much driving the lorry, teaching and giving me encouragement and moral support”, said Abigail, who works full time as a nurse at Luton & Dunstable Hospital and fits in doing Granite on DIY livery around her 12 hour shifts. “I went to watch Search For a Star at HOYS last year. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I never expected this. He is a show jumper, and at 13 years old we just thought we would enjoy having a go at showing”, she said.

Eight cobs came forward for the last class of the day and the honours went to Checkpoint Charlie, owned and ridden by Nadia Edgar. This is the first season showing for the 10 year old grey, and they have already had success, heading the Amateur Cob class at Royal Windsor, standing 3rd at the Ardingly Spring Show, 3rd at Berkshire and 5th at the Bath & West. “I have had him for 3 years and we just hunted, but people kept saying to me I should have a go at showing”, said Nadia, who has also been learning to ride Side Saddle. “I have wanted to ride at HOYS since I was a child, I am so excited”. The pair will go to the East of England and Thee Counties shows and try to get as much experience as they can before the finals at HOYS. “I want to do the best we can”, said Nadia, who took up riding 5 years ago.

Second place went to Lockwood Lou, owned and ridden by Prudence Bowley. Prudence has owned the 6 year old mare, who had previously done some novice showing, since October last year. The pair have qualified for Equifest and came 4th at the RIHS qualifier at BSPS Area 6 show and they have also been to some local shows where she has won every time. “Because I am at Uni I cannot give her constant work. She had not been ridden for 4 weeks prior to today, and mum had to get her ready for me yesterday, but she is brilliant, and I can just get on and go to a show”, said Prudence, who is studying psychology and criminology at Nottingham University. “I have been riding and showing since I was 3 years old, mainly M&Ms, and mum worked out that I must have done nearly 300 HOYS qualifiers and always missed out. I gave up for a couple of years, but when I got this cob I wanted to have another go, to try to do what I could not do with the M&Ms”. The pair plan to do the Amateur COB class at the RIHS, Equifest and the BSHA show at Addington in September as well as having a go at some open HOYS qualifiers.

“This is a great experience for these riders and Search for a Star is still as popular as ever, showing that there is a need for these classes. The opportunity for the riders to get feedback from the judges is invaluable, and we have found some real little gems today, including 2 homebreds, which is great for the owners”, commented judge, David Ingle.