Charity walk arrives at Lingfield Park tomorrow


Walk The Courses logo

Walk The Course

Fundraiser and father of four, Richard Farquhar (53), will arrive at Lingfield Park Racecourse tomorrow having walked all the way from Plumpton Racecourse on the next stage of his epic fundraising venture, Walking The Courses.

Farquhar is aiming to raise £1.4million for Racing Welfare and Pancreatic Cancer UK by walking around the country connecting all sixty racecourses in mainland Britain in a chain, in doing so covering around 3,000 miles on foot.

      on one of the racecourse walks

Richard on one of the racecourse walks during his journey

He has already visited  Plumpton and to complete the Lingfield leg of the journey in style, Farquhar will be walking around the Lingfield course itself at 1pm tomorrow. He is hoping to be accompanied by various familiar faces from the racing world and several supporters of the campaign.

Racegoers are also encouraged to partake in the lap of the track and should get in contact with if they wish to do so.

Farquhar is now over a quarter of the way through his racecourse appearances, having visited 15 of the 60 already. He is, however, still less than a quarter of the way through the mileage that he started walking in March, having covered around 680 of the 3,000 miles.

Jockeys lending support to Richard, third from left, during his Plumpton visit

Jockeys lending support to Richard, third from left, during his Plumpton visit

By April 2016, upon arrival back at Newmarket having completed all 58 racecourse-to-racecourse walks, he hopes to be nearing his ambitious target of £1.4million, having involved people from all across the UK in his challenge and partnered with some of the biggestcorporates within the racing industry.

So far, Walking The Courses has been seen on Channel 4 Racing, Sky’s At The Races, Racing UK and BBC World’s Service’s coverage of the Grand
National, which was won by Walking The Courses’ Official equine ambassador, Many Clouds.

The Plumpton to Lingfield leg of Farquhar’s journey came shortly after his fundraising total soared past £100,000. This first major milestone has put the Walking The Courses team in particularly high spirits as they move on from Sussex to Surrey. The exit bucket collection at Lingfield Park Racecourse  will be in aid of Walking The Courses and racegoers are encouraged to give generously for the campaign’s two extremely worthy but crucially underfunded beneficiaries.

Executive Director at Lingfield Park Resort, Andrew Perkins, said: “Hats off to Richard for undertaking this epic challenge. This is a mammoth fundraising effort and Lingfield Parkwishes him all the best. These are two fabulous charities and we will do our best to help the Walking The Courses team on the day.”

£1m Qatar Sussex Stakes has worldwide entry

The Qatar Sussex Stakes, the £1-million highlight of the Qatar Goodwood Festival this summer, has attracted a worldwide entry of 39. The Group One mile contest on Wednesday July 29, sees its total prize fund more than treble in 2015. It is part  of the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival, which runs from Tuesday, July 28 to Saturday, August 1, inclusive.

Among impressive international entries are the latest two winners of the British Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. The 2014 victor, Night Of Thunder ((Richard Hannon) made an exciting winning reappearance in the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 18, while this year’s winner Gleneagles (Aidan O’Brien IRE), added the Irish 2,000 Guineas to his illustrious CV.

Night Of Thunder Photo by John Simpson

Night Of Thunder
Photo by John Simpson

Richard Hannon holds a particularly strong hand as his five entries also include 2013 champion two-year-old Toormor, runner-up to Night Of Thunder at Newbury, plus Ivawood, successful in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood in 2014 and third in both this season’s Newmarket and Irish 2,000 Guineas. Estidhkaar and the Al Shaqab-owned Moheet, who had no luck in running when eight in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, complete the Hannon quintet.

O’Brien, with four Qatar Sussex Stakes winners to his name, has a total of 10 entries which also include Highland Reel, successful at Goodwood last year in the Group Two Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs, the 2014 Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up Due Diligence and the Group One-winning three-year-old filly Found.

There are 12 Irish-trained entries in total. Jim Bolger could be represented by QIPCO 1000 Guineas second Lucida, while Dermot Weld has entered the unbeaten Zawraq, who is due to run next in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Frankel.who won the race in 2012, getting a kiss from jockey Tom Queally Photo Malcolm Wells

Frankel.who won the race in 2012, getting a kiss from jockey Tom Queally Photo Malcolm Wells

A quartet of entries hail from France include the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Karakontie (Jonathan Pease), recent Poule d’Essai des Poulians (French 2,000 Guineas) victor Make Believe (Andre Fabre) and the fourth from that Classic, Karar (Francis Graffard), plus the top-class Solow (Freddy Head).

