Wonga Swinger takes the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier at NAF Five Star

Wonga Swinger

The SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier held on the 13th August at NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials took place on one of the hottest days of the summer. Horses including a former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and a Horse of the Year Show SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse runner-up came forward for judging under Ann Hooley (conformation) and Lesley Whitehall (ride).

Tori Thomas and her twelve-year-old bay gelding, Wonga Swinger won the class and in doing so, took the ticket to the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse HOYS championship. During his racing days, Wonga Swinger was in training with Tori’s husband, former gold cup winning jockey, Sam Thomas where he won and was placed over fences. Tori said: “He was great today, and I am delighted to have got the qualification. We went to HOYS in 2021 in this class and this year he was champion at Three Counties and at Hickstead he won and was champion amateur. I got married in June this year so we haven’t been out as much as we might otherwise have been. Wonga Swinger is a real pet horse and he jumps and events and does everything. I did a bit of showing when I was younger and it is lovely to get back into it.”

Second placed, Coneygree

Lesley Whitehall commented: “All the horses in the class were fantastic, our winner was a very smooth, soft model to ride. There was a hair’s breadth between the top few horses and not one gave me a bad ride.” Ann Hooley added: “It is amazing between these horses the amount of racing they have done and they are all as sound as a bell with not a mark on them. It goes to show how seriously their welfare is taken whilst they are racing and once they have retired. The time and effort put in behind the scenes really comes forward on days such as this.” Ann has a long association with the Racehorse to Riding Horse championships – she was the ride judge at the first ever HOYS SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse championship.

Marketing Manager at SEIB, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “I am very pleased with how well everyone coped with the heat today. It really goes to show how versatile and adaptable thoroughbreds are that they weren’t affected at all by the conditions. We are very grateful to the team at NAF Five Star Hartpury for welcoming the Racehorse to Riding Horse competitors back and it was wonderful to see former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Coneygree looking a million dollars in the ring here.”

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers set up Racehorse to Riding Horse over fifteen years ago to celebrate ex-racehorses and give them a chance of success in a second career. SEIB has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting many equestrian events and activities in addition to Search for a Star.

In the meantime - if you need to insure your horse, horsebox, trailer, yard or business - SEIB are here to help so please give us a call on 01708 850000 or visit www.seib.co.uk. #SEIBhere2help.

For all Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse information and to enter, please see www.seib.co.uk/competitions.

Results SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse NAF Five Star Hartpury International 2022

1st – Wonga Swinger owned and ridden by Tori Thomas

2nd – Coneygree owned and ridden by Sara Bradstock

3rd – First Receiver owned by H M The Queen and ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable

4th – An Cathaoir owned and ridden by Victoria Berterolli

5th – The Jigger owned and ridden by Angela Rowberry

6th – Emperors Jade owned and ridden by Rebecca Spinks