Unaffiliated dressage at Plumpton College

UNAFFILIATED dressage competitions at Plumpton College, Sussex, organised by Badr Al Omran, continue to attract excellent entries, as well as some of the top riders from the South of England.

Badr is a part-time lecturer at Plumpton College, and also a freelance trainer and well-known dressage rider. He runs the competitions alongside the college’s popular  degree student courses, which range from Foundation to Bsc courses.

The unaffiliated competitions range from Preliminary to medium level over three classes. Rosettes and trophies are awarded to each winner of the three classes and the recent November competition attracted the usual good entry

Emily White

Emily White riding Legend had highest score of the day Photo courtesy Alm Photography


Class 1 Preliminary 17 was won by Emily White riding her own Legende, a 15-year-old warmblood gelding, with the highest of the unaffiliated scores of the day with 70.19%. Judged by Jane Bwye, Emily performed a flowing and harmonious test to win by a margin of 2%.

The Novice Class was won by Lucy Holland and Beaghmore Mat with 67.07%, but it was a close call as the top four competitors were separated by only 4 marks, indicating the high standard of riding at these events.

Nicki Goodwin won the Elementary Class, riding her own Rio’s Summer Song, a large impressive chestnut who made easy work of the test.

The affiliated classes started from Prelim and finished with Advanced Medium. Preliminary 17 and Novice 22 restricted  were won by Harriet Baillee and her own opinionated Otis B Driftwood with scores of 67.12 % and 70% respectively. Otis was not always keen to enter the competition arena nor leave it either but goes beautifully and is a retired racehorse.

Maria Pook riding Fairlight  Photo: Alm Photography

Maria Pook riding Fairlight Photo: Alm Photography

Both open sections of the novice classes were won my Maria Pook riding Fairlight, a six-year-old mare by Furst Romancier out of a Sandro Hit mare.  Maria said: “I only affiliated her about a month ago as I’m too busy with my showing and other horses in the summer months to do much dressage. She is now qualified for the regionals at novice level.
“She is a diva and can be quite a challenge so I was thrilled to get two clear rounds, and to win both classes was even better- and she had some lovely comments from the judge. I’ve backed off the flat work recently and have been doing a lot of poles and jumping and it seems to be keeping her sweet. She got an 8 for submission so it must be working!”

The next event is being held on January 23 2016. Competitors  have praised Plumpton College student for being very helpful- opening and closing gates to arenas, reading tests and doing all things that make for a smooth and happy event.

Take a look at Plumpton Dressage Facebook page to keep up to date with what is going on at this popular venue.


Irish tilt at All Weather Finals

 Irish handler Tracey Collins is preparing Captain Joy for a second tilt at the £150,000 Ladbrokes Mile at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 25, 2016.
The six-year-old ran a great race to finish third in this year’s renewal, going down by a half-length to Grey Mirage and Sovereign Debt in a close and thrilling finish.
He earned his place on Good Friday, when total prize money for the seven finals came to £1.1 million, with two easy wins over seven furlongs at Dundalk and a comfortable victory in a mile Fast-Track Qualifier at Lingfield Park in January.
Captain Joy Photo: ARC

Captain Joy
Photo: John Simpson

Following his run on Good Friday, Captain Joy was just touched off in a mile Listed race on turf at Leopardstown on June 11.
Collins, who trains at the Curragh, Ireland’s main racing centre, said: “Captain Joy will be back for the All-Weather Championships from Christmas onwards.
“He is on a little break at the moment and the aim is to get qualified for the Ladbrokes Mile again.
“It was a super run on Good Friday and a great day. My horse just came up a bit short and, although the second horse was unlucky, you can’t take anything away from the winner.
“There are Fast-Track Qualifiers at Dundalk, Kempton and Wolverhampton in the New Year and we will be looking at all of them.”
Collins is also planning an All-Weather campaign for promising sprinter Chiclet, who has not been out of the first three in six starts on Polytrack and posted two eye-catching successes over five furlongs at Dundalk in April.
Collins added: “Chiclet is another I am looking forward to aiming at the All-Weather Championships.
“From what we have seen so far, she is an out and out five-furlong filly, but we are hoping as she gets stronger that she will be able to stretch out an extra furlong.
“She has also had a nice break and will hopefully start off at Dundalk later this month.”
Chiclet is a four-year-old filly by Dandy Man, who was a stable stalwart before being bought by Godolphin.
About The All-Weather Championships
The third All-Weather Championships run from Thursday, October 29, 2015 and culminate with All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, March 25, 2016, at Lingfield Park. The seven races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day are worth a total of £1.1 million
Horses can qualify for one of the races on Finals Day by racing three times on an All-Weather surface in Britain, France or Ireland. Horses 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 one of the Finals 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 this season are: 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.
£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’.

