RDA carriage driving event

Disabled carriage drivers from the Riding for the Disabled’s South East Region met at Sands Farm, Warnham recently in the annual qualifying competition for the RDA National Championship held in July 2019, writes Joanna Sale.

Drivers from across Surrey, Kent and Sussex went head-to-head in the three combined disciplines of dressage, cones and obstacles with only the competitors placed in the top four of the Novice class qualifying.

Equal 1st overall, Vivianne Carr of Heron’s Ghyll (left) and Sandra Spinner of Cherry Park, with Aarin Dellaney of sponsors Cowan Architects Photo: Joanna Sale

The Carriage Driving Groups represented included East Sussex’s Heron’s Ghyll (Whitesmith) and Kipling County (Chalvington), West Sussex’s Cherry Park (Chichester), Surrey’s Stella Hancock group (Worplesdon) and for the first time, Kent’s Bradbourne (Sevenoaks).

There was “edge-of-the seat” excitement with a number of dead heats in some of the placings including the top slot of Overall Winner and qualifier in the Novice Whip with Vianne Carr driving Lottie of Heron’s Ghyll and Sandra Spinner driving Jim of Cherry Park tying first place for a Sussex sweep. Also qualifying was Paula Stapeley of Stella Hancock (last year’s winner), Karen Tritton of Heron’s Ghyll and Christine David of Stella Hancock.

Katherine Brine from Stella Hancock receives 1st prize overall from Aaron Dellaway of sponsors Cowan Architects for the Assisted Whip.jpg

In the non-qualifying Assisted Whip class, newcomer Katherine Brine, driving Tooky from Stella Hancock was a decisive winner, beating Ellen Chapman of Cherry Park into second place.

Aaron Dellaway of Regional Sponsors, Cowan Architects, presented the awards. He was impressed by the speed and agility needed from the carriage drivers in the three disciplines. “This has been really inspirational to see the skill and dexterity required from these incredible drivers. I’ve been amazed today” he commented at the end of the day.

The Chairman of the RDA South East Region, Lindsay Correa gave thanks to the hard work of the team behind the scenes in putting the event together saying “I take a lot of pride in the events that we offer to our regional members and the team work hard to make them happen. We’re also very grateful to our wonderful judges led by Sara Howe, an internationally acclaimed carriage driver and Team GB member.”

Carriage Driving in the RDA celebrated its 40th anniversary a couple of years ago, having been offered since 1975 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.

Donations to support the work of the RDA can be made by its website: www.rda-southeastregion.org.uk



Hero Worship is third at HOYS

Abi Sole from Horsham took third place in the 2018 SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse title at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on October 3.

Ride judge, Kevin McGuinness said: “Hero Worship was a beautiful horse to ride. The people that spend the time producing these ex-racehorses so beautifully for the show ring should be very proud of themselves.” Joanna MacInnes judged the conformation of the finalists.

Abi has owned Hero Worship for 10 years now and this was first time they have qualified for HOYS. She said: “We came to HOYS with the highest of hopes and no expectations! It was a pretty amazing experience, coming down the chute into the arena it finally really felt like we had made it there.

“Once we got into the ring though I just looked straight ahead and really concentrated. Hero gave me the best ride of the season and absolutely floated along.” Hero Worship scored a brilliant 49 out of 50 from ride judge Kevin MacGuinness.

Hero Worship at HOYS
Photo courtesy of  Real Time Images

Hero Worship came to Abi from Darley Racehorse Rehoming. He is featuring in some promotional videos for Godolphin Lifetime Care. Jo Brisland who runs the rehoming scheme at Godolphin and Abi have stayed in touch since Hero came to Abi.

Abi said: “Having found out that Hero had qualified for HOYS, Jo got in touch to say that Godolphin were keen to feature him in some videos. Their cameraman Henry arrived the Monday before HOYS to film our last training session before coming to HOYS to film us in the actual class. The video will be a great extra memory of our day at HOYS.”

During his racing days, Hero Worship had three starts on the flat for trainer Michael Jarvis, winning twice. He earned just under £20,000 during his short but successful racing career.

