SOS for new RDA premises

Two Riding for Disabled groups based at a yard in Albourne, West Sussex, have been told they have to leave because the premises will be closing in the next six weeks.

One of the groups, Court Meadow RDA, had only moved to the yard last summer and thought its future would be secure there. Both groups do outstanding work with members of their groups. Their work is vital at a time when there is growing demand for equine therapy of this kind.

Plenty of rosettes awarded at  a special day for Court Meadow RDA at the premises

The second group there is the South Downs RDA group-one of the longest established groups in the country and totally reliant on its volunteers who are the backbone of its team. It is also a completely self-financing charity and therefore has to constantly work hard at raising funds.

Now the two groups desperately need to find new premises so they can continue with their vital work, bringing the therapy of riding to benefit the lives of disabled people.

Anyone who can help provide alternative accommodation for these RDA groups, which do so much to make riding available to disabled people, is asked to contact  Carolyn Heitman at: carolynheitman@aol.com

A spokesperson  for the South Downs RDA group said: “We currently operate on Wednesday mornings only now, having reduced our hours when we moved in June. We cater for children and adults, but predominantly children who come from a school in Hove.
“Having been in the Horsham area for many years this is where the majority of our volunteers are based, so we are looking for somewhere in between.
“We have contacted all the riding schools within a reasonable distance and are visiting some next week. Unfortunately, none of these have indoor schools, but of course this is better than nothing. It is much harder to find any private facilities that may exist, so currently just going by word of mouth locally on that.”

 

Horse lovers create mosaic for war horses

Working horse and donkey charity Brooke has released a photo mosaic of war horses, made up of 200 photos taken by horse lovers around the UK.

Released in time for the anniversary of when Britain entered the First World War last month, the photos within the mosaic are from riders taking part in Brooke’s MyHackathon challenge to ride 100 miles in 100 days to raise £100.

Brooke’s World War 1 mosaic
Photo courtesy The Brooke

 

This event was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, Brooke launched Hack to Remember day, where riders were encouraged to all go out and hack in memory of horses of the past.

The images, which were shared on Brooke’s Facebook group, make up a larger image depicting WW1 horses transporting munitions at the Western Front.

Between 1914 and 1918, eight million horses, donkeys and mules lost their lives on all sides during WW1, not only from fierce shellfire and gas attacks but also from the extreme conditions they had to endure.

Need to improve conditions for these donkeys Photo: The Brooke

Unfortunately, such conditions are still a reality for many of these animals today, with more than 100 million equines supporting the world’s poorest people. Brooke works with owners, communities and local governments, to make long lasting improvements to their welfare, and support their owners.

Brooke’s year-long campaign, Every Horse Remembered, marks 100 years since the end of WW1 and highlights the heroic struggle of working horses, donkeys and mules of then and now. The charity wants to raise £1 million to honour the millions of animals lost, and save millions now and in the future. To learn more, get your commemorative pin badge and sign up to MyHackathon, go to thebrooke.org/everyhorse.

MyHackathon, now in its second year, has garnered support from equestrians including Charlotte Dujardin and Richard Waygood. There are eight saddle pads signed by Charlotte Dujardin for hackers that will raise more than £1000 October 31. Go to thebrooke.org/myhackathon for more information.

1.10m National Amateur second rounds

Chard Equestrian Centre in Crewkerne, Somerset produced worthy winners at the weekend as riders contended the Dodson & Horrell 95cm and 1.10m Second Rounds in the hope of qualifying for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Championships at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool on 13 – 18 November 2018.

Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round

Hannah Tiley from Horsham, West Sussex clinched victory in the Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round with a speedy round on her own Amaryllis III.

Hannah Tiley jumping to victory. Photo:Rob Bayes Photography

Only six competitors managed to jump clear over the 12-fence track. No-one could match Hannah’s efforts on Amaryllis III with the 10-year-old bay mare answering every question to win with 4.41 seconds in hand.

The Chard Equestrian Centre – Sunday October 14 2018 

Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round Results

1 Hannah Tiley &Amaryllis III – 0/0 – 31.06 seconds

2 Susan Jarman & Billy Jive – 0/0 – 36.62 seconds

3 Kathryn Thomas & Zorba IV – 0/4 – 32.80 seconds

4 Kevin Whiting & Ippolito Figlio Di Bentley– 0/8 – 36.28 seconds

5 Sophie Fuller & Infinaty – 0/8 – 48.50 seconds

Moorcroft Raceday was outstanding success

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre celebrated another outstanding fundraising day at Plumpton racecourse this week, when a record number of 384 people  attended its 19th charity lunch and auction in the trackside marquee.