Kingley Vale RDA’s new mirrors

A generous donation from Rogate and District Riding Club has enabled a hard-working RDA group near Chichester to have a useful mirror facility installed to help riders. Kingley Vale RDA has provided therapy and fun for pupils with learning difficulties from St Anthony’s School, Chichester, for the last 35 years and now has the brand new facility as an extra teaching aid.

Thanks to the donation, the mirrors are now in use at Hawthorn Riding School in East Ashling, where the pupils, aged seven -11, use them as a useful and fun addition during its weekly sessions there.

Kingley Vale RDA chairman with who donated the mirrors behind the group. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Kingley Vale RDA chairman  Jeanette Crane with Colin and Stephanie Richardson of Rogate Riding Club, which donated the mirrors  seen reflecting the scene behind the group. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Group organiser and coach Mairi Ames said:” Our sessions have always been fun-orientated, enabling the youngsters to learn in a happy environment, and the mirrors are proving to be an excellent third dimension. The ponies have got used to them and stopped whinnying at themselves now!”
RDA group chairman Jeanette Crane said the mirrors are helping with learning, especially in cases where too much verbal instruction can be confusing for the young riders. She said: “We have a group of experienced volunteers enabling these young riders to use the facilities all the year round.  The mirrors have brought an added dimension to our sessions and we are very grateful to the kind donation from the riding club which has enabled them to be installed.”

Kingley Vale RDA chairman Jeanette Crane in front of the mirror Photo : Jeannie Knight

Kingley Vale RDA chairman Jeanette Crane in front of the mirror Photo : Jeannie Knight

Dawn Knee, St Anthony’s School horse riding coordinator expressed thanks to Kingley Vale RDA group for its dedication in providing therapy and fun for the children for the last 35 years. She added: ” We would like to take this opportunity to thank members of Rogate and District Riding Club for its general donation. This money has allowed the group to purchase two large arena mirrors and riding hats.

” The mirrors will, be a huge benefit to the children, who often find it diffiult to follow verbal instructions and to visualise what they have been asked to do. Pupils at St Anthony’s are visual learners and the use of mirrors will aid their learning experience.”
Once the mirrors had been bought, the remaining money was used to buy hats which were desperately needed due to a change in hat regulations which comes into effect in the New Year.

The whole group celebrates the event Photo: Jeannie Knight

The whole group celebrates the event
Photo: Jeannie Knight

President of Rogate Riding Club, Colin Richardson, accompanied by club secretary, his wife  Stephanie Richardson, went along to a recent session to see the young riders using the mirrors.  He explained that that the school’s riding coordinator, Dawn Knee, was also Rogate and District Riding Club’s  endurance organiser. ” The club has always been aware of the hard work done by this RDA group and we wanted to do something to help,”he said.

The RDA group has six ponies that it uses at Hawthorn Riding School, with 12 students at each session, rotating between riding and learning, so that they all have opportunity to progress on the ponies. In summer they are able to use outdoor facilities there.

Mckenzie’s Friend impressed at Plumpton

TRAINER Oliver Sherwood has an eye on the EBF Finals at Sandown, before Cheltenham, for his Plumpton winner Mckenzie’s Friend. The four-year-old, partnered by Leighton Aspell, was a good winner of the opening novices’ hurdle at the Sussex track yesterday.

