Racing at Fontwell Park

FONTWELL Park Racecourse’s next fixture is an Armed Forces Raceday in aid of The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home on this Tuesday August 25. Apart from competitive racing, there will be assault courses, marching band and military displays across the site, including tanks, boats, weaponry and more.

This will be the third and final evening meeting of the year and on the day, the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, Royal Artillery, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Logistics Corps will be present.

Fontwell Park Grandstand offers fine viewing of racing Photo courtesy of ARC

Fontwell Park Grandstand offers fine viewing of racing
Photo courtesy of ARC

Just need an admission ticket? Save money in advance with tickets from just £12 if pre-booked by 3pm the day before racing and remember children under 18 go FREE! Get closer to the action and park in the centre course – don’t forget to pack a picnic.

September sees the MS Society Family Fun Raceday on Sunday September 6 when gates open at 12.30pm, with the first of seven jump races at 2.20pm.

 Competitive jump racing at Fontwell Park Photo: John Simpson

Competitive jump racing at Fontwell Park
Photo: John Simpson

Then the winter jumping season starts in earnest and includes a two day  Fontwell Festival in October at this only figure of eight jumping track in the country on Friday and Saturday October 2 and 3.

For full details see www.


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 Amadeus  Photo Credit: 1st Class Images

Amy Inglis and Amadeouse De Hurtebise  Photo Credit: 1st Class Images

Amy and Amadeouse De Hurtebise jumped last and she knew the time she had to beat to win, she didn’t let the pressure get to her as jumped a poised and steady round.The impressive round saw Amy finish with a double clears 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.

Amy 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.


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

The British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show 2015 was hosted at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. For further information, please visit

Grass sickness show success

The second Maddison Annual Charity Dressage Event held in aid of research into Equine Grass Sickness took place this month.

Monnington Equestrian, Sidlesham generously offered their venue for the second year running for which organisers were extremely grateful.

The show was founded last year after a number of West Sussex horses died from grass sickness, including a star of the future, Barnham Street Maddison, owned and bred by Val Hall of Barnham, which had an outstanding future ahead in dressage.

Kate Welsh and Regal Dancer competing Photo: LRG Photpgraphy

Kate Welsh and Regal Dancer competing
Photo: LRG Photpgraphy

Val started this annual event in his memory after he was struck down by this dreadful disease just a few weeks before his seventh birthday. She pledged to make the show an annual event to raise vital funds for continuing research into this terrible disease.

Both classes were very well supported, running from 1pm to 7pm with a variety of horses and ponies. Attending was Clare Howard with her Balanced Rider display, which offers a unique service for horse riders by providing a combination of physiotherapy for injuries and aches and pains with a biomechanics approach to improving riding performance.

Elysia Foot and Silken Creme, owned by Mrs Caroline Allen competing. Photo: LRG Photography

Elysia Foot and Silken Creme, owned by Mrs Caroline Allen competing. Photo: LRG Photography

Winner of both main dresssage classes were Kate Welch and Regal Dancer

Helping to raise funds on the day were Phoebe Downs, Leanne Beck and Catherine Jupp who had baked cakes and cookies which helped to provide the necessary energy! Good weather, a relaxed atmosphere, good judging and quick and efficient scoring by Tamar, the day ran smoothly.

Champion Kate Welsh, rider of Regal Dancer reeiving her Trophy and rosette. Photo: LRG Photography

Champion Kate Welsh, rider of Regal Dancer with her Champion’s trophy and rosette. Photo: LRG Photography

Equine Grass Sickness can randomly affect any horse or pony with no warning and is a very distressing disease for both horse and owner and usually fatal, with only a small number lucky to survive. Research is moving forward and trials are under way with a possible vaccine.

The event has raised to date the amazing amount of £800 and Maddison’s Justgiving page is still live for anyone keen to support the research.

Please go to and search for Maddison Dressage.

Heartfelt thanks for suppport go to everyone donating and:Arundel Equine Hospital,Liphook Equine Hospital, Caremark,Petter & Son, SPR, Fontwell, Oldwick Saddlery .

Burghley 2015 will test riders

Wendy Nix previews the upcoming Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials September 3-6

The original question hanging over the 2015 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials had to be whether Andrew Nicholson and Avebury could make it four in a row, having made history last year when winning for the third consecutive time.

However, a ghastly fall at Gatcombe Park during the CIC 3* (9 August) has almost certainly put paid to that. The fall left Andrew with a neck injury requiring surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, though his many fans will be relieved to know he has full movement of his limbs.

