Morpheus and Marc Goldstein win Lingfield Park’s Shire Horse Race

War Horse took centre stage for Lingfield Park’s Armed Forces Raceday as the Surrey racecourse re-enacted its world-famous Shire Horse Race.The gentle giants thundered down the track, following last year’s award-winning inaugural race, but this year their presence took on a special Military theme to mark the 100th Anniversary of the First World War and the importance Shires played in the conflict.

Shire horses racing down the track at Lingfield Park, with winner Morpheau and Jamie Goldstein in the centre Photo: Ian Headington

Shire horses racing down the track at Lingfield Park, with winner Morpheau and Marc Goldstein in the centre Photo: Ian Headington

Eight professional jump jockeys, including Sussex-based Jamie Moore who has enjoyed huge success this year with stable star Sire de Grugy, saddled up on the shires for the two-furlong race. This year Marc Goldstein won the coveted title on Morpheus, owned by Emily Marriott, followed closely by Jack Flash and then Curious George, both owned by Hurst Green Shires. Jax Gardiner from Hurst Green Shires, who organised the ‘Showerking Flying Feathers Shire Horse Charge’ race with Lingfield Park, was delighted to team up with the Royal British Legion on Armed Forces Day. “This couldn’t be more appropriate that we are having the Shire Horse Race on June  28, Armed Forces Day, in the year that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War,” she said.

Morpheus with jockey Jamie Goldstein and owner Emily Marrriott Photo: Ian Headington

Morpheus with jockey Marc Goldstein and owner Emily Marrriott Photo: Ian Headington

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, agreed: ‘Today was a very poignant moment when we all remembered the remarkable work carried out by these horses and our soldiers during the First World War. “Every year we welcome the Royal British Legion and its members to the course to mark this important day, and this year it was even more important as we remember the role of the heavy horses too. “Our first Shire Horse Race last year was a tremendous success with people travelling far and wide to see such a spectacle. This year, we have welcomed in over 6,000 people as we link it to Armed Forces Day.”

Marh Goldsteiin receiving his rosette for winning from ShireMark Goldstein with Julie Reilly, of sponsors Showerking Photo: Ian Headington

Marc Goldstein receiving his rosette for winning from Julie Reilly, of sponsors Showerking
Photo: Ian Headington

As well as the Shire Horse race there were seven thrilling thoroughbred races on the all-weather and turf tracks and a host of entertainment for the family.

Trevor Breen and Adventure De Kannan win the Hickstead’s equestrian.com Derby

After coming so close for the last two years, Ireland’s Trevor Breen achieved his aim on the final day of the Hickstead Derby meeting- winning the equestrian.com. Derby at Hickstead. Trevor’s horse Adventure De Kannan has a superb record at Hickstead, winning the Speed Derby in 2009 and the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix in 2012. But the Hickstead Derby kept eluding him – despite coming tantalisingly close with a third place in 2012 and second in 2013.

Last year Trevor finished in runner-up spot in the Derby when ‘Addy’, who only has one eye, knocked the open ditch near the end of the course and picked up four faults, meaning Phillip Miller won the top prize. But this year the roles were reversed when Phillip had to settle for second place.

There have only been 54 clear rounds in the 54 year history of the Derby, and this year there were none – with Phillip and Trevor both knocking a fence down and having to jump-off for the title.

Trevor Breen  with Hickstead Derby winner Adventure De Kannan presented with the Boomerang Trophy by Hickstead and Equestrian.com competition winner Bronte Patterson (right) and Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of Equestrian.com Photo:Samantha Lamb

Trevor Breen with Hickstead Derby winner Adventure De Kannan presented with the Boomerang Trophy by Hickstead and Equestrian.com competition winner Bronte Patterson (right) and Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of Equestrian.com Photo:Samantha Lamb

First to go in the jump-off, Phillip, and last year’s winning horse Caritiar Z, picked up another four faults at the Devil’s Dyke. So Trevor had the choice of trying to net a steady clear – or going quickly to ensure he was fastest even if he had a fence down. He opted for the latter and when the Privet Hedge Oxer fell he had to leave all the other fences standing and cross the line quicker than Phillip’s time of 85.19sec. This he did – to finish fractionally faster in a time of 85.17sec, the closest Hickstead Derby jump-off of all time.

