Duffy aims for Hickstead hat-trick

At the age of just 20, Irish showjumper Michael Duffy has already got two All England Grand Prix wins under his belt – and this week he returns to Hickstead in the hope of making it a hat-trick.

The £6,000 1.40m Grand Prix forms the finale of the All England Jumpinc Championships from Thursday to Sunday this week inclusive ( September 3-6, ), a prestigious national competition that also marks the end of Hickstead’s showjumping season. The show was first held in 2011 and has grown to become a firm favourite fixture in the showjumping calendar.

Michael’s first win in the All England Grand Prix came on board Westland Ruby in 2013, while last year he won the feature class on the 18hh Iron Lady III. He is the only rider to have won the class more than once, while Tim Davies and Trevor Breen both have one win apiece.

Michael Duffy on Westlands Ruby  Photo:Julian Portch Photography

Michael Duffy on Westlands Ruby Photo:Julian Portch Photography

A number of top riders have entered this year’s All England Jumping Championships, including Trevor and Shane Breen, Harriet Nuttall, Phillip Miller, William Funnell, David Simpson, Nicole Pavitt and Alice Watson.

“It’s wonderful to be able to welcome back so many of the riders who have been so successful at Hickstead over the years,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “We have a number of former Hickstead Derby winners, including reigning victor Trevor Breen, three-time winner William Funnell and the 2013 champion Phillip Miller.

“Alice Watson is another one to watch at this show, having won the Tom Hudson Derby Trophy back in June. Harriet Nuttall has had a superb season here at the All England Jumping Course, just missing out on victory in the Equestrian.com Derby and finishing second in three other major classes this year, so hopefully she’ll be able to go one better at this show.”

The All England Jumping Championships have classes for all levels from 1m upwards, with championship classes for young horses and amateur riders. As well as the 1.40m All England Grand Prix, other highlights of the show include the Douglas Bunn Challenge, a 1.35m class featuring a number of Hickstead’s permanent obstacles – making it a perfect introduction for a future Equestrian.com Derby star.

The show’s generous class sponsors include Bunn Leisure, Equitop Myoplast, Animo, Harrington Horses, the Brendon Stud, Pro-Am Sport Horses, while the official ring sponsors are Jacksons Fencing, Petplan Equine, Airowear and Alexanders Horseboxes.

Spectators are welcome at this show, and entry and parking is completely free. As well as a full schedule of showjumping classes, there are a number of bars, restaurants and eateries to choose from, as well as a selective shopping village. For results, start lists and timetables, visit www.hickstead.co.uk

The All England Jumping Championships mark the end of Hickstead’s own competition season, but there’s still a very busy Autumn ahead. On  September 12 – 13 the showground hosts a huge two-day concert called Boomerang Hockstead, with stars like Jessie J, The Vamps, Simple Minds, The Proclaimers and lots more taking to the stage in the famous International Arena.

Hickstead will also play host to the UK Sundshine Tour finals on September 19 – 20 September, a hugely popular unaffiliated championships that are being held at the showground for the first time.

Golden Inca heads for HOYS

AFTER a 20-year-break from horses, Julie Cooper of Slinfold decided she wanted to become involved in the equestrian world again. She had originally ridden and also run the Rowfold annual horse show for many years- and the search for a suitable horse began.

She explained: “I decided I wanted a hunter, with the aim of competing and had seen quite a few that simply didn’t make the grade. I wanted a horse that I could produce to win a Championship and wanted to buy something capable of getting to that level.  Everybody thought I was barking mad!”

Julie Cooper and Golden Inca Photo : Jeannie Knight

Julie persisted with the search for the right horse. She had seen so many horses that did not match their photographs that when she found Golden Inca Cross in  Ireland, still only seven, she asked for a video clip of him in action.

“I knew after watching it that he was the one for me and since I couldn’t go to Ireland to buy him, my husband,  Royston, who knows nothing about horses, went over and bought him for me from Judy Pearson.

“Judy has an excellent track record. She also owned Loughkeen Dancing Lord, who is a prolific hunter winner.

“Inca arrived here a few days later and I soon realised that he was so good that he needed an experienced show rider, and not me in the saddle.

Golden Inca being put through his paces by Karl Standing  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Golden Inca ridden by Karl Standing Photo: Jeannie Knight

“I entered him in the Alltech Hunters Class at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, with Karl Standing riding, which he won, and has qualified for Horse Of The Year Show  with that victory,” explained Julie.

Karl is renowned for his quiet approach and success with horses, and also competes at dressage, and is Inca’s regular partner in competitions. He said of Inca:” He is a big horse and stands at 17.2hh but is incredibly light on his feet and has a lot of talent and potential.”

