Breeding achievements during 2012


Michael Bates and Escobillo enjoy Plumpton success Photo: Craig Payne Photography

Michael Bates and Escobillo enjoy Plumpton success Photo: Craig Payne Photography

WEST Sussex breeders can look back on  prestigious awards at Futurity evaluation events this year. Richard Black from Petworth and Nicki and Michael Bates from Barnham earned high accolades at Catherstone.

Richard’s Lord Barnaby B, achieved  an outstanding score of 9.00 in the dressage section.
Nicki and Michael Bates’ mare, Grenache, was the highest scoring show jumping yearling, earning a higher first premium with a score of 8.62.

Grenache is the full sister to the Bates’ Escobillo who was the top scoring three year old show jumper at the BEF Futurity at Plumpton a few weeks previously, auguring well for the future.

Also at Plumpton, breeders Suzanne Lavendera from Ashurst, and Elizabeth Lawrence from Storrington,  for whom this was her first appearance at a Futurity event, also earned high accolades.

Suzanna’s unnamed colt foal, was the top scoring youngster of the day from across all the disciplines, while Elizabeth’s home-bred Golden Revolution was top three year old eventer.

Chance to improve showjumping and flatwork

Two one-day adult riding camps are planned at Royal Leisure Centre near Henfield in February to enable participants to improve both their jumping and also flatwork.

The first is on Wednesday February 6, with a day of confidence-giving instruction, lectures and demonstrations from 9am-5pm.

It is suitable for those looking to improve their showjumping from novice jumpers to affiliated competitors.

The second day is on Thursday February 7 with a Focus on Flatwork day. Go along to improve your flatwork with a day of specialised instruction, lectures and a biomechanical analysis of riders taking part and their horses. The day runs from 9am-5pm and is suitable for Prelim to Elementary level horses and riders.

The cost for one day is £85 and for both days  £150. Spaces are limited so book early. Overnight stabling for horses is available at £10 per horse.

Contact Fi Ashton or ring her on 07864843507.

Parham point to point meeting will buck the trend

Jamie Hawksfield with his hunter

Jamie Hawksfield with his hunter

AMIDST predictions that a number of point to point courses in the South East are likely to close in the next five years, Jamie Hawksworth, chairman of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt’s point to point committee, firmly believes that the popular Parham track, near Storrington, has a secure future.
Jamie said: ” Five years ago at Parham, five of us joined together and bought land other than the car parks and paddock, and have realigned the course successfully. We have another 20 years to go in the agreement, ensuring that the course is secure for that period.”
He said that Parham’s two traditional fixtures put it in a good position financially, compared to some courses in the South East which only hold one meeting.
The two meetings are held later in the year than at many other courses in the region, and as a result are less prone to bad weather or cancellation. In 2012 the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt is welcomed back to Parham for the second fixture, for which the Countryside Alliance had stepped in to keep racing going during the last couple of years.
Racing will take place on Saturday March 23 ( Crawley and Horsham Hunt) and on April 27 ( Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt).
“The biggest problem facing point to pointing today is ownership of horses. Twenty years ago we used to have 20 runner fields in Maidens at Parham. Often we had so many runners that we had to split these races into two divisions,” added Jamie.
But he said the number of farmers having point to point horses had dropped, as many of then were struggling to farm in the current economic climate.
“Costs all the way round have risen and we have set up a Crawley and Horsham Point to Point Club with two horses, each with 15 members. It costs them just £55 a month each instead of £800 to keep that an individual owner would face,” he explained.
The two horses, Peplum owned by Heart of the South Racing, and Crazy Eyes bought by point to point trainer Ian Cobb from Doncaster sales, are being trained this season for the new racing group.
The Crazy Eyes group currently has 15 members out of a maximum of 20. Crazy Eyes is due to run on December 30 at Cottenham. Anyone wanting a share should contact Crawley and Horsham Hunt.
” I have no doubts at all that Parham will be one of the courses to survive, even though the costs of running a meeting are high. Our income stems from car parking and the enormous goodwill of the public in continuing to support our fixtures.
“It costs £500 to have a doctor at a meeting, and we have two there, while the paramedic team is another £2,800. We aim to replace a fence a season, to keep the course to a high standard and that is an enormous cost.

