Competitive dressage makes a long-awaited return to the Horse of the Year Show on October 9

The Mount St John Dressage Future Elite Championship will be held at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham this year- on the evening of Wednesday, October 9.

Emile Faurie will be competing

Emile Faurie will be competing

This competition marks the return of competitive dressage to the famous show and will provide an excellent opportunity for British riders to showcase their up-and-coming Grand Prix horses in an international setting.

Seven leading dressage riders have been confirmed the will  compete. They are:Charlotte Dujardin, Sarah Millis, Emile Faurie, Micheal Eilberg, Spencer Wilton, Andrew Gould and Dan Greenwood.

Each combination will perform the Intermediate I Freestyle to Music test before three world-renowned judges. This test requires a number of high-level movements, including canter pirouettes, half pass and flying changes, performed to music – a real treat for spectators.

The horses will be working between Advanced Medium and Intermediate 1 level and aged between seven and 10.

Michael Eilberg will return to the Andrews Bowen International Arena on Friday to host the Eilberg Dressage Master Class. He will be joined by his sister, dressage rider Maria, and their father Ferdi, who rode for Great Britain four times before turning to training. The Master Class will provide a fascinating insight into the training techniques of the top dressage riders.

For full details of ticket availability and more information see:

Burghley runner-up wins British-bred breeders’ prize for second consecutive year

Avebury and Andrew Nicholson competing at Burghley. Photo courtesy of Adam Fanthorpe

Avebury and Andrew Nicholson competing at Burghley. Photo courtesy of Adam Fanthorpe and British Eventing

The British Horse Foundation / Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has awarded its 2013 breeder’s prize for the highest placed British bred horse to Andrew Nicholson for his homebred Burghley runner up, Avebury. The horse is owned by Mr Mark Barlow and Mrs Rosemary Barlow.

This is the second consecutive year Andrew and Avebury have won this coveted award. In 2012 the pair this rider and horse combination won the event outright.

Andrew received a cheque for £1,000  after the event this year.  It is awarded from the proceeds of the annual Breeders Awards Dinner held every January,

Avenury is a 13 year old grey gelding by renowned event stallion Jumbo, out of 2008 Breeders Awards Dinner outstanding broodmare award winner, Bairn Free (by Bairn (USA).

Andrew bought the thoroughbred, Bairn Free, out of training. She won and was placed, under the name Memento, in Novice events with Andrew and was then put in foal.

Andrew believes thoroughbred blood is important to enable an event horse cope with ever lengthening cross-country courses  and at the same time have the necessary speed.

He sold Bairn Free to Mark Chamberlayne in 2001, she has proved to be a consistent brood mare with several progeny who are competing at the highest levels.

He also has a full brother to Avebury, the up and coming 10-year -old, Tristar II, who has won at advanced level and also finished 11th at Bramham in 2012.

Avebury’s sire, Jumbo, is an International Advanced Eventer who has sired Badminton, Burghley, Bramham, Blenheim, Saumur and Rolex Kentucky winners, including  dual 4* winner, Headley Britannia.  He stands at the Grafham Stud in Devon for owner Carolyn Bates.  He was the top sire of eventers for the 2011 season and stands 5th top eventing sire of all time.

Breeders’ Awards Dinner Chairman, Desi Dillingham, said “we are delighted to be able to offer this prize.  British breeders are really beginning to reap the rewards for the talented horses they are consistently breeding”.

Still a few days left if you want to compete in beautiful surrundings of Goodwood Park

Riders wanting to take up the rare opportunity of competing in the outstanding surroundings of Goodwood Estate in Sussex have until Wednesday to get their entries in for a Hunter Trials event there.

The three sections at the event, organised by Goodwood Pony Club on Sunday Occtober 6 are open to all riders

A Goodwood pony club jumping event earlier this year

A Goodwood pony club jumping event earlier this year

The event takes place in this unique setting by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon and three different classes will be featured, including a popular pairs event.

Class One will over mini fences of approximately 2’3″/70cm and with a section for Pony Club members and an Open section for other competitors. A Novice class, again open to all Pony Club members, also with an Open section,will feature fences of 2/6″/80cm, while the third class will be a Novice Pairs event with fences of approximately 2’6″/80cm. They will include two dressed fences which each pair must jump together. This class is open to all.

