Lingfield Pony event’s Royal visitor

The final fixture of the Champion Headwear Pony Club Pony Racing series, held at Lingfield Park Racecourse saw sunshine and a special visit from The Pony Club’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

As a great turnout of more than 400 Pony Club Members, supporters and family poured in through the gates ahead of the pony racing action there was the opportunity to visit the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) and careersinracing to have a go on the equicisors, try on real racing silks, get top tips and find out more about Racing as a sport and a career. Over in the paddock, the National Hunt racehorse Sire de Grugy was in fine form for visitors to admire, before taking to the course for a gallop.

HRH The Princess Royal with pony race riders

HRH The Princess Royal with pony race riders

As the day’s pony racing got underway, there was a bumper entry of near 100 Pony Club Members, competing for one of the Champion Headwear race titles at Novice and Open level over four, six or eight furlongs. The special ‘*Area 11 Training Stakes’ race title went to **Centre Member Sophie Manners (14), from London based Pony Club Centre, Park Lane Stables riding Derwent Dream Dancer who also won the tack and turnout for the class.

Sire De Grugy ridden by Jamie Moore put in a popular appearance on the day

Sire De Grugy ridden by Jamie Moore put in a popular appearance on the day

“The day has been such a great opportunity for our Members to get a feel for what it would be like to be a jockey” said Natalie O’Rourke, Proprietor of Park Lane Stables. “We must thank the Eridge Branch and The Pony Club for the opportunity to meet HRH the Princess Royal – coupled with our winner we have had the best day ever!”

With the occasion also marking the 80th anniversary of the organising Eridge Hunt Branch of The Pony Club, HRH the Princess Royal met current Members from the Branch aged four upwards to find out more about them and their ponies, before kindly cutting into an amazing commemorative chocolate cake to be enjoyed by everyone.

“What an amazing day we had at Lingfield Park Racecourse today for The Pony Club Race Day!” said Joanna Tindall, Eridge Hunt District Commissioner. “A huge thank you to all those who helped us from Lingfield Park and the many others from other Pony Club Branches within Area 11. Everyone made it such a special day and one we will all remember for a long time”.

There was an additional surprise for Joanna, alongside Cherry Michell the former Pony Club Chairman,  as they were presented with their Cubitt Awards by HRH the Princess Royal, to honour their individuals commitment of over 20 years voluntary service to The Pony Club.

Cubit Award winners Joanna Tindall and Cherry Michell

Cubit Award winners Joanna Tindall and Cherry Michell

Before heading home HRH the Princess Royal was able to watch some of the pony racing action before stopping by at the prize giving for Race 5 to present the winners and receive a bouquet from Eridge Hunt Member, Theo Boyle.

“It was wonderful to have HRH the Princess Royal with us for our final pony racing fixture of the year” commented Pip Kirkby, Chief Executive of The Pony Club. “The day was such a great display of what The Pony Club is doing at grassroots level with racing as a sport, as well what our amazing volunteers achieve on our behalf”.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Racecourse, echoed the success of the day saying “Hosting the annual Eridge Hunt Pony Club pony racing event at Lingfield Park has always been a pleasure and it was great to see the occasion made even more special this year with the attendance of HRH the Princess Royal”.


Plumpton At The Races raceday

Next Monday, November  2, Plumpton Racecourse will be hosting an action-packed raceday, sponsored by At The Races.

At The Races is a non-subscription TV Channel dedicated to horse racing at home and abroad.  It covers  a comprehensive range of live racing in the UK and Ireland plus other worldwide destinations. At The Races is not only sponsoring the day but is inviting visitors to attend a free Jump Season Preview.

This will include expert talks about the upcoming season and the horses to watch, starting at Noon in the Chasers Bar. For a successful day and season arrive early to avoid missing out on the top tips.

With gates opening at 11:30am and the first race starting at 1.20pm, visitors will enjoy an exciting day of watching competitive jump racing in one of the UK’s most picturesque small jump tracks.


