£20,000 Christmas surprise for charity Mane Chance

Horse rescue charity Mane Chance, based near the Sussex/Surrey border south of Guildford,has received a welcome £20,000 Christmas surprise thanks to Animal Friends Insurance. Representatives of this company, including founder and managing director Elaine Fairfax handed over the money to Jenny Seagrove, actress and founder of the charity.

It was one of the best kept secrets and  was a surprise to everyone, including Jenny, except Elaine and Animal Friends representatives, at a special Christmas lunch in Guildford.

Jenny Seagrove and Horus, one of the rescued horses at Mane Chance

Jenny Seagrove and Horus, one of the rescued horses at Mane Chance

The Mane Chance was founded in 2011 by actress Jenny Seagrove on a 47 acre site in Compton, which rescues and rehabilitates old, abused and abandoned horses. It aims to integrate them with the local community, and welcomes sick, special needs and underprivileged youngsters to the sanctuary so the two can interact.

“We rescue and rehabilitate those horses who have suffered in the past but then those horses in turn, repay us by helping children who are suffering in the present. Our horses have been beaten, abused, starved to the state of collapse, left with open wounds or broken bones but have survived and deserve to live the rest of their days with comfort and dignity. Here, thay can live a wonderfully free and safe life, where they are loved and fed on equal measure, ” said the charity.

It added:” The horses seem to be able to sense the needs of these children  who visit us, and are so gentle and loving towards them, it makes all the efforts so worthwhile. We are always delighted to welcome children from our friends, Challengers and The Shooting Star Chase Hospices.”

Jenny Seagrove (centre) receives the surprise cheque from Elaine Fairfax

Jenny Seagrove (centre) receives the surprise cheque from Elaine Fairfax

Meanwhile Elaine Fairfax is committed to Animal Friends Insurance, one of the biggest pet and equine insurance provider companies in the UK., which she set up in 1998. She has always generated funds from the company to donate to animal welfare charities.

She explained: “Mane Chance has been a contender in our Vote for a Charity Facebook competitions before now and secured donations from us as a result. We have been proud to support the charity whose work involves more than just housing the horses; it enlists the help of behavioural therapists and veterinarians to ensure that, as far as possible, the horses can be rehabilitated from some of the terrible hardships they have suffered at the hands of previous owners.”

At the presentation, Jenny said: “Mane Chance probably actually wouldn’t still be going without Elaine and Animal Friends Pet Insurance.”

Speaking at the event Elaine said: “We are a great supporter of Mane Chance and always will be. We love the work that Jenny and all her staff do, they do such rewarding work for the horses and it’s lovely to see everyone so happy.We are delighted to include Mane Chance in our Christmas Giveaway and look forward to watch the charity grow in 2015.”

For more details about Animal Friends Insurance, which has just been voted as Animal Insurance Company of 2014, see www.animalfriends.org.uk

To learn more about Mane Chance, see its website: http://manechancesanctuary.org

Plumpton equine students enjoy study trip to France

Plumpton College in Sussex has a fine reputation  for its wide range of equestrian courses, which offer excellent opportunities for students.An illlustration of this was whenstudents from the second year Extended Diploma in Horse Management at Plumpton College enjoyed a recent Study Tour to Paris.

After arriving in France they visited a French Equestrian Centre and enjoyed a gallop on their horses on the sandy beaches of Le Touquet.  Following a long drive and overnight stay, the students were treated to a private tour of the French National Stud in Le Pin which recently hosted the World Equestrian Games.


Plumpton College students riding in the French dunes

Plumpton College students riding in the French dunes

Here they saw a variety of breeds, sports and stud horses and learned about the history and importance of the stud.

After arriving in Paris later in the day, they all travelled on the Metro to Paris city centre. A sightseeing trip up the Eiffel Tower and a visit to the Christmas market at the Champs -Élysées ensured much Christmas joie de vivre for the students.

On Thursday the entire day was spent at the substantial exhibition centre for the Salon du Cheval de Paris. Here the students were able to witness a range of displays, including western, vaulting and show jumping in the Gucci Paris Masters arena.

Plumpton students in the famous

Plumpton students in the famous Gucci Paris Masters Arena 

After enjoying a meal, they returned to watch the inspirational evening performance of ‘La Nuit des Masters’ before travelling back on Friday of that week.

Hope In The Valley RDA’s very special party

Hope in the Valley Riding for the Disabled group held its Christmas party in the Audrey Unthank Arena at Plumpton College last week.

