John Gosden to train for HM The Queen

Newmarket trainer John Gosden is to train racehorses for HM The Queen for the first time this year. It was confirmed in the last few days that he will be joining the elite group of Royal trainers.

HM The Queen’s racing manager, John Warren, confirmed that he will be training two Darley-bred yearlings for Her Majesty. The news adds to an honour in March last year when John Gosden was created an OBE by HM The Queen .

Royal trainer John Gosden

Trainer John Gosden


In 2017 the Queen had horses in training on the Flat with Sir Michael Stoute, William Haggas, Richard Hannon, Roger Charlton, Michael Bell, Andrew Balding and Richard Hughes, while Nicky Henderson and Charlie Longsdon both saddled runners in the royal colours over jumps.

In 2017, John Gosden , who trains at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket, had a memorably successful year with top class wins of Enable and Cracksman on the track.

His record is formidable for he  has trained more than 3,000 winners worldwide, including winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Derby, the Arc, the King George,the Eclipse and more than 600 winners in the United States.

He  has trained the winners of more than 100 Group I races in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He is the only trainer in history whose horses have won the Cartier Awards for Cartier Champion Three Year Old colt, Cartier Champion Thfree-year-old filly and Carftier Horse of the Year in the same year,

He became heavily involved in the selection of yearlings for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation last autumn, following the departure of John Ferguson. He was recently named a non-executive director of the National Stud in Newmarket.


Fontwell off but Plumpton set for Monday

Fontwell Park’s planned meeting for tomorrow, Sunday, been abandoned following recent prolongued heavy rain

Monday currently sees Plumpton’s final January  At The Races Raceday set to go ahead, with six competitive races scheduled and a fine day forecast.  Race times are currently at 1.55pm, 2.25pm, 2.55pm, 3.25pm, 3.55pm and 4.25pm.


Exciting close up action guaranteed at any  Plumpton meeting Photo: Jeannie Knight

Discounted advanced tickets and Paddock Restaurant places will be available until  midnight tonight.

At present the going there is soft, but could change with any additional rainfall in the interim.

Click below to buy tickets.

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Harness Club is set for new season

Brockham Harness Club is one of the longest-established driving clubs in the country, having been founded in late 1969 by a number of enthusiasts. Today is has a large number of members who have competed with great success both Nationally and Internationally.

During the year the club has plenty of events for members, ranging from instruction and demonstrations to fun days and one or two-day events. It also organises the biennial Carriage Driving Fair at Merrist Wood.

The club caters for members with all levels of experience, with a programme of pleasure driving, showing and access to FEI competitions.

Anyone interested in carriage driving is welcome to join the club, where they can meet others with similar interests and also have access to help and advice on driving in general.

A past club training day Photo: Brockham Hraness CLub

A Casi’s Farm Pre-Season Training and Demonstration Evening takes place on February 23 at 7.30pm at the RDA Centre, Rowley Drive, Cranleigh,  presented by James Rooney and Sara Simmons.

The evening will feature a break down of the new Intermediate dressage test, showing how to prepare for each movement. It will also take a look at movements from other tests on request.

Sarah has been involved in driving since 1992 and represented team GB at the World Singles in 2014. Sara will be using her World Singles horse Sirius in demo.

There will also be sessions on cones and obstacle driving including what to practice at home, choosing the right routes for your turnout and preparing for each turn.

The cost is £10 per person including refreshments.

Please email Sarah Garnett on or call 01306 884956 for further details of the club.

Pony Club Championships 2018

The Pony Club has announced that The Pony Club Championships will be held at Cholmondeley Castle Estate in Cheshire in 2018.                                                              The Championships are the first level event for some riders, and the pinnacle of achievement for others, and the event will showcase an incredible array of up and coming talent across five action-packed days from August 17-21 .

