Pony Club first aid course

Keeping members and volunteers safe is of paramount importance for The Pony Club. It has been delighted to launch a specialist first aid course with Medi-K Training specifically designed for the treatment of children. This is a unique course and has not before been offered by an equestrian organisation.

The Pony Club recognises there are a surprising number of differences in how to treat a child or an infant requiring first aid compared to an adult, and when something happens that threatens or hurts a child having expert knowledge to draw on can make a huge difference.

Learning how to deal with accidents

The extra training will not only provide an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification but also a nationally regulated OFQUAL level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid where you will learn how to be able to manage an ill/injured child in the event of an emergency. It consists of a range of subjects including; fractures, shock, concussion, dealing with foreign bodies and various medical conditions such as recognising the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and much more.

Pony Club first aid training

In 2018 the course will be optional to all volunteers. It can be done as either a  two day stand alone course or can be added on as a 1 day course to the 1 day EFAW course. If completed within six weeks, this will then be offered at a discounted cost throughout 2018.

From 2020 the Pony Club will require all its volunteers to undertake this Pony Club 2 day course as a mandatory requirement. Again, each day can be done within 6 weeks on a date to suit your group or centre.  The qualification will last 3 years and thereafter you would only need to do your EFAW course which you do at present and the second day Medi-K can offer either face to face or online.

The Pony Club Chairman, Mrs Mary Tuckett, said “This is a fantastic development for The Pony Club. To be leading the way in the care of our members is so exciting.  This course will not only benefit Pony Club members, but volunteers who hold this qualification will be well placed to look after injured children in any situation.  This is an essential life skill that will only improve our organisation in a positive way”.

Medi-K’s Managing director and paramedic Mrs Kay Patterson said “We have been offering the EFAW (Adult) course to Pony Club Volunteers for a few years now and recognise the need for further knowledge and training when dealing with children. We were approached by The Pony Club to develop this specialist course and jumped at the opportunity knowing the difficult scenarios and situations volunteers have found themselves dealing with whilst hosting rallies, camps and events involving children”.

Plumpton winners for local trainers

Plumpton races escaped the wintry weather yesterday and completed its schedule fixture of seven races, which included a Mares Open standard National Hunt flat race at the end of the card.

That particular race saw six-year-old bay mare Queens Magic win the event for trainer Neil Mullholland with Noel Fehily in the saddle. The six-year-old was having her first race under Rules and won by a comfortable six lengths.

The opening Maiden Hurdle Race went to The Premier Celtic, a five-year-old gelding trained by Pat Phelan. This was his third run in hurdle races and he beat  11-8 favourite Royal Ruby, trained by Nicky Henderson.

The two mile three furlong novices chase had attracted just four runners and here, Holbrook Park trained by Neil King, justified his 1-2 favourite ranking by coming home 47 lengths clear of Ticket To Ride, trained by Polly Gundry.

There was a popular local winner when Sixties Idol rewarded trainer Sheena West in the Mares Handicap Hurdle by winning the mares’ handicap hurdle under a good ride from jockey Mark Goldstein. The victory came at the expense of 3-1 shot Shromore Lass trained by Henry Oliver.

Sheena West, left and her winner Sixties Idol

Horsham trainer Gary Moore was back in winning form with six-year-old chestnut gelding Not Never justified 5-4 favoritism to score his third win over hurdles under Jamie Moore by 16 lengths from the Chris Gordon trained 8-1 shot Jumping Jack.

The amateur riders’ handicap chase had just three runners, and Lewes trainer Suzy Smith seemed certain to win the race the three miles one furlong race when her runner, Invicta Lake was seven lengths clear in the closing under Mr Alex Ferguson.

But the 11-year-old made a mistake  three out and unseated his rider, leaving 5-6 favourite Greyed A , trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Mr James King to go on and win by 33 lengths from Little Windmill.

Greyed A with connections and amateur rider James King Photo: Plumpton Racecourse

Brightling trainer Diana Grissell was back in the winner’s spot when six-year-old Mickieblueyes won the handicap hurdle by four lengths from Chris Gordon’s 16-1 shot Fizzlestick. The winner impressed under a good ride from Jack Sherwood and the runner-up made an impressive hurdling debut, having previously run in point to points.

Plumpton’s next meeting is an Anglo Irish Raceday on March 12 with the first race at 2.10pm.







Fontwell Park’s National Spirit raceday

Fontwell Park’s latest jump meeting went ahead today, Sunday, attracting a good crowd with runners enjoying good to soft going. Trainer Paul Nicholls was in outstanding form winning four races there.

