Posted on December 8th, 2022

CAMBS: Professional dressage rider jailed for neglecting young competition horses

A Grand Prix level dressage rider was sentenced at court recently after he was found guilty last month of causing suffering to and neglecting five young horses who were in his care.

Sam Duckworth (DOB 06/07/1980) of Newmarket Road, Cambridgeshire – appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates Court on 6th December.

Duckworth was given an immediate 18 week custodial sentence after he was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to five young horses that were in his care.

The professional dressage rider was also given a lifetime ban from keeping all animals with no appeal for five years. He was also ordered to pay £68,860 in costs.

An 11 day trial concluded on Wednesday 9th November, where the court found Mr Duckworth guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to five young horses that were in his care – two bay fillies, a chestnut colt, a chestnut filly, and a bay colt – by failing to investigate and address the cause of the animals poor bodily condition and weight loss.

He was also found guilty of failing to take steps to meet the needs of the same five horses, after failing to provide an adequate parasitic control plan, required farriery, a suitable diet and failing to seek veterinary attention in respect of the animals’ poor condition.

After Duckworth was found guilty last week, RSPCA inspector and equine officer Suzi Smith said: “As an experienced horsewoman, it is very difficult for me to see any horses in such poor condition, especially for these youngsters who have been given such a poor start in life, when they should have been receiving professional care”.

“It’s very upsetting when owners and those caring for animals, don’t take the necessary steps to  meet the needs of the animals in their care, and suffering occurs as a result.  It’s even more frustrating when the person responsible has been provided with all the necessary advice from a veterinary surgeon and that advice is not followed”.

 In their witness statement, the veterinary surgeon who examined the horses summarised his findings by stating: ‘The body condition score of the five animals was unacceptably low and the animals were caused suffering. In my opinion, the cause of the poor body condition score was due to a combination of a heavy worm burden and malnutrition / starvation.’

 They also noted in their witness statement that ‘the poor body condition score had been brought to the owner’s attention in October 2020 and he allegedly followed veterinary advice, which included advice on worming and feeding.  If the advice had been followed, then a definite improvement in the body condition score would have been expected over this two month period.  Furthermore, if there was no improvement then further veterinary advice should have been sought, which did not appear to happen. On the basis of these timings, I conclude that on 12 January 2021 these animals have been caused suffering for at least six weeks.’


Posted on December 6th, 2022

Christmas on the Yard

Taking care of horses doesn’t stop for Christmas so Robinson Animal Healthcare caught up with their team of sponsored riders to find out what Christmas on the yard is like for them.

Sophie Wells

“The horses have Christmas Day off and I usually give my grooms the day off too. I’m up early to get the horses fed and mucked out and then they all go on the treadmill. Christmas Day is all about juggling horses and food!”








Bubby Upton

“It’s important for me to make the most of the Christmas period as it is the only time that both myself and the horses get to enjoy some down time. All the horses on the yard get Christmas Day off, so we do the yard jobs in the morning before I get to enjoy the rest of the day with my family.”





Louisa Milne Home

“This Christmas we have my brother and sister, plus their wife/husband and children coming up to stay with my Mum and Dad, so that will be lovely. On Christmas Day we normally do stockings first thing then go out and feed up, muck out, and put all the horses out in the field. On Christmas Day the horses usually go out with a bit of tinsel on their rugs.

“This means the horses can have a nice full day out in the field so we can enjoy Christmas, before bringing them back in at 3pm for a change of rug and feed and then we are all set for Christmas Dinner.  Finally we do a check on the horses just to wish them a last happy Christmas and give them their late feed.”





McNab Eventing

Event rider’s Kevin and Emma McNab will be celebrating Christmas in their native Australia but the team on the yard will be keeping the winter routine going over the festive period and will be enjoying a big team Christmas lunch.

Laura Goodall

“Christmas Day on the yard is usually a rushed one. We normally have an early start to get all the yard done and finished before starting to prepare for when all the family come around for Christmas lunch. If the weather permits the horses usually get a day off to chill in the field and an extra treat (usually carrots) in their dinner.”

Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements including the market-leading Animalintex and the legendary Veterinary Gamgee.

For more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit

Posted on December 5th, 2022

EVJ editorial underlines why it’s vital to revert to bi-annual flu boosters

As equine influenza (EI) vaccine supply returns to normal, following a significant shortage, and just at a time when the UK is seeing an increase in EI activity, epidemiology experts are advising that there is sound scientific evidence as to why bi-annual vaccination schedules should be promptly re-implemented. The Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) has published a special early view article reviewing the science behind the enhanced EI vaccination schedules, in particular the replacement of annual boosters with a mandatory bi-annual vaccination programme.