After being so devastated not to win the Boomerang Trophy last year, this year Trevor was emotional for all the right reasons. “Addy has an enormous heart, he does whatever you ask him to do,” said the Buckinghamshire-based rider.

It’s been an incredible journey for the pair. Trevor used to be a teacher before turning to showjumping full time, following in the footsteps of older brother Shane, who is based at Hickstead. Adventure De Kannan used to be an event horse when ridden by his owner Karen Swann, before Trevor began showjumping him. They have gone on to international success and represented Ireland on Nations Cup teams, as well as winning several of Hickstead’s biggest classes.

The 14-year-old gelding has always relished jumping at Hickstead, but his preparations haven’t always gone smoothly. Last year the horse was only just recovering from surgery to remove one of his eyes, because of an ongoing condition. “The horse just loves adversity,” said Trevor. “Last year he lost his eye, then he came back, this year he tweaked his hind suspensory, came back again and then to top it all off I was exercising him in the sand arena here yesterday and he got kicked in the leg. He’s just a Trojan of a horse.”

Philip Miller tackling the water jump with Photo:John Periam

Philip Miller tackling the water jump with Caritiar Z
Photo:  John Periam, Equestrian Photographer  01243 584718

Phillip Miller was disappointed not to repeat his 2013 win, but was quick to congratulate Trevor on his win. “I thought I was quite quick, so then it was up to Trevor whether he was going to surrender or come after me. I thought he’d surrendered then all of a sudden he set off!” he said.

It was a dramatic renewal of the Equestrian.com Derby, with 16 faults being good enough to make the prize money, four riders falling off, 10 being eliminated and three opting to retire.

Three riders shared third place on eight faults – Jade Hooke (RSA) and young British riders Harriet Nuttall and William Whitaker. Trevor Breen also took home some more prize money for finishing sixth on Loughnatousa WB.

In the showing classes, Tattersalls & RoR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship went to Allister Hood and Jack The Giant, who raced 26 times during his former racing career and won on the Flat, over hurdles and over fences.

Earlier in the day, the Hickstead Under 25 Masters went to Essex-based Remy Ellis and Warendorf, while Norway’s Victoria Gulliksen finished second on Billy Buttercup. The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting drew to a close today with packed stands watching the feature class of the fixture.

An estimated 35,000 people attended over the four days of the show. Hickstead’s next international fixture is the Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 29  – August 3), one of only three CHIO5* shows in the world.

2013 Polo Gold Cup winners Zacara win the new Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy

On the first afternoon of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, 2013 Gold Cup winners Zacara took on Thai Polo in the newly endowed Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy.

Juan Ambroggio for Thai Polo raced away to score the first goal and the side continued to play strongly through the early part of the match finishing the second chukka 3-2 ahead.  It wasn’t until the third chukka that the crowd began to enjoy the exceptional talent of Zacara’s 10 goal star Facundo Pieres as he began to make his mark on the match and contribute two goals in the chukka.

A third goal for Zacara, scored by young English player Matt Perry in his second season with Zacara, saw the scores level on 5-5 by half time.Chukka 4 saw Lyndon Lea’s new team member, Gonzalo Deltour, contribute two lovely goals before Ambroggio answered with a terrific goal for Thai Polo – but it was to be their only mark on the scoreboard during the chukka.

