Golden Horn is Cartier Horse of Year

Golden Horn was named as the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 25th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars last night, Tuesday Nocember 10, at the Dorchester Hotel, London.
Owned and bred by Anthony Oppenheimer, the John Gosden-trained Golden Horn was an outstanding performer throughout 2015. Partnered by the revitalised Frankie Dettori, the Cape Cross colt gained four Group One wins – the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and, perhaps his greatest victory of all, in Europe’s richest race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Golden Horn Photo: John Simpson

Golden Horn Photo: John Simpson

His final start came in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, USA, on October 31 when he went down by half a length to Found. However, that defeat took nothing away from a tremendous season and he retires to Dalham Hall Stud with only US Triple Crown hero and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner American Pharaoh rated higher anywhere in the world.
Golden Horn saw off competition from Solow, Muhaarar and Legatissimo to be the Cartier Horse of the Year, while he also takes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award ahead of Muhaarar, Gleneagles and Jack Hobbs.
Solow gained compensation by becoming the Cartier Older Horse Award winner. The remarkable five-year-old grey gelding was a revelation when dropped in distance in 2015, with an unbeaten campaign yielding five Group One victories in England (three times), France and Dubai.
Solow following his victory at Glorious Goodwood Photo: Jeannie Knight

Solow following his victory at Glorious Goodwood
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Trained in France by Freddy Head for owners the Wertheimer Brothers, he looks sure to remain a major player next season. The other nominees in the Cartier Older Horse category were Treve, Esoterique and Amazing Maria.
There was also just reward for Muhaarar, who takes the Cartier Sprinter Award. The three-year-old, trained by Charlie Hills for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, began the season as a potential Guineas candidate but, after finishing eighth in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, he proved an outstanding sprinter when dropped in distance. After success in the inaugural running of the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, he went on to capture three other Group Ones,  the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, Deauville’s LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest and the QIPCO British Champion Sprint at Ascot. The other nominees in the Cartier Sprinter category were Goldream, Mecca’s Angel and Twilight Son.
Legatissimo‘s tremendous efforts throughout 2015 have resulted in her gaining the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award. A supremely tough and talented performer, the filly ran in six Group One races this year, winning three and finishing second in the other three, losing out by a short-head in two of them. Trained by David Wachman for a Coolmore syndicate, her victories came in the British Classic, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, followed by the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Her rivals in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly division were Simple Verse, Found and Covert Love.
Simple Verse became only the second three-year-old to win the Cartier Stayer Award. Trained by Ralph Beckett for Qatar Racing Limited, she was the first filly since 1992 to land the Ladbrokes St Leger. Having been demoted to second at Doncaster on the day by the stewards for causing interference to the runner-up Bondi Beach, connections decided to appeal and she became the first horse to be awarded a Classic on appeal. The other candidates for Cartier Stayer honours were Trip To Paris, Order Of St George and Vazirabad.
Both awards for juveniles went to horses trained by Aidan O’Brien for Coolmore partnerships. Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt honours go to Air Force Blue, who secured three Group One victories – the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes – which make him a red-hot favourite for Classic honours in 2016. The other nominees in this category were Shalaa, Buratino and Johannes Vermeer.
Minding was the winner of the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award. She is a dual Group One winner – the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Dubai Fillies’ Mile – and these victories propelled her to the head of the market for the 2016 fillies’ Classics. Ballydoyle, Lumiere and Acapulco were also nominated in this division.
The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit went to Jack Berry. The 78-year-old has spent a lifetime in racing as a jockey and trainer as well as a tireless fundraiser and campaigner for injured jockeys. This year saw the culmination of his fundraising activities with the opening of the new £3-million Jack Berry House in Malton, Yorkshire, which offers top-quality facilities for jockeys recovering from injury in the north of England.
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “The Cartier Racing Awards are 25 years old – a tremendous landmark – and we could hardly have wished for a better season in European horseracing.
“Golden Horn carried nearly all before him and is a worthy recipient of Cartier Horse of the Year, while Solow and Muhaarar were equally dominant in mile and sprint races respectively.
“I think it would be hard to find a tougher filly anywhere in the world than Legatissimo, while the Coolmore-owned two-year-olds, Air Force Blue and Minding, were both very impressive. It is refreshing to see the Cartier Stayer Award go to a three-year-old, Simple Verse, for the first time since 1994.
“Jack Berry’s whole life has been dedicated to racing and the opening of Jack Berry House in 2015 is a lasting testament to his tireless work on behalf of injured jockeys. We are delighted to announce him as the recipient Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2015.”

WHW gears up for Olympia

Leading international horse charity, World Horse Welfare, is gearing up for Olympia, The London International Horse Show, where it has been chosen as the iconic event’s charity of the year 2015.

As charity of the year, World Horse Welfare will be presenting the Santa vs Scrooge Celebrity Scurry Stakes – a festive adrenaline-fuelled driving challenge as part of Friday evening’s performance at the show, featuring two of World Horse Welfare’s amazing rehomed horses accompanied by some famous faces.