A Pony Club Championship celebration

Home of the annual Pony Club Championships since 2012, Cholmondeley Castle will host around 2,000 Members taking part in the Olympic sports of show jumping, dressage and eventing, alongside polocrosse and mounted games. The championships will also incorporate competitions for Centre Equitation, the Musical Ride, Horse and Pony Care and the judging of the art competition.                                                     Other key dates for 2018 include:
February 12 The Pony Club Coaching Conference at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, LU7 9BT.                                                                                                                     March 5 The Pony Club Conference at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU
April 14/15 The Dengie Winter Championships at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, K18 2JR (incorporating the National Quiz Finals)
August 9/12 The Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships at Offchurch Bury, CV33 9AR
August 10/12 The Pony Club Polo Championships is at Cowdry Park Polo Club, GU29 0AQ (*with the Jorrocks section held on August 8 at Hurtwood Park Polo Club, GU6 7SW)
August 19 The Pony Club Endurance Championships at Euston Park, IP24 2QH
*Awaiting final confirmation.                                                                                            The Pony Club is ‘the’ starting place for anyone with an interest in horses and riding, who wants to learn and have fun in a safe and caring environment.
Membership is open to anyone up to the age of 25; from total novices to those with more experience who aspire to the highest standards of riding and horse care, developed by training, assessment and access to a wide range of equestrian sports. Branch membership is for those with access to a horse or pony, and Centre membership is for those without access to a horse or pony.

Using a block to diagnose equine musculoskeletal problems

Here  Dr Ed.A. Lyall, BVetMed, CertEM (StuMed) MRCVS of Sussex Equine Hospital explains about ways of diagnosing musculoskeletal problems in an equine.

Dr Ed Lyall of  Sussex Equine Hospital

AS humans when we have something in our musculoskeletal systam that is painful, we attend the doctor and tell him where it hurts and under what circumstances.

This instantly allows the doctor to know where to focus the diagnostic work up in terms of the clinical examination and then imaging.

This is not the case when we as vets are presented with a horse that has a problem with the musculoskeletal system.They may be lame, in which case we can work out which leg to concentrate on. However many horses are just not performing as well as they should or they have multiple limbs with pain resulting in a complex lameness.

Even if we know which leg is the problem by looking at the way the horse is moving, unless there is something wrong with a region of that leg on a clinical examination, we still do not not know where to focus our diagnostic imaging. We use a block to identify the site of the pain.

A block can either be a regional nerve block or a joint block. A regional nerve block involves placing a small volume of local anaesthetic around a nerve at a specific site, the nerve then, with time, become anaesthetised below that level and thus it loses its ability to transmit a pain response back to the brain.

There are many sites in a horse’s limb that can be blocked. Typically, if we do not know where the pain is coming from, we will work up from the lowest blocking site, the horse is trotted either on a straight line or on a circle on the soft or hard, whatever shows the lameness best, prior to blocking and then again several minutes later once the block has time to anaesthetise the nerve.

If the horse goes sound or the degree of lameness significantly improves, then we know the pain is coming from somewhere below that blocking site. If there is no improvement  we then move up to the next block and so on until the lameness improves, once improvement is made we know the pain is coming from a site between the previous two blocks.

The other block that is often carried is a joint block. This is where a specific joint is filled with local anaesthetic and it then becomes anaesthetised. A joint block has to be carried ut in as clean a manner as possible, prior to joint hibiscrub and then rinsed with surgical spirit- we then wear sterile surgical gloves to handle or syringes and needles. Often a joint block is carried out following oidentifistion of a egion of the limb by regional nerve blocks, to be more specific about what may be causing pain in that area.

Sometimes we will identify something on a radiograph such as close or overlappng doral spinous processes in the back. We may then infuse local anaesthetic around the affected bones to see if the horse moves better under saddle.

Basically I look at a block as being a question- we place the regional or joint block and we are asking does the pain come from here. If the horse goes sound or the lameness improves, then the answer is yes. If the lameness does not improve, the answer is no.

Dr E.A. Lyall, BVetMed, CertEM (StuMed) MRCVS

Good racing at Fontwell despite difficult conditions

DESPITE heavy rain and strong winds,  racing at Fontwell Park yesterday produced some good finishes despite difficult conditions, with favourites winning most of the contests.

The opening novices hurdle saw Lisp, trained by Alan King and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, justify a starting price of 1/6 favourite with a comfortable and competent seven length victory over 11-1 shot Angel of Harlem. The runner-up, trained by Mark Bradstock and ridden by Nico De Boinville, in turn was 13 lengths clear of Airtight (5-1) in third place.