  Carlos Gracida Trophy and   Photo: Clive Bennett www.polopictures.co.uk

Winning Zacara team with the Carlos Gracida Trophy L-R Matt Perry, Gonzalo Deltour, Mariano Gracida, Lila Pearson, Carlitos Gracida, Lyndon Lea, Facundo Pieres Photo: Clive Bennett www.polopictures.co.uk

Two more goals from the stick of Pieres saw Zacara pull ahead to 9-6. By now Zacara were totally in rhythm.  Chukka 5 saw another three goals from Pieres and just one from Nic Roldan for Thai Polo.  In the final chukka, Pieres notched up two more, Thai patron Harald Link added to his side’s scoreline with an undefended shot at goal and Nic Roldan scored from a penalty but it was too little too late.  A super match saw Zacara cruise to a 14-7 victory.

A relaxed Lyndon Lea was delighted to accept the Carlos Gracida Memorial trophy, presented to the club by The Hon Charles and Lila Pearson in memory of the Mexican polo star whose record of 10 wins in the Cowdray Park Gold Cup has never been equalled.

Cube,winner of the  Best  Polo Pony Award Photo: Clive Bennett

Cube,winner of the Best Polo Pony Award 
Photo: Clive Bennett www.polopictures.co.uk

His son, Carlitos, was proud to present the cup to Lyndon Lea and prizes of spurs to all the players.  Lila Pearson presented the award for Best Playing Pony to Cube played by Facundo Pieres.

 

 

 

 

Guy Williams wins the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby at Hickstead with Casper De Muze

British rider Guy Williams won the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby on Saturday afternoon at Hickstead, exactly 10 years since his last victory in the class.Riding the 12-year-old chestnut gelding Casper De Muze,

Guy produced one of only two clear rounds to finish more than 2sec faster than Harriet Nuttall in second. Guy’s horse had lost a shoe half way round the course but continued at a strong pace to cross the finish line in 96.36sec.

“I knew I was going to win,” said Guy afterwards. “The horse is a speed specialist, he has won everywhere and he came here for the Speed Derby. Hickstead is my favourite show of the summer and I like winning in the main ring.”

Guy Williams with                    Photo: Samantha Lamb

Guy Williams with Casper De Muze after winning the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial Photo: Samantha Lamb

Harriet Nuttall is having a good week at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting, having also finished second in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial on A Touch Imperious on Friday. In Saturday’s class she was runner-up once again, this time on the grey gelding Silver Lift.

“The only thing he lacks is that he’s small so he doesn’t quite have the stride coverage of some of the other horses but he does have turbo and he is really quick off my leg,” explained Harriet.

Both Guy and Harriet are among the favourites for  today’s Equestrian.com Derby, Hickstead’s most famous class. Harriet rides A Touch Imperious, while Guy has two chances – Depardieu van’t Kiezelhof and Skip Two Ramiro. ‘Skippy’ has an amazing record in the class, having been placed in the Derby most years since 2003 and winning the title in 2010.

“If I ride Skippy well he could definitely win it,” says Guy. “He’s 18 now and only jumps four times a year but as long as he’s enjoying it he can keep doing it. Last year he didn’t feel quite right, but we’ve got him a lot fitter this year.”

Earlier on Saturday, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Zuidam won the Tom Hudson Derby Trophy. Twelve horses had gone through to the jump-off, and British hopes were raised when Jay Halim netted a fast clear on Goodman For Fun II. But 19-year-old Daniel came in next and proceeded to knock a second off Jay’s time to take home the prize.

“It’s my first big win at Hickstead, and I’ve only had the horse a couple of months so I’m delighted,” said Daniel.

Jay has collected a number of placings this week, and the eventer-turned-showjumper’s ride Goodman For Fun II has been one of the most consistent performers at the show.

“It’s been a fairy tale for me. Though if someone had told me at the beginning of the week that I’d have won a second and third in the International Arena at Hickstead I’d have been delighted – though it’s frustrating to come so close to winning!”

This afternoon sees the feature class of the meeting, the 54th running of  Hickstead’s Equestrian.com Derby.

Jean Musson receives President’s Award from HRH Princess Royal for tireless RDA work

Jean Musson from Court Meadow RDA Group had her impressive contribution to work for the RDA recognised when she received  the President’s Award from  HRH The Princess Royal  recently. The presentation took place when HRH was visiting the Ashdown RDA group at Chelwood Gate recently.

