Jane Norris, 44, from Llandysul took first place in the Cob class at the South Essex Insurance Broker’s (SEIB) Search for a Star 2014 qualifier, held at Summerhouse Equestrian Centre in Gloucestershire. Riding her horse, Farmhill Apache, Jane fought off stiff competition from other riders in the class to gain qualification for the Horse of The Year Show.

Jane bought Farmhill Apache, a 9 year old coloured maxi cob gelding last September and they hunted all season with the Vale of Clettwr. “This is new to us, it is only our third show”, said Jane, who decided to have a go at showing for something to do in the summer. The pair were placed 4th in the Novice Cob class at the Bath and West show, and also did the Maxi Cob class at Three Counties. “I did a Katie Jerram clinic at the beginning of the year and she suggested that we try Search for a Star. We have also had some lessons with Sarah Chapman who has been teaching us what showing is all about”, said Jane, who had been suffering from thyroiditis and had struggled to get ready for the show but was determined that they were going to take part. “He was not too spooky, which I was a bit worried about as it is his first time indoors, but he was very good.

We came here show jumping and I want to do the working show horse classes but we needed to get the showing bit first. This has been our main aim for this year. We have entered Bury Farm and some county shows and we will do some more coloured classes”, she said. “He was bought by my partner from Malvern sales to go hunting, but he is not having him back now!” said Jane, who works as a self employed web designer.

Show Judge, Richard Ramsay said: “This competition gives amateurs the chance to compete at HOYS, a dream which many riders would love to realise and the standard in Search for a Star gets better every year.”

Jane and Farmhill Apache will compete at The South Essex Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Championship finals at the Horse of the Year Show, 8th – 12th October 2014, at the Birmingham NEC.