New BHS role for Princess Royal

HM The Queen is now joined by HRH The Princess Royal as Vice-Patron of The British Horse Society; HM The Queen has been Patron since 1952.

The British Horse Society (BHS) is the UK’s largest equestrian charity with more than 96,000 members. The Society promotes and protects the interest of all horses and horse lovers across the UK. Its core focus is education, welfare, safety and equestrian rights of way.

Like Her Majesty The Queen, The Princess Royal has a keen interest in horses and the equestrian world.

The Princess Royalwith National RDA chairman Samantha Orde, chairman of Arun District Council, and chairman of WSCC Amanda Jupp. Photo: Jeannie Knight

The Princess Royal during a West Sussex visit with National RDA chairman Samantha Orde, the then chairman of Arun District Council, and then chairman of WSCC. Photo: Jeannie Knight


Last year, The Princess Royal received the BHS’ Queen Award for Equestrianism, recognising her achievements, both as a competitor and as a supporter.

The Princess Royal is Patron of The Pony Club, President of both World Horse Welfare and the RDA (Riding for Disabled) and is Vice-Patron of British Showjumping.

Lynn Petersen, Chief Executive of The British Horse Society, said; We are delighted to have The Queen and The Princess Royal supporting The British Horse Society. The Princess Royal’s interest and support for all things equestrian is remarkable. We’re very excited about working with her”

As the largest equestrian charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes, safety for horse and riders, and education. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers is committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere and last year made more than 4,000 interventions to help horses in need.



Join Joanna Lumley at Lingfield races

TV star Joanna Lumley is looking for guests to join her for an ‘Ab Fab’ day at the races.
Leaving her alter-ego Patsy firmly behind for the day, the stage and screen icon is returning to Lingfield Park on Saturday June 3 to host the Orpheus Centre’s fund-raising race day.

“I think I love my Orpheus Lingfield outing as much as any event in the calendar. I meet old friends, hear gorgeous music, lose stacks of cash and love every second.  I’ll see you there, and a kiss might be in order,” she laughed.

Sir Richard Stilgoe, Founder and Trustee of the Godstone-based charity which helps young disabled adults prepare for independent living through the performing arts, said it was a perfect day for people to support the Orpheus Centre.

“After the huge success of our previous Race Days at Lingfield Park, I am very excited to be repeating the event this year. I will be gathering as many celebrities as I can muster to give the evening glamour and stardust. I really hope you can join us at this very special event, and bring a table of friends if you can.” he added.

Joanna Lumley presenting winners with their prize horse heads at Lingfield Park Racecourse

Joanna Lumley presenting winners with their prize horse heads at Lingfield Park Racecourse

Hosted by Joanna Lumley, the afternoon will start with a champagne reception, followed by a delicious three course meal with wine, racing tips, a performance by Orpheus students and the chance to win some wonderful auction prizes. Best-selling author and racing guru Felix Francis will be guiding guests through the race-card.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park said he was delighted the neighbouring charity had chosen to hold its celebrations at the racecourse again. ‘We are thrilled whenever we can team up with our local charities to try and highlight the valuable work they carry out,’ he explained. “Last time Joanna was here she was incredibly generous, meeting and greeting our race-goers. We are thrilled she is returning to us in June – it will definitely bring a smile to our customers’ faces.”

“The Race Day is a joyful day to spend with friends and simply be entertained, all whilst supporting the transformative work that takes place at Orpheus,” added Lingfield Park regular and Orpheus Centre supporter Dame Judi Dench

All proceeds from the day will go to the Orpheus Centre in Godstone. Orpheus is a registered charity (1105213) and an independent college for young disabled adults with a passion for the performing arts.

Don’t miss this fantastic day. Tickets cost £110 per person (tables of 10) and are available for purchase either by calling the Orpheus Box Office on 01883 741414 or emailing

Racesafe sponsors top junior eventing again

Racesafe will again join British Eventing as the title sponsor for the British Junior Eventing Team, Junior Programme and the British National Junior CCIJ1* Championships for 2017.