He could, of course, still make the start line as Burghley starts just days after any compulsory lay-off- it’s a case of watch this space.

Whether he takes part or not, it’s the course that could cause a few sleepless nights for competitors as it is to be run in the opposite direction to normal. After starting out over the Olympic Horseshoe and getting into a rhythm, riders will have to conserve their horse’s energy with increased diligence.

Competitors view of the first fence with Burghley House beyond. Photo: Kingswood Associates

Competitors view of the first fence with Burghley House beyond. Photo: Kingswood Associates

After the Anniversary Splash (fences 5ab, 6ab and 7), it is a long pull uphill with a serious question at Capability’s Cutting (9 and 10) and through Winner’s Avenue – normally a downhill breather towards the last part of the course – to the Cottesmore Leap (13ab) with its massive ditch in front.

Bearing the uphill run in mind, course designer Capt. Mark Phillips has introduced an alternative for the first time at this, the furthest point of the course. Then it’s a gentle run down to the Land Rover Dairy Farm (14abc) which requires more head scratching as the quick route involves an upright five-bar gate on the lip of the mound followed by a huge roll-top feeder and drop.

Course designer Mark Phillips and Event Director Liz Inman at the final fence Photo: Kingswood Associates

Course designer Mark Phillips and Event Director Liz Inman at the final fence Photo: Kingswood Associates

Those with a non-podium finish on their minds will be tempted to take the alternative, longer but easier, route.

From there competitors will return across a jump-free Capability’s Cutting to what Mark describes as a “true four-star Burghley fence”, the Rolex Combination (15abc). Get it wrong here and a dip in the ditch is likely; accuracy is paramount, as it will be at the Land Rover Trout Hatchery (20abcd and 21), “the hardest fence on the course,” says Mark.

The revamped Trout Hatchery, water to be added Photo: Kingswood Associates

The revamped Trout Hatchery, water to be added Photo: Kingswood Associates

A brush fence behind a tree leads to a turning four strides into the first water with another turning four strides to a step and bounce over an impressive log then it’s into the water again to tackle a brush set at an angle. There are alternatives and Mark has provided a ‘get out of jail card’ by opening the flags on the first water exit but, as usual, it is a longer, if safer, way round.

While the most difficult part of the course will be behind them, competitors cannot relax as there will be another nine fences (four of them combinations) to go before the end is in sight. One of these, fence 29abc, is the Up and Under featuring grandstands, a rugby ball and rugby goal posts in the main arena.

The link between eventing and rugby is thanks to Burghley’s title sponsor which is also world wide partner to the 2015 Rugby World Cup being played in this country mid-September. The World Cup Trophy will be on display on the Friday of Burghley as it makes its 100-day tour leading to the sport’s Opening Ceremony.

With the FEI European Eventing Championships being held in Aachen just a week after Burghley it’s inevitable that entries will change once teams are announced. At the time of writing, nine countries are on the list with Germany’s double Olympic Gold medallist Michael Jung making a welcome first visit. Even with Aachen on his mind, William Fox-Pitt will be keen to add Burghley to his earlier Badminton title, setting up a chance for the Rolex Grand Slam at Kentucky in 2016.

A host of first-timers will be lining up and they may well have the upper hand on more experienced competitors who are used to riding Burghley’s hills in the same direction each year.

Event Director Liz Inman said; “We have an excellent entry this year vying for a share of the near £250,000 prize fund [£63,000 to the winning owner]. In addition there will be the Pony Club Jumping competition, Dubarry Young Event Horse and Racehorse to Riding Horse classes and over 200 trade stands plus pavilions.”

For more information and to view a Mark Phillips video course walk, visit:

School’s first Hickstead victory

Godolphin School enjoyed its first ever Senior School victory at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships recently.

The Goldolphin Blue team rode out the winners of the class, which saw 43 teams from schools around the country compete for honours at the famous All England Jumping Course at Hickstead in West Sussex.

The results were very close, with the winning team of Katinka Brogaard (Bonnie Bright Talent), Imogen Yule (Blitzer Maloney) and Victoria Leabeater (Dulce) finishing on a total of four faults.

The winning school team from Photo: Julian Portch

The winning school team , Godolphin Blue, with their trophy
Photo: Julian Portch

Victoria also finished third individually on her Intermediate event horse Dulce. “I’m really pleased with my mare – it’s great to ride at Hickstead and a very nice way of keeping up with my showjumping!” she said.