Kate Hills, Plumpton Racecourse Chief Executive, commented: “We are very excited to be hosting this event with our long term partners  At The Races. We are exytremely fortunate to have them sponsor this event and provide their professional advice and expert opinions for this raceday and the National Hunt season ahead.

“We hope our visitors will pick up some useful tips and enjoy a wonderful and prosperous day at the races!”

For further information and tickets please visit or contact the team on 01273 890383.

Miniature horse breeding success

CHICHESTER area amateur breeders of miniature horses, Alison and Roger Parsons, enjoyed prestigious success at the recent Horse of the Year Show. Their stallion Spotlight Bo Diddly culminated an excellent season by finishing second and competed in the championship event in the famous International arena in the evening performance.

This event was a well-deserved accolade for Spotlight Bo Diddly. He had competed in six of the 11 HOYS qualifiers and never finished worse than fourth place. He was second at Royal Windsor, third at Royal Bath and West, fourth at Royal Three Counties, third at Kent County.

Spotlights Bo Diddly Photo:

Spotlight Bo Diddly
Photo:Roger Parsons

He won and was Champion at The Showing Register and second and Reserve Champion at New Forest and Hampshire County Show.This latest performance meant he was the winner of the prestigious Tag La Ligga Award for consistency for all Miniature Horse Stallions.

“He also took the coveted Champion of Champions crown at the British Miniature Horse Society Breed Championships. This class is only open to horses who have won a championship at any affiliated show this season so the competition was very high,” said Alison.

She added: “He is a lovely boy who just loves his job, a real professional, who pricks his ears and demands you look at him as he enters the ring. He is nine years old so at his prime. He is now roughed off and in the field for a well earned winter rest. He will come back into work in mid February in preparation to do it all again next year. ”

Alison with miniatures Buttercup and Bambi Photo: Roger Parsons

Alison with miniatures Alamos Buttercup and Alamos Violet, known as Bambi
Photo: Roger Parsons

The move into miniature breeding came when Alison and Roger celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2007 and decided to do something different to celebrate- they aimed to become involved with miniature horses and to show them at top level.

They approached the chairman of the British Miniature Horse Society who was extremely helpful and they found their first filly, Alamos Buttercup, who became their foundation mare for breeding.

Buttercup went on to reach HOYS in 2009 and their first foal arrived in 2014, and is now a yearling. They have six miniatures altogether, with three mares, Bo Diddly, Bo’s little yearling daughter, a gelding and Seamist Starlight, who is developing nicely and they hope will follow in her father’s footsteps.

“The filly foal will be really good next year. She is by Spotlight Bo Diddly, and has a good attitude with all the assets of her sire, so we are hopeful for her future showing success. Another mare, Bubbles (nine) and officially known as Apollo’s Carolina Moon,is away at stud and hopefully in foal. We also aim to put Buttercup in foal next year,” said Alison, adding: ” We have six at the moment- they are very collectable!”

Poignant victory for Vicky

WHEN Ashurst rider Vicky Allan won the recent London and South East Dressage to Music Championships with an outstanding score of 78.33 riding her horse Razzle Dazzle, it was a particularly poignant victory for this mother of two young girls.

Vicky and Lyric receiving their awards at Belmoredean from John and Ann Foss Photo: Gill Hammond

Vicky and Lyric receiving their awards at Belmoredean from John and Ann Foss Photo: Gill Hammond

She flew the flag for Horsham and District Riding Club with this excellent victory, where she was well clear of the remainder of competitors in the With British Dressage Points section, despite not having competed since the qualifier for the event at Plumpton in June.

Vicky described the previous twelve months as being her ‘annus horribilus’. For she had Stage 3 breast cancer. She added:”Back in June, I had just had my fifth round of chemo the week before and somehow managed to steer Lyric to victory in that Riding Club Area Qualifier.

She added:”Even though I was feeling well below par, I went along telling myself I was going to enjoy this. Lyric really helped me out. It was just the tonic I needed to see me through to the end of my treatment and gave me something to focus on. I set my sights on the Championship and we worked hard over the past month since I have been feeling stronger.”

Razzle Dazzle ( known at home as Lyric) more than repaid Vicky during this torrid time for having rescued her from slaughter years ago.

