Welsh Rider takes Search For A Star Crown

Show Hunter Pony wins 2010 SEIB Search For A Star Star Supreme Champion with Riding Horse in Reserve


SEIB Search For A Star Supreme Champion Angharad Fisher riding I’m Clover Too
Credit: Real Time Imaging.


The South Essex Insurance Brokers 2010 Search For A Star Championship reached a thrilling climax at the Horse of the Year Show when 16 year old Angharad Fisher rode her own Show Hunter Pony, I’m Clover Too, to take the Supreme Champion title, with Patricia Saxby’s Riding Horse, Play It Cool, in Reserve.

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 rein supreme.

Angharad, from Carmarthenshire, bought the 8 year old show hunter pony as a project 2 years ago, having moved on from ponies. Known as Shaun, the pony was backed as a 6 year old and the pair had their first season showing last year. He was turned away for the winter and aimed at Search For A Star this year. They were placed second five times and were reserve champion at Equifest, which was good preparation for HOYS but they were pleased to break second place ‘itus’ this time. “He was totally unfazed by coming here. We don’t have a school and so I do all our schooling out on hacks. The atmosphere was just amazing!” said Angharad, who has just finished her GCSEs. Angharad had previously had Pony Club ponies that did a bit of everything. Shaun is kept at home and she does all the plaiting and turnout herself. “I have dreamed of this. I was asked if I was ready for the championship – I said I have been ready for the past 4 years! Getting to HOYS has been my ambition and Shaun was perfect”, said a delighted Angharad.

Reserve Supreme went to the lovely Riding Horse, Play it Cool, owned and ridden by Patricia Saxby of Partridge Green, West Sussex. The 7 year old bay gelding has previously evented to intermediate level but Patricia bought him in February this year to go showing. Having not done very much they went to the Search For A Star qualifier for the outing and were surprised and happy to qualify. “We did the amateur class at the British Show Horse show but have done very little else – I have been trying to get some weight on him and this is only our third show”, said Patricia. Play it Cool did just that to win the first Search For A Star final of the week, and maintained his calm on Friday to give an outstanding performance in the championship. Patricia has already put a side-saddle on Play It Cool and plans to do side saddle classes in future.

The SEIB Search For A Star Riding Horse/Hack finals started the week at HOYS and in joint first place, heading the Hack section, was Billy Wizz, ridden by Zahra Clark and owned jointly by her mother, Rebecca Clark, and aunt, Chrissy Pice from Hampshire. The sisters have owned Billy Wiz, an ex-racehorse, since he was a 3 year old when he was given to them by his racing owner. “He had been in training with Andrew Balding and was still a colt, so he had to be cut and given a bit of time to settle”, says Rebecca. “This is their first season showing and they were second in the ROR at Windsor”, she said. The pair have also competed in some unaffiliated novice dressage and dressage to music. “This is amazing, like all my dreams come true – I never expected to win”, said Zahra, who works as a PA in London and fits in riding around her daily commute from Romsey.

Funky Munky headed the Cob final, owned and ridden by Joanne Dewhurst of Preston, Lancashire. Joanne has owned the 10 year old skewbald gelding for 2 years and he had previously been a pleasure horse. This is their first season showing and they won coloured and cob classes at the Scottish Horse Show and qualified for the RIHS. “We do a lot of hacking – we can go off for 2 or 3 hours riding on the fells while my husband is milking” says farmer’s wife, Joanne, who plans to do more open classes and some unaffiliated dressage. “He gave me a great ride and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. He gave me lots of confidence”, she added.

The two fences in the Riding Club Show Horse final caused no problems for Joanne Gubb and Zinidan, an ex-show jumper who went faultlessly to take the title. Bought as a Christmas present by husband, Jamie, Zinidan has done mainly hunting and show jumping with Joanne and this is their first season showing. “He always wants to please and we never have a bad show. I knew that the fences would not be a problem and my main concern was to keep him quiet. The atmosphere was amazing, but he settled and was fine. It is great to win this – I have insured my horses and lorry with SEIB for years!” said Joanne, a housewife and mother from Enfield.

