Good double precedes tilt at 1,000 Guineas by Extortionist for second season trainer Olly Stevens

IT has been a great start for the 2014 turf season for Chiddingfold trainer Olly Stevens, with Heisman winning the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes over a mile at Kempton on Monday, with Jamie Spencer in the saddle. Heisman is a smart three-year-old colt, owned by Qatar Racing Ltd, who is by Teofilo out of Luminata, and has the makings of a good middle distance horse.

Trainer Olly Stevens

He proved to be the first leg of a double for Robins Farm Racing Stables, with Pearl Princess winning by 11 lengths at Southwell the same day, ridden by Harry Bentley. The three-year-old filly, owned by Pearl Bloodstock, was running over a mile, and showed that Olly and Hetta Stevens have their string in fine form just as the Guineas weekend approaches.

This is only their second season of training and they impressed last year with some good winners, including one at Royal Ascot when Dandy Man colt, Extortionist, won the Windsor Castle Stakes Listed Race at Royal Ascot. Extortionist is being aimed at the Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes at Newmarket this Saturday at the Guineas meeting while Lightning Thunder is running in the 1,000 Guineas at the meeting.

Extortionist winning last season Photo Pearl Bloodstock

Extortionist winning last season
Photo Pearl Bloodstock

Lightning Thunder was unbeaten last season until she ran in the Oh So Sharp Stakes, where she was beaten by an exceptional filly Miss France, by just a head. Miss France went on to win the Group 1 Prix Marcl Boussac on Arc Day and Lightning Thunder deserves her entry in the 1,000 Guineas.

Prior to her run against Miss France, Lightning Thunder had won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Stakes at Doncaster in a gutsy run, and before that opened her account in the highly competitive EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes at Newbury.

This classy filly is owned by Mohd Al Kubasi and Pearl Bloodstock and has been ridden in all her runs by Harry Bentley.

Jockey Harry Bentley

Jockey Harry Bentley


Olly and Hetta, who have an impeccable background in racing, both in this country and America, had an impressive first season of training  at Robins Farm Stables, and have both useful juveniles and older horses in their string for the coming year.

Horsham Riding Club’s annual hunter trials event was huge success

HORSHAM Riding Club’s recent annual hunter trial at Coombelands, Pulborough was an outstanding success this year. Organised by Caroline Exley, the popular event drew record numbers and was held in perfect weather conditions.

An excellent course had been set up, which was both interesting and testing for competitors and there was strong competition in all classes, with the Senior Novice particularly well subscribed, attracting more than 100 entries.

Winners of the Novice Pairs Novice pairs 75cm class- Georgina Knight and The Gent with Olivia Watts and Edward  Photo Luke Gee,LRG Photography

Winners of the Novice Pairs Novice pairs 75cm
class- Georgina Knight and The Gent with Olivia Watts and Edward Photo Luke Gee,LRG Photography

Many of the competitors will be back at the same venue on Sunday May 25, for the club’s Open Horse Trials, when another interesting course will be set up by Gaye Harwood, who runs the popular facility. which is a cross-country schooling course open from January to November and set in the beautiful surroundings of Pulborough, West Sussex.

There are more than a hundred fences and caters for all standards, ranging from 2ft-3ft 6in, as well as show jumping schooling facilities, dressage arenas on grass while all weather gallops are also available for hire.

A number of One Day Events, Hunter trials and clinics  are held throughout the year as well as a British Eventing Horse Trials with classes from BE80 to Novice Standard in October.

For more details of the facilities contact Gaye Harwood on 01798 872796  or 07810 653899, email
Mobile: 07810 653 899 :

Goodwood Pony Club’s Open Hunter Trials enjoyed good weather in fine setting of Goodwood Estate

Goodwood Pony club held its Open Hunter Trials on the Goodwood Estate recently with kind permission of the Earl and Countess of March.  The weather on the day was perfect- warm and sunny with just a slight breeze.

