Grand National-winning jockey wins Hickstead’s LED Sport Europe Speed Derby


Robert Power, winner of the Speed Derby Trial at Hickstead   Photo:  Copyright Samantha Lamb

Robert Power and Doonaveeragh O One,  winners  of Saturday’s LED Sport Europe Speed Derby Trial at Hickstead Photo: Copyright Samantha Lamb

Robert Power, the National Hunt jockey who won the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National on Silver Birch, made a winning return to Hickstead on Saturday.

The Irish rider partnered the 12-year-old stallion Doonaveeragh O One to victory in the afternoon’s feature class, the LED Sport Europe Speed Derby. This fast and furious competition, with a £21,000 total prize fund, sees riders tackle some of Hickstead’s fixed obstacles such as the Irish Bank and the less steep side of the Derby Bank at speed, with each knock-down adding 4 seconds to the clock.

Robert grew up competing in showjumping, winning a silver medal at the European Young Rider Championships, before switching to become a professional jump jockey. He is the son of former top showjumper Capt Con Power, and the brother of Elizabeth Power, Irish Olympic eventer.

“My sister evented ‘Tommy’ up to three-star level but he was injured and switched to showjumping,” said Robert. “He’s got a very big stride, and because he’s done a lot of eventing, he’s not bothered by the unusual fences so I can kick on at them.”

Asked if he was quitting racing to go back to showjumping, he answered ‘Definitely not!’- and said he would be riding at at Gowran Park races the following day.

“I’ll be racing for a good few years yet, hopefully, but I’ve been showjumping during the summer. I’m very competitive and love to win – so it doesn’t matter whether it’s racing or showjumping here on the big stage at Hickstead,” he added.

It was another Hickstead success for the Irishman, who finished third in last year’s Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix at the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

In second place on Arantos, just 0.15sec in arrears, was new father David Simpson, whose partner Louise Pavitt recently had a baby.

This morning’s Bunn Leisure Derby Trophy went to Norway’s Geir Gulliksen and Vennoot, who finished just ahead of Ireland’s Shane Breen and Zarnita.

In the showing classes, the Supreme Hack championship went to Jayne Ross (nee Webber) and Broadshard Simplicity; while the Working Hunter HOYS qualifier went to Melanie Hennah and Anchorman.


Breen brothers fill top spots in Bunn Leisure Derby Trial at Hickstead


Shane Breen and Cos I Can (left) with Trevor Breen  Photograph Samantha Lamb

Shane Breen and Cos I Can (left) with Trevor Breen Photograph Samantha Lamb

Shane Breen won  at the All England Jumping the coveted Bunn Leisure Derby Trial at Hickstead on Friday, beating his brother Trevor in a thrilling jump off in from of packed stands.

Of the five riders who went through to the jump-off, Phillip Miller (Caritiar Z) and Sammie Jo Coffin (Willem De Lux) both had four faults in the second round, while Harriet Nuttall finished clear on 66.81sec (A Touch Imperious).

Ireland’s Trevor Breen and Adventure De Kannan then bettered Harriet’s time by just half a second, and looked the likely winners, until elder brother Shane, who was last to go, went more than 7sec faster to claim the £7,000 first prize with Cos I Can.

“It felt great to beat Trevor because he normally beats me,” said Shane. “I didn’t know how fast he’d gone, but knowing Trev and ‘Addy’ they’re always quick so I had to move on a bit.”

It was another good result for Trevor’s ride Adventure De Kannan, which recently had an eye removed. The duo have had an outstanding year both home and abroad, and were considered favourites to take the trophy.

“He’d had ongoing problems for five years, but it got to the stage when it was unmanageable and his vision was down to 20 per cent, and he was in pain,” said Trevor. “The horse never ceases to amaze me – he’s come back better than ever, and has won an Area Trial and an International Stairway class since the operation. He’s much happier in himself and it’s wonderful to see him back to his old self.”

It was a poignant result for both Shane and Trevor, whose mother Mary Breen died last week.

Abdullah Al Sharbatly was another repeat winner, following up his win in Thursday’s Bunn Leisure Derby Trophy with a win in the Hickstead Master’s Challenge, a speed class named in honour of Douglas Bunn, the founder of the Hickstead showground.

The LED Sport Europe Speed Derby is the highlight of today’s action, where riders tackle a number of Hickstead’s permanent fences at speed. Among those lining up include Robert Power, a National Hunt jockey who won the Grand National in 2007 on board Silver Birch.