A delighted Philip Tuckwell took the Working Hunter title with his homebred gelding, Baloo, who is by the well known jumping stallion, Balou Du Rouet and out of a Clydesdale x TB hunter mare . Baloo has been eventing this season as well as doing some indoor show jumping and even going out autumn hunting with the Berkley before coming to HOYS. “The buzz and the occasion is quite something to cope with for a 6 year old, but he kept his head. He went really well and I am thrilled with him”, said Philip, who is based near Tetbury, Glos. “He did the Burghley Young Event Horse this year and will do some hunting and show jumping this winter. I hope to do workers with him next year but he is 17.1hh and needs a bit of time to mature”, he said.

Alex and David Aungier’s show pony, Kintillo Faberge, ridden by Georgia Aungier, headed the Ponies final jointly with the show hunter pony and eventual Supreme Champion, I’m Clover Too. The Aungier family have owned the 4 year old Kintillo Faberge for 5 months and have had a successful first season, winning the small part-bred Arab class, champion Show Hunter Pony and standing reserve supreme champion at the Edenbridge and Oxted show, and champion at the Chertsey Agricultural Show. “It was very scary in there but he went brilliantly. It is very exciting!” said eleven year old Georgia who is at school in Lingfield, Surrey.

The Show Hunter title went to Malins Amiro, ridden by Georgina Humphrey, 22, and owned by Susan Humphrey. Susan bought the 17.2hh, 8 year old gelding known as Melton, in May and he had previously hunted as a Master’s horse for 3 seasons. He qualified for Search for a Star at only his third show, and has since won at Bakewell, Ponies UK and Equifest. “We have done a lot of schooling as well as hacking at home. This is brilliant and I hope to do open classes next year and also have a go at ladies hunter classes”, said a delighted Georgina, who has just graduated in photography from Nottingham Trent University and is hoping to become a freelance photographer.

Marjorie Ramsey and Robert Oliver judged conformation and Clare Oliver was ride judge for the Search For A Star Championship classes throughout the week.

Dreams also came true at HOYS for the two winners of the SEIB Search For A Star Steward competition. South Essex Insurance Brokers introduced this new competition to encourage up and coming young stewards. The show circuit relies on a huge band of volunteer stewards who ensure the smooth running of events and without these dedicated people many shows could not take place.

The Search For A Star Steward competition has been judged throughout the Search For A Star qualifiers and the two winners earned the opportunity to Steward for the week at the Horse of the Year Show. The winners, Tracey Mason from Caithness in Scotland and Liz Twite, from Bideford in Devon, spent the week stewarding in the Andrews Bowen International Arena and the Caldene Arena alongside the experienced team of Stewards at HOYS. “It has been a fantastic experience and I have learnt so much. The team have been brilliant and I am delighted to have been given this opportunity. I feel as though I am in a dream – speaking with riders who I have only seen in pictures and reports!” said Tracey. “We have been looked after so well and I have met some incredible people – it was surreal when I recognised the voice of the person standing next to me as that of commentator, Mike Tucker. I hope that this experience will bring more stewarding opportunities my way”, said Liz.

Sandy Anderson, Director of Grandstand Media, organisers of Horse of the Year Show, was delighted to be hosting the finals. “Search For A Star is the biggest thing that has happened at HOYS. It has brought an audience to the show that did not come before. The stands are packed for these classes. The new Stewards competition has worked tremendously well and brings new blood to the show, which we need for the future. SEIB are very forward thinking on a lot of things, making showing more accessible to a wider equestrian audience and we are eternally grateful to them”, he 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 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 I hope that many will go on to further success in open classes. I am also thrilled with the success of the Steward’s competition – our two winners had a wonderful week working at HOYS!” says SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie.

2010 Full Results

South Essex Insurance Brokers Search For A Star Championships Horse of the Year Show 2010

Supreme Champion:
I’M CLOVER TOO, owned and ridden by Angharad Fisher of Carmarthenshire (pictured above)


PLAY IT COOL, owned and ridden by Patricia Saxby of Partridge Green, West Sussex