Goodwood Race in memory of John Dunlop

The Ladbrokes March Stakes, a Group 3 race taking place at Goodwood’s August Bank Holiday fixture on Saturday 25, will be run in the memory of local trainer John Dunlop.

 Dunlop, who sent out more than 3,500 winners from his Arundel stables in West Sussex, sadly died at the beginning of July. A man who embodied the spirit of Goodwood, Dunlop was crowned champion trainer in 1995 and sent out a total of 10 British Classic winners, including two Epsom Derby victories with Shirley Heights (1978) and Erhaab (1994).

The late John Dunlop, racehorse trainer

A previous Director of Goodwood Racecourse, John enjoyed nearly 200 winners on the Downs, starting with Storm Bird taking the 1967 New Ham Stakes and including one of his career highlights, when the Pat Eddery-ridden Posse landed the 1980 Sussex Stakes. In addition to these successes, John trained Sheikh Mohammed’s first ever Group race winner at Goodwood, when Hatta won the Molecomb stakes in 1977.

The patriarch of a training dynasty, John leaves his wife Sue and two youngest sons, Ed and Harry, who have been training since 1994 and 2006 respectively. Ed Dunlop said; “On behalf of the family, we are extremely delighted to have a race run in my father’s honour. Goodwood was his favourite racecourse in the world and he was also a Director, so to have a prestigious race for him there is fantastic.”

Ladbrokes sponsor all seven races on the Saturday, one race on Friday 24, three on Sunday 26 and are the official Betting Partner of the fixture. Nicola McGeady, Head of Racing PR at Ladbrokes, said; “We are very excited to be sponsoring this wonderful meeting at Goodwood. It is fitting that one of our races will be run in the memory of John Dunlop, a hugely successful local trainer, and we are looking forward to a great weekend.”

The fixture begins on the Friday evening and after six races and family entertainment, finishes with a crescendo, as a dramatic firework display set to music will take guests’ breath away once again. Across all three days the whole family will be entertained, with a traditional fairground, circus tutors, Punch and Judy shows, ‘invisible cricket’, pantomime horse, live music and a replica beach front, complete with fish and chips and ice cream.

History could be created, as the ever-popular Frankie Dettori is just one victory away from riding his 200th winner at Goodwood. On the Sunday, The Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap will showcase the talents of some of the leading female jockeys in the sport.

Tickets to the August Bank Holiday Weekend start from just £12 per day, with under 18s going free. All of the additional entertainment and activities are free on entry. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

Feast of racing at Goodwood

Following a hugely successful Qatar Goodwood Festival, Goodwood Racecourse is preparing for its most fun-packed fixture yet- the August Bank Holiday Weekend on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 August.

The long weekend at the racecourse  will feature top quality horse racing, Friday fireworks and a host of nostalgic activities for the whole family.

The fixture begins on the Friday evening, with six quality races accompanied by live music from a saxophone quartet, a string quartet and a Rock ‘n’ Roll band, as well as plentiful activities for children, including a traditional fairground and coconut shy.

As racing concludes and the sun goes down, fire performers and stilt walkers will make their way around the grandstands, as a band of Batala drummers set a hypnotic beat.

Expect spectacular fireworks at Goodwood
Photo: Matt Stills

Friday night finishes with a crescendo, as a dramatic firework display set to music – produced by the Starlight display team of international renown – will take guests’ breath away once again.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, donkey rides and various traditional attractions such as a helter-skelter, carousel and big wheel, will keep children entertained. Younger ones can visit the Lennox Activity Tent, with circus tutors teaching tricks and skills, regular Punch and Judy shows and face painting.

The popular Goodwood Actors Guild will return, playing games of ‘invisible cricket’ and entertaining guests with a pantomime horse. A replica beach front on the East Parade Lawn, complete with sun loungers, ice cream, fish and chips and jazz bands, will be the perfect place to relax away from the action.

There will be top class racing too,  with the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile as one of four Group races at the meeting. History could be created, as the ever-popular Frankie Dettori is just one victory away from riding his 200th winner at Goodwood. Should the inimitable Italian reach the milestone, he would become only the second jockey to have done so since Goodwood first staged racing in 1802.

On Sunday, Goodwood also hosts a round of The Silk Series, a race series specifically for female jockeys, which showcases their talents in the saddle and aims to inspire the next generation of female riders. With four rounds remaining of the series, which is run in aid of Cancer Research UK, Megan Nicholls currently leads the standings.

