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Welton Archer shines as new star!

Search For A Star Final at HOYS 2008

Our 2008 Search For A Star Championship reached a thrilling climax at the Horse of the Year Show when a polished performance by the Riding Club Show Horse, Welton Archer, took the Supreme title with the delightful Show Pony, Beckside Step Lightly, standing in reserve. A very special presentation was also made to the first ever Search For a Star Supreme Champion, the heavyweight hunter, Shelford Rupert, to mark his retirement after 12 successful years in the show ring.

The 10 year old Welton Archer showed quality and versatility in the Riding Club Show Horse section, and came back to take the Championship in fine style. Owned by Aislinn McKibbin and ridden by daughter, Ciara, this is a real family horse, competing regularly in eventing and Pony Club activities with Ciara and Le Trec with Aislinn as well as being ridden by Ciara’s 13 year old brother. Ciara is a member of the Cambridgeshire Hunt Pony Club and Huntingdon & District Riding Club. This experienced horse has only recently come to showing and 16 year old Ciara was not sure how he would cope with the atmosphere indoors at HOYS. “We have never done anything like this before but he was brilliant and didn’t put a foot wrong. It was really exciting and I was really nervous. I could not quite enjoy it until the lap of honour!” she said. Ciara had to return to School at Rugby on Thursday, before returning to HOYS for the Supreme Championship on Friday.

Reserve went to Karen Black’s delightful show pony, Beckside Step Lightly, ridden by her 12 year old daughter, Francesca Walmsley. Known at home as “Skippy”, this 5 year old bay mare is in her second season and qualified for the Royal International Horse Show and the 138cm show pony final at HOYS. At the Winter Championships they won the 13.2hh Elite Home Produced finals and Supreme Best Pony. Skippy is very much a home pony, with Francesca looking after and riding her every day after school and on weekends. “It was amazing”, she declared. “I have done leading rein and first ridden, but this is the first pony I have done myself”, said Francesca who qualified at Osbaldeston.

The Supreme SEIB Search for a Star Championship took some judging with some excellent horses and ponies coming forward from the class championships held earlier in the week. Alexia Kirby from Ormskirk, Lancashire, and her own Tully’s Brady, set the standard to win the Cob Championship. Full of quality and with good movement, the 6 year old ID gelding showed exemplary manners, and only needed to keep his cool in the final line up to take the title in his first season showing. “It was an absolute dream to qualify. He is such a baby and I have never worked so hard to prepare him for a show like this – he has coped so well. The atmosphere is amazing and nothing can set you up for this. I have never experienced anything like it. If it wasn’t for SEIB we would not get the chance to come here, so really big thanks!” said a delighted Alexia. Tullys Brady was bred in Ireland by Nigel and Charlotte Moore and the dam was All Ireland Champion ID as a yearling and 2yo, winning at Dublin as a 4yo. The grand-dam was also successful. Tullys Brady was sold as a foal and they lost touch with him, but Alexia got in touch this year to say he was coming to HOYS, so Nigel and Charlotte made the trip over to watch him. Second place went to Nikki Reeder’s Collier, from Towcester, Northants, who showed lovely manners and went beautifully for ride judge, Clare Oliver.

The Working Hunter class required skill from the riders with a spooky looking course with artificial rocks, windmills and model pigs and some unlucky poles did fall for the unwary. The top spot went to Somerset rider, Katie Doble, with her mother’s Jet Rocket, a proper worker who jumped an exemplary round as well as giving the best ride to ride judge, Claire Oliver. “He jumped beautifully and I am delighted. You never know what to expect with him as he is so with it, and the atmosphere was electric, but he settled and went brilliantly” said Katie, who works full time on the family farm. Jet Rocket is home bred and the dam also successfully competed in the show ring. The second place went to Daydreamer, owned and ridden by Leslie Scorgie from Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

The ponies were divided into two sections and the Show Hunter Pony went to Mrs K Short’s Chinook Paprika, ridden by 14 year old Kristie Short. This 6 year old bay gelding is in his first season showing and came second in the Home Produced class at the Royal International Horse Show. The Short’s have owned him since February and are already looking forward to next season.

The Riding Horse/Hack class also saw two winners go forward. The Hack winner was Dexter, owned and ridden by Angela Stephenson. Dexter is an ex-eventer that was ridden in juniors by the late Sherelle Duke. Angela does a bit of everything with him including riding club activities and show jumping. “We just thought we would give it a go”, said a delighted Angela, whose day job is driving a milk tanker. Since qualifying at Osbaldeston in May, they have had a few lessons and done some show jumping. “I don’t have a lot of time, so he often gets lunged, and I have been feeding to try to keep condition on him”, she said. “He was a superstar in the ring. It felt like he was about to explode, especially when they played the music. We have never done anything like it before and I can’t believe that we were good enough to get to HOYS – all the early mornings have paid off”.

