Talent Spotting – Finalists : 1985 -2001

Talent Spotting – Finalists : 1985 -2001

Winner: Daniel Sherriff – member of Enfield Chase branch of Pony Club. Passed Pony Club ‘A’ Test with Honours. Spent two months training with Judy Cammaerts and then went on to be Trainee Centre Manager at Gleneagles Mark Phillips Equestrian Centre. Perthshire. Left Gleneagles in 1989 and is now based at Bayford Hall Farm in Hertfordshire. He has had many of his horses from Novice through to Grand Prix, the majority with ‘Bayford Hall’ prefix. He has won most National titles from Novice level upwards. Daniel came 5th in his first International Grand Prix in 2001. His current ride, Sionic, qualified for the national Championships this year at Prix St Georges and Intermediare I level. The talent Spotting Scheme changed Daniel’s life, it gave him a massive confidence boost and he decided to stick with horses as a career!

Other Finalists: Karen Jones, Julie Davis, Susie Tarbuck
Karen Jones, is now Karen Denness and her daughter, Taylor, is competing successfully on her ponies. We hope to see her at a Talent Spotting final in the future.

Winner: John Bowen – attended Mrs Gold’s Easter Course at the B.E.C., Stoneleigh. Used to work at Marjorie Comerford’s yard in Lincolnshire, competed regularly in Horse Trials prior to Talent Spotting. In 1987 John won a Martini Scholarship as the most promising young dressage rider of the year. Then spent time training and working in Denmark. Established his own yard in Leicestershire in 1988.
Runner-Up: Paul Hayler – based at Sarah Whitmore’s yard in Edenbridge, Kent. Attended Mrs Morgan’s Easter Course at Goodwood in 1986. Shortlisted with Mrs Silvia Raper’s “Harlekin” for British Young Rider dressage team in 1987 riding L.V. Mays Transport Ltd’s “Baby Duck”. (Team were placed 5th at Cervia, Italy.) In 1988 Paul won 5 Prix St Georges classes with Baby Duck and he also won the Elementary Winter Dressage Championship on Mr R Armstrong’s “Charvil Lad”.

In third place was Carl Hester. Carl learnt to ride in 1983 whilst working at the Fortune Centre in Hampshire, and competed on their horses. In 1987 he was placed 2nd in the Taylor Woodrow Young Rider Open Championship riding Kate Masek’s “Billy Can”. In 1988 Carl had the ride on Lady Craddock’s “Slightly Trendy” and was selected to go as a member of the British Young Rider Dressage Team to Lanaken in Belgium, but unfortunately broke his leg just before the team left and was unable to take part. In 1987 Carl returned to the Talent Spotting Final where he was assessed as the most improved rider from 1986. Late in 1989 he began riding Dr Wilfred Bechtolsheimer’s horses and in 1992 he represented Great Britain at the Barcelona Olympics on Giorgione. Carl was awarded the Spillers Equestrian Personality of the Year in 1997. Carl is a sought after trainer and as early as 1994 his pupil, three day eventer, Vaughn Jefferis became individual gold medallist at the World Equestrian Games in The Hague. The New Zealand event team requested Carl’s presence at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as their dressage trainer. His hard work and dedication towards others was recognised in the same year, when Carl won the Dressage Trainer of the Year award. Carl has been National Dressage Champion 5 times and represented Great Britain three times at the Olympic Games.

Other Finalists: Lisa Bickenson, Joanne Fielden, Helen Dean

Winner: Robert Pring – attended Easter Course at Goodwood taken by Mrs Gold. Now riding at Medium/Advanced levels. On the staff at Arundel Riding Centre. Qualified his horse for the Taylor Woodrow Novice Regional Final in 1988. He is now a BHSAI.
Runner-Up: Claire Neilson – attended the Easter Course at the B.E.C. taken by Lady Joicey. Pony Club area dressage teams; affiliated dressage Novice and Elementary. Helped by Tricia Gardiner. She is now Mrs Botterell and is not competing at the moment as she has children of her own, but she did go on to compete internationally at big tour level.

Other Finalists: Jackie Lees, Karen Marsh, Lucy Jennings, Karen Boyle

Winner: Joanna Jackson – attended Easter Course at Waverton Riding Centre taken by Lady Joicey. Joanna is from Preston in Lancashire. In 1987 Joanna was placed 7th in the Pony Club Individual Dressage Championship. In 1989 she won the Pony Club Individual Championship and returned to the Talent Spotting Final where she was assessed as the most improved rider from 1988. During 1990 she went from strength to strength on her own and Lady Joicey’s “Mester Mouse”, winning the Young Rider Selection Trials, the Young Rider Open Championship and the Hermes Young Rider Scholarship. She also represented Great Britain in Lanaken, Belgium at the European Championships. In 1991, she once again won the Young Rider Selection Trials and the Young Rider Open Championships. She represented Great Britain once again at the European Championships in Cervia, Italy and also attended a Young Rider Friendly in Lanaken, Belgium, where she was placed 8th in the Team Test. Joanna won the Goodwood International at Prix St Georges and Intermediare I level in 1992. In 1996 she represented Great Britain at the Atlanta Olympics riding Mester Mouse. She is a registered British Dressage Trainer. Joanna found that Selectors etc gave her more consideration after winning the Final.
Runner-Up: Rheit Jeremy Bird from Cornwall. Attended Easter Course at Ardingly taken by Mrs Inger Bryant. Originally a reserve candidate for the Talent Spotting Final, but got a place through one of the finalists opting to come to the Selection Trials. Rheit is helped by Annabel Scrimgeour. He has competed at Novice and Pony Club Dressage competitions.

