Previous Winners

SEIB Search for a Star Championship

The 2006 SEIB Search for a Star Championship reached a thrilling climax in the International Arena at the Horse Of The Year Show, which saw a polished performance by the Hunter, Chivers, take the crown with the delightful Show Pony, Rollswood Nureyev standing reserve.

Chivers, a 6 year old ID x TB owned by James and Jooli Thornton of Ledbury and ridden by Jooli, looked every inch a champion during his individual show. “The atmosphere was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the gallop and his trot was really springy”, said Jooli, who works full time as a payroll officer and prepared the horse herself in her spare time. Jooli has owned Chivers for 2 years and this was his first season showing. He qualified for the SEIB Search For A Star Championships on his first outing at Hand Equestrian Centre in July and HOYS was only his second time ever indoors. “He never gave me a moment’s worry”, said Jooli, who vowed to be back at HOYS in open classes in the future.

The reserve went to the 6-year-old palomino show pony, Rollswood Nureyev, owned by Deana Barbour of Bicester and ridden by her daughter, Sienna. “I was quite nervous, but it was really exciting and he was brilliant”, said delighted Sienna. “He is an all round dream pony, hacking out with her brother, doing pony club dressage and even sidesaddle”, said Deana. “We just thought we would give this a shot, he has only done a few shows but he likes the attention and all the applause. This is a dream come true”.

South Essex Insurance Brokers instigated Search for a Star many years ago and one of its aims is to find horses that have never been shown before and turn them into stars. During the qualifying shows, riders often do not realise how good their horse could be and after a discussion with the judges about where they are going wrong, they are encouraged with help to improve their turnout and horse’s way of going and sometimes go on to qualify for Horse of the Year Show. At the HOYS final, the judges give a commentary on each horse during the class, and this has proved popular with the audience.

Robert Oliver and Marjorie Ramsay judged conformation and Clare Oliver was the ride judge at HOYS. “The competitors in this class have done so much homework and every year the standard improves. Many will go on to compete in the top league”, said Robert. “The support and interest in this class is amazing, and the stands were full throughout the preliminary judging. Search For A Star is talked about throughout the horse world and we get a lot of support from SEIB. There is a lovely feeling that everyone is working for the same thing and I am very pleased to be a part of it”, he said.

Search For A Star has discovered many good horses that have gone on to success in open classes, and this year was no exception. Almost Illegal, third in the Search For A Star Riding Horse/Hack section in 2005, owned and ridden by Tara Smith, this year won the open Large Hack and Hack Of The Year Championship ridden by Katie Jerram. “He has won every outing this year, including the BSHCRHA Accumulator competition by 11 points. Search For A Star is great and really does find future stars”, said Katie.


Qualifying for and competing at HOYS is a lifetime ambition for many of the Search For A Star competitors. The atmosphere in the Caldene Arena for the judging of the preliminary sections is fantastic, with packed grandstands throughout. The section winners then go through to the final championship held in the International Arena, which is a whole new experience! Here are some of the reactions from riders.

Golly Gosh won the Riding Club Show Horse section, owned and ridden by a delighted Sarah Bevan of Pirton, Worcester who said: “The whole experience was exceptional. Going to HOYS is every little girl’s dream and now I just want to do it all over again. I’ve had him for 6 ½ years and have done so many things, hunting, team chasing, pony club. I was even thinking of selling him and then a friend told me about Search For A Star and we thought we would have a go. I’m definitely not selling him now! He is part of the family, so relaxed. The atmosphere in the Caldene arena was electric, it felt alive! You could feel the atmosphere hit you and someone had to remind me to breath. Then I started to relax”. The horse came from Ireland and hunts 2 days a week with the Worcestershire. Sarah was in hospital 3 weeks before HOYS having an operation but friend continued the flatwork. After 10 days off, Sarah had to spend the last 2 weeks before the show working to get herself fit enough to ride. “We had two attempts at qualifying, first as working hunter at Towerlands but finishing 3rd we missed out. Then we had a go at the Riding Club Show Horse by default and we qualified. The Judges were amazing and made us feel at ease with advice and talk. Offered whole package and willing to give time to answer questions. The judging was completely unbiased and fair and it was obvious there had been no discussions between either judging panel – Marjorie Ramsay and Robert Oliver were very observant. The series relates to everyday people and encourages people to have a go, learn and absorb, ask questions, and go back and have another go. The whole thing was magical”.

Miss Mandy Jones of St Asaph, Clwyd, who won the Cobs section with her own 7 year old, Boddington, represented Wales in fine style. Mandy bought Boddington, an ID x Connemara, in May and he had no previous showing experience. Her ultimate ambition was to compete at HOYS and she was delighted to qualify at Osbaldeston. They went on to have a very successful season, winning at the Midland Counties and qualifying for the Royal International Horse Show. The culmination of much hard work and preparation was getting to HOYS. “It was lovely to be there, the atmosphere was fantastic and he took to it really well – he just knows when he should behave. It was wonderful to get there with nothing going wrong, and to be a part of it all – I am still on cloud nine!” said Mandy. Her plans are to continue to show in Cob classes and hopes to have a go at Working Cob classes next year.