Tickets to the August Bank Holiday Weekend start from just £12 per day, with under 18s going free. All of the additional entertainment and activities are free on entry. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

Pony Club signs charter for future

The Pony Club International Alliance (PCIA) has signed a strategic charter for the future development of the Pony Club. The alliance represents The Pony Club in the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Representatives met in Tarporley, Cheshire, ahead of The Pony Club International Championships to agree ways of working together to grow The Pony Club in the member nations.

It was agreed that the primary roles of the PCIA are to promote Pony Club membership across the world and to collaborate on international programs. The members also agree to share information on the operations, structures, sports and membership trends of Pony Club in each country, manage the international program and promote PCIA activities in each member country

Clare Valori      Photo: The Pony Club

Clare Valori, Vice-chairman of The Pony Club UK, was appointed chairperson of the PCIA for the next two years – when the chairmanship will be handed to Australia- the host country of the next meeting.

Clare said: “It was a positive and productive meeting – where member nations shared ideas, best practice and challenges on sustaining membership, governance, safeguarding and all areas of Pony Club life.

“There was a strong feeling that working together will make Pony Club stronger, strengthening its identity and profile – giving young people great opportunities with a lot of fun while creating lasting friendships. Over the last three days we have built on the foundations of the PCIA and I am confident that it will lead to an exciting future for the Pony Club in the UK and other areas of the world.”

GB eventing squad for World Games

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has confirmed the eventing squad, selected by the British Eventing senior selectors, for this year’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina (USA), 11-23 September 2018.

Two experienced West Sussex riders are in the team as expected- Gemma Tattersall and Tina Cook.

Kristina Cook and Billy The Red    Photo: British Eventing

Gemma Tattersall and Chico Bella Haras competing at Burghley

The selected athletes are (in alphabetical order);

  • Ros Canter from Lincolnshire, with Caroline Moore and her own Allstar B
  • Tina Cook from West Sussex, with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red
  • Piggy French from Northampton, with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo
  • Tom McEwen from Gloucestershire, with Jane Inns, Ali McEwen and his own Toledo de Kerser
  • Gemma Tattersall from West Sussex, with The Soul Syndicate and her own Arctic Soul


Eventing Performance Manager, Richard Waygood MBE said: “This year’s team selection was extremely close, with great strength and depth coming through the nominated list. We head to WEG with a strong squad and I look forward to continuing to work with the selected athletes in the build-up, to ensure we are best prepared for Tryon.”

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 the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson & Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two Air Vests.

Pony Club Polo Championships

The Pony Club Polo Championships, held on August 6 at Hurtwood Park, Surrey, and 10-12 August at Cowdray Park, West Sussex saw some amazing displays from the generation of Polo talent, with support from sponsor Flannels.

The Championships kicked off at Hurtwood Park with the Jorrocks section, for players under 11 years old riding ponies not exceeding 13.2hh.

Jorrocks winners Old Surrey and Burstow
Photo: Michael Chevis

Taking the top spot was the Old Surrey & Burstow Hunt team made up of Cowdray Hunt’s Ava Greenland (10, whose pony, Beano, also picked up the Polo Times Best Playing Polo Award), Matias Maldonado (8), Bruno Bradshaw (9, from the Grafton Hunt) and Jasmine Speed (8, from the Cottesmore Hunt). Matias and Bruno are no strangers to the podium, as they formed part of the 2017 winning team playing for Grafton Hunt.

In second place was the Crawley & Horsham Hunt Purple team. The team, consisting of Suzannah Clark (10), Sienna Nightingale (10), Annalise Maurice-Jones (11) and Georgia Stephens (11) also picked up two individual awards; with Suzannah winning the Jorrocks Cup for Most Improved Girl and Sienna winning the award for Most Promising First Year Player.

Cowdray Park saw 144 players from 36 teams take part in the annual finals of the Handley Cross, Surtees, Loriner, Langford, Rendell and Gannon sections.

After two days of play the finals, held on Cowdray’s hallowed Lawns I, were plagued by rain which led to the traditional parade of all players sadly being cancelled.

Instead, proceedings began with the presentation of the Jambo Trophy, for the best combination that hunts and plays Pony Club Polo. This was awarded to Esther ridden by Scarlett Picksley (11) from the West Hants Branch.

The finals got underway with the Heythrop Hunt and Beaufort Hunt in the hotly contested Gannon section. The Heythrop Hunt team of brothers Jonty and Tom Barlow (17 and 19), Magnus Gilje (20) and Rosanna Turk (20) emerged victorious, beating the Beaufort Hunt team by 4.5 goals to 3.