Trainer Oliver Sherwood gives Mckenzies Friend a pat following his impressive citory. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Trainer Oliver Sherwood gives Mckenzies Friend a pat following his impressive victory. Photo: Jeannie Knight

His trainer said after the victory:” He is a real bonnie horse. All my horses have been needing a run, but he has done well today. He is not the largest of horses- ideally I would like him to be an inch taller- but what he lack in size, he makes up for in heart. I’m pleased with his victory today. He jumped well and handled the ground.

“I’m happy with him and we are in a good position with him now,” he added.

This raceday celebrated Plumpton Racecourse entering its third year of being twinned with the French racecourse Pompadour. The day adopted a French theme and visitors enjoyed a day of six exciting races, including the annual Anglo – French Amateur rider’s race.

The French visitors from Pompadour had a great day of entertaining their guests.  Pierre Lechaud, Vice President of Pompadour, and a Director of Sicame who sponsored the Anglo-French Amateur race, wore black armbands in remembrance of the recent Paris attacks.  As a show of solidarity and in remembrance of those who lost their lives, Plumpton joined the arranged national minute’s silence at 11am.

The John Tampsett Galloping into Retirement Novices Hurdle was won by McKenzie’s Friend trained by Oliver Sherwood. John enjoyed choosing the ‘best turned out’ horse in the paddock, and then presenting the winning connections with their prize after the race.

Violet Dancer, trained at Horsham by Gary Moore, failed to continue his winning sequence in the SIS Novices Steeple Chase over two miles three furlongs. He found one too good in Le Murcurey, a five -year-old bay gelding, trained by Paul Nicholls.

Le Mercurey with jockey Sam Twiston-Davies Photo: Jeannie Knight

Le Mercurey with jockey Sam Twiston-Davies
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Sam  Twiston-Davies was the winning rider and he was upbeat about his mount’s future, saying: ”  This win  shows he is capable of making a good chaser. He had run well at top level over hurdles, but now we know he can jump fences and he is a good prospect.”

The Handicap Steeplechase of just under two and a half miles was a star attraction, involving  Mr Muddle, trained by Sheena West at Lewes and ridden by Marc Goldstein. Mr Muddle is better known to thousands of followers as Wocket Woy in an hilarious cult video series with jockey Mattie Batchelor- filmed by Marc Goldstein.

Mr Muddle, alias Wocket Woy with Marc Goldstein in the saddle, just fails to catch winner

Mr Muddle, alias Wocket Woy with Marc Goldstein in the saddle, just fails to catch winner Ashcott Boy  Photo: Jeannie Knight

The grey gelding battled for the lead throughout the race, but Ashcott Boy, trained by Neil Mulholland at Limpley Stoke, got the better of him in a thrilling finish. The winning horse was ridden by amateur rider David Noonan, who continues to impress in the saddle. He was riding his 15th winner of the current season,  when he rode the 11-2 shot to win by less than a length.

Winning rider David Noonan, who had a double, with Ashcott Boy Photo: Jeannie Knight

Winning rider David Noonan, who had a double, with Ashcott Boy Photo: Jeannie Knight

He had ridden a winner the previous day at Fontwell Park and also went on to a Plumpton double winning the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle later on the card, partnering trainer Anthony Honeyball’s The Geegeez GeeGee to victory.

The National Hunt Flat race produced an interesting winner with Warren Greatex sending out French-bred Vinciaettis to an easy nine length victory with Gavin Sheehan in the saddle.

It was a good day’s racing at Plumpton, with the track in its usual good condition and the next meeting is on Monday November 30- definitely a date for the diary.




Fruity O’ Rooney’s farewell to Fontwell

FRUITY O’ Rooney, trained at Horsham by Gary Moore and owned by 20 of Heart of the South Racing Group’s owners, said farewell to Fontwell Park yesterday prior to his impending retirement.

Fruity O' Rooney at Fontwell Park yesterday, Jamie Moore in the saddle. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Fruity O’ Rooney at Fontwell Park yesterday, Jamie Moore in the saddle. Photo: Jeannie Knight

The 12-year-old Kahyasi gelding was partnered as usual by trainer’s son, Jamie Moore , when he ran in the Southern National Handicap Chase. But the winner of eight races and an impressive £130,000 in prizemoney, ‘Fruity’ was one of seven runners to be pulled up during the three mile three furlong race, which was run at an unexpectedly fast pace.