This was a very special party, for  ponies became reindeer; riders wearing glittering hats played mounted games, volunteers wore as much tinsel as they could find- or dressed up as elves or snowmen while and a jovial Father Christmas popped in to give out presents.

Lindsay Correa, the RDA S.E. Regional Chairman, came to watch the fun and she presented prizes and awards to the riders.

Hope In The Valley rider, Martha, with her Christmas award at the party

Hope In The Valley rider, Martha, with her Christmas award at the party

Two volunteers were also honoured: Sabrina, a young volunteer who has helped with group holidays, as well as during the regular riding sessions, was recognised as Hope in the Valley Volunteer of the Year; and a presentation was made to Margaret Gordon, who has been responsible for the smart turn-out of the riders, particularly at the South East Regional and National Dressage competitions, to mark her retirement from the post which she had held for many years.

After all the fun in the arena, riders and volunteers were ready to join families and guests for the outstanding Christmas tea, kindly donated by riders’ families and  volunteers.

Christmas is a time for meeting up with old friends, and Hope in the Valley was pleased to welcome many of them to the party where they caught up with Group news while watching the riders enjoying themselves.

Some visitors had been associated with Hope in the Valley since it was founded by Mary Gethen, a night nurse at Chailey Heritage, in 1968. They had many tales to tell the present volunteers about those early pioneering days.

Miss Iris Boswood, affectionately known to everybody as ‘Nurse’, has been supporting Hope in the Valley since it was founded, and she commented: “I used to bring two little girls to ride with the Group in 1968, and in those days it was all very informal. I am so pleased that I am still able to come back and see how the group has developed into what it is today.”

To maintain and develop Hope in the Valley’s commitment to helping disabled children, more volunteers are urgently needed for a vast array of roles – equine related (particularly pony owners and trailer drivers) and non-equine related (for administration and other roles, including, of course, the essential cake makers!).

If you would like to know more about volunteering for this long-established group contact info@hopeinthevalley.org or ring  0845 241 5358


Memorial service for racehorse trainer Lady Herries

TRIBUTES were paid to Anne, Baroness of Terregles- better known as racehorse trainer Lady Herries of Angmering Park- at a service to celebrate her life in Arundel Cathedral yesterday. Daughter of the 16th Duke of Norfolk, she was married to the late England cricket star, Sir Colin Cowdrey, later Lord Cowdrey, who died in 2000.

Flashback in tme to how the love of horses began: Courtesy of the memorial service programmme

Above: Flashback in tme to how the love of horses began: Courtesy of the memorial service programmme

Former Arundel trainer John Dunlop read comments from bloodstock consultant Peter Willett, adviser to Lady Herries for many years, who contributed to the numerous successes of Angmering Park Stud.

Mr Willett described her  ‘ a wonderful person, warm-hearted, generous, who was fun and a great animal lover. Racehorses occupied much of her life, but dogs and donkeys also had a special place- and she also had the distinction of being the Master of Middleton Hunt in Yorkshire, riding to hounds.

“Her training skills included turning Set Point from a sprinter into a staying chaser in the 1970’s, winning the Wetherby Pattern Chase, Eider Chase and Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase. Following the death of her father she  moved to Angmering Park and became a first rate trainer of horses.

“She was particularly skilled  in bringing out the talents of difficult horses- Sheriffs Star was pig-headed but she won races with him-the King Edward VII Stakes, Great Voltigeur Stakes, Coronation Cup and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Celtic Swing with work rider Photo Jeannie Knight

Celtic Swing
Photo Jeannie Knight

“With Celtic Swing she won the French Derby and then in 1998 Taufan’s Melody won the Caufield Cup for her in Australia,” he said.

Further tributes came from Johnny Craddock, an Australian racehorse trainer, who described Lady Herries as ‘a great character’- referring to her visits to Australia, not only with Taufan’s Melody, but also accompanying Colin Cowdrey to the Melbourne Test Match.

“The joy they brought to each other was memorable. It also created a strenuous historic bond between cricket and the turf,” he said.

Lady Herries at the press day at Angmering Park with her husband, Sir Colin Cowdrey, later Lord Cowdrey, and amateur lady rider Maxine Cowdrey

Lady Herries at a Celtic Swing press day at Angmering Park with her husband, Sir Colin Cowdrey, later Lord Cowdrey, and amateur lady rider Maxine Cowdrey

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’ Connor, Archibshop Emmeritus of Westminster had welcomed those  present to the service, which was attended by HRH Princess Alexandra, conducted to her seat by Canon Tim Madeley.