Other Finalists: Nikki Parry, Lucy Bailey, Justine Crush, Sharon Edwards

Winner: Laura Rossiter – from Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire attended a Course at Addington Manor taken by Inger Bryant. Laura attended the Final in some discomfort, having sustained a broken nose from a fall the week before. Laura has her own horse, an 11 year old gelding called ‘Uranus’. She qualified him in 1989 for the Taylor Woodrow Medium Regional Final, the Taylor Woodrow Young Rider Open Championship and the Frys Medium Championship. In 1990 Laura returned to the Talent Spotting Final where she was assessed at the most improved rider from 1989. She now works with Sarah Whitmore in Kent, where she competes at all levels.
Runner-Up: Sarah Taylor – from Colesbourne in Gloucestershire. She was shortlisted for the British Junior Event Team to go to Switzerland. She and her pony ‘Fair Dinkum’ took fourth place at the Windsor Junior National Event Championship in 1989. Sarah was also long-listed for the British Pony Dressage team in 1987 and 1988.

Other Finalists: Tiffany Bitmead, Polly Boys, Lesley McVittie, Ruth Roberts

Winner: Clive Halsall – from Preston in Lancashire. He attended the Course at Southern Equitation, taken by Jane Kidd. He has competed nationally up to Grand Prix level and internationally at Small Tour. Clive was 2nd in the Advanced Medium National Chamionships in 2001. In 2003 he competed at the Fry’s CDI at Small Tour Level. In 2005 Clive qualified 3 horses for the National Championships at Novice, Elementary and Intermediaire II level. He is a List 2 Judge and a fully qualified instructor. Clive found that through the publicity of winning Talent Spotting Final and the help of his trainer at the time, Sarah Whitmore, he gained the opportunity to train abroad in Switzerland with Georg Wahl.

Runner-up: Victoria Nie – from Ewhurst in Surrey was short-listed twice for the Pony European Championship and has qualified for Young Rider Novice Championships. In 1989 she was 2nd in the Moneeka Fine Arts Derby.

Other Finalists: Scott Rimmer, Susan Downes, Rebecca Gatrall, Phillipa Lester, Lucinda Underwood and Tessa Wooldridge

Winner: Rebecca Robins – from Whitby, North Yorkshire, attended a Course at the York Riding School taken by Tanya Larrigan. Started dressage three years ago and competes at Medium level. Rebecca rides 3 horses; Mayo Miss, graded Medium and working Advanced Medium; Chester, Novice level and Waldrose who has just been broken. In 1990 Rebecca qualified for the Pony Club Dressage Championships, the Badminton Horse Feeds Novice Championships, Yorkshire Regional Championships and the North East Hathaway Medium Championships.
Runner-up: Sarah Wright – from Clitheroe, Lancs. Sarah competes in many equestrian activities including Dressage, Horse Trials, Showing, Show Jumping, and has had many wins at unaffiliated dressage competitions.

Other Finalists: Rebekah Abel Smith, Robbie Carpenter, Fox, Daniel Timson

Winner: Hannah Esberger – is from Sheffield in Yorkshire. Hannah attended a Course at the York Riding School taken by Judy Cammaerts. Hannah had her first pony at the age of 10 years. She competed in show hunter/working hunter classes and joined the Pony Club in 1991 and took part in the Team Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping. She started dressage in 1991.She was a member of the Pony European Team in 1992, Junior European Team in 1993 and Young Rider European Team in 1995. In 2001 Hannah won the World Championship Young Horse Selection Trial. She was a member ofthe Pony European team in 1992, the Junior European team in 1993 and the Young Rider European team in 1995. Hannah competed at Internatioan competitions at Hickstead and Fry’s in 2004 with Noblesse II. In 2005 Hannah qualified 2 or her younger horses for the National Chamionships and Winter championships at Novice and Elementary level. Hannah is an Assessor for the Talent Spotting Scheme and British Dressage trainer. She feels that the publicity of winning the Talent Spotting Final, helped her get more recognition and sponsorship – which helped her to promote her career.
Runner-up: Tiffany Barter – from Edenbridge, Kent. Took up serious dressage in 1991. Based with Sarah Whitmore at Hilders Farm. Member of the Young Rider European Team in 1994.

Other Finalists:- Rosamund Bowley, Kirsty Farren, Jaki Hulmes and Mark Townsend.