But last year Ed Arkle at Fontwell Park Racecourse enabled two of our lads to learn how to a build a fence to a high standard, and that reduces are outlay significantly,” added Jamie.
Recently the new chairman of South East Point to Point, Peter Webb, had suggested that in five years time, the number of courses surviving in the area could be as few as four or five in the whole of the South East.
He has pledged to try to overcome issues currently threatening the future of the sport, during his forthcoming three year term of office.
He cited declining revenues for the early meetings and a remorseless rise in expenses, particularly associated with health and safety where the requirements of the newly-formed PPA had to be rolled out as major factors threatening the sport.
“Most people are now aware of the new medical and veterinary obligations and the seminars which all the professionals have to attend, as do the point-to-point stewards.
Stewards, incidentally, have been reduced in number so that those remaining get to attend more meetings and thus become more conversant with form and other ongoing issues,and this will be particularly evident from 2014 onwards,” he said.
Reviewing the last season, Peter said that it was most unusual that reasonable weather for all the early meetings has enabled them made a profit while the rest of the season had five loss-making meetings, culminating in one which lost more than £10,000.
He continued: “For the forthcoming season and beyond we now need to consider that the time will come when hunts would no longer run point-to-points.
“Already the number of meetings is diminishing, with seven less for 2012-13. Losses include Wales (the Pentrych and Vale of Clettyr), East Anglia (the Union meeting at Marks Tey on Easter Monday) and the Granta Harriers, Grove and Rufford fixtures in Lincolnshire. Nearer home we have lost the Tweseldown Club meeting and those in our own area.”

Harry’s continued success in Dubai racing

Jockey Harry Bentley

Jockey Harry Bentley

Jockey Harry Bentley is currently enjoying another successful winter season in Dubai, where he started out in fine style with a treble at Meydan’s first meeting of the season there last month, landing the last three races.

With winners and places continuing to flow, he seems certain to beat last season’s tally there of ten wins in the winter campaign. He had previously notched up 17 victories in 2010 as a claimer.

The treble this winter included the feature one-mile conditions race on Barbecue Eddie,trained by Doug Watson.

Harry (20) is attached to the yard of champion trainer Al Raihe this year for the first time and his first leg of the treble was on board Al Raihe’s Rochdale.

He has also been signed up by Sheikh Fahad al Thani as retained jockey for Pearl Bloodstock, and back in England for the 2013 Flat season he will be riding for Ollie and Hetta Stevens in their first term at Robins Farm Stables, near Chiddingfold.

Harry, who lost his claim on the Flat during 2012, comes from an equestrian family with his parents John and Amanda, who live in Storrington, West Sussex, supporting him all the way.

In Britain during the 2012 Flat season he rode 31 winners had 80 placed horses.

Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day meeting defied the weather

Tim Vaughan

Trainer Tim Vaughan won the opening race

Thanks to hard work by its groundstaff team, coupled with a dry night, Fontwell Park defied the odds and its popular Boxing Day meeting went ahead as planned.

The going was inevitably heavy but that did not deter the Tim Vaughan-trained Duneen Point taking the opener by almost three lengths, helped by a 6lb drop in weights and the benefit of 3lb claimer Michael Byrne in the saddle.

In the Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap Chase,  Join The Navy, previously trained  by Seamus Mullins,  put in in outstanding performance for Hampshire trainer Kate Buckett, with Chloe Boxall in the saddle, claiming a runaway 18 length win.  Although he benefited from the demise of contender Rosoff early on in the race, it was a fluent and impressive performance.

The David Pipe-trained Too Generous had won two bumpers before disappointed with poor jumping on her hurdling debut at Bangor- but certainly made amends in the Betfair Mares Novice Hurdle winning at 6-1 by 13 lengths.

It was no surprise to see Queens Grove, trained by Kevin Bishop win the Betfair Mare Handicap Hurdle, for she had enjoyed a fluent third win at Hereford previously and had the calibre to defy a 7lb penalty with a ten lengths margin, despite the ground.

The combination achieved a double  with another odds-on victory later in the Betfair Goals Galore Handicap Chase when Wild Ground won going away by 21 lengths.

Neil Holland sent out Uimhir A Seacht to make light work of the Betfair Bonus King Handicap Hurdle Race in the capable hands of 10lb claimer Chris Meehan overturning favourite Bathwick Junior by seven lengths.

In the final race of the day- a National Hunt Flat Race- The Informant shrugged off a 434 day absence since his original debut, in the capable hands of Andrew Thornton for trainer Seamus Mullins to win in a well-judged finish.