Sir Wexford, owned and ridden by Kate Roddy of Accrington, Lancashire, took the Working Hunter title in fine style. Sir Wexford, known as ‘Hugo’ at home, was bought 2 years ago and Kate has competed in show jumping as well as working hunter classes. She thought that he might be good enough to do the SEIB Search For A Star classes and decided to have a go, having competed in the same series several years ago on her Dartmoor pony. As a child she dreamt of competing at HOYS, but never believed it would really happen until she qualified in good company at Osbaldeston. “For Kate to trot down the centre line at HOYS was brilliant”, said her mother, Maxine. “Just to get there and take part was great, and to have all our family and friends, and people connected with the horse there to share the experience and the emotion of it all was very special. Kate knows how difficult it is to get to HOYS, having just missed out several times as a kid, and now she has done it. To win was just the icing on the cake, and the experience of a lifetime”. Kate, currently studying at Manchester University, plans to continue showing in BSPS Working Hunter classes and may try some open Workers next season, as well as BJSA jumping during the winter months.

Lyndrose Cats Whiskers, first Hunter Pony in Ponies section, is owned by G G Henderson of Ormskirk, Lancashire and ridden by Camilla Henderson. Camilla has had the pony for 2 years but had not done very much this year due to illness. They managed to qualify for the championship at Osbaldeston and Camilla declared that “winning at HOYS is a dream come true”.

Maqueen came second in Riding Horse/Hack section, to the delight of her owner/rider, Catherine Brewer of Polegate, East Sussex. “I can’t believe it! It was fantastic! Bonjour, first Riding Horse in the Riding Horse/Hack section, is owned and ridden by Miss Rebecca Gribben of Worksop, Notts. “He is just a 5 year old and this is his first season, but he proved to be fantastic. We won at Newark, were 1st at Leicester County in Novice and 2nd in open. We have only done a handful of shows as I don’t want to over show him. He was just backed when we bought him last year”, said Rebecca. Walton Grace and Favour, first Hack in the Riding Horse/Hack section, is owned and ridden by Mandy Baldwin of Lewes, E Sussex. “He is 4 years old and I got him last Christmas. We have been out 5 or 6 times and managed to finish 1st in hack or riding horse every time. We have not been to many major shows but he is very good and I had no worries about him going into the international arena. The atmosphere in the Caldene arena was electric!”, said Mandy, who is a saddler and made the bridle specially for her horse.

2006 Full Results 

Riding Club Show Horses

1st Golly Gosh, owned and ridden by Mrs Sarah Bevan of Pirton, Worcs, 2nd Ascension Day, owned and ridden by Louise Davie of Stowmarket, Suffolk, 3rd Verbal Agreement, owned by Mandy Goode of Winchester and ridden by Harriet Hammond, 4th Logan, owned and ridden by Emma King of Whittlesey, Peterborough, 5th Tiger Lilly, owned by Mr and Mrs P Buck of Chertsey and ridden by Michelle Buck.


1st Boddington, owned and ridden by Miss Mandy Jones of St Asaph, Clwyd, 2nd Pheonix Park II, owned and ridden by Leslie Stutter of Todmorden, Lancs, 3rd Brown Thomas III, owned and ridden by Suzanne Darby of Loughton, Essex, 4th Mister Partridge, owned by Adrian Andrews of Wantage, Oxon and ridden by Jane Balman, 5th Tullamore II, owned and ridden by Angela Fisher of Andover, Hampshire.

Working Hunters

1st Sir Wexford, owned and ridden by Kate Roddy of Accrington, Lancs, 2nd Mr W C Hall, owned and ridden by Mrs Caroline Playne of Sleaford, Lincs, 3rd Crackenthorpe Jamboree, owned and ridden by Mrs Susan Chappelltow of Appleby in Westmorland, Cumbria, 4th Macintosh, owned and ridden by Lucy Constable of Hardwicke, Gloucester, 5th King Rufus, owned and ridden by Miss Alison Walsh of Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.


1st Rollswood Nureyev (Show Pony) owned by Mrs Deana Barbour of Bicester, Oxon, and ridden by Sienna Barbour, 1st= Lyndrose Cats Whiskers (Hunter Pony) owned by G G Henderson of Ormskirk, Lancs, and ridden by Camilla Henderson, 2nd Furtherfield Fancy Footsteps, owned by Mrs Michelle Brown of Rochdale, Lancs and ridden by Sophie Brown, 3rd Shroughan Mairtin, owned by Mr D E Parker of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and ridden by Casey Parker, 4th Sycamore Candyman, owned by Karen Gallagher of Wigan, Lancs and ridden by Hannah Gallagher, 5th Rillaton Ringleader, owned by Angela Hewitson of Poole, Dorset and ridden by Sophie Hall.

Riding Horses/Hacks

1st Bonjour (Riding Horse) owned and ridden by Miss Rebecca Gribben of Worksop, Notts, 1st= Walton Grace and Favour (Hack) owned and ridden by Mandy Baldwin of Lewes, East Sussex, 2nd Macqueen, owned and ridden by Mrs Catherine Brewer of Polegate, East Sussex, 3rd Mafeking, owned and ridden by Miss Sarah Gibbons of Eye, Suffolk, 4th Scherzo, owned by Gaynor Nicholls of Stratford upon Avon, and ridden by Joanne Winfield, 5th Pompidou, owned by Sarah Wrigley of Sawbridgeworth, Herts, and ridden by Kerry Allen.


1st Chivers, owned by Mr and Mrs J Thornton of Ledbury, Herefordshire, and ridden by Mrs Jooli Thornton, 2nd Inspector Morse, owned and ridden by Miss Michaela Aram of Mansfield, Nottingham, 3rd Castle Town Gold Dust, owned and ridden by Charlotte Carley of Stockport, Cheshire, 4th Swannie owned and ridden by Jane Cotton of Moss, Doncaster, 5th Randalls Town, owned by Ms Z Warren of Crowborough, East Sussex, and ridden by Esther Warren.