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.
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: www.worldhorsewelfare.org
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
London-based digital agency, Netro42 (www.netro42.com, 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 www.rdasoutheastregion.org.uk
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.”
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.
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 www.livenation.co.uk/www.spanishridingschoollive.
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 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 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.