Ferdi Eilberg to be para dressage coach

Dressage rider and trainer, Ferdi Eilberg, is set to re-join the equestrian World Class Programme as High Performance Coach to the para-dressage Podium and Podium Potential squads.

No stranger to the World Class Programme, having previously worked with eventing and both para-dressage and dressage squads over a number of years, Ferdi will join existing coaches Angela Weiss and Nina Venables, who will extend their current responsibilities to provide coaching support, alongside Ferdi, to the whole para-dressage programme.

Ferdi Eilberg

The trio, who collectively have a wealth of knowledge in Paralympic sport, will deliver a supportive, collaborative and performance-driven coaching programme. This approach aims to support athletes and their home coaches to develop their potential to deliver on the field of play and ensures solid and correct training programmes are in place across the programme.

Para-Dressage Performance Manager, Sarah Armstrong says: “The para-dressage team has enjoyed a golden journey over many years and I would like to thank both Michel Assouline for his contribution to athlete successes during this period and Erik Mackechnie, who has worked tirelessly with the Podium Potential squad in supporting the growth of the talent pool. I wish them both well in their new ventures.

“Change brings new opportunities and challenges. The Tokyo cycle will have its own challenges and the formation of this strong team of coaches will underpin the development of athletes in their quest to consistently deliver personal bests. This is a very exciting time for the sport, with new combinations delivering fabulous results on the world stage and more established athletes developing new horses with WEG 2018 and beyond in mind.”

Ferdi added: “I’m very much looking forward to being involved with the squad again; there’s a new system developing, with more personal trainers involved, and it’s important that we can bring that all together. There is a greater demand for horses and the competition is getting harder all the time; there are quite a lot of new combinations developing which is exciting to see.”


Heavy horses star at ploughing match

Four pairs of heavy horses were star attractions at West Grinstead and District Ploughing Match yesterday at Westons Farm, Itchingfield in West Sussex.  It was good to see a quartet of entries for this popular class, helping to keep the tradition alive


Madge and Dolly, competed by Ian Williams of Lower Dicker, East Sussex

Derek Hilton had travelled from Crowthorne in Berkshire with Roger and Major, while Ian Williams, a ploughman with more than 20 years experience came from Hailsham with seasoned competitors Madge and Dolly, using a 1930’s Ransome plough.

Madge and Dolly are two of three Clydesdale mares bred by the late David McInerney, who was passionate about this particular breed,

Mars and Storm competed with Tony Parks of Rotherfield in East Sussex, and Gerald Winter brought along Percherons Max and Megan from Hastings, which had made their debut at this ploughing match only two years ago.

Steam ploughing was another key feature, drawing the crowds throughout the day to see this old technique in action.

For full report on this popular fixture  see West Sussex Gazette on Wednesday.





World Breeding Championship

From October 19 to 22 the best six and seven year old horses from across the world will descend on Le Lion d’Angers, France, for the FEI World Breeding Federation Eventing Championships for Young Horses.

British-bred horses are well represented at this year’s championships with owner, breeder and rider, Sarah Bullimore selected on Corouet – owned along with Mr Brett Bullimore and Kew Jumping Syndicate, the gelding will compete in the six year old championships.

By show jumping stallion Balou du Rouet, Corouet’s dam, Lilly Corinne, has an impressive international eventing record, including a top ten placing at the CCI3* event Boekelo (NED) in 2016 and sixth place finish at the German CCI4*, Luhmuhlen earlier this year. Lilly Corrine was also successful in young horse classes taking the British Four Year Old Championship title in 2008.

Sarah Bullimore GBR amd Reve Reve du Rouet Photo courtesy of Leslie Wylie

The seven year old championship is represented by four British-bred horses; Christopher Stone’s Chilli Knight (Gemma Tattersall), Dr Polly M Taylor’s Mr Fahrenheit III (Simon Grieve), William Fox-Pitt’ Yes I Can and Laura Collett’s Sir Papillon. Bred by William’s mother Marietta Fox-Pitt, Yes I Can is by the prolific show jumping stallion Kannan and enjoyed a top ten place at his first international competition, taking seventh place in the CCI1* at Houghton International Horse Trials in May this year.

Owned and ridden by Laura Collett, Sir Papillon, by Sir Shutterfly and bred by Jacqui Collins, came third in the 2016 CICYH1* at the KBIS Young Horse Championships at Osberton Horse Trials in 2016 and was the leading British bred at the Championships.

