Top result for showjumper Katie

East Sussex’s Katie Vaughan claimed top spot in the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Round at Felbridge Showjumping Club

The KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Round took place at Felbridge Showjumping Club and it was Katie’s speedy treble clear which gained her victory.

All sixty-seven competitors gathered with the aim of securing a place in the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Championship Final which is to be held at the British Showjumping National Championships in August.

All starters were looking to achieve a sought after treble clear as this would secure their qualification place.

Katie Vaughan competing at Felbridge

Katie from Lewes, East Sussex proved to be on winning form riding her eight- year-old bay mare Finessa KM.

This partnership delivered two clean rounds for their place in the jump-off where they combined accuracy with speed to finish in 39.53 seconds with a treble clear.

With another nine combinations also achieving a treble clear, a total of ten combinations now go forward to the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Rounds Final.

Results: 1 Katie Vaughan & Finessa K M – 0/0/0 – 39.53 seconds
2 Karl Standing & Diamond Slave – 0/0/0 – 40.81 seconds                                                3 Lorraine Lock & Artisan I – 0/0/0 – 43.03 seconds                                                        4 Emma-Jo Slater & Stand Up -0/0/0 – 44.06 seconds                                            5 Nicholas Edwards & Idodinus PP – 0/0/0 – 44.94 seconds                                              6 Katie Coomes & Romanos Legacy – 45.33 seconds                                            7 Lorraine Lock & Ibiza – 0/0/0 – 45.88 seconds                                                          8 Charlotte Whittall & Johnny Splash – 0/0/0 – 45.91 seconds                                9 Emma-Jo Slater & Bon Amego – 0/0/0 – 46.03 seconds                                                10 Gemma Birch & Gerton – 0/0/0 – 46.25 seconds
The British Showjumping National Championships 2018 will be hosted at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire during the week August 7 – 12.

Matt Sampson is another top Hickstead Derby contender

Last year’s British Speed Derby champion Matt Sampson has just jumped right into contention for Hickstead’s Al Shira’aa Derby.

Matt won the Hamburg Derby this month- the German equivalent to Hickstead’s most famous class- riding the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Gloria van Zuuthoeve.

The pair produced the only double clear to win ahead of Germany’s Gilbert Tillmann and eventing World Champion Sandra Auffarth, who finished in second and third respectively.

“Hamburg was the first time I’ve jumped in a Derby, so I had a bit of luck on my side,” said Matt. “It was a great warm-up for Hickstead and it would be great to do well again there in a few weeks’ time.

“Hickstead is a very different course to Hamburg and not many horses have done well at both, but winning the class has really upped our confidence.”

Matt Sampson winning Hickstead Speed Derby in 2017: Photo Nigel Goddard


The 28-year-old Yorkshire rider will return to Hickstead next month as the reigning British Speed Derby champion, having won the 2017 renewal on Topflight True Carlo.

The Speed Derby, which takes place on Saturday June 23, is similar to the Derby in that it features a long course with an array of different jumping obstacles, including a number of permanent jumps. However, the fences are smaller than the Derby and the competitors must complete the course as quickly as possible while leaving the jumps standing, as each one knocked down adds four seconds to the riders’ time.

As well as defending his British Speed Derby title, Matt hopes he can repeat his Hamburg success in the Al Shira’aa Derby, which takes place on Sunday June 24.

The last rider to win the Speed Derby and Derby at Hickstead in the same year was Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher, who did the double back in 2005 – an achievement he often credits for making his career. Meanwhile, no one has won the Hamburg and Hickstead Derbies in the same year since Ireland’s Eddie Macken, who won both classes in 1976 and 1978.

The Hamburg and Hickstead Derbies both have long and illustrious histories. The German version had been held every year since in 1920, and it inspired Hickstead founder Douglas Bunn to create a similar class in England. He wanted British riders to have the chance to tackle the type of obstacles they were facing at shows on the continent, and having seen film footage of the Hamburg Derby, he decided to visit the German showground in order to inspect the course.