Murphy could be back in action soon but slow progress for Joshua Moore

Michael J M Murphy

Michael J M Murphy

Leading apprentice Michael J M Murphy may be back in action soon, after being sidelined following  fall at Nottingham on June 10.

He broke his thumb following an incident and fall coming out of the stalls on Martina’s Delight and was taken to hospital.

Murphy is based with trainer Alan Jarvis and missed a booked ride for him at the start of Royal Ascot. He has a ride booked at Newbury on Tuesday..

There was also better news of jumps jockey Joshua Moore, youngest son of Horsham trainer Gary Moore, who has been off since a nasty dislocation to his left shoulder in February.


Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore

He had an operation to stablise his shoulder in March and since then has continued to progress and no longer has his arm in a sling.

A report giving latest details on his progress said:” He is now making as much use as possible of The Jockeys Injury Management Team on the racecourse and has been informed that he should be able to start riding out again in July.”



He missed out on a planned ride for trainer Alan Jarvis at Royal Ascot

Michael Murphy sidelined after Sunday fall

June 10th, 2013

Leading apprentice Michael Murphy is set for a spell on the sidelines after breaking his thumb in a fall at Nottingham on Sunday.

Michael Murphy taken to hospital after fall

June 9th, 2013

Jockey Michael Murphy was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre as a precaution after he fell from Martinas Delight at Nottingham on Sunday.


Saudi Arabian rider wins Derby Tankard on Hickstead’s opening day


Abdullah Al Sharbatly -  presented with the Derby Tankard trophy by John Bunn).    Photo:Lotte Simons Photography

Abdullah Al Sharbatly – presented with the Derby Tankard trophy by John Bunn).
Photo:Lotte Simons Photography

Saudi Arabian rider Abdullah Al Sharbatly proved once again that he’s a force to be reckoned with against the clock, winning the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard on the opening day of Hickstead’s Derby meeting with more than one second to spare.

Abdullah, 30, partnered the quick and careful dun mare Chesterfield, holding off opposition from second-placed Joe Clayton and Ingliston Twister.

“It wasn’t an easy win, it was really tough,” said Al Sharbatly, who is currently based in France. “I bought Chesterfield less than two months ago, and this is our fourth show together. She’s a top horse and really competitive – we don’t know each other very well yet, but I’m very excited about my future with her.”

Sharbatly praised the All England Jumping Course, which is one of his favourite venues. “I love this show, the atmosphere is unbelievable, like a world championships or Olympics,” he said. “I’m hoping to jump in the Derby with a horse I just bought last week. But you need a big relationship with a horse for that class, so I’m going to see how she goes tomorrow and then decide.”

Hickstead-based Shane Breen won the first international class of the day, the Stoner Jewellers Vase. Shane and the mare Zarnita set a fast time of 68.26sec to finish more than 3sec clear of Angelie von Essen (SWE) in second.

Having got the week off to a flying start, Shane is surely one to watch in Sunday’s Derby. Shane has won most of Hickstead’s international classes over the years, including the Speed Derby twice, but he’s still to win Hickstead’s most famous class.

This year, he believes another Breen could be the one to take the honours: “I’d love to see my brother Trevor win the Derby this year, I think he has a great chance,” said Shane.

Trevor Breen

Trevor Breen

Guy Williams, winner of the Hickstead Derby in 2010,  won the Camardo Coffee Speed Derby Qualifier on Belinka VH Overlede Goed. The top 25 in this class will go through to Saturday’s LED Sport Europe Speed Derby, where riders have to jump some of Hickstead’s permanent fences at speed.

Sussex-based Nicole Pavitt had a day to remember, winning the Camardo Coffee 1.35m Open Championship with Amaryllis van de Heffink, the British Five Year Old Jumping Championship Preliminary class with Monsoon 16, and the Hickstead Annual Grade C Championship with Contessa IV.

Hayley Turner’s tips for tonight’s meeting at Goodwood

Hayley Turner

Hayley Turner

Jockey and Ambassador for Goodwood racecourse, Hayley Turner, has given her tips for tonight’s meeting at Goodwood, where racing starts at 6.15pm.

:She said:“In the first race at 6.15pm, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation”Apprentice Handicap, I like the look of Rhombus. He was third last time out on his reappearance and should come on for the run.

In the 6.50pm Three Friday Nights Handicap, Belle Batardo would be my pick as he has been running well recently, particularly when second last time out.

