The second qualifier of the 2015 SEIB Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse series took place on the 10th May at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre in Cambridgeshire. Judges, David Bartram, Richard Ramsay, Chris Lawton and David Ingle saw some great entries across the range of Search for a Star classes. Judging the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier were Jeanetta La Four for conformation and Georgina Maywood for the ride. Conformation judge, Richard Ramsay said, “We have seen some lovely horses here, the standard since I began judging Search for a Star many years ago has improved dramatically. When I was first judging the series we would see some horses that were in poor condition and badly turned out. Now, both riders and horses enter the ring really looking the part. The main area I see that sometimes needs improvement is the horses’ way of going, more education is needed”.

Working Hunter
The day started off with some lovely entries for the Working Hunter qualifier. Out of the nine combinations that came forward, there were just three clear rounds over the up to height course. Seven horses came forward for the final judging. Taking first place was Kath Trueman from Macclesfield, riding her own horse, Jolly Fergus. The twelve year old Irish Sports Horse, known as Fergus has been owned by Kath since he was four. Kath said, “My partner, Neil Trueman encouraged us to make the journey to Cambridgeshire from Macclesfield, I said it was too far to go! I am now absolutely delighted we came”. Kath bought Fergus from her trainer, Tony French. She added, “We bought Fergus to bring on and sell, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to part with him though”. Last season Kath and Fergus were placed 2nd in the Working Hunter classes at both Bakewell and the Cheshire show. The pair have also had great success eventing at BE100 level and have accumulated five qualifying results for the Regional Finals for the Badminton Grassroots Championship.

In runner up spot was Sian David from Swansea riding Duncan Law’s horse, General Law. Sian was absolutely thrilled to qualify. She said, “We went to the Osbaldeston Search for a Star qualifier and unfortunately had a pole down. We had to give it another go!” General Law is an Irish Draught x warmblood, he stands at 18.2hh. Sian continued, “He won’t fit in a trailer so we have had to buy a lorry”. General Law is owned by Duncan Law, who purchased him as a three year old, Sian has now taken the horse on. The pair were placed in a few local working hunter classes last year and Sian has been having lessons from Anthony Perkins. Sian continued, “We are so lucky to still have him as he had a terrible abscess in his coffin joint last year which went right to the bone. He had to have a full cast on his leg for three weeks. He only came back into work at Christmas time so it makes qualifying doubly special”. Sian works as a freelance groom.

Riding Club Show Horse
The Riding Club Show Horse class saw 12 strong entries coming forward. Conformation judge, Richard Ramsay said, “The first placed horse was very honest, he did his job beautifully and was clearly enjoying himself with his ears pricked. We were disappointed however that several of the horses failed to do the jumping exercise”.
In first place was Alexandra Molesworth from Newark, Nottinghamshire riding Alan Bateson’s horse, Taffechan Rough Diamond. Alexandra was delighted with the win, she said, “I am absolutely over the moon to have qualified for HOYS. Sidney, as the horse is known at home was my mum’s 50th Birthday present from my step-dad Alan. He was found locked up in a stable as the people that owned him were terrified of him. We have now had him for four years and it took two of those years for us to be able to do anything at all with him. It has taken a lot of patience to get this far”. First place for the pair at Houghton rounded off a very successful weekend as in addition to this win Alexandra and Sidney took the Reserve Champion title the day before at Nottinghamshire County Show in the side saddle class.

Alexandra and Sidney were also placed in the Osbaldeston SEIB Search for a Star qualifier last month. Alexandra continued, “It was so worth coming back to have another go. We will spend the summer competing in showing and side saddle classes. I am also really keen to go to the Search for a Star pre-HOYS training day”. The pair will also head to the Side Saddle National Championships in August. Alexandra works as an administration assistant for an accountancy practice.
Runners up in the Riding Club Show Horse class were Caroline Watkin from Enfield riding her own, brown mare, Wendens Index. Caroline said, “This is my absolute dream come true, I can’t believe we have qualified. We took 3rd place in the Riding Club Show Horse class last year and so just missed out on qualifying. I am so pleased we gave it another go”. Fifteen year old Wendens Index is known as Holly at home, she and Caroline also compete at elementary level in dressage and are on the verge of qualifying for regional dressage finals. Caroline works as Head of Communications in a recruitment agency in central London and fits her riding around this.