He arrived during a snowstorm on New Year’s Eve, and went round the showground measuring fences – much to the bemusement of the show’s officials. The layer of snow on top of the Hamburg bank must have affected Douglas’s measurements, as Hickstead’s bank stands 6in taller than its German counterpart.

The first Hickstead Derby took place in 1961, featuring tricky fences such as the Devil’s Dyke, double of water ditches and the fearsome 10ft 6in Derby Bank, and the course has remained the same ever since. Some of the biggest names in showjumping have won the class, including David Broome, John Whitaker and Marion Mould, all three of whom also won the Hamburg Derby during their illustrious careers.

Now Matt Sampson will aim to replicate this difficult feat and join the list of showjumping greats who have won two of the most difficult Derbies in the world.

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting are on sale now from Discounts are available on tickets bought online in advance of the show.

World Horse Welfare’s new charity partner

Leading equestrian online retailer and its enterprising One Club which gives members year-round discounts on equestrian goods plus public liability and personal accident insurance for members, is proud to announce that World Horse Welfare will be its charity partner.

Harry Hall will support the international horse welfare charity by donating kit to World Horse Welfare; sharing details of its campaigns and rehoming programmes with Harry Hall members and customers; and inviting One Club Members and other shoppers to donate to the charity when shopping online.

World Horse Welfare welcomes partnership wkith Harry Hall. Photo: WHW

“As Britain’s leading online equestrian and country retailer, with access to many thousands of Harry Hall One Club members and other shoppers, we are ideally placed to work with an equestrian charity partner,” says Harry Hall MD Liz Hopper.

“With 30% savings permanently available to Harry Hall One Club members, we expect many will be happy to share a little of what they have saved in the form of a donation to World Horse Welfare at the check out. But we look forward to supporting the charity in a host of ways, and sharing their key messages with our thousands of customers.”

Harry Hall also plans to run one of its popular Yard Visit series at a World Horse Welfare Rescue and Rehoming Centre to show some of their customers, first hand, about the sometimes difficult work the teams there tackle every day.

Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Harry Hall and sincerely thank them for this fantastic opportunity. Not only will this help support our work through donations in kind and online but most importantly provides a valuable new channel to further raise awareness of the many welfare issues facing the UK’s equine population today.”

Cowdray Park’s polo season underway

Cowdray Park’s polo season is now well and truly underway

For the first time in decades, a delay to the start of Cowdray Park’s polo season was forced upon the world-famous club due to the atrocious spring weather conditions.

With the weather now settled, the first high goal polo of the 2018 UK polo season, the Murus Sanctus Trippetts Challenge, got off to a great start. The tournament, played for the James Wentworth Stanley Cup, is played only by the high goal teams based in the area, and gives them a useful warm-up for the Cartier Queens Cup and King Power Gold Cup ahead.

It reaches its conclusion on Sunday May 20 with the presentation of a handsome silver trophy by Clare Milford Haven whose son, James, the tournament commemorates. Cowdray Park Polo Club welcomes spectators at just £5 per adult entry, under 12s free.

El Remanso team of four English players ready for action

The 2018 season sees the biggest ever influx of polo stars living in and around Midhurst, with all the members of the Pieres dynasty playing the high goal tournaments with locally based teams.

Ranked joint 1st in world rankings, 10 goaler Facundo Pieres plays for the first time for Michael Bickford’s La Indiana side, while his brother Gonzalito, also 10 goals takes to the field for Corinne Ricard’s Murus Sanctus team. Corinne is the only woman taking part in the Gold Cup.

Their younger brother Nico Pieres (9 goals) plays for Alshair Fiyaz’s F Polo team alongside his cousin Polito Pieres (9 goals), the team making its first appearance in the British Open. Other locally based teams are Jean Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco with Juan Martin Nero (10 goals) and ‘Pelon’ Stirling (9 goals) in the line-up, and Ben Soleimani’s RH Polo team featuring ‘Sapo’ Caset (9 goals) and Rodrigo de Andrade (8 goals).

