Thrilling polo Dollar Cup final

SPECTATORS were treated to an action packed thriller in the Final of the 12 goal Dollar Cup, the first in Cowdray Park Polo Club’s series of six annual HPA tournaments open to all-comers. Seventeen teams competed for the trophy, which opened on May 9, with BHC taking on 2015 winners Poulton Balvanera in the Final on Sunday May 30.

With two pairs of English brothers competing on each side, Momin Sheikh’s BHC team saw the patron at number 1, Ralph Richardson (2 goals) at number 2, South African Dirkie Van Reenen at number 3 and 6 goal player Jack Richardson at Back. The Ephson family’s Poulton Balvanera side included Patrick Ephson (1 goal) at the front door, Ludo Ephson (2 goals) at number 2, Juan Jose De Alba (3 goals) at number 3 and Tomas Iriate (5 goals) at back. With Poulton Balvanera making up an 11 goal side they received a half goal advantage to start the match.

BHC v Poulton Balvanera in the Dollar Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 1 at Both teams in Dollar Cup Photo:www.polopictures.co.uk 20160529 ©2016 Clive Bennett Photography

BHC v Poulton Balvanera in the Dollar Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 1 at Both teams in Dollar Cup
Photo:www.polopictures.co.uk 20160529 Clive Bennett Photography

Poulton Balvanera were first on the ball but BHC soon gained possession and headed for goal. Ludo Ephson saved the ball from the goal line but his side then gave away a penalty. Jack Richardson’s 60 yard shot went wide and the resulting hit in from the back line by Iriate enabled Poulton Balvanera to battle forward to BHC’s end and finally achieve the first goal. However, all too soon Poulton Balvanera gave away another penalty and this time Richardson didn’t miss. Just as the chukka was drawing to a close, Van Reenan escaped and ran the ball all the way down the pitch for a lovely goal which gave BHC a lead of 2-1.

The action tore along in the second chukka although Poulton Balvanera could not find the form of earlier matches. A 60 yard penalty by Jack Richardson saw BHC’s lead increase. Iriate and De Alba combined well to make Poulton Balvanera’s second goal, but two splendid field goals from Dirkie Van Reenan and a brilliant run to the goal by Mo Sheikh saw BHC well ahead at the close of the chukka at 6-2.

Balvanera in the Dollar Cup Final polo match www.polopictures.co.uk Photo: Clive Bennett Photography :20160529

Balvanera  receiving prizes in the Dollar Cup Final polo match www.polopictures.co.uk Photo: Clive Bennett Photography :20160529

Back and forward went the action in chukka three with good defensive play by Ralph and Jack Richardson keeping Iriarte at bay. There was simply no luck running for Poulton Balvanera as Ludo Ephson had a couple of good chances but sent the ball wide of the goal posts. No goals came for BHC but a 30 yard penalty finally gave De Alba the chance to pull one back for Poulton Balvanera and the chukka ended at 6-3½ in BHC’s favour.

Hope stirred for Poulton Balvanera when Patrick Ephson seized a chance and made a super shot at goal for 4½-6. Was a come-back on the cards? Not for long, as a 60 yard penalty saw Jack Richardson move BHC’s score on to 7-4½.

The Award for Best Playing Pony, sponsored by PoloSplice,went to Princess owned and played by Jack Richardson. Photo copyright Clive Bennett Photography

The Award for Best Playing Pony, sponsored by PoloSplice,went to Princess owned and played by Jack Richardson.
Photo copyright Clive Bennett Photography

A hit awarded to BHC saw Jack Richardson tap the ball and then send a long shot to Van Reenan who raced all the way to score his third goal giving BHC a 8-4½ lead. Another field goal came from Jack Richardson and then yet another terrific run ahead of the whole field saw Jack Richardson send through his fifth goal of the match and achieve an impressive victory for BHC on a score of 10-4½.

Clare Milford Haven presented the Dollar Cup to a delighted Mo Sheikh and individual prizes to the players, sponsored by polo suppliers Casablanca. The Award for Best Playing Pony, sponsored by PoloSplice, the local mallet and equipment suppliers, went to Princess owned and played by Jack Richardson. Jack also picked up the Award for Most Valuable Player, sponsored by The Polo Magazine.

In the subsidiary Final, Sally Dawson’s CPG Nightingale team beat Snake Bite to win the Robert Fraser Cup.