Vicky explained: “Lyric helped me through some pretty dull times over the last few months. I managed to ride all through my chemotherapy, even if sometimes I felt very poorly. I’ve had some excellent tuition from Robbie Carpenter at Belmoredean recently, and my fabulous music was so well put together by my friend and music technician, Nick Smith. All these things contributed to my victory.”

Lyric with Vicky and her daughters Photo: Jeannie Knight

Lyric with Vicky and her daughters Elsa and Imogen
Photo: Jeannie Knight

She added: ” I am still overcome with emotion, having won the event with such a whopping score from judge Debbie Pateman. I’m hoping to put Lyric in foal next year, but may look into surrogacy as she is doing so well and time is ticking on.”

She added:”It was the amazing support of my husband,  Rowan, and all my family and friends that helped to get me through the whole ordeal and encourage me to work towards the championships. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”

Lyric, now 17, has a wonderful temperament and is a firm favourite with Vicky’s daughters Elsa (four) and Imogen (six), who love to sit on her. The hope is that they will one day be able to ride her foal. Lyric has always been part of their lives and has a touching story herself, having once been destined for death. Originally, Vicky bought her for a very modest sum to save her from the slaughter and Lyric has more than repaid her with countless victories.

Daughters Elsa and

Daughters Elsa (four) and Imogen (six) with the Belmoredean rosette and trophy

These included an enormous success in 2012 at the British National Championships, when Vicky won her arena and went on to become the Overall Individual Riding Test Champion with Lyric from a field of 148 riders with an outstanding score of 88.89 per cent. They were also part of the Horsham Riding Club team which won the team competition.

Last year the duo first revealed their talents in dressage to music when winning a London and South East Novice Dressage to Music Championships, held at Sands Farm, Warnham in a nil British Dressage points section, with music again arranged by Nick to suit Lyric’s style, including Romeo and Juliets ‘Dance of the Knights’ for the Walk, Beethovens Symphony No 8 for the Trot and some music from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna for the canter.

She may well have her life put into print, for Vicky revealed: “I’m also planning on writing a book about Lyric, along the lines of Black Beauty as I bought her from the meat man to save her and have so many chapters to tell!”


New fillies and mares all-weather handicaps

Eight valuable handicaps for fillies and mares, run between seven and nine furlongs, are being introduced during the third season of the All-Weather Championships, which starts next week on Thursday, October 29, 2015 and concludes with the £1.1 million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25, 2016.

The Class Two and Three handicaps, worth up to £27,000 each, take place between January and March next year at Lingfield Park, Kempton Park and Wolverhampton Racecourses.

The European Breeders Fund (EBF) is backing the new races, which provide extra opportunities for fillies and mares through the winter months with the best horses set to compete on Good Friday in the 32Red Fillies and Mares Final worth £150,000.

Action on the all-weather Photo courtesy ARC

Action on the all-weather Photo courtesy ARC

This extension of its support means the EBF is contributing a total of £109,000 towards prize money during the third season of the All-Weather Championships.

The significant figure is spread across 44 races with EBF conditions at the five All-Weather racecourses in Great Britain – Lingfield Park, Wolverhampton and Southwell, run by the Arena Racing Company (ARC), the Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, during the All-Weather Championships. The races range from two-year-old maidens to Listed events.

Philip Freedman, the British EBF Chairman, said: “The British EBF is very pleased to be increasing support for the All-Weather Championships this season by providing funding to assist the programming of a new series of worthwhile opportunities for fillies and mares.

“These races have been designed as specific stepping stones leading towards participation in the Fillies’ and Mares’ Final worth £150,000 on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25, 2016.”

Martin Cruddace, the ARC Chief Executive, welcomed the EBF’s involvement: “ARC established the All-Weather Championships to raise the profile and prestige of All-Weather racing.

“We are extremely grateful to the trustees of the British EBF and stallion owners of British-based sires for extending their existing prize money contribution to include extra races on the All-Weather.”

Kerry Murphy, the EBF Chief Executive, added: “The British EBF’s support of the All-Weather Championships reinforces our commitment to encouraging quality racing across Europe throughout the year.”

