WHW work to be represented at Chelsea Flower Show 2017

A moving tale of horse rescue will feature at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017 with an artisan garden inspired by and celebrating charity World Horse Welfare’s 90 year legacy of helping horses.

The concept, brought to life by design duo Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, will tell the story of a horse rescued from a small, derelict stable in a dark corner of the garden and nursed back to health under World Horse Welfare’s care – now living in a bright, open meadow where he can thrive and continue his journey to rehoming.

Designed to provide a poignant, visual representation of World Horse Welfare’s work, the garden will pay tribute to the charity’s supporters who have played a vital role in the past 90 years whilst highlighting the need to continue shining a spotlight on invisible horses around the world, whose suffering goes unnoticed or ignored.

WHW conference poster

WHW conference poster

World Horse Welfare Director of Fundraising, Emma Williams, said:“We are delighted that the World Horse Welfare Garden will feature at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017 and want to express heartfelt thanks to our garden designers, plus our very kind and generous private donor who has funded the garden.

“Exhibiting at RHS Chelsea provides an invaluable opportunity to engage with both new and existing supporters, as well as showcasing our work, to a new audience in a way which is completely unique to anything we have ever done before.

“We hope the garden will be thought-provoking and emotive. We want to encourage people to reflect on the plight of neglected and abused horses and be inspired to join us in taking action to help them. Without the support of the public, we would simply not be able to continue our work and so the garden will pay tribute to all the people who support us in many different ways from those who add their voices to our campaigning actions to those who rehome our horses, take part in fundraising events or choose to leave a gift in their will.”

Garden designers Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith said: “We were delighted to be asked to design the World Horse Welfare Garden at next year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea is the ‘Oscars’ of the gardening world and to be able to exhibit at the highest level is an honour.

“It was after visiting one of the charity’s Rescue and Rehoming centres, meeting some of the horses that had been rescued from abuse and neglect and hearing some of their stories that we decided we definitely wanted to be part of the project to help shine a light on the plight of these amazing animals. We were already aware of the work of World Horse Welfare from one of our customers, who is a keen supporter of the charity, and being huge animal lovers, we knew that we had to get involved.


Great day of racing at Plumpton

TOP Notch, trained  by  scored his second win over fences at Plumpton yesterday, making it two victories in three outings over larger obstacles. Fifth in the Champion Hurdle, he was too quick for runner-up Romain De Senham in the closing stages of the novices’ chase.

Top Notch with jockey Daryl Jacob

Top Notch with jockey Daryl Jacob   Photo: Jeannie Knight

His jockey, Daryl Jacob, said: “I was very happy with him, it shows he’s coming on for every run. It was another learning curve and he’ll be all the better for it. He’s getting quicker and slicker over his fences.”

This victory was part of a double for him at the meeting, for he went on to another comfortable victory for trainer Emma Lavelle on board 13-8 favourite Water Wagtail in the Tysers Handicap Chase.

It was a great day out for racegoers at this splendid Sussex track, with plenty of sunshine combined with competitive racing.

The opening Novices’ Hurdle over two miles had attracted 12 runners and trainer Alan King’s River Frost, ridden by Barry Geraghty,  more than justified 4-6 favourite starting price with a comfortable length win over Burrows Park, sent out by Venetia Williams. David Bridgwater’s Golan Dancer ( 14-1) was beaten only by a head by the runner-up and had to settle for third place.

River Frost with jockey Barry Geraghty Photo: Jeannie Knight

River Frost with jockey Barry Geraghty
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Tambura was spot on for the Mares Handicap Hurdle Race over three miles one furlong and this exceptional six-year-old bay mare added yet another Plumpton victory to her list.

Amateur and 7lb claimer Zac Baker  has ridden her to all her wins and despite the ground being slightly firmer than this lovely mare prefers, and having a career-high handicap mark, she put in another characteristically determined run, this time to claim victory by a slender neck margin.

