The SEIB Search for a Star supreme champion was crowned today (12 November) at Your Horse Live following months of qualifiers and competitions. The top spot was awarded to the Pony Club Lead Rein champion, Thistledown Elpaso, owned by Heather Hiscox and ridden by her daughter Emily.

Known at home as ‘Elvis’, the pony garnered plenty of praise from judges Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence for his impeccable manners.

“The handler was completely independent with her right hand,” observed Katie. “The jockey is doing all the work, which is really nice to see. The handler is there to assist if needed, but this is all about training them for the future to move on to their first ridden pony.”

Both Heather and Emily were shocked when they were called forward as supreme champions.

“One was unexpected, but two! We came on Thursday for a practise, and then every day we’ve taken him home and let him go in the field so he’s needed re-washing everyday,” said Heather, who lives locally in Warwickshire. “We woke up at 5:30am, and the first thing Emily asked me was ‘is the lorry packed?'”

Emily’s big moment. Credit: SMR Photography

Emily wowed the crowd when she stood up on the saddle at the end of her individual show, having yesterday performed a round-the-world. When asked if she’d practised for the big moment, Emily revealed she’d only done it once before.

“She did it at Pony Club,” said Heather. “When we did the round-the-world yesterday, she said ‘Mummy, I want to stand up’ and I said ‘oh no Emily, I don’t think we should do that’ and she said ‘come on Mummy, let me stand up’. It was her idea. I thought you know what, we’re only going to do it once, so why not?”

Emily, who is a member of the North Warwickshire Pony Club, is keen to move on to new ventures following her showing success.

“I want to learn to do vaulting,” she said.

‘An absolute picture’

Credit: SMR Photography

Reserve champion went to Port Lou Lou, owned by Kirsty Wilson and exhibited by Finn Williamson. The mare won the In-Hand Plaited Horse or Hogged Show Cob champion yesterday (11 November). Roxy, as the mare is known at home, and Finn are no strangers to securing a top spot in the ring. They won STARS in 2021, and also went to HOYS SEIB Riding Horse this year.

“It’s a credit to the person who’s leading her today because she looks an absolute picture,” said Katie. “I’d be really happy to ride her myself, she’s absolutely lovely and performed beautifully today.”

The 10-year-old mare is relatively new to showing, having had three foals before beginning her career in the ring.

“It was really good,” said 15-year-old Finn. “I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

When asked how the pair will celebrate, Finn explained it would be a restful one.

“She’ll go back to chill in the field and I’ll sleep!” he said.

Lead image by SMR Photography

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