Somerley Park Horse trials end

British Eventing has announced the end of Somerley Park International Horse Trials near Ringwood (Hants) will no longer take place in the future.

Organiser Suzie Cotterill, who has been involved in the event since its inception in 1997, explained: “It has been an extremely difficult decision to come to since we have been running a very popular event in a stunning location for many years. However due to rising costs associated with the event and location, we simply have to draw these horse trials to a close.”

Suzie who is also a member of the BE Board of Directors added: “On behalf of myself and everyone involved with the Eleda Equestrian events organising team behind Somerley Park Horse Trials, I would like to thank everyone for all their kindness and enthusiasm over the years, from the riders, owners and their supporters, to our many volunteers who have endured every weather, as well as the trade-stand holders and our local supporters.

Somerely Horse Trials

Somerely Horse Trials- a fine venue

She added: “Thank you to all our sponsors who have been so loyal to us in offering their invaluable support and financial backing. This year was a great success and a legacy to Adele Scardt. We will find an event that meant much to Adele and have our CIC2* trophy presented in her and Somerleys name.”

BE Chief Executive David Holmes commented: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to Suzie, Steve Adams and the team for many years of dedication to the sport. I would also like to say a heartfelt thanks to Lord Somerton for permitting this event to take place at the Somerley Estate.

“We are very sorry to see this much loved fixture lost from the calendar, but will be trying our utmost to find another suitable replacement venue for this region in the future.”
The 2016 Fixtures calendar will be confirmed in early November.


Lingfield AW Championships

THE third season of the highly successful All-Weather Championships begins at Lingfield Park on Thursday October 29 and will be better than ever.

Finals Day takes place as usual on Good Friday, March 25, at the same Surrey venue, with the seven races worth a total of £1.1 million. The main change this season is encouragement of more Irish and French runners to take part in the 2015/2016 All-Weather Championships.

Lingfield Park All WeatherChampionships start soon Photo:Arena Racing

Lingfield Park All Weather Championships start soon
Photo:Arena Racing

For the first time, horses can qualify for one of the races on Finals Day by racing three times on an All-Weather surface in France and Ireland, as well as Britain. Of course, they need to be high enough rated to run in one of the seven Finals, each worth at least £150,000, or they can make sure of participation by winning a Fast-Track Qualifier, which grants free and guaranteed entry.

The other way to qualify for a final is to run three times during the Championship period, including twice on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France and at least once on dirt at Meydan, Dubai.

The categories and the sponsors remain the same this season, 3-Y-O Sprint (Unibet), 3-Y-O Mile (32Red), Sprint (Unibet), Mile (Ladbrokes), Fillies’ & Mares’ (32Red), Marathon (32Red) and Middle Distance (Coral). There are four Fast-Track Qualifiers for each race category.The number of Fast-Track Qualifiers outside Britain has increased by two, with four staged at Dundalk, Ireland as against two last season, and two again in France, one at Cagnes-Sur-Mer and the other at Deauville.

Martin Cruddace, Chief Executive Officer of Arena Racing Company, said : “The All-Weather Championships, especially the £1.1 million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, are now an established part of the British Racing Calendar.

“While the All-Weather Championships were initially the idea of Arena Racing Company (ARC), everyone at ARC is enormously grateful to the support we have received from all in British Racing in helping ensure the All-Weather Championships have proved a success from the outset.

“Particular thanks go to the British Horseracing Authority and the horsemen for their practical support, the European Breeders Fund, which financially supports many races across the All-Weather Championships season, and Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Dundalk, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Deauville racecourses.

“As we enter the third season of the All-Weather Championships, we welcome runners from abroad and have done more to encourage them.The third All-Weather Championships will be about enjoying another winter of exciting racing, ahead of crowning seven new Champions on Good Friday.”

£10,000 will go to each of the All-Weather Champions, based on the number of winners, at the end of All-Weather Championships season: –
Champion All-Weather Jockey
Champion All-Weather Trainer
Champion All-Weather Owner
Champion All-Weather Sire
Winning Most All-Weather Horse
Champion Tipster
In addition to the awards above, the horse who wins the most prize money during the period will become the ‘All-Weather Horse of the Year’.

