GB’s world championship 2018 eventing long-list

TWO West Sussex event riders are included in the long list for this year’s World Equestrian Games. They are Tina Cook and Gemma Tattersall- both seasoned international competitors of high repute. The games will be held in Tryon, North Carolina (USA),  from September 11-23.  

Their names are in the  11-strong long-list with Kristina down to partner Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red, while Gemma is on the list wkith The Soul Syndicate and her own Arctic Soul. Gemma is also on the reserve list with Clive Smith’s Pamero 4.

Gemma Tattersall

The athletes named on the long-list are (in alphabetical order);
Sarah Bullimore with Chris and Sue Gillespie and Brett Bullimore’s Reve Du Rouet; Ros Canter with Caroline Moore and her own Allstar B, and her own Zenshera; Laura Collett with Nick How, Keith Scott and her own Mr Bass; Tina Cook with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red

Tina Cook in action with her former star, Miners Frolic Photo: British Eventing
Photo British Eventing

Piggy French with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, and Trevor Dickens’s Vanir Kamira;Kitty King with Diana Bown, Jacqueline Owen and Samantha Wilson’s Ceylor L A N;Tom McEwen with Jane Inns, Ali McEwen and his own Toledo de Kerser; Harry Meade with Charlotte Opperman’s Away Cruising; Gemma Tattersall with The Soul Syndicate and her own Arctic Soul; Oliver Townend with Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class, Angela Hislop’s  Cooley Master Class and Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS; Nicola Wilson with James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana.
The reserve combinations announced are (in alphabetical order); Alex Bragg with Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb; Emilie Chandler with Sally Williams and Nicola Dickson’s Coopers Law; William Fox-Pitt with Jennifer Dowling’s Little Fire; Kitty King with Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd Baker, Sally Eyre and Samantha Wilson’s Vendredi Biats; Imogen Murray with Aivar Ward and M S Team’s Ivar Gooden;Gemma Tattersall with Clive Smith’s Pamero 4.
A total of 15 combinations will be submitted to the FEI as the nominated entries on August 13 2018. All combinations are required to maintain their current form to remain on the long-list ahead of the Championships.
Eventing Performance Manager, Richard Waygood MBE said: “It is fantastic to have such a strong group of combinations long-listed for this year’s World championships; there have been some impressive performances across the board so far this season and I’m very excited to be working with such a superb group of athletes.”
The squad of five will be announced at the beginning of August.
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, Falpro England, Musto, NAF and Point Two Air Vests.

West Sussex riders to represent Britain

Two West Sussex riders have been selected for the British Showjumping Team NAF Young Rider European Championship Squad.

The competition takes place between July  8 – 15 2018 at the Stade Equestre du Grand Parquet.

They are included in the following squad, which has been selected to represent Great Britain under the title sponsor banner of Team NAF in the Young Rider European Championships in Fontainebleau, France.

Amy Inglis and Wishes
Photo British Showjumping

Graham Babes, aged 20, from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire with his own 12 year-old bay gelding Boucheron

Harry Charles, aged 18 (turns 19 on 15th July), from Alton, Hampshire with Vivaldi Du Dom, a 13 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Peter Charles MBE

Will Fletcher, aged 19, from Faringdon, Oxfordshire with Persimmon, a 12 year-old British bred brown gelding owned by Graham Fletcher

Amy Inglis, aged 21, from Haywards Heath, West Sussex with Wishes, a 10 year-old British bred chestnut mare owned by Claire Inglis

Georgia Tame, aged 20, from Horsham, West Sussex with Cash Up, a 14 year-old bay gelding owned by Team Z7

Georgia Tame and Cash Up
Photo British Showjumping

The Young Rider Team medals will be decided on Friday July 13 and they will then jump for their Individual medals on Sunday July 15. The Chef d’Equipe accompanying the squad will be Tony Newbery.

For further information on the show and full results once the show is underway, visit

British Showjumping would like to thank NAF, title sponsors of the Senior Nations Cup Teams along with the Children, Junior, Young Rider and Veteran teams.


40 goal polo dazzles crowd

History was made at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Saturday, June 23, as the All Pro Polo League (APPL) gave the club its first ever 40-goal match.

