Boys Rule Search For A Star Championship
The South Essex Insurance Brokers 2013 Search For A Star series reached a thrilling climax in the International Arena at the Horse of the Year Show when 12 year old Morgan Milner from North Lincolnshire rode the lovely show hunter pony, Mathemadam Royal Ensign to take the title. It turned out to be a boy’s day out when 16 year old William Morton from Derbyshire riding the cob, Woodfield Choice, took reserve spot.

The SEIB Search For A Star Finals have become one of the most popular attractions at HOYS and represents a dream come true for those who have qualified for the 6 classes. The Championship is the culmination of the week’s Search For A Star finals and the atmosphere was electric as the winners entered the International Arena to find out who would reign supreme.

Morgan and Mathemadam Royal Ensign, owned by his mother, Janine Milner, rose to the occasion and rode an immaculate show before the judges, Robert and Clare Oliver and Katie Jerram. “This is a lovely pony with good paces, a proper hunter type”, commented Robert Oliver. “I was delighted with this pony, he stood like a rock and they can be very proud of how well they did”, said Katie Jerram. Morgan and his pony, known as “Flag”, had trained hard for the championship after Morgan had a fall at Equifest when the pony disliked the applause. “He really did not like the clapping and we had to do something about it, so we hired the school at Bishop Burton College and got all our friends and family to come along and we did lots of clapping training”, explained Janine. “He is really laid back most of the time but the atmosphere can get to him and he was really on his toes for the first exercise session. This really is the most brilliant series and we have gained so much from it”, she added. Morgan was delighted with their win. “It is amazing, I was so surprised. He is just really good now”, said a delighted Morgan, a pupil at the Oasis Academy at Immingham, NE Lincolnshire.


SFAS Supreme Champion: Morgan Milner and Mathemadam Royal Ensign.

Reserve spot went to the impressive cob, Woodfield Choice, ridden by 16 year old William Morton and owned by his mother, Alison Morton. First to do their individual show, they showed good paces and did not put a foot wrong. Known as Cobba, the 7 year old gelding was bought 3 years ago as Alison’s hunter. He is a proper family horse has attended adult camp with Alison, does dressage with William’s sister, Lucy, and regularly hunts with the Barlow, often helping up front with William. The family are beef farmers on a hill farm in Derbyshire and “Cobba” does most of his schooling while out hacking or in one of the very few flat fields on the farm. He was notorious for a different reason at the Newark and Notts show 3 years ago when he was stolen off the back of the lorry, causing the showground to be put on lockdown until he was found in one of the old stables. The pair enjoy doing workers and were the highest placed cob in the working show horse class at BSHA show at Addington this year, but they have done very few show classes. William confesses that all he ever wanted was to ride at HOYS. “It was more wild than I expected, a great atmosphere, but I knew he would cope with it”, added William, who is studying and wants to become an equine dentist. “I really like him. He looked small in his class, but there were a number of maxi cobs and when you stand into him he is not that small at all, and he is oozing quality”, said judge, Katie Jerram.


Res. Champion: William Morton and Woodfield Choice

The week got off to a good start with the Riding Horse/Hack final on Thursday producing two lovely winners. Julie Devey of Alcester, Warwickshire, took the Riding Horse title with her own dun gelding, Bally Dun Again. Known as Oliver at home, the lovely 10 year old is by the Connemara stallion, Templebreedy Fea Bui, out of an ID x TB mare. Julie bought him a year ago to do a bit of everything and has evented up to pre-novice level. They started showing and had lessons with Jo Bates, going on to success in the Grassroots and second in the Working Show Horse at Addington, and winning the Riding Horse at Monmouth. “He really loves showing and he made it so easy for me in there, he was so relaxed”, said Julie, who works part time in an equine veterinary practice. The daughter of a racehorse trainer, Julie has ridden horses for many years.


