Don’t miss thrilling high goal England V USA polo match at Hickstead

England is taking on the USA in what should be a thrilling 20 goal polo match at the All England Polo Club at Hickstead on Saturday March 1. This will be high goal polo at its very best.

Exciting polo action promised

Exciting polo action promised

The All England Polo Club was founded in 2006 and has made a world-wide name for itself as one of the premier venue in Britain because of its modern and impressive arenas.

Since it was opened it has consistently hosted highly successful international matches at the top level, attracting world-wide polo stars.

As one of the few full sized 100m by 50m arenas, the Hickstead venue has once again  been the chosen HPA venue to host the Arena Polo International Test Match. England will line up against USA in what will be another thrilling match.

Top England players will take part

Top England players will take part

Gates open at 10.30am. with the 20 goal challenge match starting at 11.30am, followed by a prize presentaton at 1pm. It will be followed  by a test match for the Bryan Morrison Trophy at 1.30pm, with prize presentation at 3pm and post match lunch at 4pm.

Good viewing facilities

Good viewing facilities

Tickets are only £5, lunch, with tickets selling fast, is £45. Book yours now on 01273 834255

This year’s Grand National entries announced- and last year’s winner, Aurora Encore, has been retired through injury

THIS year’s Grand National, sponsored for the first time by Crabbie’s has attracted 115 entries, the most since 2009 and up 31 on last year.

The 2005 winning trainer with Hedgehunter, Willie Mullins has eight entries  while Paul Nicholls, who won with Neptune Collonges in 2012, has Rocky Creek and Tidal Bay amongst his  seven entries.

Likely topweights are  Nicky Henderson’s Gold Cup winner Long Run and Tidal Bay for Paul Nicholls The weights will be announced in February.

In form Sussex trainer Gary Moore has two entries, with Well Refreshed – currently rated as a 33-1 shot, and Vino Griego, priced at 50-1. It would give each of his sons who ride over jumps, Joshua and Jamie, a ride in the big race.

Susssex National winner Well Refreshed Joshua Moore up

Susssex National winner Well Refreshed Joshua Moore up

Joshua normally partners Well Refreshed, whose poor performance in the Welsh National can be discounted because the horse was later found to be unwell. He won the 2013 Sussex National with this race.

Meanwhile his brotherJamie has ridden Vino Griego to four  good victories and countless placings.

There was news that last year’s winner, Aurora Encore, has had to be retired following an injury. This removes any chance of him retaining his title for the second consecutive year.

Trainer Sue Smith, based at Eldwick, near Bingley, in Yokshire, announced that the 12-year-old chaser had been injured during a prep race at Donaster last Saturday in the Sky Bet Chase.

He suffered a fracture to his off-fore during the race and has been operated on to have screws inserted. He will not race again.



Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre has superb record in retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses

MOORCROFT Racehorse Welfare Centre at Slinfold, near Horsham, had a busy 2013, not only retraining and succesfully rehoming ex-racehorses, but also with a well attended programme of demonstrations, clinics and lectures throughout the winter months.

A similar programme is being organised for 2014 and in the interim the profile of this outstanding centre has been raised even further thanks to the racing channel, At The Races.

A retired racehoorse enjoying Moorcroft's solarium facilities as part of its rehabilitation Photo: Mark Beaumont

A retired racehoorse enjoying Moorcroft’s solarium facilities as part of its rehabilitation
Photo: Mark Beaumont

A crew visited the centre in September and made a film of the modus operandi at Moorcroft. This was aired daily on the channel in the ten days leading up to its Plumpton Raceday. Luke Harvey made the film, which can now be viewed on the front page of Moorcroft’s website-

This clearly shows the high standard of work done at this centre, with staff dedicated to rehoming and retraining racehorses to the highest possible standard. Moorcroft’s Annual Charity Raceday at Plumpton was an outstanding success, achieving £46,000 and the marquee was a sell-out.