Members of Heart of the South's Fruity O' Rooney racing group withtheir jockey Jamie Moore at Fontwell Photo: Jeannie Knight

Members of Heart of the South’s Fruity O’ Rooney racing group with their jockey Jamie Moore at Fontwell  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jamie told owners he took the decision early in the race because he felt FruityO’Rooney might be able to acquit himself better in a handicap chase at Ascot this Friday, for which he still holds an entry, where the race might be run more to his liking.

Earlier owners had celebrated the 20th anniversary of the racing group at a special lunch at Fontwell Park.  Founder John Penny had travelled down from Scotland  for the event- having started it originally because he disliked the way many racing groups were run at the time, without fully involving owners.

Heart of the South is now managed by his daughter Eloise and all owners are fully involved. At the lunch a draw was made to distribute different trophies and prizes won by the group’s horses during the last year amongst owners.

Winner Baron Alco with Jamie Moore and owners Photo: Jeannie Knight

Winner Baron Alco with Jamie Moore and owners
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jamie Moore had earlier won the other Fontwell Park feature race- the Salmon Spray Handicap Hurdle – on board four-year-old Baron Alco, trained by his father Gary. Owned by Mr John Stone, the horse had a winning start to this season at Stratford last month. Sent off favourite, he made every yard of the running at Fontwell, staying on impressively to win

The Southern National was won by Golden Chieftain, ridden by Brendan Powell, and trained by Colin Tizzard at Sherborne, Dorset, whose stable is coming bang into form. That victory came on the heels of a treble  and second at his local track last month- and a good win at Wetherby.

Southern National winner Golden Chieftain with Brendan Powell up Photo: Jeannie Knight

Southern National winner Golden Chieftain with Brendan Powell up Photo: Jeannie Knight

Golden Chieftain  was enjoying his first win since landing a race at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival  and his trainer said of the winner:”I knew the horse would stay.” and he followed up by sending out Buckhorn Timothy to take the John Rogerson Memorial Novices Steeplechase, ridden by Daryl Jacob, for a memorable feature race double at Fontwell yesterday.

Trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell with Southern National winner Photo: Nigel Bowles, Connors

Trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell with Southern National winner Goolden Chieftain
Photo: Nigel Bowles, John Connors Press Associates , Lewes

Another Dorset trainer who does well at Fontwell Park is Caroline Keevil and she did not go away empty-handed. General Girling had won at the track last month and, with James Best again in the saddle, made all to win the opening novice handicap hurdle race comfortably by 23 lengths from 14-1 shot Burgess Dream , trained at Jevington, East Sussex by Anna Newton-Smith.

General Girling trained by Caroline Keevil with jockey James Best

General Girling trained by Caroline Keevil with jockey James Best

Fontwell also staged a race named after Fruity O’ Rooney- the Fruity O’ Rooney Heart of a Lion maiden hurdle race over two miles and three furlongs.  It attracted 13 entries and was won by Oxfordshire trainer Harry Whittington, who is based at Sparsholt, with 9- 4 favourite Emerging Force. The five-year-old Milan gelding had not run since April and continued his trainer’s spell of good form, under an excellent ride from Gavin Sheehan.

Trainer Anthony Honeyball was in the winner’s spot in the Handicap Hurdle when 13-8 favourite Anda De Grissay was an easy nine length winner with useful amateur rider David Noonan on board.  The final race, a chase over two miles five furlongs was a father and son victory, with Brendan Powell Junior bringing home 11-4 joint favourite Lady From Geneva to win for his father, trainer Brendan Powell.






‘Animals are for life’ warning

Speaking at  the recent World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference  in London, the charity’s President HRH The Princess Royal highlighted the need for horse owners to maintain a long-term interest in their horse’s health and welfare. She added that short-termism and convenience are no replacement for experience and understanding when challenging the status quo in the sector.

Experts from across the fields of politics, equine behaviour, veterinary science and horse sport came together for the charity’s annual conference at the Royal Geographical Society, discussing and debating the status quo through a range of topics including equine obesity, racing, law and different approaches to equine management and training.