I think Sunbula has a good chance in the 7.20pm Bibendum Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. She was second last time out in April, so fresh from two months off the track and fitted with a hood this time which will sharpen her up, I think she could go one better.

My selection for the Gordon’s Stakes (Handicap) at 7.55pm is Novirak who is lightly raced for a five-year-old and still looks to be going to right way so I think he may have a chance here.

In the 8.25pm Trevor Nelson Fillies’ Handicap, I like Maklekat Jamal. I think there could be more to come from this filly who won last time out at Windsor.

In the last race on the card at 8.55pm, the Goodwood Farm Shop Handicap, my selection is Jubilant Queen, who got off the mark in a similar race last time out and I think she has a good chance again here today.”


Marie-Anne and unique Monarch Motivator enjoy continued successes


Monarch Motivator with Marie-Anne Olivier in a cross country event

Monarch Motivator with Marie-Anne Olivier in a cross country event

A 21-year-old horse is still in his prime, winning events ranging from dressage to show jumping for his West Sussex rider, Marie-Anne Olivier. Monarch Motivator, a thoroughbred 16.1hh dark bay horse, has proved that age is no barrier to success and is enjoying life, clocking up consistently more successes.

Steyning-based Marie-Anne, who is a member of Mid Sussex Riding Club, said: “He might be 21, but he thinks he is still seven years old. I am very proud of him doing so well at his age.”

Monarch Motivator, known at home as Raj, is owned by Joseph Daborn and had been successfully evented by him to advanced level until three years ago at which point the classy gelding came to Marie-Anne.

He is a real one-off and is by Monarch’s Pass, who was, in turn, by Just A Monarch. And Monarch’s Pass was gelded shortly after his mating with Grade B show jumper November Dell, meaning that this 21-year-old is unique in every way.

His rider has an equally solid equestrian background, having come up through the ranks of Southdown West Pony Club and been riding since she was eight-years-old. Marie-Anne enjoyed many years of competing in Prince Philip Cup events, including internationally, before going on to work with horses.

“I worked in an eventing yard in the USA, with summers in Boston and the winters spent at Palm Beach, and then came back to this country working in a showing yard and a hunting yard, before taking up an office job in Steyning and combining that with riding and competing for pleasure,” she said.

This year Marie-Anne and Raj were members of the Mid Sussex Riding Club team which won the Senior Dressage qualifier for Hartpury Winter Championships. They also qualified with Mid Sussex Riding Club for Royal Windsor where they finished mid table in a strong dressage field and just out of the ribbons in the individual show jumping  but were runners up as members of the Area 13 team in show jumping, against tough all-round opposition.

Anne-Marie Olivier in with Monarch Motivator wearing his dressage winner's rug at Hickstead

Anne-Marie Olivier in with Monarch Motivator wearing his dressage winner’s rug at Hickstead

In the recent South East Unaffiliated Dressage Championships at Hickstead this year, Marie-Anne and Raj won their section of the Novice Dressage Championships and were Reserve Champions in the Elementary.

Marie-Anne said :”It was brilliant. I didn’t think we would even get a place, but he went well in both tests. We’ve been selected for the Mid Sussex show jumping team at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead on August 4 this year and I’m looking forward to competing with him there.  He is such a superstar, for to still be able compete in different categories with such success at his age is a great achievement.”

First season trainer Olly Stevens celebrates fine Royal Ascot win with Extortionist



A BREATHTAKING win by 16-1 shot Extortionist in the Windsor Castle Stakes listed race at Royal Ascot has given first season trainer Olly Stevens well-deserved recognition.

Olly Stevens on the gallops at Robins Farm Stables

Olly Stevens on the gallops at Robins Farm StablesExtortionist, a two-year-old Dandy Man colt owned by

Extortionist, owned by Sheikh Suhaim Al Thani, powered home under a fine ride from Johnny Murtagh to win by a neck.

The excellent result is fine reward for Olly and his wife Hetta, herself a significant part of the successful team at the impressive premises at Robins Farm Stables, near Chiddingfold. They train there with the generous support of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, training his horses and those of other owners.

Following the victory, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani said: ” This is fantastic for Robins Farm Racing Stables and wonderful for a first season trainer. I am delighted.

” The horse has done so well, especially because the pace was on the other side. I’ve always thought of him as a Royal Ascot horse.”