Put a date in your diary for this next year, when it takes place on Monday October 20. In the interim, chairman Tim Fox has thanked everyone who supported both the raceday and also a quiz night at the Landmark Hotel in London in April, helping to make them enjoyable and highly successful events.

Moorcroft, based at Huntingrove Stud, is supported and partially funded by Retraining Of Racehorses and The Racing Foundation, and with the help of its own pro-active fundraising continues to operate to a very high standard, achieving a professional top level of rehoming retired racehorses under the management of Mary Henley-Smith.

It has a prestigious number of trustees, who ensure that it carries out its mission  to re-school and rehabilitate former racehorses that have been gifted Moorcroft so that they can have a real chance at a second career, under Mary’s skilled care.

See  for full details



School competed successfully, as well as helping to organise National Schools show

FARLINGTON School, in West Sussex, not only helped run one day of a recent two-day weekend show at the Royal Leisure Equestrian Centre, near Henfield, but the school’s own riding teams had an extremely successful time competing at the event.

Suzie L

Suzie Lunt competing in the 40cm class

The school is very pro-active in equestrianism and was responsible for the Sunday event in the two-day show held by the National Schools Equestrian Association recently at the centre.

The school’s riding manager, Mrs Marion White, her daughter Charlotte, the school’s riding team and associates all worked extremely hard to ensure the show ran smoothly and was enjoyable for everyone. The Farlington riding teams had a very successful show.

The Grass Roots competition was held on Saturday and Farlington’s team (Susie Lunt, Roseanna Savage, Lucy Harrison and Lucia Mayhew) won many rosettes and, in particular, they won the 40cm class, when Lucia Mayhew was also the individual class winner.

The teams continued their success on Sunday when Clarissa Burnell-Price won the first class and Amelia Ward was placed sixth-  a great start to the day. The 80cm team of Ella Bubb, Clarissa Burnell-Price, Holly Fletcher and Amelia Ward won the class and, individually, Amelia Ward was placed second, with Clarissa Burnell-Price in third place.


Holly Fletcher, a member of the 80 cm winning team

The other Farlington 80cm team with Clarissa and Holly, on different horses, along with Lily Heron and Sophia Page secured third place in the class. The 90cm class proved rather more tricky with a few unlucky poles falling for Farlington’s red team (Lucy Crichton, Sophia Page, Holly Fletcher and Clarissa Burnell-Price) but the team still secured sixth place.


Ella Burnell-Price helping the 1 metre team to victory

The Farlington blue team, comprising Holly Fletcher, Amelia Ward and Emily Saunders, came second and Lucy Crichton was placed sixth individually. The 1metre team – Ellie Burnell-Price, Lucy Crichton, Grace Durkan and Emily Saunders – won their class and Ellie was placed third individually.

Farlington came away with a total of four team wins plus lots many placings- outstanding results and particularly special at its own show. All the girls rode well and had a really encouraging team spirit.

Farlington is a well-respected  independent girls’ day and boarding school located just outside Horsham, on the West Sussex/Surrey border, which encourages pupils to take part in equestrian competitions to a very high standard.

Switch of dressage venue for top Sussex riding club has proved a great success

A switch in venue for a South East riding club has been a huge success, with its first dressage event attracting some new faces and continued support from exisiting members.

In West Sussex, Goring and District Riding Club held its first dressage event recently  at its new base at Wanley House, Wandleys Lane, Fontwell. The event was part of the club’s popular Winter Dressage Series and was a great success, attracting 36 entries over five classes.

  Amanda Little, in her first dressage competition, with her daughter Amy's pony, Fizz      Photo by Luke Gee LRG Photography

Amanda Little, in her first dressage competition, with her daughter Amy’s pony, Fizz Photo by Luke Gee LRG Photography

David Beer, of Goring Riding Club, said:” We had no drop in entries following the move to our new location and many thanks go to venue owners, Tracey and David Simpson for their help with running the event. Despite soft ground resulting from torrential rain, parking was not a problem, and only one lorry needed a tow from the back paddock. It was nice to see new faces at the event- some of whom had hacked to Wanley from local yards.”
Helena Annema Hughes and Jona, better known for successes in carriage driving, won the Walk and Trot, with Emile Legge and Lennie in second place, third was Karen Armitage with Willoway High Spirits, while Tabe Annema,the winner’s husband fnished in fourth place with Harrie, another beautiful black Friesian.

