Cresswell Breeze wins Southern National

DORSET trainer Anthony Honeyball stole the show at Fontwell Park’s Southern National meeting yesterday. Not only did he win the Southern National Race, but he had two other winners at the meeting.

In the Southern National, jockey Sean Bowen was on board  Honeyball’s 7-1 shot Cresswell Breeze, taking the lead two from home and staying on well to win by three and a half lengths.

Cresswell Breeze, ridden by jockey Sean Bowen and trained by Anthony Honeyball on the way to winning the Sussex National. Photo courtesy Fontwell Park

The victory was at the expense of the David Dennis-trained Cyclop, ridden by Leighton Aspell.

That combination looked likely winners three from home, and were thereabouts at the last but could not match the finishing speed of the winner.

Honeyball’s other winners were both ridden by David Noonan, who secured his own double for the day, with Jukebox Jive, 4-5 favourite, winning the Juvenile Hurdle by three-and–half lengths .

Then Noonan brought home Soulsaver, 4-1 joint favourite, to win the handicap hurdle over two miles three furlongs from Sixties Idol, trained at Lewes by Sheena West.

Trainer Ben Pauling also notched up a double when he saddled up Markov at 8-1 under a good ride from Tom Bellamy to take the John Rogerson Memorial Chase.

He then followed up with a victory from Raven’s Tower, ridden by James Banks, at 6-1 in the Salmon Spray Hurdle race, beating 20-1 shot Lettheriverrundry, trained by Brenden Powell by just under two lengths.

Wells Gold at 3-1 won the opening Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles five furlongs under Alain Cawley for trainer Fergal O’ Brien, beating 8-1 shot Quiz Master by half a length with 5-4 favourite Cheque En Blanc in third place.

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is a festive raceday on Monday December 11. For more information see



British Dressage board changes

British Dressage today announces some changes to the Board of Directors, with two members of the Board recently standing down from their positions. 

Newly appointed Finance Director Karen Wilson tendered her resignation after only six weeks in post at the end of last month.  Maggie Copus, who was previously BD’s Finance Director until September this year, has therefore been co-opted back on to the Board with immediate effect and a formal election for this position will take place in due course.

Jo Graham has also left her position of Judges Director after two years in office.  Jo’s deputy on the Judges Committee, Jane Peberdy, will take over as Chair of the committee on an interim basis and the Board will discuss a replacement Director appointment at their next meeting in December.  A formal announcement will then follow once the Board has fully considered the options available.

Penny Pollard, British Dressage

BD Chairman Penny Pollard commented; “It’s always disappointing to lose valued colleagues.  I wish Karen well in her professional role with the oil industry in Scotland and hope that she will stay involved with BD in the future. 

“We owe Jo an enormous debt of gratitude for her hard work and determination to modernise the Judges training and examination system.  With the help of the office team, technical committee and regional volunteers, BD has revolutionised its methods to the point that we’re now the envy of other countries.  She leaves judging in a healthy place and should be incredibly proud of her achievements.

“We wish Jo well in her future projects and thank her for giving her time as a volunteer over the past two years in what is a challenging role.

“We have a great deal of experience on the Board and we will now continue to build on the excellent progress that has already been achieved this year.  To have Maggie back will give us stability and continuity, so we can further our plans to develop a modern, vibrant and successful sport.”

Doris and Teddy on police patrol

With just under a month to go until Olympia, the event’s official charity, Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony, sent their two favourite live mascots, miniature ponies Doris and Teddy, to London for the first time ever to help the Mounted Branch of Metropolitan Police (MPS) on patrol.

Stepping on to the Mall, one of London’s most iconic locations, Teddy and Doris lined up with Police horses 10 times their height, Merlin and Quixote, who will be taking part at Olympia as part of the MPS Police Activity Ride.

Despite the noticeable size difference, the tiny Shetlands just about kept up as the steady Police horses took them under their wing as they walked side-by-side towards Buckingham Palace.

Little and Large! Metropolitan Police (MPS) Horses, Merlin and Quixote, were joined on patrol in central London by some special helpers, Teddy and Doris, ahead of their appearances at Olympia Photo:

Instagram sensation Teddy the Shetland’s owner, Alice Goring, also the charity’s Scientific Advisor, spoke of the occasion.