Jean has been a member, instructor, and driving force behind the Court Meadow Group since its inception in 1977. For 36 years she has worked tirelessly in Mid-Sussex with riders aged three – 19 years with severe learning difficulties and special needs.

As well as her knowledge of horses, Jean’s qualification as a remedial gymnast has been invaluable to the group. bringing an understanding of skeletal and muscular disorders, and the exercises and the equipment that the riders need.

 HRH The Princess Royal, president of the National RDA with Jean and her award

HRH The Princess Royal, president of the National RDA with Jean and her award

She tackles everything from scrupulously checking and cleaning tack, shampooing and plaiting ponies, driving the Group trailer to RDA two days each week in term time, to cooking and flower arranging for fundraising events, asking local traders for sponsorship or raffle prizes and then encouraging people to buy far more tickets than they had intended.

Within the RDA Jean has always championed the cause of riders with learning difficulties, supporting the Countryside Challenge since its inception, and now the Combined Competition.

With Jean’s encouragement, riders achieve goals they, their parents and school staff never thought possible.  It is her inspiration and dogged determination for severely disadvantaged riders to aim for and reach their individual goals that makes her ‘special’.

She has inspired hundreds to overcome fears, phobias and physical problems to become healthier, confident young adults when they leave the group at the age of 19 to face the challenges ahead of them.  They all know when Jean says “Go on – you can do it”  – they will be able to do what is asked.

William Funnell and Billy Mexico win Bunn Leisure Master’s Challenge at Hickstead

Hickstead regular William Funnell and the homebred Billy Mexico won the feature class yesterday afternoon at Hickstead- the Bunn Leisure Master’s Challenge. British riders took the top four places in the class, with Matthew Sampson (Eagles Costalot), Jay Halim (Goodman For Fun II) and Henry Turrell (Billy Comme Ca) finishing second, third and fourth respectively.

The riders had to jump a timed course of fences immediately followed by a row of ascending upright gates, and the stallion Billy Mexico relished the challenge. “You’ve got a chance of winning at every show you go to with him because he’s fast and very careful,” said William, who is based near Dorking in Surrey.

Hickstead Director Daisy Bunn with William Funnell and Billy Mexico Photo: Samantha Lamb

Hickstead Director Daisy Bunn with William Funnell and Billy Mexico
Photo: Samantha Lamb

William won the Hickstead Derby in 2006, 2008 and 2009 – and this year he has a new Derby hope in Billy Onslow. The pair qualified this morning in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, which determines the starting list for Sunday’s Equestrian.com Derby.

But the honours in the Derby Trial went to Sweden’s Angelie von Essen, who won on Jordan II and also finished third on Deesse VD Donkhoeve.

Six came forward for the jump-off, with every rider faulting – which meant last to go Angelie was able to produce a slow but clear round to finish on one time fault and take home the top prize.

“I was quite insecure about whether he’d actually jump the course as he’s green and inexperienced – he was only jumping Foxhunter last year,” said Angelie.

Despite winning today and clearing Derby fences like the water jump, the palisade rails and the Devil’s Dyke, the Swedish rider won’t be jumping in the Equestrian.com Derby on Sunday. “I’m too scared!” she said. “I was nervous enough doing this class!”

Today’s feature class is the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby, where riders have to tackle some of Hickstead’s permanent fences at top speed.

To purchase tickets for the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting, or to join the Hickstead Derby Community, visit www.hickstead.co.uk.

Court Meadow RDA needs to raise £12,000 annually to continue its vital work

Since Court Meadow RDA group’s move to Albourne Equestrian Centre, following the closure of Ditchling Stud, the Sussex group has continued with all its usual activities, working primarily with pupils with moderate to severe learning difficulties from Woodlands Meed School.

Recently riders from the group took part in a Regional Dressage event at Hickstead showground, competing in a led junior dressage class, where Lottie Virgo was second and Charlotte Harvey was fifth against strong competition. Another eight pupils from the school entered an Arts and Crafts competition at Hickstead and in various categories,seven won and another pupil was second.

