Shalaa impresses in Juddmonte win

Shalaa has been made 4-1 favourite for next year’s Commonwealth Cup following an impressive victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes today, when he secured his fifth consecutive victory for trainer John Gosden.

Sent off as favourite, he secured his second Group 1 victory after comfortably holding off Buratino by half a length to become top juvenile of the season. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, he was first out of the stalls and the John Goseden-trained colt more than justified his 1-2 starting price.

Frankie Dettori and Shalaa  Photo: John Simpson

Frankie Dettori and Shalaa Photo: John Simpson

He was sent on two furlongs from home to win his race. Afterwards Dettori said: “He’s got tremendous speed and he is the fastest two-year-old I’ve ridden. I haven’t met a horse fast enough to lead him.”I didn’t feel that great coming down the Dip as he changed legs about five times and lost some momentum, but he showed that he is very brave.He’s won two Group Ones now and he’s a great horse to have around.

Trainer John  Gosden said: “He’s been on the go since March and I was a little mindful to bring him here fresh and he was probably a little short of work, but at this stage of the year if you keep working the two-year-olds you can flatten them.

John Gosden

John Gosden

“He’s gone very fast. He got a bit unbalanced going into the dip and changed his legs three or four times. All in all we’re delighted with him. This was his last race this year. He was clocking 41mph and that is very quick for a horse.

“He’s incredibly fast and we’re lucky to have him. We’re over the moon and he’s got a good mind on him, too, which is very important. He reminds me of Oasis Dream, who broke the juvenile record here. He was also champion sprinter at three.”

BEF search for new chief executive

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has appointed the leading sports’ executive search firm, SRi, to identify candidates for the pivotal role of its new Chief Executive. The role becomes vacant from 20 June 2016, when the current CEO, Andrew Finding OBE, retires after a fifteen year tenure.

SRi has prepared a Candidate Brief in association with a panel of the Federation’s Directors to set out the scope of this wide reaching role. This aim is to find individuals who have the career status, expertise and competencies to lead the BEF through the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, into its next stage of corporate and commercial evolution as a governing body for equestrianism in the UK.

Andrew Finding OBE Photo British Equestrian Federation

Andrew Finding OBE
Photo British Equestrian Federation

The Chairman of the BEF, Keith Taylor, said: “The BEF is determined to select an outstanding candidate to replace Andrew Finding when he retires after a long and impressive career. During his time in office he has made a huge contribution to equestrianism both at home and on the international stage.

To do this we will run an open and transparent recruitment process to secure the best talent from amongst those we take forward to interview.  We will be supported in this by SRI who have an established track record in sourcing excellent candidates for national sporting governing bodies.”

SRi Chairman, Mike Squires said: “We are delighted to be working with Keith and his Board on this important role. British equestrianism has a proud heritage and an enviable record of success at the highest level. This position will undoubtedly attract high calibre candidates keen to play a leadership role in the next stage of the sport’s progress and development.”

First round of interviews for the position will be held week beginning December 1 2015.

For further information please visit or


Give Horses a Go Day

It was the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF’s) Give Horses a Go Day 2015 recently with free riding sessions laid on to inspire new people into the sport.This different sort of equine challenge took place on the same day that Great Britain’s eventing team battled to clinch a European silver medal.

A total of 43 centres across England got involved and opened their doors to members of the public, putting on a host of activity and inviting people to come along, meet the horses and experience for themselves all that the horses and equestrian sport has to offer. The initiative was coordinated through the BEF’s Hoof programme which is funded by Sport England to increase participation in sport.

Hampshire Riding Centre enabled youngsters to Give Riding A Go

Alice Oppenheimer Dressager at Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre enabled youngsters to Give Riding A Go

Head of Participation for the BEF, Anna Hall commented:“We’ve had lots of positive  feedback from centres and participants alike with many of the centres reporting full sessions and lots of smiling visitors. Our insight tells us that a lot of people harbour a desire to ride horses but sometimes it can be difficult for them to know how to go about fulfilling this dream. The aim of the day has been to help pave the way for people, to show how accessible our sport can be and encourage them to take the first steps to getting involved.”

Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre was one of the many taking part  across the country with outstanding success.