EI is a highly contagious respiratory disease which remains endemic in the horse populations across numerous countries and infection is characterised by rapid spread and significant morbidity in the immunologically naive. With the introduction of mandatory EI vaccination by most competitive equestrian disciplines after the early 1980s, the scale and number of outbreaks have in most years been relatively small. However, disease events such as those experienced in the UK in 1989, 2003 and most recently in 2019 have demonstrated EI’s epidemic potential, even in vaccinated horse populations.

In their article Equine influenza bi-annual boosters: what does the evidence tell us? Victoria Colgate and Richard Newton build on the work recently published by Fleur Whitlock and colleagues in; An epidemiological overview of the equine influenza epidemic in Great Britain during 2019. They discuss what has been learnt from previous outbreaks and explain the evidence from mathematical models to show why bi-annual boosters are beneficial.

Epidemiological data from previous natural EI outbreaks have repeatedly demonstrated the impermanent nature of the protection provided by vaccination and observational field studies repeatedly highlight the potential for 12-monthly boosters to leave a vulnerable immunity gap at both the individual animal and population level. Mathematical models of EI transmission confirm that six-monthly rather than annual EI booster vaccinations are preferable to establish and maintain effective population level immunity to EI.

Ideally vaccine strains should be updated in a timely manner to ensure inclusion of the most epidemiologically-relevant strains, however, this is a slow and expensive process for equine vaccine manufacturers. In the absence of updated vaccine strains, bi-annual vaccination is strongly recommended to help compensate for antigenic drift between vaccine and circulating EI viral strains.

“The equine industry must surely remain resolute and guided by scientific principles,” said the authors. “The clear evidence from experimental, epidemiological and mathematical modelling studies shows why we must encourage clients to revert to a schedule of bi-annual boosters.”

“We must also remind horse owners that animals already on six-monthly vaccination regimes were best positioned for the vaccine shortage with a built-in tolerance in their vaccination schedule; their levels of immunological protection would not be expected to decline to susceptible levels, even with a slight delay before being re-vaccinated.”

“Although the recent EI vaccine shortage has necessitated a temporary relaxation of competition vaccine schedules, we must now renew the message that six-monthly boosters are optimal and necessary,” said Professor Celia Marr, Editor of the EVJ.

The Editorial can be found at and is free to view.

Two related articles can be found here:

Photo: Fiona Williams

Posted on December 5th, 2022

When does use become abuse with horses?

Society’s values are changing, animal welfare is becoming an ever-higher priority and some aspects of the horse/human relationship have recently come under the spotlight. Trying to identify and defining where use of horses becomes abuse were just some of the themes explored at World Horse Welfare’s 25th conference held at the Royal Geographical Society in London recently and broadcast virtually worldwide.   

Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare introduced a thought-provoking and fascinating series of talks by international speakers: “Society is increasingly suspicious of traditional uses of animals and, thanks to science, we know more especially about what horses need and how what we do impacts on them.” he said.

“Today our focus is on leading the debate on what can be done to establish an even stronger horse/human relationship, and a fairer partnership. This applies to all the horses we help – be they horses in need, sport and leisure horses or horses used in work and production.”

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, World Horse Welfare President and participant at all 25 of the charity’s conferences, summed up the event by highlighting the complexity of the topic, but also reminded the audience that horses and humans had been together for thousands of years, and horses have been bred during that time to exist with us, working together.

The first session illustrated the diverse range of uses that horses have around the world. Mark Wentein, Chair of the European Horse Network, began with an exploration of the roles of the more than seven million equids in Europe. He highlighted the Bruges horse cab service as an example where welfare of the horses has been central to the industry’s development. “Horses have a long tradition in working, but there hasn’t always been a good reputation on welfare, however, much has changed with new regulations and new ways of operating” he said. “Today there is a professional cab service for Bruges tourists. These are supervised by city and official vets and are advised by animal welfare groups.”

Tamara Tadich, Associate Professor at Universidad Austral de Chile examined working horses and their relationship with the many millions of people globally who rely on them. Despite many peoples’ assumptions, Tamara said: “Most working equid caretakers are aware of their equid’s needs. They try their best to keep their working animals in the best condition that they can. If they don’t have a horse, they cannot work. Most owners understand that they need an equid in good welfare to work and maintain their livelihood. And most consider their horses as part of the family so they don’t want their animals in bad condition and that is also something that we need to acknowledge.” She also pointed out that the welfare of working equids and their caretakers are interlinked and animal welfare cannot be considered on its own or from a single point of view. Tamara also pointed out that, despite not being explicitly identified in any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, working horses are integral to at least six of them.