Both Olly and Hetta Stevens were both highly successful in their own rights within racing before they met and married, returning to this country from America last year to take on Robins Farm Stables in the autumn. They have impressed with their knowledge and careful placing of runners emerging from the yard this season, and attention to fine detail.

Before Ascot, Extortionist had won impressively at both Bath and Newmarket, and earned his chance to take a tilt at a Royal Ascot race.

Flying the flag for Robins Farm Racing Stables at Royal Ascot on Thursday will be Green Door, a two-year-old comacho colt owned by bloodstock agent David Redvers.

Does lightning strike twice? It could, given luck in running, for this two-year-old colt won the both at Nottingham and then in impressive style at the Newmarket May meeting in the Mafki Future Stars Maiden race.

He has succeeded so far despite the enigma of being a late foal-born on May 27, and being 25 per cent younger than his counterparts- but has justified Olly’s faith in him by showing he is mentally ready to run.

Either way, Robins Farm Stables is clearly heading to the top.

Historic stables at Petworth House opened to the public for special display

Horses were back at  Petworth House Stables in West Sussex recently, to enable visitors to see the historic equine stables in an event organised by the National Trust, which runs the property.

Stepping back in time at Petworth House stables: Victorian landau and team from Sussex Equestrian Carriages of Ashington

Stepping back in time at Petworth House stables: Victorian landau with Raymond Ellis and daughter Davinia (right) with members of  team from Sussex Equestrian Carriages of Ashington


The first equine interest had come in 1787 when the third Earl of Egremont took a great interest in horse breeding and racing. In the next three years he built a racing stables and stud at Upwaltham on the Petworth to Chichester Road, where he bred five Derby winners had seven runners-up- still a record. He also had five winners of Oaks and winners of several Goodwood Cups. He used to hold race meeting in Petworth Park, surrounding his home.


Racing colours on display in the stables

At a point when he had 300 horses, he began to lose interest and abandoned these regular meetings. This led to the Duke of Richmond holding the first Goodwood race meeting in 1801.

The Earl of Egremont bought Whalebone, an ex-Derby winner in 1801  for 510 guineas, and put him to stud. Many racehorse pedigrees today link back to Whalebone.
Four sets of stables were built at Petworth House with 12 horses stabled in the outer court of the house in 1662, then the Earl of Northumberland built a stableblock including a riding barn, coach house, saddle house, cart house and forge. It was said that horses had better accommodation than guests!

In 1716, the 6th Duke of Somerset had new stables built, shown on the Capability Gardens plans of 1752 as being to the south west of the house. From 1756-60 the 2nd Earl of Egremont started building the current stable block.

Thanks to different local horse enthusiasts, there were horses and also a coach back there at the special day last Saturday, so that visitors could envisage the stables as they were once used.

Belinda Wilkins and her side-saddle display at Petworth House stables

Belinda Wilkins and her side-saddle display at Petworth House stables

In addition Belinda Wilkins of Walberton had a comprehensive display about side saddle, including a saddle which visitors could try out. A comprehensive photographic display showed her daughter Caroline, taking part in different side saddle events, as well as starring in Downton Abbey in hunting scenes. Caroline was also there wearing her costume from Downtown Abbey.

Minnie and Beatrix (right) Irish sporthorse and thoroughbred, owned by the Crouch family

Minnie and Beatrix (right) Irish sporthorse and thoroughbred, owned by the Crouch family

Nadine Crouch, a secretary for the local Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt, had taken along Beatrix, an Irish Sports horse, Beatrix, and seven-year-old thoroughbred, Minnie, which is ridden in pony races by her son Hector- and is heading for the pony race at Glorious Goodwood next month.

Two Friesians, Lorenzo and Lucardo were in side-by-side stables, enabling visitors to have a close look at this more unusual breed, renowned for their glossy dark coats and wavy manes. Under the banner of  Sussex Equestrian Carriage, they are based at Sussex Equestrian Centre at West Wolves Farm, Ashington, which also caters for children and adults at all levels wanting to enjoy equestrian activities.

One of the pair of Friesians on display

One of the pair of Friesians on display

The Friesians belong to the Elllis family, and daughter Lavinia Ellis explained that the 15hh pair are used to draw a Victorian landau for special occasions. Their Victorians landau was outside the former carriage house at Petworth House for visitors to see. It is used for special hire for events such as  weddings, when the owners wear traditional matching livery coats and top hats.
For more information see

Strong field lines up for this week’s Hickstead Derby

Last year's winner, Loughnatousa W B will be aiming to win again Photo Samantha Lamb

Last year’s winner, Loughnatousa W B, ridden by Paul Beecher will be aiming to win again with Michael Lonsdale on board
Photo Samantha Lamb

This year’s Hickstead Derby Meeting has attracted a strong field of entries, with 13 nations represented and a total of 180 horses entered in the international classes. Entries for the national classes on the opening days of the show are already full, with record numbers wishing to compete at the All England Jumping Course.