The overall individual prize went to Miles O’Donnell (17), from Alton College in Hampshire. Miles has just finished his AS levels, and is a regular competitor at Hickstead. He rode his gelding Chris, who was formerly ridden by top showjumper Tim Davies. “It’s really nice, as we’ve won here as a team but we haven’t won the individual title,” said Miles.

In second place was Grace Turnbull from Churchers College.

In the Pony Club competition, the team honours went to the quartet from Albrighton Woodland Pony Club in Worcestershire. The team comprised Zoe Henshall (20) and her horse Warno; Becca Hanlon (22) and Calcourt Luxurious, Laura Whittington (18) and Hayestown Diamond Lady, and Rachael Willetts (21) and Independence Day.

It was a closely fought competition with three of the four riders producing a clear round to finish on an immaculate score of zero, while the Ledbury Hunt were just behind in second place with a total of four faults.

The team are all regular competitors in showjumping, and were thrilled to be in first place after coming fourth as a team 12 months previously. It was the branch’s first team win in this competition since 1992.

In the Pony Club individual class, nine riders jumped-off for honours. First to go was one of the youngest members of the field, 14-year-old Jack Smith, and he held the lead for some time until Hollie Pearce (17) shaved almost 0.5sec off his time to take the title.

“He jumped incredibly,” said Hollie of her gelding Hilarius. “The one who went in first was really quick, but luckily I had enough control to make the turns.”

In the Junior Schools section, Cowbridge Comprehensive made it a worthwhile trip from the Vale of Glamorgan to West Sussex by winning both the team and individual honours.

Two of the school’s riders jumped clear in the first round, finishing on a team total score of just eight to win ahead of St Mary’s Calne in second place.

Stephanie Brownbill (Ridge End Reberto) and Ellie Thorne (JJ II) jumped off against two other riders for individual honours, with Ellie taking home the trophy and Stephanie finishing in second place.

Ellie competes in JA showjumping with her skewbald gelding, who she describes as a ‘grumpy old man’. “I didn’t expect to win here today,” said the 13-year-old.

Third team member Jade Williams explains that the team are all good friends and have competed as a team at several competitions, but this was their first trip to Hickstead. “It’s amazing to be here, this is the biggest event we’ve ever been to,” she said.

The competition would not be possible without the continued support of Hurstpierpoint College, which has sponsored the Championships for seven years. “Competing at this level requires great skill and considerable courage and we all gain enormous pleasure from witnessing riders representing schools and branches of the Pony Club from across the British Isles battle it out,” said Headmaster Tim Manly.


Vicky’s breeding success

WEST Sussex horse owner, Vicky Fisher, gained a higher first premium with her young horse at the Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation Futurity this month at Chelwood Equestrian near Uckfield, East Sussex.

The filly foal, Kamizake, is owned and bred by Vicky, from Brooks Green, near Horsham, and  attained a higher first premium of 8.83 in the eventing section.

This was the highest score of the day. A higher first premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to be in the results and build up a good level of points at the higher national level.

Kamikazee  Photo: Kevin Sparrow

Filly foal Kamikazee Photo: Kevin Sparrow

The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance. It may even find the stars of the future who will go on to compete at World Championships or become Olympic Champions.

Vicky said: “I thought Kamikaze was lovely and I am over the moon that the Futurity evaluators thought so too. She is just the second foal I have bred.”

Kamikaze was bred from Vicky’s mare Bonnie, bought from breeder, Chris Curtis. Vicky continued: “Both Kamikaze and last year’s foal, Jeronimo are out of Bonnie and both have now received a higher first Futurity premium.”

Kamikazee and mare Photo: Kevin Sparrow

Filly foal Kamikazee and mare Bonnie
Photo: Kevin Sparrow

Jeronimo scored 8.79 at the Plumpton Futurity as a foal in 2014. Vicky, who competes in side saddle classes, plans to keep Kamikaze and produce her for a career in eventing. Kamikaze is by the eventing stallion, Future Illusion. Vicky added;“I will definitely use Future Illusion again.”

The Futurity is a continually evolving process, 2013 saw the introduction of the Futurity equine bridge which is now being run as an extension of the Futurity evaluations. The Futurity equine bridge provides top Futurity graduates with the direction and support they will need as four-year-olds so that they begin their early years under saddle in a way that allows for sustained physical and mental development.