Entries close on October 2 and the schedule and entry form can be found on the club website: http//


Count down to the KBIS Young Horse Championships at Osberton

The Osberton International Horse Trials incorporating the KBIS British Eventing Young Horse Championships takes place at the stunning location of Osberton Estate near Worksop, Nottinghamshire by kind permission of Mr Micheal Foljambe  from October 3-6.

Top class competition at Osberton Photo courtesy of British Horse Trials

Top class competition at Osberton
Photo courtesy of British Horse Trials

These important breeding championships which annually celebrate the best of British-breeding and future stars of the equine stage, have been generously sponsored in 2013 by KBIS British Equestrian Insurance.

Qualifiers have taken place around the country for this year’s four and five year olds whilst the six and seven year old horses take part in international classes at CIC1* and CCI2* respectively.

The KBIS Young Horse Championship series has been the platform for many of Britain’s current top horses including the recent Montilebretti Nations Cup team horses Irish-bred Trig Point (by Killahurlier Spring out of a Kiltealy Spring mare) ridden by the individual Montelibretti winner Nicky Roncoroni and their team mate, the British-bred Coopers Law ridden by Emilie Chandler (by Mill Law out of a Kildalton Gold mare).

This year’s six year old Championship field features Borough Free Flight (bred in Britain, by Catherstone Liberator) who is a half-sister to the popular mare Borough Pennyz who has shot to Olympic and four star fame since winning the seven year old championships at Osberton in 2010. Free Flight who was also bred by Sarah Bullen is also partnered with Pennyz’ rider, Vittoria Panizzon.

This year’s four year old section also sees another ‘first’ in the shape of Wickstead Kangaroo from the first crop of progeny from William Fox-Pitt’s European bronze and double Bramham winning stallion, Chilli Morning.


William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning Photo courtesy of British Eventing

William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning
Photo courtesy of British Eventing

Fifteen nations will compete at this year’s international, including the very welcome additions of Russia and Hong Kong. Nicola Wilson, takes to the saddle in both the CCI 1* & 2*, along with British favourites Jeanette Brakewell, Ruth Edge, Piggy French and the crowd pleasing Oliver Townend. Sam Griffiths and Brooke Staples fly the Flag for Australia competing against close rivals from New Zealand, Burghley champion Jonathan Paget and Caroline Powell.

There will also be riders from Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Africa, France, Norway, China, Canada, Portugal, Germany and Brazil.

All will compete across the weekend and with the British Young Horse Championships, this truly promises to be a season-finishing festival definitely not to be missed. Captain Mark Phillips joins the team at Osberton this year,
designing the CCI 2* course.

The event has lots to offer for competitors and their connections as well as spectators; there is everything on offer from shopping to sumptuous tasty treats and bargains galore. Gun Dog displays, Tug of War competitions and a monster Pony Club Show jumping competition.

Fracking impresses in a win at Goodwood and Brown Panther is still on target for the Melbourne Cup

IT was an impressive start to Goodwood’s meeting yesterday when Olly Stevens sent out Fracking  to a clear victory in the opening race on the card.

Fracking, with Mickael Barzalona in the saddle, won the opening race for trainer Olly Stevens

Fracking, with Mickael Barzalona in the saddle, won the opening race for trainer Olly Stevens

Fracking won the British Stallion Studs E.B,,F. Maiden Stakes coming home five lenths clear under a superb ride from Mickael Barzalona. The two-year-old Intikab gelding  was sent out 9-2 favourite, having shown promise on two initial outings.

He is part owned by Sheik Fahad Al Thani and Peter Winkworth, who previously trained from Robins Farm Stables at Chiddingfold where Olly Stevens and his wife, Hetta now train.

The victory endorsed their outstanding first season of training there, from where they have sent out some impressive winners. Olly Stevens said he would see how Fracking comes out of the race before deciding whether the Intikhab gelding will run again this season.

Olly Stevens

Olly Stevens

He said: “We have always held him in high regard, and although the trip today was over seven furlongs,  I can’t see why he shouldn’t get a mile sometime in the future.. He also is comfortable with ground either side of good.”

Double Bluff won the Bibendum EBF Maiden Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston under Joe Fanning for owner Ron Higgins, bringing memories of Double Trigger who won three Goodwood Cup victories in the mid 1990’s. The colt’s dam is a half sister to both Double Eclipse and Double Trigger, who were owned by the Higgins.

Gospel Choir, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was the start of a double for jockey Ryan Moore, when winning the Santa Maria Foodservice Handicap, despite the horse having been off for almost a year.