The course is set in beautiful grounds with picturesque views all around and the classes were split into Pony Club Members and Non Members, raning from 2ft 3ins to 3ft. There was also a popular Novice Pairs Class at 2ft 6ins.

The competition was judged on optimum time and the course included some challenging jumps which resulted in just 24 clear rounds. One of the fences, a solid table, up to height and slightly downhill caused a few problems.The terrain is challenging for the less fit horses, with a fair climb up the first hill and a steeper hill after the water jump.


Charlotte Dix and Millersford Bramble IV, joint winners of the Novice Open Photo: Equestrian specialist Luke Gee, LRG Photography


Results: Mini Open-  Amy Rule and Bluey; 2 Leanne Lampard and Summer; 3 Louise Hudson and Voulez Vous; 4 Clare Noller and Rolo; 5, Emma Taylor and Wish Upon A Star. Novice Open: Joint 1 Charlotte Dix and Millersford Bramble and Laura Nelson and Dublins Diamond Geezer; 3 Beanie Upson and Oakapple Montanna; 4, Florence Mannerings and Ola; 5 Charlie Biles and Beaulieu Guinness.

Intermediate Open and Pony Club- 1 Open, Peter Brown and Hot to Trot; 1 Pony Club, Beth Sadler and High Jinks; Amalgamated 2 Sara-Louise Wood and Uvin; 3 Miily Upson and Rejects Gypsy Lady; 4 Eleanor De La Fuente and Leo; 5  Hannah Mudd and Mr Wolfe.

Mini pony club members- 1 Lily De Lacy and Gatsby; 2 Sam James and Loco; 3 Gemma Kendall and Breeze; 4 Bethany Stonefrost and Abbeyleix’s Diamond Boy; 5 Dorothy Whyte and Venables Ruby. Novice Pony Club Members- 1 Serena O’Bryan and Tear Merlin; 2 Hannah Cargill and Purple Iris; 3 Hannah Mudd and Mr Wolfe; 4 Rachel Burton and Golden Cavalier; 5 Abby Lebus and Billy.

Pairs Open – Joint 1 Kitty Elwes and Fly with Jemima Haydon and Fred, and Phillpa Mannerings and Mika with Florence Mannerings and Ola; 2 Daisy Fletcher and Cappuccino with Holly Fletcher and Bentley; 3 Caroline Wilkins and Etoile Du Matin with Emma Shaw and Fromage Du Matin; 4 Charlotte Dix and Millersford Bramble IV with Charlie Biles.

Goodwood Pony Club holds a number of events during the year details of which can be found on their website. Future planned events for 2014 include, May 11– Eventers’ Challenge, July 27– Under 16 Show;   October 5 – Hunter Trial.

Rain stopped competition but busy club went ahead with egg hunt and hat contest

Arundel and District Riding Club had to cancel its recent planned gymkhana because of artrocious wet weather- but organisers decided not to allow the elements to totally spoil the day for enthusiastic youngsters.
They went ahead and had an Easter egg hunt and an Easter bonnet competition for them instead and he rain did not dampen their enthuasium to find the eggs hidden in the show ground.
A few might have been missed but most were found. The Easter Bonnet competition was won by two-year-old Eva Deacon, who had  helped her mother, Lizzie, make the hat.
Eva Deacon in her winning Easter Bonnet, with mother Lizzie Photo by Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Eva Deacon in her winning Easter Bonnet, with mother Lizzie : Photo by Luke Gee, LRG Photography

Meanwhile Arundel and District Riding Club’s next event is on Sunday May 4, which is the start of the club’s show jumping series.
This will be followed on Saturday May 10 with a Childen’s Fun Show, including an afternoon gymkhana and on Sunday May 11 with an In Hand show- and big entries are expected for both.
Then West Sussex Riding Club will be holding its Ridden Show at the Arundel and District Riding Club’s showground on Sunday May 18, when classes are expected to be well-subscribed.