There is also one entry each from Hong Kong and Australia. Able Friend (John Moore) is a four-time Group One winner in Hong Kong and is the joint highest-rated horse in the world currently on 125.The Australian entry is Criterion (David Hayes). Criterion with three Group One victories down under, the latest when beating globetrotting Red Cadeaux in the 10-furlong Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 11. Both Able Friend and Criterion are due to run next at Royal Ascot.

Integral Sir Michael Stoute) was successful twice against her own sex in Group One company at Newmarket last year, while other interesting contenders include the 2014 Group One Dewhurst Stakes winner Belardo (Roger Varian) and dual Group Two winner Here Comes When (Andrew Balding).

The roll of honour for the Qatar Sussex Stakes is impressive. The last five winners were European Horse of the Year Kingman (2014), Al Shaqab’s Toronado (2013), the highest-rated racehorse ever Frankel (2012 & 2011) and five-time Group One victor Canford Cliffs (2010).

Kingman with trainer John Gosden following his victory

Kingman with trainer John Gosden following his victory

Adam Waterworth, Sports Managing Director, Goodwood Estate, commented: “Goodwood Racecourse is delighted that the Group One 2015 Qatar Sussex Stakes has attracted such high-class international entries. We are highly encouraged by the number of entries for the race and anticipate that this year’s renewal will be very well contested.”





Coombelands attracts top showjumper

COOMBELANDS  Equestrian Centre, run by Gaye Harwood at Pulborough, is attracting competitors from a wide area with its comprehensive range of events. Top ranking world showjumper Scott Brash, winner of the World Tour championship in 2013 and 2014 was there recently using the fine facilities.

Scott Brash competing at the Coombelands event Photo: LRG Photography

Scott Brash competing at the Coombelands event
Photo: LRG Photography

These include not only a long-standing cross country course but also more than 100 fences ranging from 2ft to 3ft 6ins to cater for all standards, as well as  show jumping, schooling facilities, dressage arenas on grass and all weather gallops available for hire. Local equestrian photographers, LRG Photography were represented in all rings.

Also Coombelands recently hosted a British Riding Clubs One Day Event team qualifier with classes 80.90.100 and 100+on the Saturday with and Open One Day Event for classes 80,90 and 100 on the Sunday.

Both days had outstanding weather and atmosphere, with the both the cross country course and all weather arena for the show jumping, along with dressage arena in  excellent condition.

A J Mprtimer, Horsham Riding Club tackling the water aat Coombelands Photo: LRGPhotography

A J Mortimer, Horsham Riding Club tackling the water aat Coombelands Photo: LRGPhotography

It was an outstanding weekend, both in the weather,  competition itself and on the organisation end with Carol Porter and her huge team of helpers ensuring the day ran like clockwork with competitors going on time.

For Horsham District Riding Club it was also a personal success with club teams through to the National Championships at Swalcliffe in Banbury on August 2, and the London and South East championships at Munstead on October 6.

The club was  represented by 24 rider and horse combinations in five qualifiers during the weekend. The BRC 90 team consisted of Louise Hamilton, Sonia Marfleet, Isobel Lee and Amanda Croft Pearman while Vicky Allen, Kathleen Botting, Emma Mills and Caroline Exley maintained a high standard of resullts in dressage throughout the day.

For more information about Coombelands Equestrian Centre

World Horse Welfare welcomes new law

Britain’s largest rescue and rehoming charity, World Horse Welfare, is pleased to see a new law which will help deter and swiftly resolve cases of ‘fly-grazing’ which came into force yesterday. The Control of Horses Act 2015 is much needed legislation.

Fly grazing is widespread

Fly grazing is widespread


World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said: “After almost three years of campaigning with our coalition of welfare and rural organisations, we are delighted to see the Act become effective. The law is an important step in helping to protect horse welfare, through allowing faster and more effective action to help the estimated 3,000+ horses currently being fly-grazed in England, whilst putting landowners and local authorities in a much stronger position.

“Whilst the Control of Horses Act is undoubtedly a positive move, it’s imperative to stress that it will only help prevent horse suffering if both private and public landowners make full use it.

“Our coalition of welfare and rural organisations (including Blue Cross, British Horse Society, CLA, Countryside Alliance, HorseWorld, NFU, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare) is currently working with local government representatives to produce guidance on using the Act to support landowners in using its expanded provisions.  World Horse Welfare has produced FAQs on the Act available here:

“We also hope that the new law will encourage more responsible horse ownership. A key element of this responsibility is effective equine identification, as this plays an essential in protecting our horse population, and as such we urge owners to ensure their horses are always properly passported and microchipped. Not least this will help ensure they are reunited with their horses if they happen to stray.

