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

First commercial riding centre gains RDA Accessibility Mark


In a new pilot project by Riding for the Disabled Association, the Radway Riding Centre in Warwickshire has become the first commercial centre in the England to be Accessibility Mark accredited. The aim of the project is to help many more people with disabilities to experience the freedom and benefits of riding.

The project is being developed and launched by Riding for the Disabled Association in partnership with Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s legacy programme and funded by Sport England.

It is hoped the Accessibility Mark will become an industry standard alongside British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and The Pony Club approved centres. The Mark demonstrates that a centre has undergone specialist training by RDA to enable them to offer rider progression through fun, safe and inclusive riding for people with disabilities.

Celebrating the launch

Celebrating the launch of the Accessibility Mark project

Maggie Boswell, Proprietor of Radway Riding School is thoroughly excited to be a part of the Accessibility Mark project. She said: “As a commercial riding centre the Accessibility Mark has given us the confidence to expand our client base to be a fully inclusive riding establishment with the help and guidance of the RDA.

“We have always wanted to be as inclusive as possible but have lacked the confidence and expertise to do so – the Accessibility Mark has now allowed us to do this and we look forward to welcoming lots of new riders in the future and working closely with RDA.”

Two riders at the launch of the Accessibility scheme

Two riders at the launch of the Accessibility scheme

There are currently 30,000 riders at 500 RDA Groups around the country, but demand is such that many groups have waiting lists. This new project allows for an additional pathway into riding for disabled people and allows for potential development and rider progression through lessons at a commercial facility.

“Accessibility Mark Scheme will further the Association’s mission to ensure inclusion in equestrianism for as many disabled people as possible,” said Molly Rickwood of Quest RDA Group.

“For local RDA groups, the Accessibility Mark will stimulate co-operation between them and Accessibility Marked Riding Stables.  This will encourage the exchange of ideas and skills, leading to improved standards of provision and the development of more centres of equestrian excellence providing services for disabled children and adults. Riders with disabilities will have more choice, wider horizons in equestrianism and greater opportunities for progression.”

To find out more about the Accessibility Mark project please visit



Three centres to receive funding to support riding for disabled people

The Sport England Get Equipped programme has awarded over £1.1 million of sports equipment to organisations across the country to provide increased access to sport for disabled people. Three riding centres across the country are to benefit from the funding encouraging more people to discover equestrian sports.

Conquest Riding for Disabled Centre

Conquest Centre for Disabled Riders

Newham Riding School & Association, East London, Conquest Centre for Disabled Riders, Taunton, and Morpeth Group Riding for the Disabled, Northumberland will benefit from the Get Equipped fund.  This will support the development of wheelchair accessible mounting ramps, riding equipment, such as reins, saddle pads and stirrups, a driving carriage and new horse, plus specialised training for staff members.

Hannah Brook, Trustee for the Newham Riding School & Association, commented on the impact the new equipment will make to the centre: “We are incredibly excited to receive support from the Sport England Get Equipped Fund. It will enable us to create a more sustainable facility and provide an enhanced experience for larger numbers of disabled people, including those with more complex needs.

“British Horse Society Fundraising Executive, Claire Fairclough, was a great support with the application for funding, which will now allow us put on events to celebrate our rider’s success and to make riding more accessible for more disabled people.”

The Get Equipped programme was designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and fulfil the demand for more equipment for sporting organisations which are struggling to provide facilities for disabled participants. The equestrian events at the 2012 Paralympic Games saw Britain bring home a total of 11 medals igniting a passion in many to take part in equestrian sport.

Horse riding has a multitude of proven therapeutic benefits for disabled people and access to riding opportunities is in high demand across England.

RDA groups across the country play a vital role

RDA groups across the country play a vital role

Maggie Still, Head of Participation at the British Equestrian Federation said: “This Sport England support is greatly appreciated and will be directed to those people delivering at local level who need it the most. It will play a big part in bringing riding to more people in better places and therefore driving an improved quality experience.”

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Insight said: “A record number of disabled people now regularly take part in sport and the overwhelming response to this fund shows the strength of support from clubs and organisations to keep this momentum going. We are therefore delighted to be making these awards, opening up many more sporting opportunities to disabled people across England.”

For more information about Newham Riding School & Association visit or to find out more about the Get Equipped funding rounds please visit


Equine therapist Luisa offers McTimoney treatment for both horses and dogs

WHEN West Sussex- based Luisa Grieg was studying for a BSc degree in Equine Science at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, she became interested in equine therapy and regularly assisted at Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre.

It was there that she first saw a McTimoney treatment demonstration with Sam Smith, a McTimoney practitioner local to the Gloucestershire area. Luisa, who is based in Horsham area, explained:” The McTimoney treatment is an holistic, gentle rebalancing of the skeletal system, which enables it to function optimally with greatest comfort. The treatment is very effective for horses- and other animals- that are stiff or sore.”

Luisa Grieg treating a horse

Luisa Grieg treating a horse

“It focuses on identifying areas of the skeletal frame where resistances occur, and these areas are treated using light manual adjustments. As the skeletal system resumes normal movement, the associated soft tissues, including the muscles, relax and support these changes. The body does not function like a machine, but is innately tuned to self-heal.

“The McTimoney treatments stimulates this healing process in  a very natural and effective way.”

