Horse & Country TV’s hit reality series, Blue Chip All Star Academy, returns to the network this Sunday, May 28th, at 9 pm.
A mash-up of The Apprentice and Pony Club camp, the Blue Chip All Star Academy puts eight amateur riders through their paces at the Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire, presided over by Talland’s owner (and the horse world’s answer to Alan Sugar), Pammy Hutton, and H&C presenter Jenny Rudall.
Eight riders were chosen to attend the camp, with each receiving a prize bundle of equestrian kit worth more than £1,000 from sponsors including Blue Chip Feed, Airowear, Bucas, Carr & Day & Martin, Charles Owen, easibed, Equilibrium, Tri-Zone, Eurostar, Horseware Ireland, Lister Shearing, Micklem bridles, Mountain Horse, Rockfish, Sue Cason Saddles, The Horse Bit Shop and Wahl.
The contestants and their horses are tested over four days of intensive training with some of the leading names in horse sport, taking part in a number of challenges designed to test their equestrian and media skills, until one overall winner is crowned.
The contestant line-up for Blue Chip All-Star Academy Series 2 includes:
Mead Jenkins, 18, from Buckinghamshire. Mead took up affiliated eventing three years ago, and has competed up to British Eventing Novice level. He works at a golf club but is currently completing his coaching exams with the hope of having a full-time career in the horse world. He’s bringing his Irish Sport Horse/Thoroughbred Derry, a six-year-old gelding who has evented at unaffiliated 100cm level.
Tina Wallace, 31, from Cornwall. Tina works in the motor trade, which funds her equestrian habit! She had riding lessons as a child but didn’t get her own horse until she was 26. She’s bringing Banksy, a skewbald Irish Sports Horse. They compete at BE90 level in eventing and hope to move up to BE100.
Victoria Brant, 30, from West Sussex. In the past Victoria has competed up to Novice level eventing, Elementary dressage and county level showing. Her horse Pat is a Thoroughbred/Irish Draught gelding. Victoria’s hopes for this year are that she and Pat will complete their first full season competing at British Eventing 90/100 level.
Kelly Seager, 36, from Suffolk. Kelly is a single mum of three, and has been riding for more than 20 years. She describes herself as an all-rounder, competing at BE80 level, competing up to Elementary affiliated and Medium level in unaffiliated dressage, riding at British Dressage Area Festivals and Regional Finals, and taking part in various Riding Club championships. She has owned Irish cob Flint for more than two years.
Hannah Sutch, 22, from East Sussex. Hannah is currently studying for a degree in Equine Management, while working part-time as a showjumping groom. She has competed in eventing, dressage and showjumping, and is bringing her Irish/Thoroughbred Andy.
Harry Swales, 30, from Wiltshire. Harry has returned to riding after a 10-year break, and describes himself as a ‘competent novice’. He is bringing his young grey mare Cleo, with whom he competes at low-level unaffiliated showjumping.
Ceri Davies, 38, from Northamptonshire. Ceri only took up riding 18 months ago, having loved horses all her life. She’s been busy making up for it since then, going to clinics, unaffiliated showjumping, hunter trials and cross-country with her chestnut ex-racehorse Chimbonda.
Ella Knight, 18, from Buckinghamshire. Ella juggles three jobs to pay for her passion for equestrianism. With her grey Warmblood Frosty, she competes in unaffiliated dressage and showjumping, and the pair has recently completed their first British Novice showjumping class. They also enjoy hacking, jumping and going cross-country, and hope to start eventing in the near future.
Series 2 will premiere on Horse & Country TV on Sunday, May 28 at 9pm, with subsequent episodes on consecutives Sundays at the same time.
Don’t miss Blue Chip All-Star Academy Series 2 on Sky channel 253 and on H&C Play, via laptop, smartphone and tablet.