Crawley and Horsham Hunt South Pony Club enjoyed highly successful annual Hunter Trial

Members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt South Pony Club again enjoyed an outstanding course in Arundel Park for the club’s annual Hunter Trial, held recently. There was the usual high standard layout, with a range of testing obstacles on a track which had varied terrain and superb surroundings.

All ages were catered for in this open event, where there were classes from lead rein to intermediate, as well as two popular classes for pairs. The day was an outstanding success with some fine achievements by riders from a wide range of ages and a variety of horses.


 Emily Legg and Lennie Little Legs winners of the      Photo LRG Photography

Emily Legg and Lennie Little Legs winners of the Mini Mini class
Photo: Luke Gee  LRG Photography See for more pictures

Results: First five places in each class.Mini-Mini. 1, Emily Legg – Lennie Little Legs. 2, Verity Leggett and Tatty; 3 Eden Davey and Myrtle; 4 Sophie Zahra and Prince; 5 Emilie Williams and Alfie. Mini.1.Megan Fletcher – Elliot; 2 Jodie Moore and Wolverton Winnie The Pooh; 3 Leanne Lampard and Summer; 4 Abbi Smith and Romeo; 5 Leni Dowling and Highland Harvest. Mini Pairs- 1 Helen Rockall and Bonnie with Faye Mitchell and JJO; 2 Terri Germaine and Azzia with Naomi Khan and Fernella Bella; 3 Fran Armitage and Clyde with Becky Paye and Guinness; 4 Ann Black and Billy with Sam Hinks and Jeffrey; 5 Lucy Quaile and Connor with Zoe Vallance and Brandy.

Novice Section A- 1 Amy Little and Thistle Forest Lady; 2 Matthew Perry and Cisco; 3 Hannah Mudd and Rohans Wolf; 4.Abby Lebus and Billy; 5 Rory Leggett and  Flyer. Section B-1.Lucinda Langhorne – Howard; 2, Amelia Brown and Thistleberry; 3.Letty Hill and Beantrice. 4 Rebecca Kennett  and Burberry;5.Karen Ibberson and Valentino Rossi.

Novice Pairs: 1 Audrey Watson and Jack with Les Watson and Archie; 2  Charlotte Baxter and Giltowns Princess with Ellie Bielski and Corky; 3 Rebecca Kennett and Burberry with Jenna Bennett and Saffie; 4 Oona Hickson and Aggie with Nina Murphy and Bud. 5 Emily Legg and Smith with Joanna Inglis and Timmy.

Intermediate: 1 Eleanor De a Fuente and Lakeside Black Panther; 2 Clare Brotherhood and Fleur De League; 3 David Cox and Maisie; 4 Fiona Charman and Uvin; 5 Michael Emeny and Fairyhill Convict.


Rain stopped competition but busy club went ahead with egg hunt and hat contest

Arundel and District Riding Club had to cancel its recent planned gymkhana because of artrocious wet weather- but organisers decided not to allow the elements to totally spoil the day for enthusiastic youngsters.
They went ahead and had an Easter egg hunt and an Easter bonnet competition for them instead and he rain did not dampen their enthuasium to find the eggs hidden in the show ground.
A few might have been missed but most were found. The Easter Bonnet competition was won by two-year-old Eva Deacon, who had  helped her mother, Lizzie, make the hat.
Eva Deacon in her winning Easter Bonnet, with mother Lizzie Photo by Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Eva Deacon in her winning Easter Bonnet, with mother Lizzie : Photo by Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Meanwhile Arundel and District Riding Club’s next event is on Sunday May 4, which is the start of the club’s show jumping series.
This will be followed on Saturday May 10 with a Childen’s Fun Show, including an afternoon gymkhana and on Sunday May 11 with an In Hand show- and big entries are expected for both.
Then West Sussex Riding Club will be holding its Ridden Show at the Arundel and District Riding Club’s showground on Sunday May 18, when classes are expected to be well-subscribed.