Get an MOT for your horse at a special event organised by the BHS West Sussex committee

DO you have a service history for your horse? Now is the time to have one, or to update a previous one, thanks to the West Sussex Committee of the British Horse Society, which is holding an MOT Day for Horses on Sunday June 15 at Brinsbury Campus, North Heath, Pulborough, RH20 1DL.

A satisfied owner and horse, with vet Camilla Woodward following the worming session with

A satisfied owner and horse, with vet Camilla Woodward following the worming session at last year’s event

This excellent event, open to both members and non- members of the BHS, follows on from a highly successful similar day at Albourne Equestrian Centre in West Sussex last year. It will cover advice from experts, including a personal session with your horse with each expert, covering saddle-fitting, worming, teeth and diet.

Master Saddler Ellie Martin of The Bespoke Saddle Company will discuss how your saddle currently fits your horse/pony and rider, while Matt Waterhouse MRCVS of Arundel Equine Hospital will advise on your horse’s worming regime. Westgate Laboratories Postal Worm Egg Count Service are generously supplying each participant with a worm egg count kit and information pack, completely free, including return postage and packing

Weighing a horse at the special day

Weighing a horse at the special day

Turning to diet, Isabel Harker from Spillers will weigh your horse, using a portable weighbridge and supply record cards, information packs. feed advice, a free weight tape and Spillers money off vouchers

.This useful MOT programme costs only £25, but if you book early by May 15, there is a reduced fee of only £20. Don’t miss this outstanding opportunity and to make sure of your place, contact Sheila Woodward on: 07801599518 or Sharon Stahlberger on: 07779247533 or email at:

Upgraded Hickstead ring to be boosted further by Airowear sponsorship this year

Following the release of an innovative new body protector, Hickstead All England Jumping Course in Sussex has announced that Airowear is the new sponsor of Ring 4 at the showground.

Ring 4 was completely renovated last year to provide riders with an all-weather surface alongside some permanent fences, including its own devil’s dyke, steps and water splash. It proved an instant hit with riders, with entries in the national classes soaring to record levels in 2013.

Competitions in Ring 4 will be sponsored by Photo by Spidge

Competitions in Ring 4 at Hickstead will be sponsored by Airowear  this year
Photo by Spidge

Airowear, which joined forces with Charles Owen in 2012, will be exhibiting in the shopping village at Hickstead’s two international fixtures – the Hickstead Derby Meeting (June 25 – 29) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 29 – August3). It will also be offering a Hickstead body protector to each of the three individual champions at the Hurst College National Schools & Pony Club Championships on August 7.

‘The Hickstead’ is the first body protector to be styled specifically for showjumpers. It is lightweight with discreet tailoring, which makes it inconspicuous when worn over a black show jacket.

“We’re delighted to welcome Airowear as a new sponsor,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn. “We know that our competitors want to look smart in the ring, and this new body protector helps them to be safer in the saddle and perform at their maximum ability, without compromising on style.”

The Hickstead won an innovation award at the BETA trade fair 2013.

For more information about The Hickstead body protector, visit  / and to book tickets for the Hickstead Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show go to or call 01273 834315.


Tullius compensates for narrow defeat in Lincoln by winning bet365 Mile at Sandown yesterday

Tullius, who was only narrowly defeated in the Lincoln at Doncaster last month, showed what a class horse he is by winning the bet365 Mile at Sandown yesterday when ridden by Jimmy Fortune.

Owned by Kennet Vallety Thoroughbreds, which specialises in horse syndicates, and trained by Andrew Balding, the colt’s speed outclassed his rivals in the race, after Penitent, the winner in 2012, took the field along at a fast pace.

Tullius in action Photo courtesy John Simpson

Tullius in action
Photo courtesy John Simpson

In the final furlong Jimmy  Fortune let the colt go and won decisively, in what is the biggest victory yet for Tullius.

