Fleetwater Xecutive (Hack), owned and ridden by Jordan Cook
Mister D’Arcy, owned and ridden by Melanie Baker
The 2007 South Essex Insurance Brokers Search For A Star Championship reached a thrilling climax at the Horse of the Year Show when the hack, Fleetwater Executive, took the Supreme title with the lovely show hunter, Mister D’Arcy, standing reserve.
Fleetwater Executive, an 8 year old by Pascal out of Fleetwater Xenushka, owned and ridden by Jordan Cook, gave a sparkling performance in his individual show to clinch the win in his first season showing. Bought by Jordan’s mother as a Christmas present, the horse had originally arrived as a problem horse to be re-schooled but Jordan really took to him. In preparation for HOYS they have been to shows with evening performances to get used to the atmosphere and this paid off as they took the big occasion in their stride. “Getting to HOYS was a dream come true and it really has been the experience of a lifetime. I am really shocked to win, but I love this show and will definitely try to come back in open classes”, said a delighted Jordan who now works in retail and as a part time fashion model. “He has worked really hard to get here and has to rely on friends to help out”, said Dena King, a friend, mentor and the driver who provides Jordan with transport to shows.
The reserve went to the 4 year old Show Hunter, Mister D’Arcy, owned and ridden by Melanie Baker, who combines looking after her horse with working as a police officer. Melanie bought the horse in January and backed him herself. “We had done one local show before the qualifier and we just went along for the experience. I got some help from my instructor and had to borrow the right clothes and learn how to do the quarter markings. He has been such a good boy and to achieve this is just amazing”, she said.
The SEIB Search For A Star Final in the international arena was the culmination of a week that that brought tears of joy to the faces of several winners. The championships got off to a tremendous start when the Cob title was taken by Sam Cook and her 8 year old mare, Calamity Jane. “Tia”, as she is known at home, was rescued 4 years ago, in foal and in a very poor state, and after being nursed by Mill House Animal Sanctuary in Sheffield she was adopted by Sam. Now they do mainly showing and hacking and Tia is “bomb-proof”, said a delighted Sam. Second place went to the impressive dun, Bilbo II, owned and ridden by Georgina Blantern.
The Riding Club Show Horse class saw another quality line-up but the home-bred Kipper, a 6 year old owned and ridden by Mary Abrahams, stood out to take the title. Mary had worked hard to prepare the horse for the HOYS atmosphere and Kipper displayed exemplary manners throughout the proceedings. “He does a bit of everything and has given me back my confidence jumping. To win here is just fantastic – It is my birthday next week and I couldn’t have had a better present!” said Mary. Second place went to the 7 year old skewbald, Lets Boogie, owned and ridden by Amanda Hollis.
A spooky course posed no problems for Hudson Bay, who took the Working Hunter title in fine style, a good reflection of his experience as a regular hunter with the Beaufort with owner, Abigail Bingley. By the Irish Draught stallion, Dancing Boy, this horse has proved to be a great all-rounder competing in pre-novice events, dressage and showjumping, ridden by Toby Blake. Oldspringfield Starlyquin took second place, owned by Mr D Moore and ridden by Rebecca Hanson.
The Ponies section was as popular as ever with Mrs Nicky Harris’s Classic Consort taking Show Hunter Pony section ridden by daughter, Ffleur, having travelled from the Isle of Wight. This was a poignant win for the family as it was exactly a year ago when the pony suffered a fractured hind leg as a result of a kick. The prognosis was not good but 8 year old Ffleur remained positive and nursed her pony through 6 months of box rest. “This has been a wonderful introduction and Fleur really enjoyed it. She had a huge grin on her face all the time she was in the ring and we had no expectations. To win was just wonderful”, said Nicky. “Ffleur does her pony after school and we often have early starts to catch the Wight Link ferry to the mainland, travelling to shows in our car and trailer and often sleeping in the back of the car!”
The Show Pony section was taken by Murrum Park Phantom who was foot perfect throughout, owned and ridden by Miss Kate Marfleet. This pony was re-imported to the UK when the family returned after living in Australia. “This has been such an exciting week, Phanty did nothing wrong, we are so pleased”, said Kate’s mother, Amanda Marfleet, who made it a family occasion as she was also competing in the Cob section of Search for a Star.