Chairman of trustees Tim Fox announced that all races had been sponsored early, with Hunters Estate Agents and Coral stepping in to support two remaining races.

Moorcroft chairman Tim Fox

He added: ” The silent auction has attracted 45 items this year and 12 impressive items will be put under the hammer

The auction saw racing personality Mike Cattermole put these main lots under the hammer to raise what is expected to be a significant sum, and possibly a record amount, for this very worthy cause.

Some individual items which were sold included: A private tour of Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket with an afternoon’s racing and hospitality at Rowley Mile Racecourse at the  Craven meeting; A Brighton and Hove Albion package with a signed shirt, two tickets to watch Brighton v Manchester City at the Amex; a portrait of a favourite dog or horse by artist Judy Goodman; a Holiday for Two in Spain for five days at a hacienda, including five days of riding; A day at Goodwood Racecourse in a private box;  A night to remember at the Goring Hotel.

Auctioneer Mike Cattermole in action

Other lots were a morning on the gallops with trainer Paul Nicholls and an overnight stay at the Manor House Inn, Dicheat; a tour of Bluebell Vineyard  for 10 people followed by a three course lunch with wine; a tour of Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary, owner by John Magnier;  a private hospitality box at Newmarket Racecourse with 12 badges and car parking and finally a Day Behind the Scenes with Brough Scott MBE at ITV racing for two people.

The star prize for this year’s £10 draw was an overnight stay at Buxted Park Hotel with a  three-course dinner and breakfast for two people.

A presentation was also made by Moorcroft chairman Tim Fox to Alison Blake of Plumpton Racecourse for her expert organisation of this important raceday.

The event plays a vital part in helping to fund the retraining of ex-racehorses at this outstanding centre of Moorcroft at Slinfold, under the expertise of manager Mary Frances. The centre’s retraining programme enables horses retrained there to go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives outside racing.

A retrained ex-racehorse at Moorcroft Photo: Jeannie Knight

The raceday itself opened with the traditional pony race, which attracted  enthusiastic competitors.

Shetland pony racing on Moorcroft Day at Plumpton Photo: Jeannie Knight

Feature race of the day was the running of the Josh Gifford Memorial Trophy, marking the achievements of Findon trainer the late Josh Gifford, who died in 2012. As a jockey he rode 68 winners at Plumpton between 1960 and 1970 and went on to train 112 winners at the track.

The next Plumpton meeting is on Monday November 5. Gates Open: 11:30pm with the first race at 1.30pm and the last at 4pm.

Fast-growing sport of horse boarding

A new and fast-growing equestrian sport in Britain is horseboarding- and one West Sussex person who is actively involved is Emma Grainger of Bognor Regis.

Emma has always been involved with horses. She was a former stable girl for the late racehorse trainer John Dunlop at Castle Stables, Arundel, and went on to compete successfully in dressage and showing classes with one of his ex-racehorses, Swingkeel.

Winning performance by Swingkeel and Emma Grainger

Today she is one of the growing number of competitive and successful horseboarding enthusiasts, having started in the sport just over a year ago as a rider. Now she is a member of a new all-girls team, Rough and Tumble, as well as still riding in the Elites for another team riding an ex-racehorse.

Emma said:”Horseboarding is a growing extreme sport and we want it to get bigger. I started in the sport just over a year ago as a rider and have now started to board with our new all-girls team, Rough and Tumble.

“I am also still riding in the Elites for another team riding an ex-racehorse. The sport is now fast growing and becoming more popular every year. It requires a team of three elements- a horse rider, a horse and a boarder, who all have to work as one to complete a course of tight turns, chichanes, weaves and speedy straights against the clock.

“There are three categories- novice, intermediates and elites. Speeds of up to 30mph have been recorded by the team of Just Wing It. I first saw horseboarding at Burghley House in 2017 and just knew instantly, being a horse racing girl that this was something I wanted to be involved in.

“The team of The Black Dakotas was formed and we went to our first competition at Cheshire show ground in 2017 and took home first place in the novice.

“We went on to storm through the categories with back to back wins taking us up into the elites. We were very fortunate to have an elite boarder Ryan Roberts behind us making out job a lot easier.

“Then came the sad loss of my horse Zeeba, so I decided it was time to give the boarding a go myself and together with Ellie Higginson and her New Forest Pony Jester, we put together the team, Rough and Tumble and competed at our first competition at Sandringham estate at the beginning of September at Cheshire show ground in 2017.

Emma Grainger horse boarding behind the rider
Photo: Susan Scott

“Being an all girls team we couldn’t have been more pleased with how well the team did over the course of the weekend and to our surprise we took first place.

