Ru­pert proves an ideal re­place­ment

Eques­trian

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Sarah Knight has guar­an­teed her place at this year’s Horse of the Year Show in Oc­to­ber.

The 43-year-old from Ash­ford rode her horse, Di­a­mond Geezer, to win in the hunter class at the SEIB In­sur­ance Bro­kers Search for a Star qual­i­fier at Houghton Hall in Cam­bridgeshire last month.

Sarah and Ru­pert, as he is known on the yard, com­pete at novice level dres­sage. They fin­ished third in last year’s Un­af­fil­i­ated Dres­sage Cham­pi­onship at Hick­stead, qual­i­fy­ing for the area fes­ti­val.

She said af­ter the win at Houghton Hall: “It was only our sec­ond ever show­ing show and he is bred for jump­ing.”

The vic­tory is made all the more spe­cial by the fact that Sarah has only been back in the sad­dle for a few years, fol­low­ing a bat­tle with breast cancer.

She added: “Get­ting back on a horse helped me.

“I did some county level Rid­ing Horse classes and en­joyed show­ing. Then I lost that horse through old age and I wanted an­other show horse.

“I went to look at an­other one and saw Ru­pert in a field.”

Af­ter some per­sua­sion, Ru­pert’s owner – who had also bred the horse – agreed to let Sarah ride him and fi­nally re­lented and let her buy him.

Now the pair have started jump­ing and hope to con­test some work­ing hunter classes this year.

The SEIB Search for a Star se­ries has been cre­ated to en­cour­age ama­teur rid­ers to pro­duce their horses to a high stan­dard in the show ring and giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete at the Horse of the Year Show .

Each qual­i­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion fol­lows the same for­mat, with classes for work­ing hun­ters, Rid­ing Club show horses, show hun­ters, show ponies and show hunter ponies, rid­ing horse/hacks and cobs.

‘I went to look at an­other one and saw Ru­pert in a field’

Sarah Knight and Di­a­mond Geezer – the pair have qual­i­field for this year’s Horse of the Year Show

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