Kennet Valley’s exciting new horses

ONE of the most successful Flat racing owners’ groups, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, has had an outstandingly successful 2015 , with its horses achieving record prize money.And it will be revealing new horses for syndicated ownership tomorrow ( Saturday October 24) at Newbury racecourse, with the chance to become an owner with one of the most successful racing groups.

Partners Sam Hoskins and Piers Winkworth are delighted with this, saying: “We have had runners in the top festivals and there have been some new and innovative ‘away days’ for partners in KVT to enjoy. The results have been truly remarkable and to date we have achieved 11 wins from 38 runs ( a 30 per cent strike rate) and 14 paying places.

Magical Memory in winning style Photo: Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds

Magical Memory in winning style
Photo: Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds

“Total prizemoney stands at around £412,000 from a squad of just seven inexpensive runners – fantastic! There have been so many exciting days, but the highlight of the season must be Magical Memory’s victory in the famous Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

“Under a resurgent Frankie Detorri he won in some style. ‘Magic’ also won a Heritage Handicap at Newmarket’s July Festival and was third in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, putting him among the top earners of the season and the second highest earner for trainer Charlie Hills.”

Not to be out-done by the younger generation the group’s flag bearer Tullius has also had an excellent campaign. He won two races, the Group 2 York Stakes and the Listed Doncaster Mile, and was placed in some of the top mile and middle distance races.

Tullius in winning action

Tullius in winning action

They continued: “He retained all his high-class ability as a seven-year-old and there is discussion about some jet-setting for him in the future. He is currently Andrew Balding’s top earner of the season.

“We have also had two other three-time winners in Maxwell and Bishop’s Leap.
Maxwell has largely had an excellent season, but the progression made by Bishop’s
Leap is nothing short of outstanding, he reached a mark of 91 before being sold on
to Hong Kong for a considerable sum.

“Of the youngsters Stroke Of Midnight has had a decent season, without quite hittingthe back of the net – she was second four times! Match My Fire pleased his trainer with a good second run and Frenchman was an eye-catching fourth on debut.

“Signal Hill is a work in progress for what promises to be an exciting three-year-old career. Our trainers all like what they have seen so far and are confident that they have promising sorts for 2016.”

There is also plenty of action off the track for this excellent racing group. There have been top class social events, trips to trainer’s gallops throughout the season, an interesting ‘back to school’ tour of Weatherby’s and, the icing on the cake, a meeting with the legendary Frankel during a group inaugural visit to Newmarket.

Dandy Man colt out of Soranna

Dandy Man colt out of Soranna to be trained by Ralph Beckett


Five new yearlings have been purchased for the coming season- four colts and a filly. Four will be heading to existing trainers Messrs Balding, Beckett, Hannon and Hills and a fifth to a new roster member, Roger Varian, adding a Newmarket dimension.

Shares are sold on a first come, first server basis, so if you want to join KVT contact Sam to book your place.

Zoffany colt out of Red Japonica

Zoffany colt out of Red Japonica

New team for 2016 -Older Horses,Tullius  and Signal Hill, (Andrew Balding),  Magical Memory and  Frenchman ( Charles Hills), Match My Fire ( Ralph Beckett), Signal Hill (Andrew Balding).

Tamayuz colt out of Society Gal to be trained by Richard Hannon

Tamayuz filly out of Society Gal to be trained by Richard Hannon

Two-year-olds all currently unnamed- Bay colt Zoffany / Red Japonica) Andrew Balding; Bay colt Dandy Man / Soranna) Ralph Beckett; Bay filly Tamayuz / Society Gal) Richard Hannon; Chestnut colt Sir Percy / Dayrose) Charles Hills; Bay colt Rock of Gibraltar / Moiava) Roger Varian.

For more information on ownership contact Sam on 07791 746119 or 0203 542 1620

Royal reception for owners

There was a Royal  reception for owners of Team GBR and World Class Programme horses this week at Hyde Park Barracks, London when Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), attended an event in London.