Matt Brown, US five-star eventer, tackled an area that may be more familiar to many in the audience: training and riding horses for sport and leisure. He likened the current social licence movement in horse sport to the #MeToo movement: “Things that used to be common practice and done in a not-so-secret way, maybe behind closed doors or behind the barn are not acceptable anymore. Instead of trying to defend some of those common practices, we need to do better for the horses. We need to be willing to call out that behaviour when we see it”

After the morning break, two talks from outside the equestrian world gave a different perspective and proved food for thought. Lee Cain, Founder of Charlesbye Strategy and previously Director of Communications at No. 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, emphasised the importance of understanding what the wider public believes: “If you are going to change public opinion you need to understand other things to begin with. You need to use research, where are they on your particular issue and think critically, why do they think that?” Referring to social licence and equestrianism he said: “You can either shy away from these issues or turn these risks into opportunities.”

Claire Bessant, former CEO of International Cat Care then explored use versus abuse in a different species. With some species-specific differences there was a significant overlap in issues and perception and Claire pointed at the tendency to anthropomorphise animals: “People want to cuddle with their pets, even if their pets don’t want it. It’s not the cat’s choice to be a pet, it’s our choice. We need to be honest about what are cats’ needs and what are human needs”

A discussion panel consisting of Dr Sarah Coombs, Vet and World Horse Welfare Trustee; Dr Amber Batson, Vet; Professor Christine Middlemiss MRCVS, Chief Veterinary Officer; Bluebell Brown, Royal Veterinary College and Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer, Racing Post and chaired by Nick Powell, Sports Editor, Sky News considered a number of questions with wide-ranging discussions touching on all the topics raised during the morning’s talks. Bluebell Brown brought the discussions together by saying: “We need to come together and collaborate as an industry, but also listen to outside views as well and take these onboard and keep doing the research”

Summing up the conference, Roly Owers acknowledged that this is a complex topic and that there are no clear-cut answers: less black and white but more shades of grey. Traditional equestrian practices had been mentioned several times and Roly cautioned: “We shouldn’t always think that tradition is bad and new fads are good, it is not that simple…but we need to invest in the research and we do need to be open-minded, to challenge the status quo and where change needs to be made, we make it.”

World Horse Welfare would like to thank the headline sponsor of the Conference, The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, and the event’s other supporters, the Horseracing Betting Levy Board and Equine Register for their pivotal involvement in helping make the Conference possible.


The conference was also broadcast with Spanish and French subtitles and the entire conference will be available HERE to watch at any time.

Posted on November 17th, 2022


At the Annual Conference of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), organisers of The London International Horse Show announced an exciting new Showing Series to run in 2023 with finals taking place at the renowned annual Christmas horse show in London in December. 

The organisers have worked with the British Show Pony Society (BSPS), the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) and ASAO, to create a joint series that consists of 23 different classes which will be held at ASAO member shows including BSHA Rising Star classes for Hunters, Hacks, Cobs, Riding Horses and Show Horses and BSPS classes for Performance Ponies including Coloured Ponies, Mountain and Moorland Lead Rein, Working Sports Ponies, and Cradle and Nursery Stakes Working Hunter Pony classes which give the youngest riders the chance to qualify for the first time for a major indoor final.

The emphasis on this new series is to be inclusive with a focus on the amateur competitor, encouraging them to compete at their local agricultural and county show. Entrants for the classes will not have to be an association/society member to compete in the qualifying classes but would have to join the relevant association/society if they reach the final. It is expected that this open invitation will encourage many more competitors to ‘have a go’ at their local show.

The BSHA classes are Rising Stars classes and are performance led with all participants completing a timed freestyle show on the day. The classes are open to amateur BSHA members and non-members.

The BSPS classes are not restricted to amateurs however the majority of the classes are performance classes. For example, the Lead Rein Class will have obstacles and small jumps.

As well as making the classes more inclusive, the ambition is to make the classes more interesting and informative for the public. Commentators will be encouraged to explain the classes to the watching public, describing what is required of the competitor and what the public should be looking out for.  The intention being to engender a higher level of interest in Showing.

The full list of classes is below, and Agricultural and County Show organisers have until early January 2023 to apply to run classes.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Event Director for London International Horse Show said; “It has been a long-held ambition to add more Showing to London International Horse Show and we are very excited to be launching this Showing Series. The space that the ExCeL London venue offers means that we are able to put a new arena alongside our existing arena which allows us to accommodate this series.  We are delighted to be working with the ASAO, BSHA and BSPS, as many will know, the BSPS already successfully hold the Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championships at the London Show.”