Riding Horse/Hack
David Bartram and Richard Ramsay saw a good selection of entries before them in the Riding Horse Hack qualifier.

Top spot went to Shaun Mealor (27) from Flintshire, riding his own black gelding, Equinox. Shaun has owned four year old Equinox for a year. He said, “I am absolutely made up by this, Equinox has been brilliant today”. Shaun and Equinox competed in the SEIB Search for a Star qualifier at Osbaldeston last month, Shaun continued, “He was quite green at Osbaldeston and I think he has come on a lot in just the few weeks since then. I haven’t done much showing either and am taking it in my stride. Search for a Star is great as there are plenty of people to get really good advice from”. Shaun competed locally in showjumping as a teenager and then aged 17 he decided to move to Manchester and so stopped riding. He didn’t really ride again until he bought Equinox last year. Shaun continued, “I bought him with the intention of eventually competing in working hunters. We will spend the summer going to more shows and getting out and about to give Equinox experience. I am also planning on attending some clinics”. Shaun works as a support worker.

Cally Humphrey from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk took the runner up spot in the class riding Geraldine Taylor’s lovely Part bred-Arab chestnut mare, Lulus Abal El Ayar. Known as Rosie at home, this 7 year old chestnut mare has been on loan to Cally for a year. This is her first ridden season showing. The pair have done well at local shows and Cally said, “We decided to test the water at Search for a Star, I have always really wanted to have the opportunity to give the series a go. I was so nervous, I barely slept last night. This is just amazing to have qualified for HOYS”. Cally’s fiancé, Tom Page helped Cally and Rosie at Houghton. Tom was also delighted for Cally, he said, “I am thrilled for Cally, she has put so much hard work into this and to get a result like this it is just brilliant”.

A mix of stunning show and show hunter ponies came forward for the ponies class at Houghton Hall. Judge, Richard Ramsay said, “We were really pleased with the standard of the ponies here. The types that came forward for judging were very nice. A couple of the competitors could improve on their way of going though.
First place went to Izzy Partridge (10) from Tingewick, Bucks, riding her mother, Kate Partridge’s show pony, Mansionhill Bertie Bassett (known as Bert).
Izzy was thrilled with the win. She said, “I am so happy, Bert was just great in the ring”. Kate bought eight year old Bert last November for Izzy to gain experience showing. Kate added, “Izzy works so hard to do well at the shows. We are real amateurs and it is great that with some hard work it is possible to achieve these results”. Kate bought Bert last year from his breeders, Alison and Tony Georgakiss. Izzy continued, “I am going to practice lots between now and HOYS. I am just so, so pleased with Bert”. Izzy attends Roundwood Primary school.

Second place went to Erin Keary (12) from Stockport in Cheshire. Erin rode her mother, Jill Keary’s 138cm show pony, Penny Royal Master Pip. The pair were placed at the Osbaldeston SEIB Search for a Star qualifier in April this year. Jill said, “It is a real learning curve and we are all just so delighted to have qualified for HOYS. It will be an amazing experience for Erin”. Jill bought the 9 year old, Penny Royal Master Pip, known as Pip last November. He had previously done some showing in Scotland. Erin started showing him at the start of this season and the pair have campaigned some BSPS Show Pony classes including taking 1st place in the Novice Show Pony class at Somerford.

Erin, a pupil at Cheadle Hulme School said, “I am so excited to have qualified for HOYS. We will be doing lots of practising in the run up to the big day and might do some dressage and nursery stakes working hunter pony classes as well as showing”.

The Show Hunter class at Houghton had some very true to type entries. First place went to Samantha Perkins from North Anston, near Sheffield. Samantha rode her own coloured mare, Edlingtons Millie in the class. Samantha said, “I am so proud of this, we have had a great year so far and now HOYS!” Samantha bought the seven year old, known as Moo nearly two years ago. She added, “When we went to see her she was in a field and was underweight and looking a bit uncared for. She had also been hogged and it is only this year that it has totally grown out”. The pair competed at Equifest last year and took 2nd place in the ridden coloured class. Samantha continued, “I am really keen to do some jumping with her now and some working hunter classes. We went to the Search for a Star qualifier at Vale View last year and came seventh. I think she just wasn’t quite ready for it then, but to come here and win first time out is great”. Samantha and Moo will contest ridden coloured classes and working hunters in the run up to HOYS.