Karl putting Golden Inca through his paces Photo: Jeannie Knight

Karl putting Golden Inca through his paces Photo: Jeannie Knight

Julie’s father, Charles Frankham, now 84, had been involved with horses before her, and is a keen member of the team which travels with Inca whenever he competes. Recently they went to a very wet Stafford and got through to the final of the hunter class, which was an evening performance.

Julie said: ” Inca performed superbly with not a foot wrong. In the end it was down to the judge’s choice and we came seventh out of 11 in a very strong class. We beat prolific winner Katie Jerram, who was eighth, so we were extremely pleased with both of Inca’s performances.

Julie, Karl and Golden Inca with some of the prizes he has won Photo:Jeannie Knight

Julie, Karl and Golden Inca with some of the prizes he has won
Photo:Jeannie Knight

More success followed at Buckinghamshire County Show on Thursday, rewarding an early start at 4.30am. Golden Inca finished third in the Hunter Class and won the Blue Chip Flat Ridden Sport Horse class, qualifying for the 2016 Championship at Alexanders Horsebox National Supreme Hunter Championship at Stafford.

Julie said: “I’m so pleased with the whole team yesterday and couldn’t do it without Tina Pendel, who gets everything ready, washed and packed in the days before the show, helps to get the horse ready and accompanied us to most events.

“I’m sure Karl’s dressage training also played a valuable part in what was a great day. Next stop Edenbridge and Oxted.”

She added: “Also, a key member of the team is James Robertson, Karl’s partner, who comes to main shows as a groom and also drives the lorry. He turns Inca out to perfection and always seems to have a calming effect on horse, rider and owner.

“He is always best-turned-out groom in the ring and is an accomplished rider himself, having qualified for and ridden at HOYS.  He runs a hunter livery and gives up a lot of free time to help us on our crusade.”

Most shows are a real family outing, with Julie’s father, husband, son, two daughters and granddaughter going along.

But Julie added: When we go to HOYS I think between Karl and I we have about 60 friends and family coming along to support team Inca!”

Jim Crowley’s fine Goodwood form

Pulborough-based jockey Jim Crowley continued his outstanding season yesterday evening at the first of Goodwood’s three-day Bank Holiday fixtures.

He opened his account in the Chichester Observer Maiden Stakes over one mile, riding 12-1 shot Ocean Jive, trained by Brian Meehan, with the two-year-old beating the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Swift Response by more than a length.

He followed up in the Doom Bar Nursery with a close second on Imperious One, beaten only a neck by the Charlie Appelby-trained Carrington. But he scored another victory in the third race on board  Brittleton, which gave trainer Harry Dunlop his first Goodwood win.

Jim Crowley riding Brittleton to victory Photo: Goodwood Racecourse

Jim Crowley riding Brittleton to victory
Photo: Goodwood Racecourse

Another popular Goodwood victory yesterdaywas that of Pettochside, which won the opening Nyetimber Apprentice Handicap for Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon with Cam Hardie on board. The trainer is better know for his prolific wins over jumps but has been sending out some useful horses on the level.

Jim Crowley, currently on 77 winners for this season, will be in action again today at Goodwood riding the opener on Show Stealer for Richard Guest, Jallota in the second for Charlie Hills, Marzoca in the March Stakes Listed Race for John Gosden and has a good chance in  the Doom Bar Celebration Mile on board Cable Bay trained by Charlie Hills.

Jockey Jim Crowley Photo: jeannie Knight

Jockey Jim Crowley
Photo: jeannie Knight

Then he is off to Windsor evening meeting for three rides before returning to Goodwood tomorrow for Sunday’s afternoon fixture, which promises excellent racing.

His prolific season has come after he made the decision to leave trainer Ralph Beckett. Jim is now retained by prominent Sussex-based owners, Dr Jim Hay and his wife Fitri, who have around 45 quality horses based with several different trainers in Britain- but  leaving him free to ride for other trainers in races when they do not have runners.



Apply now for dressage Equine Pathway

Applications for the 2015 – 2016 intake of the UK Sport National Lottery funded Equestrian World Class Programme Dressage Equine Pathway are now open..

The Equine Pathway Programmes for dressage, eventing and jumping seek to identify and support world class horses who have the perceived potential to develop into Championship level horses – those can compete for Great Britain on the world stage and help GBR win medals. Selection for the Pathway varies between disciplines and the criteria and format for each is constantly reviewed.

The selection process for the Dressage Equine Pathway, which follows three stages, must have applications completed and returned by Thursday 24 September 2015.