Paul Cook of BSPS said; “We are convinced that there is going to be a great appetite for these classes. We are determined to introduce a new style of showing which is much more inclusive for the competitor and educational and entertaining for the audience. Having the Mountain and Moorland Championships already at London means that we know that this venue will work brilliantly for this new Showing Series, and it will give a great day out for the competitors and their families who reach the final.”

Nigel Hollings of BSHA said; “We are very excited by the new Rising Stars series and the finals taking place at The London International Horse Show. We know this will be very well received by our existing members and the wider showing community, with the series very much focusing on making competing easy and educational, encouraging more to join in and have a go.”

David Tite Chairman of the ASAO said; “This is a great opportunity for our members to have a new showing series at their event.  We are encouraged that this series has emphasis on inclusion and entertainment and will mean that local competitors can enjoy entering their local agricultural and county shows and it will prove entertaining for the watching crowds”.


Posted on November 16th, 2022

Search for a Star at Your Horse Live

Lead Rein Section A takes the SEIB Search for a Star championship title at Your Horse Live

The winner of the inaugural Pony Club SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live lead rein final, Thistledown Elpaso and his seven-year-old rider Emily Hiscox took the top title at the SEIB Search for a Star Championship in the main SEIB arena at Your Horse Live on the 12th November. Finn Williamson and Kirsty Wilson’s dark bay mare Port Lou Lou took the in-hand championship title.

Champions of all shapes and sizes were crowned across eleven finals at the SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Your Horse Live Championship at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on Friday 11th November. The winners of ten of the championship classes went forward for the first ever Search for a Star Your Horse Live championship on Saturday the 12th November.

North Warwickshire Pony Club member, Emily Hiscox and her mother, Heather Hiscox’s, Welsh section A pony, Thistledown Elpaso won the Search for a Star Pony Club lead rein championship at Your Horse Live on the Friday before returning for Saturday’s overall championship. Their Saturday performance was foot perfect and Emily finished by showing her fabulous balance and her pony’s steadfastness by standing up on his back for a few seconds. Judge Katie Jerram-Hunnable said: “It was a unanimous decision from the judges, myself, Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence. The grey pony’s show was exceptional.” Heather said: “We didn’t think for a moment we’d be in with a chance of winning the Pony Club final. Today I was shaking in the ring! Emily has been up since 5.30 this morning and Elvis is meant to be going to a Pony Club rally tomorrow, although I think we might give him a day off!” Emily added: “I wanted to stand up on his back today and mummy said I could. I would like to do some vaulting on Elvis next!” Heather continued: “We have owned Elvis for three years and he has plenty of variety in his life from pony club camp, to hacking to jumping. He is Emily’s little unicorn and will be going back out in the field tonight – with no hood!” Seven-year-old Emily is a pupil at Leamington Hastings Church of England Academy in Rugby.

Pony Club Chief Executive Officer, Marcus Capel said: “We are absolutely delighted that the inaugural Pony Club Search for a Star has been such a success. It was wonderful to see all the members and parents here enjoying this fabulous show and for a Pony Club member to go on and win the supreme is just the icing on the cake, thank you to SEIB for giving our members this opportunity and I look forward to next year.”

Another young rider took the in-hand SEIB Search for a Star championship at Your Horse Live. Finn is fifteen-years-old. He said: “I have been so nervous this week. It was amazing to win yesterday and then she was brilliant today. We cracked on and it all went brilliantly. Search for a Star has been such a good experience for us and she loves showing! I’ve got my GCSE’s coming up next year and we hope to do some intermediate classes. After the great time we’ve had this season we think showing is her thing!” Finn and Port Lou Lou were Search for a Star HOYS finalists in the riding horse hack championship at Horse of the Year show last month. Finn is a student at Fallibroome Academy in Macclesfield. Conformation judge Matthew Lawrence said of Port Lou Lou: “As soon as this mare entered the ring I thought she was a great type. She has a lovely way of going with fabulous cadence and has been beautifully produced by her enthusiastic handler.”

Your Horse Live Director Emma Bedford said: “We have been so excited to welcome Pony Club Search for a Star this year to Your Horse Live. It is great to see so many young aspiring riders giving showing a go and enjoying the experience. We are delighted to see Search for a Star at Your Horse Live growing and becoming an integral part of our Friday programme.”

Founder of Search for a Star, SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “You simply couldn’t beat the atmosphere at the Search for a Star Your Horse Live championship this year. Our competitors were so enthusiastic and grateful and both our team and the Your Horse Live team ensured everything ran seamlessly. This year we have more than doubled from five to eleven championship classes and it has been a delight to see. We are thrilled to welcome The Pony Club to Search for a Star and the inaugural championship really has been a true success.”

