Hot Competition at the Final SEIB HOYS Qualifier at Vale View

The final qualifier in the 2016 SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star series took place at Vale View Equestrian Centre on Sunday 7 August 2016. A huge entry gave the team of judges Richard Ramsay, David Ingle and Jane Hubbard plenty to do.

Working Hunter
An apparently straight forward brush with rails caused problems for several riders in the jumping phase, while others faulted with poles down around the course. Four horses came back for the final judging and first place went to Georgina Teece, riding her own Faerie Salakadu, stable name Ruby. Georgina, 24, from Middlesborough, has owned the 8 year old grey mare for 3 years, having bought her after losing her previous event horse to colic. “It was a bit of a gamble – I bought her out of the field. She was just backed and had done nothing, but she has been brilliant”, said Georgina. The pair were competing at the SEIB Trailblazers Championships the previous weekend where they gained 8th place in two prelim dressage finals, and have also qualified to compete at the Scope show jumping festival in two weeks’ time. During the winter months they hunt with the Cleveland. “This is our first attempt at showing. We did 2 unaffiliated shows last year but we decided to have a go at SFAS after a friend qualified earlier this year. This is our first time showing!” said an excited Georgina. “I was really nervous before the jumping, and she found it a bit spooky, which was in our favour because she jumped everything so big. We definitely need to get out and practice more showing now”, she said. The pair had travelled for nearly 3 hours from Middlesborough to the final qualifier of the year and were delighted with the win. Georgina works full time as an area sales manager selling equestrian supplements for Global Herbs and keeps Ruby on a DIY Livery yard.

Second place went to Jenny Eyton-Jones, 25, from Lancashire, riding her own Kerannen Brynn. Jenny bought the 7 year old bay gelding, by the TB stallion, Sirens Missile, out of a Section D mare, when he was just 3 ½ years old, and broke him in herself. “He was brilliant, and we did everything either in our paddock at home or out on hacks”, explained a delighted Jenny, who kept him at home until 6 months ago when they moved to a DIY livery yard with more facilities. “He learned everything out hacking, doing leg yield down the lane and schooling in the paddock, but we moved to to a yard so that I could do more with him and also in the hope of cadging lifts to competitions”, she added. Jenny has always loved doing a mixture of competitions and has previously done pony club activities, hunter trials and any shows that she could get to. “He has only been out a handful of times but he is so honest, he tries his hardest”. Jenny, who works full time as a nurse, is getting married in September and her future husband, Brett, has had to learn to look after horses. “He is not horsey, but he has a soft spot for Brynn and as I work shifts he is able to help out. I’m not sure what he will think of having a honeymoon at HOYS”, she laughed!

Riding Club Show Horse
A large entry saw two sections negotiating the rustic poles, a rustic and a rainbow fence that caused a few faults. The final six came back for the placing with first place going to the lovely bay gelding, Roos Dead Ringer, known as Rafferty, owned and ridden by Sammy Clare, 20, from Cheshire. Sammy has owned him for just over a year and bought him to event. They have competed at some riding club and BE events and have done some working hunter and sport horse classes, qualifying for the North West Working Hunter Championships and also for the Sport Horse Breeding finals at Stafford. “I did some lead rein showing and working hunter pony when I was young, but then went eventing”, said Sammy, who keeps Rafferty on the family farm in Cheshire. “He is such a gentleman, anyone can ride him and we can do anything with him”, explained Sammy’s mum, Roe, who shares looking after Rafferty. “I have an artificial hand, but he is so straight forward, I can ride him and have hunted him”, she said. “We have been going to HOYS since Sammy was 4 years old and have watched every year in awe. I can’t believe we have now qualified. Nothing bothers him, he is such a good lad”, she added. This has been quite a year for Sammy, who was 10th at the Badminton Grassroots this year on her other horse, and the family have also bred two colt foals for the future. “I just can’t believe that we could get to go to Badminton and HOYS all in the same year, I am just in shock”, said an excited Sammy, who works on the family farm and part time as a special constable in the Police force.

The day proved successful for Jenny Eyton-Jones, who took second place with Brynn in the Riding Club Show Horse class, her second success of the day, and then had the difficult decision of whether to take the qualifying place in the Workers or the RCSH as, under SFAS rules, she is only allowed to take one qualifying place.