Fontwell Park’s next fixture is  on Sunday January 27, with the first of seven races at 1.30pm. BGates open at 11.30pm. There are advance ticket offers for this raceday, which can only be obtained on line up to 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting.


Lucy’s vital role for Injured Jockeys Fund



Two riders using the exercise machines at Oaksey House, Lambourn, en route to recovery

Two riders using the exercise machines at Oaksey House, Lambourn, en route to recovery

NO two days are the same for Lucy Charnock of Arundel, who works as an almoner for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Recently she spent an afternoon at Plumpton racecourse running a stall for the fund, selling everything from the fund’s Christmas cards and calendars to tea towels featuring Grand National winners and diaries.One of her customers was Mrs  Vida Bingham of Uckfield, owner of Mon Mome, featured on the tea towel.

Another day she drove more than 50 miles to collect a Red Cross wheelchair which had been loaned to a beneficiary recovering from an accident,
and then visited someone needing help, who had applied for benefit, as well as seeing a rider who wanted rehabiliation at the fund’s Oaksey House
in Lambourn.

Lucy covers the South East area for the fund, which is a lifeline for jockeys and has its roots in a scheme established in 1964 following the horrendous accidents of riders Tim Brookshaw and four months later Paddy Farrell. Both falls resulted in severe paralysis and immediately ended two careers.

With virtually no compensation available at the time to help injured jockeys, the Farrell-Brookshaw fund was created.

Support was instantaneous and following several name changes, tireless work by many for more than 40 years, the IJF has become what it is today – a fund that has helped
more than 1,000 jockeys and which is still dedicated to helping injured jockeys when ever needed and to improving safety measures.

Lucy at the IGF stall at Plumpton with Mrs Vida Bingham

Lucy at the IGF stall at Plumpton with Mrs Vida Bingham

Lucy said:” I visit those who need help and have applied for benefit- with no money coming in there are mortages and costs to meet and families to feed. Each case has to be assessed and recommendations made. My area stretches West of Southampton, across the coast to Kent and includes South London.”

She deals with cases that need interim help after less serious injuries through to catastrophies such as that experienced by former trainer and jockey, Red Kinane, who was kicked in the head by horse when saddling up another at Wolverhampton races.

“They are all inspirational, because they will not be beaten and remain positive. They all have a burning desire to get back in the saddle again,” she said.

Another typical case was that of experienced jockey Rodi Greene last year. He hit the ground at the first from a maiden hurdler at Lingfield, with the whole weight
of his body coming on to his neck.

“I received a call to visit him at Redhill, where he had been visited the same day at 9pm by an IJA doctor. His family were in Taunton.

He could move his legs but not his arms, and was pinned to the bed. He was very tired and had to remain motionless.”

The accident happened over then three-day Bank Holiday of the Royal wedding. He had to be turned in his bed every three hours for seven weeks to enable his vertebrae to realign.

“His wife and family were far away and he was worried about rising bills and no income, but the IJF stepped in to pay outstanding bills which took a great weight off his mind,” said Lucy.

For Rodi, her visits were a contributory factor in enabling to get back on his feet.
He told the IJF: “I had nothing to look forward to and it was really tough. But Lucy would bring me the Racing Post and she was great fun. It meant
so much having this support.”


Lucy tackling some paperwork at her desk

Lucy tackling some paperwork at her desk

Lucy comes from a family that involved in racing- father was involved and her aunt is East Sussex point to point trainer Diana Grissell. She herself did a land management degree to enable her to go into racecourse management and had a spell in Sport PR Management. Her husband, Robin, rode out for John Dunlop for 18 years before starting his own garage business and Lucy went on to be in charge of Lady Sarah Clutton’s racehorses at Angmering Park.

With a young son and daughter, she became a voluntary visitor for the Injured Jockeys Fund before being accepted for her current role on a part-time basis.

“I’ve been doing it for four years now and I can spend a lot of time in my car- one day I had to do three hospital visits at different places! But I love my job,
It is very fulfilling and also very humbling. I do case reports recommending what help is needed financially and jockeys are immensely grateful to have a light at
the end of the tunnel,” she said.

