How to succeed in the Search for a Star series

Search for a Star racehorse champion
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SEIB Search for a Star culminates at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), when the champions are crowned. If you fancy having a go next year, make sure you check out this advice from Nicky MacKenzie at SEIB Insurance Brokers, who was the brains behind this great amateur series.

  1. Don’t worry if you are not sure about which category your horse should compete in. For example, are they a riding horse or a show hunter? The judges will point you in the right direction.
  2. Get your horse used to being indoors and hire an indoor school, or go to an indoor show prior to the Search for a Star competition.
  3. Try to ensure someone else has ridden your horse besides yourself, especially if he is young. Being green is not a draw back, but bad manners can cost you a class.
  4. If your horse or pony is young and a real novice it will not count against you if you show in a snaffle.
  5. Remember that ride judges come in all shapes and sizes – make sure your leathers will go shorter or longer and that your irons are full size.
  6. It helps enormously if you can ride with other horses as often as possible, so that your horse/pony doesn’t hot up in company. This is especially important in the Riding Horse class.
  7. Practise taking your horse or pony out of line and getting him used to leaving others. Try setting up a mock show with your friends..
  8. Asking for advice from a professional won’t affect your amateur status. There is bound to be someone in your area who knows about showing, so get in touch.
  9. Always remember the judges and officials are also there to help. Don’t be afraid to approach them!
  10. Read the competition rules carefully, so that you are clear on the amount of help you are allowed and whether you are eligible for the competition.

For more information on the SEIB Search for a Star series visit

You can watch exclusive highlights from the Search for a Star Championship at HOYS on H&C. Our daily round up of HOYS 2017 will air at 7.30pm from 5 – 9 October on Sky 253, or you can watch online via H&C Play or Amazon Video.

HOYS 2017 on H&C is sponsored by 

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