Don’t miss Hartpury’s top equestrian events

HARTPURY is staging three top equestrian events in July and August this year. They are all good dates to have in the diary, whether as competitors or spectators.

An International Festival of Dressage takes place from July 3-7, followed by the   Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular from July 18-21 and the Hartpury International Horse Trials, which take place from August 7-11.

The Festival of Dressage has 40 dressage and para-dressage classes with Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester among the entries once again for 2019.

Charlotte Du Jardin Photo: British Dressage

It will feature a gala evening on the Saturday evening where Anna Ross Davies will perform a demo alongside the Young Horse PSG Final and the Grand Prix Freestyle Final. See for more details.

The Showjumping Spectacular is not international yet but does attract top riders including William Funnell who will compete in classes from young horse to four-year-old to the 1.50m Area Trial. See

Top show jumper William Funnell   Photo: British Showjumping

In the Horse Trials there are classes including CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and the highlight. is CCI4*-S. The latter regularly attracts competitors warming up for Burghley and this year, the  aim is to get some of the riders heading for the European Champs.

See for full details.


Ten polo teams in 2019 King Power Gold Cup

Ten teams have entered the 2019 King Power Gold Cup, played to decide the British Open Polo Championship, with one brand new side joining the competition.

It is the first time for many years that Adolfo Cambiaso will not be seen in the high goal at Cowdray Park, the world’s number one player for almost two decades having decided to retire from UK polo.  However, several exceptional young players will be making their mark.

New to the Gold Cup is ‘Scone’ the team of Australian patron David Paradice, which sees Nico Pieres (9 goals) taking up the number 2 position and England captain James Beim (7 goals) and James Harper (6 goals) at number 3 and Back respectively.  Beim and Harper were team-mates in the winning El Remanso side of 2018, which disbanded following the 2019 Gold Cup.  Scone has reached the Final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup.

King Power Gold Cup trophies 2018
Photo:Mark Beaumont

Seven teams return from the 2018 King Power Gold Cup.  Amongst them are finalists La Bamba de Areco, the team of Jean Francois Decaux, who brings in young Englishman Kian Hall, 3 goals, to play alongside David ‘Pelon’ Stirling and 10 goaler Juan Martin Nero.

La Indiana, semi Finalists from 2018, sees patron Michael Bickford introduce young English player Jimbo Fewster to his team, playing alongside Rodrigo Andrade who has taken over from Nic Roldan, and 10 goaler Facundo Pieres.  Corinne Ricard brings back Murus Sanctus with Facundo Sola and Gonzalito Pieres, the final team member to be confirmed.

The draw for the tournament

Park Place returns with patron Andrey Borodin playing at number 1, Juan Britos at 2 and 10 goaler Hillario Ulloa at 3, the final team member to be confirmed. Park Place have also reached the Final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup.  Spencer McCarthy retains ‘Tincho’ Merlos in his Emlor side but brings in Alfredo Bigtatti and Fred Mannix Jr, both playing off 7 goals. Alessandro Bezzoni is joined in his Monterosso side by Juan Gris Zavaleta, Ignacio Toccalino and Joaquin Pittaluga. Edouard Carmignac brings back an unchanged Talandracas team with Fran Elizalde, Ale Muzzio and Julian de Lusarreta.

Returning after a year’s absence is King Power, with ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha at the front door, Juan Martin Zubia at 2, Polito Pieres at 3 and Marcos di Paola at Back.  Returning after an absence of several years is the Albwardy family’s Dubai side with Rashid Albwardy joined by the young talent of Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola, and a former popular young player at Cowdray, South African Nachi du Plessis, now an 8 goal player after being based in North and South America for a number of years.

Chris Bethell, Polo Manager, has announce dthat there will be two leagues in the competition with the Finalists of the Cartier Queens Cup Semi Finals, Scone Polo, King Power, La Indiana and Park Place, seeded into each league, the remaining teams having drawn for places in either league at the recent King Power Gold Cup Draw held at Cowdray House on Monday June 10.  A list of teams and schedule of matchplay are attached.

The tournament gets underway on June 25 with Quarter Finals over the weekend of July 13/14 , Semi Finals on July 17 and the Final taking place on Sunday July 21.

Al Shira’aa Derby line-up revealed

The entries are in for next week’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, with several strong contenders who are more than capable of keeping reigning champion William Funnell off the top spot.

