Richard Telford, from Ayton Castle, has earned a coveted place at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) after taking the runner-up spot in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse 2016 qualifier, held at Osbaldeston Riding Centre, in Lancashire.
Riding Alastair McCulloch’s ex-racehorse, Pastoral Prey, Richard fought off stiff competition from other riders in the class to gain qualification for the final.
Richard has had the six-year-old since 2013 when he lost a good show hack and was looking to fill the gap. Pastoral Prey was in training with Ian Semple in East Lothian and was placed four times from 13 starts on the flat.
He explained: “I had a look at him and bought him for not very much. He was straight out of racing and was really sharp and could be explosive for no apparent reason. Then we found he had ulcers and after treatment he became a different person. It really opened my eyes to the problem and I am now more conscious of the symptoms in other horses”.
They took it slowly in the first year and entered just a few local shows. Last year the pair progressed and they swept the board with seven shows and seven wins, mainly in ex-racehorse classes, including Blair International Horse Trials.
Richard was delighted to have qualified at Osbaldeston, his nearest qualifier after a 4½ hour journey from Scotland. But they are used to travelling and plan to do the ex-racehorse class at Windsor Horse Show next month.
Richard will compete at the SEIB Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship finals at the Horse of the Year Show (October 5-9) at the Birmingham NEC.
The SEIB Racehorse To Riding Horse Show Championship was created by South Essex Insurance Brokers to support and encourage the re-education of thoroughbreds taken out of racing, re-schooling them and preparing them for a new career in the show ring.
The series offers six qualifiers throughout the country, with winners earning a coveted ticket to the SEIB championship held at Horse of the Year Show. The classes are open to both amateur and professional producers and are judged as for Riding Horses, with the best of type, whether hack, riding horse or hunter, deemed the winner.