Olympia: Photo courtesy of Kit Houghton

Olympia: Photo courtesy of Kit Houghton

World Horse Welfare’s trade stand in the ever-popular shopping village will offer visitors the chance to meet some famous equestrian personalities and take a selfie or two in the charity’s winter pony-themed photo zone.

Plus, for anyone doing some last minute Christmas shopping there will be the chance to win an ultimate Christmas present, or to purchase   an array of horsey stocking fillers, including the opportunity to (almost) take a horse home for Christmas with World Horse Welfare’s Adopt a Horse Scheme.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, Olympia, The London International Horse Show said:“We are delighted to be supporting World Horse Welfare this year. The charity plays a vital role in not only safeguarding vulnerable horses, ponies and donkeys, but also in campaigning to help create lasting change. World Horse Welfare has the largest rehoming scheme of its kind in the UK and I am very much looking forward to seeing some of their success stories in Olympia’s Grand Hall this December – I’m sure it will be a spectacle to remember!”

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers added:“We are deeply honoured and so grateful that World Horse Welfare has been chosen as charity of the year for Olympia, a show which has been a key highlight on the equestrian calendar for many years and continues to be a fantastic festive celebration.

“This provides us with a wonderful international platform to raise awareness of our work, a showcase to demonstrate the amazing activities our rehomed horses and ponies are capable of and an opportunity to highlight how people can get involved with us, including through our reinvigorated adoption scheme.”

The London International Horse Show Olympia runs 15th -21st December at the Olympia Exhibition Halls in Hammersmith. Olympia runs for 7 days and hosts more than 90,000 visitors over the course of the show.

To find out more about World Horse Welfare visit:




Horse Trust’s rare horse-lifting boxes

The Horse Trust has acquired two rare horse–lifting boxes for its unique WW1 exhibition.

Many myths had grown up regarding the fate of the British army horses at the end of the Great War and the welfare of the horses throughout the conflict. The Horse Trust commissioned renowned military historian Dr. David Kenyon to research the role of British horses throughout the war years.

Dr. Kenyon’s fascinating study dispelled some myths about the fate of our horses after the Armistice and provided new insight into the overall effect the war had on Britain’s horse population between 1914 – 1918. The study provided the basis to create a unique exhibit opened on August 14 2014 as part of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of war.

Since the exhibition was opened to the public the Trust has been searching far and wide for genuine artefacts of the period. It has been difficult, but persistence pays, and recently Horse Trust Chief Executive Jeannette Allen tracked down a pair of heavy horse-lifting boxes that appeared to have been used in the monumental mobilisation and de-mobilisation.

Arrival of the WWI transport boxes

Arrival of the WWI transport boxes

Thankfully the vendor was able to authenticate their provenance.  As Anthony Reeve of LASSCO (London Architectural Salvage and Supply Company) explains “the boxes had come from the Museum of London where LASSCO had helped the Museum of London clear vast stores of non-accessioned collections from the Royal Docks, London.

Amongst the anchors, gang-planks and cannon were two large crates – like heavy duty carts without wheels. These were “horse-lifting boxes”, rare survivors, originally from the London dockyards. With a door at each end, lifting points at each corner, remains of a padded interior and iron hoops over the top – to prevent a horse rearing.”

These sort of boxes offered a much kinder way of lifting horses that would otherwise be hoisted with slings when tides or unsuitable wharves made gang-planks impossible. It was, by any measure, a herculean task.

As they set sail for France in 1914 the British Expeditionary Force in France took 165,000 horses, the vast majority of them requisitioned and collected in just twelve days. It was truly a miracle of organisation and co-operation, but one of the greatest challenges of that mobilisation was the ongoing transportation of the horse to the battlefields in France.

The horse lifting boxes were fundamental to getting the horses to France through east London’s dockyards. Unlike soldiers horses don’t walk up steep gangplanks very easily, this sort of lifting box would be hoisted over the gunwales of a ship by crane and lowered into the hold where horses were stabled. Those same boxes were used in 1918 to bring over 60,000 healthy horses back home through those same docks.

The Horse Trust and LASSCO are both delighted with the acquisition. Jeanette Allen said:“There can be no more suitable home for this fascinating piece of history than the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses.

“This is the charity whose subscribers commissioned the world’s first motorised horse Ambulance and presented it to the war office for the use of sick and wounded animals at the front.  It is a wonderful addition to our WW1 exhibit and is sure to be appreciated by our many visitors.”

Royal reception for owners

There was a Royal  reception for owners of Team GBR and World Class Programme horses this week at Hyde Park Barracks, London when Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), attended an event in London.

The occasion, which was attended by more than seventy owners, saw presentations by Performance Director Dan Hughes and Performance Managers Yogi Breisner and Richard Waygood on what support the Programme offers to owners and athletes, whilst looking ahead to the Rio 2016 Games.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall accompanied (L-R) Di Lampard, Richard Waygood, Yogi Breisner and Dan Hughes - British Equestrian Federation World Class Owners' Day - Knightsbridge Barracks, London - 15 October 2015 Photo by Jon Stroud

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall  pictured at the event :Photo by Jon Stroud

An evening reception saw HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meet the owners of horses who have contributed to British teams this year and World Class personnel who will take a critical role in preparing athletes and horses ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Commenting on the event, Performance Director Dan Hughes said; “As a Programme we feel very privileged that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was able to join us to acknowledge the critical role our owners play in equestrian sport, particularly as we head towards next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

“Without our loyal owners, we would not be able to field such strong equestrian teams on the international stage.  We also wanted to develop a strategy to bring more owners into equestrian sport to support our younger British riders and develop the teams of the future.”



