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First HOYS Places Booked For SEIB "Search 2003"

Carly turns tragedy into triumph and Kate changes pace!

The first selection day this year for the South Essex Insurance Brokers "Search for a Star" competition was doubly important for Ellesmere-based Fiona-Jane Bebb.

Not only was it her first outing since fracturing her foot, but she also achieved a life-long ambition to qualify her home-bred Riding Horse, Tudor Knight, for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.

"Search for a Star," now in its eighth year, is designed to give amateur riders and owners an opportunity to compete at this national show, which will be held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on September 17-21.

Fiona-Jane qualified at Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre, Lancashire, first of five selection days nationwide.

For Peter Hodgkinson it was also a day to remember. Peter, from Bolton, bought his show hunter only four months ago. Now, after years trying to qualify ponies for the national show, he has made it!

Julie Robinson, from Carnforth, got the Cob Flynn to look after only a year ago. "He took five hours to load (into a horsebox) and then 2½ hours to unload and was pretty uncontrollable for a few weeks," she said. Now she too has booked her place for Birmingham.

For 17-years-old Carly Curbishley, from Mobberley, "Search for a Star" turned tragedy into triumph. Her pony was seriously injured in an accident earlier this year, but Carly's search for a replacement ride while the pony is recovering from surgery turned up the Cob, Double Take, who earned her the second Cob place for Birmingham.

Kate Johnston from Gainsborough, Lincs, has had a change of pace. Before her marriage she was a successful amateur National Hunt jockey with a win at the Cheltenham Festival in 1988 to her credit and a second place over the Grand National course at Aintree. Her place at the Horse of the Year Show was earned with her Working Hunter, Impy.


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