With the continued support of Racesafe, the British Eventing Junior Programme aims to identify talented Junior riders, and their horses, that may have the potential for international recognition at the 2017 FEI Junior European Championships, this year hosted in Millstreet, Ireland (July 19-23 ).

Along with this the programme provides help and encouragement to develop combinations for future competitions and the British National Junior Championships, held annually at Brand Hall (June 3-4 ).

Racesafe British Junior Eventing team 2016 at Militare di Equitazione  Photo by Adam Fanshaw

Successful British team at the 2016 FEI Junior European  Championships Photo: Adam Fanshaw


2016 saw a hard fought competition for the Racesafe sponsored Junior European team in Montelibretti, Italy, producing some impressive performances on the final day of competition to retain their bronze medal – which they also won in 2015. Shropshire’s Brand Hall Horse Trials welcome’s the British National Championships each year and the 2016 Junior CCIJ1* competition gave Chelsea Round the National title on board her own Fleetwood Mac V.

Based just outside Market Harborough in Leicestershire, Racesafe are a leading UK manufacturer of body protectors and apparel, offering a product range synonymous with safety, comfort and style. As long term sponsors, the British Junior Team are ensured the latest developments in protection & design.

The support of Racesafe helps to provide training with Junior Team Coaches which takes place during the early months of 2017 as riders, and their connections, prepare for the season’s Championship events. BE also remain ever grateful for the dedication and boundless energy that the Horse Trials Support Group put into raising funds to support the International teams at all youth levels of eventing.


Call to stop off-roading dangers

A national survey of riding clubs, bridleway groups and riding establishments has found that ‘off-roading’ by 4x4s and motor bikes is creating dangers for horse riders nationwide.

Peak Horsepower, a bridleway group affiliated to the British Horse Society, carried out the survey to find out whether the problems being caused for riders by recreational 4x4s and motor bikes in the Peak District are being replicated across the country. The survey found that riders in all English counties are being affected by offroading and that the worst problems appear to be in Berkshire, Devon, Kent, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Somerset and Surrey.

Off road vehicle seized by police in Warwickshire following infringements.

Off road vehicle seized by police in Warwickshire following infringements affecting safety of other bridleway users

The survey was sent to 1057 equestrian organisations in England. There were 271 responses from 202 organisations, including from West Sussex.

Three quarters of respondents said that their offroad riding routes are being used by 4x4s and motor bikes. Ninety per cent of these respondents said that ‘offroading’ by these vehicles is creating problems on one or more of their riding routes. More than a third of them said it is causing problems on many or most of their riding routes.

Respondents who reported problems with 4x4s and motor bikes were asked what kinds of problems they are facing.

  • Seventy-nine percent of those reporting problems said that 4x4s and motor bikes have damaged the surface of their riding routes

  • 72 per cent said that the noise of offroad vehicles is frightening horses

  • 54 per cent said that vehicle speed is a problem

  • 54 per cent said their riding routes are too narrow to pass motor vehicles easily or safely on a horse

  • 51 per cent said there was nowhere to get out of the way of motor vehicles

  • 35 percent said that blind bends are a problem.

  • More than sixty percent of respondents reporting 4x4s and motor bikes using their horse riding routes said that these vehicles do not stick to routes where offroading is currently legal. They said that in their local area ‘offroading’ is also taking place on bridleways and restricted byways, which is illegal.

Charlotte Gilbert, the Chair of Peak Horsepower said: “Riding on ordinary roads is increasingly dangerous for horses and riders. Few local areas have a really good bridleway network and most riders depend for safe off-road riding on other kinds of tracks with no tarmac .

“These tracks are the 5,000 kilometres of unclassified county roads and the 4,000 kilometres of ‘byways open to all traffic.”

