Samantha Ellis, 31, of Downham, was placed first in the SEIB Search for a Star Riding Club Show Horse class at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre.
Riding her own Billy Boy, Samantha fought off stiff competition from other riders in the class to secure a spot at the prestigious finals held at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Samantha has owned the eight-year-old for five years and has backed him and brought him on herself.
“We have done some dressage, but he was late maturing and I have waited five years to get him out,” she says of the coloured gelding.
“We started jumping this year and have done a lot of work over poles.”
The work has obviously paid off; after an unlucky plank down at the first qualifier at Osbaldeston dashed their hopes, the pair regrouped and negotiated the fences and trotting poles in perfect form at Houghton.
Samantha, who works as an electronic assembler making beauty therapy machines, started showing Billy Boy last year and won Supreme at a local riding club show. This year they are aiming for Equifest and the British Skewbald and Piebald Association championships.
The SEIB Search for a Star series has been created by SEIB to encourage amateur riders to produce their horses to a high standard in the show ring and giving them the opportunity to compete at the prestigious finals at the HOYS.
Each qualifying competition follows the same format, with classes for Working Hunters, Riding Club Show Horses, Show Hunters, Show Ponies & Show Hunter Ponies, Riding Horse/Hacks and Cobs.
“The Search For A Star Championship series is a way to give amateur riders the chance to achieve their dream of riding at The Horse Of The Year Show. The standard increases every year and we are delighted to give so many riders this opportunity”, said Nicolina MacKenzie, Marketing Manager at South Essex Insurance Brokers
Samantha will compete at the SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Championship finals at the Horse of the Year Show, October 5–9, at the Birmingham NEC.
More information on the SEIB Search for a Star series is available at www.search4astar.org.uk, Further information is available from www.facebook.com/SEIB.LTD, and www.facebook.com/SEIB.Search4AStar.