She says that some of the common reasons for equines needing this treatment range from injury/trauma resulting from a sudden fall or slip, getting cast in the stable, transportation, athletic demands on competitions horses to poorly fitting tack or rigs, existing musculoskeletal conditiions, insufficient warm up before exercise and poor shoeing.

When she completed her degree, Luisa applied to the McTimoney College in Abingdon, Oxfordshire for a place on its Animal Manipulation Masters Course, allowing her to train as a McTimoney therapist.

She used the 18 months break from studying to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible, shadowing various therapists, working in a small animal veterinary practice as a veterinary nursing assistant, and completed placements at Liphook Equine Veterinary Hospital in Hampshire and also the Cliffe Equine Veterinary Practice in East Sussex.

Luisa working on a horse's back

Luisa working on a horse’s back

Luisa has also extended her knowledge and skills to the therapy and rehailitation of dogs- and since many horse owners also have dogs, this can be a double benefit in the equine sphere.

She explained:” I was fortunate enough to gain a position at Greyfriars Canine Veterinary Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy Referral Centre in Guildford as a junior hydrotherapist and there became involved in the rehabiilitation of dogs with serious spinal and neurological injury, as well as in hydrotherapy for dogs with a range of musculoskeletal issues such as cruciate disease, arthritis, spondylosis, CDRM, hip dysplasia and osteochrondrosis.

Today she has built up a business in West Sussex treating muscoskeletal problems in horses, dogs and cats using the McTimoney technique and her work also  includes treating racehorses on a voluntary basis at the Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre at Slinfold in West Sussex, which plays a valuable role in retraining retired racehorses so they can be rehomed and lead fulfilling lives after racing.

To find out more about how Luisa can help both horses and dogs see: or contact her on 07592 310016

All McTimoney Animal Practitioners have to complete an undergraduate degree in a science and a three year post-graduate training course at the McTimoney College in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. All practitioners have to demonstrate a high level of competency to pass the stringent exams required.

Open day to find out more about college’s highly regarded equine courses

PLUMPTON College in Sussex had a steadily growing reputation for its excellent courses in Equine Studies- and there is an opportunity to find out what is on offer for anyone wanting to pursue a career with horses at an Information Morning at the
college on Saturday March 1 from 9am-12.30pm.

A Plumtpon student with one of the college horses

A Plumtpon student with one of the college horses

Its equine department offers provision of full-time and part-time equine courses, ranging from 14-16 provision through to BSc degree level. Facilities include two large indoor schools with galleries, a 30m x 60m outdoor menage, stabling for more than
40 horses, grazing, a horse walker, show jumping fields and a cross-country course. The stabling itself consists of a traditional courtyard, plus American barn stabling. Student DIY livery and full livery are available.

The college is approved to train BHS exams up to Stage IV level and also arranges BHS examination days for BHS Stage I and II. A simulator horse is among the equine equipment available to students on the yard. The college owns a range of horses from youngsters being backed to ex-competition horses, giving an excellent range of horses for students to learn on. There are also two lovely shire horses that are used in training students in harness work and shown by students and staff at county shows, ridden, driven and inhand.

Following completion of an equine course at this college, students may be able to progrsss to further courses and have employment prospects including riding instructor, livery yard manager, groom/competition groom, work in retail with equine feed and nutrition or equine clothing, event organiser, rider/trainer, work in rehabilitation or equine behaviour, research assistant.

Other courses available at the college range from adventure sport and agriculture through to floristry and forestry, veterinary nursing and wine production.

No booking is needed for the information morning and staff will be able to offer specialist advice on courses, fees, funding and careers.

For more information contact Plumpton College on 01273 8980454 or see <>

Support for BHS Trec to be withdrawn by society after 2014 season

The British Horse Society has revealed that 2014 will be the last year that it will support BHS TREC. After this season the society will no longer organise the TREC qualifiers and Championship. A Board meeting earliet this month voted that the financial investment involved was an ‘unsustainable and inappropriate’ use of charity funds.

A Le Trec competitor in action

A  BHS Trec competitor in action

During the past few months The British Horse Society and the TREC Competitions Advisory Committee had been investigating the viability of TREC within the Society. This investigation was requested by the Board of The British Horse Society amid concerns that TREC required a significant investment of charity funds each year. As a charity, The British Horse Society must ensure that its funds support the core aims of education, access, safety and welfare.

At the Board meeting the results of the TREC feasibility study were presented and discussed. The decision was unanimous the financial investment of operating as the governing body of the sport served such a relatively discrete number of people.

The society said: “BHS TREC was brought to Great Britain in the late nineties and it has provided riders with wonderful competitions supported by a loyal group of organisers and volunteers. These dedicated people have made it possible for TREC competitors to enjoy the sport, and we extend our thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years.

“We are hopeful that another organisation may continue with the legacy which the BHS has left to the equestrian community, rising to the challenge of supporting TREC and organising the competitions and associated functions,” said Lynn Petersen, chief executive of The British Horse Society.

BHS TREC has developed the skills a horse and rider needs while out hacking, with three phases testing ability in orienteering, negotiating obstacles and basic flatwork, with competitions throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland catering for all levels of rider from beginners to experts. Enthusiasts are hoping someone will step into the breach to enable the sport to continue.