Third place went to Harriet Cooper, 25, from Chipping Norton, riding Anne Cooper’s 7 year old pure Connemara, Kass. After a nasty fall on the road with another horse, Anne was looking for an all-rounder that would help get her confidence back. Although Kass, whose stable name is “Finn”, was not quite what she had in mind, the then 5 year old did not put a foot wrong when she tried him, “and he has hardly put a foot wrong since”, said Anne. “He is fantastic and does whatever is asked. A friend, Tasha de Grave, has been eventing him and he had gone clear every time at BE90 and BE100”, she added. The pure bred Connemara gelding, by Westonhouse Straboe Bobby, measures at 153cm, which means he cannot be shown in mountain and moorland classes in the UK. “I am so lucky to have him – it was happenstance, but we have had the most fun with him. He was only just 5 when we got him, and had already done 2 seasons hunting in Ireland. He has done very little schooling but he seems to be a natural. He is such a cool dude”. Kass has been part of the Crown Riding Club eventing and show jumping teams and will also do the eventer challenge at Blenheim with Tasha. He also does lots of riding club clinics and fun rides with Anne. After finishing third in the SFAS qualifier at Bury Farm, Anne was determined that they should try again but Tasha chose the day of Vale View to go on holiday and so could not ride him. When offered the ride, Anne’s daughter, Harriet, known as Hattie, jumped at the chance. “She has been riding since she was 4 years old and came up through the Heythrop Pony Club. Show jumping is her love, but she is currently working in London and studying design so she hardly gets a chance to ride”, explained Anne. Despite being a little ring rusty, Hattie did a great job and now plans to take unpaid holiday to ensure she can do the training day as well as attending HOYS. “He doesn’t hot up and I just hope that he will cope with HOYS”, added Anne. “We are all speechlessly excited about our qualification. It really is a dream come true for me – I’ve been going to HOYS every year FOR EVER – and White City, Haringey & Wembley before that – but NEVER thought we’d actually RIDE there – and with my daughter on board too – what more can I ask. Thank you all and SEIB for making this opportunity available”, she said.

Fourth place went to Jade Lewis riding her own Stonehaven’s Bannon. Jade has owned the 8 year old coloured gelding for 4 years and bought him after having a fall from her 17hh warmblood. “I needed a smaller horse and I went with my mum, Clare Thomas to see “Beau” who was then a just broken 4 year old. He was raw, and not really what I was looking for, but mum just had a good feeling about him so I bought him. It was the best thing I ever did!”, enthused Jade, who decided to keep her big horse after all for her husband, Dan Owen, to ride. The pair like to do a bit of everything including showing, show jumping, hunter trials and hunting. “I took him to the Royal Welsh which is our nearest big show, for experience and he loved it. He loves going out!”, explained Jade. Jade had originally thought that he was a riding horse but the judges advised her that he is more of a hunter type. “It is every girl’s dream to go to HOYS and so we decided to give SFAS a try. I never really thought it would happen!”, said Jade, who works as a Disclosure Officer for South Wales Police.

Riding Horse/Hack
First place went to Hannah Chisman, 26, from Worcester, riding her own Nicene Creed, known as Micky. Hannah bought the 11 year old bay gelding off the racetrack in January 2015, with the intention of racing him in point to points. Family circumstances meant that he never made it to the track but she started to show him at local shows and did some ex-racehorse classes. They won the TARA In-Hand class at Aintree last year and stood reserve to Barbers Shop in the supreme championship. “He really is easy and straight forward. He just eats and sleeps most of the time. In the winter he hunts with the Ledbury or North Ledbury and he is a different horse then”, she laughed. Hannah was accompanied by her partner, Joe Whatmore, who despite not being a horsey person has been encouraged to get involved with looking after Mickey, turning his hand to mucking out and driving the lorry. “I even got an early night instead of going out to the pub so that we could get up at at 3am to come to the show”, he quipped. Hannah works as a full time nanny but is lucky enough to be able to keep Mickey, and her other 3 ex-racehorses, where she works. “It works well and I can fit in doing the horses around work”, she said. The pair will go back to Aintree to try to win back their title this year.

Second place went to Joyce Lomas, riding her own Powder King. The grey gelding started out in racing and was trained by Chris Bealby, but he did not settle to racing and after 2 runs in bumpers Joyce bought him as a 4 year old. Now 9, Charlie, as he is known at home, has learned to do other things. From a hunting and eventing background, Joyce started to event him at unaffiliated level and also tried some ex-racehorse show classes, winning at Midland counties to qualify for Hickstead. At Lincoln the pair won the Racehorse Challenge. “Showing is all a bit new to us, but he is getting the hang of it. He is brilliant at cross-country. We have jumping lessons here with Caroline Moore and it has taken time to control him after the fence. We have done a bit of dressage. Now I need to get out and about with him and do some more showing”, she explained. Joyce’s daughter is well-known former event rider Claire Lomas, who now spends a lot of time on fundraising activities following a paralysing fall and Joyce works with Claire and looking after her daughter.