Eight 10-goal players took to the field to showcase a set of rules, proposed by APPL founder Javier Tanoira, which intend to make polo a more dynamic and spectator friendly sport. Saturday’s event proved that Tanoira’s vision has the potential to transform modern-day polo.

Action kicked off at 4:30 pm with an 18-goal “Young Guns” battle, which saw up-andcoming players from England, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Australia play a competitive, fast flowing match. Kings and Hurlingham Polo 1875 fought hard to claim the victory, but Kings managed to score in the last minute to win 7-6.

Presentation of Cowdray Park v Hurlingham 1875 in the 40 Goal All Pro Polo League Polo Match Played on Lawns 1 at Cowdray Park Polo Club Lawns Midhurst Clive Bennett 20180623 ©2018

“The rules are really simple and well thought out,” said Hurlingham Polo 1875 Captain Jack Richardson. “I loved the hit-ins after the goal because it keeps the game flowing, and from what people said on the sidelines it was entertaining to watch. It was amazing to play on Lawns 1 and there was a really good crowd there.”

Up next, eight of the world’s best players rode onto Lawns 1. Representing Hurlingham Polo 1875 were Facundo Pieres, Pelon Stirling, Gonzalo Pieres and Juan Martin Nero. They took on Cowdray Park, composed of Polito Pieres, Sapo Caset, Hilario Ulloa, and Nico Pieres.

The 10-goalers put on a fantastic spectacle, much to the delight of the viewers, many of whom had never witnessed this level of polo before.

After six full speed chukkas, Cowdray took the win to claim the APPL Eagle trophy.

Sussex rider qualifies for HOYS

An amateur rider from Lower Beeding has qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.

Abi Sole rode her ex-racehorse, Hero Worship to a win in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Bucks on the June 10 to qualify for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).  

This is the fourth year that Abi and Hero have campaigned in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifiers. Abi said; “I am super thrilled to be going to HOYS, it has been a long-time coming. He is such a great little horse.”

Abigail Sole and Hero Worship
Copyright SMR photos

Abi continued: “This was always going to be the last year that we were going to give qualifying a go. He has been at the top of his game with the showing for four years now since we won the Novice RoR Championship back in 2014.

“He gave me the best ride at Bury Farm and the judge Rebecca Harvie rode him really well. Hero and I have taught each other everything – both good and bad! My husband, Jody Sole, has helped us tremendously.” ”

Abi has owned Hero Worship for 10 years now, he came from Darley racehorse rehoming and had done some retraining with Fred and Rowena Cook.

Abi works as a marketing lead for a pharmaceutical company and Hero is ridden at home around three to five times a week.

She said: “I can leave him in the stable and just then get on and go, he has such a wonderful temperament. It is so lovely that this series helps give racehorses a life after their racing career and is a showcase for their versatility.”

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more.   The company has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting equestrian events and activities. 

Dead pony dumped in Sussex village

Residents in a West Sussex village have been horrified that a dead pony has callously been dumped in a ditch. The incident happened in Thakeham last Wednesday where it was reported immediately to Horsham District Council.

A concerned resident said: ” It is a very sad incident in our lovely village of Thakeham.

“Last Wednesday a friend was out riding in the village when she discovered a dead skewbald Shetland pony dumped in the ditch. She reported if that day to the RSPCA and they didn’t want anything to do with it.

Dumped pony

“The pony’s microchip was scanned but it unfortunately was not registered, which means we were unable to identify the owner.

“I had thought by now this poor little pony would have been removed but sadly today whilst walking the dogs I could see it was still there.

“Many friends have been in contact asking if we know who this pony belongs to and who is going to remove it etc etc.

“The lane where it is dumped is very rural lane only used by locals including young families. It breaks my heart to think of this poor little pony just rotting at the side of the road for all too see, very upsetting for the children.

“It is amazing that someone could do such a thing and just dump a poor pony on the side of a road to rot and it is awful that the council have not taken appropriate action to remove it.”

William Funnell wins Hickstead Derby

Britain’s William Funnell joined an illustrious group of four-time winners when claiming the Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead.

Riding the homebred 10-year-old Billy Buckingham, William was one of just two riders to go clear in the first round, meaning he had to jump-off for honours against Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker.

