Competitive racing at Fontwell Park meeting

Fontwell Park’s latest meeting yesterday, held in bright sunshine, attracted a good crowd, with some competitive racing despite heavy ground.

The opening juvenile hurdle race was won well by evens favourite Night of Glory, trained by Andrew Baldwin, under a fine ride by Paddy Brennan. He said that despite all the rain, the ground at Fontwell was safe and not sloppy- just wet.

There should be plenty more to come from this impressive winner,  which is by Sea The Stars and is owned by King Power Racing Co Ltd.

Paddy Brennan and Night of Glory, winners of the Juvenile Hurdle Race. Photo: Jeannie Knight

Trainer Colin Tizzard made the journey to Fontwell Park races from his Dorset base pay off when he sent out a double at the meeting. It was initiated when Bramble Brook, sent of at 9-5, scored a nine length victory in two mile two furlong handicap chase.

Ridden by Harry Cobden and owned by Brocade Racing, the eight-year-old gelding took the lead after a good jump at third fence from home and won comfortably by eight lengths at 9/5 in what was just a three-runner field.

Bramble Brook, owned by Brocade Racing and trained by Colin Tizzard,
and jockey Harry Cobden, winner of the Handicap Steeplechase

Runner-up was 8-11 favourite Rothman, trained by Chris Gordon, which in turn was 35 lengths clear of the 13-2 priced third horse, Gore Island, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Joshua Moore.

The second half of the double came when conditional jockey James  Bowen took the final race of the day, the Intermediate National Hunt Flat Race for conditionals and amateurs,  on board 3-1 shot Jaytrack Parkhomes.

The Novices’ Hurdle race over just under two miles two furlongs saw a fine win for Wantage trainer Mark Bradstock, when Nico de Boinville ensured his horse Jaisalmer made all for victory.  He beat 4-9 favourite, Gary Moore’s horse Distingo, by just under four lengths.

Jaisalmer, Nico de Boinville up, trained by Mark Bradstock, winner of the Novices Hurdle Race. Photo Jeannie Knight

 Third placed horse in the seven-runner race was 33-1 shot Mighty Vic, trained at Lewes by Suzy Smith. This was a good performance from the ten-year-old former point-to-pointer, who had one win to his credit in that sphere, and was given a well-judged ride at Fontwell by Jack Sherwood.
Neil Mullholland and Noel Fehily teamed up for a six length victory in the handicap hurdle over two miles three furlongs with 4-7 favourite Minellatillmorning with  The Green Ogre trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Joshua six lengths back in second place.

Four local schoolchildren who presented the prize for one of the day’s races. Photo: Jeannie Knight

                                                                                                                                             An impressive winner of the two miles five furlongs handicap steeplechase was 5-2 favourite Redmond, trained  by Jack R Barber at Crewkerne. Ridden by Nick Scholfield. the Tikkanen gelding won by a comfortable five lengths.  The eight-year-old had been runner-up for his new yard on his previous outing and was back down in trip for this winning outing.
The National Spirit Hurdle Race, worth £80,000 is the feature race at Fontwell Park’s next meeting on Sunday February 25- and is the popular jumping track’s richest race of the season. Book tickets now at





Locally-trained winners at Plumpton

Locally-trained winners were plentiful at Plumpton’s well-attended meeting yesterday when the going was heavy.

Sheena West, based at Lewes, started the winning sequence, sending out Harmonise ridden by Marc Goldstein to win the opening Mares Novices’ Hurdle- a qualifier for the Novices’ Championship Hurdle Series.

Lewes trainer Sheena West

Sent out at 5-1, the four-year-old filly had run well for the yard previously on her first outing, but had the misfortune to be brought down. But Harmonise put in a good performance at Plumpton this time, under the same jockey , to win by almost four lengths from 4-6 favourite Kaloci.

Sir Hubert, owned by Captain Adrian Pratt and friends, and trained by Richard Rowe at Sullington, ridden by Andrew Glassonbury, achieved a well-deserved victory in the novice handicap chase of the day.

Sir Hubert following his victory with trainer Richard Rowe and owners

The ten–year-old bay gelding was scoring his first win, and did it well, having had seven placings to his credit. He should go on to add more victories now that he has this victory under his belt

Trainer David Pipe and jockey Tom Scudamore combined to win the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase with 10-11 favourite Eamon An Cnoic by half a length from Holbrook Park, trained by Neil King and ridden by Trevor Whelan. Gary Moore’s runner San Pedro De Senam, ridden by Joshua Moore led for a long way but began struggling after the tenth fence and went on to unseat his rider at the last.

Graasten, sent out at 5-1, scored his third win for Horsham trainer Gary Moore, with son Jamie in the saddle in the two mile four furlong handical hurdle, winning by an impressive ten lengths from 10-1 shot Ding Ding sent out by Lewes trainer Sheena West.