Riding Horse Champion – Julie Devey and Bally Dun Again

The winning Hack was Touch Ov Hawkesbury, owned and ridden by Melissa Barnett, 22, from Manchester. Micky, as he is known, was bred by Sue Chappell, by Comberton Cadet out of a thoroughbred cross mare. Melissa has owned the 5 year old for 2 years, and bought him from the breeder. She backed and brought him on herself and this is their first year doing affiliated showing. The pair won the novice intermediate show riding type at Cheshire County show, the Open Show Riding Type and stood champion at the Derbyshire Festival, and won the restricted and Classic Security Intermediate championship at the BSPS Summer championships. Melissa has taken time to produce him and SFAS is the only Hack class they have done. “I hope that he will progress to open Hack classes eventually”, said Melissa. “I just wanted him to behave and take in the atmosphere and he did everything I asked him for”, said a delighted Melissa, who works hard with the support of her family to fit everything in around her full time job as a sales and marketing manager at a national security firm.


Hack Champion – Melissa Barnett and Touch Ov Hawkesbury

Amy Dixon took the Riding Club Show Horse title with her lovely grey, Tuesday Cruising. Amy, 29, from Kendal, Cumbria, bought the 8 year old mare 2 years ago to replace her event horse on which she won the 2009 SEIB Riding Club Horse Trials at Offchurch and the inaugural Badminton Grassroots in 2010 and is now doing dressage. Tuesday Cruising, known as Ruby, had a reputation as a “bit of a problem child, having had 6 homes in 3 years”, explained Amy. “But I liked her. She was a good horse with a quirk and she didn’t trust anyone. I have just spent time with her and now she is good as gold and does a bit of everything, including qualifying for the Grassroots at Badminton next year”, added Amy. The pair put in a foot perfect performance over the two fences and ride judge, Claire Oliver, commented that Ruby was “so comfortable”. The 4 leaf clover that Amy has carried in her pocket since 2010 seems to be serving her well.


Riding Club Show Horse Champion – Amy Dixon and Tuesday Cruising

An immaculate jumping performance saw the mannerly Tintio A, owned and ridden by Richard Nichol, take the working hunter title. The course caused 3 horses to fault but produced 7 clears for the judges to sort out. Richard, from Carlisle, Cumbria, bought Tintio A as a project from Lydia Scott in January and the pair have done mainly show jumping. “He had jumped to British Novice level but is now jumping Foxhunters. He was 9th in the Geoff Shingles Novice at Scope Festival”, said Richard, who was delighted with their win. “I always wanted to get to HOYS and thought we might be able to do it in the workers”, he explained. As he celebrated outside the ring, he was approached by a known potential buyer and a deal was cemented there and then to sell the horse to America. “I just want him to go to a good home. He will be in his element there”, he said.


Working Hunter Champion: Richard Nichol and Tintio A

There was drama in the Cob class when Rebecca Williams’ coloured cob, Smudge, blotted his copy book when he played up after being pulled in second and had to be demoted, promoting Melanie Pritchard and Athones Champion up into second place. “It is so disappointing to lose a horse during the prize giving and I felt very sorry for the rider, but we have to remember that manners are paramount in showing. We have all had it happen and I hope it doesn’t put them off – they should learn from it, work hard and it will be worth all the time and effort to bring them back again”, said Katie Jerram.

The winning Show Pony was Brookwater Tomboy, owned by Naomi and Yana Jackman and ridden by Yana. They have owned the pony for 4 years and Thomas, as he is known, can turn his hoof to hacking and jumping as well as showing. The pair have had lessons with KarenTalbot and Yana plans to go on to do side saddle. “The atmosphere was electric but he took it all in his stride”, said a delighted Yana.

“We have two super ponies here and I was delighted that they both stood like a rock for the prize giving”, said Katie Jerram. “A lot of time has been put into producing these ponies and it has really paid off”, added Robert Oliver.


Show Pony Champion – Yana Jackman and Brookwater Tomboy

The Show Hunter title went to the impressive Magic Moments, bred, owned and ridden by Louise Jones. “He is home bred and I have done everything myself. He is bred as a hunter but he is really my riding club horse – he does a bit of everything but he has never been affiliated showing”, said Louise. “He show jumps and goes x-country; he has a phenomenal jump and ultimately I think he will go eventing. He is so easy at home that my 8 year old nephew can ride him”, she added. The 6 year old chestnut is by Cameos Reflection out of Louise’s own mare is known as Ed. “He is Mr Consistent even though I have to pick him up and put him down to fit in with my work as a full time primary school teacher. He can take whatever I throw at him but today was his biggest test”, she enthused. The pair do a lot of riding with music at home, particularly as Louise is not a big fan of schooling. “Ed has quite a fan club and half the village have turned out to support us! It was every bit as nerve-racking as I expected, my hands were shaking and I am sure my legs were too, but he just stood there in the line-up. He made it so easy for me – he is convinced that everyone is there to look at him. To ride down the centre line at HOYS is just unbelievable”, said Louise.