“I have also been lucky enough to have been given the ride on Anglo Paddy (formerly trained by Neil Mulhullond) for the Elite team of Limited Edition with the fast progressing boarder Lloyd Crabb, Limited Edition also hold the fastest horseboarding uk land speed record of 31mph which was held at Beverley racecourse on the Bullet race day meeting.

“It really is an exciting adrenaline fuelled sport, with great sportsmanship and friendly atmosphere. If anyone is looking for something new and exiting to do then this is it.”

Horse boarding at Sandringham Show: Photo: John Simpson

Horseboarding was born in 2004, when, unaware of the far-reaching effect this seemingly routine event was to have on his life, Daniel Fowler-Prime went to train some horses for a friend, Tom Kilrow, in Cornwall.

One evening after a long day of training they decided to tie a mountainboard behind a car. Then the idea of towing a board behind a horse was raised with success. In 2004, they achieved what was thought to be the first ever mountainboard to be towed behind a horse.

Tom had tied a rope to the back of a car driven by his sister, and climbed on to a mountain board and raced round the field. It did not end there and developed into tying the rope to the door frame of the car and later to tying it to the back of a motorbike.

Then Dan had the idea of tying the board to a horse. But plenty of questions had to be addressed, ranging from how the horse would react, where would the rope be attached, and would it be safe for everyone concerned.

Rough and Tumble ridden by Ellie Higginson, Emma Grainger boarding Photo :Kirsty Batteate

It is believed that this was the first time ever that a mountain board was attached to a horse- and that horse, Rohan, is now a legend.  For the first experiments were successful with Rohan towing a boarder at a good pace around the field.
Dan was already working professionally as a stunt rider, and his brother, Tom, started playing further with the idea, trying to find a use, or application for this new skill they were learning.
During one of these experimental sessions Dan started playing with the idea of boarding behind the horse which had no rider itself, nor was there any direct control of the horse. They soon realised they needed to wear protective padding and they also started working on the art of getting the horse to run in a straight line without a rider on  its back, while towing someone on a board.
From this developed the idea of being ‘loose-towed’ on a surfboard along the beach and then vaulting in the saddle. Then came the idea of towing someone on a surfboard behind a horse.
The manager was not willing to lend one from the shop, but offered the loan of his own personal board. Always one to push a situation one step further, Dan replied “What I would really like to do is to tow someone on a surfboard behind a horse.”
After discussion, it was agreed that the shop manager, Matt Smith, would be on the beach for the shoot, with mountain board and kite board to try out horseboarding and the still untested ” horsesurfing”.
That photo shoot triggered them to fame, with the pictures shown all over the world.
The shoot was a complete success, shown left. Dan got all the photos he could have wanted. The press picked up only on the horsesurfing shots but by the end of that year those photos of “these crazy guys in England” had been seen all over the world.
In the following year, 2006, the first ever Horse Surfing competition was held in La Baul, in France,

Over this year and the following years,the sports of horse boarding and horse surfing continued to develop. Dan perfected the loose tow on the mountain board, and performed it with a kite board for the Extreme Sports Channel 2007.  In 2008 Dan organised the first horseboarding / horsesurfing competition at the Skegness.

2012 saw the third National Horseboarding Championship, sponsored by 8th Day UK, with seven events and a total of £1000 prize money. The championship was won by team Dead Pigeon. (Rohan having been retired at the end of the previous season, aged 19).
 With the popularity of the sport growing rapidly,  in 2013 Dan and his brother Tom Kilroy formed a dedicated organisation to develop the sport and take it forward under Horse Boarding UK. Under this banner, it has flourished and grown with enthusiasts  in West Sussex and across the country enjoying this exhilarating sport.

Badminton sponsorship to cease after 2019

After a record-breaking twenty eight years as title sponsor of the Badminton Horse Trials, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has decided to withdraw after the 2019 Event.

Badminton is recognised as one of the world’s greatest sporting contests. Mitsubishi Motors has played an enormous role in maintaining the prestige of this ultimate test of all round horsemanship.

Plenty of action is ensured at Badminton each year Photo: John Simpson

Badminton celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019 and recently has had year-on-year record attendances with 185,000 spectators during this year’s competition.

Said event director Hugh Thomas, “It is always sad when a very successful partnership comes to an end, and especially when over the years event and sponsor have developed a genuine friendship, however when one door closes another one opens and it will be exciting to see where that leads.”