The local crowd’s favourite continues to be El Remanso, the team of four English players based on the Cowdray Estate close to the club’s Ambersham polo grounds, which reached the Gold Cup Final in 2017 only to be beaten by King Power Foxes.

The same team of Charlie Hanbury, Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper have been training hard and are desperate to pay back the crowd’s loyalty as they make their third bid to lift the fabulous Gold Cup.

Nigel aims to win Hickstead Derby again

Nigel Coupe waited 27 years to win Hickstead’s most famous class, the Al Shira’aa Derby, and next month he returns to the All England Jumping Course with the aim of retaining the title. 

Nigel and his horse Golvers Hill were one of two combinations to jump clear in last year’s class, alongside Harriet Nuttall with A Touch Imperious, but in the end it was Lancashire-born Coupe who came out on top after a jump-off against the clock.

He was presented with the Boomerang Trophy – which depicts Eddie Macken and his four-time Derby champion Boomerang descending the Derby Bank – as well as the brand new Al Shira’aa Trophy, and the first prize of £34,650.

Nigel and  Golvers Hill following their Hickstead victory
Photo: Craig Payne

“A few hours after winning the class last year, someone asked me what the prize money was and I had to look it up!” says Nigel. “It was an amazing amount, but to be honest it could have been for a pound and it wouldn’t have made any difference to how good it felt to win.”

Nigel now hopes to join an illustrious group of riders to net consecutive wins, including Harvey Smith, Paul Schockemöhle, John Ledingham, William Funnell and, most recently, Trevor Breen, who won in 2014 and 2015. Peter Charles and Michael Whitaker both won three times in succession, with Eddie Macken remaining the most successful rider in Derby history with his four wins in a row from 1976 to 1979.

“To win the Al Shira’aa Derby for the first time was amazing, but now I’d love to experience that all over again,” says Nigel, who admits it will be tough to secure back-to-back wins due to some fierce competition. “There are about six to eight combinations with a good chance of winning it this year, and my horse is one of those, but it all depends on how things go on the day.”

It takes extraordinary skill, talent and often a dose of good luck to jump clear round the Derby course, which has remained the same since the class was first held in 1961. There have only been 60 clear rounds since then, which is testament to its difficulty. Many of the fences are up to full height (1.60m) or width (2m), and there are a number of unique challenges including the 15ft Open Water, the double of water ditches, the Road Crossing, the Open Ditch, the 10ft 6in slope of the Derby Bank and the Devil’s Dyke, widely regarded as the most difficult obstacle on the course.

Nigel with the trophy
Photo: Craig Payne

Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill had an outstanding season last year. In addition to their Al Shira’aa Derby victory, the pair won the Cock o’the North title at the Great Yorkshire Show and the Leading Showjumper of the Year title at Horse the Year Show, and they represented Great Britain on several Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup teams.

The plan is for the horse to jump in the Hamburg Derby – Germany’s equivalent class, which is held in May – then return to defend their Hickstead title on 24 June. But before they can line up in Sunday afternoon’s show case, they must qualify in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, which decides the start list for the Al Shira’aa Derby.

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting takes place on June 21-24, with tickets on sale now from Discounts are available on tickets bought online in advance of the show.

Bumper crowd at Plumpton’s seasonal finale

Plumpton Racecourse ended its season yesterday with a bumper crowd enjoying competitive racing in glorious sunshine.
It was a good day for jockey Wayne Hutchinson, who rode a double at the meeting, initiated by winning the opening race on board trainer Alan King’s 5-1 shot Crushed.

