Posted on November 14th, 2018

Essex’s Falcon swoops to take the inaugural SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship

The first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship took place at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park on the 9thNovember. Chantelle Chapman from Manningtree, riding her mother Victoria Oliver’s Fell pony, Greenholme Falcon took this brand-new title in the BETA arena at Your Horse Live in front of an enthusiastic audience.

SEIB Insurance Brokers have set up the new Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland championship with the help of Your Horse Live to create more opportunities for amateur riders at a national championship level.

There was added anticipation for the Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland final as it was the first ever championship competition to take place at Your Horse Live. The BETA arena truly provided a real feel of the big occasion for each of the Search for a Star finalists.

Read all about it in our next issue…

Photo: SMR Photos

Posted on November 13th, 2018

Suffolk Rider Features in Omega Equine All Star Academy – The Hit TV Show of the Year

The ‘must watch’ programme of the year on Horse & Country TV – the Omega Equine All Star Academy – is set to have you crying, laughing and wanting more! This five-part, hit equestrian reality TV show premieres on 25th November at 9pm and is the channel’s biggest and most anticipated event of the year.

Starring eight wannabe academy students the hour long programmes provide warts and all action as they strive to impress the celebrity judges and instructors during their stay with Pammy Hutton at the legendary Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire.

The contestants, six female and two male, will undertake a battle-royal as they do everything in their power to be the third winner of the prestigious title which includes the chance to co-present an episode of the channel’s Rudall’s Round-Up programme with well-known host, Jenny Rudall.

Providing plenty of laughs, highs and lows along the way the Omega Equine All Star Academy is set to prove very entertaining and great viewing over the forthcoming weeks.

The team include Tessa Halsall from Suffolk who bought her horse Hal as a gangly yearling hoping he would make 17hh, she says with a smile, he became an overgrown pony but certainly wouldn’t swap him for another!

Guy Simmonds, a 30-year-old from West Wales, is a falconer by profession. He has been working hard to compete at BE90 level and his dream is to fly falcons from horseback.

Debbie Day will partner her 16.3hh Clydesdale Farra, and after getting over a fractured pelvis a year ago is aiming at dressage and show jumping.

Coloured mare, Remi belongs to Sophie Wratting and their four year partnership has come on in leaps and bounds thanks to being bold and not afraid to be different.

Nikki Sinclair (35) is a geography teacher with two young boys who will partner her bay gelding Jake in the series.

Student veterinary nurse Gabrielle Wheatley from Wiltshire and her seven-year-old mare, Fleur are currently focusing on show jumping, while Georgia Russell and Barney are now eventing after a set-back when she sustained a broken leg while out eventing.

Last, but not least, in the Omega Equine All Star Academy team is Jake Tarrant, an event rider who has big ambitions for his rides Troy and Waldo.

The programme will see the students not only riding and training but also demonstrating their skills when it comes to turnout, natural horsemanship, equine anatomy and media expertise.

Look out for leading names Charlie and Pippa Hutton, Harry Meade and many more as they guide the students over the series.

Tune in to Horse&Country TV on 25th November at 9pm – SKY Channel 184 or Virgin Media channel 298, H&C web and mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Roku.

Posted on November 1st, 2018



Sir Peter O’Sullevan (Voice of Racing) established his Charitable Trust in 1997, to raise funds for equine causes. Last year the auction raised £122,000.

Each year a perpetual bronze trophy in the shape of Peter’s own racing binoculars is awarded for a lifetime’s contribution to the sport. HM The Queen and HM Queen Elizabeth were winners in 2002 and 2009.

However the highlight of this year’s auction and luncheon on 22nd November at the Dorchester Hotel, is a rare volume from his personal collection, ‘I Walked by Night’ the Life and History of King of the Norfolk Poachers, written by Himself.

Original pencil sketches by major 20th century Norfolk artist Edward Seago were given to Peter O’Sullevan by the artist, which gives the book its uniqueness and exceptional provenance.

This lively memoir was edited by Lilias Rider Haggard, Norfolk countrywoman herself, daughter of the celebrated Sir Henry, with a feast of illustrations by Edward Seago. It was first published in 1935 and ran into many editions.

Seago shared a love of all things equine with Sir Peter, who became a close friend.

Posted on October 29th, 2018

SEIB Search for a Star Master Class set to enthral on Master Class Friday at Your Horse Live

SEIB Insurance Brokers are pleased to launch the new SEIB Search for a Star Master Class with top show producers, Richard Ramsay, Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Chris Hunnable and Sarah Chapman which will take place at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park on Friday 9th November.

The Search for a Star Master Class will provide an overview of showing and will be aimed at being informative for amateur riders planning to get underway with showing their horses. The line-up for the Master Class includes several of the SEIB Search for a Star 2018 finalists, with a variety of different show horses attending – hunters, hacks, riding horses, working ponies, ex-racehorse, cobs and possibly mountain and moorland.