Lingfield Park’s Countryside Day

Equine fans will be in for a treat at Lingfield Park on Saturday June 4, as horses of all shapes and sizes aim to upstage the thoroughbreds at the Surrey racecourse.

Billy and Magpie – a Shetland and a Shire – will be entertaining the crowds at Countryside Day with their hilarious Big & Little act.

The duo will perform a routine loved by all ages with a host of entertaining tricks.

Billy and Magpie have been performing together for many years and as well as having a great on-stage relationship, they are also best friends and field buddies who love working together and know how to work a crowd!’ said a spokesman for Olivants Equine Displays

Billy and Magpie will perform at Lingfield Park

Billy and Magpie will perform at Lingfield Park

.As well as the equine entertainment on offer, race goers will also be treated to racing with a difference when more than a dozen mascots take to the track in a special charity race.

The costumed runners will all be helping to raise funds for the Tadworth-based Children’s Trust who will be hoping to benefit from race-goers generosity on the day via a bucket collection.

Younger visitors will also be able to visit a giant crazy cottage and get their faces painted as part of the free activities on offer for those under the age of 18.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park said: ‘As if the horse racing wasn’t enough entertainment in itself, this day will be packed full of fun. Countryside Day is always a good family outing and this year looks set to be one of our best ever!’

The gates open at 3.45pm with the mascot race taking place before the first official horse race at 5.45pm. The last race is at 8.50pm.

Fontwell treble for Noonan

TALENTED conditional jockey David Noonan stole the limelight at Fontwell Park’s well-supported meeting yesterday ( Sunday) when he rode a splendid treble.

He told reporters::”He said: “I’ve ridden three doubles but never a treble. It’s fantastic.”

Conditional jockey David Noonan Photo Jeaannie Knight

Conditional jockey David Noonan
Photo Jeaannie Knight

It started when he took the opening Maiden Hurdle on board 1-6 favourite, Fountains Windfall, trained by Anthony Honeyball by a decisive 17 lengths. The second win came with Sir Dylan, 9-2 joint favourite in the first division of the handicap hurdle, trained by Polly Gundry.This was Sir Dylan’s third victory on the trot.

Here he beat 20-1 shot Thepartysover by a more modest three and a half lengths, with the runner up, trained by Paul Henderson, previous course winner Thepartysover.

The treble was completed with 9-2 shot Chill Factor, providing Anthony Honeyball with a double on the day.

 

Trainer Neil Mullholland Photo: Jeannie Knight

Trainer Neil Mullholland
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Another trainer/jockey combination in form was that of trainer Neil Mullolland and jockey Denis O’ Regan. They  were in imressive form as theytook the Division II of the Handicap Hurdle with a comfortable win from 11-1 shot Maid of Tuscany.

They followed up quickly with a victory from  Very Extravagant  at 9-2 in the three mile one furlong handicap chase . The final leg came with  a decisive 1 length win from Vexillium at  in the handicap chase.

Former amateur jockey Grant Cann, who trains near Bath, enjoyed an excellent win when Miller’s Maverick, at 16-1 scored his first ever victory in the three mile one furlong handicap chase with Nick Scholfield in the saddle.

Rocknrobin and Tom Cannon on their way to victory at Fontwell Park Photo: Fontwell Park Racecourse

Rocknrobin and Tom Cannon on their way to victory at Fontwell Park Photo: Fontwell Park Racecourse

Rocknrobin is proving to be an exciting prospect from Chris Gordon’s Winchester yard. Owned by Mrs Heather Alwen,the talented fiveyear-old scored the second victory of his career, this time over fences, when ridden by Tom Cannon.

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on Thursday August 18 with seven races  and Abba Revival playing from 8.30pm. Gates open at 3pm for the seven race fixture with Best Dressed Compettions featuring a top prize of £1,000.

 

 

 

 

 

Classic winners among Qatar Sussex Stakes entries

This year’s Classic scorers Galileo Gold, The Gurkha, Awtaad, Minding and Jet Setting feature among 50 entries (up from 39 in 2015), revealed today, for the £1-million Qatar Sussex Stakes on Wednesday, July 27.

The Group One mile contest, boosted hugely in value last year, is the highlight of the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival which runs from Tuesday, July 26 to Saturday, July 30.

Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer) took the first British Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, with an authoritative display but had to settle for second behind the impressive Awtaad (Kevin Prendergast) in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on May 21.

