Alice Taylor, 22, Beth Barrett, 23, and 27-year-old Suz Hawkins – who now receive help with insurance, equipment and competition costs from their employers for the first time – have been in action from competitions ranging from showing to showjumping, and have already competed as a team.
Alice, a former SEIB Search for a Star finalist at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), works in the underwriting department at SEIB. In addition to showing, she competes in dressage and showjumping with her 15-year-old Maguire. One of the pair’s main competition aims is to qualify again for Equifest and, hopefully, the veteran final at Olympia.
“The sponsorship has made a big difference and I’m tremendously grateful,” said Alice, who has had a side-saddle lesson with Maguire.
“This was my second time riding side saddle so I had some idea of what it would be like. My horse is safe and is not fazed by much. My best advice would be to relax! If you are tense it makes the experience more difficult and uncomfortable. Once you relax you are able to sit into the saddle better and get better balance.”
Beth has two campaigners. Her 15-year-old Hombre has come back fighting fit following a two-year layoff due to a tendon injury. Her former racehorse Lucky Score (Lucky), competes in both showing and showjumping.
“I would love to try to qualify Lucky for the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse final at HOYS this season,” she said. “The extra support from SEIB is allowing me to compete in classes that I didn’t think I would be able to afford to attend.”
Suz, an equine underwriter, competes a 14.2hh coloured mare called Fish.
“She has transformed into a very exciting little horse,” said Suz, a former British Dressage Under 21 ‘A’ Squad rider and Talent Spotting finalist who is now turning her hand to showjumping.
“I’ve recently updated her show name to Catch Of The Day, so our aim is to get out and about to show it off as much as possible. She loves to jump and is showing great promise on the flat too. She recently did her first dressage test, which had some nice moments but was a bit exciting for her, and she struggled to contain herself!”
“I would also love to compete at the SEIB Trailblazers Championships, having worked there last year on our trade stand.”
At the Essex Rider Team Jumping challenge, the three SEIB employees finished a creditable sixth out of 27 teams.
The idea for their sponsorship was the brainchild of SEIB marketing manager Nicolina MacKenzie.
“As with most of our sponsorship, SEIB likes to reinvent the rules,” she explained. “With the growth of social media it became clear that we needed some riders to share their experiences, and instead of looking at competitors in the public domain, SEIB decided to support its own team.
“Another advantage of sponsoring our own people is that they are out and about most weekends, so when anyone needs help, advice or details of how to obtain a quote, the girls are on site to help; if they aren’t able to give an immediate answer they are happy to make contact again from the office. Plus they have the experience and knowledge to talk about SEIB and the insurance cover on offer.
“It’s great to be able to follow their exploits with their lovely horses.”
SEIB Insurance Brokers, formerly known as South Essex Insurance Brokers, has been one of the country’s leading brokers for more than 50 years, specialising in niche markets and equestrian insurance in particular.
SEIB Insurance Brokers has competitive rates for insuring horses, horseboxes, trailers, homes with stables, liability and anything else equestrian. Call for a quote on 01708 850000, visit www.seib.co.uk or find SEIB on Facebook and Twitter.