Carol’s RDA work has Royal recognition

DEDICATED work and significant contribution to carriage driving within Riding For Disabled Association by Carol Porter of West Sussex,  has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

Carole, from Happy Landings RDA group in Coolham, near Horsham, received the award from HRH The Princess Royal at a special 40th anniversary RDA event at Stowe recently. She became one of only six people across the nation to be honoured with this unique award.

She started riding with RDA in 1998 after a riding accident that left her wheelchair-bound the previous year. But only a year later she started carriage driving with the Happy Landings Group. Two years later she was on the Great Britain Para-driving team. After being in two silver medal winning teams she won Individual Silver in the first Para Pairs class.

Carol Porter receiving her award from HRH The Princess Royal

Carol Porter receiving her award from HRH The Princess Royal

Carol’s pony is used at RDA every week and Carol has been the Group Organiser for 15 years, Regional Driving Rep for 11 years and is also on the Carriage Driving Committee. She fits all this in around a very busy life organising events for the British Horse Society.

“I was stunned to be given this award and had no idea that I had been nominated. It’s been a real privilege being involved in RDA carriage driving and I hope more people will be inspired to give it a go like I did” she said after being presented with the award by HRH, The Princess Royal who is President of the RDA.

Carriage Driving in the RDA is 40 years old this year, having been offered since 1975 at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst when donkeys were used. Participants ride with an RDA Whip as an instructor who has to pass rigorous and vigorous assessments to be qualified, as do the ponies.

Final qualifiers for Baileys JAS Championship

More than  sixty starters contested the BE90 class at Merrist Wood in a last ditch bid to qualify for this weekend’s Baileys JAS Championship at Hartpury College. Despite accumulating three time penalties, 12-year-old Georgia King from Wiltshire won the class thanks to a perfect style score of just 0.1.

This is Georgia’s first season with BE, and she has now qualified Mojo IV for both the Baileys JAS and Jump Training Finals, following a second place Jump Training at Hartpury last month.

Giselle Mackinlay and Dark Spirit’s style score completion gave them second place with a mark of six, one point ahead of Susannah Egleston riding Solomons Seal.

Baileys competition sseries Photo Baileys Horse Feeds

Baileys competition sseries
Photo Baileys Horse Feeds

Most combinations jumped clear, although the optimum time of seven minutes was influential. Finishing scores in this class ranged from 3.1 to 85.0.

Giselle, 16 and from Surrey, went one better in the BE100 to win, again with a clean sheet. It was a hugely competitive section, with close to seventy starters despite eight withdrawals.

Jane Bettles and Claudia Nacke’s mare Gold Rush IV were the runners up, having placed in the top 10 at all four of their JAS competitions this year and taken second place in a Baileys Jump Training JT80 section on their first outing of 2015. Jane has benefitted from training with Oliver Townend, also qualifying her own Aliano for the Grassroots Championships.

Lara Sharrock and Roxanne VII completed the top three for the BE100s, a class in which only two riders finished on their style score- the winner and 13th placed Cheryl Chamberlain riding Cardonagh Lass.

Georgona Wood and Symmetry Photo: Baileys Horse Feeds

Georgona Wood and Symmetry
Photo: Baileys Horse Feeds

In the Novice class both Georgina Wood and Nici Wilson completed on a score of 10, but Georgina, 21, had the advantage with a better style mark, taking the win on Symmetry. The Surrey-based pair had already qualified for the Finals when finishing runners up at Bury Farm in January. Nici Wilson might have been pipped at the post, but she added third place to her second, Barry Carter’s Viktor Krum beating Nici’s own Naomi 55.

The six minute 24 second optimum time proved un-gettable for the 37 Novice starters, as it was in the Open Novice which produced a win for Australian Equine Physiotherapist and Olympic Gold Medallist [Atlanta 1996] Wendy Schaeffer, 40, riding the Akhadan-sired Sun Lover.

