Consistent performances across the board at Bury Farm

The fourth SEIB Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier of 2014 took place at Bury Farm in Slapton, Buckinghamshire on the 6th July. The judges were rewarded with some very polished and consistent performances across the six Search for a Star classes. Regular Search for a Star judges, Richard Ramsay (conformation) and David Bartram (ride) were ably assisted on the day by ride judge and former Search for a Star Champion, Jordan Cook.

Just the day before Bury Farm, Jordan won the Moulin Rouge £1,000 Championship final at the North of England Show at Arena UK with his former Search for a Star winning horse, Fleetwater Xecutive. Since he won SEIB Search for a Star in 2007, Fleetwater Xecutive has gone on to qualify for both HOYS and the RIHS in open classes every year. Search for a Star has been instrumental in the careers of both Jordan and Fleetwater Xecutive and the Search for a Star team are delighted at Jordan’s enthusiasm for putting something back into the series.

Working Hunter
Four clear rounds in the Working Hunter class went through to the final judging. First place went to Carlo, owned by Davina Brown and ridden by Kristina Brown from Wallingford. Davina has owned the 14 year old Carlo since he was 6 and Kristina has competed him to medium level dressage and newcomers level in showjumping. The pair also regularly hunt with the Kimblewick Hunt. Kristina said, “The only showing we have done before this is a couple of visits to the Henley show where our best placing was 2nd in the Working Hunter class. It will be brilliant to go to HOYS”. Kristina is planning to go to some County shows to get as many outings in as possible before making the trip to Birmingham in early October. She and Carlo will also keep up their dressage and showjumping training. Kristina added, “I have saved up as much annual leave over the summer as possible for my horse activities. This will definitely come in very handy now as it will give us plenty of time to practise for HOYS”. Kristina works in Lab Services for Alere Toxicology in Abingdon.

Second place went to Sharni Bailey from Stanstead Abbotts and her black mare, Fly. Sharni, a qualified riding instructor bought Fly six years ago, and the pair initially went showing a few times before concentrating on showjumping. Sharni and Fly have represented the Enfield branch of the Pony Club at the Pony Club Showjumping Championships. Sharni said, “I am over the moon that we have qualified for HOYS, we have had a crash course in show turnout this week to prepare for today”. Sharni and Fly will practise their showing in the run up to HOYS in addition to competing in showjumping classes at the Wales and West, Arena UK and the Scope festival of showjumping.

Liz Pellett and her own, Calato II Z known at home as Ozzy, took third place in the Working Hunter class. Liz was absolutely thrilled with this result, she said, “I am just thrilled we have qualified for HOYS, all the hard work has really paid off. This is only our second showing show, I bought Ozzy two years ago to go eventing but we have concentrated on dressage and showjumping up until now. He is such a wonderful horse and a real gentleman”. Liz works as a Technical Manager for Easy Jet, she added, “I have been in this line of work for over 30 years, it pays for the horses. We will keep doing a bit of everything in the run up to HOYS, I will definitely practise jumping indoors”.

Riding Club Show Horse
All the horses entered in the Riding Club Show Horse Class negotiated the rustic and coloured fences, and just a couple had faults.

Rachel White’s bay gelding, V-Max, ridden by Rhian Jones was the winner. The trio had travelled nearly 200 miles from Swansea to compete at Bury Farm. Rhian and V-Max had qualified for HOYS in the Search for a Star Working Hunter class at Summerhouse a few weeks ago but were disqualified owing to a passport irregularity for V-Max. Rhian said, “We competed in the Working Hunter class here as well and had two fences down so we did a late entry for the Riding Club Show Horse class and I am just thrilled that we won”.

V-Max competes in showing classes with Rhian and his owner Rachel events him. Rachel has him entered to compete in the Novice BE Class at Cholmondley Castle at the end of this Month. V-Max has competed to Advanced medium level in dressage and only started jumping last year, Rachel added, “He is a proper all-rounder, he even competes side saddle too”.

Taking the runner up spot in the Riding Club Show Horse class was Michael Leachman from Sutton Coldfield riding his own, A Touch of Diamonds. Michael bought Irish Sports Horse, A Touch of Diamonds as a two year old, he said, “He came over from Ireland and was a bit of an ugly duckling when he arrived. I bought him as a project and we have broken him in and got him going. I have always wanted to do HOYS and am thrilled that we have qualified”.