It was disappointing that the opening Josh Gifford Memorial Novices’ Chase worth £12,660 to the winner, turned into a match attracting just two runners, with the course in good condition.

The two under starter’s orders were 4-6 favourite Copain De Classe, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by Paul Nicholls, and Space Oddity, trained by Harry Fry with Noel Fehily aboard, sent off at 6-5.  But it proved to be a one horse race when Space Oddity unseated his rider at the second and Copain De Classe hacked round to claim the prize.

Trainer Paul Nicholls  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Paul Nicholls continued his good form when Sam Twiston-Davies on board his 5-2 favourite The Last But One won the second race by three lengths from 8-1 Cape Horner, trained by Seamus Mullins, ridden by Jeremiah McGrath.  Spock at 20-1 finished third for Lady Susan Brook, ridden by her daughter.

The Grade Two National Spirit Hurdle, feature race of the day, attracted eight runners-and again Paul Nicholls dominated with his 11-4 shot Old Guard, ridden  by Harry Cobden, which went two lengths clear at the last to beat 5-2 favourite Lil Rockerfeller (trained by Neil King)  by just under two lengths.

Old Guard on the way to winning Fontwell Park’s National Spirit Hurdle Race under Harry Cobden Photo: Fontwell Park


Trainer Oliver Sherwood and jockey Leighton Aspell teamed up for a good victory in the Novices’ Hurdle with 1-2 shot Jersey Bean, beating trainer Neil Mulholland’s Niblawi  by almost four lengths, with the Nick Gifford-trained Puppet Warrior in third place.

The six-runner three mile two furlongs hunter chase attracted six runners, with the classy Unioniste (Paul Nicholls) ridden by 3lb claimer David Maxwell, heading the field. Unioniste and David Maxwell put in an impressive, flawless performance to win the race with ease.

There was a good win for trainer Colin Tizzard in the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle when he sent out Quiz Master, owned by Brocade Racing, to win from Lewes trainer Sheena West’s Ding Ding .

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on  Wednesday March 7 when gates open at noon and the first of six races is at 2.10pm.

Don’t miss a great day out at Parham point to point

Cheltenham Festival might be the highlight of the Jumps season in horse racing, but West Sussex racing enthusiasts this year can see a Festival winner on home ground in West Sussex

Parham racecourse near Pulborough hosts the annual Crawley and Horsham Point-to-Point on St Patrick’s day, Saturday March 17 which also happens to be the day after the Cheltenham Festival ends.

Providing Parham with their own little bit of festival magic will be a parade of Sussex’s own past Cheltenham Champion Chase winner, Sire De Grugy.

Winner of seventeen races, including five Grade Ones and amassing over £725,000 in prize money, this much-loved chestnut was trained by Gary Moore near Horsham for his whole career.

Sire De Grugy with Gary Moore at Plumpton after this outstanding horse’s retirement Photo: Jeannie Knight

He will be in the paddock at this local Point-to-Point between Storrington and Pulborough for everyone to see at 2.30pm between the second and third races.

The gates will open at 11am in time for jockeys of the future to ply their trade in the two ultracompetitive pony races that kick off the racing programme for the afternoon.

Afterward these, the six main races get underway, all run over steeplechase fences and covering three miles with entries largely ridden and trained by South East based amateur horsemen and women.

On the other end of the scale there will be an informal ride after racing for brave locals giving them the chance to attempt a circuit of the track, fences included.

This always provides great fun after the main races for participants and spectators alike -and staying behind after the main races to cheer them on is highly recommended.

This great day-out for all the family, also has an all-day funfair plus a dog show for the young and young at heart -as well as betting facilities for all the races.

Obviously, it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s day without a bar and a band and the band on the day will be the much in demand local folk band, Slipjig.

Parham really does have something for everyone and don’t miss being there on Saturday March 17.

Successful Ride Safe event

A  successful Ride Safe event was held by Horsham and District Riding Club at Brinsbury College recently in conjunction with Alan Hiscox , who is the British Horse Society Director of Safety.

Alan has 26 years of experience as a Mounted Police Officer, and he gave a talk and video presentation about safety for riders.

He spoke of his work of corresponding with the Department of Transport, Off Roaders, Cyclists and   Driving Instructors.

Alan Hiscox explaining to a rider about riding safely.

He stressed that it is a rider’s responsibility to make themself be seen and also to know the highway code.

This was followed by a demonstration involving  Tim Briers, British Horse Society’s Riding & Road Safety Assessor and Trainer, who used three riders to demonstrate the update on the Road safety Code.

This included correct hand signals on the road, warning drivers there is something ahead your horse does not like, riding alone, problems of vehicles driving too fast or too close .