Pie Jesus was sung by Amelia Craddock and the Cathedral Choir sang’ I would be true’

The Marquis of Lothian read a poem by Elizabeth Craven ( 1750-1828) startiing: ” I thank thee God that I have lived in this great world and know its many joys.” Lady Mary Kerr read a poem, God-Spelled Backwards ( author unknown) reflecting Lady Herries’ love of dogs.

A poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled Four Feet was at the end of the order of service:

I have done mostly what most men do
and pushed it out of my mind
But I can”t forget if I wanted to
Four feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through
Wherever my road inclined
Four feet said, “I’m coming with you”
And trotted along behind.

Donations in memory of this outstanding lady should be sent to Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre, Slinfold, West Sussex, RH13 ORB

Riding Club’s outstanding Christmas charity show

MANHOOD Riding Club held its Christmas Charity show recently at Thorney Island, raising £1,300 for a very worthy cause- Chichester Riding for the Disabled.A total of 60 local ponies and horses plus their riders took part in what proved to be a highly successful and enjoyable day.

The show had 14 classes, ending  in Fancy Dress, Glitz and Glamour and finally Concours D’Elegance and its £600 profit was boosted by a raffle, which raised £500, thanks to many local companies, individuals and competitors donaging prizes ranging from a Christmas hamper, photo shoot, Olympia tickets and much more.

Glitz and Glamour winner  Carnival Princess and R Pethick  Photo: Simply Event Photos 07896108104 Photo:

Glitz and Glamour winner Carnival Princess and R Pethick Photo: Simply Event Photos 07896108104

A further boost has come from organiser Heather Linfield’s employer, Scottish and Southern Electric, which has a scheme to help with local charities through which £200 was added to the show’s proceeds.

The final total of £1,300 was a remarkable sum from what is a comparitively small but active riding club. Chichester RDA is one of 39 groups that make up the South East region of the Riding for Disabled Association. It is based just south of Chichester and provides sessions for riders of all ages with various disabilitiees and as an independently registered charity, relies solely on a team of dedicated volunteers.

 Inhand Concours D' Elegance winner The Longhouse Midnight and Debbie  Bell     Photo:    Simply Event Photos 07896108104

Inhand Concours D’ Elegance winner The Longhouse Midnight and Debbie Bell Photo: Simply Event Photos 07896108104

It meets on alternate Tuesdays in term time only,  beetween 1-3pm. using Hunter’s Lodge Riding Centre in  Hunston as its base, including five of its horses. Volunteers, collect the horses from the stables, tack them up and make sure they are ready for the riders, returning them to their stables afterwoods and making sure the indoor school is tidied. It is a very worthwhile cause.

1 Concours D'Elegance winner Graishall Gethin, with Annabelle Harvey-Mason Photo: Simply Event Photos 07896108104

1 Concours D’Elegance winner Graishall Gethin, with Annabelle Harvey-Mason Photo: Simply Event Photos 07896108104

Key winners at  the show were:Fancy Dress- Michelle Pack and The Duke, as Lest We Forget; Inhand Concours D’Elegance, Debbie Bell and The Longhouse Midnight; Ridden Glitz and Glamlour, Robyn Pethick and Carnival Princess; Ridden Concours D’ Elegance winner- Annabel Harvey-Mason and Graishall Gethin.

Double for Moore family at Plumpton yesterday

Sussex trainer Gary Moore showed his runners are now in fine form when taking the first two races at Plumpton’s Christmas Raceday yesterday, with son Joshua in the saddle. He won the opening novices’ hurdle race with The Green Ogre a four-year-old owned by Leydens Farm Stud, which had six previous placings to his credit.”He hadn’t won before this and we have now put that right. But we will never see the best of this horse until he goes chasing. I don’t really like sending a horse over fences at the age of four- but he won this hurdle race well today,” he said.

The Green Ogre and Joshua Moore following their Plumpton victory Photo: Jeannie Knight

The Green Ogre, sent off as 10/11 favourite, was pushed on three from home and cleared thee last hurdle three lengths up, beating the Nick Gifford- trained Stars Royale by just a length.  Stars Royale is one for the notebook- the five-year-old by Kings Best gelding had learned from his debut run four weeks ago and only made one minor mistake. He has the makings of a decent horse.