A step up to Group 1 company is now likely  for Tullius and trainer Andrew Balding described him as a high class horse two years ago, when an injury had temporarily halted his progress.

“It has taken a while to get him back to his best and he holds entries in the Lockinge Stakes and the Queen Anne, and could run either if the ground is right,” he said. Jimmy Fortune, who had won the Esher Cup on What About Carlo, said the horse loved both the ground and the track and had won with a fair but in hand.

Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, which has successfully managed racehorse syndicates for around 25 years in Hampshire under the chairmanship of Nick Robinson, is now being operated by a small team headed by Sam Hoskins and Piers Winkworth with great success.

They also have horses in training with Charlie Hills, Ralph Beckett and Richard Hannon and Olly Stevens and members’ groups have enjoyed open mornings at respective yards to see their horses.

Spring Seraph, an eye-catching grey colt in training with Olly Stevens at Robins Farm Racing Stables: Photo Kennet Valley Thorougbreds

Spring Seraph, an eye-catching grey colt in training with Olly Stevens at Robins Farm Racing Stables who will make his debut in summer: Photo Kennet Valley Thorougbreds

For information about Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds contact  Sam Hoskins on 07791 746119 or 0203 542 1620

Individual winners of the All-Weather Championships have been revealed

Winners of the All-Weather Championships have been revealed following a superb season, which culminated with the new £1-million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 18.

Lingfield Park all-weather racing  Photo courtesy of ARC

Lingfield Park all-weather racing
Photo courtesy of ARC

Connections of the six category winners – Trainer of the Year, Jockey of the Year, Owner of the Year, Horse of the Year in terms of prize money, Winning-most Horse and Sire of the Year – will each receive £10,000.

Adam Kirby was crowned Jockey of the Year with 90 wins during the season, which ran from October 26 to April 18, ahead of nearest rival Luke Morris (75 wins) with Joe Fanning third (64).

The 24-year-old has enjoyed several big-race wins over the All-Weather Championships, including a decisive victory on board the Phil McEntee-trained Living The Life in the £150,000 All-Weather Fillies’ and Mares’ Championships on Good Friday.

Adam Kirby

Adam Kirby


He also recorded victories for a wide variety of trainers, including Marco Botti, Mark Johnston, Mick Easterby, Dean Ivory, Roger Varian, Richard Fahey and David Evans.

Mark Johnston was Trainer of the Year following 68 victories over the season, ahead of Mick Appleby (46) and David Evans (36). The Middleham trainer was well represented over the winter by a host of talented horses including four-time winners Blue Wave and Swivel plus Marshgate Lane, Galician and Hunting Ground.

Trainer Mark Johnston

Trainer Mark Johnston

Johnston’s leading patron, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, dominated the owner standings with 46 wins and was Owner of the Year, well in front of Godolphin (16) and Dr Marwan Koukash (15).

Grandeur (owned by Yvonne Jacques and trained by Jeremy Noseda) was the Horse of the Year with prize money of just over £150,000 courtesy of victories at Lingfield Park in the Listed Winter Derby Trial on February 22 and the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships Finals Day.

Grandeur took the all-weather horse championship Photo: John Simpson

Grandeur took the all-weather horse championship
Photo: John Simpson

Alumina (owned by Shapoor Mistry and trained by Andrew Balding) was the Winning-most Horse with six wins. Mr Burbidge also had six wins but the award goes to Alumnia by virtue of her two thirds during the championship period.

Invincible Spirit, who stands at the Irish National Stud, was Stallion of the Year thanks to 41 victories.

Kate Hills, ARC Director of PR and Communications, commented: “We have been delighted with the inaugural All-Weather Championships and these awards highlight the vital role that jockeys, trainers and owners have played throughout the season.

“Adam Kirby has won the title in style and ridden plenty of winners at all four All-Weather courses for a host of trainers. He has proven once again to be a tremendous flag-bearer for All-Weather racing and I am delighted to see such dedication and hard work rewarded.