Meacham Morocco took the riding horse section for owner rider, Stephanie Murray. Stephanie bought the 6 year old as a yearling and backed and produced him herself. “Getting to HOYS has been a lifelong ambition and this class is a fantastic opportunity for ordinary riders like me to compete at such a big show. We have been doing riding club events to prepare as I was warned about the atmosphere, and he sometimes doesn’t like the tannoy, but today he was really grown up”, said Stephanie.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Search For A Star, a birthday presentation was made following the Championship to South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) Marketing Manager, Nicky MacKenzie. Search for a Star was instigated by SEIB with the aim of finding horses that had never been shown before and turn them into stars. During the qualifying shows, riders often do not realise how good their horse could be and the judges encourage them with help and advice on how to improve their turnout and horse’s way of going. At the final, the judges give a commentary on each horse during the class, and this has proved popular with the audience.
The conformation judges at HOYS were Robert Oliver and Marjorie Ramsay and Clare Oliver judged the ride. “The competitors in this class have done so much homework and every year the standard improves”, said Robert, who has been involved in the series since its inception. “The support and interest in this class is amazing, and the stands were full throughout the preliminary judging. Search For A Star is talked about throughout the horse world and we get a lot of support from SEIB. There is a lovely feeling that everyone is working for the same thing and I am very pleased to be a part of it”, he said. South Essex Insurance Brokers, a leading specialist equestrian insurer, believes in putting something back in to the horse world. As well as initiatives to encourage grass roots competitors they also sponsor the Racehorse To Riding Horse Championship and finals at HOYS, and run an Racehorse to Riding Horse Performance Awards, an accumulator competition for ex-racehorses who can earn points in various disciplines.
2007 FULL RESULTS
1. Calamity Jane II, owned and ridden by Miss Sam Smith
2. Bilbo II, Owned and ridden by Mrs Georgina Blantern
3. Louis II, owned and ridden by Miss Nicole Padmore
4. Pebby Cobweb, owned and ridden by Clare Simper
5. Toastie Tom, owned by Mr Philip Wright and ridden by Joanna Wright
Riding Club Show Horses
1. Kipper, owned and ridden by Mrs Mary Abrahams
2. Lets Boogie, owned and ridden by Amanda Hollis
3. Elizabeth II, owned and ridden by Dr Sophia Ahmed
4. Fairsashas Pride, owned and ridden by Miss Laura Rose
5. The Image Maker, owned by Julia Shearwood and ridden by Rebecca Mawer
1. Hudson Bay, owned by Mrs Abigail Bingley and ridden by Toby Blake
2. Oldspringfield Starlyquin, owned by Mr D Moore and ridden by Rebecca Hanson
3. Valerian, owned and ridden by Miss Harriet Martin
4. Ultimate Experience, owned by Mrs Evelyn Mayhew and ridden by Charlene Goudkill
5. Firesong, owned and ridden by Miss Kerry Osbourne-Smith
6. Fifi Trixibelle, owned by Mrs Janet Duffy and ridden by Terri Hill
7. Jack, owned by Mr R Chadwick and ridden by Terry Johns
8. Fergus, owned by Sally Ginley and ridden by Jemma Gabb
1. Classic Consort (Show Hunter Pony), owned by Mrs N Harris and ridden by Fleur Harris
1. Murrum Park Phantom (Show Pony), owned and ridden by Miss Kate Marfleet
3. Harwell Simasola, owned by Jane Gallimore and ridden by Henrietta Windsor-Phillips
4. Yealand Desdemona, owned by Mrs D Alty and ridden by Miss Abbie Alty
5. Queensdale Flamenco, owned by Mrs J E Corcoran and ridden by Zoe Corcoran
6. Silent Whisper, owned by Gina Morton and ridden by Leah Morton
1. Meacham Morocco (Riding Horse), owned and ridden by Stephanie Murray
1. Fleetwater Xecutive (Hack), owned and ridden by Jordan Cook
3. Poachers Pride, owned by Mrs S Howells and ridden by Charlotte Mills
4. Regardez Moi, owned by Mrs Linda Alexandroff and ridden by James Hunton
5. Garthstone High Society, owned and ridden by Miss Claire Liney
6. State of Play, owned and ridden by Mrs Linda Lawry
1. Mister D’Arcy, owned and ridden by Melanie Baker
2. College Galileo, owned and ridden by Mr Peter Rouse
3. Ducal Royal Emblem, owned by Mr K J Moore and ridden by Hilary Green
4. Noble Pride II, owned and ridden by Miss Louise Marriott
5. Dulverton Jingle, owned and ridden by Miss Emma Beswick
Sunday July 15 – Addington Manor Equestrian Centre
Saturday July 7 – Hand Equestrian Centre
Sunday June 17 – Unex Towerlands
Sunday June 10 – Arena UK
Sunday May 20 – Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre