The 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River has qualified for the SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) championship at his first attempt on 27 May at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. It is Native River’s first full season in the show ring with his amateur showing rider, Emma Vine.

Native River and Emma took runner-up spot in a competitive Search for a Star Riding Horse class to earn their HOYS ticket, the class was judged by Nicki Taylor and Samantha DeCaprio. The class was won by another ex-racehorse, Polydamos ridden by Katy Llewellyn.

Native River is owned by former jockey turned bloodstock agent Tom Malone and Anne and Garth Broome. His rider Emma works for Tom and mainly competes in showjumping making showing a new venture for both members of this

“Native River lives at Tom’s yard where I work,” Emma said. “It was always the plan for him to go showing when he retired from racing. He is a natural at it and loves it!

“He has an amazing temperament and since his retirement from the racetrack has done everything from opening a jewellery shop in Bond Street to taking his owners’ daughter to her school prom. He is an absolute gentleman and I’m delighted to get to ride him every day.”

Emma and Native River were accompanied to Stoneleigh on the day by former jockey, Jessica Westwood.

“I’m so grateful to have Jess along with us today,” said Emma. “We did the Search for a Star class as a warm-up for the Racehorse to Riding Horse class later in the day.”

Native River and Emma took fifth place in the amateur only Racehorse to Riding Horse class at Stoneleigh. Jessica was a former SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse finalist with her own horse, Monkerty Tunkerty.

During his racing days Native River won over £1 million in prize money and was ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson in many of his races. The now fourteen-year-old gelding was trained by Colin Tizzard in Somerset before retiring to Tom Malone’s yard in neighbouring Devon.

SEIB Search for a Star first took place in 1996. Each of the qualifying shows offers opportunities for a full range of show horses to earn a place at the series championships at Horse of the Year Show and Your Horse Live.

Lead image of Native River and Emma Vine at SEIB Search for a Star at Stoneleigh Park on 27 May, 2024

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