SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship

29 May 2018 9:34


SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship qualifier at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre

The second qualifier for the new SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship took place at the stunning Stretcholt Equestrian Centre in North Somerset on the 20th May. Three riders in the qualifier went home with a ticket to the exciting finals to be held at Your Horse Live on the 9th November 2018.

The SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship is open to pure-bred Mountain and Moorland ponies ridden by amateur riders. Both the qualifying classes and the SEIB Mountain and Moorland Championship are to be judged 50% on conformation and 50% on performance. The classes are open to riders aged 12 years-old and above. 

Dales pony, Lowhouses Chesney, owned and ridden by Kirstie Hinton won the M&M’s at Stretcholt to qualify for the finals. Kirstie said: “I was so nervous before the class. I have wanted to do Search for a Star for so long and it is great that there is now this new M&M class that Boris and I can have a go in.” All of Kirstie’s family attended Stretcholt to lend their support, she grew up doing M&M classes and then showed a hunter for a few years. Kirstie continued: “Boris was meant to be my mum’s pony, we saw him and fell straight in love with him and he has now become mine.” Family friend, Beth Reid – who also won the grooms prize at Stretcholt - will ride Boris at the Bath and West Show – it will be her first go in the junior M&M class. Kirstie added: “Boris lives to go to shows, he has no interest in hacking out, although we did go the beach a few weeks ago and he loved that.” Kirstie works in the office at Super Pro rally car parts.

In 2nd place was chiropractor, Emma Staton riding her New Forest pony, Buckland Romantic. Emma said: “Kara went really well in the class and the judges made some lovely, positive comments about her. We have only just really started showing so it is brilliant to have qualified for this exciting new championship at our first attempt.” Dressage has been the main focus for this pair who have recently competed at elementary level at the regionals and are hoping to move up to medium later in the year. Emma continued: “I set out to buy a New Forest pony to breed from, but that seems to have been put on hold – for at least the time being. Kara came direct from the Buckland Stud in the New Forest and she spent her first eighteen months or so running on the forest.” Emma runs her Chiropractic business, Gilbert’s Coombe Chiropractic Clinic in Cornwall which treats both humans and animals.

Former showjumper, and wife of former international rugby player, Phil Vickery, Katie Vickery took 3rd place in the Mountain and Moorland’s at Stretcholt with her striking Connemara, Maicin Funambule. Katie said: “I can’t believe we have qualified for the championship, we have never done showing before but decided to give it a go! We do plenty of other things including some novice dressage and BE90 eventing.” The pair also took 4th place in the Working Pony class earlier in the day at Stretcholt. Katie bought Maicin Funambule from Ireland two-years-ago, before this she showjumped to foxhunter level. She added: “I have two children and my focus is now on having some fun with the horses when time allows.”

Jane Cooper and Jackie Beatham judged the Mountain and Moorland Stretcholt qualifier. Jackie was particularly delighted with the standard of entries. She said: “The three ponies we put through to the final were all beautifully schooled and in natural self-carriage with freedom of movement within their breed types. The first two could easily hold their own in open classes. I think it is wonderful that SEIB has fairly strict rules on the type of bits permitted into their rules. It is a joy to judge ponies that are wearing non-leverage bits. I think this new class has a definite future and will take off.”

SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “We are truly delighted to be able to give amateur Mountain and Moorland enthusiasts the opportunity to compete for a national showing title. SEIB are committed to putting on professionally run competitions for amateur riders. Search for a Star is now in its 22nd year and we are continually looking at ways to include more riders in the series and help them achieve their dreams”. 

The further qualifiers for the 2018 SEIB Mountain and Moorland Championship Search for a Star series will be held at:

Bury Farm Equestrian, Buckinghamshire, LU7 9BT – 10th June

Alnwick Ford Equestrian, Northumberland, NE65 8EQ – 8th July

Vale View Equestrian Centre, Leicestershire, LE14 3LX – 5th August

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more.   The company has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting equestrian events and activities. 

For full details, rules and entry forms visit www.search4astar.org.uk and follow the link to the Mountain and Moorland Championship. Find SEIB Search for a Star on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SEIB.Search4AStar.

For insurance queries visit www.seib.co.uk or call 01708 850000.

Photo credit: SMR Photos