Two riders under instruction with their horses at the event

In addition he emphasised awareness of noises, including drones and low flying aircraft.

He answered many interesting questions following his talk and both Alan and Tim answered many interesting questions and at the end .

Both Alan and Tim stressed how important it  was to report any accident, incident, near-miss,  and abusiveness -even if no one was hurt-  to the British Horse Society and/ or Police.

Tim advised horse riders to obtain a Ride Safe handbook from the British Horse, saying it was full of useful information which would help people to ride safely and enjoy themselves.

The event had been held at half-term so that younger riders could benefit from the useful advise- but organisers were understandably disappointed that none attended.

The session had been scheduled so they could benefit from the event,  to enable them to take on board advice on how to stay safe in the future.

Hoys Musical Ride household cavalry

Horse of the Year Show has announced it is delighted to welcome back The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Musical Ride to headline the displays at this year’s Show.

A firm crowd favourite, the regal Musical Ride fully demonstrates their exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The Household Cavalry provides the Queen’s Life Guard daily and Sovereign’s Escort on State occasions, mounted on horseback.

Household Cavalry at HOYS
Photo: Horse of the Year Show

Having performed at HOYS several times in the past, their most recent appearance at HOYS was in 2011 where they surpassed all expectations. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Musical Ride will take place every day of the Show, including two performances on the weekend days to allow both daytime and evening ticket holders to enjoy the display.

This year the 70th Anniversary Horse of the Year Show will take place from 3rd – 7th October at Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 28th February, for what will be an exceptional Platinum Jubilee Show. For more information please visit www.hoys.co.uk

Crystal Lloyd wins Schools 70cm

Crystal Lloyd, aged ten, from Brighton won the Schools 70cm League Class at J. Bedford Equestrian Services event recently.  Representing her school Our Lady of Lourdes, Crystal and her pony Twyford Courvoisier were the only combination to jump double clear.
Speaking afterwards about her performance Crystal said “Twyford Courvoisier is very strong and loves to win, he always tries his best and gets good results”.

Crystal Lloyd on her way to victory
Photo: British Showjumping

J. Bedford Equestrian Services has now started running ‘Just for Schools’ competitions at Crockstead Equestrian Centre in Halland, East Sussex. Whilst Crystal was already riding affiliated, her mum Nicola was keen to sign Crystal up to ‘Just for Schools’ so that she could jump 70cm tracks.
Proud of her achievements Crystal added “I enjoy representing my school and showing my rosettes in assembly.”
The ‘Just for Schools’ League run by British Showjumping offers riders the chance to compete Individually or as a Team in classes ranging from 70cm to 1.10m with the chance to qualify for the Championships. 
To find out more please call 02476 698824 or visit; www.britishshowjumping. co.uk/nationalschools
Photo credit: Spidge Event Photography

When and why we use a poultice

In our latest veterinary feature from Sussex Equine Hospital, vet Dr Chris Baldwin BVetMed(hons) MRCVS of  Sussex Equine Hospital, based at Ashington  explains when and why poultices should be used on equines.

Dr Chris Baldwin

Traditionally a poultice was a soft moist mass, placed between pieces of thin material, (like linen or muslin) and applied to an area to create a hot pack with the aim to sooth pain or draw infection.

Most commonly with horses, bran was used as this was readily available in the stable yard. Now we mostly use pre-prepared, commercially produced poultices, impregnated with substances that have a drawing action and these can be applied hot, cold or dry.

Other substances that can be used as a poultice to draw infection are Epsom salts or sugardine – a mix of sugar and iodine.

Poultices can be used in a variety of ways in the management of horse wounds and injuries. The most common use is probably for the treatment of foot abscesses where the dressing is applied to draw the pus out of the foot.

Sometimes if the area of infection is deep in the hoof, the poultice can be used to soften the sole and draw the pus closer to the surface to enable it to then be pared to drain.

Once the abscess is open, the poultice can continue to be used to draw the infection out and also keep the area clean.

Poultices can also be used on wounds; usually only initially for the first day or so to draw out infection. Dirty open lacerations could be poulticed to try and draw the contamination to the surface before changing to a more appropriate ongoing wound dressing for healing.

Puncture wounds are often poulticed to draw deeper infection to the surface, the wet dressing also keeps the small surface wound open (if it dries and closes up, bacteria and contamination can become trapped inside). However, this type of wet dressing should not be used for too long as it can start to delay healing and promote the proliferation of skin bacteria.

Sometimes an abscess can develop under the skin with no apparent cause, this might be because the infection has come from a prickle, thorn or puncture wound that has healed over, resulting in the trapped bacteria developing into an abscess some time later.