Christopher Stone, owner and breeder of Chilli Knight, has enjoyed a successful season with the Chilli Morning sired gelding, whose dam is the BE Grade 1 and CCI4* mare Kings Gem. Campaigned by Gemma Tattersall, the seven year old most recently took third place from the St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials in the CIC2* and fifth place at the Brightling Park International CIC1* in early July.

Pony club members to star at QIPCO Day

The search is on for three lucky under 18s to win the chance to take a starring role on QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday October 21 at Ascot.

QIPCO British Champions Series, together with The Pony Club, are offering three lucky young racegoers the chance to make the parade ring presentation to the winners of the Balmoral Handicap, the closing race on Britain’s richest raceday on the hallowed turf of Ascot Racecourse.

Young Pony Club members taking part in previous day

David Redvers, Racing Manager to QIPCO Director Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, comments, “We are delighted to offer three lucky winners the opportunity to present the trophies for Europe’s richest Mile handicap, the Balmoral Handicap, on QIPCO British Champions Day 2017.

“A key objective for QIPCO when sponsoring events is to engage the younger generation in horseracing and to make the sport fun, accessible and memorable for them. The partnership with The Pony Club allows us to do just that, and we are thrilled to be able to involve under 18s in QIPCO British Champions Day in a novel way through this wonderful opportunity to play a key role on Britain’s richest raceday.”

The three competition winners will not only have the honour of presenting a trophy to the owner, trainer and jockey of the winning horse of the Balmoral Handicap, but will each receive a pair of Winning Post Enclosure tickets for two accompanying adults, as well as admission to The Racing Lounge, a private facility for guests of QIPCO British Champions Day.

Young racegoers can enter now via the British Champions Series website. Entrants must be 18 years old or younger and do not need to be a member of The Pony Club. The competition closes at midnight on Sunday October 1. Winners will be selected at random and contacted during the week beginning October 2..

As well as world-class action on track on the day, there is also a host of activity on offer for under 18s, who can attend the day for free when accompanied by an adult. In partnership with The Pony Club, a specially dedicated ‘Fan Zone’ will include a series of free activities including a bitesize lesson with a jockey coach, a tour of the racecourse prior to racing and a meet and greet with an ex-racehorse. In addition, following the day’s racing, racegoers will also be able to enjoy the official after party which this year is being headlined by award winning British singer-songwriter, George Ezra.

To find out more and to book tickets, visit www.britishchampionsday.com.

Royal visitor for HOYS

As organisers of Horse of the Year Show, Grandstand Media Ltd has announced that HRH Princess Anne will be attending Horse of the Year Show on the evening of Thursday 5th October to present the prizes to the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds M&M Ridden Champion. The prestigious Championship takes place under the spotlight on the Andrews Bowen International Arena and has been a popular inclusion at HOYS since it was introduced in 1999.


Emma Wardell, Event Director for Grandstand Media Ltd commented: “We are honoured to have the continued support of HRH The Princess Royal for Horse of the Year Show. As a past competitor, judge and visitor, HRH Princess Anne has made many appearances at HOYS over the years and we are as delighted as ever to have HRH The Princess Royal returning to the Show this year.”


Earlier in the day on Thursday October 5, the HOYS audience will be treated to a Dressage Masterclass from the dressage phenomenon, Charlotte Dujardin, who will put the riders through their paces and pass on some of her invaluable tips to the HOYS audience. Also not to be missed, stirring up rip-roaring action will be Atkinson Action Horses as they present LIMITLESS. The second display is completely unique and has never been seen before; The Story of the Caspian Horse which will give people an insight into the versatility of this fascinating historic breed. Back again this year will be the all-time crowd pleasers Virbac 3D Worming Pony Club Mounted Games and Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Racing.


With two remarkable arenas, 16 hours of daily action, 1,600 top-class horses, exhilarating live displays and the infamous HOYS Retail Village containing 250 trade stands, HOYS 2017 is set to impress! To book your tickets, please visit www.hoys.co.uk/tickets or call the Box Office on 0844 581 8282.

Gardenvale win 2017 PSI Polo Trophy


By Liz Higgins

The Park House Cup, first presented 53 years ago, remains a popular fixture at Cowdray Park Polo Club and six teams entered the 2017 tournament. The Park House 4 goal Cup and PSI goal trophy at Cowdray Park took place on Sunday September 10.

