Cowdray polo TV highlights

A 35 minute programme of edited highlights of the Quarter, Semi Finals and the Final of the 2018 King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship is now available to view on

Widely considered one of the most thrilling British Open Championship Finals ever, all matches in the 2018 tournament were filmed exclusively by PoloCam TV who have been videoing polo at Cowdray Park for thirteen years.

Charlie Hanbury and Jon Rudkin with the Polo Gold Cup Aloft. Photo: Clive Bennett Clive Bennett,
Clive Bennett,

Its polo archive is now larger than any other polo video company in the world.

During the winter PoloCam will be adding content to the portal to keep alive the enthusiasm shown by viewers of for year-round exciting polo footage.

Newbridge College wins Hickstead’s school event

A team from County Kildare was dominant at this year’s Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships at Hickstead.

Having been second for the past two years, the team from Newbridge College was delighted to take the Senior Schools team and individual titles at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Finals at Hickstead this month.

Team from Newbridge College, Ireland, winners of Hickstead’s senior schools’ event Photo: Julian Portch

The annual team competition ended up in a jump-off between the three teams who had all posted three clears in the first round – Newbridge College, eventual runners up Dean Close School and Millfield School Red.

A fast clear round from Newbridge College’s Caragh Sweeney (16) and Kippure Steepleview Jack secured team honours, while her team mate Max Ross (14) took the individual prize. In second individually was Kings of Wessex school pupil Kathryn Thomas and Zorba IV, who were also part of the winning Pony Club Team.

“This is one of the biggest competitions that we take part in so it’s great to win,” said Max, who was riding his 14.2hh showjumping mare Bally David Souz.

“It’s unbelievable to get the opportunity to compete at such a well-known prestigious venue as Hickstead,” said fellow Newbridge College team member Leah Heffernan, 15, who rode My Rockstown Two.

Fifteen-year-old Niamh Flinter and her mare Classie Lass were taking part in this team competition for the first time. “I couldn’t help but smile when I was competing in this arena. I had a feeling we might win as we have a great team,” she said.

The Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships were first held in 1964. Since then thousands of young riders have come to Hickstead each summer, each hoping to qualify to jump on the hallowed turf of the world-famous International Arena.

Many top international riders have competed in the Hickstead Schools Championships, including Pippa Funnell and Robert Whitaker. The Duchess of York, supermodel Jodie Kidd and BBC presenter Clare Balding all had an early experience of showjumping at this annual fixture.

SE Region RDA members excel in national qualifier

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.

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.

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

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.

Amanda Hardy of Happy Landings RDA shares a joke with Trish Lebus                                         Photo:Joanna Sale

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!”

Hickstead dedication by James Wells rewarded

James Wells, a member of groundstaff at Hickstead, has been rewarded for 16 years of dedication at Hickstead.

He has been awarded this year’s Dorian Williams Trophy, which is presented annually to someone who has made a special contribution to the running of Hickstead’s events.

James started helping out at Hickstead at the age of 12, first of all lending a hand during school holidays, and became a full-time member of staff after he finished school.

James Wells receiving his award in the rain at Hickstead

Now 28, James is an integral member of the team, and has worked exceptionally hard in the run up to the shows.

“He is always the first to volunteer to put in extra hours when needed, there isn’t a machine on the showground that he can’t operate, and he is quite rightly proud of his beautifully mown turf with perfectly straight stripes,” said Hickstead Director Edward Bunn.

“Despite being born with disabilities, it has never affected his ability to do his job. He is hard working, wonderfully capable and dedicated to his career.  He is Hickstead through and through.”

The Dorian Williams Trophy is presented annually to someone who has made a special contribution to the running of Hickstead’s events.

The Bunn Family also gave a special thank you to the entire ground crew, who worked tirelessly to ensure perfect going in all the arenas despite the hot, dry summer.

The Horse Health Horsemastership Trophy was awarded to Maria-Chiara de Crescenzo, the groom of Belgian rider Francois Mathy Jr, while the Hickstead gold medal for the best performance throughout the season was presented to Al Shira’aa Derby winner William Funnell.

New law says all horses must have microchip

A new law requiring horse owners to microchip their animals has been introduced recently to prevent abuse and improve welfare.

Earlier this year RSCPA released figures that showed that they rescued around 1,000 horses in 2017, to highlight the issue of horses being fly-tipped or dumped, often in horrific conditions.

From October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys. The new Central Equine Database will then allow local authorities and police to track down the owners of dumped horses and make sure they are punished and the animals are given the care they deserve. It will also mean lost or stolen horses will be reunited with their owners more easily.

Lord Gardiner, Animal Welfare Minister, said: “The government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare and it is completely unacceptable that hundreds of horses and ponies are left abandoned every year by irresponsible owners.

Is your horse microchipped?
Photo: Jeannie Knight

“That is why we have today laid new regulations in Parliament requiring horses to be microchipped. This will bolster the ability of local authorities and police to identify abandoned animals, ensuring these beautiful creatures receive the care they deserve and that those who mistreat them will face the consequences.”

The Central Equine Database logs all domesticated horses, including those required to be microchipped by October 2020. This will offer a practical solution to the pressing animal welfare issues which arise when horses are abandoned, making it easier to rehome the animals more quickly and effectively and has been welcomed by charities such as the RSPCA.

