Major boost for British show jumping with new FEI CS1 3* show next year

British Showjumping has received a major boost with the news that Nina Barbour and her team at Bolesworth will helo the sport at International Level by running an FEI CSI 3* Show between Thursday June 12 – Sunday June15 next year.
Manager of British Show Jumping tean Rob Hoekstra

Manager of British Show Jumping tean Rob Hoekstra

World Class Performance Manager for Showjumping, Rob Hoekstra, said: “We have been in desperate need for more international shows within Great Britain. It is only by introducing more shows of this calibre into our own competition schedule that we can ease the pressure riders currently have on them to be continually travelling abroad to compete at this level.
Riders will welcome this support Photo courtesy of Julian Portch

Top class riders will welcome this support
Photo courtesy of Julian Portch

“With shows like Bolesworth coming on board it enables our top tier riders to compete at home and educate their horses without the added pressure of travel. It also allows us to give as many of our up and coming riders international competition experience.
“It goes without saying that it also enables the performance team to assess each individual horse and riders development first hand, within one environment and on a level playing field”.
British Show Jumping said: “With a prize fund in excess of £120,000 across the four days of competition, the news will be as warmly received by those competing in the sport as it will be by those delivering the performance pathway strategy all of whom were acutely aware of a need for additional top level shows being required on home soil.”
Bolesworth International will run a full spectrum of international classes allowing riders  to accrue World Ranking points.  Alongside these there will also be two rings of national classes ranging from 90cm through to 1.30m.
This innovative approach to embracing all comers at such a prestigious event was a focus that Nina Barbour very much wanted to introduce with a view to inspiring athletes of the future.
She said:“I wanted to assist the sport in the best way I can to ensure that I have played my part in Show Jumping’s continuing success at International Level.  I am hoping that the top riders will see this as a benefit to them on a personal level, as it is a show that they can compete their established competition horses in whilst also competing their younger and less experiences horses at the same time.
“In addition to this, we will be raising the standard of our hospitality and entertainment during the event, to ensure that we look after both our International competitors, their owners and our corporate partners to the highest standard possible.”
In addition to the international and national classes the event will also be used as a Viewing Trial for riders hoping for inclusion on some of the British Youth Teams.

World’s top event riders will be at Ardingly Horse Trials next week


Willaim Fox-Pitt and Macchiato  in action

Willaim Fox-Pitt and Macchiato in action

THE world’s best riders will be descending on South of England showground in Ardingly, West Sussex, on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29 for the annual Ardingly Horse Trials.

The young New Zealand sensation, Jock Paget, who rewrote the history books this year by winning Badminton followed by Burghley Horse Trials, will be competing on both days. He will be joined by his fellow countryman and current world number one, Andrew Nicholson, who will be attending the Horse Trials on Sunday.

Former double Olympic Champion Sir Mark Todd and Australian star Chris Burton are among the other overseas challengers who will be vying for the prizes.

For Britain, Olympian Mary King and her 17-year-old daughter Emily are bringing six horses between them, while London Olympic team silver medallists William Fox-Pitt and Tina Cook will be competing a mixture of young and experienced horses over the weekend.

Local rider and Rolex Grand Slam winner Pippa Funnell also brings a strong hand here.
Organiser Jenny Nolan said: “I don’t think we have ever before had so many different nations represented at South of England. The courses are looking great and the ground is very good, so we are looking forward to a very exciting two days of competition.”

Top south east riders to look out for include Francis Whittington (Rotherfield), Emily Llewellyn (Heathfield), Emily Baldwin (Mayfield), Fiona Breach (East Molesey), Sam Penn (Hailsham), Sacha Hourigan (Paddock Wood) and Georgie Strang (Lamberhurst).

Dressage, showjumping and cross-country action starts at 9am on Saturday and Sunday with Novice Horses on the first day and Open horses on the second at the South of England showground. Entrance is £10 per car including all occupants.

Support Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre at its annual fundraising raceday at Plumpton

A retired racehorse benefits from a solarium at Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre, during his retraining. Photo: Mark Beaumont

A retired racehorse benefits from a solarium, provided by fundraising, during his retraining at Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre.  Photo: Mark Beaumont

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre will be celebrating it’s 14th annual fund raising raceday at Plumpton Racecourse on Monday October 21.