Flora Elliott and Ember Hill, who had already finished fourth in the Novice, then moved up the leaderboard in to second place, one point ahead of Sarah Pickard on Polo Striker, with Nici Wilson in the ribbons again, fourth on Naomi 55.

Both the Baileys Jump Training and JAS Championships take place this weekend at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, February 21-22 respectively). Baileys sponsored event rider Ben Hobday will be giving a demo and Q&A session on the Saturday evening, aimed at helping riders at all level to understand the importance of pre-season training.

Entry to the demo for JAS and Jump Training Finalists and up to four friends and/or family members is free of charge. The evening is also open to anyone wishing to attend, with tickets costing £10 per head available on the door.

West Sussex rider qualifies for National Amateur second round

West Sussex showjumper Richard Baker has won the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Second Round at Felbridge Showjumping Club. Richard (46), from Horsham partnered 12-year-old chestnut gelding Cajelgan’t, owned by Samantha Smith, to victory.

They took the top spot in the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Second Round that took place recently at Felbridge Showjumping Club at the Felbridge Showground in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

Richard Baker and              on their way to winning at Felbridge

Richard Baker and on their way to winning at Felbridge

This 0.95cm second round was contested by thirty-nine combinations with each of the starters hoping to claim one of the twelve direct qualifying places on offer for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Championships, which take place at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool from November 19 – 23 November 2014.

Twenty-four made it through to the final jump off. With just the twelve qualification spots available, each competitor was focused on securing a double clear and eleven eventually achieved this. The remainder of the field then fought it out for that last place in the Championship Final.

Richard and Cajelgan’t were drawn midway through the field for the jump off, Richard had seen four double clears produced before him. Knowing that a quick double clear would put him into a strong position, Richard steered Cajelgan’t round the jump off course quickly and accurately to deliver a double clear in just 38.82 seconds, a time which was to give him nearly three seconds in hand over his nearest rival.

Second place went to 23 year-old Helena Gurdin from Dorking, Surrey on her own 13 year-old dark bay Ultimate Flying Dutchman. Helena and her ride were drawn last to go in the jump off and they used their draw wisely, producing a solid round to cross the finish line with a double clear in 41.66 seconds.

Sarah Burgess, 18, from Epsom, Surrey took third place with her own 8 year-old brown gelding Miracle Jack. This combination stopped the clock in 41.73 seconds to secure not only their place in the top three, but also a place in the Championship Final.

An additional nine combinations also went on to achieve their qualification for the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Championship Final.

Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Second Round Results:1 Richard Baker & Cajelgan’t – 0/0 – 38.82 seconds; 2 Helena Gurdin & Ultimate Flying Dutchman – 0/0 – 41.66 seconds; 3, Sarah Burgess & Miracle Jack – 0/0 – 41.73 seconds; 4,Sam Holmes & Sea Breeze – 0/0 – 41.90 seconds; 5,Caroline Coleman & Jumping Jack VI – 0/0 – 42.43 seconds; 6, Caroline Xuereb & Hattie III – 0/0 – 42.61 seconds; 7, Charlotte McKee & Cassanova S – 0/0 – 43.26 seconds; 8, Michelle Hoad & Ursula VII – 0/0 – 44.53 seconds; 9, Sarah Hill & Kenmare Little Katey – 0/0 – 45.70 seconds; 10  Lauren Urquhart & Reethi Beach – 0/0 – 46.62 seconds; 11, Henrietta Godfrey & Check Mate III – 0/0 – 54.53 seconds; 12, Heidi Cousins & Flash Lappen – 0/4 – 37.53 seconds.

South African sponsorship for new Group 3 Stakes at Glorious Goodwood

The Group 3 L’Omarins Queen’s Plate Stakes, a competitive seven furlong contest for fillies and mares aged three and upwards, is to be run on the fourth day of Glorious Goodwood this year- Friday August 1.