FRIDAY SEIB Search for a Star Championship classes at Your Horse Live

The first championship final of the day encompassed the five classes that make up the SEIB Search for a Star in-hand championships. Twenty-two horses and ponies and their handlers entered the main SEIB Arena en-masse. Many different types were represented, from Dartmoor ponies, through hunters and thoroughbreds right up to the first ever Shire finalist at Search for a Star. Each finalist completed a go-round in walk before lining up and coming out for individual conformation assessment followed by trotting-up for the judges. Detailed commentary was provided by Spencer Sturmey and judges, Matthew Lawrence, Chris Hunnable and Katie Jerram-Hunnab.

The first winner to be announced was the in-hand veteran which went to Lucy Ashworth and her own twenty-four-year-old bay gelding, Randall IV. This showjumper still competes to 1m 30 level and also qualified in the plaited horse Search for a Star in-hand final. A delighted Lucy said: “I have been really ill, I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer in November last year and didn’t think I’d be showing this year. It is just brilliant to have got my life back a bit. Randall was an ex-international showjumper and he is still ridden and does everything. When I bought him, I went to see an ex-racehorse and ended up coming home with Randall !”

The largest horse in the championship, Shire mare, Milnerfield Lady Isabelle won the in-hand native and traditional Search for a Star championship for her handler, Lucy Parr. Issy, as the mare is known is everything to Lucy who said: “All I wanted  when I came along to the Search for a Star qualifier was to get her out and help raise the profile of the breed. We have achieved so much more, we put in plenty of time and effort and Issy is so versatile. She rides, drives and hopefully we will also breed from her.” There were just 250 Shire foals registered in 2021 with around 800 breeding mares. Denise Badger from the Bickers Court Stud who is Lucy and Issy’S main cheerleader explained: “There is a push to expand the gene pool of the Shire horse, more artificial insemination means access to more stallions. The Search for a Star series is really opening up showing of Shires to both younger and more inexperienced people. It would be fabulous if people can learn from what Lucy has been out and done.”

The in-hand mountain and moorland winner at Your Horse Live, Lachlann of Croila Croft, had traveled all the way down from the Scottish Highlands with his owner and handler, Judith Hogg. Lachlann of Croila Croft is only five years old. Judith said: “He has never seen anything like this before! He was broken in this spring and has been to several outside shows. We realised at the beginning of this week that he is scared of clapping so had to quickly remedy that.” Lachlann of Croila Croft is also broken to traditional hill work in the Highlands. Judith continued: “His hill work involves carrying hinds and fallows down the hill to the larder. It is a very traditional thing to do and ensures the hill is looked after. There aren’t many places that this still takes place. He will have a short holiday now and then carry out some more hill work through the winter.” Judith and Lachlann of Croila Croft also competed in the ridden Mountain and Moorland championship at Your Horse Live where they finished in second place.

Bay mare, Ryehill Petit Ami won the in-hand plaited pony championship for her handler Lisa Hayyez. Five-year-old Ryehill Petit Ami has been owned by Lisa since last May. Lisa said: “I am over the moon with her today, this is her first proper season going to shows and even to qualify was amazing! We came today with no expectations and as a schooling exercise. Search for a Star has helped give her a really good grounding in the show ring. We plan to bring her out as a lead rein pony next year and this will have helped her experience hugely.”



Next in the arena were the Pony Club Search for a Star classes. A total of sixteen ponies traveled from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for the first ever Pony Club Search for a Star, Your Horse Live championship over the three finals classes.

The first ridden Search for a Star Pony Club championship went to Rufford Pony Club member Emily Elliott and her roan pony, Larchgrove Isabella. Owned by Connie Elliott, Issy as the pony is known at home is a Welsh Section B. Connie said: “She is such a lovely pony, Issy and Emily have done everything from galloping on a racecourse at camp to veteran championships and working hunter pony classes.” The Elliott’s have owned Issy for just over a year. Connie added: “She is such a polite pony, Emily would love to start to ride her side saddle next year.” Nine-year-old Emily is a pupil at Muskham Primary school in Newark.

In the open Pony Club Search for a Star championship, Mid Surrey member, Helena Kitchener riding Naomi Kitchener’s grey Connemara, Cavan Mick took the win. Helena said: “What an amazing experience, we still have borrowed gear for this but it is fine! Mick wasn’t all that forward going at the start of the year so we’ve had a few showing lessons with help getting him forward. Search for a Star has been great, through the showing I’ve learned to ride with two reins and go through trotting up practice. He is such a patient pony. We will spend the winter arena eventing and we will have another go at Search for a Star next year.” Helena also competes in tetrathlon with Mick and the pair competed at the Pony Club championships this year finishing in the top 20%.