The centre, nestled in the heart of the glorious Sussex countryside near Horsham, and is one of three BHA accredited racehorse rehabilitation centres in the UK. The Moorcroft Raceday at Plumpton is expecting this year to top £500,000 raised by the raceday since its launch.

The raceday is its most important and successful fundraising event, contributing 20 per cent towards the annual running costs of this important centre. At Moorcroft, manager Mary Henley-Smith oversees the careful retraining of former racehorses, so that they have a future in a caring new home and  be ridden safely in other discplines.

The raceday also sees the running of the Josh Gifford Memorial Trophy , and a number of special fundraising activities including pony racing for the Shetland Pony Gold Cup.


Twelve Shetland ponies will be lining up for the “off” at 1.45pm in the Shetland Pony Gold Cup supported by the Andy Stewart Charitable Foundation. Run for the first time in 2009, racegoers get the opportunity to view the Shetlands parading in the paddock beforehand, and the Tote kindly run a pool on the race so you can back your own fancy. The race itself features ponies sponsored by many prominent owners.

You can sponsor a Shetland pony for £250, to run in your own colours and/or your chosen name. Last year  Little Bucks and Mini Frankel took part! For more information about Shetland Pony sponsorship please email

The Moorcroft Charity Lunch & Auction is held in the exclusive Plumpton Pavilion Marquee overlooking the final fence, and is well supported by many prominent racing VIPs. The auctioneer will be trainer Richard Phillips who will be persuading guests to purchase a number of exciting ‘money can’t buy’ lots on offer.

The package price of £80 inc. VAT includes admission tickets and race programme, VIP parking, Sussex champagne reception, delicious three course lunch, half bottle of wine and afternoon tea.

To book your ticket, please download the 2013 invitation by clicking on Plumpton Racecourse Invite4.3

You can still bid for items in the Auction whether you are attending the lunch or not.  There will also be the opportunity on the raceday to buy envelopes for the special £10 draw with some fabulous prizes from the Moorcroft stall next to the weighing room.

Horse of the Year Show celebrates its 65th anniversary from Wednesday October 9-Sunday October 13

Ben Maher pictured at Hickstead this summer

Ben Maher pictured at Hickstead this summer by Samantha Lamb

The Horse of the Year Show- the world’s most famous horse event, returns to Birmingham’s NEC to celebrate its 65th anniversary from Wednesday October 9 – Sunday October 13.

As well as the many grassroots riders who have earned the chance to compete at this elite event, and pony clubs who will be taking part in mounted games competitions, three of Team GB’s Olympic Show Jumping Gold medal-winning team and two European gold medallists – including the current World Number One will be there.

They are among ten British International Show Jumpers now confirmed in this year’s top class line up, guaranteeing some thrilling competition.

In the line-up will be Ben Maher, who reached the top of the Longines FEI World Show Jumping Rankings in early September, following a fine performance at the European Championships where he took team gold and individual silver on Cella. His achievements at HOYS include two Puissance wins with Eperlaan de Fouquet.

Also taking part will be fellow Olympic team members Peter Charles and Nick Skelton have clocked up a number of HOYS wins over the years. Nick won the Grand Prix four times, before it merged with the Leading Show Jumper of the Year in 2004, a title which he has also claimed four times.

There are 11 International classes held at HOYS throughout the week with a joint prize fund of £150,500. In addition, four of the classes carry Longines FEI World Ranking Points. The climax to the week’s international show jumping classes, however, is the prestigious Leading Show Jumper of the Year on Sunday October 13. This class carries the Show’s biggest prize fund of £40,000.

See more at:


Adelinde Cornelissen to be guest speaker at this year’s British Dressage convention

Adeline Cornellissen in action: Photo British Dressage

Adelinde Cornellissen in action: Photo British Dressage

British Dressage is delighted to announce that Dutch European Dressage Champion and 2012 Olympian, Adelinde Cornelissen, is to be the guest speaker for this year’s British Dressage Convention,  which takes place on Saturday November 23 and Sunday November 24 at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

Dutch-born Adelinde, European Dressage Champion and 2012 Olympian, is currently listed number one in the FEI World Individual Dressage rankings with her most famous ride to date, the Dutch bred Jazz gelding Parzival.

This year the pair  finished second in the final of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage on a world class score of 86.500%, following three wins during the series that led up to the finale in Gothenburg.

They have four gold medals, a silver and a bronze at European Championship level to their credit.