A Touch of Diamonds has a home with Michael for life, the pair will go out to as many shows as possible ahead of HOYS and they are planning to gain further experience by competing in the Search for a Star qualifier at Houghton Hall as well. Michael works as a veterinary nurse in a small animal practice and has lessons with Jo Bates.

Riding Horse and Hack
A busy Riding Horse Hack class was won by an ecstatic, Kim Cox riding her own, Royden Sweet William. Kim said, “I am thrilled to bits to have qualified. I have always groomed for the horses and was never the rider. At the age of 53 I decided I had to get to HOYS so I went out and bought myself a lovely horse. Royden Sweet William is my dream horse, I bought him last year. He had competed in Intermediate Show Riding Type classes with his old owner, Grace Michealides before I bought him”.

Kim and Royden Sweet William are enjoying a very successful first season together. They have also qualified for the Part Bred Arabs class at the Royal International Horse Show and the Hack class at the Cherif Championships. Kim has her own business, Red 21 Luxury Gifts, supplying promotional and luxury gifts.

Lily Edgerton and Risky Business took the runner up spot. Lily bought the thoroughbred, Risky Business as an unbroken six year old from his breeder in Bath. Lily, from Selsey in West Sussex said, “A friend said Risky Business looked the part so we thought we would have a go at Search for a Star. He is such a good boy, I am really pleased we are going to HOYS”. Lily and Risky Business also compete in side saddle classes and jumping and cross country. Lily added, “Risky Business is a real all-rounder, he does a bit of everything. We will be doing a lot of practising in the run up to HOYS including plenty of lessons with our trainer, Alison Tucker”.

A strong hunter class at Bury farm saw some very competitive entries. Jenny Hackworth from Denshaw in Lancashire took the top spot with her own, Casino Royale VI (Cassie). Jenny has owned this five year old mare by Bowland Blackjack since last Christmas. She bought her from her breeder, Sylvia Wrigley from Rossendale. Jenny said, “I am just thrilled, we have been to a couple of shows including the Search for a Star qualifier at Osbaldeston, where we came fifth. We have weekly riding lessons and I hack Cassie out several times a week. She is improving all the time, we are planning to start jumping and I would love to ride her side saddle. Our aim is to compete in Working Hunter classes”. Jenny and Cassie had a 4 ½ hour journey to Bury Farm. Jenny said, “We travelled down yesterday as it is the longest journey she has ever done. We also thought it would be good practice for her to stay away from home as I have her entered in the Novice Hunter class at the Yorkshire show next week and that will be an overnight stay too”. Jenny works for her family business as a sales rep selling animal feed.

Anne Knight and Tarragon took the runner up spot. Anne, from Buckingham has owned 6 year old Irish Draught x Trakehner, Tarragon since the horse was three. Anne said, “He was unbacked when I bought him, I have broken him in and brought him on myself. We have done a bit of everything, with a focus on dressage up until now. He has been great today and we are very excited to be going to HOYS”. Tarragon was reserve champion at the Thame Show last year with a friend of Anne’s riding him. Anne is planning to go to as many shows as possible between now and HOYS and they will also go out and compete at Prelim and Novice dressage.

Sharon Moss and her own, Mister Tumble headed the Cob class at Bury Farm. Sharon from Dursley in Gloucestershire has owned the heavyweight cob, Mister Tumble for a year. Sharon said, “He was for sale as his previous owner was very ill. She said when we bought him that she thought he had the potential to go to HOYS, and now we are going! I am delighted, particularly as we haven’t done much preparation in the run up to today. Mister Tumble has had a cough for the past few weeks and he has only really completely shaken it off in the last 10 days. We were due to go to a dressage show last weekend, but we pulled out as I wanted to give him every chance to do well today. It has definitely paid off!”

Mister Tumble and Sharon have also qualified for the Royal International Horse Show in the heavyweight cobs class. Sharon added, “To qualify for HOYS is what I really had my heart set on, I have been trying to qualify for the Search for a Star HOYS finals for the past three years”.