Conditions produced another slowly run contest in the second race, a handicap chase over just under two and a half miles. There jockey Nick Scholfield partnered Native Robin, 2-11 favourite, to a fluent six length victory over runner-up Jarlath sent out by Seamus Mullins and ridden by Kevin Jones at 7-1, with Bramble Brook ( Colin TIzzard/Harry Cobden) close behind in third.

Colin Tizzard and Harry Cobden teamed up again in the following race, this time notching up a good win with 15-8 favourite Fourth Act, which handled the two mile five furlong trip and heavy ground well. Running on well into second place despite the heavy going  was Theo’s Charm, trained at Findon by Nick Gifford. There is a lot to like about Theo’s Charm who has been placed three times over fences, having won previously over hurdles.

Theo’s Charm
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Mount Oliver scored his first victory over fences for trainer Neil Mulholland, having come from point to pointing previously. He won the three mile to furlong handicap chase under jockey Tom Scudamore, and looks to have a good future over these larger obstacles. He had a comfortable seven lengths victory over favourite For Carmel, trained by Paul Henderson with Paddy Brennan in the saddle.

The biggest winning margin of the day came in the Injured Jockeys Fund Novices’ Hurdle when Melrose Boy trained by Harry Fry and ridden  by Noel Fehily came home 50 lengths clear of runner up, 20-1 shot Now Listen Here trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Jamie.

Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon scored a popular victory in the Racing Welfare Handicap Chase over two miles two furlongs when he sent out 6-4 favourite Atlantic Roller for a comfortable win under a good ride from jockey James Bowen. He beat Keel Haul, trained by Henry Oliver, with 9-2 shot Gores Island (Gary Moore) 33 lengths further back in third.

The final race on the card was a National Flat race, won by 7-2 shot Fontsanta, trained  by Emma Lavelle and ridden by Leighton Aspell. Fontsanta races boldly, taking the lead two furlongs out with plenty in hand. Fontsanta will benefit from this good experience.

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is this coming Sunday,  January 28 when gates open at 11.30 and the first race is at 1.30pm.

Report any accidents to British Horse Society

The British Horse Society is a five-time winner of the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to improving road safety.

It works with a range of organisations, including the National Police Chiefs Council, Blue Cross, Forestry Commission Wales, GEM Motoring Assist, the Ministry of Defence, NFU Mutual and PRP Rescue.

The BHS is dedicated to making a safer world for horses and those who care for them and lobbies government and offers advice on all aspects of safety, from what to wear to transporting a horse.

It is asking riders to share their experiences and help  it fight for change.

The BHS  puts a great deal of passion into ensuring that every horse and rider is as safe as possible. From transport clinics, to puppy socialisation classes, through to our renowned Riding and Road Safety Test, it offers something that can make life safer for all equestrians.

It believe consideration and understanding is key to the successful safe use of roads and rights of way. Alongside other leading organisations, it has developed important advice for equestrians, drivers, cyclists and dog owners alike.

More than 4,000 horse riders and carriage drivers were admitted to hospital between April 1 2013 and March 31 2014 from injury in a transport accident.

Through,  the BHS received more than 3,000 reports of safety accidents or incidents – more than 2,000 of which took place on roads – but there are many more it needs to hear about.

It has asked anyone involved in a horse-related incident or accident to report it to the BHS at   02476 840500 or email


Corinthia Knight wins over six furlongs

The Evens favourite Corinthia Knight won for the first time over six furlongs in the £25,000 Matchbook Betting Podcast Conditions Race on Polytrack at Kempton Park this week.

Success in this Fast-Track Qualifier gave Corinthia Knight, trained by Archie Watson in Upper Lambourn and partnered by Edward Greatrex, a guaranteed free start in the £150,000 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships over the same distance on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.

Held up in third of the five runners on the outside, he came through to challenge Danzan (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy, 6/4) in the straight and had to be switched right as the leader drifted left closing off a gap.