Having won the Al Shira’aa Derby 12 months ago, William is returning with Billy Buckingham in the hope of securing back-to-back wins. If he can manage it, he will set a new record as the first rider to win the Hickstead Derby five times.

An historic Hickstead Derby performance from William Funnell with Cortaflex Mondriaan     Photo: John Periam 01243 584718

Billy Buckingham has shown a real affinity for Hickstead’s most famous class, having also finished sixth on his Hickstead Derby debut, and the pair will start as likely favourites for this year’s renewal.

One of the biggest rivals to Funnell’s record aim will be Ireland’s Shane Breen, who is based at Hickstead. Having won the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial and finished third in the Al Shira’aa Derby last summer.

Shane Breen ‘s past success with Cos I Can ( Photograph Samantha Lamb)

Shane seems to have found a real Derby star in Can Ya Makan. The pair furthered their credentials by finishing in the runner up spot in last month’s Hamburg’s Derby, and are certainly ones to watch at Hickstead.

There hasn’t been a female winner of the Hickstead Derby since 2011, but two lady riders have been getting increasingly close to winning. British team regular Holly Smith started her Hickstead Derby career with a third place in 2017, before going one better last year when she finished runner-up to William Funnell after a hard-fought jump-off. Her horse Quality Old Joker produced a perfect clear last summer, and could easily do the same next week.

Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker Photo: Julian Portch

Harriet Nuttall and her experienced Derby campaigner A Touch Imperious have finished second in the class three times and were third last summer. It’s surely only a matter of time before they finally take the title.

Another lady rider with a good chance is Irish event rider Esib Power, who has had a number of top 10 placings in the Derby with Doonaveeragh O One. Esib, the sister of Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Robbie Power, returns to Hickstead after a spell of good results in the showjumping arena.

James Whitaker is bidding to become the fourth member of his famous family to lift the Boomerang Trophy, following in the footsteps of his elder brother William and uncles John and Michael. He is riding Glenavadra Brilliant, the horse who gave William his victory back in 2016 before James took over the ride.

They finished fifth in this class last year, with just one fence down and a time fault, and further proved their affinity for Hickstead when winning the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in July.

Two other former winners are among the likely starters for Sunday afternoon’s showcase. Nigel Coupe returns with his 2017 champion Golvers Hill, another horse who arrives at Hickstead on the back of a strong performance in Hamburg.

It’s been nine years since Guy Williams secured his only Hickstead Derby win back in 2010, but if he qualifies for this year’s class he could be one to keep an eye on.

All the riders must qualify for the Al Shira’aa Derby in Friday’s Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, which often proves to be a useful indication of Derby form.

The other showcase class of this meeting is the Science Supplements Speed Derby, in which Britain’s Matthew Sampson will be aiming to become the first rider to win the class three times in a row since David Bowen and John Ledingham in the early 1990s.

Matt Sampson winning Hickstead Speed Derby in 2017: Photo Nigel Goddard

More than 80 riders have entered the international classes at this year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting. It’s one of the most international fields in years, with riders from Australia, France, Germany, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the USA, as well as the usual strong contingents from Great Britain and Ireland.

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs from June 20-23 June. Tickets are on sale now from

Gemma wins Bolesworth International Grand Prix

SUSSEX event rider Gemma Tattersall continues to achieve outstanding results in eventing. She has just won the Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.

She competed with Santiago Bay, reaping £2,000 prize  money with an eight second margin over the showjumping and cross-country obstacles in show’s International Arena.

This top performance has earned her a place in the final at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show later this year. She put in a memorable round, in which she tackled the final jump, a joker fence flawlessly and in impressive style.

This difficult fence had subtracted five seconds from many other competitors’ times when they failed to clear it.

Gemma Tattersall

Jay Halim and Abrisco finished second, with long-time leader Bill Levett taking third on Athleet V. The remaining two Liverpool places were filled by Emma Hyslop-Webb and Hannah Bate.

“It was a fantastic class,” said Gemma, who helped Britain to eventing team gold at the World Equestrian Games last September.

“It is my first time here at Bolesworth – I aim to be back for the young horse championship in August – and Santiago Bay is a very special horse. We have a great partnership. She always says yes to every question, and I had a fantastic time in there. She gave me a great ride.”

Santiago Bay

Gemma told reporters: “It is my first time here at Bolesworth – I aim to be back for the young horse championship in August – and Santiago Bay is a very special horse. We have a great partnership. She always says yes to every question, and I had a fantastic time in there. She gave me a great ride.”