“Any members of the public concerned about fly-grazing in their area should contact their local council or the private landowner. Where there are suspected welfare concerns they should call World Horse Welfare on 08000 480 180.”

Help stop dumping of horses like this Photo: World Horse Welfare

Help stop dumping of horses like this by reporting incidents
Photo: World Horse Welfare

The Control of Horses Act 2015 gives greater power to land-owners and local authorities to remove horses being grazed on public or private land without permission, shortening the time period before horses can be removed from two weeks to just four days, whilst also opening up more options to dispose of the horses besides public sale, such as gifting them to a charity, selling them privately or humane euthanasia.

The Control of Horses Bill, proposed by Julian Sturdy MP for York Outer, was passed in March this year, following almost three years of campaigning from a coalition of welfare and rural organisations, including World Horse Welfare, for tougher laws to address fly-grazing due to the significant problems the practice causes for both horses and people.


Rowena’s equine work wins top award

Rowena Rogers has had a strong interest in horses for as long as she can remember, and was fortunate to be able to follow a career in the equine world, based in the South of England. Now she has won a top award from the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)  for her work.

She explained: ”  I was never exactly sure how I would manage to combine my equine and practical skills with an interest in science and a desire to continue learning.  After completing my Equine Studies degree was offered a nursing position at a large specialist equine referral hospital in the south of England. During my time at the hospital I was involved in all nursing activities including theatre, x ray, ICU care.


Rowena Rogers (right) receiving her award from NOAH chair Catherine Sayer

“I spent six years as head nurse, and latterly took a position as pharmacy manager.  The challenges of managing demands on resources and time and the need to prioritise, as well as the knowledge and experience gained, have been invaluable in life and in my new role.

“However, after 15 years it was time to look for new challenges and I was delighted when the Equine Territory Manager role with MSD was offered to me two and a half years ago.

“Although it was a big change in career, I have been extremely well supported and guided, enabling me to develop my sales skills, and knowledge of the industry from this new perspective.  The MSD product range is broad, including reproductive products, antimicrobials and anthelmintics, as well as our influenza and tetanus vaccine range.

“My role covers the south of England and parts of East Anglia and is varied and challenging.  As territory managers we are responsible for ensuring that practices have a thorough understanding of our products and support services, and that we provide excellent customer service and support to all practices.

“Although I approached this role with a lot of equine industry knowledge, and continued to receive technical training from MSD, studying for the NCAH qualification- which I gained in July last year.

“It is vital that as professionals in our field we are held to high standards of knowledge and ethics, and that we have formal recognition of that to demonstrate to those around us that we are trusted members of the profession. The NCAH qualification allows us to do this, and also contributes directly to our knowledge and understanding of our chosen field,” she said.

Rowena’s presentation won her the first prize of £100 from the National Office of Animal Health. NOAH  represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. Its Certificate of Animal Health is designed to give candidates a thorough grounding in animal physiology, animal disease and treatment options, as well as giving them a full knowledge of the legal framework in which medicines are regulated, advertised and sold. It is aimed at sales staff in the animal health industry.



British team to compete at Hickstead

Equestrian fans will have the chance to see the British showjumping team compete on home ground this summer at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead from July 28-August 2.

The show, which was voted the world’s best showjumping venue in the 2014 L’Année Hippique awards, hosts the British leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ series.

The British team will be hoping to claim the Prince of Wales trophy by netting their first home win at Hickstead since 2010, but they will face tough opposition from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and last year’s Hickstead winners, the USA.

Scott Brash competing at the Royal International Horse Show two years ago. Photo: Samantha Lamb

Top British rider Scott Brash competing at the Royal International Horse Show two years ago. Photo: Samantha Lamb

Hickstead’s FEI Nations Cup leg comes less than three weeks before the showjumping competition at this year’s FEI European Championships at Aachen.

The squad of five riders will be named nearer the time, but for some combinations Hickstead could well form a final prep run before the Championships. “I’ve already said we want our strongest team at Hickstead, as we don’t want to disappoint the British showjumping supporters at their home leg. Winning there is high on my wish list,” said World Class Performance Manager Di Lampard.

The Longines Royal International Horse Show, which is the official show of The British Horse Society, begins on Tuesday 28 July with two days of national showjumping and showing classes.

The international jumping action gets started on Thursday, with the Bunn Leisure Trophy and the return of the new-format Amlin Plus Eventers’ Challenge, while Friday’s highlights are the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain plus the Bunn Leisure International Stakes.