For more information on the valuable work done by the IJF


Good festive racing programme if weather is kind

Subject to weather, Boxing Day racing at Fontwell Park offers  great day out for the whole family with the chance for some  fresh air and live horse racing with plenty of local interest.
The card features seven races starting at 12.20pm. Children aged 15 and under are admitted free of charge.
There is plenty of children’s entertainment including: Galloping Horses Carousel and Chair-o-plane rides (£1 per ride), plus two smaller rides (these will be free of charge) and plenty of side shows and stalls.
There will be a big screen next to the Winning Post to enhance viewing of the live racing action. Gates will open at 10am and there is a variety of takeaway food outlets and bars to choose from.
Arrive early for this race meeting to avoid any delays in traffic.
On this raceday, Fontwell will be offering FREE parking on the centre course car park, accessed using the westbound carriageway of the A27 signposted Denmans Lane. Sat Nav users should use the postcode BN18 0SX. This is allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please arrive in plenty of time.
Plumpton racecourse has a key fixture early in 2013 with the At The Races Sussex National Raceday on Sunday January 6- an event not to be missed. Gates open at 11am and the first race is at 12.55pm.

Two jockeys on top of the game

Jim CrowleyFlat jockey Jim Crowley is in flying form and enjoying his best year yet.  On Thursday ( December 20) he rode four winners with the first victory coming at Lingfield Park on Honkey Tonk Queen at 7-1.  A trip across to Kempton Park produced another three winners- Mr Knightley 4-5, Aegean King 3-1,  and Atlantis Crossing  6-1.

It has given him his best ever tally on combined Flat and All Weather in a season of 138 victories- with some racing days to go before the end of the year.  His previous best in a season was 116 and he had generally been over the 100 winner mark.

Over jumps it’s well worth taking note of in-form Marc Goldstein, who has partnered Lydia Richards’ home-bred Venetian Lad to four wins and two places in recent weeks while other women trainers have shrewdly recognised his worth in the saddle.

He is pictured below after a mudsplattered victory aboard Venetian Lad at Fontwell Park.


Earlier in the month he guided Captain Cardington to a 7-1 win for Sheena West at Sandown. A win on board Sarah Walls  Ballinhassiq at 6-1 followed at Plumpton on December 17, then a 14-1 victory riding Diana Grissell’s Quartz Du Montceau the following day at Folkestone.

On Thursday he finished a good fourth at Towcester, coaxing an excellent run from Heather Cobb’s relatively inexperienced Generous Spender – a 40-1 shot in the Maiden Hurdle of the day- and certainly a horse with promise.

Separate finals for two breeds at HOYS next year

New Forest and Connemara ponies are to have their own separate finals at next year’s Horse of the Year Show , which takes place from October 9-13  2013.

During the Mountain and Moorland ridden pony of the year championships the two breeds will have their own finals for the first time since the introduction of the classes in 1999.

Following the announcement earlier this year that there will be eight stand-alone qualifiers for both breeds from 2013, in addition to a number of combined qualifiers, these individual finals will enable the two breeds to compete independently.

Organisers Grandstand Media said the move had been made following a significant increase in the number of top quality New Forest ponies coming forward to qualifiers and the increasing volume of Connenara entries at qualifiers.




For more information visit:

Indoor dressage at Goring Riding Club

GORING Riding Club continued its popular winter dressage series earlier this month with another well-subscribed event.
Results were:
Walk and Trot: 1 Penlanganol Bandit and Jennifer Cranford; 2 Bertie and Judith Charman 65.5; 3 Mister Magee with Georgia Humphreys 63.5; 4 Holtheath with Heidi Kelly 63.0; 5 Looks The Business with Tina McGuiness 62.0; 6 Pontlasse Rode Red with Vicky Needham 59.5; 7 Tiny Tim with Cayley Parsons 55.5.

Prelim: 1 TJ with Cayley Parsons 64.5; Joint 2 Pengalon Bandit with Jennifer Cranford 62.5 and Disco with Jackie Tomlin 62.5; 4 Spider with Julia Watts 61.0; 5 Bertie with Judith Charman 60.5; 6 Humbug with Jan Wood, 58.5; 7 Cloudy Days with Helen Johnson 53.5.

Novice: 1 Disco with Jackie Tomlin 64.28; 2 Redinski with Daisy Harris 63.57; 3 Hugo with Pat Parriss, 60.35; 4 Lousinanne with Linda Kidby,60.
Elementary: 1 Cash van Overis Z with Jenny Fox 64.8; 2 Just William with Rebecca Hargreaves 145.
Medium: 1 Just William with Rebecca Hargreaves 62.25; 2 Cash van Overis with Jenny Fox 60.32.