“Riders are now having to share these tracks with 4x4s and motor bikes. The result is that horse riding routes all over the country have become dangerous for horses and riders. Surfaces are getting so damaged that horses can’t use them. Other tracks are too narrow to be shared safely by horses and motor vehicles, or they have dangerous blind bends. The law as it stands is failing to protect riders and riding routes. It needs to be changed.”

In West Sussex, a Bridleway Group said that surfaces of routes were being damaged by motor vehicles, while an Endurance group added that routes were too narrow to pass motor vehicleseasily or safely on a horse.

In addition in blind bends there was nowhere to get out of the way of motor vehicles and vehicle speed was a problem and horses were frightened by vehicle noises.

Downland route usedfor off-roading

Downland route in West Sussex used for off-roading by motorcycles and four wheel drives- causing dangers to horse riders

Comments  included: “Drivers are unaware of the presence of riders until they are within very close proximity and often have little consideration for horses. Damage to clay surfaces by vehicles is extensive and can make parts of routes unusable in the winter. Offroading is not quiet enjoyment of the countryside and is not an appropriate use of BOATs.

An Endurance Group cited surface damage by motor vehicles and that vehicle noise frightens horses, saying: ” We live in heavy clay area and off road vehicles ruin the tracks which West Sussex County Council has spent a fortune putting in good repair. Surrey County Council has stopped them near  Cranleigh and I wish those in West Sussex could be stopped too.”

Brave foal Power of Love overcame birth problems

A courageous colt foal, named Power of Love, has survived multiple problems after his birth on March 7 to continue a special bloodline for owner Mrs Brenda Karn-Smith of Wisborough Green.
Affectionately named Jonathan, he defied all odds to live thanks to expert veterinary care from Liphook Equine Hospital and is now happily out grazing at Lavington Stud in Sussex with his mother, the racing mare  A Legacy of Love, known as Lola.
Power of Love in the Paddock Photo: Jeannie Knight

Power of Love in the Paddock
Photo: Jeannie Knight

He was born very small and weak, even though he had reached the full gestation period, and had colic symptoms, but was not responding to treatment. There was no room for him to be treated at the current Arundel Equine Veterinary centre, whose new equine hospital is not yet complete.
Fortunately Liphook Equine Hospital was able to take him and provide the expert care needed.
Mrs Karn-Smith said:” Liphook Equine Hospital and its wonderful surgical team performed  life-saving surgery and I owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Brenda Karn-Smith with Jonathan, aka Power of Love Photo: Jeannie Knight

Brenda Karn-Smith with Jonathan, aka Power of Love Photo: Jeannie Knight

Liphook Equine Hospital ensured that Jonathan had a plasma transfusion and prompt surgery to repair a hernia and his bladder which was leaking. The day after surgery, he developed a swelling in the throat and vets there also performed a trachaeotomy to enable him to breathe.
When he was well enough, Jonathan was transferred by Liphook to Lavington Stud in West Sussex with vastly experienced stud groom Karl Blundle on hand.
Jonathan and Lola enjoying sprig sunshine at Lavant Stud Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jonathan and Lola enjoying spring sunshine at Lavant Stud Photo: Jeannie Knight

