Welsh ponies dominate in SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland qualifier

Lois Hunt and Llanarth Red Bull

Lois Hunt and Llanarth Red Bull

The Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland qualifiers at Greenlands Equestrian Centre, Carlisle on 7 July proved popular at this new venue for the competition. Three out of the four ponies qualifying were Welsh Pony and Cob Society registered. 

Lois Hunt from Wrightington near Wigan rode her Welsh Section D gelding, Llanarth Red Bull (aka Rebel) to victory in the Large Mountain and Moorland class. 

Lois works as cabin crew for Thomas Cook. She said: “I had just got back in from Los Angeles the day before Greenlands so I am delighted at how well Rebel went.”

She shares Rebel with her mum Dawn. Lois goes out showing with him and Dawn competes in local riding club competitions. 

Taking runner-up spot in the large breeds at Greenlands was Gillian Ridding with her own Fell pony, Deepghyll Lucky Touch. Gillian said: “Lucky was great at Search for a Star, I am delighted to have qualified. We have just started going to the bigger shows this season and saw that Search for a Star was on so we decided to give it a go to gain experience.” 

Gillian shares Lucky with her daughter Izzy with whom Lucky competes in junior Mountain and Moorland classes and pony club activities.

Ten-year-old Ava Dodgson from Thornaby-on-Tees rode her mother’s Welsh section A pony, Casford Diablo to a win in the small breeds class. Ava’s mum, Emily, said: “We nearly didn’t go to Search for a Star at the last minute as our wagon had broken down and I was going to have to pay for transport for a four-hour journey each way. We are delighted that we did decide to go in the end though!”

Emily bought Diablo unseen from Wales as a youngster, she explained: “I did think, ‘what have I done’, when we couldn’t get near him for the first six months we owned him. He has been brilliant though and Ava has done everything with him. This is the first time we have been to Search for a Star and we loved the environment, it was so nice and relaxed.”  

The runner-up spot in the Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland small breeds class went to Lexi McSherry riding her mum’s Welsh section A, Marons Masterpiece. Mum, Sylvia, is a former Search for a Star finalist herself, she said: “I entered and won the very first qualifier at Gleneagles with my riding horse, Lucky Lad in 1996.  When we were told about the Search for a Star coming to Greenlands by a friend, Lexi was so excited to have a go, especially when I told her about myself winning the qualifier all those years ago.” 

 All the qualifiers now go through to the championship at Your Horse Live.

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