Tambura with winning owners and jockey Zac Baker Photo: Jeannie Knight

Tambura with winning owners and jockey Zac Baker Photo: Jeannie Knight

It was well deserved and a tribute to the trainer Godfrey Maundrell, now in his 70’s, and his wife, who are based on a farm near Marlborough in Wiltshire. Godfrey rode 150 point to point winners whilst riding as an amateur and Tambura is in excellent hands.

Tmabura- an exceptional mare Photo: Jeannie Knight

Tambura- an exceptional mare Photo: Jeannie Knight

Lewes trainer Sheena West and jockey Marc Goldstein have a great record at Plumpton and teamed up for another victory there, this time with Ding Ding, a five-year-old mare and winner of a course handicap two weeks previously.

Runner up Shanaway ( trainer Neil King and jockey Trevor Whelan) certainly did no favours to the fast-finishing Shimba Hills, trained by Lawney Hill, by veering left after the last and almost carrying out that horse- a previous course winner on target for another victory.

The National Hunt Flat race at the end of the meeting was won by If The Cap Fits, trained by Harry Fry and ridden by Noel Fehily. In second was another promising horse, Puppet Warrior, trained by Nick Gifford at Findon.



Charity pony race to raise cancer funds

WEST Sussex event rider and Olympc silver medallist Tina Cook will be taking part in a charity race run to raise funds for the Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.

This idea was established by Hannah Francis before she died, asking that the race should be run to raise funds for this charity which she had founded.

A talented horse rider, Hannah Francis, was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer in 2015. She was just 17 years old. In the year and half that followed Hannah, always aided by her mascot toy pony, Willberry Wonder Pony, amazed the equestrian community and people all over the world with her drive and determination.

She continued to ride, even riding internationally under GB colours, and fulfilled many of her ‘bucket list’ wishes.Even more remarkably, she turned her sights to what she could do to help people in her position in the future.

In constant pain and undergoing relentless rounds of treatment, she and her dedicated family and friends set up Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, registered in March 2016 (reg charity no 1166416). The charity funds bone cancer research, especially into osteosarcoma, and grants equine related wishes to seriously ill people.

The race has been organised in conjunction with one of racing’s most famous cancer survivors, Bob Champion and the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. The Bob Champion Cancer Trust was established by Bob Champion in 1983 and has so far raised over £14 million.  Cheltenham Racecourse has kindly agreed to stage this one-off Flat race, to be called the Champions Willberry Charity Race, at the Home of Jump Racing on Thursday, April 20, 2017 during the April meeting next year.

Kristina Cook and Star Witness: Photo: Mike Bain

Kristina Cook and Star Witness: Photo: Mike Bain

Six celebrities will ride in the event including Tina,  Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton, and top eventer Ben Hobday, who himself battled cancer at the same time as Hannah. Either William or Alice Fox-Pitt will also take part.

The celebrities will be joined by six riders from the wider equestrian community. Applications have been invited from riders  with a closing date of Monday, December 5, 2016.
Forms and application guidelines can be found and downloaded  from: www.championswillberry.org.uk

Key criteria will be that riders must be over 18, a competent rider, can pledge to raise over £2,500 and are able to source their own horse.There will be an official lunch on the day with a range of fund-raising activities to raise money for the two charities. Ian Peters, Trustee of the Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, said: “The equestrian community has been overwhelming in its support for Hannah’s legacy and to share this day with the Bob Champion Cancer Trust is the highest honour. We hope people will generously support the heroes riding, and those inspiring their efforts.

Bob Champion commented: “Hannah Francis was a brave and inspirational person and I was fortunate enough to have met her. I feel honoured that the Bob Champion Cancer Trust can celebrate her life with the Champions Willberry Charity race, linking the charity she set up as her legacy with the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.

“I hope that everyone gets behind supporting us whether this is by applying to ride, attending the lunch, sponsorship, donations or prizes, so we can raise much needed funds for both charities.”Ian Renton, Regional Director Cheltenham and the South West, Jockey Club Racecourse, said:”We are delighted to be able to host this charity race in honour of two such rewarding charities.
“Hannah’s story touched all of those in the equine world and the race will hopefully be a fitting tribute to her. I am delighted that Nick, Ben, Tina and William or Alice have already joined up and I am sure that many members of the public will be keen to do so as well.”