HRH The Princess Royal speaking at World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference 2015. Photo: Alice Wood

HRH The Princess Royal speaking at World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference 2015. Photo: Alice Wood

Celebrated jockey and author, John Francome, gave his view on why a ban on using whips in racing could be positive for not only improving standards of horsemanship but also for boosting public perception of the sport and encouraging more people to engage with it.

He said: “Does it (the whip) look good? Definitely not. And what are the positives of not having a whip? Jockeys would have to keep both hands on the reins and work a lot harder. It’s about 20 per cent harder to ride a finish without a whip… they’d have to think more.”

Spanish veterinary surgeon, Josep Subirana, addressed the different attitudes and approaches to equine euthanasia and care around the world where practices vary widely depending on cultural and religious beliefs. He said: “Religion, fables, literature all condition how we see animals. With domestication we took on certain obligations, including providing a good death. Contrary to wild animals, domesticated ones don’t have the mercy of wild predators… euthanasia is a compassionate act that should be granted to animals in need because the alternative is much worse.”

Former Defra Minister, Sir Jim Paice, considered whether our horses are better off inside or outside of the EU; stressing the importance of an enforceable and robust equine identification system to safeguard our horses. He said: “The issues of movement rules, disease and ID have an enormous impact on welfare. Almost all of those controls (for import/export) are unenforceable or irrelevant unless the animals can be properly identified and the system has integrity. ”

Head of equine clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust, Dr Sue Dyson, took a strong stand on the ever-growing issue of equine obesity which is widespread in the leisure horse market due to a lack of awareness about assessing bodyweight and condition. She called on vets to be more direct with their clients about overweight horses and on the sector as a whole to work together in changing attitudes and awareness around what level of condition defines a healthy horse. She said: “Pleasure horses are twice as likely to be obese as competition horses. A fat horse is not necessarily a healthy horse and we have to educate owners, trainers and judges. All parts of the industry need to work responsibly and act soon.”

A debating panel then considered whether traditional horse management and training practices are always best, chaired by journalist and editor, Lucy Higginson. The panel included President of the International Dressage Trainers Club David Hunt, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine Daniel Mills, author and contributing editor to The Spectator Melissa Kite and editor of the Equine Veterinary Journal Celia Marr with debate focussing on a number of areas from how best to stable our horses, innovations in equipment and training methods to reliance on drugs in keeping horses healthy and the resulting problems when advice or training methods are used too prescriptively.

The day concluded with a speech from the charity’s President, HRH The Princess Royal, who stressed that whilst innovation, research and technology play a huge role in helping to improve horse welfare, we must not underestimate the importance of experience and knowledge in aiding our understanding of horses.

HRH called on different equestrian sport disciplines to work together for the benefit of the sector and underlined the significance of events like the World Horse Welfare Annual Conference in helping to reach as many people as possible with the right information for the benefit of our horses. She also praised the charity for its hard work and research in challenging the legal status quo, referring specifically to the Control of Horses Act and their recently published report with Eurogroup for Animals, ‘Removing the Blinkers’, which highlights inconsistencies in how equids are viewed in law.

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers said: “We were delighted with the discussions at our 2015 conference which was attended by almost 400 people. Each year the conference grows in both size and influence, addressing a number of thought-provoking and controversial issues in the horse world.

“There were so many messages to take home from the day including the need to apply peer pressure in putting a stop to the silent killer that is equine obesity, the importance of common sense in equine training and management and our ultimate responsibility as horse owners to give horses both a good life and a good death.

“Education is key in helping to bring about change for the benefit of horse welfare but we cannot do that alone and this is where our partnerships with other charities and organisations are absolutely crucial. We need to further enhance this partnership working if we are going to be able to address even a small part of the many issues discussed at this year’s conference.

“I have challenged all of our attendees and viewers to go home from conference and make the decision to do one or more things differently following the discussions which took place and I am confident that if we all make just one change, by this time next year the world will be a better place for horses.”

World Horse Welfare is deeply grateful to Betfair for continued sponsorship of its annual conference and thanks Horsezone, MSD and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) for their support.