The government is working closely with vets and the British Horse Council to highlight the change in regulations, explaining that horse owners have until October 2020 to make sure that all horses are microchipped. This extra time will allow horse owners to combine microchipping with a routine visit to, or from, their vet with the procedure costing around £25-30.

RSPCA Assistant Director of External Affairs, David Bowles said: “We are delighted regulations to ensure horses of all ages should be microchipped are set to become a reality.

“The RSPCA rescued almost 1,000 horses last year (2017), and a huge majority were not microchipped making it virtually impossible to trace the owners. Heartbreakingly our inspectors are frequently faced with horses which have been dumped whilst very sick, dying, or sometimes even dead.

“We believe this extension of the current rules on compulsory microchipping will go some way to help find those irresponsible owners that abandon their horses as well as helping owners be reunited with their animals that have been stolen.”

If horse owners do not microchip their horses by October 2020 they could face sanctions from their local authority including a compliance notice and, as a last resort, a fine of up to £200.

Jeanette Allen, chair of The British Horse Council, said: “This new legislation has the full support of the British Horse Council. We have been working closely with Defra and this achieves the important step of requiring all equine animals to have a microchip.

“This is a huge advance for the UK’s horses, ponies and donkeys. It will not only enable irresponsible owners to be held properly accountable for the treatment of their animal, it will also aid in reuniting owners with lost or stolen horses and significantly supports the UK’s efforts to protect our equines from disease outbreaks.”

The regulations for this database were laid in Parliament recently and, subject to parliamentary approval, will come into force on 1 October 2018. They are similar in nature to the legislation which requires all dogs to be microchipped.

Sussex company’s new equestrian gate lock

Sussex -based Zedlock has launched an all-new gate lock designed for agricultural and equestrian gates. Featuring a high quality European-made lock system and solid stainlesss steel sliding bolt with 70mm of movement, a Zedlock is a highly secure alternative to a padlock and chain.

The original Zedlock, launched in 2011, is in use on farms and estates throughout the UK.  The new range carries over the high security design and ease-of-use, now with a more advanced yet durable key system.

The Zedlock is easily fitted to the majority of metal field gates and replaces the springbolt. The Zedlock’s sliding bolt runs freely whilst it is unlocked; simply turn the key when the Zedlock is in the ‘closed’ position to lock the gate.

A Zedlock provides increased security

The replaceable Euro Cylinder key system is available in two specifications and also available keyed-alike throughout the range. Alternatively, Zedlocks can be supplied ‘bare’ – ideal for customers who already use the Euro Cylinder system on their premises as part of their keyed-alike or master key system.

Fitting a Zedlock is a DIY task which takes around fifteen minutes. Included in the kit is a template and large hole cutter.  Basic tools and a power drill and 3 and 13mm drill bits are all that is required. For those who prefer not to undertake fitting an approved installer can be contacted via the Zedlock website. A range of accessories including the popular double gate Claw are also available.

The new Zedlock Agricultural range is available directly from the manufacturer and from selected distributors, with prices from just £58.34+VAT.  Zedlock also offers high security gate locks for wooden driveway gates and industrial environments.


Zedlock was incorporated in 2011 and is based in Petworth, West Sussex. Managing Director, Bruce Robertson, originally designed the Zedlock (Patent No. GB2489293) as a secure and practical alternative to a padlock and chain. Since its introduction, further models and a range of accessories have been developed to widen the application of the lock.

You can contact Zedlock Limited at Unit 5, Old Station Yard, Station Road, Petworth, GU28 0JF.  +44(0)1798 342251

Hickstead Schools’ Championship

More young riders than ever will have the chance to compete at Hickstead’s famous All England Jumping Course, due to the expansion of the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.

The annual show jumping competition, now run over two days instead of one, starts today August 1, with a number of new championship classes added to the schedule.

The Hickstead Elite NSEA Individual Championship will take place in the International Arena, while the Hickstead 1.00m NSEA Team Championship will run concurrently in ring 4, with the best six teams going forward to the final deciding round in the International Arena later in the day.

The first day of the show will also include a new 80-85cm Individual Championship, which will be an ideal supporting class for those riders competing on the Wednesday, plus it will act as the perfect warm-up for Thursday’s Finals.


Expect plenty of action in the Hickstead Schools event Photo: Julian Portch

The second day of this ‘Schools Festival’ will once again include finals for Junior Schools, Senior Schools and Branches of the Pony Club. However, there can now be up to 4 riders per team in both Schools Divisions, meaning teams will have a ‘drop’ score for the first time in the 55-year history of the competition. In addition, the Junior Schools class will now be held over a 90cm course, following a successful trial in 2017.

As usual, the teams must qualify in the outer rings with the top 10 going through to a final in the International Arena (eight in the Pony Club Final), home to famous classes such as the Al Shira’aa Derby, the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain.

“The Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships have been part of our annual fixture list since the 1960s, and past competitors have included Pippa Funnell, Jodie Kidd, Robert Whitaker and the Duchess of York,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

“We wanted to expand this popular event and give more young equestrians the chance to gain experience round our International Arena. We also hope the new classes will encourage more schools and Branches of the Pony Club from around the country to make the journey to Hickstead.”