She said:“This is the first time Teddy and Doris have been to central London, so it is great they could familiarise themselves before Olympia Horse Show starts in December.

“Doris was Hannah’s own Shetland and meant the world to her.  I am not sure they are quite ready to join the Police Force yet- they only have little legs, so it would take them a long time to get around all the streets of London! But we are so grateful to Inspector Simon Rooke for letting them be part of his incredible team for a morning and helping to raise awareness for Hannah’s legacy.”

Inspector Simon Rooke commented, “We were really pleased to welcome Doris and Teddy to the team this morning. They might not be the usual type of horse we have on patrol, but they certainly added something different!

“The Metropolitan Police Activity Ride is extremely proud to be performing in front of the wonderful crowds at Olympia this year. The show gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the extraordinary bravery of our horses and the unique bond of trust they have with our officers.

“The horses that will be performing at Olympia, including Merlin and Quixote, are all operational and patrol the streets of London daily.”



Dorset House School teams excelled

DORSET House School at Bury is continuing its fine tradition of encouraging pupils to take part in equestrian events. The school’s showjumping team is going from strength to strength with more than 10 per cent of pupils there taking part.

At  a recent Coombelands event, pupils from Reception to Year 8  entered a range of competition and headmaster Mr Matt Thomas, went along to support the team. Everyone was pleased with the results achieved  by riders taking part there.

On the first day a Grassroots Derby Competition attracted ten entries from Dorset House School, including some first time competitors.  In the 40cm event, the Dorset House School team, consisting of Sebastian Scrase, Matilda Simpson, William Dales, Anais Hafner  finished second, while Matilda Simpson also achieved an Individual 1st.

The Dorset House School team of Neve Meurer, Brooke Meurer and Matilda Simpson  pictured with headteacher Matt Thomas

In the 50cm class, the school team consisting of Neve Meurer, Brooke Meurer and Matilda Simpson won the event, while Matilda Simpson finished ninth individually in a highly competitive event.

Dorset House School Show Jumping winners Pictured:Lauren Wilkins, Bella Crowley and Alice Crowley with their rosettes

In the 60cm class, a team of Brooke, Neve, Bella Crowley and Sean Scrase were second, with Bella finishing as individual eighth place in a  big class.

Winners from the school on the day included Lauren Wilkins, Bella Crowley and Alice Crowley, while Harry Wilkins also represented the school.

Triple crown for Enable

Enable, trained by John Gosden to a fantastic triple crown of the Oaks, King George and Arc de Triomphe, has been crowned Cartier horse of the year at the 27th annual Cartier Awards at the Dorchester Hotel in London

In addition to these top  victories, which were part of a sequence of six victories partnered by Frankie Dettori she also won the Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks, taking her Group 1 tally for the year to five.

Enable and Frankie Dettori
Photo courtesy of Reuters

Those five successes came with an aggregate winning total of 22 and a half lengths, and it was no surprise that when this outstanding filly, owned by Khalid Abdullah, was named as Cartier Horse of the Year at a dinner attended by 300  people this week

Others nominated for the award, also top horses in their own rights, were Ribchester, Cracksman and Ulysses- but their achievements were no match for those of Enable which became Cartier Horse of the Year 2017.

Enable beat this talented trio to claim the award. She was the first British-trained filly to win the Arc, Europe’s most valuable race.

Enable was also named top three-year-old filly, while stablemate Cracksman was the top colt in that age group.

It is the second time in three years that Dettori and Gosden are celebrating, after Golden Horn won the horse of the year award in 2015.

Enable won five consecutive Group One races, including the English and Irish Oaks, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Ulysses won the older horse prize, with trainer Sir Michael Stoute given the award of merit.

Horses trained by Aidan O’Brien topped three categories – Order Of St George (stayer), US Navy Flag (two-year-old colt) and Happily (two-year-old filly).