Saturday’s international classes are the Bunn Leisure Salver and the British Speed Classic, plus there’s the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a championship open to the leading national riders. The show concludes on Sunday with the Royal International Accumulator and the €200,000 Longines King George V Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious classes in the sport.

The show is also renowned as the pinnacle of the outdoor showing season, with riders travelling up and down the country in order to pick up one of the coveted qualifying tickets. There are hundreds of showing championships across the six days of the show, with the best of these competing in the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony Championships on the final Sunday.

With the vast Charles Owen Shopping Village, family entertainment and a huge range of hospitality options, a visit to the Longin Guests attending on Saturday 1 August are encouraged to dress to impress in order to win one of the luxury prizes on offer as part of the Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund Ladies’ Day at Hickstead.
Competitor entries are open now, with the schedule and the ticketing Box Office online at

Shire horse racing at Lingfield Park

It’s a head-to-head like no other – as Lingfield Park Racecourse stages the latest instalment of the award-winning Shire Horse Race on Saturday June 6.

This year the two-furlong race will be a battle between two Heavy Horse breeds – the Shire and the Clydesdale. The ‘Showerking Flying Feathers Heavy Horses Stakes’ will once again show off the versatility of these gentle giants as they thunder two furlongs down the track.

Head to head contest of giants at Lingfield park

Head to head contest of giants at Lingfield park

Top National Hunt jockeys will be saddling up to try and win the coveted title in a race which earned national recognition when it was launched in 2013. Judges praised the innovation of the event as they awarded the Surrey racecourse overall winners of the Events category at the annual Racecourse Association Showcase Awards.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, said he was delighted to welcome back Hurst Green Shires, sponsors, Showerking and all the heavy horse fans: “I’m thrilled we are once again able to stage this fabulous race. The fact that there is even more of a competitive twist this year with the Shires v. the Clydesdales, will make it even more exciting.”

Morpheus, winner of the first Shire race  Jack Flash (right) and Curious George

Morpheus, winner of the first Shire race Jack Flash (right) and Curious George

Julie Reilly of sponsors Showerking said: “We are pleased to support this race for the third year running. We are very grateful to the owners of these animals for making this event possible – there is nothing more thrilling than watching those feathers fly down the track.  There will be plenty of opportunity for the public to meet the contestants after the race and we’re looking forward to showing them off.”

As well as the Shire Horse race there will be seven thoroughbred races on the all-weather and turf tracks and a host of entertainment for the family at this Countryside Day.

Fine end to Goodwood’s three-day meeting

The successful partnership of trainer David Simcock and jockey Jim Crowley continued in fine style at Goodwood’s third day of its May meeting yesterday. The duo took the opening Festival Stakes Listed Race over 10 furlongs with The Corsican.

The four-year-old Galileo colt strode away in the final furlong to win by an easy two lengths, with favourite Remote back in the field in fifth place.  The Corsican, owned by Mrs Fitri Hay, is highly thought of and already holds entries for Royal Ascot.  He is entered in both The Prince of Wales’s Stakes Group 1, and also the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes.

The Corsican and Jim Crowley win at Goodwood  Photo: John Simpson

The Corsican and Jim Crowley win at Goodwood
Photo: John Simpson

Roger Varian and Graham Lee won the Listed 888sport Tapster Stake over a mile and four furlongs with Ayrad.. Previous winners of the race have included Gatewood and Noble Mission.

Trainer Mark Johnston scored his second winner at the three-day meeting when Enlace won the 866sports handicap by a nose under Franny Norton. The jockey went on to ride a double at the meeting when winning the Veterans Handicap on board Divine Call for Gloucester trainer Milton Bradley at 20-1.

Trainer Mark Johnston

Richard Hannon notched up another winner when Cam Hardie partnered 6-4 favourite Black Cherry to victory in the EBF Stallions Miaden Fillies’ Stakes. Roger Charlton took the one mile six furlong stakes with Quest For More ridden by Jimmy Fortune,

Get tickets now for Goodwood’s three Friday night events in June, when top class racing is followed by equally impressive entertainment on June 5,12 and 19, featuring respectively TwoManyDJs DJ Set, Gorgon City DJ Set and Idris Elba.

For tickets ring 01243 216610.





Hope In The Valley RDA riders qualify for nationals

Three young riders from Plumpton’s Hope in the Valley RDA Group have qualified for a National Competition  after their success at a Riding for the Disabled’s Regional Challenge Day recently.

They were competing against nearly 50 other riders from RDA groups across the South East who converged on East Grinstead’s Felbridge Show Ground this week to participate in the Countryside Challenge, which was a qualifying event for the RDA National Championships in Hartpury, Gloucestershire in July.