For athletes/horses invited to final selection, this year’s dressage selection and assessment will take place on TuesdayOctober  20 and Wednesday October 21 2015 at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre.

Chance to head to the top in dressage Photo: British Dressage

Chance to head to the top in dressage
Photo: British Dressage

The Dressage Equine Pathway Programme allows the UK Sport National Lottery funded Equestrian World Class Programme to support and encourage access towards additional training sessions with a home coach, nominated by the owner/athlete. Horses accepted onto the pathway will also be benchmarked at selection through test riding by two international selectors – a judge and a rider; for those selected onto the pathway, progress will be measured against those benchmarks at bi-annual Assessment Days.

The UK Sport funded programme exists to improve results at an international level and increase the number of medals won by Great Britain on the world stage. Eligible horses will be selected on their perceived potential to compete at Championship level Grand Prix and horses may join or leave the Pathway during the year as their progression is reviewed.

For further details about the equine pathway visit: http://www.equestrianteamgbr.co.uk/world-class/equine-pathway/


Amy wins National under 21 Championship

AMY Inglis from Haywards Heath, West Sussex partnering Matthew Sampson’s nine- year-old bay gelding Amadeouse De Hurtebise took the victory in the National U21 Championship Final held in the Andrews Bowen Indoor Arena at the British Showjumping National Championships recently.

There were 21 young riders vying for the title and they wasted no time chasing the win. The first round saw some impressive riding as twelve combinations progressed to the jump off.

Amy Inglis and Amadeouse  De Hurtbise jumping to victory

Amy Inglis and Amadeouse De Hurtebise jumping to victory  Photo: British Show Jumping

Amy and Amadeouse De Hurtebise jumped last and she knew the time she had to beat to win, but she didn’t let the pressure get to her as she jumped a poised and steady round.The impressive round saw her  finish with a double clear and a time of 33.01 to cement the win for the young rider.

Amy is no stranger to success in the arena but this victory was a highlight for her. She was thrilled with her win saying “he was amazing, he jumped so good, bless him. I’ve never gone that fast on him before he’s quite new to me. He jumped even better in the jump off.”

She still has three more years competing in the U21 division and if her recent performances are anything to go by Amy is one to watch for the future.


1 Amy Inglis and Amadeouse De Hurtebise
2 Graham Gillespie and Tout in Love
3 Mark Turnbull and Cartouch III
4 Amy Inglis and Samayava AR Park
5 Sally Hopkinson and Cartouche II
6 Katie Fletcher and Benz V
7 Harry Wainwright and Muckno Princess
8 Emily Ward and Remi Cavalleri


Top rider at Coombelands

Coombelands Equestrian Centre at Pulborough continues to attract a wide variety of riders with its extensive range of competitionsand facilities meeting competitive needs.

There are more than 100 fences, ranging from 2ft to 3ft 6 inches catering for all standards as well as show jumping and schooling facilities,dressage arenas on grass, an all-weather wam up arena and main all weather arena attracting all levels of competitiors.

The main arena is well established as a superior attraction for clear round jumping and show jumping events- attracting riders of all abilities. One regular user is top British show jumper Scott Brash, who is based in West Sussex.

Already an Olympic and European team gold winner in 2012, and winner of the Global Champions Tour in 2013 and 2014, he takes advantage of the excellent facilities in his quest to remain at the top of the sport.

Scott Brash at Coombelands   Photo:  LRG Photography

Scott Brash at Coombelands
Photo:Leni Dowling, LRG Photography

The next major event, on Saturday August 29, features an affiliated BS event, level 1- A Dodson and Horrell 85cms National Amateur Championship Qualifier( first round) .This will be followed by KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice First Round; The Dodson and Horrell 95cms National Amateur Championship Qualifier First Round ; Nupafeeds Supplements Senior Discovery ; Dodson and Horrell 1.05m National Amateur Championship Qualifier ; Dodson and Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Championship Qualifier and Senior 1.15m Open.

Other September events include: Sunday September 13- Affiliated BS Category 1; Sunday September 20- Affiliated Pony & Unaffiliated Club;Tuesday September 22- Affiliated BS Category 2; Wednesday September 30-Affiliated BS Category 2.

See www.coombelands-equestrian.co.uk/ for full details.

Celebration Mile entries

Eleven runners are set to line up for Goodwood’s Celebration Mile on Saturday. Lightning Spear, trained by Olly Stevens, currently heads the market alongside Kodi Bear for this year’s event, following the removal of Arod due to the easing ground.