Court Meadow RDA at Hickstead-Instructor Jean Musson with Lottie, Babs and Charlotte

Court Meadow RDA at Hickstead-Instructor Jean Musson with Lottie, Babs and Charlotte

Fund raising is always an issue with any RDA Group and Court Meadow is no exception – at least £12,000 has to be raised annually to maintain the present level of experience and instruction for the many pupils who come to the sessions each week. This is raised through donations, but often mainly through the efforts of the trustees and members – all of whom are volunteers. Most are also  involved with helping with the ponies and pupils at the weekly sessions.

Parents of these pupils are extremely grateful to the Group and also very proud of the achievements of their children. One set of parents, Chris and Jane Goldthorpe, have a son Ben who has been with the group for many years. His parents recently presented the group with a cheque for £3,208, raised at an event held by Accord at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton last March.

Ben and his parents,   and     Goldthorpe, presenting the cheque to Anna Kerr

Ben and his parents, Chris and Jane Goldthorpe presenting the cheque for £3,208 to Anna Kerr.

Chris Goldthorpe is President of Accord (a banking sector union) and a raffle at the dinner raised half this amount, but was matched by Accord itself to make the final total.  Instructors from Court Meadow Group gave an audio visual presentation at a previous conference, explaining the aims of Court Meadow and how pupils benefit in many ways from weekly sessions, which are not just about learning to ride.

The group is also very grateful for a donation of £500 made by Lloyds and also a very generous donation of £2,233 from another raffle held at Cumnor House School recently. Funds have also been boosted by the Sussex Community Trust which added another £1,500 , This is a great boost but another £4,500 is still needed to continue the good work this year.

One other way the Group raises funds – albeit in a small way, but in an eco friendly one – is by collecting clean milk bottle tops to be recycled. A company turns them into more milk tops or into plastic toys and makes a donation to charities such as RDA . It takes a lot of tops to raise a small amount of money but every little helps.

The group has thanked members and their families, the community of Wivelsfield Green, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and various local branches of Café Nero who make regular donations of milk bottle tops. If you want to join in with this worthwhile recycling fund raiser please ring Sue Welch on 01444 471336 for details.

 

Swingkeel scores unique double- from Royal Ascot win to showing class victory

An ex-racehorse which won the Queen Alexander Stakes at Royal Ascot three years ago is now in winning form in local dressage and showing classes. Swingkeel, previously trained by John Dunlop at Castle Stables, Arundel, is now competed by his former stable girl, Emma Grainger of Bognor Regis- and scored a remarkable double at the weekend.

Winning performance by Swingkeel and

Winning performance by Swingkeel and Emma Grainger Photo:Luke Gee, LRG Photography

The nine-year-old chestnut won in his first ridden show event with Emma- the thoroughbred class- at Jewels Open Show in Crossbush, near Arundel, winning exactly three years to the day since he scored his Royal Ascot win.

Emma was thrilled that former trainer John Dunlop was there to see the gelding’s victory and hopes to go on eventually and compete Swingkeel in Retraining of Racehorses classes.

John Dunlop with Swngkeel and Photo: Luke Gee, LRGPhotography

John Dunlop pictured with Swingkeel and Emma Grainger Photo: Luke Gee, LRGPhotography

Swingkeel, by Singspiel won four flat races and was placed nine times on the level. He also won one race and was placed twice over hurdles, trained for a short period over jumps by Nigel Twiston-Davies. He won more than £86,000 in win and place money and  was John Dunlop’s last Royal Ascot winner.

It had always been Emma’s dream to have Swingkeel, and to tackle the challenge to successfully retrain him so that he has a competition future.  He had suffered some injuries during his racing career, including a fractured cannon bone, but recovered from that to return to racing for three races before retiring.