Ryan Moore takes his prize for winning with Gospel Choir

Ryan Moore takes his prize for winning with Gospel Choir

Moore also won the Greene King Foundation Stakes Listed Race on board Jeremy Noseda’s Grandeur- which was also the first leg of a double for that trainer. This victory was at the expense of Brown Panther, trained by Tom Dascombe  and partly owned by footballer Michael Owen’s company  Owen Promotions Ltd.

Afterwards Brown Panther’s trainer said he thought the performance would put him spot on for his engagement in the Melbourne Cup.

” We had to give Grandeur 5lb and we probably went a bit too quick up front and Brown Panther didn’t quite get home. But I’m happy enough with him,” he added.

Grandeur’s trainer Jeremy Noseda said that he had been worried about the soft ground at Goodwood,  but had wanted to get another run into him before he headed off to America, where the horse has a number of options including the Breeders Cup.

Ryan Moore on board Grandeur

Ryan Moore on board Grandeur

He was quickly back in the winner’s enclosure after taking the Hildon Natural Mineral Water Stakes Handicap over one mile three furlongs, this time in the capable hands of jockey William Buick.

“This horse has a lot of class and could even get one mile and a half,” he said of the three-year-old.

Sweet Deal and William Buick

Sweet Deal and William Buick

Apprentice Thomas Brown had a good win on Joey’s Destiny to finish a nose up in the 3663 Inspired By You Handicap.”He won on his debut but then fractured a tibia, so it’s been a long road back. He’s only now becoming the horse we hoped he’d be,” said trainer George Baker.


A riding club celebrates winning individual and team titles at National Championships

Horsham Riding Club achieved outstanding successes at the recent British Riding Club National Championships in Lincoln, winning both the Riding Test Team and Dressage Team Championships through the efforts of some extremely talented members and horses.

The club's successful riding test team: Left  to right:

The club’s successful riding test team: Left to right: Vicky Allan and Razzle Dazzle, Suzanne Wells and Rio, Kathleen Botting and Bristol Blue, Laura Gordon and Condie Nelson

Members of the winning Riding Test team were: Vicky Allan and Razzle Dazzle, Suzanne Wells and Rio, Kathleen Botting and Bristol Blue and Laura Gordon on Condie Nelson. The Dressage team comprised Joanna Moyers and Ratzeputz, Laura Gordon and Bantry Parks Ransom, Kathleen Botting and Caroline Exley.

The drressage team:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Photo:

The dressage team: Joanna Moyers, Laura Gordon, Kathleen Botting and Caroline Exley Photo by Charlotte Exley

The club’s Show Jumping team also finished in a creditable eighth place against strong competition and some members were individually place too.A key contributor in these superb successes was the teams’ chef d’equipe, ‘AJ’ Rawlins, who masterminded the entry and put the successful teams together.

Individual star of the show was member Vicky Allan of Ashurst,  riding her own horse, Lyric, whose competition name is Razzle Dazzle. In the Individual Riding Test, this duo won their arena and went on to take the Overall Individual Riding Test Championship from a field of 148 riders with an outstanding score of 88.79%.  Judges were impressed with the empathy between Vicky and Razzle Dazzle and their harmony together.

Vicky Allan and  Razzle Dazzle ( Lyric) receiving their trophy as individiual champion

Vicky Allan and Razzle Dazzle ( Lyric) receiving their trophy as individiual champion


They came home with a beautiful silver salver, three sashes, two rugs , three rosettes and £90 of vouchers from sponsors Natural Animal Feeds. Vicky said she was so thrilled with the success that she brought two sacks of Lincolnchire carrots home with her as a treat for Lyric. Both the Dressage and Riding Test Team came home with big cups.

Vicky said: The Individual Riding Test is like dressage but judged on the rider and the overall performance of rider and horse.  It is a good class because it is hard to compete against expensive dressage horses in ordinary dressage classes. It enables grass roots riding club members to do well.”

 She added:”Lyric is the horse of a lifetime. I saw her at a yard where she was destined for the meat man and bought her for a small sum to save her. She is now 14 and is an incredible mare. and on just her first three outings of affiliated dressage we found ourselves qualified for the Regional Championships at Sparsholt College, Hants.