One person competing for the first time, Amanda Little, finished on a very creditable mark of 130 with others behind her.Amanda was riding her daughter Amy’s pony Fizz. It was a great day out for the family and Fizz is a very versatile pony, enjoyed by the whole family, with Amanda usually acting as groom when she is driven.

Amanda Little with her daught and mother with their family pony Fizz. Photo: Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Amanda Little with her daughter Amy and  her mother with their family pony Fizz. Photo: Luke Gee, LRG Photography

The Youngster Prelim was won by Karl Standing on Monster, with Koren Marner and King of the Rein in second and Sophie Wratting and La La Rumba in third.  Jo Curling and Keystone Renai won the main Prelim event, and also won the Novice with an outstanding score of 85.41 per cent and had a 10 on the score sheet- a first for the series.

Second in the Prelim 13 was Paris- Maria Johnson with Maylin Rose  and Amelia Trinkwon with Magnum was third. Joy Skatulla and Saxon were second in the Novice, with Hayley Edgar and Gabroc Hill in third.
Lizzie Reynolds won the Elementary with Tyrcwrt Delyth, with Jenny Fox and Cash Van Ovris in second place.  There was compensation for Jenny  when she won the Medium Level 63 test with the same horse.

The next club dressage event is on February 2 at the same venue.


Clinics for young drivers will offer invaluable experience this Easter – book places now

A British Young Drivers’ Easter Clinic camp, offering invaluable experience, is to be held at Unicorn Trust Equestrian Centre, Stow on the Wold, from April 15-18, followed by a National Young Drivers course there from April 18-21.

All young drivers are welcome to join this British Young Drivers Easter clinic, and this camp is open to any young drivers aged eight to 25 years, with or with out a turnout.

Participants at a previous Young Carriage Drivers course sponsored by       Photo courtesy of British Carriage Driving Association

Participants who enjoyed a previous Young Carriage Drivers course sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds : Photo courtesy of British Carriage Driving Association

This is the chance to enjoy three days filled with driving tuition from experienced coaches, on foot workshops and individual sessions to focus on personal development plans, not forgetting to mention the fun and friendly atmosphere for drivers and parents/grooms.

The clinic is sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds and they will be available to provide guidance on feeding to get the best from your pony. B&B accommodation is available close to the Trust, alternatively stay on site in your lorry or caravan. Electric hook-ups can be booked in advance.

Please note on the entry form if you require a hook up.The clinic is split into two groups – National Young Drivers for those who have qualified to drive at National events at Intermediate level or above in 2014, and Young Drivers to include those just starting out in driving and those competing at club level.

Beginners are welcome; plenty of help is available for all levels of experience.

Young Drivers (YD)arrive Tuesday April 15 ready for first On-foot workshop at 2pm. The Clinic finishes approximately 3pm on Friday April 18.

Young drivers will have two driven training sessions on both Wednesday and Thursday, and a driven activity on Friday morning. Informative workshops are planned in between driving sessions and parents, grandparents or helpers are very welcome to attend.

Workshops will include planning individual driving seasons, welfare of the horse, fitness, feeding regimes for pony or horse and back step training. Young drivers are welcome to stay to the Friday afternoon lecture demo if they would like to.

National Young Drivers (NYD)arrive Friday April 18  for lunch at 1pm. Lunch will be part of a ‘crossover’ between clinics and organisers would like everyone to attend. A follow on lecture-demo will begin at 3pm (speaker to be confirmed).

