Late HOYS News

Rebecca Clark from Fakenham rode her horse, Champagne Perry to victory in the Riding Horse Final in the South Essex Insurance Brokers’ (SEIB) Search For A Star Championship at the prestigious Horse Of The Year Show (HOYS) at the Birmingham NEC earlier this month.  

The judges, Robert Oliver, Katie Jerram, and ride Judge Clare Oliver, had a difficult decision to make.

Now in its seventeenth year, Search for a Star was the brainchild of South Essex Insurance Brokers who still run and support it today. It is exclusively for amateur riders and owners and designed to give these enthusiastic people a chance to compete at the Horse of the Year Show and also to discover new equine talent. SEIB has been providing equestrian insurance for over five decades and is a major player in equestrian insurance.

Champagne Perry is a former racehorse, he lives in the field 24/7 and is a real family horse, allowing Rebecca’s children to ride him. “We call him Red at home, and he plays riding school with the kids on Saturdays – everyone can ride him he is so laid back”, said a delighted Rebecca, who admits that it did take a while for the showing to click. “I was not looking for a horse, but I stumbled upon him in bad condition. He had been eventing and then turned away. I had not ridden for 18 years but I had a go on him and he looked after me. I had never jumped before, but now we do it all”, said Rebecca. “He does jumping and cross country and is an all-rounder. It has taken a long time to get some weight on him – he was so skinny when I got him. He has had lots of TLC but he’s worth it”, she said. The pair won the home produced large riding horse class at Equifest and came second and reserve TARRA champion. They plan to do more showing and some jumping with the aim of doing the RoR challenge and some dressage over the winter. Having got back into riding thanks to Champagne Perry, Rebecca now helps out as a freelance rider/groom as well as looking after Red and her daughter’s 2 ponies, which are all kept at home. “He thought that was easy peasy, I am so happy, and shocked!” said Rebecca.

SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina Mackenzie, said: “I am always impressed with the number of people wanting to have a go at Search for a Star, and the standard of horses and ponies coming forward just gets better each year. The atmosphere at HOYS was magical. It is wonderful to be able to give genuine amateur owners and riders this opportunity and I hope that many will go on to further success”.

SFAS Conformation Judge, Katie Jerram, said “Another year of Search for a Star and every year it gets better. I’ve loved all the horses and it has been an absolute honour to judge. The team behind the scenes have all worked so hard and without them we would not have today. An awful lot of time and effort has been put in to get to this level, and we have certainly seen some stars of the future.

For more information on SEIB Insurance Brokers Search For A Star, visit or

Photo: E. S. Photography

OCT14 Rebecca Clark Champagne Perry 1st RH