Top show producer, judge and long-term Search for a Star stalwart, Richard Ramsay said: “We are very keen to de-bug the mystique of showing. It really is something that everyone can come and have a go at. This new Master Class at Your Horse Live is going to provide a great opportunity for people to find out much more about showing.”

The Search for a Star Master Class will be run as a show class, there will be an initial go-round, individual shows and the horses and ponies will be stripped and trotted up and ridden by the ride judges. The judges will comment on the horses’ and ponies’ conformation, way of going and what the judges expect from them. Ride judges Chris Hunnable and Sarah Champman will ride each of the horses and explain their thoughts to provide a great insight as to what a ride judge is thinking as they are riding the horses in a showing class.

Your Horse Live Event Director, Emma Bedford said: “Search for a Star is something that our visitors can really aspire to, and we are very excited to be adding something completely new to the Your Horse Live line up”.

Your Horse Live has traditionally been run over two days and the extra day – Master Class Friday is brand new for this year and will be in addition to all the usual great things at Your Horse Live including, performances, talks, demos and shopping at over 420 equine stands.

Another first for the Friday of Your Horse Live is the inclusion of the first ever competition at the event – the SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship. Fifteen top class Mountain and Moorland ponies ridden and produced by amateur riders have spent the summer qualifying around the country for this exciting new final at Your Horse Live. The winner of the final will be invited to take part in the SEIB Search for a Star Master Class later in the day.

SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “We are truly delighted to be a part of this exciting new day at Your Horse Live. Search for a Star will be entering its 23rd year next spring and there are ever increasing numbers of amateur riders keen to learn more about showing and we believe that the Search for a Star Master Class will provide them with an entertaining and educational insight into showing.”

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.

To find out more about Search for a Star please visit Find SEIB Search for a Star on Facebook at:

Above: L-R Katie Jerram-Hunnable and Chris Hunnable
Photo: Real Time Images

Posted on October 15th, 2018

Finalists named in 2018 BETA Equine Thesis of the Year competition

The first round of judging is now complete and the finalists for the 2018 British Equestrian Trade Association Equine Thesis of the Year Award have been announced. The competition, a celebration of excellence in academic undergraduate study, received a record 12 entries from universities and colleges offering equine-related degree courses across the UK and Ireland.

Each one took up the challenge to submit one student thesis, with the following student made it through to the finals:

Writtle University College – Caitlyn Cuthbert. Thesis:The Effect of Isolation on Equine Behaviour, Heart Rate and Heart Variability While Exercised on a Horse Walker.

Each student will present their thesis to a panel of expert judges during a special reception at the De Vere Staverton Estate Hotel, near Daventry, Northamptonshire, on Sunday 28th October. This is open to the public and members of the academic community. During the event, the winner and runner-up will be announced and awarded a trophy and cash prize.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

Shop Pink – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

After surviving two unfortunate journeys with Breast Cancer, former London based stylist, Annabel Brocks packed her bags and  headed to Suffolk to begin a new chapter. With her experience going from bursts of chemotherapy, Annabel found the freezing British Winters’ a challenge due to a lack of accessible products that offered a combination of warmth, colour and versatility while still having style and so the Annabel Brocks brand began. It was this fate that lead Annabel to create an unplanned brand that has developed a strong brand voice and cult following within only a few years.

Annabel is passionate about helping others and supporting Cancer Research so during Breast Cancer Awareness Month 15% will be given to charity on all PINK products.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

BE Foundation Skills Academy (England) Programme

British Eventing is pleased to launch the new BE Foundation Skills Academy Programme. Funded by Sport England, the programme is designed to identify, support and develop riders who are demonstrating the potential to progress in eventing.

BE is now inviting applications for the first cohort of the BE Foundation Skills Academy Programme and is seeking riders competing at the grassroots levels of eventing, showing natural ability and are making positive progress in the sport. The programme also aims to develop riders to feed into the BEF World Class Programme Podium Potential Pathway and show potential to one day compete at the Senior International level of eventing.

The 12 month training programme offers opportunities for talented riders aged 14 – 18 and will also include training and expert advice across two, two day camps. Along with coaching, successful applicants will gain access to industry specialists from the areas of farriery, saddlery, veterinary, biomechanics, equine nutrition, sport psychology and strength and conditioning.

Training an Education Manager, Sean Maxwell said; “This is an amazing opportunity for young event riders; the training and support covers many of the key areas required by the human and equine athlete today and will help develop combinations to be successful in the future.”