In these cases, a poultice can be useful to soften the skin and draw the pus to encourage the abscess to burst or make it easier to lance.

Used appropriately, poultices are a very useful component of our horse first aid kit. If you are unsure if a poultice is appropriate to be used in a particular situation with your horse, then you should discuss the situation with your own vet.

HOYS will celebrate 70 years

As the only horse show in the UK (maybe even the world) to have been running consecutively for 70 years, this year the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is delighted to be able to share such a memorable occasion with its loyal and supportive fan base as well as encouraging new fans to come along and join in the fun.

Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena from Wednesday October 3 – Sunday October 7 2018, #HOYS70YEARS is set to impress.

Plenty of excitement at Hoys including Puissance Photo:Roberto Cubeddu

Starting out in Harringay in 1949 and later moving to Wembley Arena in 1959, the show grew in popularity as ‘the’ special event to mark the end of the equestrian season. Today, the Show is held at Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena, its home for the last 16 years, where it takes up over 50 acres of the NEC complex. With 60,000 visitors and 1500 competitors across the five days, the show produces an array of equestrian entertainment as well as hosting National Showing and Showjumping Championships.

To mark the special occasion, HOYS will be incorporating more entertainment displays into the timetable than ever before with four varied displays offering something for everyone. There will also be a Sunday all-day ticket package to enable more people to stay and celebrate the Gala Evening Finale with us in style; this will be called the Platinum Jubilee Package and there will be just 1,000 packages available to buy on a first come first serve basis.

Following 2017’s Horse of the Year Show, where the event faced a challenging project to make changes to the layout of the Show due to alterations in the NEC’s infrastructure, it has listened to its customers’ feedback and made changes to the show.

A spokesperson said: “The changes include a redesign of the Retail Village to make even more space for the tradestands that you want to see there. Every single ticket variation provides full day access to the immense HOYS Retail Village too, so you can shop and be surrounded by like-minded equestrian enthusiasts.

“The HOYS Live Zone will return to the Retail Village with a brand new line up of speakers and demonstrations, and the ever-popular Meet the Horses Area will also retain its standing in the Retail Village vicinity.”

Emma Wardell, Event Director for Horse of the Year Show commented: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 70th Show this year; it is a tribute to our competitors, our visitors and all of our generous supporters that we have got to where we have today. “Whilst the Show continues to evolve, the changes enable us to grow and to continue to provide the high standard of event which everyone expects to come and celebrate. “

Hampshire Hunt 2018 point to point racing

Excitement is building for the 2018 Hampshire Hunt Point to Point at Hackwood Park near Basingstoke, which takes place on Sunday March  11 2018. This popular event has become a firm favourite in the calendar for families, those who love the countryside and of course racing fans, with a great programme of activities throughout the day.

Pip Hooley’s Tock Tock Ten on the nearside in last year’s Open Maiden race.

The day starts with The Lucy Lines Leading Rein Dash at 11.30 followed by a parade of hounds at 12 noon. Racing proper gets underway at 1pm with six races scheduled. The timetable is:
10.30 Gates open
11.30 Lucy Lines Leading Rein Dash
11.50 Rhiannon Lines Pony Scurry
12.00 Hound Parade
13.00 the Sofas and Stuff Restricted Race
13.35 the Moore Blatch Mixed Open Race
14.10 the NFU Basingstoke 4, 5 and 6 year old Open Maiden Race
14.45 the Gwynne Dental Hampshire Hunt Conditions Race
15.20 the Judes Becher CA Club Members Race for Veteran and Novice Riders
15.55 the Quilter Cheviot Open Maiden Race
Racing at Hackwood Park is always entertaining. Last year’s event attracted more than 80 entries with some thrilling racing over the three mile course which has a mixture of permanent and portable fences,  a downhill back straight and an uphill finish.

Charlie Marshall on Cynthia Woods Skiptothegoodbit takes the Open Maiden last year

In addition to the racing, entertainment includes a fun fair, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids, plus trade stands including artwork, jewellery, fashion, country clothing, hats and gifts. New for 2018: a Food Village offering pizzas, homemade pies, cakes, cocktails, a selection of alcoholic drinks plus tea and coffee.
Entry costs £10.00 per adult; under 16s go free. It costs £10 per car for standard parking in the inner ring.
 Charlie Corbett of the Hampshire Hunt commented “We’re looking forward to a fantastic day of racing with lots of fun to for everyone, both on and off the racetrack. This is a great community event loved by all and we’re extremely grateful to all our very generous sponsors.”
Premium numbered finish line parking can be pre-booked for £50 per car if payment is received by March 1. All Advance ticket sales to be made via the website www.hackwoodparkracecourse.co.uk