These took place in July and we finished an extremely creditable sixth. On the same day we competed in the Dressage To Music Qualifier and won the Restricted Section and have qualified for the Winter Regionals at Patchetts Equestrian Centre, Herts in February. We are now working towards the Riding Club and SE Horse Trials Championship at Munstead on October 6.   She is in her first season of affiliated dressage and has qualified for the Regionals at Sparshold in Hampshire. We also won the regional dressage to music qualifier at Patchetts this season.”

She said: “Horsham and District Riding Club has really enabled me to continue training and competing whilst I am a full time mother of Imogen (four) and Elsa (three). I have been having lessons with HDRC’s chairman, Donald Kear since I was about 12 years old, so he has been instrumental in my riding success. The club also organises lessons with Robbie Carpenter at Belmoredean and he has really helped with my dressage to music in particular.

As well as her team successes, Kathleen Botting was eighth individually in the riding test and second individually in the dressage riding Novice 30 Test. This follows a very successful showing career in which Harvey competed at HOYS twice, was place at the Royal International Horse Show as a coloured and working cob and won many supreme championships. In 2012 he evented at BE90 level, and was placed in the top six every time out until he was sidelines through injury for the rest of the season.

 Since turning to British Dressage, since March he has won 60 British Dressage points and has qualified for the Pet Plan Championship and Winter Regional Finals. He is also ridden side saddle and won several classes at the National Championships this year, and was selected as a ‘ride off’ horse for the Rider of the Year Competition.

Also competing in both winning teams was Laura Gordon, on board her 144.2hh Welsh cob pony Condie Nelson, who is 22 years old, for the riding test team. As a member of the dressage team she rode her 16hh thoroughbred Bantry Parks Ransom, who is 16 and came third in the individual Medium dressage class with an excellent score of 76.97 per cent.
Suzanne Wells, as well as being a member of the winning Riding Test team with her horse Rio- officially named Dunkerley Ferrario- was a member of the club’s dressage Prelim team and finished a creditable seventh individually. She has owned Rio, now seven,  since he was two and had been competing with him in dressage and doing a bit of jumping with him this year.

Caroline Exley, riding Copperfield Iris, a 14.3hh Welsh Cob, was both a member of the successful Dressage Team and also the club’s Novice Show Jumping team, which finished in eighth position. She has owned Iris for five years now and shares her with her daughter. Iris is a true all rounder doing all Pony Club and Riding Club activities. Caroline was fifth individually with three impressive clear rounds in novice show jumping at Lincoln.

Joanna Moyers won her Arena in the Novice 28 at the championships and was also a member of the winning Open Dressage team riding Ratzeputz, a seven-year-old Hanoverian by Rascalini. Having competed successfully in showing, she moved to dressage and Ratseputz won the British Dressage Prelim Regional Championship in March this year. Another club member, Jenny Elgey with her horse Oscar finished third overall in the Intermediate Show Jumping.

Ben Maher wins the Vienna Masters in style at the Longines Global Champions Tour

Ben Maher, the leading rider on the World Ranking List, notched up another title yesterday at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Vienna by winning the Vienna Masters.

Ben Maher in action at Hickstead

Ben Maher in action at Hickstead  Photo:John Periam 01243 548718

The class, with a total of forty-two competitors all hoping to secure the €61,000 prize fund at stake, was fierce with eleven of the combinations going clear in the first round.

Joining Ben in flying the flag for Great Britain was Michael Whitaker with his own nine-year-old grey mare Eli van de Kolmen. Ben was aboard Jane Clark’s 12 year-old bay gelding Urico whom he last competed in Calgary coming second in a 1.50m class.

The second and final round of the competition saw almost half of the field notch up penalties with only six of the combinations going clear once again. It was Ben and Urico though who led the field by stopping the clock in a time of 42.45 seconds proving themselves unbeatable with almost a two second lead.

Germany’s Marcus Ehning with Cornado NRW slotted into second place with Michael Whitaker coming in third on a time of 45.06 seconds.

The Masters brought the Vienna Global Champions Tour to a close with all eyes now on the final which takes place at the magnificent Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre in Doha between November 21 – 23.

Winning bonanza for local trainers at Plumpton’s first meeting of the new season

Members of the Nick Gifford Racing Club were celebrating after Old Dreams won the Andrew Jackson Memorial Handicap Chase for them at Plumpton in impressive style yesterday.