Trainer Alan King

This runner, sent off at 5-1, won this maiden hurdle race  by a comfortable three lengths from 7-1 shot Gothic Empire, trained at Sullington by Richard Rowe. Gothic Empire, which was ridden by Andrew Glassonbury, should be winning soon.
The second half of the jockey’s double came in the two mile handicap hurdle, when he partnered 9-2 favourite Gin And Tonic, trained by Michael Wigham to win by a neck from Gary Moore’s six-year-old Royal Hall. The runner-up should be winning soon.

Jockey Jeremiah McGrath partnered Mogestic for trainer Seamus Mullins to win the three miles one furlong handicap hurdle in fine style at 12-1, beating Keep To The Beat by an impressive six  lengths.

Competitive racing at Plumpton
Photo: Jeannie Knight

 Another rider to have a double at the meeting was conditional jockey James Bowen, who started the winning sequence on board Brave Eagle, trained by Nicky Henderson in the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle, beating the Chris Gordon-trained 3-11 shot Mellow Ben by one-and-a-half lengths.

The second half of his double came when he partnered the Gary Moore-trained King Cool, which was sent off as 11-4 joint favourite in the three miles one furlong handicap chase. He beat the other joint favourite, Roparta Avenue, trained  by Chris Gordon and ridden by Harry Reed by just one length.

Although the two mile three furlongs handicap chase only attracted four runners, there was plenty to like about the winner, The Fresh Prince. Trained by Oliver Sherwood and well-ridden by Conor Shoemark, this eight-year-old scored his second win over fences, beating Darebin by a comfortable  five lengths, with 15-8 favourite Ballycoe 14 lengths back in third place.

It was a good finale to Plumpton’s current season, and racing resumes at this excellent jumps venue in September.

West Sussex Hunt at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Members of a West Sussex Hunt, the Crawley and Horsham, took part in the Inter Hunt Knock Out at the 75th Royal Windsor Horse Show on Thursday last week.

Begun in 1943 to raise money to build Spitfires during Wings for Victory Week, the horse show has been held every year since, attended by Her Majesty The Queen.

Thursday saw a celebration of foxhounds and the contribution that foxhunting has made to equestrianism, with a parade of the Kimblewick hounds in the Castle Arena, and 16 teams from all over the country competing in the notorious Knockout relay for a £1,000 prize.

The Crawley and Horsham Hunt was the first pack of foxhounds to parade in the Show Ring at Royal Windsor, in 1951 and it was fitting that they took part in this event, with Artie Martin, Jammy Taylor, Vicky Allan and George Gorman finishing a creditable seventh of 16 teams, representing the Crawley and Horsham Hunt. Special thanks to Chef d’Equipe Serena Soames.

West Sussex hunt members who took part: George Gorman, who rides out for Lower Beeding trainer Gary Moore; Artie Martin, of Balcombe; Vicky Allan, mother of two from Ashurst; and Jammy Taylor of West Chiltington .

Those taking part were Artie Martin, of Balcombe; Vicky Allan, mother of two from Ashurst, George Gorman who rides out for Lower Beeding trainer Gary Moore, and Jammy Taylor of West Chiltington.

They were proud to represent the Crawley & Horsham Hunt, and to be commended for their immaculate attire and turnout.

Each of the four horses and riders have learned their skills on the hunting field.   Last season Jammy raised £12,000 for charity by hunting for ten days without a saddle.

“My hunter Dylan just loves this competition and this show,and when the hounds came into the arena he just pricked his ears and galloped after them.” said Artie Martin

Royal visitor for RDA group’s 50th birthday


It was a day of sunshine and smiles all round as Hope in the Valley RDA group celebrated its 50th Birthday with a special guest at Plumpton College.

Riding for the Disabled’s President of 32 years, HRH the Princess Royal, arrived by helicopter to enjoy the group’s special day and spend time with some of the volunteers and young riders.

HRH Princess Royal gives commemorative birthday rosettes to several of the young riders

Having met a host of local dignitaries on arrival, HRH joined riders, ponies, volunteers and parents in the arena for a demonstration of the Countryside Challenge, before presenting commemorative rosettes and long service awards to both the riders, ponies and volunteers.