Having a go at Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre

Having a go at Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre

“I’d like to say a huge thanks to all the participating centres, they put massive effort into the variety of things on offer and so far it sounds like it paid off. From horseball demos to grooming, cross country jumping, in-hand demos, mechanical horse rides, they really helped to capture the diversity of our sport and pass this enthusiasm on to the visitors,” added Anna Hall.

Final numbers of participants from all participating centres are still coming in but early feedback is very positive. With this and other initiatives like it the BEF is aiming to share the benefits of riding and encourages new participants to get involved and give horses a go.


Equine events on television

A documentary about horse racing, four-star eventing, international showjumping and dressage and a new horsemanship series are among the many highlights on Horse & Country TV this autumn.

Horse Town (premieres 9pm on Saturday 10 October) is a beautifully filmed documentary series that will give viewers an in-depth look into life in Newmarket, the home of British horse racing. Set during one Flat racing season, the series captures the colourful characters that make Newmarket such a fascinating place. Showing everything from the glitz and glamour of race days to life behind the scenes, following the staff who keep the horses running, Horse Town is bound to be a hit with racing aficionados to newcomers to the sport.

Autumn highlight withy Horse and Country TV

Autumn highlight with Horse and Country TV

Horse & Country shows the majority of the world’s top equestrian events and the next few months bring some of the very best shows and competitions to your screens. As well as coverage of the Rolex Grand Prix from Spruce Meadows(live at 7pm, Sunday 13 September), we’ll be bringing you coverage of the Longines Global Champions Tour 2015 Final in Doha (9pm, Saturday 21 November). The Los Angeles Masters are always a glamorous affair and you can catch highlights on Sunday 8 November at 9pm.

A little closer to home, there is support of British Showjumping national competition with coverage of the Arena UK Ultimate Showjumping Championships, with highlights of the popular Grand Prix (8pm, Saturday 21 November). We also have the start of the thrilling FEI World Cup Jumping series (from Friday 23 October at 9pm), when the action moves indoors and the leading horses and riders will be contesting the prestigious legs across Europe and North America.

It’s not just jumping either, as we’ll also be bringing you highlights from both the FEI World Cup Dressage and FEI World Cup Driving series too.

Dressage fans have a lot to look forward to in fact, with extensive highlights from the British Dressage National Championships (9pm, Tuesday 20 October) – tune in to find out which rider will take home the national title for this year.  There is also coverage of the World Dressage Masters series, starting with Lier in November.
Horsemanship fans will enjoy the new series Ken Faulkner: Horseman of Oz (8.30pm, Saturday 12 September). Ken becomes the latest horsemanship expert to join H&C, and his series is packed full of advice, veterinary expertise and training tips.

WHW’s free leaflet on laminitis

A World Horse Welfare  leaflet advising about lamnitis has been launched. This vital educational resource will equip horse owners with all they need to know about laminitis. from spotting the early signs of the disease to its treatment, management and prevention.

The free leaflet has been developed off the back of World Horse Welfare-funded research that showed contrary to myth, laminitis strikes throughout the year.

World Horse Welfare leaflet about laminitis

World Horse Welfare leaflet about laminitis

Sam Chubbock, World Horse Welfare Deputy Head of UK Support, has been instrumental in a number of the charity’s initiatives including Right Weight and Need to Breed. She is showcasing the laminitis leaflet at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress. She said:

“Laminitis is an extremely painful condition that can affect any horse, pony, donkey or their hybrids and so we have developed a resource that would be accessible to all horse owners, providing them with valuable information on the disease in a straightforward and reader-friendly format.

“Whilst many people are aware of laminitis, there are still a lot of misconceptions that only certain types of horses are at risk or that it is more likely to occur in the spring time, so we wanted to address these myths in the leaflet and clearly set out the facts.”

Whilst laminitis is one of the most widely known equine diseases, a study undertaken by vet Claire Wylie BVM&S MRCVS MSc PhD in partnership with World Horse Welfare identified that it could affect more than 4,000 horses in the UK every year. The study also showed that laminitis occurs all year-round with no prevalence during the springtime as previously perceived and revealed evidence that there are in fact more incidences during the winter months so owners must remain vigilant regardless of the time of year.   The study involved 28 veterinary practices over two years and its conclusions were published in The Veterinary Journal.

The information leaflet launched at the 2015 BEVA Congress sets out the different types of laminitis, explains how it affects the horse’s hoof, key symptoms and the treatment options. Most importantly, it provides valuable advice on preventing the disease and covers the two major risk factors also identified by Dr Wylie which include hormonal disorders such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID, also known as Cushing’s Disease) and an inflammatory response following either carbohydrate overload or an inflammatory disease like colic.