In order to be eligible for the Futurity Equine Bridge all horses must obtain a Futurity score of 8.5 or above and a high enough vet score as three-year-olds.

BEF’s Head of Equine Development Jan Rogers said: “The Futurity celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. We are increasingly finding that breeders, buyers and riders of British bred horses are finding that a Futurity premium is a very useful aid in helping assess these horses. We are also seeing a marked improvement in the standard of youngsters entered in the futurity, which is very good news for the future of British breeding.”

The 2015 Futurity evaluations from August 1-18, covered 11 venues nationwide with a total of 12 days of evaluations. The Futurity is fast becoming recognised as an important first step in the careers of many potential top level horses and provides a valuable marketing tool for breeders.


GB pony team takes gold

The British Charles Owen Pony Team has won gold at the FEI European Championships for Ponies in Malmö following clear rounds in the show jumping from all of the Team members in the culmination of the competition.

The British Team finished the Championship on a collective score of 138.7 with France in silver position with 154.6 whilst the host nation Sweden took bronze with a score of 160.1.

The Gold Medal winning event team from L - R Harriet Wright, Phoebe Locke, Thomas Tulloch and Saffron Cresswell, European Pony Championships, Malmo Photo:(C) Helen Revington

The Gold Medal winning event team from L – R Harriet Wright, Phoebe Locke, Thomas Tulloch and Saffron Cresswell, European Pony Championships, Malmo Photo:(C) Helen Revington

The overall individual placings for all six of the GB squad members were as follows:

  • 4th place: Thomas Tulloch (age 16 from Shropshire) with Janis Tulloch and his own Spirit VI with 43.4*
  • 5th place: 7th place: Saffron Cresswell (14, Worcestershire) riding her own Cuffesgrange Little Ric with 46.2*
  • 9th place: Phoebe Locke (15, Somerset) riding her own Quay with 49.1*
  • 12th place: Harriet Wright (16, Derbyshire) with her own Foxtown Cufflynx with 52.8*
  • 18th place: Phoebe Nicholson (16, Herefordshire) riding Hannah McLeish’s Llanstephan Brenin with 57.2
  • 23rd place: Jessica Thomas (15, Cheshire) with her own Another Island end the day with 67.2

(* denotes Team member)

Gary Parsonage, the Chairman of the Charles Owen Pony Selectors commended that: “As the Chef d ‘equip I couldn’t have asked for more. The tables really turned for us when a good French score was disqualified during the horse inspection meaning a less strong score had to be taken, but our guys still had to hold their nerve. Thomas was so close to [individual] bronze but he couldn’t have done any more for us yesterday or today.

“They are all very pleased as you can imagine. I would like to give a special mention to Jonquil Hemming (GB Squad Trainer) who despite a broken ankle has been absolutely fantastic for them.”

Many thanks go to Charles Owen who are the title sponsors of the British Pony programme, Pony Trials and National Pony Championships at Brand Hall.

The British Young Rider, Junior and Pony European Championship teams are supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme. The teams are also kindly supported by official Equestrian Team GBR suppliers; Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, Land Rover, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian plus clothing from Toggi.

British Eventing is also grateful to the Horse Trials Support Group (HTSG) for their unerring support and fundraising efforts for this team.


Great Britain wins team silver

The British dressage team took silver in the team competition at the FEI Dressage European Championships in Aachen, Germany . After excellent tests from Michael Eilberg and Fiona Bigwood, it was  down to Gloucestershire’s Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin.

They now all head into the individual freestyle championships today on the back of an outstanding team performance that should see them heading for the Olympics in Rio in a year’s time.

Sussex-based Fiona was particularly impressive, having overcome an accident and ensuing double vision which means she has to wear an eye patch when competing. She was only  0.01% adrift of the leader, Diederik van Silfhout (Arlando) on 75.814%, with Fiona  in second place on 75.8%.

Fiona Bigwood competing with  Atterupgaards Orthilia Photo copyright        ©

Fiona Bigwood competing with Atterupgaards Orthilia
Photo copyright © Rui Pedro Godinho

She was delighted with her ride on Atterupgarrds Orthilia ( Tillie) for this was the first time the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare by Gribaldi had ever performed in such a big atmosphere.

“She was nervous in the 10-minute box,” said Fiona, “and as this was only really our sixth show together, my main aim was to achieve a clear round and we achieved that, putting down a good score for the team.