There were tears of joy as first place went to Mary’s Delight, stable name “Conker”, owned and ridden by Daisy-May Drury, 18, from Wigan. The lovely grey is pure Connemara, by Matchmakers Lad out of Molly’s Delight and was imported to the UK as a youngster. Daisy has had the 8 year old grey gelding for 2 years and initially had him on loan. However, to her great surprise her mum and dad arranged the purchase of Conker for her 18th birthday. “He was a bit green to begin with, and last season we competed locally and we were always in the rosettes. This is our first proper season”, said a delighted Daisy-May. At home she enjoys hacking and going for a gallop in the fields with Conker. “We went to Osbaldeston in April, but he was a bit spooky. He puts so much trust in me and he has chilled out as the season has gone on. We won at UK showing and he was fine with the lights, clapping and audience in the evening performance – he loved it”, she enthused. “We decided to give SFAS another go after my friend, Elisha Melnyk, qualified at Stretcholt”, said Daisy. “We are best friends and a proper little team, helping each other out and supporting each other no matter what. It will be fantastic to go to HOYS together”, said Elisha. “I can’t believe we have qualified for HOYS, it doesn’t feel real!” added Daisy-May, who returns to college in September studying mechanical engineering and works part time for her father’s engineering business.

Second place went to Cadvalley Orpheous, known as Otto, ridden by Chloe Neve, 9, and owned by her grandma, Gill Neve. Chloe has been riding the 7 year old chestnut gelding for 12 months. “She had previously done lead rein and first ridden on her 11hh Dartmoor but she keeps growing and so she only did half a season in First Ridden before she moved on to Otto.”, said her mother, Boo Neve, who rode the pony herself in section B classes last year. “I wanted to make sure that he would behave, but he is so good that Chloe just took over. This is their first show hunter class and I think we will be doing more of this”, she enthused. Otto is a welsh section B, by the stallion Russetwood Elation out of Eaith Dovey and was bred by Yvonne Davis. So far Chloe has done some local pony club activities and a TSR master class. “We went to watch HOYS last year. It has been my dream to go to HOYS for ever”, said Boo. “Yvonne Davis will be so proud. He is so easy, a true child’s pony. Chloe is very nervous and he is quite a big pony after her 11hh Dartmoor”. Chloe is at school at Lionel Walden Primary School, Doddington, Cambs.

Show Hunter
This large class was split for initial judging, and in the final placing, first went to Helen Cowley riding her own Dragons Den. The 18.1hh bay gelding, known as MJ, was a late foal born in august and so has only just turned 6. Helen was looking for a working hunter and went to Belfast to see him last November. “He needs a bit of time but I think he will make a worker. He was doing some jumping in Ireland before I got him”, said Helen of her cheeky giant. “He is so clever, he has a combination lock on his stable to stop him opening it. He can open gates and loves toys – he plays with my son’s scooter over the stable door and tug of war on a rope with the dog! He has been known to play with the space hopper and our miniature sausage dog loves to chase him around the manage. It is all quite mad, but he is really a very sane horse and nothing bothers him”. Helen manages her horses around looking after her three children, Dorothy 7, Stanley 10, and Archie 13. “They all ride and come to the stables all the time”, added Helen. “You would not believe that this is his first ever show. He still has some growing to do and I don’t want to do too much with him. We will do a couple more shows and work on preparing him for HOYS, but I really think he is a next season horse”. Helen had a quick turnaround after the class as she also had her cob, Aero, entered in the next class. “It was a bit of a rush as we had to share a bridle”, she added.

Second place went to Sarita Schmid’s Purple Prince, ridden by Sarah Booth, 20, from Rotherham. Known as Cal, Sarah has had the 10 year old grey gelding for 4 years. Her friend, Sarita, bought KWPN cross Irish Sport Horse by Tadmus to hack out but he was really lacking in condition and needed some time. “Sarita lives in Surrey and so she gave him to me to look after. He resembled a thoroughbred, so we just hacked out until he got stronger”, said Sarah. Then one day she was taking her own youngster to a show and decided to take Cal along to fill the lorry. “He ended up winning the ridden hunter championship and the supreme sport horse championship. That was 3 years ago and we continued to do local shows for another 2 years”, she explained. The pair won numerous local shows and took the Trailblazers Hunter championship for 2 years running and the open championship last year. They stepped up this year and have competed in novice classes at Rydale and Lincoln and the HOYS qualifier at the Festival of Hunting. “We decided to give SFAS a go, and I really can’t believe that we have qualified!”, said Sarah, who works full time doing mucking out at a riding school. “He is a big softie, anyone can ride him he is so good”, she said.

Helen Cowley was on a roll, taking the top spot with her cob, Aero, known as George at home. “I’ve only had him 9 weeks and I’ve never had a cob before. He is a complete contrast to MJ. I took him to a TSR show and they said I should clip him out properly, take off all his mane and clip his legs. We went to the Area 15 show and came 5th and first amateur”, said a delighted Helen. As SFAS Rules only allow competitors to enter one final at HOYS, Helen had a difficult decision to make, but decided she would take the hunter, Dragons Den. Helen was assisted by her good friend, Lindy Winship. “I have known Helen since she was 8 years old and we are the best of friends. I spotted her at a local show and asked if she would ride my pony”, explained Lindy. The partnership went well and Helen went on to become Junior Side Saddle Rider of the Year. “We have had such a lovely day, I can’t believe it!” added Helen, who runs her own business as an International Fashion Stylist and fits in work around doing the horses and looking after her 3 children. Under SFAS rules, riders may only have one entry at HOYS and Helen decided that she would take her hunter, Dragons Den.

Second place went to Abigail Dawe, 24, riding Dawn Howells’ The Gatekeeper. The 7 year old bay gelding was bought as a hack for Dawn and she still hacks him out but Abi has had him on loan for the past 4 years. As he was only three, Abi started to do some work to help educate him and he just got better and better. “I thought he might do some showing, so we decided to give it a go, but he does a bit of everything, x-country, jumping, hacking and goes to the beach. He looks after my ex-racehorse, and I also have a retired mare and a mini show cob”, explained Abi, who does Mucking out at Gravelbank Arabians to pay for the horses. They got 6th at Osbaldeston last year but missed it this year. They do riding club shows and some local dressage. “he is very chilled, but cheeky! Mugs you for food, and finds anything to play with. Abi had a successful day at Vale View as her ex-racehorse made it through to the final judging from a huge entry in the Racehorse to Riding Horse class at the end of the day.

Third place and claiming the second qualifying ticket in the Cob class was Ruth Minton riding Alison Lovatt’s 9 year old, Teddy Blu, from Stone, Staffordshire. Alison has owned Teddy for 5 years. The striking chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail originally came from Ireland and was sold through Goresbridge sales as a 4 year old. Alison took him on as a hunter and has hunted with the Albrighton Woodland regularly since then. “We were just looking for something to do in the summer and decided to have a go at showing”, said a delighted Alison. “Several people had said what a lovely cob, which I thought was a rude thing to say about my hunter! Initially I did a hunter class with him, and the judge confirmed their thoughts, suggesting that we should have a go a maxi-cob classes”, she laughed. Alison and Ruth are lifelong friends having grown up together doing local shows. “I mentioned him to Ruth and she encouraged me to have another go at showing. She is such a good rider and so we agreed she would ride him. So his lovely mane had to come off and we trimmed him up and took him to Stafford Riding Club show to see if we were going in the right direction and he won the class. Then we went to Newport show where he was pulled in first but dropped down as we still had work to do on the ride, but the judge really liked him”, explained Alison. They then decided to have a go at SFAS and were delighted with their result. “We are both chuffed to bits. It is so exciting that we will be going to HOYS”, said Alison, who works as a solicitor. “Show jumping was always my thing, and I once managed to get a horse through to the second round of the Foxhunters – but that was 30 years ago!”, she laughed. Ruth and Teddy with do some more local shows and the SFAS training day before heading to HOYS.

Results – Vale View
These are the class results on the day, but they may not all qualify for HOYS due to passport irregularities or at the judge’s discretion or where the same rider has qualified twice or where the horse or rider do not meet all eligibility requirements.

1st Faerie Salakadu owned and ridden by Georgina Teece
2nd Kerannen Brynn, owned and ridden by Jenny Eyton-Jones
3rd Kaspier Lad owned by Mandy Hickling and ridden by Anna Hickling
4th Cool Cat, owned and ridden by Isabel Barker (clear)

Riding Club Show Horse
1st Roos Dead Ringer, owned and ridden by Sammy Clare
2nd Kerannen Brynn, owned and ridden by Jenny Eyton-Jones
3rd Kass, owned by Anne Cooper and ridden by Harriet Cooper
4th Stonehavens Bannon owned and ridden by Jade Lewis

Riding Horse/Hack
1st Nicene Creed, owned and ridden by Hannah Chisman
2nd Powder King owned and ridden by Joyce Lomas
3rd Roslin Star Attraction, owned and ridden by Leanne Oliver
4th Lansmoor Lucy Locket, owned and ridden by Sarah Horton

1st Mary’s Delight, owned and ridden by Daisy-May Drury
2nd Cadlanvalley Orpheus, owned by Gill Neve and ridden by Chloe Perry-Neve
3rd Twighlight True Romeo, owned by Julie Lindsay and ridden by Megan McDade

Show Hunter

1st Dragons Den, owned and ridden by Helen Cowley
2nd Purple Prince, owned by Sarita Schmid and ridden by Sarah Booth
3rd Shirley’s Downtown, owned by Lisa Naylor and ridden by Alexandra Naylor

1st Aero owned and ridden by Helen Cowley
2nd The Gate Keeper owned by Dawn Howles and ridden by Abigail Smith Dawe
3rd Teddy Blu owned by Alison Lovatt and ridden by Ruth Minton