Also qualifying for HOYS in the Show Hunter class was, Amanda Firman from Edenbridge in Kent riding her bay gelding, Palladian, known as Ted. Amanda said, “I can’t believe it. A friend suggested that Ted and I should do Search for a Star to give us something to focus on”. Amanda suffers from the debilitating illness, ME, she continued, “I find it really helps me to have a goal to focus toward. I got Ted last summer after my previous horse went lame, I am friendly with Ted’s old owner who will be delighted to hear he has qualified for HOYS”. Amanda also rides Ted in side saddle, Concours d’Elegance classes. The pair are off to both Royal Windsor and the South of England shows over the next few weeks to compete in these classes and the amateur hunter class. Amanda continued, “I can’t wait for HOYS, I am looking forward to it so much”.

Twelve cobs came forward for judging at Houghton in what proved to be a closely matched class.

Caroline Woodington and her own dun cob, Chilli Cob took first place. Caroline, who had travelled all the way from Treharris in Mid Glamorgan to compete said, “I am completely over the moon, it is amazing. This is only our third ever show, we have been to a Pony Club show, the Search for a Star qualifier at Osbaldeston and now today. We have been having some lessons over the winter with Jessica Pritchard from Beddau and she suggested giving Search for a Star a go, so we did!”
Caroline had a terrible accident several years ago and was kicked in the face by a stallion. She was airlifted to hospital and had metal plates and pins to repair the damage. She continued, “I had totally lost my confidence, Chilli Cob has been amazing and has given me so much. She is the ultimate confidence giver. Chilli originally came from Ireland and we then bought her from some friends in Yorkshire about three years ago”. Chilli and Caroline will compete at some local shows over the summer, Caroline added, “Chilli will go on a big diet over the summer and we will go out to some local shows and look forward to HOYS”.

Jenny Welham and her skewbald cob, Jays Remembrance, known as Remi took the runner up spot in the Cob class. Jenny, from Eye in Suffolk has owned nine year old Remi for four and a half years. She said, “For the first year I owned Remi I was convinced that buying him had been a huge mistake. I rode him and he absolutely terrified me so I put him in the field for a year and didn’t ride him. We then started doing some in-hand showing and took it from there”. Gradually Jenny started to ride Remi again and by 2013 the pair were competing at county shows. Successes for the pair have included 2nd in the in-hand coloureds class at Windsor in 2013 and 3rd in the ridden coloured class at the Royal Norfolk also in 2013. Jenny and Remi also won the In-hand coloured cob class at Equifest in both 2012 and 2013. Jenny added, “It is a real shame that we didn’t make it back there to defend our title last year”. Jenny who works in a children’s home, continued, “I am just over the moon to be going to HOYS. We don’t have our own transport so the number of shows we can go to is quite limited and we like to make the most of it when we can go. Remi lives in a stable we made ourselves”.


These are the class results on the day, 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 Jolly Fergus, owned and ridden by Kath Trueman of Pott Shrigley, Cheshire
2nd General Law, owned by Duncan Law and ridden by Sian David of Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan

Riding Club Show Horse
1st Taffechan Rough Diamond, owned by Alan Batheson and ridden by Alexandra Molesworth of Shelton, Nottinghamshire
2nd Wendens Index, owned and ridden by Caroline Watkin of Enfield

Riding Horse/Hack
1st Equinox, owned and ridden by Shaun Mealor of Bagillt, Flintshire
2nd Lulus Abal El Ayar, owned by Geraldine Taylor and ridden by Cally Humphrey of Yarmouth, Norfolk

1st Mansionhill Bertie Bassett, owned by Kate Partridge and ridden by Izzy Partridge of Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
2nd Penny Royal Master Pip, owned by Jill Keary and ridden by Erin Keary of Heaton Moor, Cheshire

Show Hunter
1st Edlingtons Millie, owned and ridden by Samantha Perkins of North Anston, South Yorkshire
2nd Arlequino Reichter, owned and ridden by Lauren Bunker of Romford, Essex
3rd Palladian, owned and ridden by Amanda Jayne Firman of Edenbridge, Kent

1st Chilli Cob, owned and ridden by Caroline Woodington of Treharris, Mid Glamorgan
2nd Jays Remembrance, owned and ridden by Jenny Welham of Eye, Suffolk