Please go to www.championswillberry.org.uk for all details of how to apply, how to get involved in sponsorship of the race and the jockeys riding, how to attend the race and lunch on the day and how to donate.The April meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse takes place on Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20, 2017.

2,000 road incidents involved horses

THE British Hose Society has supported Road Safety Week this month and revealed statistics which show that more than 2,000 reports of road incidents involved horses. In addition, 181 resulted in the death of a horse, while 36 involved the death of a driver.

Now MP Jake Berry has  backed the BHS campaign for greater protection for  horses and riders using the UK’s roads. He will strengthen the campaign through Parliament, which highlights the statistics.

The national week-long event, run by road safety charity Brake, aims to prevent road deaths and injuries by raising awareness through schools, sports clubs and other organisations.The BHS launched its campaign, ‘Dead or Dead Slow?’ in March calling for greater protection for horses and riders using the UK’s roads.Since the launch, the BHS has worked with a number of partners including the Department for Transport and, most recently, Conservative MP Jake Berry who is helping to campaign for more information to be included in the Highway Code.

 Local horse rider Louise Wiseman and her horse Mable using the push button

Local horse rider Louise Wiseman and her horse Mable using the push button

Jake Berry, Conservative MP explained: “I have been working with the British Horse Society, and I want to help drivers pass horse riders safely when they meet on the roads. I want to help educate beyond the meaning of road signs, to instil confidence for all vulnerable road users. I will be raising this issue with other MP’s in Parliament.”

Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Safety, said: “We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road. A lot of people aren’t sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and that is why we are working towards strengthening the Highway Code so that all drivers know they should slow to 15mph when they meet a horse on the road.”

The British Horse Society has produced a video with the DFT demonstrating how to pass a horse on the road safely. The charity will also be asking equestrians to ensure that they thank any drivers who pass them responsibly.Horse accidents can be reported to the BHS via the website: www.horseaccidents.org.uk

Hickstead’s supreme pony winner confirmed

Coloured champion Tambrook My Destiny has been crowned the new Underwood Supreme Pony Winner for Hickstead’s Longines Royal International Horse Show 2016.

Following the disqualification of the original winner, a new champion needed to be chosen. But with three ponies finishing in reserve with 25 points at this summer’s Longines Royal International Horse Show, the decision was made to judge the three runners-up one final time to decide an overall winner.

Official Hickstead.tv footage from of the Underwood Supreme Pony championship was shown to all the guests at Hickstead’s Showtime Ball, the end of season party held at the recent All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.

Tambrook My Destiny competing at Hickstead with Lulu Farnborough Photo: Craig Payne

Tambrook My Destiny competing at Hickstead with Lulu Farnborough Photo: Craig Payne

Showing enthusiasts were given the chance to vote for their new 2016 champion by watching the individual shows from the three runners-up. Each of the tables, totalling almost 150 guests, were asked to rank the three runners-up in order of preference, with the scores collated by Hickstead officials.

After the judging was complete, the Skewbald & Piebald Ridden pony champion Tambrook My Destiny was declared the new Supreme winner – making her the first coloured pony to win the Dick Saunders Trophy at Hickstead.

Tambrook My Destiny is owned by the Farmbrough family and ridden by Lulu Farmbrough. Known as ‘Hattie’ in the stable, the eight-year-old is by a coloured Grade A showjumper and out of a show hunter pony mare. She was shown successfully in hand as a youngster before the Farmbrough’s bought her four years ago. They home produced her until last season, when she was moved to top producer Allister Hood’s yard.

While Lulu was disappointed not to have had the chance to claim the title in the International Arena back in July, she was both shocked and delighted to hear she had been chosen as the new Supreme winner. “I was really gutted I couldn’t go to the ball on Saturday as I’m currently in Barcelona, but I’m over the moon to win,” said Lulu, whose mother Tricia collected the prize at the ball.