The BE Foundation Skills Academy (England) Programme is open to athletes aged 14-18 who fulfil the following minimum performance standards (MPS) and entry requirements:

  • English Athletes between the ages of 14-18 as at 31st December 2018.
  • Can provide evidence of regularly engaging with and attending BE 12-21 Training in 2017/2018. (Minimum of three sessions, excluding pre-training for the Under 18 Regional Team Championships at Frickley Park).
  • Has been placed in the top eight in three or more BE100 (ideally double clear), and/or has been placed in the top 15% of starters at other BE/Pony Club competitions at this level or above.
  • Has not been long listed, short listed or represented Great Britain at the Pony, Junior or Young Rider European Championships.
  • Including the MPS above; has been recommended by the Regional Coach and U18 Regional Coordinator or U18 Assistant as a candidate who has shown commitment to training and is developing the skills and potential to progress in the sport. If the Regional U18 Coach is also the home Coach, then an independent Coach must be used.

NB: Consideration will be given to riders who have only achieved MPS using Pony Results, but they must also have competition results on a horse at BE100 level or above and have a qualified horse available to attend training. Please supply these results with your application.

Applications will open on 8th October and will close on 29th October 2018.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

The thrill of the chase returns to Suffolk

“It’s the thrill of the chase! The speed. The sheer size of the hedges!” exclaims local rider Alex Belshaw at the thought of the Essex & Suffolk Team Chase. The annual fixture returns to Manor Farm, Semer on Sunday 4th November. Dubbed the Leicestershire of East Anglia, Semer boasts some sizable yet inviting hedges and good ground conditions.

In a season that has been fraught with cancellation due to the ground, the Suffolk fixture is all systems go with a fantastic grass cover and good going. “It has been such a shame to see so many cancellations due to the ground conditions this season. One minute it was snowing and bottomless and then next minute it was desert like conditions and rock solid going. We’ve been very lucky over here and have good going that should make for a thrilling season climax”, said Gillie Cranfield, organiser.

The final fixture of the season is certain to set fireworks ablaze with the exciting conclusion to the Foxdenton Intermediate League and the final qualifier for the Skinner’s Pet Food Open Championship. If that wasn’t enough the organisers have added two new classes to the schedule – a Novice Fastest and an Intermediate Bogey, giving competitors a variety of classes to suit the needs of their horses.

The only team chasing fixture in East Anglia welcomes a new sponsor for 2018 – True Royalty. The online streaming service for royal fans around the world, has joined the likes of NFU Mutual, All Season Fencing and Binders to support the ever popular Autumn fixture. ‘Thrusters’ from around the country will join local riders to compete for the £3,000 prize fund. An incredible team sport that thrives on adrenaline, it is fast and furious and certainly not for the faint of heart. Bravery and courage will be the prerequisite to succeed with a strong dose of humility and team spirit thrown in for good measure.

Contact Gillie Cranfield on 07768 708637.

The schedule can be downloaded here

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: Claudia Moore Crowned The Stable Company 138cm Championship

Wonder pony Sonas Barney completed a remarkable hat-trick as Claudia Moore claimed victory in The Stable Company 138cm Championship.

Sonas Barney, a 21-year-old veteran of the pony competition scene, has now won the prestigious competition three times with three different riders – Claudia, Madison Heath last year and Nicole Lockhead-Anderson in 2015. He is also the first pony to claim successive victories in the class.

It continued a memorable year for 13-year-old Claudia, from Brentwood in Essex, who helped Great Britain to Pony European Championship team gold this summer and also won individual bronze. Her time of 30.18 seconds secured victory by almost a second from Dorset rider Luli Loveridge, on 22-year-old Arrow Head Quiver, with Claudia also taking third place, riding Tullineaskey Fear Deas. Fourth spot went to Elissa Herrmann and Fountain Ranger.

“It’s incredible to win, especially because he is 21, which is quite old to be doing what he is doing. He just loves it so much,” Claudia said. “It is the first time I have won here, and I have such lovely owners, which makes this all possible. The jump-off was close; Luli Loveridge did an amazing job, but today Sonas Barney just did incredibly. “It means so much to me to win here. I have never won here before. I have come second, I have come third but I had never actually got that top spot.”

Image credit: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: The British Showjumping 128cm Championship

The British Showjumping 128cm Championship Izabella Rogers showed great form by winning the 128cm Pony Championship on Sunday.

The 10-year-old, from Chelmsford in Essex, triumphed in the corresponding class at Hickstead this summer, and she was again on top form with her 15-year-old grey mare Whinney Lass.

In a tight jump-off, just six hundredths of a second separated Izabella from runner-up Poppy Deakin, riding Munsboro Plunkett, as Izabella’s time of 31.05 seconds proved just enough for victory in a class that has previously been won by the likes of Great Britain international showjumper William Whitaker. Third place went to Noora von Bulow and Sparkel in the Andrews Bowen International Arena at the NEC’s Genting Arena, while Tabitha Kyle finished fourth aboard Corey’s Princess.

“It was amazing, really exciting,” said Izabella, as she celebrated her victory. “It was very nerve-wracking at the end. It was a testing jump-off course and I was just focusing on the last fence and hoping for the best. It’s a huge arena. I rode here last year and I came sixth, and to win it is such a different feeling. It’s the best day of my career.”

Image credit: 1st Class Images