Sam added: “Claire Wylie’s research study marked an important step in identifying laminitis risk factors and World Horse Welfare is once again working with the Animal Health Trust to fund the CARE about Laminitis study which builds on Dr Wylie’s research.

“The CARE study needs horse owners to submit information about their equines in order to build up an extensive database which will be vital in learning more about laminitis risk factors so we can help prevent and treat future cases.

“The study is open to all horses, whether or not they have ever suffered from laminitis, so I’d urge everyone who hasn’t already done so to sign up and help join the fight against this painful and life-threatening disease.”

World Horse Welfare’s laminitis leaflet can be downloaded from:



Polo and rock at Hurstwood

Words and Images – John Periam    01243 584718

Following the success of the last Rock and Horsepower in June – Kenney Jones decided to make a real effort to get the Faces back on stage for the first time in 40 years.

Jones said: “The years of The Faces were some of the best of my life and I’m proud to have been a part of the band. I was unbelievably excited to have the opportunity to get up on stage with Rod and Ronnie again. Ronnie Lane and Ian McLagan will be dearly missed but we raised a glass to them.”

Polo action at Hurtwood Photo John Periam

Polo action at Hurtwood
Photo John Periam

What an achievement it was too, based at Hurstwood Park Polo Club near Ewhurst- and all for Kenney’s favourite charity- Supporting Prostate Cancer. Kenney was diagnosed with this himself in 2014 and now has the all clear as a result of some excellent treatment.

More than 7,000 people attended the recent concert to see Rod Steward, Ronnie Woods and Kenney played some great numbers from their Facesera. This was linked also to a re-issue of a boxed vinyl set of their records.

Steve Harley and Nick Kershaw: Photo by John Periam

Steve Harley and Nick Kershaw: Photo by John Periam

Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood at Hurstwood Photo: John Periam

Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood at Hurstwood
Photo: John Periam

Other guest musicians joined several top polo players to make it a day to remember for all involved. Kenney is also to be contratulated for everything he has done for the sport of polo.

Presentation time: Kenny Jones  presents the cu to the Alix Partners Polo team Photo: John Periam

Presentation time: Kenny Jones presents the cup to the Alix Partners Polo team Photo: John Periam

There are plans for Hurtwood to be developed into an equestrian centre – let’s hope this succeeds so that future generations will be able to enjoy many more years of horsey and musical fun at this great venue.

Animal Friends prioritises vet fee cover

Animal Friends Equine has created three new insurance policies for horses and donkeys that prioritise vet fee cover.

Equine insurance policies have traditionally been built around the death of horse benefits.  But the new policies from Animal Friends are designed to provide owners with a financial safety net if their horse or donkey should become ill or injured during their lifetime.

The policies offer coverage up to £2000, £4000 or £6000 per condition with a variable excess of £250 or £500 depending on the selected policy, with premiums starting at just £19.45.

With vet bills on the rise every year, insurance is more important than ever. When the horse of Animal Friends policyholder, Clare, developed growths on his eyelids he was found to have squamous cell carcinoma in both eyes.

The claim for the surgery reached more than £1,244. For many owners, this cost would be prohibitive without insurance to help with the vet fees.

Westley Pearson, Director of Claims, said: “Veterinary care is advancing and injuries that would have been life-ending in the past are now being successfully treated. By insuring your horse or donkey you ensure that choices about your animal’s care will be based on their wellbeing, not finances.”

The price quoted reflects the premium for a six- year -old thoroughbred with a £2000 policy limit.


Elaine Fairfax, founder and manager of Animal Friends Pet Insurance with her horse


Elaine Fairfax is founder and managing director of Animal Friends Pet Insurance. Thanks to her expertise and involvement with horses and animals, it has become is one of the largest suppliers of pet insurance in the UK. It is renowned as an ethical pet insurance company that supports animal welfare charities all over the world and has donated £2.2 million to animal charities, including equine causes, to help improve their lives and combat abuse and cruelty worldwide.

Elaine said:“As a keen horsewoman myself I know how expensive veterinary treatment can be for our horses and ponies. That’s why we wanted to do something different with our equine policies, by focusing on vet fee cover. These revolutionary new policies will provide peace of mind to owners in the unfortunate event that their horse needs veterinary care.”