Show Hunter Champion – Louise Jones and Magic Moments

Conformation judges Robert Oliver and Katie Jerram were impressed with the overall standard and production of the Search For A Star horses this year. “Credit should go to all the team that work with SEIB for the support and advice that is given through the qualifying classes and the training day to help these riders to produce these horses and ponies to such a high standard”, said Katie. “The overall standard of rides is the highest it has been to date”, said Clare.


Judges, Clare Oliver, Robert Oliver and Katie Jerram

“I am always impressed with the number of people wanting to have a go at Search for a Star, and the standard of horses and ponies coming forward just gets better each year. The atmosphere at HOYS was magical. It is wonderful to be able to give genuine amateur owners and riders this opportunity and I hope that many will go on to further success. I am so thrilled with the success of Tudor Minstral who was a Search For A Star finalist 2 years ago – it just goes to show that it is possible to go on and win in open classes!” says SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie.

Image credit: Real Time Imaging.

Full Results

Mathemadam Royal Ensign, owned by Janine Milner and ridden by Morgan Milner

Reserve Champion
Woodfield Choice, owned by Alison Morton and ridden by William Morton

Riding Horse and Hack of the Year
1st, Bally Dun Again (Riding Horse), owned and ridden by Julie Devey

1st, Touch Ov Hawkesbury (Hack), owned and ridden by Melissa Barnett

2nd, Poppy, owned and ridden by Rebecca Jones

3rd, Pebbly Editor, owned and ridden by Emma Jones

4th, Sporting Dickens, owned and ridden by Molly Tucker

5th, Morandi, owned by Mrs Ann Noble and ridden by Hazel Noble

Riding Club Show Horse of the Year
1st, Tuesday Cruising, owned and ridden by Amy Dixon

2nd, Sportfield Suir Thing, owned and ridden by Maureen Aspinall

3rd, Sambuca B, owned and ridden by Natalie Barlow

4th, Briardale Solidarity, owned by Avril Russell and ridden by Beth Russell

5th, Irish Lola Rose, owned by Donna Studholme and ridden by Yasmin Studholme

Working Hunter of the Year
1st, Tintio A, owned and ridden by Richard Nichol

2nd, La Chica De Rosa, owned and ridden by Tracey Sharp

3rd, Hen Efail Rico, owned and ridden by Jacqueline Clayton

4th, Vasco, owned and ridden by Emma McPhail

5th, Dream Breaker, owned and ridden by Cindie Bunce

Cob of the Year
1st, Woodfield Choice, owned by Alison Morton and ridden by William Morton

2nd, Athlones Champion, owned by Dr John Outhwaite and ridden by Mrs Melanie Pritchard

3rd, Cowboy Magic, owned and ridden by Tricia Cole

4th, Fosters Boy, owned and ridden by Melanie Lawless

5th, Heatherdale Saraid, owned and ridden by Kay Ainsworth

Pony/Show Hunter Pony of the Year
1st Show Pony, Brookwater Tomboy, owned and ridden by Yana Jackman

1st Show Hunter Pony, Mathemadam Royal Ensign, owned by Janine Milner and ridden by Morgan Milner

2nd, Fairley Katrina, owned by Mr & Mrs Wilkinson and ridden by Jazzmin Wilkinson

3rd, Jolaikes Diamond Cluster, owned by Kim Taylor and ridden by Amy Taylor

4th, Fielden Rumba, owned by Maria Hancox and ridden by Sammi Hancox

5th, Stanley Grange Regal Request, owned by Monique Drabble and ridden by eve Duggan

Show Hunter of the Year
1st, Magic Moments, owned and ridden by Louise Jones

2nd, Brookpark Sovereign, owned and ridden by Tanya Norlander

3rd, Palindromic, owned and ridden by Lucy Penrose

4th, Knighthood, owned and ridden by Anne Hebron

5th, Top O’ The Morning, owned and ridden by James Robertson