SEIB Insurance Brokers are delighted to announce a brand-new addition to the Search for a Star competition, a new class for traditional cobs that will also culminate in a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) championship. At each of the five SEIB qualifiers, one solid and one piebald or skewbald animal will go through to HOYS, so a total of ten traditional cobs will have their time to shine at the UK’s premier show.

Event Director for Horse of the Year Show, Emma Williams, commented: “We are delighted to be opening up the opportunity for more horses and more riders to be eligible to compete at Horse of the Year Show, which is so widely recognised as the pinnacle of the showing year. Up until now we have not had a class available for solid coloured traditional cobs so this will provide them with the opportunity to compete amongst the highest calibre of competitors, along with their coloured counterparts. The successfulness of the new addition will determine its longevity at Horse of the Year Show, therefore we would like to encourage as many amateur riders as possible who enjoy competing their traditional cob, to make the most of their opportunity to compete under the spotlight at HOYS.”

SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “This brand new competition will support the SEIB Search for a Star ethos of providing opportunities for grass root riders with their beloved horses and ponies. We need to say a big thank you to Horse of the Year Show for their continued support of the series and for giving true amateur riders a shot at the big time. Nearly 20 years ago HOYS allowed SEIB to take ex-racehorses there for the first time and look what a success that class has become! We hope and believe that traditional cobs will prove to be as popular.”

Long-standing SEIB Search for a Star judge Richard Ramsay said: “This is a really interesting addition to Search for a Star. The traditional cob qualifiers deserve plenty of support and I am very much looking forward to judging the classes.”

The Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA) is wholeheartedly supporting the new SEIB Search for a Star competition. Founding TGCA Director, Andrea Betteridge said: “I am thrilled that the Traditional Gypsy Cob Breed will be showcased within the exceptional SEIB Search for a Star series with its finals at the most prestigious show of the year.”

This new SEIB Search for a Star competition for traditional cobs offers an incredible opportunity for the breed, whatever colour they happen to be they will have a chance to compete at Horse of the Year Show. Nicolina continued: “Traditional gypsy cobs come in such a glorious range of colours and to date the coloureds are the only sector that has been represented. This new series will give the whole breed including the solid coloured horses a pathway to display their beauty and talent.”

The new SEIB Search for a Star competition for traditional cobs is open to pure-bred registered cobs only. Horses and ponies will have to have a Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA) passport or have theirs over stamped by the organisation, to prove that they meet the breed standard and are not part-breds. However, as always with SEIB Search for a Star no competitor has to be a member of any organisation.

This new competition will follow the standard rules for SEIB Search for a Star, which are strictly enforced. The first qualifier of the season takes place at Osbaldeston Riding Centre on the 14th April.