Get an MOT for your horse at a special event organised by the BHS West Sussex committee

DO you have a service history for your horse? Now is the time to have one, or to update a previous one, thanks to the West Sussex Committee of the British Horse Society, which is holding an MOT Day for Horses on Sunday June 15 at Brinsbury Campus, North Heath, Pulborough, RH20 1DL.

A satisfied owner and horse, with vet Camilla Woodward following the worming session with

A satisfied owner and horse, with vet Camilla Woodward following the worming session at last year’s event

This excellent event, open to both members and non- members of the BHS, follows on from a highly successful similar day at Albourne Equestrian Centre in West Sussex last year. It will cover advice from experts, including a personal session with your horse with each expert, covering saddle-fitting, worming, teeth and diet.

Master Saddler Ellie Martin of The Bespoke Saddle Company will discuss how your saddle currently fits your horse/pony and rider, while Matt Waterhouse MRCVS of Arundel Equine Hospital will advise on your horse’s worming regime. Westgate Laboratories Postal Worm Egg Count Service are generously supplying each participant with a worm egg count kit and information pack, completely free, including return postage and packing

Weighing a horse at the special day

Weighing a horse at the special day

Turning to diet, Isabel Harker from Spillers will weigh your horse, using a portable weighbridge and supply record cards, information packs. feed advice, a free weight tape and Spillers money off vouchers

.This useful MOT programme costs only £25, but if you book early by May 15, there is a reduced fee of only £20. Don’t miss this outstanding opportunity and to make sure of your place, contact Sheila Woodward on: 07801599518 or Sharon Stahlberger on: 07779247533 or email at:

Inspired Facilities Grants of more than £200,000 awarded to six equestrian centres

In the latest round of Sport England Inspired Facilities Funding, six equestrian centres have been awarded grants to refurbish and improve their current facilities. A total of more than £200,000 will be given to the successful applicants for their projects, aimed at improving accessibility and increasing participation in equestrian sport.

RDA groups have benefited

To date the project has funded more than 1,300 projects that have improved and refurbished sports clubs and transformed non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sports facilities.

Those to benefit from this latest round of funding are:Friends of Landlord Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Group Wigan; Northern Racing College in Doncaster; Chiverton RDA Group, Truro;, Tyne and Wear RDA Group; Barrow Farm RDA Group, Chelmsford, and Ferring Country Centre  near Worthing in West Sussex.

Barrow Farm RDA group  members compete regularly

Barrow Farm RDA group members compete regularly

The grants will support the development of new arenas, improvement of training facilities, provision of lighting as well as construction of mounting and dismounting areas for disabled people.

Tyne and Wear RDA Group is updating its stable facilities to deliver a wide range of horse care courses for centre users in a safer and more accessible environment. “We are so grateful to Sport England for their support of our project, as we would not have been able to raise this level of funding on our own,” said RDA Volunteer, Eileen Curley.

“We have always been dedicated to ensuring that all of our riders receive a high standard of professional tuition, tailored to their personal capabilities and to help them achieve their potential, however, many of our riders also want  to understand how to care for the horses too.

Tyne and Wear RDA riders will enjoy improved facilities

Tyne and Wear RDA riders will enjoy improved facilities

“The upgraded stable block will provide a wider range of horse care courses in a safer and more accessible environment, primarily for the benefit of our RDA clients, and with the aim of moving the Centre forward to a first class educational establishment ” continued Eileen.

“Sport England’s commitment to improving facilities for disabled people who want to get involved in equestrian activities is hugely welcome,” said RDA Chief Executive, Ed Bracher. “Demand for riding and carriage driving among people with disabilities far outstrips current capacity and each of the projects supported by Sport England will make a big difference for people in these communities across the country.”

Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s legacy programme, has been working in partnership with the RDA to increase the number of riding opportunities for disabled people through the development of the Accessibility Mark. The Accessibility Mark project aims to provide training, assistance and accreditation to riding centres, schools and clubs to enable more disabled people to participate in horse riding activities.

The Inspired Facilities funding is open all year round; the next decision meeting will take place in September 2014 for all applications received prior to June 6 2014.