Lightning Spear has won on very soft ground in France but owners Qatar Racing are looking for better this time round. Kodi Bear looked impressive last time out at Salisbury and also looks an exciting prospect here.

Lightning Spear trained by Olly Stevens

Lightning Spear trained by Olly Stevens  Photo: John Simpson

Clive Cox, Kodi Bear trainer said:“We are looking forward to competing on Saturday. He won impressively at Salisbury and this is the logical step up to Group 2 Company. He handles an easier surface so I’m relaxed about the ground.”

Seamus Buckley, Clerk of the Course, Goodwood Racecourse said:
“The course has recovered well from the Qatar Festival and is in great order, we have had plenty of rain over the last week, although Friday and Saturday were two lovely days and the going was back to Good.
“However, we have had 12 mm since then and I am now calling the ground Good to Soft. The entries are strong and the Doom Bar Celebration Mile looks a very intriguing race with likes of Gabrial, Dutch Connection and Kodi Bear, who was so impressive when winning at Salisbury, in the line-up”.

Tickets for the Bank Holiday Weekend (Friday August 28 to Sunday August 30) are still available from £10.00.  For more information and to book tickets, please visit www.goodwood.com or phone on 01243 755022.

Kath and Harvey scoop top awards

A UNIQUE West Sussex partnership which has scaled the heights in most equestrian disciplines is that of rider Kath Botting and her versatile piebald gelding Bristol Blue, affectionately known as Harvey.

Harvey is now 14 and has been with Kath since he was six-years-old, when the duo established a unique rapport starting out by qualifying for the Horse of the Year show in 2008.

” I showed him as a lightweight show cob/coloured and working cob until 2012. In those years he was third in the Search for A Star final 2008, was placed in the coloured class at the Royal International Horse Show three times, and as a working cob four times, having jumped four consecutive clear rounds, ” she recalled.

Harvey went on tostay in the limelight, becoming Winter Supreme Champion at the British Piebald and Skewbald Association, Supreme Riding Club  Horse/Pony Club Pony at Equifest, Supreme Champion of Amateur Showing Association and was Supreme  Champion four times at Horsham and District Riding Club. Then he went on to be Champion Working Cob at the Festival of the Horse and qualified for HOYS in 2010.

Kath Botting and Brsitol Blue putting in a clear round jumping side saddle

Kath Botting and Brsitol Blue putting in a clear round jumping side saddle

Kath  has successully combined Harvey’s competitive schedule with her own career, first as a teacher, then a headmistress and now as a team leader at a West Sussex County Council Children and Family Centre. Three years ago she affiliated him to British Eventing and he was placed at BE90 every time, usually getting inside the time until injury forced them to stop.
“I decided I would not risk him eventing again, so joined British Dressage in 2013, where he won his first four preliminary tests and went on to be placed every time out as a novice. He qualified for the Pet Plan Festival Championships and how as 135 points, competing at Elementary and Medium level.

Kath Botting and Bristol Blue in action side saddle

Kath Botting and Bristol Blue in action side saddle

In 2013 he was part of the winning open dressage and riding test teams at the British Riding Club national Championships being placed individually in both arenas, an achievement that he repeated in 2014. “2013 finished in spectacular style when  I was one one of four side saddle riders invited to perform in the Grand Finale at the London Olympia International horse Show where we performed in front of 5000 people twice a day for eight performances,” said Kath.

She added: “This year at the Side Saddle National Championships Harvey won the Open Dressage Champion title, the dressage with jumping championship title and the Novice show jumping class as well being placed in all his other classes. This has resulted in the duo winning the Black Fenn Royalist Rose Bowl for the adult gaining the most points at the show for the third time running, as well as and the Billete Mackay Rose Bowl for the owner rider gaining the most points for the second time running. This was in addition to helping me win the Intermediate Rider of the Year Award.”

Kath said:”Next year I plan to compete him as a veteran with the aim of qualifying him for both the Veteran Horse Society National Championships and the Anthony Evans Side Saddle Championships at Olympia. Then I will be able to say that he has competed at RIHS, HOYs and Olympia!  ”

Kath and Bristol Blue receiving their trophies at the National Side Saddle Show

Kath and Bristol Blue receiving their trophies at the National Side Saddle Show

Recently she won the Intermediate Side Saddle Rider of the Year Award at the Side Saddle Association’s 35th Annual Championship Show riding Bristol Blue, along with the overall open dressage championship and the overall combined training championship. She is now able to use her many talents to help other riders in the county to learn the art of side-saddle riding.