Galileo Gold winning 2,000 Guineas, Frankie Dettori up Photo: Press Association

Galileo Gold winning 2,000 Guineas, ridden by Frankie Dettori  Photo: Press Association

 

The Gurkha, one of 11 Qatar Sussex Stakes entries from Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien, proved his wide margin maiden success at Navan was no flash in the pan when storming to a five and a half-length victory in the French 2,000 Guineas at Deauville on May 15.

O’Brien has also engaged QIPCO 1000 Guineas heroine Minding, although the filly looks set to step up in trip after going down by a head to Jet Setting (Adrian Keatley) in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 22, the pair clear.

US star Tepin extended her unbeaten streak to six in a Grade Two event at Churchill Downs, USA, on May 7 and has already been successful four times at Grade One level. She would have won her last 11 races but for going down by a nose and a head in two of the outings.

She is the star of the older generation in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and the five-year-old proved herself on the world stage when impressively beating several European raiders, including runner-up Mondialiste (David O’Meara), in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland, USA, in October.
Her trainer Mark Casse said: “Tepin is very well. She has a real big breeze coming this Saturday and how she works will tell us but right now we are on schedule to come to Royal Ascot.

“I believe the travel is arranged for Saturday, June 6. She runs on the Tuesday so that will give her eight or nine days.

“The Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood is an exciting race and I always like to keep my options open. They asked me about the race and it is definitely something to think about.”

Other eye-catching Qatar Sussex Stakes entries include the victor, third and fourth of the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury earlier this month – Belardo (Roger Varian), Endless Drama (Ger Lyons) and Limato (Henry Candy), plus last year’s Qatar Sussex Stakes runner-up Arod (Peter Chapple-Hyam).

Toormore (Richard Hannon) is dual winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, having captured the Group Two Qatar Vintage Stakes in 2013 and the Qatar Lennox Stakes in 2015, while Kodi Bear’s (Clive Cox) biggest success came over the course and distance in last season’s Group Two Celebration Mile.

Godolphin, which owns Belardo (partly) and Toormore, has 12 other potential contenders including the promising Emotionless (Charlie Appleby), QIPCO 2000 Guineas third Ribchester (Richard Fahey) and Group One winner Tryster (Charlie Appleby).

Britain’s champion Flat trainer John Gosden has three entries, including the unbeaten Castle Harbour who impressed in a handicap at York on May 11.

Alex Eade, General Manager of Goodwood, commented: “Once again, the Qatar Sussex Stakes has attracted the cream of the milers from across Europe, both from the Classic and older generations.

“US-trained superstar Tepin could add further spice to the enthralling highlight on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.”

The roll of honour for the Qatar Sussex Stakes is very impressive, with the last six winners being European Champion Miler Solow (2015), European Horse of the Year Kingman (2014), Al Shaqab’s Toronado (2013), the highest-rated racehorse ever Frankel (2012 & 2011) and five-time Group One victor Canford Cliffs (2010).

£400,000 indoor school for stables

An impressive £400,000 80x30m indoor school, featuring a top-of-the range wax riding surface, has been opened at Lavant House Stables, just north of Chichester.

The new indoor school facility at Lavant House Stables Photo:

The new indoor school facility at Lavant House Stables Photo:

The facility is a testimony to the determination of the owner Lucy Thomson to provide extensive top class equestrian training facilities.

Lucy explained: “We bought the land in 2008 from Cemex and obtained planning permission on an adjacent field to the existing complex in 2009.”  As well as the indoor school, the planning consent also provides for an administration block, reception, café, club rooms, horse stalls, tack rooms and a large stable complex, which are yet to be built. ”

Lucy continued: “Our aim is to create top of the range equestrian facilities, predominantly for the multitude of people who ride and keep horses at Lavant House Stables, plus incorporate other uses now there is the large covered riding facility.  Top of the list for this building will be to become a British Horse Society examination centre, providing to the Riding for the Disabled group and to bring in renowned trainers for the benefit of the more serious rider, to name but a few of our future plans.”

Lavant House School riders and staff Vicki Isted Photography

Lavant House School riders and staff
Vicki Isted Photography

Lucy commented: “It was frustrating that having attained the planning permission we then had to tread water for the next seven years due to the recession.

“In 2015 when things started to improve economically we decided to go ahead with the indoor school earlier this year, creating a usable infrastructure inside for immediate use, with the remaining buildings to follow.”