Top class racing aat Glorious Goodwood

Top class racing at Glorious Goodwood


The L’Omarins Queen’s Plate meeting is one of South Africa’s most high profile racedays, taking place at Kenilworth Racecourse every January. For the first time this year,  the Grade II Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Stakes was run at this prestigious South African Raceday, alongside the L’Oramins Queen’s Plate Stakes.

Adam Waterworth, managing director of Goodwood Racecourse said:“Following on from the very successful  Queen’s Plate meeting at Kenilworth in January, we are pleased to be hosting the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Stakes on the Friday of Glorious Goodwood.

Kenilworth Racecourse

Kenilworth Racecourse

“As one of South Africa’s most high profile racedays we feel it is a good fit with our brand and look forward to the inaugural running of the race this year.”

Gaynor Rupert, sponsor of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Stakes said: “L’Ormarins is very pleased to be sponsoring a race at Glorious Goodwood this year.  With the five day festival being one of England’s most iconic race meetings and social events it is a great opportunity to align two very similar international brands.”  


West Sussex BHS committee’s successful annual MOT day for horses

West Sussex British Horse Society Committee held its annual MOT Day for Horses recently at Brinsbury Equine Unit, by kind permission of Chichester College. The day was supported a range of top equine professionals who gave invaluable advice and help to the group of horse owners, seeing them on a one-to-one basis.

Ellie Martin in the indoor school

Ellie Martin in the indoor school

Elllie Martin, a Master Saddler of the Bespoke Saddle Company and Nicky Smith, a Master Saddler of the Bespoke Saddle Company  both assessed each horse under saddle and gave advice/recommendations on how the saddle fitted.  Good saddle fitting is vital for both a horse’s welfare and also to enable that it is able to perform to its best without any discomfort or ill effects.
.Matt Waterhouse, an equine vet and a director of the Arundel Equine Hospital, who gave worming information tailored to each individual while Westgate Laboratories generously supplied each participant with a worm egg count kit worth approximately £11 completely free of charge for each horse.
Nat Heal, a qualified equine dentist, who with his assistant assessed all the horses’ teeth and discussed each individual’s requirements. Horses need annual dental checks and to have rough edges filed off their teeth and sometimes what is thought to be bad behaviour can be a sign of a dental problem.

Each horse/owner combination spent 20 minutes individually with four different experts and in addition to the worm egg count kit, received vouchers, free weigh tape and other goodies from Spillers and a BHS information pack and rosette.

“We were blessed with good weather on the day and have received many recommendations and thanks from those taking part regards the high quality of the information receivedWe would like to thank the professionals who took part and Brinsbury Equine Unit and the various helpers, for giving their time to make this an enjoyable and informative day,” said Sheila Woodward of the West Sussex British Horse Society committee.

These BHS MOT days for horses have been rolled out in different parts of the country. They are informative and educational, aiming to get to grass roots horse owners, and non BHS members are welcome and are encouraged to attend to help their horses benefit from the expert advice.

Bronze mare and foal maquette by renowned sculptor to be sold in aid of RDA group

A Mare and Foal bronze maquette, with unique artist’s proof, by renowned sculptor Marcus Cornish, is to be sold to raise money for Ashdown Forest Group of Riding for the Disabled Association.

The bronze mare and foal  sculpture that is for sale Photo: Spidge Event Photography  01444-413110

The bronze mare and foal sculpture that is for sale
Photo: Spidge Event Photography 01444-413110

The sculptor is renowned for a commission which led to creating a series of bronzes portraying animals on sites in central London, including life size horses. His work has been recognised in a number of awards and featured in national newspapers and magazines.

The Ashdown Forest RDA group, based at Chelwood Gate, was visited by HRH The Princess Royal this month,  who met both those who run the group, and the riders themselves.

This bronze was on display that day and it is hoped it can be sold to raise much needed money towards the running costs of the group,enabling it to continue its high standards.

All of the money raised by its sale will be donated to the Ashdown Forest RDA group, which is run by Alison Remmen, and does such vital work in enabling its members to benefit from riding.