Kath explained: ” I  went to Pittern Hill in Warwickshire  to pass my Grade 4+ exam in riding, jumping and horse care and to pass my B level instructor which means that I am currently the only qualified side saddle instructor in Sussex.”

Racing Foundation supports Moorcroft

Welcome support from The Racing Foundation has been received by Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre at Slinfold in West Sussex. The foundation has enough donated funds for a new lecture room be built at Moorcroft so that more courses and lectures can be run during winter months.

Moorcroft has a fine reputation for retraining ex-racehorse enabling them to lead fulfilling lives after leaving racing. It is one of four specialist centres to be hit by withdrawal of funding by Retraining of Racehorses which instead is expanding competition leagues for ex-racehorses.


A retrained racehorse taking part in a Moorcroft display  Photo :  Jeannie Knight

At Moorcroft, manager Mary Henley-Smith ensures a series of lectures and demonstrations are run during summer months at Moorcroft to benefit ordinary horse owners. The new lecture room, built thanks to the grant, has enabled four immediate winter events to go ahead.

These are:

Saturday November 7, Muscle Atrophy, learn how to avoid, detect and deal with it, with Jenny Wilson and Maruska Aylward.
Saturday November 28, Thoracic Spine-Skeleton- problems and options available for conditions such as Kissing Spine/ Facet Joint problems (Rory O’ Shea MRCVS).
Saturday December 12, A farrier and vet, Rory O’Shea and Grant Lichtenburg, work together to help with common foot problems.
Saturday January 16, Mary Henley-Smith and staff will give a practical long-reining/riding demonstration showing what help can be given to equine back, muscles, posture etc. To book any contact Mary at moorcroftracehorse@gmail.com or 07929 666408.

The centre has an outstanding record in retraining ex-racehorses- Zoom Up, born in 1994 is just one great success story, still enjoying a wonderful life at the age of 21 with a caring keeper, Laura, for the last eight years.

Meanwhile fundraising is essential, following the controversial removal of funding . The Racing Foundation, established in 2012, has granted more than £2 million to charities associated with horseracing and the thoroughbred breeding industry in the UK, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine research, heritage and culture.

Moorcroft will welcome corporate funding or other donations to help continue its vital work in enabling ex-racehorses to go on to a good life after racing. Its own major fundraising event, a charity raceday at Plumpton on Monday October 19, offers the chance to support this worthy cause and enjoy a great day at the races, with a three course lunch, afternoon tea, raffles and an auction and much more.

For tickets contact Alison or Kate at Plumpton on 01273 890383 or Mary at Moorcroft on 07929 666408.

Claire wins NAF Pony Finals

Claire-Louise Drury (16) from Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex won the NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final held as part of The NAF Pony Five Star Finals which took place during the National Inter Academy Team Show at Weston Lawns Equitation Centre in Warwickshire  recently.

Claire-Louise was partnering Dilly Dolly, an 8 year-old grey mare owned by her mother Elizabeth.

Clare-Louise Drury and Dilly-Dolly Photo: Spidge  Event Photography

Clare-Louise Drury and Dilly-Dolly
Photo: Spidge Event Photography

The NAF Pony Five Star Finals once again proved to be a great showcase for the successes achieved via the NAF Pony Five Star Performance Awards Programme.

The competition was divided into three sections; 1*, 2* and 3* and was marked on the capability of the rider and their influence on the performance of the pony.

Each rider’s effectiveness, position, balance, feeling, timing, rhythm and impulsion to empower the pony to move and jump to the best of its ability was also judged and it was down to UKCC Level 3 Coaches Matthew Lanni & Carl Belson to make the tough decision on who the eventual victors would be.

Riders were not only competing for the winners title, but also for NAF rugs and goodie bags.

Each section was made up of a predesigned course which required a demonstration of flatwork movements as well as jumping a range of fences depending on the star level the rider has achieved on the NAF Pony Five Star Performance Awards Programme. Competitors with their 1* jumped a 0.70m track, 2* competitors jumped over 0.80m whilst 3* riders competed over 0.90m.

The NAF Pony Five Star Performance Awards Programme has been designed to provide a series of progressive standards to assist pony riders with a focus for their training and improved performance in the ring alongside developing stable management skills. For more information on the programme, please contact Rebecca Turner on 02476 698828 or Rebecca.Turner@britishshowjumping.co.uk.


NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final

1st – Claire-Louise Drury & Dilly Dolly
2nd – Katie Waldock Smith & Ross Cottage
3rd – Mean Maguire & Lochmore Jack
4th – Jessica Penn & Midnight Temple
5th – Josie Symons & Gearran Tire
6th – Katy McFadyen & Bounty 11