Imogen Yates riding Susan Collins’ Tristan H, won the Riding Horse section of this class. “I am absolutely delighted. It was magical and he was such a gentleman”, said Imogen who was riding him in Search For A Star for her friend, Sue Collins. Sue has owned him for 3 ½ years, having bought him from a dealer as an unbacked 4 year old. He was very sharp as a youngster and it has taken a couple of years to really gain his trust, but now everything he does is fine. Their aim is to do dressage and local level showing, so when Imogen suggested they have a go at Search for a Star, Sue said she would have to ride him. He also does some show jumping, ridden by another friend, Lucy Ashdown, and finished 19th in a large class at the David Broom Centre recently. He does a bit of everything and Sue hopes that he will be doing Medium level dressage by November. Imogen, who works in the city, described the atmosphere in the arena as ‘amazing’. “I never dreamed that I would be competing at HOYS, but he felt so at home. I just had to sit and enjoy it!”.

Blackmoor Mac Rua took the Show Hunter title in fine style for owner/rider, Becky Chapman from Ashen Equestrian Centre on the Essex/Suffolk border. This impressive 5 year old pure ID gelding was bred in Co Wicklow, Ireland and Becky bought him 6 months ago from Michael Devlin. “He was such a wonderful baby horse. He came to me to be backed and, after I had ridden him, I decided to buy him”, says Becky, who believes in a practical but natural approach to training. “I decided not to have him shod as he has got such good feet and never has any problems hacking out on the road or jumping. I have them rasped differently for jumping to give grip, and he is quite happy going barefoot”, she says. This is his debut season in the show ring and the intention was to do a little showing until he got stronger to do dressage. “He will go on to do dressage, but I think we will continue with the showing as well as he seems to be quite good at it!” said Becky. Streetwise II, owned by Mrs Rosalind Wells and ridden by her daughter, Suzanne Wells, was reserve in this class.

Marjory Ramsay judged conformation with Robert Oliver throughout the HOYS final and was delighted with the horses and ponies presented. “It is so wonderful that every year the competition manages to discover so many beautiful horses and ponies from all over the country. The two judges (at the qualifiers), Richard Ramsay and David Bartram, are to be warmly congratulated for the care and knowledge they bring to the competition. It makes our job at the final so intensely pleasurable. The final was really exciting as there were several horses and ponies that could have been supreme. It was very interesting to see which of the horses coped with the atmosphere”.

During the presentations a special award was made to Emma Gibson and Shelford Rupert, the heavy weight hunter and first ever Search For A Star Supreme Champion in 1996, who celebrated his retirement from the show ring at HOYS.

Shelford Rupert went on from success in Search for a Star to become a prolific winner at county and championship level with Emma. Now 17 years old, Shelford Rupert has amassed 81 championships during his career, with 195 wins in Heavy Weight, Ladies and Amateur classes, qualifying and competing at HOYS 12 times. His breeders, Roger and Jane Chatterton, were there for the celebrations. “He is half ID and bred out of a hunter mare, and we thought that he would make a hunter”, said Jane.

“He was very naughty to begin with and I had difficulty getting on him”, says Emma. “But we just persevered and eventually he got over it. Now he deserves his retirement. We will still do a few things and might try some veteran classes”, she said.

“I am always delighted 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 in the new arena at HOYS was magical and the stands were packed. It is wonderful to be able to give genuine amateur owners and riders this opportunity and, as Shelford Rupert has shown, it is possible to go on to further success in open classes. I am already looking forward to next year!” says SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie.

2007 Full Results


owned by Aislinn McKibben & ridden by Ciara McKibben from Cambridge


Owned by Karen Black & ridden by Francesca Walmsley from Ripon

Show Hunters

1st Blackmoor Mac Rua, owned & ridden by Becky Chapman of Sudbury, Suffolk, 2nd Streetwise II, owned by Rosalind Wells & ridden by Suzanne Wells of East Grinstead, 3rd Last Light, owned & ridden by Stephen Sharples of Preston, 4th Maximillian Rubins, owned by Dawn Weston of Plymouth and ridden by Rachel Lavis, 5th Seabourne Swansong, owned & ridden by Kate Goodson of Crawley.

