High Wycombe's Emma-Jo Slater took the honours in the SEIB Winter Novice Qualifier at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre

Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre in Rugby, Warwickshire was a popular choice for competitors over the weekend as eighty-four combinations came forward to compete in the SEIB Winter Novice Qualifier recently with Slater taking the top spot.

Thirty of the initial starters completed the first round course with a clean slate but only twelve could produce a second clear around David Cole’s nine fence jump-off. With only two qualifying places on offer for the Championship Final at the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead, West Sussex this summer, the competition was a fierce one.

On board Ross Irving’s 10-year-old Belgian bred gelding Jaguar De Saint-Pierre, Slater flew through the finish line with nearly two seconds to spare and this guaranteed their place in the Championship Final.

Brian Thompson claimed second place with Millfield Cloe, a seven-year-old grey mare owned by Millfield Stud. They also finished with a double clear with a time of 44.36 seconds.

Slater will now be hoping to use this success as a springboard to a hugely profitable year with some significant events ahead.