She added: “When things are hard to get, you appreciate them more.”

“It was thanks to my accountant, Robert Sadler, of Robert Sadler & Co. of Chichester that we have finally achieved this.”  She added Mr Sadler, whose wife and daughters learnt to ride and then progressed to keeping their own horses at Lavant House Stables, had been a pillar of support to her all the way through, helping her to secure funding for the scheme.  “We combined my determination with Robert’s knowledge to achieve this. He never lost faith in me.”

Cutting the ribbon: Lucy Thompson and Photo:Vicki Isted Photography

Cutting the ribbon: Lucy Thompson and
Photo:Vicki Isted Photography

The official opening was attended by 150 people, including past and present riders, with Robert officially cutting the ribbon with Lucy.  Office manager Kelly Oliver provided champagne and commemorative cakes to mark the occasion with the riders with their own horses at Lavant House Stables using the new sand and fibre wax surface for the first time.

For more information about Lavant House Stables and using the new indoor facilities, contact the team on: 01243 530460, riding@lhstables.co.uk or see www.lhstables.co.uk

 

Don’t miss Festival of Horsemanship

NOW in its second year,  the Festival of Horsemanship is back in West Sussex  on Saturday and Sunday June 4 and 5, offering an outstanding day out for families and horse owners alike.

Set in the lovely surroundings of Gaston Farm at School Hill, Slindon, near Arundel, the date of this action- packed equestrian event should be firmly in every horse lover’s calendar.

Equine visitor to the vintage bar at the last show Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

Equine visitor to the vintage bar at the last show Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

 

It is exceptional value with entry just £6. This top class festival offers a feast of displays, demonstrations and all manner of equestrian skills will be on view to impress all visitors-young or old, horse owners or non owners.

There will be everything from exciting horseback re-enactment displays in full period dress with fighting, through to the South East Parelli team explaining how a horse thinks and how to establish a strong relationship with your own equine.

Crown and Empire display Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

Crown and Empire display Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

Elsewhere, Dan Bazin and Grant will show how to establish a close relationship with your horse and there will be Practical Horsemanship demonstrating Monty Roberts gentle methods of training.

Natasha Olivant of Olivants Equine Diplays will be looking at common positional faults and demonstrate how the way we sit on a horse can directly affect its movement and overall success in the saddle as rider.

Sue Gardner is a horse agility associate instructor who will show how horse agility is an equine sport that has a focus on developing confidence in a horse and rider/handler. Her skills will help prepare riders for many things that can happen when leaing, riding or training horses.

Sputh East Parelli team Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

South East Parelli team
Photo: Luke Gee LRG Photography

British Dressage rider Nikkie Hawkins is set to impress with a superb dressage to music display followed by the rare chance to watch her in the saddle as she offers an educational demonstration with Corstan Rogue Trader, aka Harry. 13.2hh Welsh Section C bred by Nicole Musson of Corstan Stud.

He is currently competing at Advance Medium. Using Harry she will show how to improve riding and achieve the maximum from a horse and that you don’t need a  17hh warmblood to be successful in British Dressage.

Don’t miss this event. Tickets can be obtained by ringing 07817 626476 or email enquiries@festivalofhoremanship.com

Amelia’s eventing success

LOOKING ahead to a bright future in eventing is West Sussex amateur event rider Amelia Thomson, who recently won a hotly contested one-day event in the BE1000 section at Hambleden International Horse Trials in fine style.
Amelia (22), riding her own horse I Que, made everyone sit up and take note when she beat all the International 4* riders to take the top spot. She also had the distinction of beating Zara Tindall, seasoned eventing competitor and granddaughter of HM The Queen into second place in the event.

Amelia and IQ competing: Photo British Eventing Ultimate Images Equestrian Event Photography

Amelia and IQ competing: Photo courtesy of British Eventing Ultimate Images
Equestrian Event Photography

The victory is all the more notable because Amelia has produced I Que since he was four years old and has only just started competing seriously with him.
Amelia has ridden since she could walk and has been brought up with horses at Lavant House Stables, run by her mother,Lucy. After successfully completing A level GCSE’s to a high standard, she chose to remain working at the stables rather than go to university. Since she made that decision she has achieved BHSAI Stage IV and IKCC Level 2 Credited coach qualifications.
Her excellent victory was particularly outstanding because I Que was originally bought in Ireland for Lavant House Riding School. Amelia went with her mother to look at potential riding school horses there and branded him as ‘ugly’.
Lucy recalled: “We go to Ireland frequently to buy horses for my riding school, but I liked I Que and he went through the ring for a small amount of money. Although Amelia thought he was ugly on first sight, when we got him home he powered round and was clearly not a riding school horse!”