Famous for her belief in the importance of physical and mental fitness for riders, as well as diet, Adelinde appeared at the 2012 Global Dressage Forum to demonstrate her diverse personal fitness programme which is known to include gymnastics, handball and boxing.

A great communicator,  Adelinde is a superb choice for this year’s convention and is certain to enthrall and inspire the audience.

To order tickets call 02476 698833 or email:

7,000 horses in England and Wales urgently need help, says charity

World Horse Welfare has warned that a desperate crisis faces 7,000 horses in England and Wales. It says horses and ponies are bearing the cost of the tough economic times and are being abandoned because their owners simply cannot afford to keep them.

Pens Image

A spokesman says support is vital and has appealed for people to act today so that the charity can take in more abandoned and neglected horses as soon as possible
Right now 7,000 horses in the UK are facing an imminent crisis.

He added: “We are seeing a rise in abandonment and cruelty cases that involve large groups of horses. Left to fend for themselves, these horses may face disease, starvation and even death. Your help will mean we can start rescuing more horses right away. ”

The charity needs to install a system at each of its four Rescue and Rehoming Centres, using fences and pens to receive new groups of vulnerable horses quickly and safely.

The spokesman added:” We know that this type of facility works and will make a vital difference. Work has begun on the first at Hall Farm in Norfolk. But we must equip our other centres immediately so we can look after the growing number of horses in desperate need.”

For more information see – See more at:

Impressive double at St Leger meeting for Robins Farm Stables

Lightning Thunder is proving to be an impressive juvenile filly for Olly and Hetta Stevens, based at Robins Farm Stables, near Chiddingfold in Surrey.

On the gallops at Robins Farm Stables

On the gallops at Robins Farm Stables

She won the Irish Stallions Farms E.B.F. Conditions Stakes at the St Leger meeting at Doncaster this week, despite having had only one run previously. Owned by Mohd Al Kubas and Pearl Bloodstock the Dutch Art filly had previously won a maiden race at Newbury.

She has always been highly thought of at home and Harry Bentley has partnered her on both her outings. She beat Justice Day and 2-1 favourite Expert in a very close finish in her Doncaster race, winning by a nose.

Harry Bentley said that she had done her job well and tenaciously stuck her head out nearing the line. He added that while she doesn’t have a great turn of foot, she is a long-striding filly with an impressive gallop.

It was a particularly fine performance because Lightning Thunder was taking on more experienced horses in the race.

Hetta, who saddled  up in the absence of husband Olly, who was at Keeneland sales in America, said:”We are not exactly sure where Lightning Thunder will be heading to next, but she has entries in the Group1 Shadwell Fillies Mile and the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp. She will appreciate the step up in distance in either race and we will then be looking towards the big races for her next year. ”

Green Door took top honours on the second day of the St Leger meeting, with Jim Crowley on board. The Comacho colt had won the Makfi Future Stars race at Newmarket earlier in the season, ridden by Crowley, despite taking on more mature runners.

This colt was born in May and was significantly younger than the rest of the field that day. He has always been held in high regard by Olly and Etta, and is owned by bloodstock agent David Redvers in conjunction with Michael H Watt.

He won a Lingfield Park race before being outpaced in the closing stages of the DBS Premier Yearling Stakes at York last month.

St Leger meeting winner Green Door

St Leger meeting winner Green Door

Hetta in an interview after Green Door’s Doncaster win:”He slept for two days after the efforts of his York run, but soon recovered and has been in sparkling form at home. He deserved this victory.”


Prospects are good for the team at Robins Farm, with a prestigious Royal Ascot winner – Extortionist (pictured above)-and the two winners at the St Leger meeting among other victories in their first season of training.







Pony Club hunter trials in outstanding Goodwood Estate will be open to all riders

Everyone will have the chance to ride in the outstanding surroundings of Goodwood Estate when Goodwood Pony Club holds a Hunter Trials event there on Sunday October 6, with the event 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//

Goodwood Pony Club, which was formed in September 1989, is for anyone, irrespective of ability, from age 3 to 21. It has the good fortune to be based in the grounds of Goodwood House by the kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and holds activities there and at other local venues.

In August the club holds a very popular week long residential camp for all its members, with many evening activities as well as riding. For younger members  a non  residential jockey camp is held.

These Goodwood Pony Club members passed their C Test this year

These Goodwood Pony Club members passed their C Test this year

It is a very friendly small branch and new members are most welcome. The club looks forward to welcoming members from other pony clubs to its hunter trials.