Chris Pea Green and Joshua Moore with connections Photo: Jeannie Knight

Chris Pea Green and Joshua Moore with connections
Photo: Jeannie Knight

The most outstanding performance of the day came from the Chris Gordon-trained King Edmund when winning the Novice Hurdle Race over two miles five furlongs with Tom Cannon on board. This 11-year-old has won and been placed in great style over fences this season, but only two days previously had won a novice hurdle at Lingfield Park with the same rider.  This time he won by a length and a half from Krackatoa King, the pair drawing sixteen lengths clear of the third placed Murryana.

King Edmund  and jockey Tom Cannon with owner Anthony Ward-Thomas Photo: Jeannie Knight

King Edmund and jockey Tom Cannon with owner Anthony Ward-Thomas
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Chris Gordon said: “It’s a real buzz to win a novice hurdle with him at the age of 11 and with his pedigree he should stay all day. He’s very special and close to our hearts because my wife rode his mother and we have a four-year-old who is his half brother.

Leg Iron, trained by Sheena West at Lewes, and ridden by Mark Goldstein, was a plucky winner of the Jean Horsburgh Memorial Handicap Steeplechase from Neil King’s Ballyvoneen, which does well at Plumpton. The 7-1 shot made most of the running but responded to a good ride from his jockey when headed after three out, He took command again from two out and kept on until he past the post.

Sheena West said the consistent nine-year-old, owned by Mike Moriarty, would be heading for the Sussex Grand National next, adding ” Mike is a brilliant owner and I could do with some more like him. I havn’t got many horses at the moment.”

Leg Iron with Mark Goldstein up Photo: Jeannie Knight

Trainer Geoffrey Deacon, who is based at Compton in Berkshire, has just a handful of jumpers in his yard, which has mainly flat horses. But one of them. Banks Road, was given a fine ride  by Mark Grant when beating Chris Gordon’s Sweet Boy Vic to win the Derek Hunnisett Memorial Handicap Hurdle Race. The rider said it was tiring ground for the horses, both of which wandered in the final stages, but the winner is bred for stamina and got home by three-quarters of a length to win at 14-1.

Banks Road with jockey Mark Grant and trainer Geoffrey Deacon,  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Banks Road with jockey Mark Grant and trainer Geoffrey Deacon,  after winning the  Derek Hunnisett Memorial Handicap Race Photo: Jeannie Knight

An even longer priced winner came in the sixth race when 33-1 shot Petit Ecuyer took the seven-runner two mile four furlong Handicap Steeplechase, winning by an easy three lengths from Croco Mister. Trained by David Flood at Newmarket, the eight-year-old is certainly versatile, having won twice previously at Plumpton on good ground and also at Ffos Las over three miles in May, but had been pulled up at Fontwell recently on his seasonal return.

Petit Ecuyer and jockey Dave Crosse, 33-1 winners of the seven-runner final handicap chase Photo: Jeannie Knight

His trainer said: ” He disappointed at Fontwell, but he has enjoyed himself here today. He’s a bonny horse and easy to train.”

The final race went to father and son combination, trainer Peter Bowen and his son Sean, who claims 7lb. They teamed up with G’Dai Sydney to take the final handicap hurdle race, following up on an earlier Plumpton win.

The next meeting at Plumpton is the Sussex National Raceday on Sunday January 4, when as well as excellent racing, there will be live music from the popular band Reel Strings . Book tickets now on 01273 890383 or see plumptonracecourse.co.uk



Good racing promised at Plumpton’s Monday meeting

Competitive racing and plenty of Christmas cheer is promised at Plumpton’s festive meeting tomorrow when the first race – a novice hurdle race- opens an interesting card at 12.10pm.  In  this, Midnight Spin, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson is likely to be sent off favourite.

But there are some other interesting runners, with the in-form Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell teaming up with Sandy Beach. The Tizzard yard is in outstanding form and this runner cannot be ignored. Tim Vaughan sends Tidestream, which joined him earlier this month from France and has booked Aiden Coleman to ride this runner, sent on the long trip from Wales,but has a more major player in another race.

Flashback to last Plumpton meeting- Dusky Lark, trained by Colin Tizzard, in the winner's spot  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Flashback to last Plumpton meeting- Dusky Lark, trained by Colin Tizzard, in the winner’s spot Photo: Jeannie Knight

The Novices  Chase is only a four runner affair but could be a tussle between Gary Moore’s Chris Pea Green ridden by son Joshua- a winner at the last meeting, and the Venetia Williams-trained Tango De Juilly ridden by Aiden Coleman.