Full list of winners

Two-Year-Old Colt: U.S Navy Flag

Two-Year-Old Filly: Happily

Three-Year-Old Colt: Cracksman

Three-Year-Old Filly: Enable

Sprinter: Harry Angel

Stayer: Order of St George

Older Horse: Ulysses

Horse of the Year: Enable, owned by Khalid Abdullah

Award of Merit: Sir Michael Stoute

WHW welcomes mandatory slaughterhouse CCTV

World Horse Welfare has welcomed Defra’s announcement that CCTV will be made mandatory in all English slaughterhouses.

In its response to the results of a consultation on the issue, the Government has announced that from spring 2018, CCTV will be required in every slaughterhouse in England in all areas where live animals are present, and that Official Veterinarians (OVs) will have unrestricted access to footage which must be kept for 90 days.

Slaughterhouses will have six months to implement the new requirements.

Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare Roly Owers, welcoming HRH The Princess Royal to a WHW event earlier in the year

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said: “We applaud the Government for this welcome advance for equine welfare, as accountability and transparency are essential if the slaughterhouse is to remain an option for horse owners, most especially those who cannot afford the high price of euthanasia.”

World Horse Welfare has campaigned since 2013 for mandatory CCTV in all areas of a slaughterhouse, as recommended by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, and for the footage to be easily accessible by OVs.

The charity believes that CCTV can aid the OV in monitoring welfare and also serve as an excellent training resource for slaughterhouses to help make all processes as welfare-friendly as possible.

WHW advocates CCTV filming at slaughterhouses

“Without CCTV in all areas of the slaughterhouse where live animals are present, horses at abattoirs are greater risk of being ‘invisible’ and horse owners needed greater confidence in the process.”

Last year almost three quarters of over 900 horse owners the charity asked through a Facebook survey said they would not have confidence that horse welfare would be protected throughout the slaughter process.

While more than 90 per cent of those asked would not use a slaughterhouse to end their horse’s life, almost half of them would consider it an acceptable option if measures were in place such as CCTV which is constantly in operation and available to the relevant authorities for monitoring at any time.

Government’s consultation response cited that: ‘World Horse Welfare noted that market pressure for CCTV was not present in horse slaughter but there was a need to increase confidence in horse owners that slaughter was a humane end of life choice.

WHW is especially grateful to everyone who has helped achieve this change, either by signing its petition, writing to MPs or sharing the campaign.

A spokesperson said:”We have been delighted with the wide support we and other organisations have received on this issue, and we look forward to seeing the details of the proposals.”

Showing Judges for HOYS 2018

It has been five weeks since HOYS 2017 came to an end, and plans are already taking shape for HOYS 2018 which will be the Show’s 70th Anniversary, promising an exciting line up of displays as well as some surprises along the way. More information to be announced in the New Year.

Douglas Duffin and Volcano at HOYS this year Photo: Julian Portch

 An anniversary year, the showing judges have just been announced for the 2018 Show. “The World’s Most Famous Horse Show”, which hosts the most highly-regarded national showing Championships, will take place Wednesday October  3 – Sunday October 7 2018 at the Genting Arena, NEC Birmingham.




