Lizzie Harris, from Waltham on the Wolds, has qualified for the 2016 SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) with her eight-year-old ex-racehorse Wild West.
The qualifier was held in the main arena at the world famous three-day Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials last Sunday.
Lizzie and Wild West finished in third place in the class which was enough to land one of the HOYS tickets. Lizzie, a former amateur jockey, trains point-to-pointers, and ‘Westy’ is her sole show horse. Formerly trained by Jonjo O’Neill, the chestnut gelding was ridden by champion jump-jockey AP McCoy before being taken over by Lizzie, with whom he has since hunted, team chased, and shown both astride and side-saddle.
This will be the horse’s second year contesting the final at HOYS, in which he placed sixth in 2015.
“To come out again and do it is something special. Last year we came out and thought ‘let’s hope’ – this year, we thought ‘we’ve done it once, let’s do it again’,” said Lizzie, who balances her yard of nine pointers with showing Wild West and with new motherhood.
Having had a baby in June, she commended the horse’s consistency, which allowed her to get back in the saddle with confidence: “He can be sharp but I know him now, I know what to do and when to do it, as long as we keep the child out of the way of him! A few people have asked if he’s up for sale, but because I can just get on him I’d never part with him. He’s not easy, but for me, he’s perfect.”
The SEIB Racehorse To Riding Horse Show Championship was created by SEIB 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.
More information on the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship is available from www.racehorse2ridinghorse.co.uk, or you can keep up with the latest news on social media at www.facebook.com/SEIB.R2R