Arundel Riding Centre celebrates a major victory in national championships

Arundel Riding Centre is celebrating a major victory for its team at the British Horse Society National Riding School Championships where it won the coveted team trophy in the face of strong opposition from across the country.
Arundel Riding Centre team photo with Megan on Flyer and Janet on Charlie - with the centre's Chief Instructor Laura Oakley

Arundel Riding Centre team photo with Megan on Flyer and Janet on Charlie – with the centre’s Chief Instructor Laura Oakley

The centre took eight riders (Hannah Stuart, Rebecca Stone, Charlotte Beadle, Maisie Hobbs, Polly Hobbs, Emily Chalfont, Megan Fletcher and Janet Boulton) and four horses (Charlie, Tatty, Flyer and Bobby) to Warwickshire College, Warwickshire to participate in this annual event.
The event is unique because it is for riding school riders mounted on riding school ponies. Each rider has to compete in the three disciplines – dressage, show jumping and theory. The Arundel team was delighted to win the team trophy in the face of such strong opposition.
 In individual performances, Megan Fletcher riding Flyer, an 11-year-old 15.2hh welsh chestnut, achieved third place in the 18 years and over category. This builds on Megan’s successes in previous years in the junior age groups. Meanwhile Janet Boulton, partnering  Charlie, a 13.2hh  grey New Forest pony aged eight, was a good fourth.
Also, Arundel was ably represented in the 13 – 17 years age category  with Polly Hobbs riding  Bobby , a 15 year old 13.2hh Welsh bay placed fifth, Maisie Hobbs, also partnering Bobby, was placed seventh while Charlotte Beadle riding Charlie and Emily  Chalfont with Flyer also competed in this class.
In the youngest age group of 12 years and under Hannah Stuart and Tatty, a remarkable 26-year-old 15hh Welsh chestnut, came ninth and Rebecca Stone gained experience competing with Tatty.
Tatty takes part in the dressage

Tatty takes part in the dressage

Alison Leggett – joint owner and proprietor of The Arundel Riding Centre said: “It’s wonderful to be able to take such a large team of riding school horses and riders to this unique competition and compete in all of the age categories. Megan and Emily had competed at Warwick before but it was a new opportunity for the other riders – and also for Charlie and Tatty.”
Alison Leggett gives advice  to the team on tackling the jumps

Alison Leggett gives advice to team members on how to tackle the jumps

For details of Arundel Riding Centre see http://www.arundelridingcentre

Trainer Gary Moore completes a Bank Holiday 467-1 four-timer across the board at Huntingdon and Plumpton

Horsham trainer Gary Moore completed a 467-1 across-the-card four-timer on Easter Monday initiated by Joseph Akehurst and Should I Stay, 9-4 favourite at Huntingdon in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Gary Moore and son Joshua

Gary Moore and son Joshua

The wins continued at Plumpton when youngest son Joshua initated a treble there, winning the Juvenile Hurdle with Flute Bowl at 3-1.
Brother Jamie continued the winning sequence at Plumpton in the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle with a nine length victory with 5-1 Auld Sthock, and followed up with a 5-2 win with While You Wait in the Novices Handicap Hurdle.

Jamie Moore- treble of his own

Jamie Moore- treble of his own

Jamie went on to enjoy his own treble at Plumpton on board Ballyvoneen at 7-4 in the final handicap chase over three miles two furlongs – and he made sure of his treble, because, aptly, all three of his wins were by nine lengths.

Group’s South Downs endurance ride is a great success

COMPETITORS enjoyed almost perfect conditions for the recent endurance ride on the South Downs near Findon, organised by the South East Group of Endurance GB.  It offered well-subcribed classes ranging from Pleasure Rides of 16km up to Graded Endurance Rides of 80km, attracting almost 100 entries.

A rider tackling the South Downs endurance ride amid spectacular scenery Photo: Luke Gee, LRG Photography

A rider tackling the South Downs endurance ride amid spectacular scenery
Photo: Luke Gee, LRG Photography


After pre-vetting to ensure soundness and fitness of horses, riders negotiated the course following maps and route markets, aiming to finish within a set minimum and maximum speed.
They also enjoyed spectacular views along an interesting route from which there were spectacular views on an exceptionally clear day. At the end of the ride, all horses were re-vetted and marked according to time taken to complete the route and the final heartrate of horses, resulting in plenty of coveted Grade I marks, showing that riders had prepared both themselves and their horses well for their class in this popular ride.