Nancy Davies  Hope In The Valley winner of the Countryside Challenge with sponsor David Cowan of Cowan Architects Photo: Zecora

Nancy Davies Hope In The Valley winner of the Countryside Challenge with sponsor David Cowan of Cowan Architects Photo: Zecora Photography

Nancy Davies, Daisy Murray and Brandon Witham all qualified in the junior class. Nancy rode Rose to victory in the Countryside Challenge with leader and side-walker, where she was awarded the trophy for the Junior Rider with highest score. Willow riding Rose finished joint fourth.

In the Countryside Challenge with leader only, Daisy riding Toby won the class and Brandon riding Toby was second, with both qualifying for the nationals. Two other riders from the group, Deian and Chloe took part in the Gymkhana event and everyone went home with a large number of rosettes.

Most of the riders had come to go head-to-head in the Countryside Challenge, but there was also Handy Pony, a number of gymkhana games and the fabulous fancy dress competition which rounded off the day with a ‘Heroes and Villains’ theme.


Chloe of Hope In The Valley group taking part in the fancy dress Photo by Zacora

Chloe of Hope In The Valley group taking part in the fancy dress
Photo by Zecora Photography

This was judged by David Cowan, Chairman of the RDA’s local sponsor, Cowan Architects, who placed Hope in the Valley a close second prize for their selection including Elsa of Frozen and Batman. He said: “The standard of entries was very hard; it was so difficult to judge this year but Hope in the Valley’s entry was marvellous”.

For the first time, there was also a class for show jumping that proved to be a popular and successful introduction to the discipline. David Cowan also awarded the prizes and said “It’s always such a treat and an honour to participate in these inspiring events and meet such enthusiastic young people. The weather held for us and there were smiles all round”.

Local company, Forelock Books, which specialises in pony story collectables for young pony mad readers, donated prizes this year for the junior classes.

Thanks to Paul Jones, a skilled volunteer, Hope in the Valley has its own Countryside Challenge course at Plumpton College, where the Group meets on Wednesday afternoons. The many hours of practice on the course by the riders, ponies and volunteers allowed all the riders to enjoy taking part at Felbridge, either for fun or for judging as a qualifying competition for the RDA National Competition.

If you would like to help at Hope in the Valley to support the riders, or with transport for its ponies, please see website or contact Jan Abrahams (Volunteer Recruitment) 0845 241 4328 or

Storm The Stars wins at Goodwood

Despite winning Goodwood’s Cocked Hat Stakes Listed race for three-year-old colts and geldings, Storm The Stars, trained by William Haggas  is unlikely to run in the Derby, the trainer’s wife Maureen told reporters following the race yesterday.

Previously runner up in the Chester Vase, connections said that despite improving with each run, he needs time mentally rather than physically, and is more likely to be ready for the St Leger. He did nothing wrong in the race, where he was partnered by Pat Cosgrave, and managed to hold off a challenge from 11-8 favourite Best Of Times.

Storm The Stars and Pat Cosgrove  Photo: John Simpson

Storm The Stars and Pat Cosgrove Photo: John Simpson

It was another excellent day of racing at this popular Sussex track and local trainer Amanda Perrett had a fine victory with five-year-old Czech It Out, owned by George Materna and ridden by Pat Dobbs.

The 16-1 shot won comfortably and continued a great start to the season for Amanda, who is based at Coombelands Stables, Pulborough. This was her third winner in less than a fortnight and there should be more to come.

Trainer Amanda Perrett at Goodwood

It was also a good day for jockey Richard Hughes, who rode a double, starting with 4-11 favourite Nelspruit in the Spitfire Maiden Auction Stakes, followed by 6-1 shot Royal Spirit for trainer Roger Charlton in the fillies handicap.

Martin Lane was another jockey in double form, with wins in the fillies stakes handicap with 5-6 shot Endless Time for trainer Charlie Appleby and completed with Major Pusey at 8-1 for John Gallagher in the final handicap stakes.

Today should see another excellent day opening at 1.45pm with the Festival Stakes which has some top class entries in the seven-runner field.

It is followed by another Listed race, this time over 12 furlongs with 11 runner headed by distance winner Mister Universe trained by Mark Johnston, while Mick Channon will be hoping to follow up on his first day winner, this time with Popeswood with Paddy Pilley claiming a useful 7lb again.

The Lidsey Silver Anniversary Stakes Handicap is another feature race over one mile six furlongs with approaching £20,000 prize money. Roger Charlton has an interesting runner in  Quest For More ridden by Jimmy Fortune, which could see him among the prizes for a second day.