Of the day, the Princess Royal said: “It is a real achievement that we are celebrating today.”

She went on to praise Hope in the Valley volunteers for their ‘supreme dedication’ and commented on the changes that have been seen over 50 years. She also praised the parents saying: “It’s a pleasure to see the parents here also showing a commitment that makes such a difference”.

HRH Princess Royal gives Fergus a letter to post

During the riding display, the Princess gave each of the four riders a letter which they had to post as part of the Countryside Challenge which follows a simulated course -where the riders put their skills to the test by tackling obstacles and tasks they might find in the country.

As well as posting a letter, these include going through a gate, crossing a ‘road’, entering a farmyard and picking an apple from a tree. Although great fun, this also tests their steering, balance and confidence.

She then presented rosettes to the regular riders at the Hope in the Valley group as well as long services awards to two of the ponies -Rose which has worked with the group for 14 years and Toblerone, which has been there for 12 years.

Margaret Fogg, a volunteer and trustee, received a long service award for 35 years and a surprise award was given to the Group Chairman, Lesley Morrill, who had just completed 52 marathons in 52 weeks, promoting RDA along the way.

Margaret Fogg rereceives her 35 years long service award from HRH Highness The Princess Royal

On inviting, the Princess Royal to present a trophy to Lesley, Lindsay Correa, RDA Regional Chair, said: “Today we’ve celebrated long service in both ponies and people. But a marathon is also long; very long and we have the pleasure of presenting a special award, where we recognise an individual who has chosen to do a lot more than just one”.

The golden visit ended with the Princess cutting and sharing in a very special cake that had been made by volunteer, before meeting the regular volunteers at the group.

Other guests included: Sara Stonor, Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Cllr Michael Chartier, Mayor of Lewes Town Council, The Rt Rev Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes, Robert Cottrill, CEO of Lewes District Council, Cllr Stephen Gauntlett, Chair, Lewes District Council, Giles York, Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Sam Orde, RDA Chairman, and Jeremy Kerswell, Principal, Plumpton College.

BHS quest for safe off-road riding

The British Horse Society recognises the importance of safe off-road riding, not only for members but for all equestrians. It pledges to keep equestrians safe, horses happy, and support the continued growth of our sport and the equine industry.
In 2015, it put aside £25,000 to establish the BHS Paths for Communities Fund to provide multi-user routes in the UK.

Group of riders on wooded lane  Photo: BHS

By the end of 2016, we received 32 applications. Six schemes have been implemented – resulting in five new routes and an improved route.

Four more are in the course of implementation and further work is being undertaken on the remaining to bring them to fruition. To date, we have committed almost £20,000 funding to these projects.

Its aim for the Paths for Communities Fund is for it to grow through donations and fundraising events across the UK, so it can continue to benefit BHS vital access work in the years ahead.

It is now inviting BHS local committees and affiliated equestrian access groups to put forward bids for funding for new equestrian routes.

If you have identified a potential route that would benefit from the fund, then please complete an application form and send the form in along with a map of the proposed route. If you have any questions, contact the Access Team on 02476 840515 or We may put you in contact with your local BHS Access Officer who can assist you with the application.

Make a donation

If you wish to donate to the fund to further assist with the creation of these routes, then you can do so quickly and securely via JustGiving. Thank you to those who have worked hard and raised lots of money for the fund, especially during Ride Out UK Month – we couldn’t do our work without you!

Where the fund has gone so far

Weald Country Park, Essex

The BHS granted £3,000 from the Paths for Communities Fund to help restore a boggy section of bridleway in Weald Country Park, Essex. Essex Bridleways Association also put £2,500 towards the project, which was carried out with the support of Essex County Council.

The route was previously too boggy and waterlogged to be usable, but thanks to its restoration it is now in good condition for walkers, riders and cyclists alike to make the most of.

