British rare breeds had their turn in the limelight at the weekend, with a Suffolk Punch mare winning the Supreme title and a Dales the reserve at the Supreme SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Your Horse Live Championship.
Champions of all shapes and sizes were crowned in the Search for a Star finals the previous day in the SEIB Arena at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, before the 10 section winners came forward for the Saturday lunchtime Supreme Championship on November 11.
Four-year-old Suffolk Punch mare Holbeache Scarlet won the first ever in-hand Search for a Star Heavy Horse final on the Friday, took the in-hand, and won overall Supreme Champion on the Saturday. The Friday class was judged by judged by Steve Ledsham.
Holbeache Scarlet is owned by Andrea Hoskins and was handled by Stud Manager Brak Auker. This is the first year the in-hand heavy horse Search for a Star championship has run. The Suffolk Punch breed is registered on the Priority list of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, making them critically endangered. There are only 80 Suffolk Punch breeding mares in the UK and there were just 23 foals on the ground in 2023.
In reserve position was Dales gelding Nipna Outrageous and his owner and rider, Nicola Clarey. This pair won the Search for a Star ridden mountain and moorland championship on the Friday before coming forward for the supreme on Saturday, which was judged by Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Chris Hunnable, Matthew Lawrence and Beth Simons.
Auker, who handled Holbeache Scarle, said it meant a lot to him to win. “It’s the first job I’ve had where I’m completely in charge and I am delighted we have managed to do this for Andrea. This is all new to me, I’ve been working as stud manager for Andrea for a year now. The Search for a Star workshop in September was great and taught me how to plait which has been great for today.”
The In-Hand heavy horse championship class also featured the best-shod competition judged by Farriers Registration Council member Robin May, and a prize awarded to the highest-placed horse owned and exhibited by a British Horse Society member. Holbeache Scarlet won both of these prizes as well and was presented with her prizes on Friday by British Horse Society Chief Executive Officer, James Hick.
Holbeache Scarlet is one of a band of broodmares owned by Hoskins. Auker said: “We are aiming to preserve the breed, Scarlet is in foal, she is well put together and has also won best-shod prizes several times. Showing is definitely her thing! I was always interested in heavy and working horses but then was sidetracked into thoroughbreds for several years before now working as the stud manager for Andrea. Holbeache Scarlet has also won at the Royal Norfolk show and was supreme champion at Suffolk.”
The finals judges noted that both the rare breed champion and reserve stood out. Katie Jerram Hunnable and Chris Hunnable said: “The Suffolk Punch was lovely and so well-behaved. She is in foal – due at the end of May which will be a fantastic addition to the collection of these rare breeds. We really liked her foreleg with her short pastern and cannon bone. It was a lovely win. The Dales was true to type and we really liked him.”
Steve Ledsham, who judged the heavy horse finals judge on Friday, said Holbeache Scarlet “met the breed standard to perfection”. “They were all winners on the day in this final as they have all qualified at the different shows. It is the breed standard that we are looking to find in a mixed class.”
Runner-up for the Supreme title on Saturday, six-year-old Dales pony gelding Nipna Outrageous, was owned and ridden by Nicola Clarey from Lincolnshire. The day before he won the Mountain and Moorlands final. Ray, as he is known at home, is in just his first year showing.
“He just felt amazing in the Supreme Championship today. He loves the atmosphere and will now have a rest until the new year,” Clarey said.
“He has had a busy time in his first season showing and took third at his first Search for a Star qualifier back in April before qualifying at Stoneleigh Park in the summer. He’s improving all the time and we will go for HOYS and Royal International qualifiers next year.”
Clarey was lucky to be at event after slipping over earlier in the week which resulted in a trip to A and E.
Full results – SEIB Search for a Star Championships at Your Horse Live 2023
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Champion 2022
Holbeache Scarlett owned by Andrea Hoskins and handled by Brad Auker from Lincolnshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Reserve Champion 2022
Nipna Outrageous owned and ridden by Nicola Clarey from Lincolnshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand Plaited Horse
Betheholyman / owned and handled by Mali Jones from Swansea
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand Plaited Pony
Rhos Elodie / owned by Sam Crutchlow and handled by Phoebe Crutchlow from Warwickshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand Veteran
Romany (Play The) / owned and handled by Heidi Bull from Shropshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand M and M
Kirtonian Loch Birnie / owned and ridden by Liz Twite from Devon
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand Native and Traditional
Foxwell Butterscotch / owned by Louise Pepperdine and handled by David Pepperdine from Lincolnshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live In-Hand Heavy Horse
Holbeache Scarlet / owned by Andrea Hoskins and handled by Brad Auker from Lincolnshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Pony Club First Ridden
Desarbre Sparrow Hawk / owned by Lisa Croft and ridden by Millie Croft from Nottinghamshire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Pony Club Lead Rein
Thistledown Edison / owned by Mary-Jo Grant and ridden by Ianna Grant from Ross-Shire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Pony Club Open
Tregaire Tiger Lily / owned by Eloise Chugg-Martin and ridden by Rose Chugg-Martin from Gloucestershire
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Mountain and Moorland Ridden
1st Nipna Outrageous / owned and ridden by Nicola Clarey from Lincolnshire
2nd Saulire Thunder Struck / owned and ridden by Caroline Edgson from Warwickshire
3rd Kirtonian Loch Birnie / owned and ridden by Liz Twite from Devon
SEIB Search for a Star Your Horse Live Open Veteran Ridden
1st Saffron XII / owned and ridden by Sarah Grindle from Gloucestershire
2nd Gallifrey / owned by Carole West and ridden by Lynn Russell from Surrey
3rd Elmhurst Bizzie B / owned by Jackie Banks and ridden by Xanthe Banks from Worcestershire
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