Karl explained:” He had a little bit of colic because he was a bit greedy, drinking more of his mother’s milk that he could manage, so we put a muzzle on him to prevent him getting too much. A week later he was able to have the trachaeotomy removed and has continued in the right direction since then.”
Karl added: “He was confined to the stable for a month and then spent some time in a cage in the paddock enjoying sunshine and grass. Two weeks ago he was turned out in the paddock with Lola.  Another week like this will see him pick up even more.
“We have 400 acres here and are lucky to have a lot of grass with small individual paddocks. We give individual attention on a one to one basis, working closely with local  equine hospitals and can phone for help or advice 24 hours, seven days a week.”
Jonathan back in the yard Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jonathan back in the yard
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jonathan’s dam, A Legacy of Love, was named as a tribute to Mrs Karn-Smith’s late husband Gerald, who had always encouraged her to spend her own money to have a share in group-owned racehorse at Amanda Perrett’s Coombelands Racing Stables at Pulborough.
Following his death, she bought  A Legacy of Love, by the famous Irish Sea The Stars stallion and out of Nashmiah, and was rewarded with placings and a victory in the 32Red Fillies’ Handicap at Lingfield Park.
Jonathan himself is sired by Paco Boy, a noted stallion who was an impressive multiple winner on the Flat for trainer Richard Hannon and stands at Highclere Stud in Berkshire.
Mrs Karn-Smith said:”Some racehorse owners go through their entire lives without a winner, and A Legacy of Love is particularly special because I named her as a tribute to my late husband, Gerald.
“He always said that when he died he wanted me to be a merry widow and spend his money wisely to buy myself a racehorse. Since then I have had the immense pleasure of breeding from her.”
Lola’s first foal was a filly by Swiss Spirit, born on March 21 last year, and doing well.
Brenda said: “Nature permitting, we plan to send Lola to Newsells Stud to be covered by Nathaniel later this month.”

School stables were major attraction

Lavant House Stables was host recently to almost 1200 people providing a great treat for many families over Sussex.  Those who went along got to experience a taste of horse riding and many other activities for free.

“Our Open Mornings have always been hugely popular, but this was an exceptional turnout.” said Kelly Oliver, manager at the riding centre.

“Our aim is to connect as many people as possible to the power horses can have on people’s well being.  The day is about demonstrating our core mission to be a place where people and horses thrive”.

Fun on Horseback at Lavant House School stables

Fun on Horseback at Lavant House School stables

There has been some wonderful feedback from visitors, and Rebekah Chevis who brought her children commented: “We had a fab time. The staff and helpers there were all extremely friendly and polite. The ladies that my daughters had were lovely and smiley.  My eldest went from not wanting to go today (very nervous of horses) to begging for riding lessons by the time we left!

“A personal thank you to the lady that was walking with my daughter.  You were exactly the type of person my daughter needed.  All in all a lovely morning and seems a wonderful riding school.”

If you missed this event there are several other dates over the summer bank holidays this year starting with Monday May 29 May and then Monday August 28 from 10am – 1pm.

Father and daughter havng fun over show jumps at Lavant House School

Father and daughter havng fun over show jumps at Lavant House School

You can meet the free range donkeys Friday and Diesel who are often up to mischief.  They even have their own blog that relatestheir adventures as they roam freely around the premises every day.

As well as the free pony rides, children will have the chance to pamper the ponies at one of the pony parlours.  As well as a tractor ride, treasure Hunt, face painting and light refreshments available throughout the morning for everyone.

Lvant House riders and staff

Lvant House riders and staff

Visitors can also meet the members of Lavant House  team to ask any questions about looking after horses, starting riding or progressing current skills.

Once again one lucky winner will also get a FREE introductory riding lesson.
There is also a lovely grassland picnic and play area.  Guest are welcome to bring a picnic, stay a while and enjoy the beautiful location.
For more information visit

Goodwood’s assets to go on show

Soon Goodwood will welcome guests to the racecourse for Opening Saturday, May 6-the first of 19 days of racing in 2017. In addition to seven high-quality races there will also be the chance to explore, experience and discover more of what the Goodwood Estate has to offer – including golf, aviation and driving experiences.

Horse racing at Goodwood Photo:Chris Ison

Horse racing at Goodwood Photo:Chris Ison


The team from Golf At Goodwood will be on hand help all racegoers, young and old, to try the game and practice their swing techniques with an inflatable golf net. A ‘longest drive’ competition using sophisticated Trackman technology will be the ideal way to put newly learned skills to the test.

For those aged 17 and under, complimentary Young Driver experiences will give a taster of the programmes provided at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit. The 20-minute sessions include a slalom challenge, reversing round corners, hill starts and parallel parking. Young Driver experiences use Mini three-door hatchbacks, but a full range of BMW performance cars are offered as part of Goodwood’s Ultimate Driving packages and the team will be at the Racecourse to provide an insight into all that is on offer.