For further information, or to buy this magnificent sculpture, please contact Rosalind Bowlby 01892 653722 or Email:


West Sussex Riding Club’s successful annual show

WEST Sussex Riding Club held its annual ridden and jumping show at Arundel and District Riding Club’s field this year. The event, held in good weather, was a qualifier for Cricklands, Sunshine Tour and Equifest and attracted a good entry. Show jumping was from 2′ to 3’3 and there was a working hunter ring and a ridden show ring.

The event was organised by Patricia Hoal, a member of WSRC for 20 years and who has competed for the club on many occasions.  She has been running shows for the club for around 15 years and is now retiring from horse ownership and show organisation.
 Leafycroft Masterpiece ridden by Sam Metcalf. Photo:Luke Gee,  LRG Photography

Leafycroft Masterpiece ridden by Sam Metcalf.
Photo:Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Supreme Champion at the event was  Karl Standing and Creevagh Sam. Reserve Champion was Steph McInnes and Ardlea George Penny. Karl Standing also won the Working Hunter Championship with Creevagh Sam and Reserve Champion was Sam Metcalfe with Leafycroft Masterpiece.
Results: Minimus Showjumping- 1 Katie Inigo-Jones and Yaz; 2 Maria Beves and Daisy; 3 Andy Edginton and William; 4 Alison Kimmins and Fudge.
Pre-Novice Showjumping- 1 Sam Metcalfe and Leafycroft Massterpiece; 2 Joel Hopkins and Wish; 3 Eleanor Petrie and Seafully; 4 Izabelle Cartwright and Nasta. Novice Showjumping- 1 Jenny Ramsey and Yaz; 2 Paris Maria Johnson and Maylin-Rose; 3 Madison Melie and Nookside.
Intermediate Showjumping- 1 Paris Maria Johnson and Maylin -Rose; 2 Madison Melia and Nookside.
Working Hunter Pony- 1  Sam Metcalfe and  Leafycoft  Masterpiece;  2  Eleanor Petrie and  Seafully.
Working Hunter – 1 Karl Standing and Creevagh Sam; 2 Jo Stamp and King’s Breeze; 3 Karl Standing and Fen’s Will.
Ridden Hunter- 1 Karl Standing and Creevagh Sam; 2 Sarah Barnett and Romeoo; 3 Charlotte Pexton and King’s Breeze.
Open Ridden Mountain and Moorland- 1 Leanne Mills and Harry; 2 Christina Dodd and Sowermire Jo; 3 Samantha Noble and Nutcherscopse Benita.
Lead Rein Mountain and Moorland- 1 Ayla Isgooren and Caecoed Iwan; 2 Brooke Stote and Dewland Rolex; 3 Amelia Parkes and Rosie; 4 Mia Adsett and Julius. Ridden Show Ponies- 1 Samantha Noble and Nutcherscopse Benita.
Lead Rein  Ridden Show Ponies- 1 Amelia Parkes and Rosie; 2 Mia Adsett and Nutboourne Time Bandit.
Riding Horses- 1  Sophie Wratting and  Lala Rumba; 2 Lynne Chapman and Remix; 3 Freda Courtnage and Joseph. Ridden Cobs- 1 Steph MacInnes and Ardlea George Penny; 2 Angela Jones and The Pie; 3 Millie Hopkins and Socks.
Ridden Piebald / Skewbald- 1 Vicky Parkinson and Remmington Steele; 2 Michelle Stote annd Sir Charles; 3 Steph McInnes and Ardlea George Penny.
Veteran Ridden or In Hand- 1 Paige Ayling and Marbel. Novice Showing  Class- 1 Leanne Mills and Hary; 2 Millie Hopkins and Socks ; 3 Mollie Murray and Tilly Bean.
 Caption: Leafycroft Masterpiece ridden by Sam Metcalf.