Mountain & Moorland champion Slieve Bloom Jill and show hunter pony champion Wolferlow Esperanto will remain as joint-reserve Supreme champions.

Aside from the important task of choosing the new Supreme winner, guests at the second annual Showtime Ball enjoyed a glamorous evening celebrating in the Beethoven Suite, which overlooks Hickstead’s famous International Arena.

The Ball is run with the aim of raising funds to assist with the development of the showing facilities at the showground. A fundraising auction, conducted by Phil Judge, raised more than £10,000, with this money going towards the long-term plans of making improvements to Ring 7 in order to downscale the use of the River Lawn arena.

Among the guests were some of showing’s best known personalities, including Allister Hood, Richard Ramsay, Sue Rawding, Jo Bates and former Hickstead Showing Director, Roger Stack.

Hickstead’s Lizzie Bunn was delighted to see the Showtime Ball grow in status, and thanked everyone for their support. “We were really pleased to see so many showing competitors, owners and enthusiasts at the ball,” she said.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who played a part in this event, in particular those who donated prizes for the auction, and everyone who bid on the night and helped us raise such a good sum to go towards improving the showing facilities here at Hickstead.”

Training for pony club members

Talented Pony Club Members will be soon be able to benefit from additional training opportunities to develop their skills, thanks to support from Aberystwyth University.

The Pony Club Talent Pathway 2017 was unveiled at Your Horse Live. It is developed from the popular Rider Development Pathway which aided the development of Pony Club Members who showed an ability to progress in their chosen discipline of Show Jumping, Dressage or Eventing.

Applications will open early in 2017, when members who feel they meet the expanded criteria can apply to attend one of training days being held in February and March all around the UK.

They will benefit from top class coaching. Some will then progress to the Regional Assessment stage of the programme.

Pony Club Talent Pathway will be an exciting progression

Pony Club Talent Pathway will be an exciting progression

The minimum criteria has been altered to open the application process to a wider audience; enabling more Pony Club Members to take part and benefit from the coaching on offer.

Regional Assessment Days offer further training opportunities with some of the UK’s best known coaches, and will be held during April. Riders will attend two training sessions, with flat and/or jumping coaches as appropriate, and will receive feedback to help their future development.

Thirty riders will then be selected for a weekend-long National Camp where they will work with top class discipline-specific coaches, as well as benefit from mounted and dismounted balance sessions, video analysis and help and advice with goal setting.

A final six riders will then be chosen to form The Pony Club Talent Pathway Squad; each receiving a training bursary, support from an experienced mentor who will continue to develop their progression and training within their discipline and other opportunities such as advice on gaining sponsorship.

Further details of how to apply for The Pony Club Talent Pathway will be announced on pcuk.org towards the end of the year, and on The Pony Club’s social media channels.

GROG group’s latest horse

The Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group goes from strength to strength 22 years after being initially formed.
It was started by the Duke of Richmond with the idea of giving racegoers at Goodwood the opportunity to participate as owners- and the syndicates have enjoyed great success with 14 of their 20 horses having won races.
Their embroidered red and yellow silks are now a familiar sight on England’s racecourses.
Goodwood offered the 24th scheme to existing members of GROG and new applicants in summer this year and the popularity is such that the scheme is now fully subscribed.
Goodwood Zodiac following a win for GROG

Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group celebrates a win by Goodwood Zodiac

The latest purchase is a colt by Showcasing out of the mare Polly Floyer.  He is described as an attractive, well made colt who should be precocious at two years and hopefully train on at three.
Each year members begin the season with optimism that another young horse will add to the list of successes. Perhaps none will realise the financial return of Goodwood Mirage – bought for the group for 28,000 Guineas and sold for
380,000 Guineas – but each becomes a favourite to one member or another, irrespective of their ability.
Throughout the year members are invited to stable visits to watch their horses at early-morning exercise and enjoy breakfast in the open air. There is also a full diary of social events, beginning each year with a privileged party at Goodwood House.
The group has also travelled overseas to enjoy racing from destinations including Hong Kong, Cape Town, Dubai and India – or Switzerland and Berlin closer to home.
This year, Goodwood Zodiac won as a three-year-old at both Windsor and Epsom for his owners. Trained by William Knight at Angmering, the horse also won twice as a two-year-old. He cost 42,000 Guineas as a yearling and sold for 70,000 Guineas having won more than £30,000 in prize money, making the 22nd scheme another hugely successful one for GROG.
Goodwood Zodiac striding to victory