British Ridden Heavy Horse

Mr Ifor Lloyd

Miss Sarah Chapman

Children’s Riding Pony of the Year

Ms Nicola Jones

Mr Alan Mullaney

Cob of the Year

Mrs Brigit Ensten

Miss Sarah Chapman

Coloured Horse and Pony of the Year

Mr Ifor Lloyd

Mrs Tracey Southern

Supreme In-Hand Championship

Mrs Suzanne Keylock

Mr Peter Goumans

Hack of the Year

The Hon Mrs Cavendish

Ms Lesley Whitehall

Harness Champion of the Year

Mr Brain Ball

Mr Alexander Hogg

Intermediate Show Hunter of the Year

Mrs Rosemary Hetherington

Mrs Joanne Prestwidge

Intermediate Show Riding Type of the Year

Ms Zara Pawley

Ms Chloe Chubb

Junior M&M Ridden Pony of the Year

Mrs Pat Rennie

Mr Kevan Baskeyfield

Ladies’ Side Saddle Horse of the Year

Mr Simon Somers

Mrs Hazel Allin

Lead Rein Pony of Hunter Type  of the Year

Mrs Rosemary Hetherington

M&M Mini Pony of the Year

Mrs Debbie Spears

M&M Ridden Pony of the Year

Ms Julia Furness

Mrs Marilyn Ludlow

M&M Working Hunter Pony of the Year

Mrs Caroline Nelson

Mrs Julia Woods

Maxi Cob of the Year

Mrs Brigit Ensten

Miss Sarah Chapman

Mini Show Pony of the Year

Mrs Patricia Dorman

Miniature Horse of the Year

The Hon Mrs Cavendish

Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year



Ridden Partbred Pony of the Year

Mrs Julia Woods

Mrs Caroline Nelson

Ridden Purebred Arab of the Year

Mr Mark Gamlin

Ms Stephanie Turner

Riding Horse of the Year

Mr Simon Somers

Mrs Georgina Maywood

Shire Horse of the Year

Mr Mark Richardson

Show Hunter of the Year

Mr Jonathan Geake

Mr Patrick Casey

Show Hunter Pony of the Year

Mrs Penny Williams

Mr Ian Dickinson

Small Show Hunter of the Year

Mr Tony Hogarth

Mrs Jane Hubbard

Supreme Horse & Pony of the Year



Working Hunter of the Year

Mr Tony Hogarth

Mrs Jane Hubbard

Working Hunter Pony of the Year

Mrs Pip Baker-Beall

Mrs Tina Hazlem

A total of 1,600 horses and 1,500 riders compete each year at Birmingham’s NEC, where 29 prestigious showing titles are on offer. With over 60,000 visitors to the show each year there is tremendous support for the competitors and it is an honour to offer such a prestigious level of competition.

 Tickets will go on sale in the New Year for what promises to be another exceptional event. For show information, visit

King Power to sponsor British Open Polo Championship

Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced that King Power, the luxury goods duty free business, will become title sponsor of the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship. The contract is for an initial three-year period.

The King Power International Group, based in Bangkok, is Thailand’s leading travel retail business. Its Chairman is Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who leads a company of 10,000 employees. The Srivaddhanaprabha family also owns Leicester City Football Club, overseeing its rise to become the 2016 Premier League Champions.

King Power to sponsor Polo Gold Cup championship        Photo courtesy  Cowdray Park

King Power already has an impressive history with polo and in particular the Cowdray Park Gold Cup for The British Open Championship, the King Power team having secured a hat-trick of wins in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Mr Srivaddhanaprabha‘s ambition is to take the model into Asia and create a similar status for the most coveted trophy in polo in the Far East.

Peter Barfoot, Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club said: “We are on the threshold of some truly exciting developments in polo and Cowdray Park is incredibly proud to be working with King Power.”

King Power’s Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, said:- “Polo is a passion for us. Having won the prestigious Gold Cup for the British Open three times, I am glad to be sponsoring this world-famous tournament. We are truly impressed with the way in which Cowdray Park Polo Club manages its grounds and the administration of the British Open Championship and are looking forward to a long and happy association with the club.”

Matt Petersen, General Manager, Cowdray Park Polo Club added: “I would like to pass on my thanks to all those involved from Cowdray Park and King Power whose hard work has resulted in this exciting news. King Power’s partnership with Cowdray Park represents a tremendous boost for polo both in the UK and internationally and enhances the reputation of the Gold Cup for the British Open.”

Inaugurated in 1956 by the late John Cowdray, 3rd Viscount, the Gold Cup ranks alongside the Argentine Open and US Open in world polo terms. The Draw for the 2018 Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship will take place at Lord and Lady Cowdray’s former home, Cowdray House, on Monday June 11, the opening date of the tournament is Tuesday June 26 and the Final will take place on Sunday July 22.

Goodwood Racecourse remembers WW1 equines heroes

For Remembrance Day Goodwood Racecourse has released a video tribute to the horses used by military forces during the First World War. To see this video click on the picture below.

Horses formed a key part in the transportation of soldiers, weaponry and resources for all sides during WWI and, in the British forces, more than 27,000 men served in the Army Veterinary Corps to support them. Heavy horses were used to pull large guns and mules often carried food supplies. Lighter riding horses and thoroughbreds were ridden by Army Officers and the Cavalry in battle.

Alongside the enormous human loss, over 8 million horses lost their lives between 28 July 1914 and 11 November 1918, with the majority perishing from exposure to the elements, hunger and illness and around 15% as a direct result of enemy fire.