BHS Director of Access, Mark Weston, said: “I’m so pleased that our funding has helped to bring this bridleway back into use, and that riders, walkers and cyclists can now enjoy a circular route.”

Vine and Craven Hunt’s successful point to point

After the postponement of the Easter Monday meeting, the Vine and Craven hunt was rewarded with a cloudless sky, warm weather and competitive racing at their re-scheduled Point to Point, sponsored by JM Finn, at Hackwood Park on Saturday 5 May.

The event, which ran from 3.45pm until early evening, attracted a good crowd, who enjoyed entertainment on and off the track.

The six jump races were preceded by four pony scurries, the first of which was won by Jaspar Bandey, six-year-old son of local trainer Richard, who had enjoyed success at Cheltenham the night before.

The R Hunt Ltd Open Maiden had 12 runners, the largest field of the day and was won by Kalinite, ridden by Sam Lee, trained by Fred Hutsby, fresh from a recent second at Kingston Blount, who won it comfortably.

“It’s great to have a winner at my local track,” beamed the delighted owner, Peter Corbett, who lives at Binley, near Andover. Jockey Sam Lee, enjoying a good season and likely to be crowned South Midlands leading jockey, confirmed that the step up in distance suited the six-year-old. “We’ve been waiting all year for three miles on good ground.”

Peter Corbett completed the double – his first since Medic and Golden Tangle won at the same meeting in 2012 – when Kinlochspelve won the five-runner Fullers Brewery and the Jockey Club Mares Maiden. Peter commented: “Kinlochspelve (named after a village on the Isle of Mull where the owner has a house) was the last horse bred by my late wife Muff, who died six years ago – she’ll be so chuffed.”

Kinlochspelve completes a double for Sam Lee and Fred Hutsby in the Mares &Fillies Open maiden at Hackwood Park Hutsby in the Mares/Fillies Open Maiden Photo courtesy of: courtesy of MJAY PHOTOGRAPHY & MEDIA

Another in double form was jockey Zac Baker. His first win of the night was on hot favourite Templebraden – also a winner at the last meeting here – in the five-runner JM Finn Mens Open over three and a half miles.

“He seems to like it round here, despite the different ground conditions,” admitted winning owner Sarah Oliver. Templebraden has changed stables since his last win and new trainer, Droitwich-based, Max Young confirmed, “It’s been a great season. We’ve had three winners and several knocking on the door.”

Change of Luck completes a double for Zak Baker who rode the Alan Hill charge to win the Members Race at Hackwood Park
Photo courtesy of  MJAY PHOTOGRAPHY & MEDIA

Zac completed his double with a patient ride on the night’s only winning odds-on jolly, Alan Hill’s Changeofluck, in the concluding BFJ Consultants Ltd Conditions Race, in which five ran.

Odds-on favourite, Broken Eagle, suffered disappointment in the two mile four furlong At The Races Ladies Open, but beaten for the first time in three years by Starkie, ridden by Katy Lyons in the closest finish of the day.“I didn’t think we’d beat Broken Eagle,” admitted winning owner-trainer Anthony Ward-Thomas.

“But Katy gave him a perfect ride – they went very quickly, but she kept some petrol in the tank.”

Katy was complimentary about both the course and the race, saying, “They’ve done a really good job. It’s the best ground we’ve had all year and you’d run anything on it – that’s the best Ladies Open I’ve ridden in.”

The opening event of the evening, the J Passey & Son Novice Riders Race, may have only had five runners, but it was a competitive contest, with the whole field still tightly bunched three fences out. The well-backed Tom Barton was still in the lead at this point, going better than odds-on favourite Tempelpirate, but Connor Brace – who had held the splendidly-named Itchymei’mscratch up in rear – jumped to the front after the fence and was never headed subsequently, holding off the dogged pursuit of Tom Barton, with Tempelpirate in third.

Winning owner Keith James commented: “Connor (who, with 13 wins, is in pole position to be National Novice Champion this season) has ridden him all season and I’m so pleased for him.”