For more information please visit

Sussex equine ranger scheme

A VERY special team of horse riders has swung into action in Mid Sussex and will be using eyes and ears from horseback to help police in the fight against rural crime.

The new scheme of equine rangers, which was launched recently at Brendon Equestrian Centre at Pyecombe, involves around 18 adult volunteers and their horses, who are intent on tackling rural crime and anti-social behaviour in collaboration with Sussex Police.

Sussex Police commissioner Katy Bourne and Police Sgt Izzy Photo: Jeannie Knight

Sussex Police Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and Police Sgt Izzy Lee  with some of the volunteer riders Photo: Jeannie Knight

This unique partnership was the inspiration of Police Sergeant Issy Lee, who is herself a horse rider in her leisure time. She explained:”These volunteer riders already ride over miles of countryside in their leisure time and will be nothing different other than simply be extra vigilant while out with their horses.

“They will effectively be acting as eyes and ears for the Neighbourhood Police Team while on horseback and will report back anything suspicious to the team.”

The pilot areas being covered are Bolney, Warninglid,Twineham, Hickstead, Albourne, Pyecombe, Poynings, Fulking, Hurspierpoint, Sayers Common and Hassocks. The team of riders, wearing special hi vis branded jackets and bands around their riding hats, aim to help reduce rural crime in the area by working in an effective preventative capacity.

Two horses Photo: Jeannie Knight

Police Sgt Izzy Lee with Sue Lee and Bobby (left) and Mandy Daniels with Havana right.
Photo: Jeannie Knight

This new crime prevention scheme has been supported by funds of almost £3,250 from the Sussex Police Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, who said at the launch: ” I am delighted with the response from these riders. They will be working alongside Farm Watch, which will give the volunteers information about suspicious people/vehicles and activities and tell them what to look out for and to report back to us. It enables the police and other agencies to target their own patrols and enforcement in the right areas.”

While riders will be expected to volunteer for a couple of hours a week, most riders at the launch ride their horses out on a daily basis . Living in rural areas they are aware of rising crime figures affecting farms, farm machinery and vehicles, as well as stables being targeted by thieves on the look-out for tack kept on premises, and with horses themselves sometimes at risk.

Volunteer rangers lining up for cameras at Brendon Equestrian Centre Photo: Jeannie Knight

Volunteer rangers lining up for cameras at Brendon Equestrian Centre  Photo: Jeannie Knight

All riders will volunteers will receive bulletins to keep them informed of recent crimes and illegal activities. Although the scheme has been initiated by Sussex Police, volunteer riders will be encouraged to recruit more equine rangers for the scheme so that the network of riders can be expanded and strengthened on a self-managed basis.

Katy Bourne said: ” We hope this scheme will act as a deterrent to criminals taking advantage of remote areas. The riders all carry mobile phones and can pass on information immediately and it can be acted on expediously.”

Some of the new rangers and their horses Photo: Jeannie Knight

Some of the new rangers and their horses
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Riders have another advantage, since they generally move at slow speed and on horseback can see over hedges, down footpaths and into wooded areas, farmyards, commercial premises and gardens and garages. They also generally know their areas extremely well and can spot anything out of the ordinary immediately.

As volunteers, the riders will have no more power of arrest then any other member of the public, they will not be expected to approach suspects or intervene with any crimes in action, for their role is to observe and report.

One of the new rangers is Julie Coultas of Blackstone, riding her 19-year-old horse, Tally- a New Forest cross Thoroughbred.She said: I’m semi-retired and can keep an eye out while I am out riding.”

Julie Coultas and her New Forest cross Thoroughbred, Tally (19) are ready for their new role Photo: Jeannie Knight

Julie Coultas and her New Forest cross Thoroughbred, Tally (19) are ready for their new role Photo: Jeannie Knight


Katrina Ellis rides from Blackstone, while Mandy Daniels, based at Ansty. Mandy is a strenuous worker for Mid Sussex Bridleway Group and has worked hard to achieve bridleway surface improvements throughout the area.

Farmer’s wife Sue Lee, of Poynings, is only too aware of farms being targeted in rural crime and said she always kept an eye out for suspicious incidents or people when out riding her 16-year-old grey Irish Sport Horse, Bobby. ” I do it anyway, but this is a welcome initiative providing a network of riders to work together to combat crime in the area.”