Katie Jerram-Hunnable continued: “It is fantastic that The Pony Club are encouraging showing, the Pony Club Search for a Star series is a major step forward and it is all thanks to Nicolina and SEIB for getting the championship in motion, it couldn’t be better. I am so pleased to see the versatility of these ponies and the diversity of entrants at this Search for a Star championship. The in-hand final at Your Horse Live was such a spectacle with all these different animals in the ring together. I think the only breed we didn’t have was a Shetland! It was lovely for the spectators to have the live commentary too. I would strongly encourage amateur riders with an interest in showing to give Search for a Star a go. The team offer so much support and enthusiasm to the many competitors.”

Maia Ellis and her own part-bred Welsh cross traditional cob black mare, Furlong Socks won the part-bred traditional Search for a Star Your Horse Live championship. Maia said: “I am just delighted! It was a three hour journey and she has been settled since we got here. She went so well in the ring today, I am just shocked and can’t believe we have won. Just getting here is a massive achievement.” Maia has owned twelve-year-old Sox since she was four. Maia works as an apprentice hairdresser and she and Sox also compete in cross country, dressage and fun rides.

The first Your Horse Live Search for a Star championship took place in 2018 for Mountain and Moorlands, and now, four years on, the championship has become a true amateur mountain and moorland goal. Natalie Pastor and her lovely chestnut, New Forest gelding, Langorra Ginger Port were convincing winners of this competitive final. Natalie said: “Anything was a bonus today, he has been a star. When they started reading out the results in reverse order, I realised we were in the top three and was so delighted when we won!” Natalie and her homebred, Langorra Ginger Port last month won the SEIB Search for a Star Working Pony final at Horse of the Year Show. She continued: “It was always the plan to breed from our lovely mare. We bred two foals from her while I was away at uni, the other one went to Ireland and I kept Larry.  I backed him and have produced him myself.” Larry is by Woodrow Portman who competed at HOYS in flat and working hunter pony finals.

Just four top horses and ponies came forward to contest the Search for a Star Open Veteran final at Your Horse Live. Each gave a unique individual show with plenty of flamboyance and the four judges held up score cards – similar to Strictly – and gave a mark out of 10 for the shows. Following stripping and trotting up, the winners were announced.

Millie Bowles riding her mother Selina Bowles’, twenty-four-year-old Welsh section B pony, Cottrell Riverdance were crowned the champions. Millie said: “We really enjoyed the atmosphere today, it is so exciting to come to a show with big names, such as Charlotte Dujardin walking past the ring! We came here last year and won the in-hand veteran final before taking second place in the ridden Search for a Star veteran class. Ronnie as we call him has recently been going to water treadmill sessions once a week. I work as an apprentice journalist for Kent Online Monday to Friday and it helps get him out. We have also been doing some tackless riding which we are enjoying. He just has a rope around his neck while I am riding him!” The winner of the Open veteran Championship did not go forward to the Saturday Search for a Star championship as the class was open to all riders without Search for a Star amateur rider rules applying.

Competitors at the Search for a Star Your Horse Live championships are lucky to go under top producers, Katie Jerram-Hunnable and Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence for their final. As each class is underway, the judges will voice their thoughts over a microphone. This has proved very popular with the audience.


Results SEIB Search for a Star Championships at Your Horse Live 2022.


SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Champion 2022

Thistledown Elpaso owned by Heather Hiscox and ridden by Emily Elliott from Warwickshire


SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Reserve Champion 2022

Finn Williamson owned by Kirsty Wilson and exhibited by Finn Williamson from Cheshire



1st Randall IV, owned and exhibited by Lucy Ashworth from Oxfordshire

2nd Woodview Ingot, owned and exhibited by Hollie Thomas from Birmingham

3rdMidnight Magic, owned by Gemma Hoe and exhibited by Donna Hoe from St Helens



1stMilnerfield Lady Isabelle, owned and exhibited by Lucy Parr from Yorkshire

2ndWorld Horse Welfare Paolo, owned and exhibited by Grace Willis from Essex

3rdRazzle Dazzle Them owned by Sue Baker and exhibited by Brooke Baker from West Sussex



1stLachlann of Croila Croft, owned and exhibited by Judith Hogg from Crieff, Scotland

2ndAmilas Slumberdown, owned by Jo Stewart and exhibited by Michelle Prentice from Hertfordshire

3rdCollstone Perfect Storm owned and exhibited by Jamie Clarke from Birmingham



1stRyehill Petit Ami, owned and exhibited by Lisa Hayyez from Buckinghamshire

2ndRomanno Royal Myth, owned by Victoria Bryan and exhibited by Molly Bryan from Staffordshire