South East RDA group caters for 39 groups with more than 2,000 riders

The South East Riding for Disabled looks after 39 groups with more than 2,000 riders in Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex. Each week it enables these riders  to enjoy the experience of riding or carriage driving – with opportunities to learn a new skill as well as entering competitions or even taking a holiday.

Competitors in a Regional RDA Carriage Driving event

Competitors in a Regional RDA Carriage Driving event

All this combines to bring a new dimension to necessarily restricted lives, encourages independence and does much to improve a wide range of medical conditions.

This is made possible thanks to the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers who regularly and cheerfully give up their free time – and energy – to ensure that RDA continues to give not only pleasure but a sense of achievement to disabled individuals of all ages.

It ensures that all riders and carriage drivers receive a high standard of professional tuition tailored to their personal ambitions and capabilities.

Instructors work closely with physiotherapists and other health professionals to encourage every individual to aim for attainable goals – some modest, others far more ambitious. Whilst competition plays a healthy role in RDA activities, the focus is to ensure that all riders and carriage drivers derive maximum benefit from a positive form of therapy. The secret to SE RDA success is a unique combination of people and ponies working together and believing that anything is possible.

The next event in the SE calendar is a carriage driving training day indoor at Sands Farm, Warnham on Thursday September 26.

The group is sponsored by Cowan Architects, a Sussex-based practice specialising in designing throughout the South-east for people with a wide range of disabilities, based at East Grinstead.

Anyone in the SE Region interested in riding or carriage driving with RDA, who would like to know more should contact regional chairman Lindsay Correa on who will put them iin touch with a group local to them.

Plumpton heads for new season with impressive improvements costing more than £200,000


New entrance at Plumpton with spacious viewing area in front of weighing room

New entrance at Plumpton with spacious viewing area in front of weighing room

Plumpton racecourse has unveiled impressive improvements costing more than £200,000 which will benefit racegoers in the new National Hunt season at the track, which opens on Sunday September 22.

Work completed during the summer break include an elegant new main entrance,  an impressive parade ring development encompassing a dedicated Winners Enclosure, and improved viewing capacity for both.

Enormous paddock improvements are including at Plumpton

Enormous paddock improvements are including at Plumpton

In  addition, significant funding has brought extensive course drainage improvements, especially at the station end of the track, to prevent waterlogging. Last season two fixtures were lost at Plumpton because of wet weather, and the course management hopes that the drainage work will prevent any recurrence of this problem.

Local oak has been used extensively in the new improvements and £23,000 was spent on rubberised surfaces in the new Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure, where both areas are sponsored by racing broadcasters At The Races. Also new signs give tips to spectators on what to watch for in racehorses.

Earlier in the year directors had announced significant increases in prize money at the popular jumping track, with some new fixtures, such as the Southern Champion Hurdle, aimed at tempting a wider range of trainers and horses.

Chief executive Clare Sheppard, who leaves in November to take on a major role nationally within racing, said the major new investment undertaken by course directors and executors would enhance the raceday experience for customers.

Current chief executive Claire Sheppard leaves soon to take up major national role in racing

Current chief executive Claire Sheppard leaves soon to take up major national role in racing

“Plumpton is already famous for its viewing and course ambience. The improvements to the Parade Ring take this to the next stage and enhance the raceday experience by offering racegoers much better access to horses parading before the race and winners afterwards.”

Michael Moloney takes over as chief executive in November, but has been very much part of the team planning these improvements in his current role as Financial Controller at the course.

New chief executive from November, Michael Moloney outside near winners'  enclosure

New chief executive from November, Michael Moloney outside the new winners’ enclosure


He comes from Galway in Ireland, where his family is very much involved in racing, with a thoroughbred breeding background, and an uncle working at Coolmore, and says he is looking forward to building on Plumpton’s tradition in the future.

” I am looking forward to continuing Claire’s good work and leading Plumpton’s team of outstanding professionals to ensure this racecourse offers the best possible to racegoers,” he said.

Following the success of special discount promotions in February and March, the racecourse has a Come Racing for £10 offer at its two meetings on November 4 and 18. The price includes a race card but must be booked in advance on

Meanwhile the opening meeting on Sunday September 22 includes an action-packed programme of family entertainments on the Family Raceday sponsored by amd free entry for children under 18. Gates open at 11.30am with the first race at 2.30pm.