Nicolina MacKenzie, Marketing Manager for SEIB said: “The Racehorse to Riding Horse class just keeps growing in both the numbers and standard of horses, year on year.

“When we set the series up our aim was to help give these wonderful thoroughbreds a chance at a second career. With the quality of their riding and training now, many of the thoroughbreds here today are also hacks for their owners, go hunting in the winter and take part in show-jumping and hunter trials.

“It is wonderful to see how beautiful and versatile they are and I am particularly looking forward to seeing our winner in the HOYS Supreme Championship.”

For more information please visit www.racehorse2ridinghorse.co.uk e

Riding Club’s success

West Sussex Riding Club (WSRC) is associated to British Riding Clubs and provides an ideal place for horse riders in the West Sussex area to further their training, compete regularly and enjoy their riding.

The Club has been established for a long time and has a variety of members from different backgrounds from single horse owners to professional riders.

WSRC offers many events throughout the year in all sorts of disciplines such as cross country, show jumping and dressage, as well as its annual show.

There are both senior and junior sections which can compete to qualify for the annual championships – from Club, Area and National levels.


Its popular Winter Dressage series has begun at Boxgrove and results on September 22 2018 were: Class 1-1a: 1 Di Collins and Rubie 67.17; 2 Tina Merritt and Regal Dancer 63.04;  3 Tabitha McCaskie and Hector 59.34; 4 Michelle Robinson and Spartacus 52.82. 1b 1, Anna Tuck and Rayning Diamond 60.43.

Class 2a- 1 Lexi Solaja and Dragonfly Six  66.84; 2 Sonya Smith and Village Beauty 62.10; 3 Chloe Fairston and The Dancing Dun 59.47; 4 Tabitha McCaskie and Hector  53.52 Michelle Robinson and Spartacus, 53.15.

Class 3- 1 Charlotte Tarrant and Silken Eve 3 68.27; 2 Amanda Bazley and Alfie Moon, 3 66.89; 3 Lexi Solaja and Dragonfly Six 3 63.79; 4 Sarah Parkes and Choc a Bloc 3 62.06.

Class 4/5- 1 Edna Petter and Harry 4&5 64.64; 2 Dawn Wattis and Bowerbrook Belle, 4&5 57.17.

Class 5 PYO- 1 Paula Broadhurst and Magyar Sotet Lovag  5 67.50; 2 Paula Broadhurst and Magyar Sotet Lovag, 5 65.97; 3 Carolyne Allen and Harristown Bear 5 62.50 3; 4 Elaine Whitcomb Trenwheel and Bonnie, 62.50. 5 Dawn Wattis and Bowerbrook Belle, 5 61.50; 6 Val Hall and Sway Molly Moon 5 59.32.


Bentley hoping for Qipco victory


 Pulborough-born jockey Harry Bentley is hoping his recent good form can lead to a dream win on Britain’s richest raceday, QIPCO British Champions Day, at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday.

Bentley enjoyed a tremendous treble at Newmarket Racecourse last Friday with wins on Limato, Rock Eagle and Queen Power – the latter two both being for trainer Ralph Beckett.

Bentley has a formidable relationship with Hampshire-based Beckett – 37 of his 62 wins this year have come for the trainer. He is set to ride two of Beckett’s QIPCO British Champions Day contenders this Saturday – Mount Moriah in the QIPCO Long Distance Cup and Mitchum Swagger in the Balmoral Handicap (sponsored by QIPCO).

Jockey Harry BentleyPhoto: Jeannie Knight

He will be looking to add to his five career wins at Ascot racecourse, but most notably his first ever victory on QIPCO British Champions Day – something that would be a dream come true for the 26 year-old jockey.

Speaking about QIPCO British Champions Day, Bentley said: “After a great day at Newmarket last Friday in front of the ITV cameras, it would be amazing to repeat that at QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday. It is a huge day of racing with some of the world’s best horses and jockeys in action, so to enjoy a win on the day really would be a dream come true.

“I’ve had a great link up with Ralph Beckett this season, and both Mount Moriah and Mitchum Swagger are horses I’ve ridden for him before – I was on Mount Moriah when he finished fourth in this race last year at 66/1. If we can all come up with the goods on Saturday, it will be something special.”