Amelia and Q British Eventing Ultimate Images Equestrian Event Photography Equine Hambleden Horse Trials

Amelia and I Q at Hambleden Horse Trials Photo courtesy of British Eventing
Ultimate Images Equestrian Event Photography

After checking I Que’s DNA, Lucy and Amelia discovered that he was extremely well-bred. Amelia has produced this eight-year-old herself and began eventing with him when he was five years old. Together they have worked up through the levels and he has always performed well, knocking on the door for a win, but this really was an exceptional victory for her.

It also gave her the opportunity to compete against the best in the world.

Amelia’s next target is to compete with him in the Mitsubishi Cup for amateurs at Badminton and if he gets in the top 10 per cent he will compete at Badminton itself. She aims to compete with him in three-day events by the end of the year.

Meanwhile she has another horse, Joking Aside, known as Kevin at home. He is a 17.2hh grey aged seven, who has a lot of growing up to do. He will continue in training to build up confidence and trust, and Amelia hopes to upgrade him to the next level by the end of the season, avoiding wet or hard ground.
Watch this space…..

Goodwood ‘bouncing’ for NSPCC Family Raceday

Goodwood has held a unique ‘bouncing’ race to herald its forthcoming Family Raceday in association with the NSPCC

Ready for the off for NSPCC at Goodwood Racecourse Photo: Nicole Hains

Ready for the off for NSPCC at Goodwood Racecourse Photo: Nicole Hains

With its popular Family Raceday around the corner, Goodwood Racecourse staged a children’s inflatable horse race for the first time in its illustrious, 214-year history. Supporting the NSPCC, three young racegoers took to the turf on inflatable ‘horsey hoppers,’ for a sprint over a quarter of a furlong.

In a closely fought and very bouncy battle, it was 9-year-old Rufus Gilbert-Burke who was first past the post, winning by a nose.

Goodwood’s Family Raceday in association with the NSPCC takes place on Sunday 5 June and provides an opportunity to learn about the sport of horseracing. Children are invited to tour the jockey’s weighing room and try on the lightweight silks, while families can take a guided walk with the clerk of the course.

Bouncing Race for NSPCC at Goodwood Racecourse Photo: Nicole Hains

Bouncing Race for NSPCC at Goodwood Racecourse Photo: Nicole Hains

There are also opportunities to meet a racehorse to appreciate the size and power of these amazing animals, visit the race start as the runners burst from the stalls, watch farrier demonstrations and put questions to a vet. Racegoers can even have a go at racing themselves by riding a finish on a mechanical horse. And if they still have the energy, there is even a complimentary fairground to enjoy.

The NSPCC’s ChildLine service provides a safe, confidential place for children with no one else to turn to, whatever their worry, whenever they need help. Children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk

Tickets from £10 with complimentary admission for accompanied under-18s. For further information or to book tickets, please visit www.goodwood.com/horse-racing or call the ticket office on 01243 216610

Cicero and Jackson-Stops finals

COWDRAY Park Polo Club’s busy programme continues with 13 matches having taken place over last weekend. Two tournaments reached their conclusions with the Finals of the Cicero and Jackson-Stops Jubilee Cups.

Simon Arber’s Four Quarters Orange and Guy Schwarzenbach’s Black Bears made it to the Final of the 15 goal Cicero Cup. Playing alongside Simon Arber were Jonny Good (4 goals) at number 2, Benjamin Urqiuza (5 goals) at 3 and Malcolm Borwick (6 goals) at Back. Black Bears’ 1 goal patron played at number 2, with James Lester (3 goals) at 2, Maz Charlton (7 goals) at 3 and Juan Cruz Merlos (4 goals) at Back.

.The final chukka was a fight to the end. With Lester on the ball, Four Quarters Orange fouled and a spot penalty went to Black Bears. Merlos sent the ball forward and Lester made a super under-the- neck shot to goal, reducing Four Quarters Orange’s lead to 7-6.

The ball went in again and Charlton and Merlos kept up the pressure until the whistle was blown for a foul and Merlos equalized with a 30 yard penalty. Charlton won the ball from the throw-in and suddenly Lester was on the move and held onto the ball all the way to the goal giving Black Bears the lead.