The first to go in the jump-off, William’s horse never looked in danger of touching a fence, although a foot in the water meant they finished with four faults in a time of 89.62sec.

It gave Holly a bit of breathing space, but she was caught out first by the black gate and then by the water as well, meaning she retired into second place.

William Funnell wins Hickstead Derby Photo Copyright Nigel Goddard

William, 52, is the fifth rider to have four wins  in the Hickstead Derby, having previously clocked up a hat-trick of victories in 2006, 2008 and 2009 with Cortaflex Mondriaan. He joins Harvey Smith, John and Michael Whitaker, and Ireland’s Eddie Macken, who have all had four wins in this iconic class.

The Dorking-based rider now believes he could add to his Derby tally with Billy Buckingham. “As long as I’m fit and the horse is fit you’d like to think you could go on and win it a fifth time. It’s nice to be in the record books with those guys, and to do it this year on a home-bred is special,” he said.

His horse was previously ridden by Lucy Townley, the daughter of Hickstead Director Edward Bunn. William took over the ride in 2017, and the pair finished sixth on their Derby debut last summer having hesitated at the top of the Bank and getting a time fault as well.

“We’ve done a bit of practice to make sure he’d come down the Bank. Last year I wondered if I’d wasted a clear round because they don’t come round here very often, so it’s nice to get another one and win it on a home-bred by [William’s championship horse] Billy Congo.”

The 57th Al Shira’aa Derby took place in perfect conditions with dry, sunny weather all week.

“I’d like to congratulate the Bunns on the work they’ve done in the arena, this is the best grass ring in the world with the best footing,” added William.

Holly was bidding to become the first female winner since 2011, and only the sixth in history, but she had to settle for second place following her third place debut in 2017 with Quality Old Joker.

In equal third place was the ultra-consistent Harriet Nuttall and A Touch Imperious, who yet again left all the fences standing but were another pair to be caught out by the 15ft Open Water; and Shane Breen and his Bunn Leisure Derby Trial winner Can Ya Makan, who knocked down the Balustrade fence at 14.

James Whitaker ended up in fifth place with one fence down and a time fault on Glenavadra Brilliant, the horse James’ elder brother William Whitaker rode to victory in 2016.

Earlier, Nicole Pavitt and Paris 16 won the Beethoven 7 & 8 Year Old Championship, ahead of Ireland’s Peter Moloney.

Hickstead’s next international show is the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show (25-29 July) with tickets on sale now.

Matthew Sampson wins Speed Derby

Yorkshire’s Matthew Sampson rode out the winner of the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby for the second year in a row. His victory came on his 2017 champion Topflight True Carlo, who is a former event horse owned by Christine Spanner.

A total of 31 starters came forward for the annual speed showcase, which is held round the same course each year and features unique fences such as the Irish Bank and the Hickstead planks.

Yesterday’s class saw a number of thrills and spills; with no clear rounds, six eliminations and one retiral. By the half way stage, Britain’s Paul Crago was leading in a time of 98.97 sec, having had one fence down with Valentino IX, though a number of former winners were still to come.

Matt Sampson on his way to winning Hickstead Speed Derby   Photo: Julian Portch

But four-time Speed Derby champion Guy Williams saw his chances of a fifth victory vanish when Casper De Muze knocked down four fences to finish out of the placings. Similarly, Harriet Nuttall had an uncharacteristic three jumps down to end up fifth on her 2016 winner Silver Lift.

While Ireland’s Paddy O’Donnell and Hey There Delilah produced the fastest round of all time, they knocked down two fences to relegate them to third in 99.48sec. It eased the pressure off for last to go Matthew Sampson, who tipped just one fence to finish on 96.58sec.

“I just thought I’d try to do a similar round to last year and luckily it paid off, and I was quick enough even with one fence down,” said Matthew. “It was a lot more pressure this year to be honest, even walking round the showground people were saying ‘I can’t wait to see you Saturday’.”

Matt now has a very good chance of winning today’s Al Shira’aa Derby, having won the Hamburg Derby in May with his other ride, Gloria Van Zuuthoeve, No one has won both the Speed Derby and the Hickstead Derby in the same year since Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher in 2005.