New sponsor for British Riding Clubs championship

British Riding Clubs (BRC) is delighted to announce the securement of a new sponsor for the BRC Intermediate Winter Championships 2020 with HorseHage & Mollichaff  taking over the role.

“These championships will be taking place on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 April 2020, at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, Buckinghamshire. We look forward to working with HorseHage & Mollichaff, producers of a range of high fibre forages, chaffs and complete feeds.

Past British Riding Club Champions ,Three Valleys Riding Club

“We are delighted to be able to support British Riding Clubs (BRC) through this sponsorship and recognise the importance of this organisation to the grass roots rider. We look forward to working with the team at BRC over the coming three years.” Said Chris Tar of HorseHage & Mollichaff.

The championship classes will be split over three two days, for teams and individuals, including both senior and junior riders.

Friday will include mixed junior and senior 100cm and 110cm show jumping and Novice to Advanced Medium level dressage.

Saturday will include senior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary level dressage. Sunday will include junior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary dressage.

The area qualifiers will get underway in October 2019 throughout the UK, with approximately 550 junior and senior riders qualifying for these championships. Further information on heights, course requirements and horse and rider eligibility can be found in the BRC Handbook.

“We are delighted to be working with HorseHage & Mollichaff for the next three years at BRC Intermnediate Winter Championships. These championships are now proving extremely popular with our members, with such a wide range of dressage and show jumping classes, appealing to riders competing at the higher levels.” Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

Good Fontwell win for trainer Nick Gifford

BLACK Lightning fulfilled all promise when winning the opening handicap hurdle in wet conditions at Fontwell Park yesterday- providing Findon trainer Nick Gifford with a well deserved win.

The six-year-old gelding had shown promise in his early National Hunt Flat races, but  when running over hurdles he had previously been well beaten. By Whitmore’s Conn, he benefited from a change in headgear for his latest race- and also was reported to have had wind surgery.

Here he was ridden for the first time by Tabitha Worsley and the duo clearly established a good rapport with Black Lightning putting in a good performance under his new rider- comfortably beating 8-1 shot Ormskirk, trained by Johnny Farrelly.

Black Lightning, ridden by Tabitha Worsley, winning the opening race. Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse photography.

Not only that but much-loved stablemate Brown Bear, also ridden by Tabitha Worsley and sent off at 5-1, put in a fine effort when he finished a good second in the Jack Parnell Handicap Chase over two miles five furlongs.

The Maiden Hurdle race saw jockey Bryony Frost add to her growing tally of race wins, when she partnered five-year-old bay mare Slaine, sent off at 4-1 and trained by Neil King, to a fluent five length victory over 14-1 shot Moans Cross, a five-year-old gelding trained by David Bridgwater. The evens favourite, Dancing In The Sky, sent off as evens favourite for trainer Dr Richard Newland, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, finished third.

Winning rider Bryony Frost :Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse

The Mares Novice Hurdle Race, over two miles three furlongs, attracted nine runners – with 11-10 favourite Jaunty Soria,  ridden by Sam Twiston Davies, trained by Neil Mulholland winning by just under three lengths in what proved to be a competitive finish.

Runner up was  33-1 shot Fu Fu, trained by Robert Walford and ridden by James Best.  They in turn beat home Tara Niece, trained by Seamus Mullins, sent off at 17-2, by just a neck.

Trainer Johnny Farrelly made the trip from Somerset pay off when he sent out eight-year-old gelding Bermeo to win the three miles two furlongs handicap chase in good style, ridden by Tom Cannon.

A Fontwell Park date for the diary is the highly popular Ladies Evening at Fontwell Park will take place on Thursday August 22 this year. Gates open at 2.30pm with the first of seven races at 4.40pm and the last at 7.50pm.





Watch Hickstead action live on TV

DON`T miss a moment of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting. Viewers will be able to watch four days of action there from June 20-23, streamed live on ClipMyHorse.TV.

The popular streaming platform will be showing all the action from the Longines International Arena from Thursday onwards, including the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, the Science Supplements Speed Derby and Sunday’s showcase event, the Al Shira’aa Derby.

Archway to the main Hickstead Photo courtesy of Hickstead

The feature classes will be shown as full-scale multi-camera productions, with commentary from Gareth Jenkins and international showjumper and experienced broadcaster James Fisher.