Borwick won the ball from the next throw-in but good defensive play by Charlton sent it out to the boards. Back came Good for Four Quarters but the ball was saved by Schwarzenbach. Black Bears managed to prevent Four Quarters scoring in the remaining minute to hold on to their 8-7 lead and victory.

Black Bears v Four Quarters Orange the Cicero Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 2 at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Saturday 21 May 2016 . www.polopictures.co.uk Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20160521 ©2016 Clive Bennett Photography 21/05/2016 _CB_3414.CR2

Black Bears v Four Quarters Orange the Cicero Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 2 at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Saturday 21 May 2016 . www.polopictures.co.uk Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20160521 ©2016 Clive Bennett Photography 21/05/2016 _CB_3414.CR2

Lila Pearson presented the Cicero Cup to Guy Schwarzenback and prizes to both teams. The Best Playing Pony award went to Jess, owned by Sue McIntyre and played by James Lester.

The 6 goal Jackson Stops Jubilee Cup had an entry of nine teams with Alcedo and Sea Breeze facing each other in the Final. Playing for Andrew Swaffield in the Alcedo team were Luca Zindel (0), Nick Clague (2 goals) at 3 and the experienced Bauti Sorsana (5 goals) at Back. Will Harper replaced Wilf Fine at 1 for Sea Breeze with 4 goalers Martin Podesta and Nick Pepper in the centre and Ray Fine at Back. Victory was sealed for Sea Breeze with at 8-5.

Alcedo v Sea Breeze in the Jackson Stops Jubilee Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 2 at Cowdray Park Polo Club www.polopictures.co.uk Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20160522 ©2016 Clive Bennett Photography 22/05/2016 _CB_6226.CR2

Alcedo v Sea Breeze in the Jackson Stops Jubilee Cup Final polo match Played on Ambersham 2 at Cowdray Park Polo Club www.polopictures.co.uk Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20160522 ©2016 Clive Bennett Photography 22/05/2016 _CB_6226.CR2

Nick Ferrier, Director of Jackson Stops’ Midhurst Office, presented the Cup to Ray Fine and prizes to the players. The Best Playing Pony was judged to be Sombrero, owned by Clare Milford Haven and played by Bautista Sorsana.

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Hickstead Dressage event cancelled

Dressage at Hickstead Director and founder Dane Rawlins has announced the disappointing decision to cancel this year’s CDIO3*/CDI2* (July 28 – 31) due to a lack of funding to make the fixture viable.

Hickstead has been working with British Dressage to explore ways to secure additional sources of revenue for the show but, despite best endeavours by all, the fixture will not run at the West Sussex venue this year.

Director of Hickstead, Dane Rawlins, riding Lady Harris's horse Sydney

Director of Hickstead, Dane Rawlins, riding Lady Harris’s horse Sydney

“I’ve explored every avenue possible to try and find financial support to allow us to run, but time is now against us and we have reluctantly had to make the decision to cancel for 2016,” explained Dane.  “This is devastating news to the team at Hickstead as this is our showcase event.”

He continued; “Not all is lost though, we’re working with British Dressage to ensure we still run a show on that weekend and our legendary gala ball will definitely go ahead on Saturday July 30.  I want to stress that it’s only a year off and the intention is that the international will return in 2017.  Thanks to all our supporters for being there and we’re sorry not to put on our CDI this year, but Hickstead always has a way of bouncing back, better than ever!”

Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive at British Dressage, added; “British Dressage was made aware of the situation around the commercial support required for the International and Nations Cup at Hickstead at the end of last month and have been working with Dane and the team to explore ways in which we could address the funding shortfall.

“This is obviously disappointing for all concerned, including the riders, owners and supporters of Dressage at Hickstead.  We will be continuing our discussions to hopefully ensure that the International can return to the venue in 2017 and beyond – and BD remains committed to developing the sport, along with our organisers, to continue hosting high profile dressage events in the UK.”

All of the other fixtures in Hickstead’s packed programme will go ahead as planned as they are unaffected by the decision and Dane and his team look forward to seeing everyone over the summer for plenty of dressage competition at Hickstead.

Details of the Hickstead Gala Ball, supporting Chestnut Tree House and Dreamflight, including how to book tickets, can be found at  http://www.dahickstead.com/hickstead-gala-ball