Award-winning RDA website

London-based digital agency, Netro42 (, has won a national business partnership award with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) for the pro bono design of the RDA South East’s new website at

The award was presented to Netro42’s Managing Director, Tony Orsi, by presenter and broadcaster, Clare Balding, at a gala dinner held recently at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Clare Balding, a great supporter of the RDA, was particularly enthusiastic about the work of Netro42 saying that the website set the benchmark for the RDA while Lindsay Correa, Chairman of the RDA South East Region said: “Netro42 have delivered all of our aims beyond our expectations.”

From left to right: Clare Balding, Tony Orsi (Managing Director, Netro42) and Alison Sherwood-Bruce from BETA, Award Sponsors.

From left to right: Clare Balding, Tony Orsi (Managing Director, Netro42) and Alison Sherwood-Bruce from BETA, Award Sponsors.

A key aspect, especially given the target user group, was to achieve a treble A accessibility rating for the website to ensure that everyone, regardless of their disability, would be able to use it. This approach enables both RDA members and volunteers to fully benefit from the site, whilst opening it up to online donations and the power of social media through the bespoke Content Management System, which is built around the Region’s exacting requirements.

Netro42 have produced an inclusive and accessible online experience for RDA members.  The website was redesigned from the ground up to be fully responsive and deliver an intuitive user experience across all platforms and devices.

“Our first big challenge was the RDA’s Supra Regional Conference in April 2015, and here the site was invaluable, as they were able to drive all registration and information through the “Event” section of the site – saving time and money,” said Tony Orsi. “We had to be particularly responsive on this occasion, adding new data capture fields late in the day that would comply with the additional security requirements for the attendance of HRH The Princess Royal who is President of the RDA”.

“We are enormously proud of our site and grateful for the time and expertise donated by Netro42, which represents a donation close to £25,000.” said Lindsay Correa.
From left to right: Clare Balding, Tony Orsi (Managing Director, Netro42) and Alison Sherwood-Bruce from BETA, Award Sponsors.

Spanish Riding School returns

The world’s oldest and most famous equestrian academy celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. Considered Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO since 2010, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna continues to delight both connoisseurs and newcomers to horsemanship almost half a millennium since its foundation in 1565.

.To celebrate this landmark anniversary, the Spanish Riding School of Vienna will return to the UK in November 2016 for six exclusive new shows in London and Birmingham hosted by TV presenter and British Dressage Ambassador, Nicki Chapman. Tickets for the tour are now on sale via / at prices from  £27.50 – £67.50.
Synonymous with the Austrian capital, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution worldwide where classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the haute école is still cultivated.

The Spanish Riding School in action

The Spanish Riding School in action

The School is the only place in the world where these classical equestrian skills have been preserved and practiced in their original form. Many years of training fuse horse and rider into an inseparable unit. Audiences are treated to an unforgettable experience by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses in perfect harmony with the music.

The UK shows are an impressive display classical equitation. Audiences will be mesmerised by the absolute balance and harmony achieved by these beautiful White Lipizzaner stallions and their regal riders.

All of their famous in-hand work and movements above the ground will be performed including the Capriole, an upward leap made without going forward and with a backward kick of the hind legs at the height of the leap, the Levade in which the stallion puts its entire weight on its hind legs and raises its front legs no more than 45 degrees and Courbette where the horse raises its forehand off the ground, tucks up forelegs evenly, and then jumps forward in a series of “hops”..

Nicki Chapman will be hosting the event and will be joined by special guests making this 2016 Spanish Riding School of Vienna Tour one of the most unique, exciting and captivating events of the coming year.

Nicki commented: “The Spanish Riding School of Vienna tours are rare and exceptional.  I’m lucky enough to have been involved in the UK tours and the experience will  stay with me for the rest of my life! I’ve witnessed first hand these graceful horses thrilling crowds with their astonishing combination of elegance and power. This is an extraordinary, once in a lifetime opportunity to witness these most celebrated, world renowned horses performing in the UK during their momentous 450th anniversary.”

The Lipizzan lineage dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed exclusively by Habsburg monarchy. The breed is a cross between Spanish, Arabic and Berber horses. Estimates put the number of Lipizzaners worldwide at less than 3,000. Only 70 are trained to the demanding standards of the Spanish Riding School at any one time.The institution has been a favourite of royalty since it was set up. Our own Queen is a lifelong fan – and among the few women to have been allowed to ride one of the thoroughbreds.

Tour Dates: Friday November 11 – Sunday November 13 2016 inclusive, SEE Arena, Wembley at 7.30pm

Friday November 18-Sunday November 2016 inclusive, Barclay Arena Birmingham  7.30pm


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.