Rosanna also picked up the SATS Saddle Award for Best Player of the Season. A delighted Rosanna said: “It’s incredible! This season has just been absolutely extraordinary and I can’t really believe how everything has come together. I am just so grateful to everyone for all their help.

Rosanna receiving best saddle award

Rosanna receiving best saddle award

“This is my last season playing Pony Club Polo as I will be too old next year, so the saddle is such a nice finishing touch. We’ve never had a new saddle before, they’ve always been second hand, so this is pretty cool!”

The team, who took home the Daily Telegraph Trophy as well as the Jaguar Trophy for finishing on top in the Gannon League, said they were ‘overwhelmed’ and talked about how they started in the lower leagues and worked their way up as a team. They said: “We’re a team of mates where everyone has the same ability. There’s no one outstanding player that carries us; we all have something to offer.”

As the afternoon progressed other section victories were;

Surtees: Meynell Hunt beat Cowdray Hunt (Blue Team) 3-1

Loriner: Meynell Hunt beat Royal Artillery Hunt 1-0

Langford: Cotswold Hunt beat Beaufort Hunt 5-1

Rendell: Heythrop Hunt beat Royal Artillery Hunt 5-4

Handley Cross: Cowdray Hunt beat Beaufort Hunt 3-0

Pony Club Polo Chairman, Charles Whittington, said: “The Pony Club Polo Championships were a great success again this year, marred only by the untimely appearance of rain! We are fortunate to have use of the best grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club, and our thanks go to them and all our sponsors.

“Too few people realise that Pony Club Polo provides tournaments for players with only one pony from age 6 to age 21, and we would like to encourage more to take advantage of this opportunity.”

West Sussex rider wins NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final

A West Sussex rider has won the  NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final at the inaugural British Showjumping National Junior Academy Championships at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

Kate Simmonds (14) of Pulborough partnered Toby Star, an 11 year-old grey gelding owned by Ruth Simmonds, to victory in this prestigious event, which once again was a great showcase for the successes achieved via the NAF Pony Five Star Performance Awards Programme. 

Kate Simmonds and Toby Star, NAF Five Star Final winners. Photo: 1st Class Images

The competition was divided into three sections; 1*, 2* and 3* and was marked on the capability of the rider and their influence on the performance of the pony.

The rider’s effectiveness, position, balance, feeling, timing, rhythm and impulsion to empower the pony to move and jump to the best of its ability was also judged and it was down to British Showjumping Coaches Hannah Jackson & Mia Palles-Clark to make the tough decision on who the eventual victors would be.

Riders were not only competing for the winners titles, but also for NAF rugs and goodie bags on offer.

Each section was made up of a pre-designed course which required a demonstration of flatwork movements as well as jumping a range of fences depending on the star level the rider had achieved on the NAF Pony Five Star Performance Awards Programme. 

Kate won the NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final in fine style withToby Star, at this event, which is part of a programme designed to provide a series of progressive standards to assist pony riders with a focus for their training and improved performance in the ring alongside developing stable management skills.

Other winners at this highly competitive day were Evelyn Bond Smith (aged eight) from Bawdeswell, Norfolk  in the NAF 1* Pony Five Star Finalon Clare Bond’s 13 year-old liver chestnut gelding Derrymore Lucky Lad; and Saskia Mohan (15) from Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, who won the NAF 3* :Pony Five Star Final on Rebecca Long’s six-year-old gelding Ballyert Cobalt.

For more information on the programme, please contact Laura Rolph on 02476 698812 or

British Dressage Convention November 24-25

British Dressage will celebrate its 20th anniversary at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire  on November 24 – 25, supported by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

This year, the event will be looking dressage with ‘20:20 vision’, from the viewpoint of a panel of leading experts, including elite riders and trainers Emile Faurie, Gareth Hughes, Sophie Wells plus FEI 4* Judge Peter Storr and Dr Rachel Murray, Senior Orthopaedic Advisor at the Animal Health Trust.

British Dressage Convention

The term 20:20 vision is used to indicate perfect sight, which is what dressage riders, coaches and judges spend their careers striving for, in their attempt to achieve total harmony between horse and rider. The perfect ten, achieved through excellence, clarity, flawlessness… That’s always the focus but a number of different factors are involved in making it happen:

Rider: our own skill, our ability to train and realise potential and our aptitude to constantly evolve and learn in any given situation.