Other finalists:
Dunlin, owned & ridden by Kerry Boothby of Macclesfield
Magilligan, owned by Maria Killoran and ridden by Layla Killoran of Buxton
Rhiewbank Promise, owned & ridden by Suzannah Woolley of Herefordshire
West Bank, owned & ridden by Jane Ainsworth of Preston

Riding Horses/Hacks

1st (Riding Horse) Tristan “H”, owned by Susan Collins of Horley, Surrey & ridden by Imogen Yates, 1st (Hack) Dexter, owned & ridden by Angela Stephenson of Carnforth, Lancashire, 2nd Sahereca Gracious Gift, owned by Melanie Palmer & ridden by Cathy Palmer of Hastings, 3rd Highlander, owned & ridden by Dellamae Theobold of Slough, 4th Roodlebats Scoundrel, owned & ridden by Angela Gregg of Bewdley, Wocestershire, 5th Mr Illuminator, owned & ridden by Sherri Mackay of Southampton.

Other finalists:
Shared Harmony, owned & ridden by Mandi Pritchard of London


1st Tullys Brady, owned by Victoria and Alexie Kirby & ridden by Alexie Kirby of Ormskirk, Lancashire, 2nd Collier, owned & ridden by Nikki Reeder of Towcester, 3rd Bristol Blue, owned & ridden by Kathleen Botting of Arundel, West Sussex, 4th Bogaloed-Olaf-O’Shea, owned & ridden by Justine Burns of Abergavenny, 5th Romero, owned by Essex Horse & Pony Protection Society & ridden by Nina Woollard of Chelmsford.

Other finalists:
Corrigan, owned & ridden by Joy Wood of Chard, Somerset
Graceful Ease, owned by Melanie Cargin of Maidenhead and ridden by Rosalind Arthur
Robber Banks, owned by Hannah Elton Wall of Lydbrook Glos & ridden by Emma Jane Morris
Spartacus, owned & ridden by Jessica Cook of Ripley, Derbshire
The Grenadier, Owned by Julie Buckley & ridden by Stacey Buckley of Manchester


1st (Show Hunter Ponies) Chinook Paprika owned by Mrs K Short & ridden by Kristie Short of Corby, Northamptonshire, 2nd Logs Master Flashdance, owned by Mr & Mrs P A Ladums of Ashford, Kent & ridden by Georgia Ladums, 3rd Giselle, owned by Sally Skier of Aylesbury, Bucks & ridden by Rozanna Skier, 4th Hayselden Coriolanus, owned by Lindsay Hardern & ridden by Jessica Hardern of Tarporley, Cheshire.

1st (Show Ponies) Beck Side Step Lightly owned by Karen Black of Ripon & ridden by Francesca Walmsley, 2nd Rosevean Romany Song, owned by Mrs S Eaton of Melbourne, Derby & ridden by Rachel Eaton, 3rd Milford Grand Marnier, owned by Kim Money & ridden by Alix Lawton, 4th Jackets Vaudeville, owned by Mr J Stokes of St Austell, Cornwall & ridden by Emma Stokes.

Other finalists:
Logs Master Amigo, owned by Cheryl Grant of Melbourne, Derby & ridden by Olivia Grant

Riding Club Show Horses

1st Welton Archer, owned by Mrs Aislinn McKibbin & ridden by Ciara McKibbin of Cambridge, 2nd Seafield Harry, owned & ridden by Danielle Gowrie of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, 3rd Mullagh Flower, owned & ridden by Stephanie Dawson of Powys, 4th Lowmoor Chantilly, owned & ridden by Penny Williamson of Penrith, Cumbria, 5th Another Quest, owned by Ann Barnaby of Monmouth, Gwent & ridden by Aly Rowell

Other finalists:
Blizzard III, owned & ridden by Perdie Reid of High Wycombe
Gew Luna, owned & ridden by Heather Giles of Marlow
Hortons Rose, owned & ridden by Fiona Heeney of Bordon, Hampshire
Laughtons Silver Flash, owned & ridden by Karen Rhodes of Kendal, Lake District

Working Hunters

1st Jet Rocket, owned & ridden by Gillian Doble of Illminister, 2nd Daydreamer, owned & ridden by Lesley Scorgie from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, 3rd Kulons, owned & ridden by James Nunn of Stowmarket, Suffolk, 4th Mystic Megan, owned by Miss F Buffey of Bolton & ridden by Sarah Thompson, 5th Veldhorn, owned & ridden by Jenny Hyde of Cadnam.

Diamond Playboy, owned and ridden by Rachal Fairbairn of Hull, Sussex
Bodieve Jester, owned & ridden by Katy Diethrick of Tintagel, Cornwall
Cyrils Brigade, owned by Stephen Hague of Stockport, Cheshire & ridden by Christopher Hague

Other finalists:
McQueen, owned & ridden by Veronica Eklov of Clevendon, Avon
Winterstorm, owned & ridden by Emma Nettleton of Driffield, North Humberside

August 16 – Badgworth Riding Centre
July 19 – Wellington Equestrian Centre
July 12 – Addington Manor Equestrian Centre
June 21 – Unex Towerlands
May 18 – Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre