Inaugural SEIB Rescue Horse Championship Dressage Winner Announced

SEIB Rescue Horse Championship

Inaugural SEIB Rescue Horse Championship Dressage Winner Announced

The Inaugural SEIB Rescue Horse Championship awarded at SEIB Trailblazers Championships

Congratulations to rider Sarah Finch, owner Jo Morahan and her mare Capalina Z, winners of the inaugural SEIB Rescue Horse Championships for Dressage. 

Their story is truly inspirational – following vast odds this determined combination have been challenged with life changing surgery and injury, over coming these dramatic challenges which culminates in their appearance at this year’s SEIB Trailblazers Championships at Stoneleigh Park.

Reaching the 2017 SEIB Trailblazer Championships has been an emotional and truly amazing journey for Capalina and all her connections.

SEIB Rescue Horse Championship

Sarah and Capalina’s Story

In Nov 2015  Capalina’s owner Jo Morahan  required a second spinal fusion, at this point her riding future sadly came to an end. But Jo was so lucky to have such an amazing friend in Sarah Finch, to take up the reins on her best friend and once in a lifetime, perfect horse. Having previously only competed at jumping, ‘Cappy’ now faced a whole new change of discipline with Sarah, she was going to become a little Dressage Diva.

Sarah took up the challenge and together she and Cappy became a wonderful partnership and a team that Jo was proud to watch and be a part of.

Unfortunately, their excitement and future plans were brought to an abrupt halt, when on 2nd May 2016, Cappy went on to suffer a terrible field accident.

On approaching the field Jo knew something was certainly not right, the first thing she saw was the main gate to the field smashed to pieces. When Jo looked over to the horses her heart sank, Cappy was shaking and holding her leg up with an object protruding out of her, at a first glance it actually looked like her bone.

Jo automatically thought that was it for her beautiful girl. After leading her in she realised that it wasn’t a bone, in fact it was a large splinter from the gate which had pierced through her leg. Jo immediately rang the vet who was extremely quick to attend to her. Fearing the worst scenario that she had damaged her tendon, suspensory or worse still hit an artery. 

When the vet arrived he had an important and quick decision to make, did he remove the object and risk Cappy bleeding out straight away or did he bandage it and get her to Newmarket vets – a long drive which risked the splinter being hit or dislodged whilst on route.

The vet made the decision to remove the splinter as it would pose an even greater risk to travel her with it in. Fortunately on removal the main artery had been missed, however Cappy was by no means out of the woods yet.

She was taken to Newmarket Vets where she was immediately taken in to the emergency room and assessed. It was of the up most importance that the wound was treated to prevent infection as soon as possible. The team worked through the night, flushing the site out regularly. A scan showed unbelievably that she had probably been the luckiest horse ever, the piece of fence had missed everything by millimetres, threading itself through like a fine needle.

Cappy returned home a few days later and after a lot of box rest, numerous bandage changes and heaps of cuddles, not to mention lots of pennies Jo’s beautiful girl was raring to go again.

‘It was then we decided that we would try to get to the Trailblazer finals. The rest they say is history and here we are ready to try our best.’

‘Whatever happens though, Cappy is our superstar and I couldn’t be a prouder mum,’ commented Jo.


The Facebook competition was the brain child of of Nicky Mackenzie from SEIB Insurance, title sponsors of Trailblazers the UK No 1 Grass Roots Championships.  The competition enjoyed an unprecedented response from competitors which quickly prompting the judges to choose two winner’s.

The winning combination will receive their prize at special presentation during the SEIB Trailblazers Championships at Stoneleigh Park 28th July – 5th August.

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