The South East Group covers Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex with endurance rides coupled with pleasure rides, and social events throughout the year. Its programme for 2014 incorporates 17 rides, including a two-day event.

Also, it has plans for two training weekends and an MOT day. You can find out more about local endurance riding events by visiting the South East Group’s website at

Moorcroft is a centre of excellence for re-schooling and rehabilitating former racehorses

MOORCROFT Racing Welfare Centre, based at Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold in West Sussex, has established itself as a centre of excellence in its mission to re-school and rehabilitate former racehorses so that they can have a real chance at a second career.

This charitable centre for recently retired racehorses is temporary home for a maximum of 28 horses while they are retrained, and has an impressive success rate in subsequently rehoming them. The key to this is the extreme care taken in re-training, backed up by a great team of vets, physiotherapists and riders under the management of Mary Henley-Smith.

Mary, who has extensive experience and skill with horses, said: “This team effort enables the horses to get over any racing injuries or problems and we change them considerably in order to truly give them a sustainable future. Our emphasis is on education,  which is why we run demonstrations and courses so that we can enable other riders and owners to extend their own knowledge

“We have just completed a really successful three-week long-reining course and had great feedback from everyone taking part, who found it beneficial, and will be running another one on August 14.”

Long reining an ex racehorse at Moorcroft Photo: Mark Beaumont

Long reining an ex racehorse at Moorcroft
Photo: Mark Beaumont

One example of a horse currently being retrained is Mibleu, previously trained by Colin Tizzard, who won at Uttoxeter last year at the age of 14, ridden by Brendan Powell Junior. He stands at 16.1h and ran a total of 74 times in his remarkable racing career, which spanned almost 10 years from 2004 until 2013.

Mibleu, ready for rehoming Photo Mark Beaumont

Mibleu, ready for rehoming
Photo Mark Beaumont

Mary said: “He has been a pleasure to retrain and seems very glad to be doing something different. He is enjoying hacking out, both alone and in company and also loves his schooling, can jump a fence and is very easy and straightforward to look after. We hope to find a loving home for him to go to.”

Retraining a retired racehorse at Moorcroft Photo Mark Beaumont

Retraining a retired racehorse at Moorcroft
Photo Mark Beaumont

If you feel you could give one of Moorcroft’s retrained ex-racehorses a good home, contact Mary on 07929 666408, daytime. There is also a chance to see some of the centre’s retrained racehorses at Lingfield Park Racecourse’s Good Friday meeting on April 18, when gates open at 11am. The Moorcroft horses will be parading at 1.15pm in the paddock for the public to see and will also take part in a ‘meet the ex-racehorse’ during the afternoon.

Back at Moorcroft, a demonstration of ridden Moorcroft horses will take place on Saturday May 3 at 11am at the centre, where postural problems in horses will be explained, with advice on how to help improve these. Cost is £10 per seat with all proceeds going directly to help horses at the centre. Book your seat for this on 07929 666408 or via

Moorcroft is one of only four charitable racehorse rehabilitation centres in the entire country and is part-funded by Retraining of Racehorses in recognition of its impeccable work in retraining and rehoming former racehorses. It is the only charity of its type in the Sussex area and is run by a prestigious and notable board of trustees.

For remaining funding it relies on donations and its own fully accountable fundraising efforts, including an annual Plumpton Raceday, which this year takes place on October 2014 ( to book a table or sponsor a race, contact Moorcroft or call Alison at Plumpton on 01273 890383.

Last year the Betfair Moorcroft Masterminds Quiz, held at the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London raised a record-breaking £35,000 for Moorcroft funds and is to be repeated again this year- contact Christina Dunlop on 07968 830443.

Entries are in for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

Riders’ entries are now in for this years’ Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, which takes place from May 7-11,  and another feast of top class International sport is in prospect. Competitors from 14 other nations will take on the best of the British, with a major focus being selection for the World Equestrian Games, Normandy this summer.