Jewels StablesOpen Shows in Crossbush, near Arundel, are becoming really popular for the relaxed family armosphere, and a mixture of classes to appeal to a range of riders. The next show is on August 9. For more information contact 07789 800 756 Website: www.jewels-stables.co.uk

 

 

Michael Duffy wins first International class of 2014 Hickstead Derby meeting

Irish teenager Michael Duffy won the first International class of the 2014 Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting, The Stoner Jewellers Vase, on the opening day yesterday.

Riding the eight-year-old bay gelding Torino, Michael was more than half a second faster than Simon Crippen, who finished runner-up. “It’s my second time competing at Hickstead and my second win here so if we keep up this trend I’ll be happy,” said 19-year-old Michael, who also won the All England Grand Prix last September.

Michael Duffy receiving the Stoner Vase from Michael Stoner Photo: Rachel Bannister

Michael Duffy receiving the Stoner Jewellers Vase from Michael Stoner Photo: Rachel Bannister

Michael is originally from Co Galway but moved to Hickstead last summer to be the stable jockey for Shane Breen. He moved yards recently but remains close to the All England Jumping Course, being based a few miles down the road in Bolney, West Sussex.

Scottish rider Douglas Duffin made an 11-hour drive to Hickstead worthwhile by scoring a double of wins in the International Arena.

Earlier in the first morning Douglas won the Hickstead Novice Championship with Aslan II, then he also won the big class of the afternoon – the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard – with Quidam B Z.

“His rideability is improving all the time, he’s got all the talent and he’s super careful too,” he said of the nine-year-old bay stallion, who finished four seconds faster than Tina Fletcher and Hello Sailor.

“I pushed him as fast as I felt he was comfortable with. It was the horse’s first time in the main ring – a lot of horses can go in there and back off and lose a little bit of scope but he didn’t,” Douglas added.

“Hickstead’s always been my favourite show to compete at. I’ve won here a few times and that’s why I keep coming back.”

Shire Horse Race will be key attraction at Lingfield Park on Saturday

War Horse will be brought to life at Lingfield Park this weekend as the Surrey racecourse re-enacts its famous Shire Horse Race with a special military twist.

The gentle giants will once again thunder down the track on Saturday, following last year’s award-winning inaugural race, and this year will help to mark the 100th Anniversary of the First World War and the importance Shires played in the conflict.

Top jockeys, including Sussex-based Jamie Moore who has enjoyed huge success this year with stable star Sire de Grugy, will be saddling up on the shires to try and win the coveted title.

Jax and David Crosse racing on Lingfield Park's all-weather track  Photo:

Jax and jockey David Crosse racing on Lingfield Park’s all-weather track

Hurst Green Shires, which is planning the ‘Showerking Flying Feathers Shire Horse Charge’ race with Lingfield Park, is this year teaming up with the Royal British Legion on Armed Forces Day at Lingfield Park to mark the past and present work of serving armed personnel.

“This couldn’t be more appropriate that we are having the Shire Horse Race on 28th June, Armed Forces Day, in the year that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War,” said Jax Gardiner from Hurst Green Shires.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, said: “This will be a very poignant moment when we will all remember the remarkable work carried out by these horses and our soldiers during the First World War.

“Our first Shire Horse Race last year was a tremendous success with people travelling far and wide to see such a spectacle. This year, we are predicting an even bigger crowd as we link it to Armed Forces Day.”

Professional Jump jockey, David Crosse, has been instrumental in selecting the jump jockeys to ride in the sequel race and will be hoping to add another win to his recent successes.

Jax Gardiner (left) and Jockey David Crosse  (in military uniform) at Lingfield Park Photo|: John  Hoy

Jax Gardiner (left) and Jockey David Crosse (in military uniform) at Lingfield Park Photo|: John Hoy

Another jockey who will be riding on the day is Harry Miller (pictured), who was happy to swap his normal silks for the authentic WW1 uniform during a trial run at Lingfield Park.

As well as the Shire Horse race there will be seven thrilling thoroughbred races on the all-weather and turf tracks and a host of entertainment for the family including live music, a carousel and a display by the Royal British Legion.