Sports psychology, individual interviews and group sessions will take place over the week end. Information about a proposed future upper level for Young Drivers will be outlined and discussed. Invited speakers and discussion time will be included. There will be driven sessions twice a day on Saturday and Sunday and one on Monday. The Clinic will finish on Monday April 21 after lunch.

Please apply to for an entry form. Costs are: NYD clinic £215 per driver (covers stabling, meals, training twice a day & workshops.) YD clinic £170 per driver (covers stabling, meals, training twice a day & workshops.) NYD without a turnout £ 100 (to cover meals, and On Foot sessions.)YD without a turnout £ 70 (to cover meals, and On Foot sessions.)


Plumpton forced to abandon Monday’s meeting because of waterlogged course

Tomorrow’s card at Plumpton Racecourse has been abandoned following a Sunday morning inspection because the course is waterlogged in places.

The statement issued said :”The course as not shown any improvement from yesterday and still has waterlogged areas. With a forecast for 10/12mm of rain today there would not be enough time or the right conditions for sufficient improvement.”


Plumpton stages some excellent racing and his good viewing facilities

This is a big disappointment to Plumpton, which had managed to stage some excellent fixtures during recent wet weather. It is a double blow to racegoers, with today’s meeting at Fontwell Park already abandoned, like the last one there. Both tracks are hoping for some improvement in the weather to enable the planned programmes for February to go ahead.

Plumpton’s next scheduled fixture is is on Monday February 10, with the first race at 1.50pm, followed by an At The Races fixture on Monday February 24, first race at 2.05pm.

Fontwell Park has two race meetings in February and one other date for the diary which does not hinge on the weather.Racing is scheduled for Thursday February 13- a Love Fontwell Raceday, with seven races on the card, starting at 1.20pm and with gates opening at midday. The second meeting on February 23 is the prestigious National Spirit Hurdle Raceday, the most valuable fixture in Fontwell’s racing calendar, with a total of £50,000 prize money.

J4033 FON National Spirit Raceday Fixture Image_HR

Racing starts at 2.10pm and gates open at 11.30am. For more details and ticketing information contact the racecourse on 01243 543335

Also, between the two meetings there is a chance to visit Fontwell Park free for afternoon tea and a tour of its excellent facilities at an Open Day on Wednesday February 19 from 2-5pm. There will be an opportunity to win a table for four in Fontwell’s Premier Restaurant.

A unique venue in West Sussex for meetings, conferences, banqueting, exhibition and fairs, the racecourse is ideally located on the A27 between Chichester and Arundel.  For more information, contact Rebecca Waddington on 01243 543335.


A donkey at Lavant House Stables in Sussex is aiming to win a top media award

A mischievous donkey called Two Stroke at Lavant House Stables and Riding School near Chichester has been heralded as a social media genius. The stables started a weekly blog on its website ‘written’ by this donkey.

Two Stroke- a social media genius at Lavant House Riding School and Stables

Two Stroke- a social media genius at Lavant House Riding School and Stables

This innovative and amusing blog has led to judges of the Equestrian Social Media Awards putting Lavant House into the top ten in the world for social media use.Lavant House is shown in the finalists in Category 11 – riding schools.

The Donkey Diaries are pretty funny and have included a social media campaign for more carrots which got thousands of likes.

Here is just one recent entry:

“So this week a new pony has arrived called Domino, he is black and white and a bit bigger than me. My favourite trick is to scare the newbies. You wouldn’t believe how many horses haven’t seen a handsome donkey like me. I could give you an endless list of horses that arrived in 2013 that thought I was some sort of terrifying demon – beautiful Daisy for example, every time I snuck up on her she would stand on her back legs and snort at me like a fire breathing dragon. No idea why, I think it is because she fancied me…

“So this week I’ve tried my scaring skills on Domino. Diesel is boring, he doesn’t like to join in because it’s ‘mean’ apparently, but I force him to participate anyway. So I began by sneaking into my stable and waiting in the depths of darkness for him to arrive on the yard.  As he is tied up by the human, I stayed lurking, sometimes poking my head out so he could see my eyes in the light.