Trainer Gary Moore


Zoe Davison, who trains at Hammerwood in East Sussex, took the IJF Handicap Hurdle with an impressive run from 16-1 shot The Golden Hour under a ride from 5lb claimer Tommy Dowling.

The final Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle saw Henfield trainer Daniel Steele back in winning form, when William Clarke brought his runner Cassivellaunus home to win at 16-1 by three-quarters of a length from 3-1 favourite Be Daring trained by Chris Gordon.

Plumpton’s next meeting is on Monday February 26 when gates open at noon and the first race is at 2pm.



Pony Club Endurance 2018

The Pony Club Endurance Championships 2018 will take place at UK’s biggest Endurance Festival.
They will be held at Euston Park in Suffolk on Sunday August 19 as part of the Nationals Day of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival – The UK Endurance Masters.
This will provide Pony Club Members with an incredible opportunity to be part of an international event where many of the world’s leading Endurance riders are expected to compete.

Pony Club member Archie Moffat taking part in an endurance event
Photo: The Pony Club

Staged across some of the best Endurance tracks in the UK, The Pony Club
Championships will be organised by HPG Endurance (organisers of Euston
Park Endurance), part of the HPower Group, and in collaboration with
Endurance GB.
Mary Tuckett, Chairman of The Pony Club, said: “Taking our Championships
to Euston Park is a great opportunity, and it will be a wonderful experience
for our Members. Euston Park is a marvellous venue, and to be able to
showcase Pony Club Endurance at all levels, from Grassroots to
International, at this event is very exciting.”
Robert Blane, Chairman of Pony Club Endurance, said: “We are delighted
to be invited by HPower to take our Endurance Championships to Euston
Park. Huge thanks must go to both HPower and Endurance GB for their
kindness and support.”
To qualify for The Pony Club Endurance Championships members and their
horses must have successfully completed three rides of the appropriate
distance and within the correct speed from 01 January 2018.
The Grassroots Class will be over a distance of approximately 20km and
members need to successfully complete one ride of the same distance to
qualify for this class.
For more information about Endurance and how to qualify for the
championships visit The Pony Club website:
Full information on the 2018 Euston Park Endurance rides can be found

Death of Hickstead show director John Farmer

John Farmer, one of the longest serving officials at the All England Jumping Course, until his retirement four years ago after 40 years as Show Director at Hickstead, has died peacefully at his home after a short illness.

His funeral service will be at Wisborough Green Parish Church on Wednesday February 21 at 2pm.

Easily spotted in his trademark panama hat, until his retirement John had been responsible for choreographing the action in the International Arena, making sure classes run to schedule and prize givings went to plan.

John Farmer OBE Photo by John Periam 01243 584718

John Farmer OBE
Photo by John Periam
01243 584718

“I’ve got thousands of special memories from Hickstead, and I’ve enjoyed every minute,” said John, who lives nearby in West Sussex, on his retirement.

“I’ve always been a showjumping lover, and this role has meant I’ve got to know some of the finest riders in the world.”

John first came to the show as a visitor, before being asked to step in as a showing steward in 1972.

He had a baptism of fire during his first year stewarding the Working Hunter class, after Hickstead owner Douglas Bunn installed a Cornishman wall in the arena, which had the competitors up in arms.

“As it turned out, Douglas was the first rider to go in, and he flew over it,” John said.

John Farmer and Harvey Smith have remained friends for many years Photo by John Periam Photo by John Periam 01243 584718

John Farmer and Harvey Smith remained friends for many years
Photo by John Periam
01243 584718

In 1975, John was asked to take on the role of Show Director, masterminding proceedings in the famous International Arena.  Then in 1996, Douglas Bunn nominated him for an OBE, and John with his family went to Buckingham Palace to receive the award from Her Majesty The Queen.

On his retirement John named his favourite Hickstead moments, saying that the FEI Nations Cup competitions – where the top showjumping teams in the world come to Hickstead – had always been a favourite.

He also recalled choreographing the European Championships when they were held at Hickstead in 1999, when John managed to secure the booking of operatic tenor Russell Watson for the opening ceremony.

Edward Bunn of Hickstead paid tribute to John, who had been a key member of the Hickstead team until retiring saying :”To me he was one of the real ‘Hickstead Characters’ and we shared many happy times together there. His loyalty to Douglas and to the family always showed. He was very supportive to me from my first days at Hickstead.

“This is very sad news. He was in such good form when he was at Hickstead in the summer.”



Double success for Annabel

Sussex schoolgirl Annabel Shoosmith (13), enjoyed a successful day  at  a J. Bedford Equestrian Services event recently, when she achieved two good victories in the Schools 80cm and 90cm League classes. 

Riding for Worth School, Annabel and her pony Belfield Boy, otherwise known as Apollo, rode two impressive double clears.