Goodwood Zodiac striding to victory

Sadly, jockey Freddy Tylicki, who twice rode Goodwood Zodiac to victory before a thrilling second at Epsom on Derby Day, had a dreadful accident at Kempton which has left him paralysed from the waist down.
A fundraising campaign was started by Matt Chapman who set up a Gofundme page which subsequently raised circa £300k. Gofundme was  well supported  by GROG members.
This page has since been closed and the intention of the Tylicki family is to set up a Trust Fund or similar for him. In the interim it has been agreed that anyone still wishing to make a donation specifically for Freddy should do so by donating to the IJF with reference that it is for Freddy.
When this Trust Fund or other mechanism that the family choose is set up the IJF will then transfer all monies held for Freddy into it without charge.
The group also has a two-year-old in training with Richard Hughes named Goodwood Crusader. He ran five times for his owners this season finishing placed three times. They are hopeful of a strong campaign with him on the all-weather next spring.
Gail Brown, racing manager of GROG, said: “Each year we aim to provide our members with plenty of racing and a wide variety of social events. Of course we cannot predict how good their horse might be, but our statistics are way ahead of the game and we will be doing our best to keep it that way.”
Readers interested in GROG can contact Goodwood Racecourse on 01243 755029 with a new syndicate due to be launched in May 2017.  A waiting list is in operation.

Sire De Grugy is back!

Sire De Grugy’s victory in the Shawbrook Handicap Chase at Ascot  showed that this former Champion Chase winner, trained at Horsham by Gary Moore, still retains all of his impressive ability.

He has come on or his prep run  un the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month and when he clocked up victory number 17 at Ascot with usual jockey Jamie Moore on board, he impressed with the decisiveness of his victory.

Fine win  by Sire De Grugy

Fine win by Sire De Grugy

Gary Moore’s stable star still has plenty to offer aftr clocking up his first victory since winning his second Tingle Creek Chase almost a year earlier.

After the race, Gary Moore said: “It rates as one of his best performances. I think that while Vaniteux was a bit more classy than Sire De Grigy over hurdles it is a different ball game chasing.

“Sire De Grugy jumped impeccably today. I was pleased with his run at Liverpool, as he ran badly first time out last year and he’d had two racecourse gallops then and he’d had none this year because the ground was so firm.

“He will go for the Tingle Creek, as long as he comes out of this OK. It would not be the end of the world if we waited and came back for the Clarence House, but we would look at the Desert Orchid (Kempton) before that,” he added.

Kananee wins Newcastle qualifier

Kananee maintained his 100 per cent record on the All-Weather with a narrow victory over Sutter County in the recent six-furlong 32Red Casino Conditions Stakes on Tapeta at Newcastle.The son of Exceed And Excel is now has a free guaranteed start in the £150,000 All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championships Conditions Stakes over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 14.

Sent off the 7/4 favourit, Kananee (Saeed bin Suroor/Kevin Stott) refused to settle behind the front-running Nuclear Power (William Muir/Graham Lee, 11/4) for most of the first half of the race, fighting for his head, but the Godolphin-owned colt came to challenge between Nuclear Power and Mutahaady (Karl Burke/Ben Curtis, 8/1) over two furlongs out, hitting the front with just over a furlong to run and ran on well.

Sutter County (Mark Johnston/PJ McDonald, 6/1) battled on strongly against the stands’ side rail but could not quite get to grips with Kananee.

Kananee (blue colours) sees off Santanee (left) Photo:

Kananee (blue colours) sees off Santanee (left)
Photo: All Weather Championships

Stott, who was riding Kananee for the first time, said: “Kananee was game. He jumped fast from the stalls but nothing really wanted to go on.

