The 2011 South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship qualifiers got underway at Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre, Lancashire on 22nd May, where a large entry competed for the chance to attend The Horse of the Year Show finals, held at the NEC Birmingham in October.
A strong class saw 29 entries come before the judges, Liz Morley (conformation) and David Bartram (ride) and the class was split and judged in two sections. When the top 8 came back into the arena for the final assessment the winner was the Jerram’s Night Prayers, ridden by Katie Jerram, who had put in an immaculate performance. The 2010 reserve champion has been lightly shown in open Large Hack classes this season, claiming first and champion hack at South Suffolk and first hack at the BSHA Southern Spring Show. “This is our first racehorse class this year as we have been concentrating on the job that he will go on to do as a large hack. I am massively impressed with the standard today, which has stepped up yet again. Every horse in the final judging had a category to go to and would be able to go on to do open classes. I am hugely impressed that this class for retrained racehorses is getting it right”, said Katie.
Second place went to the lovely small hack, Chivola, owned and ridden by Vicky Smart. Having been in training with Vicky’s Husband, Brian Smart, Chivola took up showing with Vicky on his retirement from the track. He is unusual in this class in that he has never really left the racing environment and still lives in the same yard but Vicky has done an impressive job of retraining him for his new career. “He had 3 months off after HOYS and then we concentrated on dressage, earning BD points and going from Prelim to Elementary in 5 outings”, explains Vicky, who works as assistant trainer for her husband. Their first outing in the show ring was at Barton Northern Spring Show where they won the small hack and stood reserve champion, qualifying for the RIHS. “This is just his third show class of the season and I am delighted to have achieved our goal of qualifying for HOYS”, said Vicky. The pair will try to retain their RoR crown at Hickstead and also try to qualify for HOYS in open hack classes. “There are some lovely horses in these classes now, and the competition is strong. Racing is our main priority and my showing has to fit in – it is meant to be fun! But I am really chuffed to have qualified”, said Vicky.
The SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship qualifiers are open to any owner, rider and producer. The Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship, which is supported by the charity, Retraining of Racehorses, was initiated by South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) to help ex racehorses when they come out of training and help to recognise their abilities in the show ring. Horses need to have been in training with a recognised trainer and have raced to be eligible for these classes, which provide an opportunity to qualify for the prestigious HOYS finals.
The South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship finals will be held at the Horse Of The Year Show, 4th – 9th October 2011, at NEC, Birmingham.