Speaking about both horses, trainer Beckett, said: “Mount Moriah had a problem after [Royal] Ascot with a splint and we had to give him some time off, but he’s been training well and we are in good shape. He ran really well last year and for a moment I thought he was going to put it up to them about two furlongs out. It was a good run as a three-year-old – he’s a year older now and hardier. He should run his race but he needs the rain.

“Mitchum Swagger was off for a long time after his good third in the Lincoln, the form of which is very strong, and he ran an OK race after a lay-off last time at Haydock. He has strong Ascot form, he was third in the Hunt Cup two years ago, and I hope we get him there.”

QIPCO British Champions Day marks the finale to the European Flat racing season where some of the finest horses and jockeys from around the world will be battling it out on the famous Ascot turf for a record-breaking £4.47million in prize money.

The day will feature an unrivalled British card comprising four Group 1s, a Group 2 and the richest mile handicap in Europe.

The only remaining tickets available are in the Queen Anne enclosure, so fans are urged to secure their tickets now to avoid disappointment. Prices start from £35 for adults and under 18s attend for free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets available via: britishchampionsday.co.uk


Goodwood’s final 2018 racing fixture

Goodwood Racecourse has hosted its final fixture of 2018 with the Harvest, Hops and Horseracing themed Season Finale attracting 9,430 racegoers at the weekend.

Before the NetBet.co.uk Alderbrook Stakes for professional jump jockeys, which was won by Nick Schofield aboard Jam Session, Goodwood’s Ron Atkins presented a cheque for more than £1,300 to the Injured Jockeys Fund, with money raised from the sale of ties through the season.

The most impressive performance of the afternoon undoubtedly came from Chairmanoftheboard, who won the NetBet EBF Novice Auction Stakes by eight lengths under Charlie Bishop.

Alderbrook Stakes Photo: Sam Stephenson

In a post-race interview with Racing UK, his trainer Mick Channon said he had not trained a horse as good since his 2003 Royal Ascot winner Zafeen. Jockeys Oisin Murphy and Adam Kirby both rode doubles on the day, while the biggest priced winner was The Pink’N, who sprang a 33-1 surprise in the NetBet British EBF Novice Stakes.

Despite the drizzle, guests enjoyed dancing to a fiddle trio on the East Parade Lawn, and many were fascinated to hear from Andy Hepworth about how he brews craft beers and ales, including Goodwood’s own new range.

Reflecting on the season, General Manager Alex Eade said; “It has been a fantastic year here at Goodwood and, for the most part, we were blessed with superb weather and a great atmosphere. The Qatar Goodwood Festival was one that will live long in the memory, with star performances from the likes of Battaash, Stradivarius and Lightning Spear.

“Outside of ‘Glorious’ the racing has been consistently competitive and the Season Finale was an example of that, with 75 runners compared with 57 last year. The improvements that we have made around the grandstands, including our fabulous new Champagne Bar, have all been extremely well received and we greatly look forward to making further improvements to the customer experience for 2019.”

The 2019 season at Goodwood Racecourse begins with Opening Saturday on May 4 and tickets have now gone on sale for this as well as other fixtures, including the Qatar Goodwood Festival. As a benefit to those who book before 30 November, Goodwood is offering all racegoers who book tickets for the Qatar Goodwood Festival the opportunity to receive a complimentary ticket to the first fixture of the year.

Three Friday nights tickets will be released early in 2019 when the acts are announced.

For the full list of 2019 fixtures and to purchase tickets, please visit Goodwood.com or call the Ticket Office team on 01243 755055.

Fleur named as October’s Shining Star

Fleur Jeffery has been awarded the NAF Shining Star for October for her cheerful and hardworking attitude along with being dedicated to furthering her knowledge within the Junior Academy environment.

Twelve-year-old Fleur from Hailsham, East Sussex was nominated by Lead Coach for the Sussex Academy Judi Piper-Dadswell. “Fleur has been a member of the Sussex Junior Academy for the past three years. She is cheerful, hardworking and is equally dedicated to learning about caring and training for her ponies, as well as being a strong competitor,” said Judi. “Despite being one of our youngest members, Fleur is a great team player and is always supportive of her teammates.”