Coach: the talent for imparting knowledge with great clarity, reading a situation and capability of bringing the best out of both horse and rider.

Judge: seeing the complete picture, the knack of providing feedback in the right tone to encourage and providing riders with a fair measure of their training progress.

Support: veterinary, physiotherapy, nutrition, medical, psychology all have a key part to play.

Getting the best from horse and rider in modern times is all about taking a holistic approach for an all-round ‘team’ effort. It’s not just a rider in an arena; it’s a series of processes, a systematic methodology and a great deal of time.

Emile Faurie
Photo: British Dressage

It will take a journey through the career path of both horse and rider as they start at Novice before moving up the levels towards the ultimate aim, Grand Prix. With the year 2020 on the horizon, there is the chance to hear the inside track from three top riders on their plans for producing their top horses to peak for Tokyo and the associated challenges, alongside tips, advice and knowledge for anyone involved in dressage.

To celebrate 20 years, there is a new early-bird ticket rate on weekend and daily tickets available now until Sunday 23 September.  All tickets are just £72 for a weekend pass or £45 to enjoy one of the days.

After this, prices rise with rates for BD members, BHS members and non-members.  Also, we’re offering tickets at this rate for anyone under 25 throughout the booking process. You can book online via the BD online shop at or over the phone by calling 02476 698833/831. Please note that under 25 tickets must be booked by phone to verify age.

BD Training Director Paul Hayler commented; “We had to mark our 20th anniversary in some fashion and I’m proud to be able to bring five of Britain’s leading minds to one great weekend to give an all-round analysis of dressage.

“All of our presenters will bring their own style and beliefs to the sessions and these five will certainly get everyone thinking, whatever their role in dressage.  Our new early bird offer gives you the chance to save 10 per cent on ticket prices which is excellent news – but act quickly, as you only have until the Sunday of the Nationals to take advantage. We look forward to welcoming you to Hartpury for what promises to be a fantastic weekend.”


Lucy and Billy Spiral’s victory at nationals

West Sussex rider Lucy Townley and the Billy Stud’s Billy Spiral strode to victory in the Connolly’s Red Mills Senior Newcomers Masters on the fourth day at the British Showjumping National Championships 2018. 
Last to go in the jump-off and with qualification for Horse of the Year Show already in the bag, the pair put on a confident, dominant display to take top honours.
“Before I went in for the jump-off I thought the time set by the other riders was not overly quick. I had already qualified for HOYS and everyone else was being cautious trying to gain the qualification, so I thought she is so careful and quick that I wouldn’t have to go too much more and I might just be able to get it.”

Lucy Townley and Billy Spiral


Lucy and Billy Spiral secured qualification for Horse of the Year Show earlier in the year after finishing second in the Connolly’s Red Mills Senior Newcomers Masters second round in Wellington.
Lucy attributed the success of six-year-old Billy Spiral to the team work of all those at the Billy Stud saying:  “It is a real team effort.” 
After establishing the partnering at the end of last year, the two competed in Spain on the sunshine tour.
Lucy said: “After competing in the sunshine tour you could see a real difference with Spiral, especially compared with my other six-year-olds who are quite green, she just seems to have come into her own. 
“We have had an incredible season and she jumps anything – making it very easy for me!  I was lucky to win with her today, but the success is as a result of the whole team’s effort.”
Connolly’s Red Mills is an Irish family owned company, providing precision nutrition for a wide range of equine needs. The company was established in 1908 in Co. Kilkenny, and today, exports to over 50 countries worldwide. 
For people who value their horses as high performers,  their products have been the automatic choice for more than 100 years for results in terms of equine nutrition, health, well-being and performance. Some of the most successful high-performance sport horses in the world have been fed on them and the company has launched a new Sport Horse range of feeds.

Sussex winners at RDA carriage driving show

Carriage Drivers from across the Riding for the Disabled’s South East Region were out in force recently at their annual show at Felbridge Show Ground, East Grinstead.

The show drew competitors from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, who went head to head in the three disciplines of dressage, driving through a course of cones and showing. 

The day started with John Tierney from East Park RDA (Newchapel, West Sussex) winning the Condition and Turnout with Slatyford Spartan, while Norman Watson from Happy Landings (Nr Horsham, West Sussex) won the Assisted Whip Class driving Misty.

Norman Watson of Happy Landings needs a hard right turn from Eddie in the Cones

Lisa Disborough from Stella Hancock Group (Worpleston, Surrey) was brought in first for the Novice Whip driving Maisie and the showing classes ended with the Open which was won by Tracey Spencer from Heron’s Ghyll (Whitesmith, East Sussex) driving Nutmeg.