Two Sussex RDA groups perform for Princess Royal and Ardingly crowds

TWO Riding for Disabled groups from the South East stole the show in the main Ardingly ring on the opening day of the South of England Show, when Heron’s Ghyll and Kipling groups gave a display of their carriage driving skills in front of HRH The Princess Royal and impressed a large crowd.

A team from Kipling County negotiating the obstacles Photo: Joanna Sale

A team from Kipling County negotiating the obstacles
Photo: Joanna Sale

The two East Sussex-based groups , with Heron’s Ghyll sporting blue tops and Kipling wearing green, clearly enjoyed performing the musical ride, which they had been practising for enthusiastically in preceding weeks- and it was the chance for both of groups to impress the crowds as well as the Royal visitor, who is such a great supporter of the work of the RDA.

The Princess Royal presenting rosettes to one of the Herons Ghyll teams Photo Jeannie Knight

The Princess Royal presenting rosettes to Heron’s Ghyll team
Photo Jeannie Knight

They went on to go head-to head in a competition of driving round obstacles and making tight turns through cones, showing their speed and agilty skills.applauded by the crowd.

Kipling County RDA members putting in a good performance in the ring  Photo: Joanna Sale

Kipling County RDA members putting in a good performance in the ring Photo: Joanna Sale

Winners of this contest were Joanne McNicol, driving Prince (with Companion Whip Fiona Drewe) from Kipling County. The Princess Royal, who is a staunch supporter of the RDA, presented red rosettes everyone and chatted to members from both Kipling County and Herons Ghyll.

Members of Herons Ghyll clearly enjoying the occasion  Photo: Joanna Sales

Karen Tritton of Herons Ghyll clearly enjoying the occasion
Photo: Joanna Sale

All competitors clearly enjoyed the chance to perform before the public and to meet the Royal visitor.

Competitive racing is promised at Brighton tomorrow in unrivalled setting by the sea

Not been racing at Brighton this season?Then tomorrow, Tuesday June 3, is the ideal time to to enjoy action at this popular Sussex track, on the South Downs overlooking the English Channel for seven competitive races on good ground, with first race starting at 2.10pm.

Plenty of action promised at Brighton races tomorrow

Plenty of action promised at Brighton races tomorrow

Top trainers Charlie Appelby and Richard Hannon have two runners each in the opening Maiden Stakes at 2pm, with final declarations still to be made. Richard Hiughes is down to ride Will It End, which finished third of six runners in a debut run on the all-weather at Kempton Park, gaining valuable experience. Charlie Appelby’s Barchan finished ninth of 18 on a debut run at Newmarket and has Martin Lane in the saddle. His other runner, Pinter, finished last of seven when running very green on a debut at Goodwood- but also had to contend with very soft ground after a deluge.

The feature race of the day will be in the 3.10pm Janes’ Solicitors Fillies Stakes over six furlongs where local trainer Amanda Perrett and jockey Jim Crowley, who has a tremendous record at this track, team up with dual Goodwood winner Saucy Minx, who is making her debut at Brighton. Trainer Mick Channon has entered Al Manaal, ridden by Willy Twiston Davies, which beat Saucy Minx by just a head over seven furlongs at Lingfield last time out. Both horses will be having their first run over six furlongs.

Jim Crowley has also been booked to ride West Sussex trainer Steve Woodman’s Highly Likely in the Brighton and Hove Streamline Taxis Handicap over one mile on furlong at 4.10pm while trainer Gary Moore, who has a good record at Brighton, has entered Gaelic Silver in the one mile one furlong handicap, and this horse will be out to improve on a second place at the April meeting at this track, ridden by Hector Crouch.

For those travelling by train there is a free bus service from Brighton station from midday. Otherwise the track is easy to reach by road and the recommended route is The Racecourse is easy to reach from the A27 Brighton bypass. If you are approaching Brighton on the A23 you need to go east on the A27. Head for signs directing you to Sussex University and take the B2123 to Woodingdean, turn right at the traffic lights and the Racecourse is approximately one mile on your left hand side. Car parking is free and childen under 18 admitted free.