3rdRhos Elodie owned and exhibited by Sam Crutchlow from Warwickshire



1stPort Lou Lou, owned by Kirsty Wilson and exhibited by Finn Williamson from Cheshire

2ndWest Country Samurai, owned and exhibited by Suzi Ayres from Ayrshire

3rdRandall IV owned and exhibited by Lucy Ashworth from Oxfordshire



1stThistledown Elpaso, owned by Heather Hiscox and ridden by Emily Hiscox from Warwickshire

2ndBlackhill Osprey, owned by Lisa Croft and ridden by Millie Croft from Nottinghamshire

3rdClearfell Bumblebee owned by Sophie Milczarek and ridden by Florence Milczarek from Shropshire



1stLarchgrove Isabella, owned by Connie Elliott and ridden by Emily Elliott from Nottinghamshire

2ndDesabre Sparrow Hawk, owned by Victoria Cable and ridden by Lucia Cable from Essex

3rdNerwyn Leonardo owned by Sarah Fraser and ridden by Annabel Fraser from Cumbria



1stCavan Mick, owned by Naomi Kitchener and ridden by Helena Kitchener from Surrey

2ndBattlestown Jenny, owned by Fiona Radford-Jones and ridden by Isobel Radford-Jones from London

3rdPhantoms Masquerade owned by Sarah Adams and ridden by Grace Adams from West Yorkshire



1stFurlong Socks, owned and ridden by Maia Ellis from St Helens

2ndBradwell Dun Deal, owned by Hannah Chalkly and ridden by Catherine Chalkly from Co Durham

3rdAddien Toy Soldier owned and ridden by Helen Jackson from Yorkshire



1st Langorra Ginger Port, owned and ridden by Natalie Pastor from Warwick

2ndLachlann of Croila Croft, owned and ridden by Judith Hogg from Crieff, Scotland

3rdSaulire Thunder Struck owned and ridden by Caroline Edgson from Warwickshire



1st Cottrell Riverdance, owned by Selina Bowles and ridden by Millie Bowles from Kent

2ndAbbas Blue Rainbow, owned by Anna Dunn and ridden by Ella Dunn from Angus, Scotland

3rdDollar Boy owned and ridden by Alexander Osborn from Worcestershire

Posted on November 11th, 2022

The 2022 Equestrian Business Awards

Peewee Saddlery’s Poppy Webber has won 2022 Saddle Fitter of the Year at The Equestrian Business Awards.
Peewee Saddlery is owned by Poppy and is situated in South Lincolnshire with Poppy serving clients in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Poppy has worked for years to build an extensive client base in person, and has also built substantial followings online too. Poppy has a highly engaged Facebook page with over 48k followers on the Peewee Saddlery Page, 44k followers on the Poppy Webber- Qualified Saddle Fitter Page, and also has a growing YouTube channel and Facebook group. All content created is accessible and educational, using Poppy’s knowledge and unique teaching style. Poppy also writes a regular column for the Absolute Horse Magazine.
“It was a great pleasure to award Poppy as Saddle Fitter of the Year 2022,” said The Equestrian Business Awards founder, Katy Wright. “Poppy has thrown her heart and soul into her saddle fitting business and is incredibly enthusiastic about her passion, which is highly infectious! Her reputation in the industry is highly regarded. Furthermore, she is striking the right balance between educating horse owners about saddle fitting while also promoting the importance of using a qualified saddle fitter.”
“Congratulations to Poppy Webber from Peewee Saddlery for taking the much deserved award of Saddle Fitter of the Year at this year’s Equestrian Business Awards,” said Sarah Rymer, one of the judges for the category. “Peewee Saddlery has worked incredibly hard to raise the profile of the saddle fitting industry. She has raised awareness through a series of social media platforms which include Facebook and YouTube. She has produced some fun and informative videos on a variety of subjects from what to expect from your saddle fitting appointment to Friday Night Live, where you get to ask any questions about saddles and saddle fitting. These videos will help horse owners understand the importance of saddle fitting. Congratulations Poppy. You really deserved to take this year’s Saddle Fitter of the year Award -2022.”
“It’s a true honour to have won this award,” said Poppy. “I was really overwhelmed and delighted to have won, it’s a memory that will stay with me for a long time! I love my clients and the work I do. I also really enjoy the social media side of things as it’s helping to educate people, to help them keep their horses more comfortable and know when to utilise the help of qualified saddle fitters too. Thanks so much to Katy and the team at The Equestrian Business Awards- it’s an incredible awards and the awards night was excellent too!”

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has been named Charity of the Year at the Equestrian Business Awards.