A full video of the conference can be found at World Horse Welfare’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/horsecharity


Goodwood Qtar Pavilion award

Goodwood Racecourse was named  as #TopSpot Award winners at the recent sixth annual Showcase Awards at Ascot Racecourse.

The Racecourse Association, in conjunction with Great British Racing, presented  this prestigious award to Goodwood Racecourse for the magnificent Qatar Pavilion, after images of the installation were submitted on Twitter, along with supporting information, and judged by a panel from the RCA.

As well as welcoming guests to the Qatar Goodwood Festival, the pavilion provided a beautiful insight into the culture of Qatar. An arresting sight, the installation was decorated with 40,000 clove carnations, 4,000 of which guests were invited to take as a complimentary buttonhole.

Launch of the award-winning Qtar Pavilion at Glorious Goodwood. Photo: John Simpson

Launch of the award-winning Qtar Pavilion at Glorious Goodwood. Photo: John Simpson

Three horses who won Group races at the 2015 Qatar Goodwood Festival also had their successes acknowledged at the annual Cartier Awards in London.

Solow won the Cartier Older Horse Award, recognising his unbeaten season that included victory in the Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes and four further Group One wins. He was also nominated for Cartier Horse of the Year, which was won by the Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Golden Horn. Solow, a five-year-old grey gelding, is trained in France by Freddy Head who suggests he will remain in training next year.

Solow following his victory at Glorious Goodwood Photo: Jeannie Knight

Solow following his victory at Glorious Goodwood
Photo: Jeannie Knight

The Cartier Three-year-old Filly Award was given to Legatissimo, who won the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes at Glorious. Trained by David Wachman in Ireland, the filly had a superb season, taking the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas and Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes as well as the Nassau.

Only the second three-year-old to win the Cartier Stayer Award, Simple Verse had a dramatic year that included her winning, losing and being reinstated as the winner of the Ladbrokes St Leger after a steward’s enquiry and subsequent appeal.  But all of this came after she had won the Group Three Markel Insurance Fillie’s Stakes (Lillie Langtry) at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. European horseracing’s top awards are delivered through a combination of points earned by horses in Pattern races throughout 2015 (30%), combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph plus Channel 4 Racing viewers (35%).

Douglas Erskine-Crum, Chief Executive of Juddmonte [breeding operation], commented: “The Cartier Racing Awards symbolise and reward the pinnacle of achievement by thoroughbreds in the racing year.”

Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “The Cartier Racing Awards are 25 years old – a tremendous landmark – and we could hardly have wished for a better season in European horseracing.

“Golden Horn carried nearly all before him and is a worthy recipient of Cartier Horse of the Year, while Solow and Muhaarar were equally dominant in mile and sprint races respectively.

“I think it would be hard to find a tougher filly anywhere in the world than Legatissimo, while the Coolmore-owned two-year-olds, Air Force Blue and Minding, were both very impressive. It is refreshing to see the Cartier Stayer Award go to a three-year-old, Simple Verse, for the first time since 1994.”

Prizemoney boost for 2017 Investec Derby

Epsom Downs Racecourse today announced that prize money for the Investec Derby will be boosted to £1.5 million in 2017 as an investment in the future of Britain’s richest race.
Yearling entries for the 238th running of the Investec Derby, Britain’s premier Classic, on Saturday, June 3, 2017, close at noon on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The prize fund for the 237th Investec Derby on Saturday, June 4, 2016 has already been advertised at £1.325 million (prior to any supplementary entries).
Derby meeting at Epsom Photo: John Simpson

Derby meeting at Epsom
Photo: John Simpson

Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses’ London Region and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs Racecourse, commented: “We are proud the Investec Derby is the most prestigious Flat race in the world and the one owners, trainers and jockeys want to win.
“We are continuing to invest in its status and one aspect of that important both to us and to our long-term partners, Investec, is to ensure the Classic remains the richest race in Britain.
“Therefore, we have decided on a sizeable prize money increase of just over 13 percent to £1.5 million for 2017, the first year we can act because of the unique yearling entry system for the race.
“The cost of entering a horse for the 2017 Investec Derby as a yearling by December 1 rises from £500 to £560.”
The entry system will be the same as before, with the yearling stage followed by two more entry opportunities. These both come in the year of the race, with an additional entry stage on April 4, 2017, costing £9,000 (previously £8,000) and the supplementary entry stage, five days beforehand, on Monday, May 29, 2017, rising to £85,000 from £75,000.