Another trainer in outstanding form is Chris Gordon from Hampshire, who, with Tom Cannon in the saddle did well at Fontwell Park last week and again at Lingfield on Saturday, where the duo had a treble. They are represented by King Edmund in the Novices Hurdle over two miles five furlongs- but this is a competitive race. Colin Tizzard has entered Murrayana, which won at the track in November when amateur ridden- but which has Brendan Powell on board this time.

Jockey Brendan Powell Photo: Jeannie Knight

Paul Nicholls, who went away from Plumpton empty-handed last time he sent runners there, fields Onwiththeparty for the same race, but  Tim Vaughan’s Dubh Eile, ridden by Richard Johnson should be another major contender in this race..

Venetia Williams has a strong entry in the progressive Browns Brook for the Jean Horsburgh Memorial Handicap Chase over three miles two, while Linda Jewell’s Itoldyou, with Andrew Thornton on board, should not be far away.

In the Derek Hunnisett Memorial Handicap Hurdle over three miles one furlong, bottom weight Brunette’Sonly ridden by Andrew Thornton could be in with a chance, with the yard having sent out some good winners recently.

Hampshire trainer Paul Henderson sends out Alright Benny in the two mile four furlongs handicap chase. This runner appears to love Plumpton and rarely puts in a bad run, with two wins and two seconds to his credit this term. He will not be far away again and chief rival should be Colin Tizzard’s Xaarcet, ridden by Brendan Powell.

With sunny spells forecast and plenty of Christmas flavour at this meeting, an outing to this popular Sussex track should be rewarding.




William Funnell joins Pippa in Hall of Fame

TOP show jumping rider William Funnell, who is based at Ockley, near the Sussex/Surrey border, has been honoured in  this year’s British Horse Society’s Hall of Fame, which celebrates the heroes and heroines of the equestrian world, both human and equine.

William joins his wife Pippa as a member of the BHS Hall of Fame, making them the first husband and wife team to be recognised on this prestigious roll of honour.

William Funnell receiving the Bunn Leisure Trophy at Hickstead this year. Photo: Samantha Lamb

William Funnell receiving the Bunn Leisure Trophy at Hickstead this year.
Photo: Samantha Lamb

William, who in his early years in show jumping was based with the late Cyril Light at Brendon Riding Centre and Stud in Sussex,  is a favourite at Hickstead each year. He has won the Hickstead Derby three times between 2006 and 2009 with Mondriaan.

He is a tremendous ambassador for British Show Jumping and also highly respected for breeding and producing horses, said: “It’s fantastic to be inducted in to the BHS Hall of Fame today. When you see all the great names that are on the wall, to be up there with them feels very special.”

Each year, a select number of Britain’s most gifted horses and riders are invited to join the likes of William Fox-Pitt, HRH The Princess Royal, Sefton, Milton and Over To You in the list of equine greats.

The first horse to be inducted into the BHS Hall of Fame this year was dressage sensation Valegro, owned by Carl Hester MBE, Roly Luard and Anne Barrott. With his rider Charlotte Dujardin OBE and under the guidance of Carl, this remarkable horse has amassed a phenomenal record of eight Championship medals in just four years of competition. T

The second horse to be recognised was Big Star, who together with his rider Nick Skelton OBE put in a foot-perfect performance in the team competition at the 2012 Olympic Games to lead Great Britain to its first showjumping Team Gold in 60 years.He is owned by Beverley and Gary Widdowson and has been produced by Nick since a novice.

Another great rider who was also honoured this year, both joining  a family member already in this elite group of equestrians was Jane Holderness-Roddam CBE LVO who joins her sister, Jennie Loriston-Clarke FBHS MBE, in the Hall of Fame.

As the first British woman to compete in Olympic eventing in Mexico 1968, Jane inspired a generation of young riders. The team brought home the Gold medal from Mexico and, in following years, Jane enjoyed many other great victories. 

Versatile Portamento heads for finals day

A record time by Portamento at Wolverhampton made the horse an easy winner in record time of the £20 Risk-Free Bet At Unibet Conditions Stakes over five furlongs on Tapeta- a qualifier for the All-Weather Championships final.

The winner is owned by Godolphin, trained by Charlie Appleby and was ridden by Adam Kirby,and  now heads for the £150,000 Unibet All-Weather Championships Three-Year-Old Sprint Final over the same distance at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 3, 2015.

