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Some Thoughts From The Organisers

Sadly, it has become necessary for me to put pen to paper and explain to anyone wanting to compete in the SEIB Search for a Star that rules are rules and any breach will not be tolerated. If you are a true amateur and fall within the rules we will bend over backwards to help you fulfil your dream, so please do not let these comments put you off. In fact, they should give you a good reason to come along and have a go as the SEIB Search for a Star competition provides a level playing field.
I must start by saying we will not bend the rules for anyone – ever, so please don’t think if you ask nicely everything will be ok, if your paperwork is not in order – it won’t be!

Everyone involved in Search for a Star works very hard to make the experience the best it can be. Judges, stewards and the secretary give up their time willingly to give everyone a good day out.

First and foremost, please read the rules; “I didn’t realise” does not cut it. You confirm on the entry form that you have read and understood the rules – so please do!

If the judges say that your horse is not Horse of the Year Show type, please don’t take it personally but think about all the other wonderful things you can do with your horse, don’t take it as slight but as good honest advice. Save your money and choose a new discipline.

If you qualify for Horse of the Year Show, please make sure your vaccinations are up to date as you won’t get through the gates if they aren’t right. Ask your vet to check them.

Search for a Star entries may look expensive but a large proportion of the fee goes to Horse of the Year Show to pay for the final and there is no need to register the owner, rider or horse with any organisation which can be costly.

Please be aware that if the passport for the horse that qualifies for HOYS does not have the same name of horse and owner as submitted on the entry form you will be disqualified. Please do not think you can plead or cry and it will be all ok, because it won’t be, rules are rules. Word of advice –check that your passport is correct before you enter the SEIB Search for a Star competition.

An Even More Difficult Subject….

Now to the thorny subject of eligibility. The horse world is very small and if, for example, you are not the owner of the horse, if you have set yourself up as a judge or producer in a past life, if you have taught people to show horses or schooled show horses for remuneration of any kind (even if this has not been commercially viable) we will hear about it and you are NOT eligible. If you have been to HOYS within the restricted time with a show horse, even in Search for a Star, you are NOT eligible on the same horse or any other.

Those who get disqualified don’t just lose their place at Horse of the Year Show but they take the glory of qualification from those that take their place. It is unfair and unnecessary.

It is your responsibility to read the rules and if you feel you are not eligible then you probably aren’t – please remember there is a very relevant ‘spirit of the competition’ rule. The SEIB Search for a Star competition gives competitors a wonderful opportunity to compete at Horse of the Year Show and to have the best advice from the best in the business. With this help and advice once you have been to HOYS you should have the ammunition to compete in open classes and cannot compete in Search for a Star again.

The organisers are not responsible for vetting every entry form; we must trust our competitors and only take action if a problem is highlighted to us. This applies only to professionals involved in showing; if you have been involved in dressage, eventing or show jumping it is not an issue. Competitors and interested parties sometimes get confused by this ruling, but we are quite clear on this subject. Showing is a completely different discipline and is acknowledged by the organisers as such.

There is a new rule for 2016. This, sadly, has had to be added because of our experience during 2015. If you enter Search for a Star please understand that the rider and owner cannot change until after Horse of the Year Show – you should not enter if you are planning to sell your horse. The competition is aimed at giving competitors an experience of a lifetime, not to put noughts on the value of your horse. If you advertise or sell your horse after qualifying for HOYS in Search for a Star you will be disqualified from competing in the competition again. This may sound harsh but using Search for a Star to sell your horse is not what we are about.

I have pointed out some of the pitfalls that occur every year, but they do affect only a small minority of competitors. Please don’t let this put you off. None of what I have said is a problem if you are a true amateur and fit within the Search for a Star criteria. We look forward to seeing at the SEIB Search for a Star and wish you good luck with your journey to HOYS.

Nicolina MacKenzie
Marketing Manager, SEIB Insurance Brokers

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