There were some great entries in the Mountain and Moorland qualifier at Vale View Equestrian centre in early August. This was the last qualifier for the Your Horse Live 2018 SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland final, which will be held at the event at Stoneleigh on 9 November. The class was judged by Paul Cook and Louise Gaunt. Paul said: "It was fascinating to see this new Search for a Star class. It's such a great way of encouraging people to start showing their native ponies. We are looking for ponies to perform to the breed standard and to be of the correct type for the breed standard. The British Show Pony Society website has a very helpful - and downloadable - section on native breed types and trimming requirements. I would also suggest for anyone that is unsure, that watching what the professional Mountain and Moorland producers do at a show is always time well spent when it comes to turnout."
Rebecca Giles and her own Connemara pony, seven-year-old, Lochan Beag Rogaire won the class. Rebecca said: “This is the first flat class that Finn and I have done, he went brilliantly! it's great to have qualified for this new final. I bought Finn from Ireland as a three-year-old to bring on and sell, but I totally fell in love with him and so he is here to stay. We have done lots of working hunter pony classes and have competed in British Eventing up to Novice level. I'm going to spend some time on really concentrating on Finn. My absolute aim is to qualify him for HOYS in the M&M working hunter pony classes.” Rebecca works as a Class 1 HGV driver, transporting livestock for her father’s livestock business, she is also a part-time swimming instructor. She added: “Finn is a proper allrounder and after the Search for a Star finals at Your Horse Live will spend the winter out hunting.”
Molly Broadley from Wolverhampton took second place with her own Highland gelding, Dexter of Rocklea. Molly has owned Dexter for just six months, she said: “Heartbreakingly, I lost my traditional gypsy cob two days before Christmas 2017. We had been to Search for a Star twice for the working pony class. This made it a potentially very difficult day to take Dexter to the qualifier at the same venue I’d taken my old boy to. Dexter is just six and I’ve worked very hard with him in the six months of owning him. We only went to Vale View for some experience so I was totally overwhelmed and shocked when we were pulled in second. I cannot wait for Your Horse Live, it is a massive dream come true.”
In third place in the class was Karen Badrick and her Welsh Section D gelding, Sheir Whisky. Karen said: “I am really pleased with our result at Search for a Star, it is the first time we have gone and we only went along for the experience. To have qualified is just great. The feedback from the judges was lovely, they commented that he was a really good weight and a nice horse.” Karen has owned Sheir Whisky for two and a half years, she continued: “I bought him unbroken to get going and sell on, but he has turned out to be an absolute superstar – he definitely has a home for life! We have been out showing at county level and Sheir Whisky just gets better every time out. He will definitely be wrapped up in cotton wool between now and the Search for a Star championships.”
Class sponsors SEIB has an ongoing commitment to ethical showing, including making every effort to wipe out the use of prohibited substances and encouraging fit not fat horses into the show-ring. Baileys Horse Feeds attended the qualifier at Vale View with their equine weighbridge and a trained nutritionist to help educate competitors.
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