Winner: Kate Johnson – from Cleethorpes, South Humberside. Started riding at the age of 6. Kate trains with Ian Woodhead at the Weelsby Park Riding School where she helps back and school young horses as well as competing in show jumping and dressage. Member of the European Pony Team in 1993 and the Junior European Team in 1994 and 1995.
Runner-up: Adele Sisson – from North Weald, Essex. Participated in Pony Club Teams for Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing. Attended AI in 1992. Trains with Mary Robins.

Other Finalists:- Joanne Barry, Jemma Bentley, Lucy Boyatt, Lucinda Hanaghan, Emma Hawley and Hannah Hilbery.

Winner: Carol Wagstaff – from Basingstoke, Hampshire. Started riding at the age of 5. Represent Mortimer Riding Club in show jumping and horse trials. Trained by Sarah Ward. Took up affiliated dressage in 1991 and now competing at Medium level.
Runner-up: Jeanette Brakewell – from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. She was a member fo the Young Rider Three Day Event team and Pony Club Dressage teams. Jeanette decided to take eventing as her chosen career and in 1996 she came 7th at Braham CCI***, riding ‘Over To You’. In 1997 she gained a Horse Trials Support Group Scholarship and competed at Blenheim CCI***, coming 7th. In 1998 she represented Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games riding ‘Over To You’. Between 1999 and 2003, she was part of the Great Britain team at two European Championships, winning Gold on both occasions; the Olympic Games in Sydney, gaining a Silver medal and the World Equestrian Games winning individual silver and a team bronze. In 2005 Jeanette was a member of the Great Britain European team, where they gained a gold medal. She trains with John Bowen and Kenneth Clawson. The Talent Spotting Scheme gave Jeanette a huge boost to her career. She used the training grant she received on valuable lessons with Judy Harvey.

Other Finalists: Karen Andrew, Jennifer Balcombe, Eleanor Byrne and Esther Seeger.

Winner: Natalie Hirsh – from Meppershall, Bedfordshire. Trains with mother, Jacqui who runs the Rowan Lodge Dressage Centre and Richard Davison. Been riding since the age of two. Taken part in the BYRDS Scheme. Competes at Novice and Elementary level, but hopes to devote more time to horses following the completion of degree course in Agricultural Economics at Reading University.
Runner-up: Emma Morton – from Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire. Trains with Jane Bredin. Competes at Medium level with 5 year old horse, working towards Young Riders in 1996. Has competed in Pony Club Teams. Took part in the BYRDS Scheme in 1994/5.

Other Finalists: Ruth Friend, Kate Francis, Phillipa Germain and Kathleen Brakewell.

Winner: Lisa Christopher – from Cirencester, Glos. Trained by Lorna George since she was 12. Her interest in dressage started after being lent a show pony and taking a second place in the Pony Derby at the Young Riders Festival.
Runner-up: Lisa Maynard – Billericay, Essex. Trains with Sarah Cotton. Competed in RC & PC area teams.

Other Finalists: Erica Gerrard, Karen Edwards-Wilson, Olivia Walker and Kate Attlee,

Winner: Joanna Barry – from Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos. Originally from Edinburgh, moved to Glos in February 1996. Works full time for Carl Hester. Has been riding since the age of 4 and until 1993 competed only in showing .

Runner-up: Christopher Roper – from Wimborne, Dorset. Competes mainly showjumping and three day eventing.

Other Finalists: Daniel Watson, Abigail Sutton, Emily Hamblin & Lisa Kirkham.

Winner: Daryl Thickett – from Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Trained by Gill Liggins. Works full time for Ronnie Massarella, showjumping Chef d’Equipe.

Runner-ups: Pippa Fisher & Sorrell Klatzko were both very close runner-ups.

Other Finalists: Sarah Green, Jemima Manning and Kate Webb.

Winner: Lisa Kirkham – from Lytham St Annes, Lancs. Trains with Judith Bateson. Competed all Pony Club activities. Enjoys breaking in young horses. Placed 5th in Elementary Restricted Championship in 1998.
Runner-up: Emma Harlow – from Dore in Sheffield. Trains with Christopher White. Qualified with her 6 year old Danish horse for the Regional Championships in 1999.

Other Finalists: Victoria Scott, Eleanor Wardle, Andrew Campbell, Hayley Tennant.

Winner: Emma Harlow from Sheffield. Trains with Christopher White. Runner up in 1999.
Runner-up: Elder Klatzko from Ashford, Kent. Trains with Justine Crush. She rides her own horse at Novice/Elementary level.

Other Finalists: Rachel Rodger-Beesley, Richard Baldwin, Katie Bisson, Amy Knight

No Talent Spotting Final due to Foot & Mouth Outbreak

New Format Introduced



One Comment

  1. Gareth Thomas 30th April 2015 at 12:39 am #

    Hi … I have no idea how I stumbled across this list of previous talent spotting finalists 🙂 !! It has been great reading through the names and the years!! I was 6th in the 1996 final … I was 14yrs old at the time – it was a great experience!! I still ride… I have my own yard producing dressage, showjumpers and eventers. Would be great to be included in the list 🙂 thanks.. Gareth