Rob Lindley, Managing Director at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK commented “We have had an outstanding collaboration with the Badminton Horse Trials and it has played an important part in raising the profile of our brand and our vehicles over the years. Badminton 2019 will be as prestigious as ever and we wish the event the greatest success for the future.”

This departure from sponsoring the key event now leaves the door open for other major companies to step into the breach and apply to take over this key sponsorship role.

British Eventing appoints marketing agent

British Eventing has announced the appointment of London based agency, The Sports Consultancy as a rights marketing agent to support in the sale of sponsorship rights for the governing body of eventing in the UK.

The UK is the largest market globally for international eventing events and world ranked riders as demonstrated through strong participation numbers, large event attendance with over one million people attend eventing events in the UK annually and British Eventing’s 120 strong medal haul in international competition since 2000.

The Sports Consultancy’s rights marketing team, under the overall leadership of Marc Hope, brings a wealth of equestrian experience having represented and secured partnerships for the FEI in recent years.

 

David Holmes CEO of British Eventing

More widely the business has firmly established itself as a rights marketing specialist in Major Events and Olympic and Commonwealth sports having also represented and secured numerous agreements for the IAAF World Championships London 2017, World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018, British Athletics, European Indoor Athletics Championships Glasgow 2019, Team Scotland and Volvo Ocean Race alongside other premium sport and entertainment properties.

“We’re pleased to be working with The Sports Consultancy to maximise British Eventing’s opportunities to bring new revenue into the sport” commented David Holmes, CEO of British Eventing. Our commercial strategy has seen a huge amount of work to reposition and define British Eventing’s offer, now bolstered by our recent double gold medal success at the World Equestrian Games, so it’s great to see it all being put into action”.

Commenting on the appointment, The Sports Consultancy’s head of equestrian sales, Anais Bernier said: “We are proud to be representing British Eventing, it is the ultimate equestrian test for a horse and rider combination and is followed by a very defined demographic that we know is of interest to many commercial partners.

With our strong contacts in the equestrian sector and deep understanding of which brands are suited, we are confident we can help secure strong corporate partners.”

From little acorns…..

In our monthly equine veterinary feature Dr Sarah Davidson BVMS MRCVS Assistant Vet at Sussex Equine Hospital outlines the problems of acorns, oak leaves and oak  bark which are poisonous for equines.

Sarah Davidson, Veterinary Associate, Sussex Equine Hospital

They are  everywhere at this time of year and a sure-fire sign that it is Autumn. Unfortunately, though, they are frequently left off the list of things that can cause harm to your horse.

Acorns, oak leaves and oak bark as well, are poisonous to horses although the toxic level is not actually known. This is because, as well as individual horse tolerance, the toxin levels vary greatly depending on season and from one year to the next. A horse that eats a few acorns will most likely be fine but those that prefer to crunch through acres of acorns instead of grass may be in trouble.

The cause of the symptoms is tannic acid in the oak being absorbed into a horse’s tissues throughout the body which drives out the normal intracellular fluid. This, in turn, results in kidney damage and intestinal damage which may or may not be reversible.

If a horse has plenty of other things to eat, it will usually shun acorns because they are in fact bitter to the taste. However, some horses will choose to eat acorns purely because they are on the ground and regardless of other options. This first sign that a problem may be brewing is a horse that is ‘just a bit quiet’. This then progresses over the following 24-48 hours to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood in urine/more frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Colic
  • Diarrhoea +/- blood
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Filling of the legs below the knee/hock

More serious clinical signs are rare and usually seen after longer periods of acorn ingestion or initial clinical signs going unnoticed. These include:

  • Weight loss/emaciation
  • Slow/irregular heart beat
  • A down horse
  • Poor hair coat
  • Ammonia smell from the mouth

If you suspect that your horse has any of these signs you should call your vet immediately. The vet will most likely take blood for assessment as well as perform a full clinical examination. Specific diagnosis of acorn poisoning can be tricky, but treatment is largely symptomatic with varying success depending on how much damage has been done.

First and foremost, fluids will be delivered to combat the dehydration, support the kidneys and in severe cases support the circulatory system and attempt to prevent shock. Other treatments include pain relief and intestinal support to help with diarrhoea and/or the passage of any acorns that may remain in the digestive system.

In summary, acorn poisoning is rarely seen in practice but can have severe consequences and even be fatal. As with all things, prevention is better than cure and sectioning off areas of the field that have overhanging oak trees before the autumn months is the best way to prevent your horse from becoming unwell.

 

BHS clinics attended by more than 1,000 horses

The British Horse Society (BHS) reveals it has reached more than 1000 horses at its mobile Healthcare and Education clinics. This milestone achievement was reached on the launch day of its new SEIB Healthcare vehicle.