Goodwood Estate is also home to an active Aerodrome and the Aviation team will present a state of the art helicopter on the afternoon, allowing guests to explore the cockpit and ask any questions they may have about flying. From flights in a Spitfire to majestic tours of the sky above the Sussex coast, the Aviation enthusiasts at Goodwood can explain all about the Goodwood Aerodrome.

With so much to see and do, many guests may wish to visit the Waterbeach team from the Goodwood Health Club, who will also be on hand to provide complimentary foot massages, water massages and manicures.

Of course, the horseracing itself will be hugely entertaining and will be a chance to see some exciting young horses making their Racecourse debuts, as well as some of the more experienced runners returning to the Sussex turf.

Seamus Buckley, who is preparing for his final season as Clerk of the Course at Goodwood, said; “Everything is going as planned and the course itself is in very good condition. We are where we want to be at this stage, though the dry weather has not helped the turf, so we’ll think about doing some watering to keep some moisture in the ground for Opening Saturday.”


Jim Crowley is ambassador for Goodwood

West Sussex based Champion Jockey Jim Crowley,  is the new ambassador for the 2017 season at Goodwood Racecourse. 
Having travelled over 50,000 miles and ridden in over 1,000 races, Jim Crowley’s 189 winners in the calendar year of 2016 crowned an incredible journey for the 38-year-old from Pulborough.
Crowley started the 2016 season rated as a 66/1 shot to claim the Flat Jockeys Championship and he defied the odds, breaking many records including one which had been held for decades by the legendary Sir Gordon Richards and Fred Archer: an unbelievable 46 winners in one month.
As just reward for winning the title, Crowley has secured the much-coveted role as Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum’s number one jockey. As a result, he will undoubtedly taste further success at Goodwood and in particular at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in August. Al Maktoum has enjoyed plenty of success at the meeting over the years and the likes of Thikriyaat and Muthmir were successful in the last two years.
Pulborough-based Jim Crowley. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Pulborough-based Jim Crowley. Photo: Jeannie Knight

He was the second most successful jockey at the track last season with eight winners, including the Cocked Hat Stakes at the May Festival on board Algometer.
Crowley said of new ambassador position; “I’m very proud to be taking up this role with Goodwood. It’s my local track so riding a winner here means more to me than anywhere else. The quality of racing throughout the year is very high but the Qatar Goodwood Festival in August is the standout meeting and I hope I can ride lots of winners there!”
Alex Eade, General Manager for Goodwood Racecourse, said; “To secure the services of the leading jockey in the country is very exciting for everyone here at Goodwood. Jim has always had a fantastic record riding here and I remember him securing a valuable double at our season finale in October on his way to claiming the Jockeys Championship – let’s hope he can win back-to-back titles this season!
Goodwood Racecourse will stage 19 days of racing in 2017, with the season beginning on Saturday 6 May and concluding on Sunday 15 October.

Goodwood’s 2017 Magnolia Cup supports Place2Be

The 2017 Magnolia Cup at Goodwood Racecourse will be run in aid of leading UK children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. Now in its seventh year, the Magnolia Cup has so far raised over £1million for various charitable causes.

The race, which takes place on Thursday August 3 – Ladies’ Day at the Qatar Goodwood Festival – is contested by inspirational women from the worlds of business, media, fashion and sport. None of the ladies are licensed jockeys and though some have experience of riding horses, others are learning to ride specifically for this occasion.

Line-up for the Magnolia Cup 2015 Photo:Jeannie Knight

Line-up for a past Magnolia Cup 
Photo:Jeannie Knight

Place2Be provides in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff.  Founded in 1994, the charity has school-based teams across England, Scotland and Wales and is now working in over 280 schools reaching a population of approximately 116,000 children across some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK.