Annabel Shoosmith and Bellfield Boy   Photo: British Showjumping

Annabel had only been riding Apollo for a month and described him as: “A really fun ride, willing and keen to a fence but he does like to have a cheeky buck now and again.”

 Annabel’s mother, Louise, commented “We signed up to ‘Just for Schools’ because we saw lots of show centres were hosting them, and it is a great chance to qualify for the British Showjumping National Championships.”

 Excited to have achieved success as a new combination, Annabel is focusing on the future and would like to make it into the top 10 in the Schools 1.10 League. 

Annabel said: “I really like ‘Just for Schools’ because it is another opportunity to see all my friends and also  it is fun to compete as a team”.

 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. 

The Pony Club and British Showjumping joined forces with schools across the country in December 2015 to launch a National Schools Team and Individual Championship series. Show venues across all regions supported the new initiative and committed themselves to holding, which allowed schools and colleges to submit teams of three or four riders and individuals within a specific height category of either 70cm, 80cm , 90cm, 1.00m or 1.10m.

The initiative resulted in ten championship finals being held across the country- five team and five individual finals.

 Schools can register their team of three or four riders for just £30 per year. For riders who wish to compete as an Individual outside of the teams, as long as they are a member of British Showjumping or The Pony Club already there is no need to pay another registration fee. If not a member of either, then they can join directly with British Showjumping for just £30 which covers both themselves and their horse/pony for a full 12 months.

To find out more please call 02476 698824 or visit; www.britishshowjumping.


Dog show at Parham races

A date for the diary is Saturday March 17 when point to point racing takes place outside Storrington, West Sussex organised by Crawley and Horsham Hunt.

Apart from these highly popular annual steeplechases, which make a great day out for all the family, running parallel is a dog show supported by Stonehouse Groundworks.

Six classes will conclude with the Show Championships, including winners from all the previous events that afternoon.

Classes include Best Terrier, Best Hound, Best Working Dog, Best Cross Breed, Golden Oldies for eight-year-olds & over, and Judges’ Choice. Winners will receive prizes from Oscars Pet Foods and Gatley’s Country Store.

Starting at 1.15pm, classes will take place through the afternoon. Contestants and their hairy hounds just need to turn up to take part. Entries cost £2.

Youngsters loved last year’s annual dog show at Parham point to point races  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Given that Parham coincides with St Patrick’s Day this year, Irish wolfhounds must surely be worthy favourites for Best Hound and Judges’ Choice.

The guest judges include Tim Wonnacott, auctioneer, director of Sotheby’s and of course, one-time presenter on BBC 1’s Bargain Hunt. Tim has also taken part in Strictly Come Dancing, so Parham should be a breeze by comparison!

So whether it’s a terrier, Pekinese, pug or St Bernard, dog lovers and owners need to be part of Parham Races to win their stripes for 2018. Also a date to put in the diary for anyone wanting a good day out.

RDA snail racing fundraiser

Eridge Riding for the Disabled Group is to hold a ‘Snail Race Night’ as a family fun fundraiser on Friday, February 16 from 7pm at the Crowborough Social Club.
The Group has enjoyed immense success with this outstanding evening of ‘snail’ racing in past years. Happily for the snails, the races are from cartoon videos and contestants can sponsor races and horses or bet on their favorites, all with the chance of winning!
The event will be compered by seasoned snail-racer, Robin Carmichael and there will be a bar and a raffle to add to the evening.
Admission is £12 which will include supper. Please contact Jan Carmichael on 07903 122192 for tickets.

An RDA rider tackling obstacles
Pnoto: Jeannie Knight

Eridge RDA is a very worthy cause and  has been running for about 40 years in or around the Ashdown Forest area.
It is affiliated to the national Riding for the Disabled Association,  and the group provides riding for children with profound learning and physical difficulties from the age of two to 25.

Several riders come from two local maintained special schools and the group also caters for children with special educational needs attending mainstream schools.
Its work, along with that of other RDA groups in the area, has always been recognised and praised by HRH The Princess Royal, who is a staunch supporter of Riding for the Disabled nationwide.

The Princess Royal presenting a Royal Jubilee Award to Court Meadow RDA group some years ago
Photo: Jeannie Knight

She has made numerous visits to see work of groups in the South East for many years and has presented awards to volunteers in this and other regions for their commitments to the association.
Riding brings a new dimension to necessarily restricted lives, and it also encourages independence and does much to improve a wide range of medical conditions.
In the South East there are 35 RDA groups across Surrey, Sussex and Kent with more than 2,000 riders of all ages and involving the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers who ensure these groups continue into the future.
For more information contact

Hickstead’s July fixture renamed

Hickstead’s July fixture has been renamed the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show, to reflect the importance of this showcase class and the long-term relationship with series title partner Longines. 