Goodwood itself suffered tragedy in the First World War, as career soldier Bernard Gordon Lennox, son of the 7th Duke of Richmond, died in November 1914 in the early months of trench warfare in Flanders. His brother, Lord Esme, was badly wounded at Ypres. The 7th Duke converted his Scottish residence, Gordon Castle, into a hospital to treat those affected by the war.

Goodwood’s video features enduring images taken during the conflict, such as a horse being unloaded from a ship and the moving moment that 650 US servicemen grouped together to form a horse’s head, in tribute to the role these equine heroes played.

Goodwood itself suffered tragedy in the First World War, as career soldier Bernard Gordon Lennox, son of the 7th Duke of Richmond, died in November 1914 in the early months of trench warfare in Flanders. His brother, Lord Esme, was badly wounded at Ypres. The 7th Duke converted his Scottish residence, Gordon Castle, into a hospital to treat those affected by the war.

Goodwood’s video features some enduring images taken during the conflict, such as a horse being unloaded from a ship and the moving moment that 650 US servicemen grouped together to form a horse’s head, in tribute to the role these equine heroes played.

Fontwell double for Noel Fehily

Competitive racing at Fontwell Park on Friday attracted a bumper crowd, sunshine and plenty of runners throughout the afternoon at an event sponsored by Winner vehicle rentals.

The opening handicap hurdle race over three miles two furlongs attracted nine runners, victory going to Winchester trainer Chris Gordon, whose ten-year-old Roparta Avenue took the lead under jockey Tom Cannon on the first circuit.

Roparta Avenue, trained by Chris Gordon pictured with Tom Cannon and owners. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Roparta Avenue had recently finished fourth over course and distance and is one of 35 horses trained by Chris Gordon at his Winchester Stables.

Lady of Longstone, trained by David Pipe and well-ridden by 5lb claimer Michael Heard  was held up at the rear in this race, coming with a good run at the end. But this game chestnut mare had an impossible task, giving almost two stone to the winner. She should be winning soon.

The Mares’ Beginners’ Steeplechase attracted five runners but there was a tussle for victory between Anthony Honeyball’s five-year-old Tacenda, a 10-1 shot ridden by Noel Fehily, and 11-8 favourite Two Swallows trained by Ben Pauling ( Nico de Boinville up), with Tacenda winning by two lengths.

Tacenda, trained by Anthony Honeyball and ridden by Noel Fehily to win the Mares Beginners Steeplechase Photo:Jeannie Knight

The Southern Cranes and Access Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race- a qualifier for Challenger Mares’ Hurdle Series Final- saw a quick double for Noel Fehily, when he rode Seaborough trainer Harry Fry’s  Lady of Lamanver ( 5-4 favourite ) to a six length victory.

Amesbury trainer Seamus Mullins filled runner-up spot with his consistent bay mare, Kentford Heiress at 7-1, a previous course winner well ridden by 7lb claimer Daniel Samson. In third place was  14-1 shot Castafiore, with  5lb claimer Paul O’ Brien up.

Diese Des Bieffes trained by Nicky Henderson Photo: Jeannie Knight


Despite being off the track for 258 days, French-bred Diese Des Bieffes, trained by Nicky Henderson, was fighting fit, winning the Conditional Jockeys Novices’ Hurdle Race under 6lb claimer James Bowen by an easy four lengths.

He beat Highway One O One ( trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Bryony Frost) by four lengths with French-bred Dakkar Collonges ( trained by Ben Case at Banbury and ridden by Max Kendrick) six lengths further back in third place.

Horsham trainer Gary Moore was back in the winner’s spot with Stoical Patient, ridden by son Jamie in the two miles one and a half furlongs handicap steeplechase. The eight-year-old Shantou mare had won at Plumpton 18 days previously after 14 months off and is clearly progressing.

Stoical Patient, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Jamie Photo: Jeannie Knight

The closing National Hunt Flat Race was won by Don Lami, 7-4 favourite trained by Anthony Honeyball and ridden by David Noonan.

Fontwell Park’s next meeting is the Southern National fixture on Sunday November 19- not to be missed.