Facing each other in the Final were Lila Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings and Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze.  Lila took the number 1 position for Cowdray Vikings with Quentin Wedmore at 2, Boyd Allen at 3 and Ed Hitchman at Back. Playing alongside Wilf were the youngest player on the pitch Will Harper at 2, Marcus Cork at 3 and Nick Pepper at Back.

A lively start brought a 30 yard penalty for Cowdray Vikings enabling Ed Hitchman to put the first mark on the scoreboard.  Goals apiece from Nick Pepper and Marcus Cork gave Sea Breeze a 2-1 lead by the close of the first chukka.

Chukka 3 opened with Sea Breeze in the lead at 3-1.  Allen was unlucky when a good shot at goal went wide and doubly unlucky when he raced off towards the goalposts again only to have his shot saved on the goal line by Pepper.  The action raced along and Cowdray Vikings were soon rewarded with a 60 yard penalty which Hitchman lofted over the posts to bring his side’s score up to 2-3.  Suddenly Pepper latched onto the ball, turned it and sent a great shot forward to move Sea Breeze on to 4-2.

Cowdray Vikings and Sea Breeze finalists in the 4 Goal Park House Cup Final Polo Match at Ambersham, Cowdray Park Polo Club Phoro: www.polopictures.co.uk Clive Bennett 20170910

In the final chukka, Wedmore contributed a nifty goal for Cowdray Vikings and they were just one behind again. Pepper won the ball from the throw-in, Hitchman delayed his progress but Fine entered the frame with Pepper backing him up.  The whistle blew and a safety shot was awarded.  Pepper’s shot hit the post and was deflected.

Hitchman brought the ball in but Harper stole it and was soon racing off to try an under-the-neck shot towards goal. Allen’s defence was once again a show-stopper as he sent the ball away.  Cowdray Vikings were denied the equalizer when a 60 yard penalty went wide and the clock ticked down the final minute with the score remaining at 4-3 to Sea Breeze.

Mr and Mrs Seamus O’Brien, owners of Park House Hotel at Bepton, known for its close links with polo at Cowdray Park, presented the historic cup to Wilf Fine and individual prizes to the Sea Breeze team members.  The award for Most Valuable Player went to Boyd Allen of Cowdray Vikings.

From an entry of six teams, Bamboleo/Madams Farm and Gardenvale made it to the final of the 8 goal PSI Trophy.  At number 1 for Bamboleo/Madams Farm was Christian Staubach with John Kent at 2, Nick Britten-Long at 3 and Henry Brett at Back.  Shane Finemore took his usual positon at 1 for his Gardenvale side, with talented youngsters Jimbo Fester at 2 and Jose Ramon Araya at 3, and  England Captain James Beim at Back.

Beim, Fewster and Araya contributed a goal apiece in the first chukka with Henry Brett replying with one goal for Bamboleo/Madams Farm.  With a goal each from Beim and Araya in the second chukka, Gardenvale had taken a commanding lead of 5-1 by half time.

www.polopictures.co.uk Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20170910 ©2017 Clive Bennett Photography 10/09/2017 _CB_9557.CR2

Heavy rain continued through the second half whilst Gardenvale consolidated and indeed improved their lead.  The final chukka opened with the score at 7-1 in Gardenvale’s favour.  Bamboleo/Madams Farm had plenty of fight still in them and kept looking for their luck to change.   A lovely field goal came from Nick Britten-Long and John Kent was able to contribute another, but it was a case of too little too late and Gardenvale ran out the winners of the 2017 PSI Trophy on a score of 7-3.

Mrs Odara Finemore was delighted to present the beautiful cup to her husband Shane Finemore and prizes to all players.  James Beim’s pony Salsita was awarded Best Playing Pony of the match.

Nick Gifford’s strong team at Findon

FINDON racehorse trainer Nick Gifford has a strong team for the coming season at historic DownsStables, where his father Josh before him sent out many winners
from these historic premises at the foot of the downs.

At a recent open day Nick’s horses for the coming season looked impressive, when some seasoned campaigners were joined by plenty of new talented youngster which all
impressed visitors.
Nick said: “I have 30 horses this year and they include a blend of young horses with some exciting untapped talent for going over hurdles. Then there are more seasoned campaigner, with some to run over fences and my yard is now sponsored by Worzil Energy,” he said.

Visitors at Downs Stables on the open day: Photo Jeannie Knight

Nick’s wife Ruth is a key part of the team, running the Racing Club horses which bring affordable racing to the fingertips of everyone.