Second place in the cob class went to Gemma Dunn riding her own, Kells Lad. Gemma from Orpington in Kent bought Kells Lad – known as Barney at home, in 2011 from Clover Barn Irish Horses in Kent. Gemma said, “I bought Barney as I had lost a lot of confidence in my riding. He is just great, I never dreamt I would be going showing, let alone to HOYS!” Gemma has shown Barney in Hunter classes previously, this is the first season he has been shown as a cob, the pair have also qualified for Equifest this year and plan to attend the Edenbridge show as well in the run up to HOYS. Gemma added, “We will keep the schooling and practising up in the run up to HOYS. I work full time as a recruitment consultant in London and I ride, train and look after Barney in my spare time. Barney is such a superstar and totally genuine, I am really looking forward to riding him at HOYS.”

Seven ponies took part in the final class of the day, the Show Hunter and Show Pony class. The very worthy winners were Marnie Atkins and her mother, Donna Atkins’ Show Hunter Pony, Stambrook Carnival. Thirteen year old Marnie, from Rushden in Northamptonshire was absolutely thrilled to win, she said, “Riding at HOYS has been my dream for forever”. Stambrook Carnival, known as Joey has been owned by the Atkins family for two years. This is their first season showing at County level and the pair have already qualified for the Royal International Horse Show in the Show Hunter Pony class.

Marnie’s mother, Donna said, “Marnie has worked so hard for this, she does everything to do with Joey, from looking after and riding him to bathing him and cleaning the tack before a show. She has really achieved her dream through her hard work”. Marnie attends Higham Ferrers Specialist Arts School in Northampton.

The runner up spot in the ponies class also went to a Show Hunter Pony, Carnsdale Showman. Ridden beautifully by fifteen year old Ellie Just, Carnsdale Showman, known as Toby, did very well to be placed second. Ellie’s mother, Sarah Harper bought five year old Toby just 9 weeks ago. Sarah said, “We are gobsmacked that he has come second and qualified for HOYS! This is the first time he has been ridden indoors and we only came for the experience and some feedback from the judges”.

Sarah bought Toby from the Carnsdale Stud in Cheshire, he originally came from Ireland and is a Connemara x Irish Draught. Sarah added, “We have a lot to do before HOYS, Toby and Ellie will be doing a lot of practising and really getting to know each other before then. They will go to Equifest and do a lot of hacking and some jumping to help get them ready for HOYS”. Ellie is a pupil at St Edmunds College in Ware.

The South Essex Insurance Brokers Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship finals will take place at the Horse of the Year Show, 8th – 12th October 2014, at the Birmingham NEC.


These are the class results, but they may not all qualify for HOYS due to passport irregularities or at the judge’s discretion or where the same rider has qualified twice or where the horse or rider do not meet all eligibility requirements.

Working Hunter

1st, Carlo, owned by Davina Brown and ridden by Kristina Brown of Wallingford, Oxfordshire

2nd, Fly, owned and ridden by Sharni Bailey of Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire

3rd, Calato II Z, owned and ridden by Liz Pellett of Hookwood, Surrey

Riding Club Show Horse

1st, V-Max, owned by Rachel White and ridden by Rhian Jones, of Swansea

2nd, A Touch Of Diamonds, owned and ridden by Michael Leachman of Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

Riding Horse/Hack

1st, Royden Sweet William, owned and ridden by Kim Cox of Ilkeston, Derbyshire

2nd, Risky Business, owned and ridden by Lily Edgington of Selsey, West Sussex

Show Hunter

1st, Casino Royale VI, owned and ridden by Jenny Hackworth of Penshaw, Lancashire

2nd, Tarragon, owned by Caroline Knight and ridden by Anne Knight of Buckingham, Buckinghamshire


1st, Mister Tumble, owned and ridden by Sharon Moss of Dursley, Gloucestershire

2nd, Kells Lad, owned and ridden by Gemma Dunn of Orpington, Kent


1st, Stambrook Carnival, owned by Donna Atkins and ridden by Marnie Atkins of Rushden, Northamptonshire

2nd, Carnsdale Showman, owned by Sarah Harper and ridden by Ellie Just of Great Amwell, Hertfordshire