“He was a bit too keen for the first furlong and a half, but he battled well and the next time he runs we will probably get the hood back on him to see if he settles better. You can’t hit the front too early at Newcastle but because he was running that keen I had to let him down a bit.

“He is still green as he only had four starts before today. He has done it the hard way, but the good way.”

This was a fourth success from five outings for Kananee, who has proved versatile, winning on turf at York and on Polytrack at Lingfield Park and Kempton Park. PJ McDonald said of the runner-up: “Sutter County has run an absolute cracker and going into the final furlong I thought I would win.

“Sutter County is a nice horse and I think he will go on again from today. He travelled lovely and I could have put him anywhere I wanted in the race. He gave me a beautiful feel and I am a bit gutted he got beat because he didn’t deserve to get beat.

“It is the first time I have sat on him or had anything to do with him but the yard speaks highly of him. They were expecting a big run today and they weren’t wrong.”

WHW conference success

A host of influential speakers from across the equestrian and charity sectors, including singer, songwriter and actor, Will Young, explored the theme of the ‘Invisible Horse’ at World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference this month.

Will gave a moving presentation about the plight of the Bodmin Moor ponies and his journey through understanding the issues faced by not only these ponies, but the many others in similar situations all across the country.

Will Young speaking at the conference PhotoWHW

Will Young speaking at the conference PhotoWHW

He explained that since becoming involved with local charity, Shires Holt, he has learned much more about the invisibility of horses in the UK saying: “In general, there is now a lack of value to the horse yet they still continue to be a status symbol. There is a paradox here. I am just one person who is saying ‘did you know about these problems?’ and people are responding with a willingness to help. ”

World Horse Welfare's conference poster

World Horse Welfare’s conference poster

World Horse Welfare President, HRH The Princess Royal, gave her thoughts on who should take on the responsibility for horses. She said:“First and foremost responsibility must be with the owner. People need to understand that taking on a horse is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year responsibility. It is not 9-5 or whenever you feel like visiting on a weekly basis.”

HRH also expressed the importance of education in ensuring horses do not end up as welfare cases, and the need to put measures in place to prevent welfare problems – keeping prosecutions as a last resort.

HRH The Princess Royal speaking at the conference Photo: WHW

HRH The Princess Royal speaking at the conference
Photo: WHW

Attention was turned to the world of endurance in the UAE with an enlightening presentation from His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Emirates Heritage Club in the UAE who spoke on the Boutheib Initiative which has made tremendous steps in improving horse welfare in the sport.

He spoke of his strong belief that endurance should not be about the first horse past the post but instead the horse in the best condition at the finish. In a sport which had been rocked by negativity over recent years,

He said: “Removing the focus on speed does not remove competition in endurance. The real competition should be about your horse finishing in the best possible condition.”

Chris Riggs of the Hong Kong Jockey Club presented on equine welfare in China and the many challenges horses there face from a lack of access to specialist equine veterinary care, knowledge and facilities.

Chris also spoke of the equestrian industry’s fast-growth in China, with investment in breeding programmes, veterinary training, the building of a 1,600 horse capacity Thoroughbred training centre, a greater focus on the leisure horse industry and Beijing chosen as host for the 2018 World Equine Veterinary Association conference in which World Horse Welfare will play a supporting role.

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, spoke of the many different forms that invisible horses can take. He used examples from all areas of the equestrian world to paint the picture of invisible suffering before giving an inspirational and rousing call for everyone to play their part in bringing invisible horses into the spotlight.

He said:“We all have the power to shine a spotlight on invisible horses and invisible suffering.  We can all play a part in stamping it out.  What strikes me is that organisations can have great power, especially when working in partnership, but the individual can inspire or contribute to real change too.  Let’s use our combined motivation and power – breeders, regulators, policy makers, sister charities, horse owners, donors, enforcement agencies and vets – to bring all horses in to the light and give them the care and protection they so desperately deserve.”