New trophies for Mitsubishi Motors Cup

The trophies have been unveiled for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, the eventing championship offering amateur riders from all over Great Britain the chance to compete for honours, ahead of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials held in May.

The Mitsubishi Motors Cup, which takes over from the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship, will build on the success of the previous championship by adding value to the experience for those taking part, increasing the level of sponsor engagement and raising the overall profile of the regional programme and finals.

Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: “The trophies look magnificent and it’s great to see them. The competition has been operating very successfully for a number of years but that shouldn’t stop you making it better. More prestigious trophies and prizes and the change of name raises the profile of what is already a fantastic competition and takes it to the next level. There’s nobody who wouldn’t want to win one of these trophies and they make it even more prestigious than it was to start with.”

Unveiling of Mitsubishi Motors Cup: Photo: British Eventing

Unveiling of Mitsubishi Motors Cups: Photo: British Eventing

The Mitsubishi Motors Cup is the one of the National Championships in the British Eventing calendar. British Eventing (BE) is the governing body for the sport of eventing in Great Britain. Eventing is a unique combination of dressage, cross country over fixed fences and show jumping in one exciting activity. There are two levels of competition: BE90 and BE100 – jumping over 0.9m- and 1.0m-high fences.

The winners of each Mitsubishi Motors Cup classification receive a new Mitsubishi Shogun vehicle for a year, prize money, trophy and commemorative plaque to keep. Other support includes the use of VIP facilities at the finals, access to professional advice and equipment, and branded merchandise.

Norton Disney Horse Trials in Lincolnshire which took place last weekend (24 – 25th October) was the last competition in this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Cup Regional Final qualifying series which runs annually from July to October. British Eventing have now confirmed the list of riders and their four legged partners who have qualified for the competition at Badminton in May 2016.

British Eventing Chief Executive David Holmes said: ‘What Mitsubishi Motors in the UK have done to this competition is fantastic. For a lot of people, coming to Badminton and taking part in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup is their Olympic Games. To be able to win a trophy like this and the other prizes on offer is fantastic. Badminton is such an iconic location and we are so glad to develop this into such a phenomenal competition.’

Hugh Thomas, Director of Badminton Horse Trials, added: ‘We never guessed the extraordinary interest all around the country that this competition would generate. To ride here in these finals has become the aim of every amateur rider in the country. The interest in the competition has grown over the years. The trophies and all the other benefits of winning the Mitsubishi Motors Cup emphasise how hugely important it is to win this competition.’


Fontwell Park’s exciting Sunday fixture

THE Totepool Southern National is the second richest race of the year at Fontwell Park and takes place at the only figure of eight track in the country this Sunday November 15.

It will be supported by the popular Salmon Spray Challenge Trophy. There is more than £54,000 in total prize money on the day and Channel 4 Racing will be showing the feature race of the day, which is run over three miles and four furlongs.  An exciting day of racing is promised.

Also, Heart of the South Racing Group, one of the most successful and popular groups of its type in the country is holding an Owners’ Event there.

This will not only  celebrate 20 years of running the best horse racing syndicates in the country, but to also bid farewell to everyone’s favourite horse, Fruity O’Rooney, who is due to retire later this year.

Fruity O'Rooney and jockey Jamie Moore with members of the racing group following his latest victory at Fotnwell Park Photo: Jeannie Knight

Fruity O’Rooney and jockey Jamie Moore with members of the racing group following his latest victory at Fotnwell Park Photo: Jeannie Knight

Fruity O’Rooney is trained locally at Horsham by Gary Moore, and has had a book written about him by group member Ann Tyrrell, to mark his impending retirement at the end of this year.

He has been a constant favourite with local racegoers and will be missed, though everyone wishes him a long and happy retirement.
To book your ticket for this feature event of the year at Fontwell Park, got to http://www.fontwellpark.co.uk/  or ring  01243 543335.