“Mark Johnston and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum have been key supporters of the All-Weather Championships, while I am very pleased to see the connections of Grandeur and Alumina receive recognition.”




Inspired Facilities Grants of more than £200,000 awarded to six equestrian centres

In the latest round of Sport England Inspired Facilities Funding, six equestrian centres have been awarded grants to refurbish and improve their current facilities. A total of more than £200,000 will be given to the successful applicants for their projects, aimed at improving accessibility and increasing participation in equestrian sport.

RDA groups have benefited

To date the project has funded more than 1,300 projects that have improved and refurbished sports clubs and transformed non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sports facilities.

Those to benefit from this latest round of funding are:Friends of Landlord Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Group Wigan; Northern Racing College in Doncaster; Chiverton RDA Group, Truro;, Tyne and Wear RDA Group; Barrow Farm RDA Group, Chelmsford, and Ferring Country Centre  near Worthing in West Sussex.

Barrow Farm RDA group  members compete regularly

Barrow Farm RDA group members compete regularly

The grants will support the development of new arenas, improvement of training facilities, provision of lighting as well as construction of mounting and dismounting areas for disabled people.

Tyne and Wear RDA Group is updating its stable facilities to deliver a wide range of horse care courses for centre users in a safer and more accessible environment. “We are so grateful to Sport England for their support of our project, as we would not have been able to raise this level of funding on our own,” said RDA Volunteer, Eileen Curley.

“We have always been dedicated to ensuring that all of our riders receive a high standard of professional tuition, tailored to their personal capabilities and to help them achieve their potential, however, many of our riders also want  to understand how to care for the horses too.

Tyne and Wear RDA riders will enjoy improved facilities

Tyne and Wear RDA riders will enjoy improved facilities

“The upgraded stable block will provide a wider range of horse care courses in a safer and more accessible environment, primarily for the benefit of our RDA clients, and with the aim of moving the Centre forward to a first class educational establishment ” continued Eileen.

“Sport England’s commitment to improving facilities for disabled people who want to get involved in equestrian activities is hugely welcome,” said RDA Chief Executive, Ed Bracher. “Demand for riding and carriage driving among people with disabilities far outstrips current capacity and each of the projects supported by Sport England will make a big difference for people in these communities across the country.”

Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s legacy programme, has been working in partnership with the RDA to increase the number of riding opportunities for disabled people through the development of the Accessibility Mark. The Accessibility Mark project aims to provide training, assistance and accreditation to riding centres, schools and clubs to enable more disabled people to participate in horse riding activities.

The Inspired Facilities funding is open all year round; the next decision meeting will take place in September 2014 for all applications received prior to June 6 2014.


Harry Bentley has been chosen as ambassador for Goodwood Racecourse for 2014 season

GOODWOOD Racecourse, which starts its new season on Saturday May 3, has appointed Harry Bentley as its ambassador for 2014. The jockey, whose family lives in Storrington, has spent the first three months of the year riding for Ismail Mohammed’s Millennium Stables during the Dubai International Carnival.

Jockey Harry Bentley

Jockey Harry Bentley

Since returning to the UK for the start of the current flat season, he is retained second jockey to His Highness Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, retained rider to trainer Olly Steven’s Robins Farm and first retained jockey to Ahmed Al Shaikh.

January this year proved very successful for him internationally when he achieved a six timer on a nine race card in Doha. He is also set to also ride in his first Classic when partnered with Lightning Thunder in the 1,000 Guineas for trainer Olly Stevens, who is based at Robins Farm Racing Stables, near Chiddingfold.

He said: ” With Goodwood being one of my local tracks it is a real honour to be their ambassador for the 2014 season. Glorious Goodwood in particular is one of my favourite racing festivals during the flat season in the UK and I am really looking forward to working with and representing the racecourse.”