SEIB Search for a Star 2021 had a high-quality level of competition at Richmond Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire on Monday 12th July. Longstanding Search for a Star judges, Richard Ramsay and Jordan Cook were joined on the day by Nicola Taylor, Jerome Harforth, Liz Morley and probationary judge, Craig Mclelland who also helped by stewarding. Several competitors that came close to qualifying in 2019 have worked hard with their horses through lockdown, entered Virtual Search for a Star over the winter and made the most of the judges comments to come out and qualify first time this year.

Zara Rudd

Welsh Section D, Owfen Mr Softee won the Mountain and Moorland, Your Horse Live qualifying class with his owner rider, Zara Rudd. Trainee accountant Zara said: “I didn’t realise we had qualified, I am so excited. Baby B (as the pony is known at home) and I do everything together from showing to mounted games, fun rides and dressage. I was given him for Christmas 5 years ago by his breeder Alison Hibbert, who hand reared him as a foal.” Zara initially had Baby B on loan from April through to Christmas and then she gifted him to Zara as she was delighted to see Baby B having so much fun out and about with Zara. Baby B and Zara are on the TSR Pathway too – they plan to go to the beach and on some fun rides between now and HOYS as well. Through lockdown, the pair also competed in Virtual Search for a Star and took 4th place in Diamond Pony. Zara commented: “The video from the Judge Richard Ramsay was great!”.

Gissings Military Woo Hoo took second place in the Mountain and Moorland with his owner rider Mia Anness. The pair just missed out on qualifying for Your Horse Live in Search for a Star in 2019 when they were placed in qualifiers at both Osbaldeston and Greenlands. Mia said: “We had Military Woo Hoo on loan from his breeder, Lesley Jolly for four years before buying her last October. We won the in-hand Highland class at the Yorkshire Show in 2019 and have entered the ridden and in-hand classes there this year.” Military Woo Hoo is a real family pony and takes part in pleasure rides, beach rides and hound exercise with Mia and her mother. Mia added: “The comments from the judge, Jerome Harforth today were helpful and we have found Search for a Star to be a really useful series for helping us improve.”

Anika Wilding

Earning their ticket to the Search for a Star Your Horse Live Part-bred Traditional Gypsy Cob finals were Anika Wilding and her own Letton Helen of Troy. This pair were at just their second show together. Anika said: “I am just really pleased, I qualified for the finals in 2019 with my mare who then had a foal and then we came across Letton Helen of Troy. She had done well in-hand, but I have only been riding her for four months. She is so willing and wants to please, I had a nasty accident just before lockdown and Letton Helen of Troy has really helped me get my confidence back.”

Qualifying for the Your Horse Live final and winner of the veteran pony class was Isabella Mason and her mother, Juliette Mason’s pony, Podraig. Eleven-year-old Isabella is a year-7 pupil at Carnforth High School, she has competed in plenty of BSPS working hunter pony classes with 19-year-old Podraig. Isabella said: “He was great today and I am looking forward to Your Horse Live.” Her mum, Juliette – who also competed in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class at Richmond added: “Podraig used to be a show jumping pony and has plenty of experience. Last week the pair took the supreme of show title at BSPS area 1B, Isabella fits all this in with plenty of netball and running too.”

Isabella Mason and Elly Hill with judge Jerome Harforth

In the veteran horse class, first place went to the Connemara, Liskeran Dun Bobby owned by Sarah Hill and ridden by Elly Hill. This pair previously competed in the Search for a Star finals back in 2014. Liskeran Dun Bobby, known at home as Ferdi has been owned by the Hill’s for eight years now and now aged 20 is still going strong. Horses and ponies that have previously competed in the Search for a Star HOYS finals and are 18 years of age or over are eligible for the Search for a Star veteran competition.

SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “It has been so good to be back out with the Search for a Star team today. We have met some brilliant, enthusiastic new competitors and been delighted to see some much-improved combinations from 2019 back in the ring, some of whom have deservedly earned their HOYS and Your Horse Live tickets today. Search for a Star is all about having a willingness to improve and our judges really do enjoy seeing people and their horses becoming more polished and succeed in achieving their goals.”

For all Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse information and to enter, please see

Search for a Star qualifiers in the mountain and moorland classes, veteran horse or pony and part-bred traditional cob will head to Your Horse Live for their championships.

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers set up Search for a Star over 20 years ago so they could offer a unique competition opportunity to many of their amateur rider customers. SEIB has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting many equestrian events and activities in addition to Search for a Star.

In the meantime - if you need to insure your horse, horsebox, trailer, yard or business - SEIB are here to help so please give us a call on 01708 850000 or visit #SEIBhere2help

Results SEIB Search for a Star qualifiers for Your Horse Live at Richmond Equestrian Centre 12th July 2021

Class 7 Mountain and Moorland – 1st Owfen Mr Softee owned and ridden by Zara Rudd from Lancashire

Class 7 Mountain and Moorland – 2nd Gissings Military Woo Hoo owned and ridden by Mia Aness from Kirklees

Class 8 Part-Bred Traditional Gypsy Cob – 1st Letton Helen of Troy owned and ridden by Anika Wilding from Herefordshire

Class 9A Veteran Horse – 1st Liskeran Dun Bobby owned by Sarah Hill and ridden by Elly Hill from Warrington

Class 9B Veteran Pony – 1st Podraig owned by Juliette Mason and ridden by Isabella Mason from Lancaster