Versatile horse: Portamento pictured with William Buick up at Goodwood in May. Photo Jeannie Knight

Versatile horse:Portamento pictured with William Buick up at Goodwood in May. Photo Jeannie Knight

Appleby commented: “I was delighted with Portamento’s performance. We were very confident beforehand and he won like he should have done on form. I have been pleased with the way he has been training. He has progressed and done well physically.

“He is going to have a winter break now as he has been on the go since early in the year, though his races have been well spaced out. He is unlikely to race again before Finals Day. It is good to have horses for the All-Weather, keeping the momentum going, and there are some good prizes on offer.”

Partamento was an impressive turf winner earlier in the year at Goodwood’s competitive May meeting and is proving to be a versatile performer.

Kirby was pleased with the run of the two-year-old Shamardal colt, a 2/9 chance, who won by a length and three quarters under a hands and heels ride from 4/1 shot Apache Storm in a new record time for a juvenile over Wolverhampton’s five furlongs on Tapeta of 1m 0.50s.

Jockey Adam Kirby Photo Jeannie Knight

Jockey Adam Kirby
Photo Jeannie Knight

Portamento broke well and settled a close third of the five runners. He moved up to second and then led entering the straight, running on well to succeed without being pressed.

The jockey said: “All his homework has been very good and he came here for a day out.The yard is in great form – they are all running well and fit and healthy.”

This was Portamento’s fourth success of 2014.Appleby achieved his third Fast-Track Qualifier victory of this season’s All-Weather Championships with Portamento.The Newmarket trainer had already won All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifiers with Tearless and Four Seasons.




Big developments for Poplar Park horse trials

The organising team behind Poplar Park Horse Trials, one of British Eventing’s longest standing events have announced many exciting developments to improve their event on the March 14 – 15  2015. The event will be in its 32nd year and takes place near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Poplar Park Intermediate logs under construction Photo: Bo Hardwick

Poplar Park Intermediate logs under construction Photo: Bo Hardwick

Many changes for the re-vamped event in 2015 have been welcomed, including:

  • Complete re-design of the first water jump
  • Widening of the last water jump
  • New XC start and finish area
  • New XC fences 1, 2 and final fence for all tracks
  • Introduction of a BE80 course
  • BE90 following a different route to previously
  • Many new mobile and in-situ jumps for all tracks
  • Show jump arena extensively rested and re-fenced
  • Re-grading of the land in various areas of the xc course
  • All take offs and landings meticulously prepared
  • A hospitality tent for owners and sponsors
  • Schedule change so Novice and Intermediate run on the same day (Sunday)

Joint-organiser Bo Hardwick commented that the changes were an effort to regain their position as a ‘Go To’ competition: “Being a peripheral venue, we realise that we have to provide a high quality event in order to attract sufficient competitors. As such we are embarking upon a three year improvement plan with renowned course builder and designer Joe Weller.

“In moving to April for the last two years, we had to make adjustments to the track to suit the later time of year.  Having successfully negotiated a return to our original March date we felt that the cross country course needed a complete overhaul in order to ensure we provide competitors with the ideal early season run: an inviting and flowing track designed to get horses thinking forward.

Water Jump under construction Photo: Bo Hardwick

Water Jump under construction Photo: Bo Hardwick

“Having listened to feedback from riders we have undertaken significant ground work to alter the position of the cross country start and finish area.  The aim is to give competitors more space to attack those early fences without the distractions of the marquee and the congestion from spectators.  The first water jump too is now far more inviting for young and green horses.

“Our unique selling point has to be our ground: sandy free draining soil that can cope with pretty much anything the great British weather has to throw at us!

“Our committee, organisational team and loyal volunteers are second to none and every year they ensure we provide a professional yet friendly event working together to secure the future of Poplar Park Horse Trials.”

Classes: BE80 and BE90 will take place on the Saturday whilst the Novice and Intermediate take place on Sunday whilst the BE100 will run on Sunday as well as possibly on Saturday.

Stabling: The Poplar team has also generously announced that it will reduce the stabling fees at the event due to the distance many competitors will have to drive to get to the venue. Discounts are available for those staying multiple nights or with multiple horses.  The first 45 horses will be on site in permanent stables then the remainder will be no more than 5 miles from the venue.

The event is supported by long term and loyal sponsors Bed Down Horse Bedding, Feedmark Supplements, Coltsfoot Equestrian, Miles Drainage, Juddpurs Saddlery, Nelson Potter Wodyard.