Following a bumper season in 2022, the SEIB Search for a Star series is well set for the year ahead. The amateur showing series will include a new heavy horse in-hand series for 2023, as well as a new £500 cash prize for the winner of the veteran championship, following the success of the class last year.

New for the 2023 running of the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse series is an amateur only competition, run by The Showing Register (TSR) on 15 July. This qualifying class for the Racehorse to Riding Horse championship has two tickets for the Horse of the Year Show final to be awarded.

Following discussions with the Pony Club this class has adapted too, with the first ridden class pony height increased to 138cms to give more children a chance to compete in the series.

Crowning stars

Search for a Star first took place in 1996 and since then has provided thousands of opportunities for amateur riders to compete at championship shows with many going on to compete with success in open classes.

Each of the SEIB Search for a Star 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.

The 2023 SEIB Search for a Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifying shows will take place as follows:

  • Sunday 23 April, 2023 at Vale View Equestrian Centre, Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 3LX.
  • Saturday 3 June, 2023 (Search for a Star workshop) and Sunday 4 June, 2023 (qualifying competition) at Netherton Equestrian Centre, Netherton Farm, Aberargie, Perthshire, PH2 9NE, Perth, Scotland.
  • July, 2023 – date and venue TBC – Northern Ireland (Pony Club only).
  • Friday, 14 July 2023 (Search for a Star workshop) and Saturday 15 July, 2023 (qualifying competition) at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ – courtesy of The Showing Register (TSR) Championship.
  • Wednesday 2 August, 2023 at Arena UK, Allington Lane, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2EF – courtesy of Equifest.
  • Saturday 12 August, 2023 at Brendon Stud, Haresdean Farm, Pyecombe, Brighton BN45 7EG.
  • Saturday 19 August, 2023 at The Pony Club Championships at Offchurch Bury, Warwickshire CV33 9AR. (Pony Club only).
  • Sunday 3 September, 2023 at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Burghley House, Burghley Park, Stamford PE9 3JY. (SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse only).

Search for a Star classes with finals at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) include: hacks, hunters, working pony, working horses, riding horses, traditional gypsy cobs (of any colour), show cobs, and the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse final.

Championship finals at Your Horse Live in Search for a Star include: ridden open veterans, Pony Club horses and ponies, mountain and moorlands and for in-hand horses and ponies; heavy horse, plaited horse, plaited pony, mountain and moorland and veteran.

Expert advice

The SEIB Search for a Star judges and stewards will be on hand to help and mentor all competitors at qualifying shows. In addition to this Search for a Star has two ‘Weekender’ events planned for 2023. These will include a day of training followed by a full qualifying show for both Horse of the Year Show and Your Horse Live, one in Scotland and one in England.

Last year a Shire qualified for the Your Horse Live Search for a Star championships and to celebrate this success we have created a class for heavy horse breeds,” said SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie. “We are looking forward to seeing more Shires, plus Suffolks, Clydesdales and maybe a continental heavy draft horse or two competing in Search for a Star. The addition of the £500 first prize in the open veteran finals will add an extra dimension to this class.

“We are delighted to have secured the opportunity to take two more horses forward to the Racehorse to Riding Horse HOYS championship. We have long listened to our competitors in the class and these two extra places will be only open to strictly amateur riders and their thoroughbreds.”

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