All classes and rounds from the Longines International Arena will be available to watch and download from ClipMyHorse.TV almost immediately, which will allow riders to purchase clips of their Hickstead performances.

The show will also be streamed live on Hickstead.TV and both platforms will be showing the live event as free to view.

Highlights of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, produced by  ClipMyHorse.TV will also be televised on Sky Sports and Horse & Country TV shortly after the event.

The Al Shira’aa Derby highlights will be shown on Sky Sports Arena HD at 6pm on Thursday June 26, with daily repeats until June30.

The highlights will be shown on Horse & Country TV on Friday July 5 at 8pm, and the channel will also show highlights of the Science Supplements Speed Derby, premiering on July 4 at 8pm.

For those who want to enjoy the action from a ringside seat, tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (20-23 June) are on sale now from

Goodwood raceday raises £14,500

GOODWOOD’S Family Race Day proved popular once again when approximately 10,000 racegoers enjoyed an afternoon of activities on the South Downs and a significant sum of £14,500 was raised for charity.

The fixture was run in aid of the WellChild, whose work helps support seriously ill children and their families. Fundraising included the sale of race sponsorship, children’s fun activities, and donations from racegoers.

On a day when the Gordon and Lennox Enclosures became one, children and adults alike enjoyed a traditional funfair and an activity tent, where Paw Patrol’s popular puppies Chase and Skye made much-anticipated appearances throughout the day. The British Champions Series area gave racegoers a chance to have a go on a mechanical equicisor, while Golf at Goodwood provided education for young enthusiasts.

Exciting racing action at Goodwood at the weekend
Photo:John Simpson

Former Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley was on hand to host mini-course walks, while ex-racehorse, Army Of Stars, was the centre of attention, having been brought along by the excellent team behind the Retraining of Racehorses organisation.

On the track, Shani put in a tenacious effort to win The Incubex WellChild Selling Stakes under P.J. McDonald before going under the hammer in an atmospheric winner’s enclosure, selling to local trainer John Bridger for £8,000.

The local theme continued when Nuits St George, trained in Pulborough by David Menuisier put in a superb front running performance in the R L Austen Diamond Handicap Stakes to win comfortably under Sean Levey. The quality of the win means he could be aimed at the prestigious Goodwood Festival if the ground is right.

Winner Nuits St George

Trainer David Menuisier commented afterwards: “Despite a rise in the weights he has won that nicely. Nuits St George is very ground dependant, so if there is some cut in the ground come the Qatar Goodwood Festival, we will look to go there.”

Pulborough trainer David Menuisier

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer commented; “We are thrilled with the amount of support and money raised at Goodwood’s Family Race Day, it will go a long way to helping seriously ill children and supporting their families through some incredibly tough times.

“I would personally like to thank the Goodwood team; our sponsors Infiniti, R L Austen, The Bennington Family, IncubEx, and Ed Chamberlin for their invaluable support.”

Goodwood now looks forward to the second Three Friday Night act on June 14, when Gorgon City take to the decks. The chart-topping duo consisting of two North London producers Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott, look set to wow the crowd come Friday night.






Nicole Pavitt qualifies for HOYS

Nicole Pavitt  has won the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifier at the South of England Show

 A British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifier took place at the popular South of England Show on Saturday. Seventy-two combinations came forward to take on Neil Theobald’s track with eyes firmly set on gaining one of the three qualifying tickets on offer for the British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Championship Final at Horse of the Year Show.

Nicole Pavitt and Southend at South of England show
Photo: Stephen Lawrence

The initial starters were reduced to twelve for the jump-off and it was Nicole Pavitt from Crawley, West Sussex who claimed the win with Matthew Pike’s Southend, an 11 year-old British bred gelding who has already gained tickets to the Senior Newcomers and Foxhunter Championships at Horse of the Year Show. They stopped the clock in 40.62 seconds, one of the quickest times of the class.

Close behind was Phillip Miller on Diana Cornish’s seven-year-old Belgian bred gelding Hot Pepper S; they crossed the finish line with a double clear in 41.11 seconds. Third place and the final qualifying ticket went to Taisie De Gruchy and Lauren De Gruchy’s Live the Life, an 8 year-old British bred whom Taisie has produced herself over the last three years. They posted a double clear in 42.57 seconds.

The Horse of the Year Show 2019 will take place from October 2-6 at Birmingham’s NEC.

RDA dressage qualifier at Hickstead