Dream comes true for Ilkeston equestrian after Horse of the Year qualification

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An Ilkeston equestrian says her dream has come true after she qualified for this year’s Horse of the Year Show.

Hayley Topham (21) qualified for the prestigious event after claiming third in the Riding Club Show Horse class at the South Essex Insurance Broker’s (SEIB) Search for a Star 2014.

Hayley will ride Abi Powell’s horse, Midnight Star (Jessica) when the event takes place next month.

Delighted Hayley said: “To go to Horse of the Year show has always been a dream, Midnight Star (Jessica), known as Fairy at home, always tries her best.

“We had so much fun at the qualifier and were amazed we came third with such stiff competition.

“For the last four and a half years I have worked for Karen Bassett, an international horse team carriage driver.

“We regularly compete at national competitions and ridden dressage.

“In the last two years I have completed my BHS Level 1 and 2, and Diploma where I achieved Land Based Apprentice of the Year 2013. I am just about to start my Level 3 BHS exams, along with my PTT.

“Me and Fairy are really looking forward to HOYS, she deserves to be in the spot light for everyone to see, as she is such an amazing, kind and affectionate mare, who I have gained such an incredible bond with, she is my best friend.”

Hayley and her horse have had many successes together and were Equestrian Life Combined Training champions in 2011 and Trailblazers Combined Training Champion & Reserve Champion in 2012.

They also won the Pony Club One Day Event at Burghley in 2012 and qualified for the Pony Club Championships.

Hayley and Fairy have kept up their impressive record this season and took fourth place at the 2014 Pony Club Championships and the won the title of Supreme champion at the Barleyfields Riding Club show.