Corinthia Knight on the way to all-weather victory

Corinthia Knight ran on well to go to the front just inside the final furlong and had a length and a quarter advantage at the line, which he passed in 1m 11.53s. This was his fourth victory, with the other three all coming over five furlongs on the All-Weather last year.

50/1 chance Hello Girl (Dean Ivory/Jack Duern) finished third, a length and three quarters adrift of the runner-up.

Watson, who started training in 2016 and enjoyed 56 winners in his first full year in 2017, has made a fine start to 2018, with Corinthia Knight being his fourth success from 13 runners.

He commented: “The aim all winter for Corinthia Knight has been the 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships on Good Friday.

“I thought he stayed the six furlongs nicely tonight. He has often made the running, but I discussed it with Edward Greatrex and we reckoned there would be plenty of pace on so we decided to hold him up.

“It worked out well and gives us another string to our bow. He is probably somewhere between a five-furlong and a six-furlong horse.

“He is tough and very professional. I bought him with Tom Goff at Tattersalls Ireland in Fairyhouse for 15,000 euros as a yearling – Society Rock is a stallion I like.

“There is only one race we can run Corinthia Knight in before the Final and that is another Fast-Track Qualifier at Newcastle on February 21 (over five furlongs). All being well, we will go there.”

Corinthia Knight is owned by a syndicate of Ontoawinner, plus partner.

Access to countryside ‘could be restricted’

Horse riders, cyclists and walkers in England are currently at risk of having their access to our countryside restricted, warns The British Horse Society. Up to 20,000 pathways and bridleways are at risk of being extinguished from the map, and the Charity is renewing its efforts to raise awareness of the threat to our countryside.

A countryside access route

By 2026, routes that existed in 1949 and still exist on 1 January 2026 have to be recorded on a Council’s Definitive map; otherwise they will be erased from the records and could be closed for good.
With just nine years until the 2026 deadline, The British Horse Society (BHS) are encouraging the public to check that the routes they used are recorded.
The British Horse Society has almost 300 access volunteers who give up their spare time to work tirelessly to ensure routes are recorded. In 2017 alone, they identified 500 bridleways and byways that needed to be recorded. However, it is not a quick or easy task and it is not uncommon for it to take decades before a route is officially recorded.
Many Rights of Way departments have been cut back due to austerity measures; and as a result they have to deal with a huge backlog of requests to record routes.
BHS Director of Access, Mark  Weston explained: “We wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have without our access volunteers. It’s vital that these routes stay open so that horse riders have an alternative to riding on the roads, where the speed and volume of traffic is often increasing. We would love for more people to join us, and help us keep our countryside open!”
If you enjoy riding, cycling or walking in our countryside, or just want to save these routes, you can get involved and make sure these routes stay open.
One in four volunteers regularly and the BHS offers training, support and advice to those who wish to become access volunteers. Contact BHS at

Waterlogged Plumpton called off

Plumpton racecourse had no alternative but to cancel racing at the track today (January 15). An inspection showed the track was waterlogged in places after 17 millimetres of rain before midday.

Clerk of the course Mark Cornford and jockeys Tom Cannon and Marc Goldstein  walked the track.

Clerk of course Mark Cornford Photo: Jeannie Knight

Mark Cornford said: “When I got here this morning at 6am there was two millimetres in the pot. I walked round and it was raining, but it wasn’t heavy rain by any means.

“At 8.30am, I checked the rain gauge again and there had been a further three millimetres. At approximately 10.15am, the heavens opened and we had some serious rainfall.

“I walked the course again to check the conditions and as I was walking, water was beginning to rise and sit on the surface.

“We had the jockeys out there and they discovered a couple of false patches between the last two flights and fences. Water was laying there quite deeply as it is a low spot of the course.

“We were going to go without the second-last hurdle, but there were too many poor areas on the course and it has started to rain steadily again. We had to consider the bypasses as well as the racing line and the access for horse ambulances and recovery and the welfare of the jockeys. In the end it was decided there were too many poor areas.

“We are very disappointed and I am also very sorry for anybody who has had to travel. I don’t take this lightly. I do feel gutted for people that have put in the effort to be here.”