The five-star international showjumping event takes place from July 25-29 2018, with the show now concluding with the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain on Sunday afternoon. The Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup, the official name for the British Grand Prix, will now be held on Friday afternoon.

Robert Smith tackling one of the jumps at Hickstead Picture:Erin Cowgill

“The Hickstead leg gives showjumping fans their only opportunity to watch the Brits compete as a team on home turf, and we hope the move of this historic competition from Friday to Sunday will give even more people the chance to cheer on their home nation,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

In the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series, teams of riders compete at a number of venues throughout the world, with each leg involving two showjumping rounds. The British leg of this global series forms part of European Division One. After a year competing in Division Two, the Brits have been promoted back to this top division and will be campaigning this year to remain in Division One and qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona in September.

Other showjumping highlights at this July fixture include world ranking classes such as the Bunn Leisure Trophy, the Bunn Leisure Salver and the British Speed Classic. The prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a national championship, will remain as Saturday’s highlight, while Thursday will once again feature the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge, when the country’s top event riders gallop around a special cross-country course within Hickstead’s famous International Arena.

Top competitor Scott Brash  competing at Hickstead last year
Photo: Hickstead

The international showjumping classes will run alongside national showjumping and championship showing classes, under the title of the BHS Royal International Horse Show. The official show of The British Horse Society, the Royal International Horse Show is going to be 111 years old this season, making it one of the oldest equestrian events in the world.

The show has been held in a number of British venues before moving to the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead in 1992, where it has remained ever since.

To purchase tickets and for more information contact  Hickstead at   01273 834315

Ride Safe event in West Sussex

HORSHAM & District Riding Club has invited all riders to Ride Safe- an event taking place at the Brinsbury Campus of Chichester College, near Pulborough on Monday February 12.The Ride Safe event is at the college’s Equine Centre  beside the A29 at North Heath in West Sussex, at RH20 1DL.   Please be there for 10am for a  prompt 10.30am start.

This is a Rider Responsibility Event dedicated to all aspects of riding safely, whether on  the road, in open countryside and at shows.Ride Safe covers what to wear, discussion about hazards you may encounter and how to deal with them.

It is a follow-up to the British Horse Society’s televised and highly acclaimed 2017 DEAD SLOW campaign which aimed at encouraging drivers and cyclists to “Pass Wide and Slow” – the video of which was viewed more than 2.6 million times on-line.

Pass wide and slow for safety

Alan Hiscox, the British Horse Society’s Director of Safety, has had 26 years equine experience as a Mounted Police Officer. He will give a talk and video presentation. Tim Briers, BHS Riding and Road Safety Assessor and Trainer (Stage 3 in coaching Horsemanship), will instruct four ‘guinea pig’ riders on the soon to be updated Riding & Road Safety Test.

The BHS has also launched the Ride Safe Award to provide riders with the knowledge to protect themselves and their horse. It covers all aspects of riding so it is very important that you are aware of this Award.

It is accompanied by a comprehensive “Ride Safe Guide” that teaches riders how to manoeuvre in traffic, and what to do in a difficult situation on the road. Anyone 11 years or older can take the Award at selected BHS Approved Centres and It will be essential for those just beginning their BHS qualifications.

Equisafety Ltd with their latest Hi Viz clothing and other safety wear for riders and horses, and Myrocam UK – suppliers of head and body safety cameras, have also been invited to this event.

Advance Tickets for members and non members cost £6.00 each, which includes       light refreshment.  Send cheques made payable to HDRC and your contact details to the  organiser:  Mrs Marilyn Turner, Ryersh House, Ryersh Lane, Capel, Surrey RH5 5LJ.  (Tel. 01306 711069 / mobile 0752 732 7564 after 7pm)

OR pay via PayPal on-line: and see under “Events”

Tickets on the day will cost £8 each, payment by cash only.

BHS International convention


The British Horse Society is offering the opportunity to learn from performance psychologist Charlie Unwin, who is a key speaker at the society’s International Convention to be held first at Hartpury from March 26-28.

Then the convention, which celebrates 70 years of the BHS, moves to Myerscough from April 16-18, when he will again be a key speaker.

A BHS spokesperson said: “As part of our Platinum Year celebrations in 2018, we are joining our National Coaching Convention with our Safety and Welfare Conferences for a bigger better International Convention.

“Riding Out will also be featured throughout the convention and there will be an opportunity to visit our dedicated Riding Out Stand.”

Other speakers include Christoph Hess, who is an FEI “I” Judge in both dressage and eventing.

He is an international expert and educator of professionals and also earned the qualification as a Professional Riding Instructor of the German National Equestrian Federation (FN).

Christopher Bartle

Also playing a key role will be Christopher Bartle, FBHS (pictured above) who teaches and trains rider at the YRC, around the UK and across Europe.