Last year’s winning horse Loughnatousa W B is due to return to defend his Hickstead Derby title, with Michael Lonsdale taking the ride for this year’s event. William Funnell, who made the jump-off last year, is back with Dorada and hoping to add a fourth Derby win to his collection.

He will be joined by a bevy of past victors, including recent winners Guy Williams (Skip Two Ramiro) and Tina Fletcher (Promised Land). Other riders to look out for include former Olympians Tim Stockdale, Geoff Billington, Michael Whitaker and London 2012 gold medallist Peter Charles.

Saturday’s LED Sport Europe Speed Derby also promises to be a hotly contested battle, with last year’s winner Trevor Breen aiming for back-to-back wins – although he’ll have to be faster than ever to beat speed merchant brother Shane, who has won the class twice. Grand National winning jockey Robbie Power, who finished third in last summer’s Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix, is returning to Hickstead for a crack at the Speed Derby.

On Saturday evening the entertainment will continue long after the showjumping has reached its conclusion, with some of the country’s best riders lining up to try their hand at Donkey Sulky Racing – no doubt with hilarious consequences!

Sky Sports will once again be providing in-depth coverage of the British Jumping Derby Meeting, starting at 3pm on Friday June 21 and continuing each afternoon of the show. For the first time ever, Hickstead fans who don’t subscribe to Sky Sports will be able to purchase a Day Pass for £9.99, which will give them 24hrs access to Sky Sports, either online via their computer or device at, or through their TV via Xbox or Roku.

Hickstead’s free App is available once again for iPad, iPhone and Android, with up to date information on class times and results, interactive shopping maps and directions, trade stand listings and much more.

Advance purchase tickets are no longer available for the Derby Meeting, but unlimited tickets will be available at the gate.

It’s time to enter the 2013 Futurity Evaluation series, with places filling up fast

2012 Futurity winner, Escobillo, shown by Michael Bates

2012 Futurity winner, Escobillo, shown by Michael Bates at Plumpton  last year: Craig Payne Photography

Entries are open for the Baileys Horse Feeds/BEF Futurity Evaluation series of 2013.The event aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, show-jumping or endurance, and may even find the Olympic Champions of the future.

Horses and ponies are entered for the discipline they are bred to perform in, with age groups for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds. Each horse is evaluated in hand and loose in an indoor school as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment.

Entries fill up fast for the Futurity, so to reduce the chance of being wait listed, breeders are advised to enter as soon as possible.

All entries are completed on a user friendly online system which can be found  All results are published on the fully searchable Futurity website.

The Futurity Equine Bridge is a new initiative for 2013 and will run as an extension of the Futurity evaluations. The Futurity Equine Bridge seeks to provide top Futurity graduates with the direction and support they will need as four and five- year- olds so that they are in a strong position to gain selection for the equine pathway at the age of six.

In order to be eligible for the Futurity Equine Bridge it is compulsory that all horses are evaluated at the Futurity as a three-year-old.

Futurity scores are used by many breeders as a credible marketing tool for their young horses, adding value to a young horse whilst it is still too young to have achieved a performance record.

Many young horses are now advertised for sale as having a ‘BEF Premium’ and many people have purchased these young horses because they believe that an independent assessment run by a National Federation has value.

One of the winners last year was Nicki and Michael Bates’s Escobillo, which was the top scoring three year old showjumper of the day, earning a first premium with a score of 8.24.

The gelding is by |Ustinov  out of Nicki’s mare Tropical, an ex-show jumper who had to be retired through injury and is now the couple’s broodmare.

For more information, visit the BEF website or

Dates and venues for 2013 BEF Futurity evaluations

16 Jul Writtle College, Essex, CM1 3RR
18 Jul Plumpton College, Sussex, BN7 3AE
22 Jul Hartpury College 1, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BE
23 Jul Hartpury College 2, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BE
25 Jul Southview EC, Cheshire, CW7 4DL
30 Jul Myerscough College, Lancashire, PR3 0RY