“He was definitely on edge then boom just as the human comes over (they’ve got to appreciate it too) I hurtled out my stable, with Diesel hot on my tail straight past Domino (close shave). You should have seen the look on his face! Wow I think he may have needed to go to the bathroom afterwards.  I couldn’t have planned it better! I’m going to the woods behind his field tonight to rattle the trees, haha.

“That’s my kind of initiation test to become part of Lavant; if they can put up with me scaring them then they’re a keeper.

“Oh I thought I would share with you this cute picture of myself, this was me at lunchtime pulling my cute face to get some more grub. It worked.

Two Stroke pictured in his blog

Two Stroke pictured in his blog

– See more at:

Everyone who knows about the diaries wants Lavant House to win and be seen as the best in the world, leading the way for other riding schools throughout the country and the world.

Lavant House would love to go on and win. A victory would also put the local area and its rural businesses on the map.  The awards are very serious and called the ESMAs. The closing date for votes is February 7 2014.

You can help by voting for this unique blog at:


Plumpton’s Monday jumps meeting in doubt and hinges on 8am Sunday inspection

An inspection will be held at Plumpton at 8am tomorrow, Sunday. The course has reported that there was 7mm rain last night leaving the track waterlogged in places and the going heavy. Saturday was mainly dry.

Plumpton hinges on Sunday inspection

Plumpton hinges on Sunday inspection

“Sunday’s forecast has remained strong all week for rain during the day, some of which could be heavy. Having looked in more detail this morning at several forecasts for Sunday,  we have the potential for 10mm+ with the 9am-3pm period seemingly the high risk time.

“The bottom bend is, as ever, causing most concern and more especially the home turn on both courses, with waterlogged areas this apparent this morning. The water table is so high everywhere at present that the track’s capability to handle measureable rainfall so close to a meeting is reduced.

“We have recorded 150mm of rain since Jan 1, with 63mm of that since our last meeting on January 13, ” said a report issued today, Saturday.

Plumpton’s clerk of the course Mark Cornford told reporters: “We really need it to stay dry. If we get any recordable rain between now and Monday we’re in trouble.”

Donna’s miniature Shetland is a very early foal and is proving to be an absolute cracker

TAKE a look at this little cracker- one of the early foals of 2014 – named  Lucksfield Bianco. Bred and owned by Donna Luck of Almodington on the Selsey Penninsula,  she arrived safely on January 15 at 7pm- and has been running rings round her mother, miniature shetland Lyndurst Buttons, ever since.

Photo by Donna Luck

Luckfield Bianco with her mother, Shetland Lyndhurst Buttons Photo by Donna Luck

Her sire is an unregistered miniature horse, Ujenik Sparkling Dude and she is the first miniature Shetland foal that Donna has bred.

Donna (27) explained: “I had my first Shetland when I was two years old and when I was a youngster,  my mother, Robbie, bred a Shetland foal which had a cleft palate and later had to be put down. It was heartbreaking at the time and we did everything possible to save the foal.”

Luckfield Bianco leading her mother a merry dance Photo Donna Luck

Lucksfield Bianco leading her mother a merry dance
Photo Donna Luck

“But Bianco is simply perfect and I feel this was a second chance for me. I think that ultimately Bianco will make someone an ideal pet. I’m going to bring her on and will handle her, so that she can be available from when she is around six months old.”

Meanwhile Donna will be out in the show ring this year competing over 2’9″ jumps  and also doing a bit of cross country and dressage with her home bred showing horse, Lucksfield Random. Aged seven, he is part-bred Welsh x spotted and proving extremely versatile.

Donna's spotted horse      Photo by:

Donna’s spotted horse Lucksfield Random Photo by:JSBE Photography

He has proved to be a talented horse and is a real eye-catcher with plenty of abiltiy and jumps superbly. For more information on Lucksfield Bianco, contact Donna on 01243 51231.