Having occupied the bronze medal position overnight, it was a nail-biting finish to the team event, with all to play for as the last two British team riders took to the arena. Team stalwart Carl Hester was the first of the Brits into the impressive Aachen stadium. Riding Miss Jane De La Mare’s Nip Tuck the pair produced a good test as the temperature soared to be rewarded with a score of 75.400%, for a ninth place Grand Prix finish.

Carl commented after his test; “He’s so consistent, he’s a horse that’s never had under 70%; it’s his second Championship at eleven years old; I’m really, really happy with how he’s going and a lot of horses have had issues in there, so for a horse that’s very young to go in there and have just a couple of minor mistakes, I’m delighted with him.

“For me personally that’s the best ride I’ve ever had at an Aachen, having finished last here – probably about 15 years ago, it was a great improvement.”

Charlotte and Valegro, owned by Mrs Roly Luard, Mrs Anne Barrott and Carl Hester, were the final combination in for Great Britain. With the crowd buzzing, Charlotte produced a test with just a couple of small mistakes for a final score of 83.029%.

Chef d’Equipe for the dressage team Richard Waygood said; “What a fantastic day for the sport it was very exciting right up until the end; we’re very proud of all our riders. We’ve got some great potential for next year and it’s going to make the Olympics very exciting.”



Scott’s Shining Star award

Scott Dollemore (15) from East Grinstead, Sussex has been awarded the NAF Shining Star Award for July. NAF is a respected supplier of equine supplements and supports up and coming riders.

A member of the Sussex Academy, Scott was nominated by lead coach, Judi Piper Dadswell who said: “Scott has been a dedicated Academy member for the past five years and has made a seamless transition on to horses.  He is a hard-working, focused and dedicated team member. Also, his attention to detail and quest for knowledge is exceptional for someone so young.”

Scott Dollemore in winning action Photo:Spidge Photography

Scott Dollemore in winning action
Photo:Spidge Photography

“Just last week he qualified for the Children on Horses Grand Prix at the Longines Royal International Horse Show on a novice horse – Man of Mischief- with which he has been working really hard to improve its showjumping. He is also bringing on his own pony Grantstown Rebel which has come up from British Novice to Foxhunter level.”

Scott said “I feel really privileged to have been nominated by Judi, and to have been awarded is a real shock. I joined the academy for the training opportunities available and the chance to hopefully compete on teams.”

“I am working through my NAF 5* Pony Performance Programme and have just completed my 4* and waiting to have my 5* signed off. I hoping to gain my double clears for 2016 and enjoy ‘Rebel’ as this will be the last year I have with him.”

As part of the winner’s prize, Scott will receive some NAF equine products to use alongside the products he currently uses which includes Hoof Moist, and their tack cleaning products.

The NAF Shining Star Award was introduced when NAF became a British Showjumping Business Partner. The award is for members of a Junior Academy who have shown a great deal of commitment, progression and outstanding behaviour along with their riding ability and much more. Riders are nominated by their lead coach, and then judged and awarded by NAF to one person each month.

Wellington Horse Trials prizes

Wellington International Horse Trials is promising some great new prizes this year at the event which runs from Saturday 29 to Monday 31 August. Set in beautiful grounds on the Duke of Wellington’s Estate, the KBIS Wellington Horse Trials provides a great day out for all the family to enjoy.

Organiser, David Sheerin commented, “We really wanted to add another level to the event this year and approached a number of our sponsors about digging deep and offering a special prize. We were astonished at their generous responses and are delighted to be able to offer some truly amazing prizes this year.”

A new Prestige saddle worth £2000 will be awarded to the winner of an Intermediate section who is placed highest after dressage.

Fine setting at Wellington Horse Trials

Fine setting at Wellington Horse Trials

New equestrian technology company Mibot, is delighted to be able to offer a complete Soloshot2 Remote Camera System, with all the extras, to the winner of a BE100 class who was highest placed after dressage. Included in the prize is a complete Soloshot2 system (base, tag, camera controller), a Sony CX405 HD Handycam, Mibot hard case, tripod and a memory pack, worth over £700, and a private training session on using the equipment. Carl Thomas Photography are offering a private photo shoot and photos worth over £500 to the highest placed local rider at the event.

Amy Goodman will provide a bronze of her ‘War Horse & His Trooper’ as a trophy plus a stunning print to the winner of the CIC3* and their owner.

Wellington International Horse Trials has classes for BE100, Intermediate, Advanced and CIC3* with even more prizes to be announced over the next few weeks.

For more information about the event visit