Exciting action at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Photo: British Eventing

Exciting action at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials  Photo: British Eventing

There are 13 Australian horses and 14 New Zealanders on the entry list, reflecting those countries’ riders being assessed for selection by performance in the northern hemisphere this spring. As usual there is a strong Irish contingent, with ten horses, eight each from France and the USA and seven from Sweden.

Eight former winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy will line up again this time, headed by double Olympic Champion Sir Mark Todd from New Zealand, with Andrew Hoy, Paul Tapner and Lucinda Fredericks from Australia, Mary King, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt from Great Britain. Kristina Cook  and De Novo News are also on the list.

Kristina Cook and De Novo News competing last year Photo: Kingswood Associates

Kristina Cook and De Novo News competing last year
Photo: Kingswood Associates

Among those not to have won here Andrew Nicholson (New Zealand) stands out with his record 33 completions to date and he must stand a great chance this time with a choice of two from Nereo (third here in 2013), Quimbo (Kentucky winner 2013) and Avebury (First and second at Burghley).

British favourite Mary King will ride Imperial Cavalier, who has completed on four occasions and has been third and fourth in the past; William Fox-Pitt has a choice of four, including European bronze medallist Chilli Morning.

Places in the British team are certainly up for grabs after the disappointing result at the European Championships last year, so competition for the record prize money and the best known Trophy in the world will be intense.

More than  130 entries were received for the 85 places available, so those on the ‘Waiting List’ will be hoping that some of those accepted withdraw over the next month. The full lists of those accepted and the waiting list are on the Badminton website at

Event rider Francis Whittington helps celebrate launch of Take Back The Reins at Sussex riding school

A LARGE turnout of aspiring riders was welcomed by beautiful spring sunshine at Grove Farm Riding school’s open day in Sussex last week. Visitors ranging from complete beginners to more experienced riders, who enjoyed an action packed afternoon of activities, as well as an inspiring visit from special guest, international event rider, Francis Whittington.

Youngsters had great fun learning to ride Henry, the mechanical horse

Youngsters had great fun learning to ride Henry, the mechanical horse  : Photo by Ctaig Payne

The open day celebrated the launch of the latest round of specialist adult riding lessons, Take Back the Reins (TBTR), a seven week course of lessons based on the participants’ personal goals, delivered in a fun and social atmosphere. The programme has been developed by the British Equestrian Federation’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy scheme, Hoof, and is aimed at both new and former riders.

Great turnout for the  day. Photo by Craig Payne

Great turnout for the day
Photo by Craig Payne

Attendees were treated to some great nutritional advice from Saracen Horse Feeds and Martin Channings local tack shop did a roaring trade throughout the afternoon, whilst Blossom the 15.2hh dapple grey mare soaked up masses of attention from numerous visitors.  Louise Matthews was thrilled with the positive response the open day received, especially the new TBTR courses, which saw plenty of visitors signing up to take part at the weekend.

“The day was fabulous and we have had some really nice comments. Francis was a big draw, giving a great talk on his riding background and future ambitions, and we have already had more bookings for lessons on Henry (the mechanical horse), who was here until March 22,” commented Louise who has run the East Sussex based riding school at Iden for more than 10 years.

Francis Whittington shows how it is done.  Photo by Craig Payne

Francis Whittington shows how it is done. Photo by Craig Payne

Professional event rider, Francis Whittington, gave a demonstration on Henry the mechanical horse and even encouraged several first time riders on board for some helpful tips, “All in all the day went really well, Louise did a brilliant job organising it. It was great watching someone who had never sat on a horse before and to be able to show them how much fun can be had riding and enjoying the sport we all love. I had no choice but to ride as a child as my mum had a riding school, so I am a huge supporter of local equestrian centres and what they do. Grove did a cracking job for all levels of rider who came along”, enthused the 2014 CICO squad member.

For anyone interested in taking part in Grove Farm Riding School’s latest round of Take Back the Reins, more information can be found at the website www.grovefarmriding  via email or by calling 01797 280362 / 07760 126145