Amateur rider from Ickford is off to the Horse of the Year Show

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An amateur rider from Ickford, Katie Baldwin, has qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.

Sarah rode her horse, Moelfryn Golden Wonder, to a win in the working horse class at the SEIB Search for a Star qualifier at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Bucks on June 10 to qualify for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

Barry Fehler founded SEIB as a 17-year-old in 1963 when the concept of horse insurance was virtually non-existent.

He created how own insurance for one of his very successful show horses, found a company to underwrite it, and everything began from there.

They set up the Search for a Star series over 20 years ago to give amateur riders and their horses the chance to compete at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). The series has led to many thrilled competitors achieving this dream.

This was Katie’s second ever trip to Search for a Star. She said: “I can’t quite believe it, I never thought that I would be riding at HOYS.”

Katie and ‘Crispy’ attended the same Search for a Star class at this qualifier a year ago and took second place.

Katie, who works as an estate agent, added: “We said it had to be worth another go this year and it definitely was.

“I bought Crispy four years ago and Search for a Star is the first time we have had a go at showing.”

The pair have had a busy spring season and last month finished in 38th place in the Badminton Grassroots Championships.

SEIB marketing manager Nicolina Mackenzie, who sponsor the event, said: “The standard at Search for a Star increases year-on-year and this season we have some absolutely stunning horses through to compete in the Search for a Star final which is now in its 20th year at HOYS.

“We head north to our next qualifier at Alnwick Equestrian Centre in Northumberland on July 8 which will be really interesting having not had a Search for a Star qualifier so far north for decades.”

Each SEIB Search for a Star qualifier holds classes for Working ponies and horses, riding horse hacks, show hunters and cobs.

Competitors have the chance to qualify for HOYS in each of these classes. SEIB Search for a Star is professionally run with strict entry criteria.