The occasion, which was attended by more than seventy owners, saw presentations by Performance Director Dan Hughes and Performance Managers Yogi Breisner and Richard Waygood on what support the Programme offers to owners and athletes, whilst looking ahead to the Rio 2016 Games.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall accompanied (L-R) Di Lampard, Richard Waygood, Yogi Breisner and Dan Hughes - British Equestrian Federation World Class Owners' Day - Knightsbridge Barracks, London - 15 October 2015 Photo by Jon Stroud

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall  pictured at the event :Photo by Jon Stroud

An evening reception saw HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meet the owners of horses who have contributed to British teams this year and World Class personnel who will take a critical role in preparing athletes and horses ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Commenting on the event, Performance Director Dan Hughes said; “As a Programme we feel very privileged that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was able to join us to acknowledge the critical role our owners play in equestrian sport, particularly as we head towards next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

“Without our loyal owners, we would not be able to field such strong equestrian teams on the international stage.  We also wanted to develop a strategy to bring more owners into equestrian sport to support our younger British riders and develop the teams of the future.”



Unmissable Fruity O’ Rooney book

ONE racehorse which has captured the hearts of the racing public, despite never winning a major race such as the Gold Cup, is Fruity O’ Rooney owned by Heart of the South Racing Club in Sussex.

A gutsy victory at Fontwell Park last year raised the roof as the entire crowd joined his dedicated owners’ group in celebrating the win. Now a captivating book, packed with colour photos, has been written and published by Ann Tyrell, a member of the group, to commemorate this truly remarkable horse.

It is superbly written in entertaining style, with Fruity O’ Rooney telling the story of his life, which makes it simply irresistable. And  John Francome, president of the Injured Jockey’s Fund says in the foreward:” Fruity O’ Rooney is exactly the horse that most owners and trainers can only dream of being involved with. He is game and gutsy and loves every moment of his racing life.”

Fruity O' Rooney and juubilant owners following his Fontwell Park victory Photo: Jeannie Knight

Fruity O’ Rooney  with Jamie Moore and jubilant owners following his last Fontwell Park victory Photo: Jeannie Knight

In fact this remarkable horse has given endless pleasure to his owners inapproaching 50 races at more than a dozen courses, varying from Aintree and Cheltenham to Fontwell Park and Plumpton.

In her preface, Ann says: ” If you mention the name Fruity O’Rooney to anyone who loves the jumpers, everyone will have heard of him. His 20 owners feel deeply grateful to him for all the great times he has provided.”

And she has written the book in brilliant style coming straight from this outstanding hiorse’s mouth.  He starts with My Friends, saying ‘I am a lucky fellow. Throughout my life I have had great human and horsey friends. Just to embarrass some of them, I will tell you about my best mates.”

Fruity O' Rooney in action Picture John Simpson

Fruity O’ Rooney in action
Picture John Simpson

He starts with The Moore Family, having been trained by Gary Moore for many years and ridden mainly by Jamie Moore, and also in some races by Joshua Moore. The revelations are fascinating…

Susie and Pixel follows ( a tribute to his work rider and her little dog) and My friend Philip ( Philip Hide, the jockey who rode him in his early races when trained by Peter Winkworth.) and John Penny and Eloise ( driving force of Heart of the South Racing, and his daughter who runs the syndicate.).

Nothing escapes Fruity’s attention in the book, covering The Owners and races, with Fruity himself saying of one particular race at Stratford: “What a prat I was! Fancy missing up the first fence. I did not know Josh would come off….As this had never happened to me before, I decided to enjoy myself….”

Big Trouble describes a colic episode, where thanks to Arundel Equine Veterinary Hospital,  he ‘was spared both death and the knife’ and recovered.

Fruity O’Rooney book “With a little help from his friends” produced by Ann Tyrell

There is much, much more in this brilliantly written and  produced A4 size colourful book, which is great value at £10

It is no surprise that Fontwell Park is going to have a special celebration for him at the track at a meeting on November 15.

The book is great value at just £10. To make sure of your copy contact Ann Tyrrell  at or 0756423086