The new £1,500 Harcour Hickstead Amateur championship drew to a conclusion yesterday, with the title going to Amy Carnet and Ja Lo II, while Ireland’s Christopher Megahey and Curprice claimed the Hickstead Under 25 Masters.

In the showing classes, producer Jo Bates claimed the Alltech Supreme Hack Championship on Elusive.


Shane Breen wins Hickstead Derby trial

Ireland’s Shane Breen added another victory to his tally of Hickstead wins when claiming the honours in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial at Hickstead.

Shane, 44, is based at Hickstead Place and married to Chloe Breen, who is the daughter of All England Jumping Course founder Douglas Bunn. Breen has clocked up a number of international wins here at his ‘home’ showground, but this was his first major win at Hickstead since claiming the honours in both the Derby Trial and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in 2013.

Five riders jumped clear in first round of the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial today, though William Funnell – one of the leading contenders for Sunday’s Al Shira’aa Derby – chose not to come forward for the jump-off.

Shane Breen winning the Bunn Leisure Leisure Derby Trial Photo copyright and courtesy of Nigel Goddard

Two of the Al Shira’aa Derby’s leading ladies were among the remaining four, with Holly Smith setting the pace with a clear in a time of 59.59sec with Hearts Destiny, and Harriet Nuttall opting for a steady clear with A Touch Imperious. With Ireland’s Richard Howley collecting 16 faults in the jump-off, it paved the way for Shane who went clear in 57.76sec to take the win on Can Ya Makan.

“In the beginning, the horse and me didn’t get on so great so Georgia Tame rode him a few times. Dublin was our breakthrough show and he’s been great for me since then,” said Shane. “This was my first time jumping him in this ring and he was very comfortable in himself. I thought the jump-off would suit him because he can use his length of stride. Holly Smith said she’d gone quite quick, and when she says quite quick you know she means very quick! We just got into a good rhythm, a good groove and he was perfect. He’s super quick, nice in his mouth, very soft to ride and he’s got great balance – he’d be some dressage horse.”

Shane now has his sights set on Sunday’s grand finale, the Al Shira’aa Derby. He has had eight top 10 placings in Hickstead’s iconic Derby class, including finishing equal second in 2011, but has yet to lift the trophy. Breen now hopes to ride Can Ya Makan in the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup and the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain at Hickstead’s five-star show next month.

The top-35 horses in today’s feature class have automatically qualified for the Al Shira’aa Derby, which takes place on Sunday afternoon.

A huge field of 71 starters came forward for the afternoon’s Bunn Leisure Derby Two-Phase, with women riders dominating the line-up.

It was Great Britain’s Yazmin Pinchen who took home the spoils, with the 15-year-old stallion Van De Vivaldi. Yazmin went clear round both sections of the course in a time of 32.71sec to keep Louise Whitaker and Ruby VIII in second place (33.53sec).

Yazmin, 25, was proud to have a win with her 16-month-old son watching. “The last time I was here at Hickstead I was pregnant with Harry and I won the Royal International Accumulator, so it’s nice to be back and have a win with Harry here too. I want to win even more now, I just want to make him proud – get back to five-star and be better than ever. I’m really committed, really focused and just on a mission.”

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting ends today, June 24 .

Thrilling wins at Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting

Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash had his first international win at the All England Jumping Course this week when competing at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting.

His victory in the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard came on the nine-year-old Hello Shelby, who jumped a double clear in a time of 35.60sec.

“I wasn’t really sure what he’d be like in the International Arena today but after the first round he just popped round the course like normal. He felt really good and I just picked up the pace a bit in the jump-off, kept it tight, nothing too crazy and it was enough to win,” said Scott.

Scott Brash winning at Hickstead


The former world number one showjumper lives locally to the West Sussex showground, having relocated from his native Scotland in 2015.

“So much history has gone on in the International Arena, so it’s great to ride in there, and the footing here is amazing,” added Brash, who is now aiming for a repeat win in today’s Hickstead Master’s Trophy.

The first international class of the show, the Stoner Jewellers Vase, went to Joe Whitaker. He was riding Diola, a nine-year-old mare belonging to his father Steven.