The UK is in the midst of a horse over-population crisis, with too many horses and not enough knowledgeable owners to look after them, resulting in an increase in the number of cases of abandonment and neglect.  The proactive Healthcare and Education clinics are in place to provide education, support and advice to owners, helping to stop this continual cycle and prevent horses from getting to the point of needing to be rescued.

A horse being examined at a BHS Clinic health day Photo: British Horse Society

The clinic was held in Castleford, West Yorkshire on Wednesday October 17 where a total of 69 horses were in attendance. All the veterinary support was provided by British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) members who had volunteered their time via the BEVA Trust.

The Healthcare and Education clinics offer services such as castration, worming, foot care, dental checks, passporting and micro-chipping and provide a wealth of information and advice to those who may not have regular access to healthcare for their horses.

The BHS also proudly launched its new Healthcare vehicle at the clinic following receipt of a generous £50,000 grant from South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB).

The BHS was one of eight charities invited to submit detailed proposals for the grant which were then voted for by SEIB customers.

The new vehicle will be hugely beneficial to the Healthcare and Educations clinics, providing equipment such as gas rings to heat water for castration, a mini-awing to provide shelter and plenty of secure storage for the vast amount of equipment required. It will also ensure horses can be transported safely to and from the clinics or to veterinary hospitals if required.

 Director of Welfare for the BHS, Gemma Stanford said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to not only SEIB for their incredibly generous grant but also to all those who voted for our proposal. The BHS’ aim is to improve welfare through education – we don’t rescue horses. Through our Healthcare and Educations clinics and day to day work we aim to break the cycle and stop horses needing to be rescued. The new vehicle will pay a significant role in achieving this goal.”

 Marketing Manager for SEIB, Nicolina Mackenzie said: “It was great to attend the inaugural trip for the BHS Welfare vehicle purchased by SEIB Giving and witness, in person, its contribution to horse welfare and education within the wider equestrian community. SEIB Insurance Brokers are proud to be to be part of this initiative and wish the BHS many years of sustained activity with this super new vehicle.”

The clinic was run with support from a large team of equine vets volunteering via The British Equine Veterinary Association Trust. Further support was provided by Zoetis who provided all the wormers, BHS Welfare Officers, Bransby, Blue Cross, HAPPA, The Donkey Sanctuary, RSPCA, Wakefield Council, World Horse Welfare and Well Equine69 horses attended in total for a combination of different healthcare provisions, 30 horses were castrated and 58 were passported and microchipped.

Since its launch in 2015, the Education and Healthcare clinics have been visited by 1017 horses, 483 of which have been castrated. The clinics have also been supported by Redwings, SSPCA, TGCA, CHAPS, Safe4, HAPPA, Horseweigh, Baileys, Horsewatch, Police, Local Authorities, The Equine Register and many veterinary practices throughout the UK who have helped with aftercare and emergency on-call provisions.

 

UK remembers war horses

Working horse and donkey charity Brooke has released a photo mosaic of war horses, made up of 200 photos taken by horse lovers around the UK.

Released in time for 4 August, the anniversary of when Britain entered the First World War, the photos within the mosaic are from riders taking part in Brooke’s MyHackathon challenge to ride 100 miles in 100 days to raise £100. Last month, to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July, Brooke launched Hack to Remember day, where riders were encouraged to all go out and hack in memory of horses of the past.

The images, which were shared on Brooke’s Facebook group, make up a larger image depicting WW1 horses transporting munitions at the Western Front.

Brooke World War I mosaic
Photo: Brooke Charity

Between 1914 and 1918, eight million horses, donkeys and mules lost their lives on all sides during WW1, not only from fierce shellfire and gas attacks but also from the extreme conditions they had to endure. Unfortunately, such conditions are still a reality for many of these animals today, with over 100 million equines supporting the world’s poorest people. Brooke works with owners, communities and local governments, to make long lasting improvements to their welfare, and support their owners.

Brooke’s yearlong campaign, Every Horse Remembered, marks 100 years since the end of WW1 and highlights the heroic struggle of working horses, donkeys and mules of then and now. The charity wants to raise £1 million to honour the millions of animals lost, and save millions now and in the future. To learn more, get your commemorative pin badge and sign up to MyHackathon, go to thebrooke.org/everyhorse.

MyHackathon, now in its second year, has garnered support from equestrians including Charlotte Dujardin and Richard Waygood. There are eight saddle pads signed by Charlotte Dujardin for hackers that raise over £1000 by 31 October. Go to thebrooke.org/myhackathon for more information.