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1st Double Brandy, owned and ridden by Lousie Marsden from Worcester

2nd Sister Gee, owned and ridden by Jill Wormall from Leicestershire – Already Qualified

3rd Purple Moon, owned by Sara Cumani and ridden by Chantal Wooten from Suffolk – Already Qualified

4th Whatcanyasay, owned and ridden by Robyn Cook from Cumbria


The main arena at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials was the venue for the final qualifier for the 2013 South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship on Sunday the 8th September. This is the second time the qualifier has been given a Sunday prime time slot at this world famous three day event. The entries were of an exceptionally high standard, with 20 horses coming forward for judging in front of a packed crowd. Taking first place was former HOYS finalist, Double Brandy, owned and ridden by Louise Marden from Worcester. Whatcanyasay, owned and ridden by Robyn Gray from Cumbria also qualified for The Horse of the Year Show finals, to be held at the NEC Birmingham in October. Class sponsors, SEIB and the team at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials have worked hard together to facilitate the staging of this qualifier in the main ring.

Ride judges were David Bartram and Sara Leatherbarrow and Richard Ramsay judged conformation. They were all impressed with the standard of entries and the behaviour of the horses in the electric atmosphere of the main arena at Burghley.

Double Brandy won the qualifier in fine style, this 9 year old grey mare by Alflora, out of a Derrylin mare was in training with Roger Curtis. Owner and rider, Louise bought her straight out of training as a five year old. Louise said, “I am chuffed to bits to win this class, it will be great to go back to HOYS with her”. The pair took fourth place at the HOYS finals in 2012 and Louise is determined to do well again this year.

Louise and Double Brandy have had success across a range of classes. They were reserve champions in the Trailblazers series and in addition to their Burghley victory have won the racehorse classes this season at both Monmouth and the Three Counties Show, also qualifying for Hickstead in 2014. Louise said, “She really is my pet, she is so laid back and really enjoys her showing. One of my jobs is clipping racehorses and I clipped her when she was in training, I still clip the trainer’s horses to this day. She will have a holiday after HOYS and then do some jumping. I may also breed from her, I would love to put her to a sports pony stallion and breed a hack type”.

Also qualifying for HOYS at Burghley was Robyn Gray’s twelve year old Prince Daniel gelding, Whatcanyasay. Trained by Evelyn Slack, Whatcanyasay ran a total of 46 times over hurdles and fences accumulating prize money in excess of £20,000. Robyn (22) who had travelled all the way from Cumbria to compete at Burghley, said, “It is great to have qualified for HOYS, he is improving all the time. We brought him to Burghley last year and he finished 8th, he has definitely grown up and is calmer this season”.

Robyn has owned Whatcanyasay for two years, she has ridden him out since he was a four year old when he was in training and nearly had the chance to ride him in a race. She said, “I have ridden in 32 races on the flat and National Hunt and had a win on the flat at Musselburgh. It would have been great to have ridden Whatcanyasay in a race as he is a real schoolmaster”.

Robyn is currently working for Shropshire based event rider, Andrew Heffernan, she added, “Whatcanyasay is still living up in Cumbria, my sisters, Melanie and Jodie have been riding him out recently. Now we have qualified for HOYS I will get some flatwork lessons off Andrew to help and I’ll also do a few one day events to take the edge off him”. Robyn and Whatcanyasay have also won Retraining of Racehorses Challenge classes this season at Aintree, Carslisle and Hambleton. Robyn said, “I would love to start my own yard reschooling horses”.

Nicolina Mackenzie, Marketing Manager at SEIB said “What a thrill it is for the riders to compete in this wonderful setting. The team at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials have worked so hard to continue to make this qualifier the success that it is. We have some very high quality horses qualified for the 2013 HOYS Championship”. Equine Insurance brokers, South Essex Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more.

The HOYS champion in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship will again be eligible for the annual SEIB and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Elite Performance Award for Showing, a valuable cash award for racehorses who have gone in to success in a new career. The HOYS SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Champion will also go forward for the HOYS Supreme Horse Championship.

The SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship qualifiers are open to any owner, rider and producer. The Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship, which is supported by the charity,

Retraining of Racehorses, was initiated by South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) to help ex racehorses when they come out of training and help to recognise their abilities in the show ring. Horses need to have been in training with a recognised trainer and have raced to be eligible for these classes, which provide an opportunity to qualify for the prestigious HOYS finals.

The South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship finals will be held at the Horse Of The Year Show, 9th – 13th October 2013, at NEC, Birmingham.

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