 Children and young people aged 4-14 can book their own one-off appointment to speak to a Place2Be counsellor, or they can be referred by a teacher or parent for longer-term one-to-one or group counselling. This support helps young people to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the charity.

 Catherine Roche, Chief Executive at Place2Be said; “We are honoured to be the chosen charity of this year’s Magnolia Cup. The funds raised will help us continue to ensure that thousands of children across the country have a safe space where they can make sense of their worries and find ways to cope with extremely challenging circumstances. We are incredibly grateful for the support of everyone involved.”

Line up for the 2014 Magnolia Cup with eventual winner Edie Campbell far right Photo: Jeannie Knight

Line up for the 2014 Magnolia Cup  Photo: Jeannie Knight

 Adding a touch of glamour to the Magnolia Cup, the riders will all wear bespoke jockey silks created by leading designers, such as Amanda Wakeley, Kate Halfpenny, Bella Freud and Annoushka. A capacity crowd of 25,000 will watch on from the grandstands as the ladies and their horses sprint down the Goodwood straight in pursuit of glory.

 The Qatar Goodwood Festival takes place at Goodwood Racecourse in West Sussex from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 August 2017. Affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood,’ the event features three Group 1 races and total prize money of more than £5million.

Win a morning with Nick Skelton

A morning at home with Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton and a lesson with the reigning Hickstead Derby champion William Whitaker are among the lots in an online charity auction hosted by Daisy Bunn. 

Hickstead Director Daisy has organised the charity fundraiser in aid of two causes, the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund (MDIRF) and the Ella Popely Memorial Fund. Ella was a talented teenage showjumper who regularly competed at the All England Jumping Course. Sadly, her young life was cut short in December last year, and plans are in place to create a fitting memorial at Hickstead.

The auction follows Daisy’s charity event, A Classically Equestrian Evening, which was held at Bush Hall in London earlier in March. The evening was introduced by MDIRF Patron Zara Tindall, and Ella’s mother Lea Popely.

The evening was a sell out and was attended by famous names from the equestrian and media world, including Hickstead Derby champions Trevor Breen and William Whitaker, and ITN news anchor Alastair Stewart. Daisy, a classical singer, performed a programme of opera and classical favourites, and was joined for duets by Horse & Country TV’s Jonathan Rippon and carriage driving champion James Broome, son of legendary showjumper David Broome.

Among the auction lots are the chance to spend the day at the yard of Rio 2016 gold medallist Nick Skelton, who has recently announced his retirement from showjumping. Following breakfast with Nick, the winning bidder will get to have a tour of his Warwickshire stables and meet the brilliant Big Star before heading for a tour of son Dan Skelton’s racing yard. They will then get to spend the rest of the morning on the gallops watching Dan’s horses be put through their paces.


Nick Skelton Photo: PA

Nick Skelton Photo: Press Association

Another of the auction’s top lots is the chance to have a lesson with the current Hickstead Derby champion William Whitaker. The lesson will be held at Shane Breen’s base at Hickstead at 8am on Thursday 22 June, and then the winning bidder will be given a pair of Members’ Enclosure tickets for that day at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting.

Other showjumping training opportunities up for grabs include lessons with top Irish showjumper Shane Breen, two-time Hickstead Derby winner Trevor Breen, and USA Olympian Lauren Hough.

Trevor Breen and Loughnatousa winnin the Hickstead Derby in 2015 Photo: Julian Portch

Trevor Breen and Loughnatousa winning the Hickstead Derby in 2015 Photo: Julian Portch

Carriage Driving fans can bid for a weekend of tuition with former National Driving Champion Claudia Bunn alongside two night’s bed and breakfast at Claudia’s charming cottage near Ludlow.

“There are some superb lots up for grabs, with funds going to two extremely good causes that are both close to my heart,” says Daisy.

The online auction can be found at Bids close on Tuesday 18 April.

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead are on sale now at