Heanor rider qualifies for prestigious show

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An amateur rider from Heanor has qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.

Rachael Holmes rode her homebred horse, Piper’s Royal Sonata, to a win in the riding horse hack class at the SEIB Search for a Star qualifier at Alnwick Ford Equestrian Centre in Northumberland.

Rachael bred ‘Darcy’ from a mare she had previously rescued with the hope that he might one day qualify for HOYS. She said: “It is literally a dream come true.

“We came so close at the last Search for a Star qualifier at Bury Farm and then decided to just go for it and make the 190 odd mile journey from Derbyshire up to Northumberland. I am so glad that we did.

“Darcy’s way of going has improved so much and he is still only six. We have only been to a few shows so far this year and I plan to do some novice classes for the rest of the season and maybe take him to Equifest so he gets a chance to experience a show with a big atmosphere.”