8th Jul, 2020

Redditch bank manager jumps to glory on 'Billy Elliot of the horse world'

Correspondent 20th Jun, 2018 Updated: 20th Jun, 2018

A BANK manager from Redditch has qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.

Debbie Fitzpatrick rode her horse, Atlantic Flight to second place in the riding horse hack class at the SEIB Search for a Star qualifier at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire to qualify for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

SEIB Insurance Brokers set up the Search for a Star series 20 years ago to give amateur riders and their horses the chance to compete at the HOYS which has led to many thrilled competitors achieving this dream.

Competing at HOYS was a childhood dream for 46-year-old Debbie who bred her dark-bay gelding, Atlantic Flight, known as Indie, from her jumper mare. “It just hasn’t sunk in at all that we are actually going to be off to HOYS.

“When he was a young horse, I jumped Indie but he was not very well behaved.

“I decided he either had to be sold, or we would find something else to do.

“We then competed in dressage classes and qualified for the regionals a few times, but it all got pretty expensive and then two years ago a friend suggested showing.”

Debbie works as a bank manager at the Redditch branch of Lloyds, next door to the offices of the Redditch Standard.

This has created some other opportunities for Indie.

“Indie has helped out with some internal publicity for Lloyds. He is very dark bay, so I have blackened out his white bits and put a rug on him and he looks pretty black.

“Initially he was meant to be outside the branch, but then the photographer suggested he should go inside.

“He was as good as gold and has done this three times now and been in the local paper and on Lloyds’ Twitter and Facebook.

“As my husband said, for a supposed jumping horse, he seems to spend all his time as a model or Billy Elliot!”

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