Old Dreams in winning form

Old Dreams in winning form  Photo: Nick Gifford

The seven-year-old mare, which had  previously won a National Hunt Flat race and been placed both in hurdle races and chases, put in a fine performance under jockey Tom Cannon to score her first win over fences. She clearly relished the extended trip over three miles two furlongs and was a rewarding winner at 16-1 for her Findon trainer and connections.

The first two races at this meeting- Plumpton’s first of the new season- went to local trainer Gary Moore. He took the Juvenile Hurdle with Orla’s Rainbow, a 9-2 shot making her National Hunt debut, ridden by youngest son Joshua. Then second son, Jamie, gave evens favourite Gola Nova fine ride to win the Hepworth Brewery Novice Hurdle race by a well judged two lengths.

Lewes trainer Sheena West continued the local bonanza when Alfraamsey won the two mile handicap hurdle over two miles, with rider Marc Goldstein in the saddle.The five-year-old was winning his fourth hurdle race and Goldstein said after the win: ” He is my favourite horse and one of the most genuine I have ever ridden.”

Jockey Mark Goldstein

Jockey Mark Goldstein

It was good to see the fine chaser Aimigayle back on the track – and continuing her winning form  over fences with her usual jockey Colin Bolger on  board. Now 12, the mare is trained by Suzie Smith at Lewes and one of the highlights of her career was finishing fourth in the Topham Trophy at Aintree in April 2012.

With the ground against her, she was given a break for around a year, and she was in command throughout  at Plumpton in the handicap hurdle over three miles one furlong. Aimigayle had been home-bred by her original owner, Pete Mercer, and he now shares her ownership with David Cliff and Philippa Clunes ( wife of actor Martin Clunes).

Trainers outside Sussex finally got a look-in when trainer David Bridgewater and jockey Tom Scudamore took the Online Casino Bonuses Novices’ Handicap Chase over two and a half miles with 9-2 shot Fearless Leader.

Racegoers enjoyed enhanced viewing facilities of the paddock and winners’ enclosure, as well as draining improvements in the centre of the course, and an impressive new entrance, at this first meeting of the new season.


Courageous performance by 16-1 shot Hoku in Group Three race at Ayr


On the gallops at Robins Farm Stables

On the gallops at Robins Farm Stables

Hoku, trained by first-season trainer Olly Stevens at Robins Farm Racing Stables, Chiddingfold in Surrey, was beaten by only a nose in the Group Three Fillies Race at Ayr on Saturday, continuing her trainer’s good form.

Owned by Sheikh Suhaim Al Thani, and ridden by Harry Bentley, this Holy Roman Emperor filly put in a courageous performance, more than justifying this step up in class , and was unlucky to be beaten by such a small margin on the line by Coral Mist, trained by Charles Hills.

Following the race Olly Stevens tweeted:”Gutted but so proud of Hoku running such a close second in Group 3 Firth of Clyde. Not bad for a 14k yearling – listed and group placed and maiden winner!”

This filly loves some cut in the ground and is a gutsy performer. She has been progressed gradually, winning  in a Maiden race at Windsor last month on soft ground and was second in a nine runner field at Nottingham on good to soft before that.

Hoku also had a good second from a big field at York on soft ground in May – with Harry Bentley in the saddle on all these good runs- and is clearly far, far better than her starting price of 16-1 at Ayr yesterday suggests.

She currently has a choice of two engagements before the end of the season and deserves a win.

She is entered for the Aqlaam Oh So Sharp Stakes Group Three Fillies race at Newmarket on Friday (September 27), and if this comes too soon after her race this weekend, she is also entered for the Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy Listed Race at Redcar on October 5.


Two October meetings to close a successful season at Brighton racecourse

Exciting racing action expected at Brighton's last two fixtures of the season

Exciting racing action expected at Brighton’s last two fixtures of the season

A Students’ Charity Race Day at Brighton Racecourse on Tuesday October 8  is the first of two autumn meetings at the seaside track- and will raise money for Arms Around The Child.
A special offer for advance bookings  gives admission into the Grandstand and Paddock Enclose for just £10, and £15 for the Premier Enclosure, instead of the normal price of £15 and £20 repectively- and children under 18 are free.

Special offers close at noon on the day before the raceday and tickets bought at the track will carry a £5 premium per ticket. Racing starts at 2.10pm and there will be a seven- race card.

Brighton’s 2013 Season Finale will be on Thursday October 17,  and this meeting will support charities You Raise Me Up and Connor Saunders Foundation. Again there will be seven races, with the first race at 2.10pm.

email for more information.