The UK’s largest horse charity was nominated by the public then a thorough process including interviews, references and mystery shops was conducted by a team of judges.

Lynn Cutress said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the first winners of this category, which was introduced to the Equestrian Business Awards this year.

“Thank you so much to those who nominated us, to the organisers and a special mention to the runners-up, Munchkins Miniature Shetland Rescue.

“We’re very grateful to our wonderful staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to care for the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in our care 365 days a year and this award is dedicated to them.”

The awards had almost 17,000 nominations across 19 categories – which included Event Venue of the Year, Farrier of the Year, Saddle Fitter of the Year and Horse Transporter of the Year.

Posted on November 10th, 2022

Ponies from across Great Britain to take part in the first ever SEIB Search for a Star Pony Club Championships at Your Horse Live

The first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Pony Club Your Horse Live Championships will take place in the main SEIB Arena at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on the 11th  and 12th November 2022. Each of the four nations of Great Britain are represented in this exciting championship with young riders and their ponies travelling from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales for the big day.

The SEIB Search for a Star Pony Club Your Horse Live championship is part of the Search for a Star Your Horse Live championship which includes a total of eleven championship finals on the Friday of the show. For the first time ever, a Search for a Star Supreme Championship will be held for all the amateur finals winners on the Saturday of Your Horse Live in the main SEIB Arena.

The Search for a Star Pony Club championships include three finals, lead rein, first ridden and open. To compete, children and young people must be a member of a Pony Club branch or centre. Pony Club members from as far a-field as the Ross-Shire Pony Club in Inverness and East Antrim Pony Club in Northern Ireland have qualified for the first ever Search for a Star Pony Club championship.

SEIB Search for a Star has been running since 1996 and over this time the series has helped many amateur riders learn showing skills and go on to compete with great success in open classes. Founder of Search for a Star, SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “We are delighted to welcome The Pony Club to Search for a Star and are looking forward to the first ever Pony Club Search for a Star championships. Our competitors have worked so hard to secure their qualifications, we wish everyone the best of luck at Your Horse Live.”

Following six qualifying shows across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a total of sixteen young riders have qualified for the three Search for a Star Pony Club finals. Search for a Star 2022 kicked off with its first qualifying show at Vale View Equestrian Centre back in April and qualifiers followed at Bury Farm, Netherton Equestrian Centre in Perthshire, Laurel View in Northern Ireland, Stoneleigh Park and Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre. All finalists have either won, or been placed runner-up at one of these qualifying shows.

Search for a Star is unique owing to the support provided to amateur riders and their horses and ponies. Qualifying shows are headed up by senior judge, Mr Richard Ramsay who has a lifetime of experience producing, judging and mentoring showing competitors. Other series judges include Nicola Taylor, Hannah Horton, Samantha DeCaprio and former Search for a Star competitor, Louise Gaunt. All competitors are supported and encouraged by the team of Search for a Star judges and stewards who also give up their time for two Search for a Star ‘Weekender’ events throughout the season – where a training workshop is offered the day before the qualifying show and the Search for a Star training day held in September for all riders that have qualified for a Search for a Star final.

Competitors at the Search for a Star Pony Club Your Horse Live championships are lucky to go under top judges, Katie Jerram-Hunnable and Chris Hunnable and Matthew Lawrence for their final. As each class is underway, the judges will voice their thoughts over a microphone. This has proved very popular with the audience.

Your Horse Live Event Director, Emma Bedford said: “We are thrilled to welcome and host more SEIB Search for a Star championship classes than ever before. The Search for a Star schedule is packed and will run back-to-back all morning on the opening Friday of the show with for the first time ever, the Search for a Star supreme championship to follow in the SEIB Arena at prime time on the Saturday lunchtime!”

The SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Championship 2022 will begin at 8.20am in the main SEIB Arena with the in-hand finals. This final includes in-hand plaited horse and hogged show cob. In-hand plaited pony, in-hand native and traditional, in-hand veteran and in-hand mountain and moorland. At 9.40 the first of the new Search for a Star Pony Club finals gets underway with first-ridden and lead rein. At 10.25, the Pony Club Open final will take place, going on at 10.50 to the Search for a Star ridden part-bred traditional final. The biggest championship class of the day follows with the Search for a Star ridden mountain and moorland final at 11.15am and the action-packed morning will have its finale at midday with the SEIB Search for a Star open veteran championship.

Each winner of the ten Search for a Star amateur sections on the Friday will be invited forward to the Search for a Star Your Horse Live Supreme Championship at 1pm on Saturday in the main SEIB Arena at Your Horse Live.

Posted on November 1st, 2022

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Posted on August 24th, 2022

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