Prizes for the Showing were presented by Bert Wiegman, Master Wheelwright of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights who were the day’s sponsors. 

“As Wheelwrights we are really pleased to be able to put our charitable funds to good use in providing a bit more mobility – and carriage driving definitely gives a freedom to these drivers who might not always feel it” he said.

“Today has been very humbling and I’ve been so impressed by what these competitors have been able to achieve!”

In the dressage, Maria Wilkinson driving Murphy from Stella Hancock won the Novice while the Open went to Amanda Hardy fresh from her second place at the Nationals driving Flash from Happy Landings.

Dressage competition winner, Amanda Hardy from Happy Landings, receives her first prize from competition organiser Carol Porter (right) and Lindsay Correa (Chairman, RDA South East) centre.

It was the boys’ turn for success in the cones with Greg Cooper of Heron’s Ghyll winning the Novice driving Lottie and Trevor Edwards of Happy Landings pipping everyone to the post in the Open driving Eddie.

Stella Hancock Group won the shield for the group winning the most points throughout the day.

“My thanks have to go to the wonderful work of the teams behind the competitors, who are tireless in their time and support as well as our sponsors, The Worshipful Society of Wheelwrights” said the Show’s organiser, Miranda Purves.

The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights is active in the support and development of the wheelwright’s craft and a list of practising wheelwrights in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is available.

As a founding member of the City & Guilds of London Institute, the Company has for more than a century been involved in the training of apprentices.

Carriage Driving in the RDA celebrated its 40 anniversary this year, having been offered first at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst when donkeys were used.  Competitors ride with an RDA Whip as an instructor, who has to pass rigorous and vigorous assessments to be qualified, as do the ponies and horses.

RDA Championship’s record numbers

A record number of disabled horse riders and carriage drivers from the South East Region qualified for the Riding for the Disabled National Championships. A total of 27 competitors representing 12 different groups from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent took on more than 500 other competitors from around the UK – and nearly all (20) were placed in the top 10 of their class.
This is such a fantastic achievement” said Lindsay Correa, Chairman of the South East Region, “particularly as some competitors even had to borrow horses from other groups as last-minute problems meant they had no mount!”
Of particular note was Felicity Julian from Epsom RDA who rode Mini Milton to first place in her dressage class– an exceptional feat as her normal pony became unavailable – and Hannagh Mogan of Quest RDA, Chobham who rode Willow Fury’s Comet to second place in the Dressage Freestyle.

Sandra Spinner of Cherry Park makes a tight turn driving Rushmoor Jimmy in the cones with her RDA Coach, Gemma Casburn

The Carriage Drivers also came back with a brace of second places, with Sandra Spinner, driving Rushmoor Jimmy of Cherry Park RDA, Chichester in the Novice to second place, and Amanda Hardy driving Daintree Princess from Happy Landings, Billingshurst to be runner-up in the Intermediate.
The team of five young riders from East Park RDA all managed to get in the top six in their Countryside Challenge classes – Orla Wynne in third, Evie-Mae Dobbe fourth, Jasmine Musgrove  fifth, Zoe Beer and Darcy Brown sixth, while Sandhurst RDA won the Arts & Crafts sculptor class.
The three-day event Championship event is the biggest of its kind in the world and features dressage, carriage driving, showing, vaulting, showjumping and RDA’s own event, the Countryside Challenge. Highlights of this year’s event included the first endurance ride(where Joe Roud of Fairlight Hall RDA, Hastings was the first ever competitor), the introduction of Dressage Pairs and the first entry by an elephant (in the costume dressage freestyle to music!).
The Championships, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, began as a dressage competition and now boasts seven main disciplines as well as Arts & Crafts, Best Turned Out and Horsecare & Knowledge.
Championships Chairman Anne Coney said: “This year’s Championships attracted more visitors than ever to witness the fantastic achievements of over 500 riders.  Volunteers from all over the country make this event happen and it is a privilege for me to be the Chairman.  The hot weather did not deter the enthusiasm – and the big smiles from the competitors and their supporters.”
Twenty seven competitors representing 12 different groups from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent took on more than 500 other competitors from around the UK – and 20 of them were placed in the top 10 of their class.
“This is such a fantastic achievement” said Lindsay Correa, Chairman of the South East Region, “particularly as some competitors even had to borrow horses from other groups as last-minute problems meant they had no mount!”