“My Dad has been riding her a little bit – he’d actually been planning to compete her this week but he had to stay at home because we had a couple of mares about to foal,” said Joe. “He’s delighted because he’s put in the hard work, and she does feel great so fair play to him!” added the 30-year-old from South Yorkshire, who is the nephew of John and Michael Whitaker.

Joe finished with almost a second in hand over speed king Guy Williams, who finished second on Rouge De Ravel.

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs until tomorrow, June 24.

Busy polo weekend at Cowdray Park

An extremely busy weekend of polo at Cowdray saw the conclusion of three tournaments, the Petworth 12 goal Cup, the 6 goal Jersey Lilies and the 15 goal Bryan Bethell Cup.

 The Petworth 12 goal Final was played between Shane Finemore’s Gardenvale and John Bunn’s Hickstead teams.  Joining Shane FInemore were Boyd Allen (1 goal) playing at 2, 5 goaler matt Perry at 3, and England captain James Beim (7 goals) at Back.  For Hickstead, Ollie Cork (2 goals) played at 2, Niall Donnelly (4 goals) at 3 and Glenn Sherriff (5 goals) at Back making an 11 goal side and a half goal on the scoreboard for Hickstead to start the match.

 In a fast game of open polo, Gardenvale made the most impact throughout  and went two goals in two minutes.  By the close of the first chukka Finemore’s side was 3-1½ ahead.  Their domination continued into the second chukka with a great steal by Perry enabling a super goal by Beim, closely followed by Perry himself running with the ball the length of the field to score his second goal.  Within a minute, off he went again and at half time the score was 6-1½ in Gardenvale’s favour.

Gardenvale v Hickstead in the Petworth 12 Goal Cup Final Polo Match On Ambersham 2 at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Saturday 16 June 2018. Ambersham Midhurst Clive Bennett 20180616 ©2018 Clive Bennett Photography 16/06/2018 _CB_9602.CR2

 Chukka 3 saw a neat goal from Cork with no answer from Gardenvale.  The final chukka saw Hickstead pull back two goals but Gardenvale had remained ahead throughout the match with the final score 6-4½ in their favour.  Hannah Johnson presented the Cup to Shane Finemore and prizes to both teams.  The Best Playing Pony prize, sponsored by Mrs Lila Pearson, went to Cincuenta owned and played by Matt Perry.

 Six teams entered the 6 goal Jersey Lilies Cup and Sunday’s Final was a fast-paced open game between Zoe Bucknell’s JP Daeschler Gunmakers and Jella Herzer’s Los Schatzies. 

Los Schatzies went ahead 2-0 during the first chukka and by half time had drawn ahead 3-1. Nice work on the part of Terence Lent and Dorian Bulteau saw J P Daeschler Gunmakers pull up to 3-4 during the third chukka, but determined play by the 5 goal Uruguyan Santi Stirling dominated much of the action through the match.  Harry Muddle scored his second goal for Los Shatzies in the fourth chukka and the final score remained in their favour at 5-4.  Mrs Sallie-Anne Lent presented the Cup and prizes.    

 The Final of the 15 goal Bryan Bethell Cup was played on the River Ground between El Remanso/El Pariaiso and DJ Cats. 

Ollie Cudmore opened the account for El Remanso/El Paraiso with Jake Daniels answering for DJ Cats with two goals in the first chukka.  Good defence prevented any goals for El Remanso/El Pariaiso in the second chukka whilst the patron made a superb run to goal to take his side ahead 3-1. 

Bryan Bethell winners at Cowdray Park Polo Club _CB_3765.CR2

In the second half the scores were 4-4, but DJ Cats went ahead 5-4.  In the final chukka, DJ Cats gave away a penalty to enable Ollie Cudmore to equalize from 30 yards on 5-5.  James Harper retaliated with a super goal to 6-5, then DJ Cats’ lead went  to 7-5.  Once more a penalty was given away enabling El Remanso to pull back a goal but too late to prevent victory for DJ Cats on a final score of 7-6. 

Mrs Annette Bethell presented the trophy in memory of her husband, Bryan Bethell, to a delighted David Turner and prizes to all the players.  The Best Playing Pony award sponsored by Saracen Horse Feeds went to Twitter played by Jake Daniels and owned by Jim Gilmore.