A former international showjumper, a working Highland who nearly died of colic and the first Shire to compete in a Your Horse Live final were among the horses and ponies crowned Search for a Star in-hand champions at Stoneleigh Park earlier today (11 November).

Twenty four-year-old Randall IV won the SEIB Search for a Star In-hand Veteran Championship, impressing judges Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence, with his “fantastic condition”, describing him as an “amazing mover”. His owner and handler Lucy Ashworth, from Oxfordshire, was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer in November, and said it was “just brilliant to have got her life back a bit”.

Credit: SMR Photography

Runner-up in this class was 18-year-old British riding pony Woodview Ingot, owned and exhibited by Hollie Thomas from Redditch. Chris described him as a “beautiful pony with really good presence” who was “really well turned out”. Third was 26-year-old Midnight’s Magic, owned by Gemma Hoe and exhibited by Donna Hoe from St Helens. Larry, as he is known at home, is a “real character”, according to the Hoes.

The SEIB Search for a Star In-hand Mountain and Moorland Championship was a hotly-contested class, won by working Highland Lachlann of Croila Croft, owned and shown by Judith Hogg from Crieff. The five-year-old remained cool and calm in the ring, despite only being backed in spring. He suffered a serious bout of colic last winter, but now is a picture of health. Katie described him as “a little power house” with a “lovely kind eye”.

Credit: SMR Photography

Welsh section A Amilas Slumberdown was runner up, owned by Jo Stewart and exhibited by Michelle Prentice from Hertfordshire. Chris said the gelding “looked as if he would be everyone’s best friend”. Third was Dartmoor Collstone Perfect Storm, with owner Jamie Clarke from Birmingham. Matthew said the mare was a “nice easy mover”.

A Shire mare, who was the first to qualify for a Your Horse Live final, was crowned champion in the SEIB Search for a Star In-hand Native and Traditional Champion. Milnerfield Lady Isabelle was exhibited by her owner Lucy Parr from West Yorkshire. Katie said she was looking forward to seeing the “really lovely” eight-year-old under saddle.

Credit: SMR Photography

A World Horse Welfare rescue pony called Paolo was second and judges applauded his “beautiful condition”. Owned and exhibited by Grace Willis from Essex, Paolo’s mother was rescued by the charity when she was in foal with him. Grace fell in love with him when he came to visit Writtle College where she was studying. Placed third was Razzle Dazzle Them, a skewbald gelding, owned by Sue Baker and handled by Brooke Baker, from West Sussex. Harry, as he is known at home, appeared to be enjoying the experience, and the judges complemented his “fabulous hair and feather” and said he was very active in his way of going.

‘Look-at-me factor’

A mare “full of quality” with a “real look-at-me factor” was crowned winner of the SEIB Search for a Star In-hand Plaited Horse or Hogged Show Cob Championship. Port Lou Lou, owned by Kirsty Wilson and exhibited by Finn Williamson from Cheshire ,also competed at Horse of the Year Show this year where they were placed sixth in the riding horse hack final. Katie said she was a “picture of health”.

Credit: SMR Photography

Next in the line up was West Country Samurai, known as Sonny at home. The five-year-old, owned and exhibited by Suzi Ayres from Blairgowrie, remained very relaxed despite the buzzy atmosphere. He was followed by third-placed Randall IV, the winner of the in-hand veteran, again with Lucy Ashworth.

A part-bred Welsh took the top spot in the SEIB Search for a Star In-hand Plaited Pony Championship. Ryehall Petit Ami, owned by Lisa Hayyez, performed perfectly, according to Katie. Second went to Romano Small Talk, a four-year-old mare owned by Karen Watson and exhibited by Aaliyah Watson, and third was Rhos Elodie a British riding pony owned and exhibited by Sam Crutchlow.

Credit: SMR Photography

Reports from the SEIB Search for a Star ridden championships at Your Horse Live to follow.

Lead image by SMR Photos

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