Trainer Nick Gifford talkiing about his horses at the Open Day

There are some exciting prospects, including Glen Rocco,a six-year-old by Shirocco, which missed last seaon. This chestnut, with a distinctive white blaze,owned by Jeremy Kyle, is half brother to a horse which won the famous Czech race, the Velka Pardubicka, which is run over varied and testing terrain.

Glen Rocco
Photo: Jeannie Knight

 This young horse has the style, scope and pedigree to be an outstanding horse,” said Nick. Another young horse with a future is Did They Leave You Out Too, a four-year-old owned by J PMcManus. “ He will run in a bumper and has an engine. He is just 16hh but is a lovely horse and has done plenty of schooling,” said Nick.

Did They Leave You Out Too owned by JP MCManus Photo: Jeannie Knight

There are high hopes for The Mighty Don, a five-year-old by Shantoo, owned by The Golden Rose Partnership. From six runs he has won twice, including a novice hurdle in the EBF Final series, been placed twice. He is rated 127 and and will be aimed at the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.
Theo’s Charm, a seven-year-old owned by Michael O’ Shea has won three races and been placed six times- including being runner-up in a valuable hurdle race at Haydock.
His target this season could be the Pitsrush Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Don’t miss the chance to buy a share in a stunning three-year old
gelding by the mighty Fame and Glory who won 14 races and five Group
1’s including the Irish Derby and Ascot Gold Cup.

Impressive Fame and Glory gelding – a partnership horse with shares available

 Sadly Fame and Glory died but his progeny have proved to be
very popular in the sales ring this summer. This particular gelding is
close to the heart at Downs Stables as he is closely related to two
extremely talented and successful horses trained by Nick’s father Josh-
Kopeck and Rouble. Contact Ruth for details about shares on ruthgifford2010@gmail.com or  01903 872226.
Prouts Pub is one of the popular racing group horses at Downs
Stables. Now eight-years-old, he has plenty of ability and has run in
a mix of races, over hurdles and fences, winning two and being placed six times.

Racing Group horse Prouts Pub

Nick said: He can be frustrating because he has the talent but has unfinished business over fences, where he needs to use his abiility to the full.”

Another interesting horse for the future is a three-year-old by Oscar,
who is out of a full sister of Fruity O’ Rooney. He has a mix of speed
and stamina in his pedigree and is owned by Jeremy Kyle. The same
owner has a three-year-old filly by stallion Robin De Champs, which
may make her debut on the track in Spring.

Three-year-old by Oscar out of full sister to Fruity O’ Rooney Photo: Jeannie Knight

Market Court is a six-year- old gelding owned by Barry and Baroness Noakes, which made his debut in a National Hunt Flat race at Plumpton earlier this year.
Don’t miss the chance to buy a share in a stunning three-year old
gelding by the mighty Fame and Glory who won 14 races and 5 group
1’s including the Irish Derby and Ascot Gold Cup.

Impressive Fame and Glory gelding – a partnership horse with shares available

Sadly Fame and Glory died but his progeny have proved to be
very popular in the sales ring this summer. This particular gelding is
close to the heart at Downs Stables as he is closely related to two
extremely talented and successful horses trained by Nick’s father Josh-
Kopeck and Rouble.
Irish Gold cup winner Nick The Brief is also in the pedigree. and ownership is available at £6,000 per quarter share A new recruit for the Nick Gifford Racing Club, which brings
affordable racing to owners, is Swift Native. She is by Mahler out of a Be
My Native mare and, bought at Doncaster sales ,is an exciting prospect.
Cost of this popular racing club is only £38 plus VAT a week and a small
joining fee of £1,250 with two horses to follow throughout the year, with
plenty of social activity including mornings on the gallops.
Contact Nick or Ruth for both options at Downs Stables on:01903
872226. Moblie: 07940518077. Email: ruthgifford2010@gmail.com

Quality racing at Fontwell Park

Despite blustery weather, Fontwell Park’s Sunday jumps fixture attracted a good crowd, which was rewarded with highly competitive racing.

The successful combination at the last meeting at this popular Sussex track- trainer Neil Mullholland and jockey Noel Fehily- immediately swung into action. They won the opening Mares Handicap race easily with 100-30 favourite Poetic Lady- a runner-up at this track in June.

Runner-up Kentford Heiress, trained by Seamus Mullins, again had to settle for second place, having finished second on her last run.