Chloe wins Hickstead cup

Suffolk-based Chloe Winchester, 21, won the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup yesterday at Hickstead, riding Avoca Valkyrie.

A total of 26 riders came forward for this prestigious national final, which is open to the highest-ranked riders on the Area/International points league. Aptly, Chloe topped the list in 2014 and was a worthy winner of today’s £12,000 Queen’s Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show. She also picked up the trophies for the highest-placed lady rider and the best under-25.

Chloe Winchester (c) George Gunn Photography

Chloe Winchester (c) George Gunn Photography

Six riders made it through to the jump-off, with first to go Tina Fletcher and Hello Sailor setting the standard with a clear round in 53.32sec. Kerry Brennan (Wellington M) made a valiant attempt to better the time, but finished just one hundredth of a second in arrears. Regular Hickstead winners Trevor Breen (Old Town KC) and Timothy Davies (Valentijn O) both lowered a pole each to keep them out of contention. But Chloe Winchester set an unreachable new target of 49.57sec, a time so quick that even Phillip Miller and Caritiar Z were some three seconds slower.

“It’s a dream come true. The plan was to just keep going forward because I knew Phillip was coming after me,” said Chloe, who is part of the British squad at next week’s FEI European Young Rider Championships in Austria. “I obviously did more kicking and flapping than Phillip!” she added.

Chloe got the mare from an eventing yard and has produced her up through the levels to 1.50m classes. “We jumped here at Hickstead at the All England Jumping Championships last year, but nothing like this,” she said, adding that it was the biggest win of her career.

Phillip had to settle for runner-up spot with his 2013 Hickstead Derby winner, Caritiar Z. “I didn’t see Chloe’s round, but a few people had said to me how fast she was and I was never going to make up three seconds,” he said.

The Italian riders had a day to celebrate after their disappointment yesterday when finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. Piergiorgio Bucci headed a huge class of 48 starters in this morning’s Bunn Leisure Salver, winning on the 11-year-old stallion Casallo Z.

Having started the day with a win, the Italian contingent had further reason to celebrate when Lorenzo De Luca and Homer De Reve won the British Speed Classic. Britain’s Guy Williams – who is renowned for his prowess against the clock – was some 1.35sec slower than the Italian rider, which shows just how blisteringly quick he was today.

In the day’s other classes, Charlotte Adams-Lane and Chaz & Dave won the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Championship, while Jordan Cook and Fleetwater Xecutive were crowned the Alexanders Horseboxes Supreme Hack champions.

The Longines Royal International Horse Show concludes tomorrow with the €200,000 Longines King George V Gold Cup. The week’s showing champions will also gather in the International Arena to compete for the ultimate accolades – the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony championships.

Tickets will be available at the gate today.

Vicky tops the bill on Ladies’ Day

Vicky Prescott finished her week at Hickstead in style by taking the top prize in today’s Ladies’ Day competition, held in aid of the Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund.

Vicky has been coming to Hickstead for 25 years, and this year she took part in the coloured horse classes with her horse Royale Kristal. Although she didn’t pick up any placings on Tuesday, she more than made up for it today.

Having been selected as the overall winner by the guest judges, showjumpers Scott Brash and Jay Halim, Vicky won an overnight stay for two at Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa. She plans to take her mum with her as a thank you for convincing her to enter Ladies’ Day and for helping Vicky with her horse all week.

Wearing an elegant grey dress and a pink hat from a shop in her local town, Warrington, Vicky commented that her shoes were her favourite part of her outfit. As a keen racing fan, Vicky has been to Ladies’ Day before at Aintree, but Hickstead is her first win in such a competition.

“I’ve just come running down the hill from the lorry park in my heels!” she explained afterwards.

Vicky’s father couldn’t believe that after all the years of trying to qualify for the International Arena at Hickstead, it was a dress that had finally got Vicky there and not a horse!

Completing the line-up were Jean Weston in second place and Melissa Newman who came in third. Jean won an overnight stay at the Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa, while Melissa will get to enjoy an amazing eight-course dinner at the michelin-starred Pass Restaurant at South Lodge Hotel.

The top 10 finalists were joined in the arena by TV presenter Davina McCall and supermodel Jodie Kidd, who were both enjoying the top-class showjumping today at the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

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.