Poetic Lady and Noel Fehily, far right, coming with a winning run in the opening race. Photo: Fontwell Park

Horsham trainer Gary Moory and son Jamie got off the mark in good style with his first runner for the new jumps season when winning the second race with Lord E. The smart three-year-old, owned by Mrs Mary-Anne Parker, was having his first run over obstacles and won by five lengths from Kiruna Peak, trained by Fergal O’Brien.

Winners Lord E and Jamie Moore
Photo courtesy  Fontwell Park


Spirit of Chartwell at 16-1 trained by Phil York was the first winner over obstacles for rider Katy Lyons when taking the handicap chase over two miles two furlongs. The winner finished   clear of  Saffron Prince trained by David Bridgewater ridden by 5lb claimer Daniel Hiskett, with 20-1 shot Rakaia Rosa in third.

The handicap hurdle over two miles three furlongs turned into a thriller as Harry Skelton and Workbench approached the final stages with a commanding lead-but won in a photofinish. With a good lead under his belt, previous course winner Workbench began drifting right in the closing stages and his rider had to work hard to get him over the line for his victory.

Fontwell winners Workbench and jockey Harry Skelton

Rockchasebullet, trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by Paddy Brennan won the final chase of the day, a handicap, in decisive fashion by an easy seven lengths while the National Hunt Flat race went to Malindi Place, trained by James Evans and ridden by Liam Treadwell.

 The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on Friday October 6 when gates open at 12.10  and the first race is 2.10pm.

Man guilty of causing equine suffering

A Goole man has pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 Philip Strachan (67) of Stocks Drive, Goole, appeared at Beverley Magistrates Court on Wednesday (6th Sept) and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of an aged Thoroughbred mare in his care.

Tessa shortly after she was rescued Photo: World Horse Welfare

Strachan admitted offences under Section 4 and Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA, after his elderly mare, Tessa, was found severely emaciated, suffering a severe lice infestation and open wound which had not been treated. In addition, she only had access to a shelter with filthy bedding.

World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Sarah Tucker, was alerted to the horse being kept in the village of Lund, East Yorkshire, by a caller to the charity’s welfare line in March 2017. She said:“I attended the location on a cold, miserable wet day where I found a bay Thoroughbred-type mare wearing a thin blue rug. Even through the rug I could see her hips and pelvic bonessticking out.

Tessa was severly emaatiated when she was found Photo World Horse Welfare

There was a man-made shelter within the field which had dirty, wet faecal contaminated bedding inside.. I contacted RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell and Veterinary Surgeon, Kirsty Nelson of Aldgate Vets, Driffield, and asked them to attend the location. Once they arrived, we removed the rug and found a large wound on her withers that had scabbed and had become attached to the rug. Her coat was dull and she had a severe lice infestation.

“Tessa was an old mare who should have been receiving extra care, not to be left in a field struggling. Seeing her stood alone in the field with only a thin sheet for warmth she looked in a pitiful state, all of her bones were protruding and her body was covered in lice. Seeing any animal in an emaciated state is shocking but this situation was totally unnecessary and could easily been prevented by providing basic care with palatable food, a deep clean bed and an appropriate rug to help maintain body condition.

“Caring for an elderly animal always comes with additional challenges but it is vital that owners seek regular veterinary advice and ensure their needs are being met. It is unacceptable to leave any animal in its twilight years without providing additional care. Anyone concerned about a horse or in need of advice should call World Horse Welfare’s welfare line on 08000 480 180.”

RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell said: “Tessa was the thinnest horse I have ever seen. She was very wobbly on her feet and in the state she was in, at her age, the outlook wasn’t good.

“This was a really sad and upsetting case – all animals need a bit of extra TLC when they get older but Tessa didn’t get it, and she suffered as a result.

Fontwell’s bumper family day tomorrow

Fontwell Park has a bumper 64 Declarations for Family Fun Day tomorrow, Sunday.
There is some competitive racing on the card, with four rides for Noel Fehily who had some good winners at the last meeting here.
He is looking to close the gap with Leighton Aspell, who is currently at the top of Fontwell Park’s jockey leaderboard.

Expect competitive action at Fontwell Park tomorrow
Photo: Fontwell Park Racecourse

Fontwell also looks forward to welcoming Richard Hughes and Ralph Beckett, two trainers better known for their successes as Flat trainers.
Both have their first runners at Sussex’s popular figure of eight track.
Children under 18 come FREE for this popular fixture and all the entertainment on the day is FREE!
Gates open at noon with the first race going off at 2.20pm.
Save £5 by booking before midnight on Saturday from: http://bit.ly/2gQpLVx