Fleur Jeffery- Shining Star for October  Photo: British Showjumping

As well as producing some fabulous winning rounds for the Sussex Junior Academy  team at the British Showjumping National Junior Academy Championships riding her 128cm pony, Symondsbury Piper, Judi added the following about Fleur “She has produced her young pony BBS Sky High, known as Blue, from being an unruly pony to now jumping calm, stylish rounds in competitions. She also completed the NAF 2* Pony Five Star Final competition in tremendous style despite the inexperience of the combination which is a credit to her patience and determination.”

After finding out she was the winner of October’s NAF Shining Star, Fleur said “I was really surprised when I found out I had won as I didn’t know that I had been nominated; I still can’t quite believe it. The Sussex Academy is brilliant, I’ve made new friends and everyone always helps each other as well as having lots of fun. Training with Judi is great, she explains everything, gives me ideas and lots of homework to practice to help me and my pony. Next year, I am looking forward to bringing my 138cm Blue through the levels and seeing what we can do. I’d like to qualify him for the National Championships and I’m looking forward to the Academy competitions too as they’re such good fun.”

Branwen Griffin from NAF added “Congratulations Fleur, a very worthy winner of this month’s Shining Star Award! It is a pleasure to hear how dedicated she is at such a young age. Her hard work and determination is admirable. With such a fantastic mature attitude and dedication, Fleur is bound to go far. We wish you a very successful 2019 and well done!”

Fleur will now receive a number of NAF Equine products to use alongside the NAF products that she is already using such as NAF Superflex, NAF Superflex Senior and the NAF Sheer Luxe Leather tack care range.

The NAF Shining Star Award was introduced when NAF became a British Showjumping Business Partner. The award is for members of a Junior Academy who have shown a great deal of commitment, progression and outstanding behaviour along with their riding ability and much more. Riders are nominated by their lead coach, and then judged and awarded by NAF to one person each month.


High level talks re working equines

The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have held high-level talks at the UN General Assembly  to highlight the vital contribution of working horses, donkeys and mules in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and said greater emphasis must be placed on their health and welfare.

World Horse Welfare and The Donkey Sanctuary at the UN

Above left to right: Jessica Stark, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers, CEO World Horse Welfare, Mike Baker, CEO, The Donkey Sanctuary, Ian Cawsey, UN Ambassador, The Donkey Sanctuary, Valentina Riva, Advocacy Manager, The Donkey Sanctuary.

Leading equine welfare charities recently held meetings with member states, UN Departments and other civil society partners to establish a core team of UN Member States, networks and organisations to help champion the importance of horses, donkeys and mules to the livelihoods of 600 million people worldwide and the need to provide better support for their health and welfare.

The Donkey Sanctuary CEO, Mike Baker, explained: “This is an exciting development in our UN engagement; the General Assembly is the large forum where governments from across the world meet together to thrash out issues. We are there to ensure the voices of millions of donkeys, mules and horses do not go unheard.”

The UN SDGs are a bold commitment to end hunger, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Projects are aimed at eliminating poverty worldwide as well as ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and decent work opportunities to encourage economic growth.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which applied only to the developing world. These new goals run from 2015 to 2030 and are due for review in 2019 when the agenda for work over the next five years will be set.

Ian Cawsey, The Donkey Sanctuary UN Ambassador, said :“This year advocacy teams at The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have worked together to show how the bold ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be assisted by working with communities to care for and protect their working animals. We all want less poverty and less hunger but we are showing that improving the welfare of the working donkeys, mules and horses is not an optional extra but an integral part of making that happen.”

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, added: “We are delighted that so many countries where working equines are visible immediately recognised their value to the SDG’s once we highlighted the link.

“They know that for many of the poorest communities, the only way to sustain their families is through the transport and traction provided by their horses, donkeys or mules.

“Better caring for these animals to protect their ability to make a living, earn more and access water and markets for their goods, as well as education for their children, is therefore essential for sustainable development to take place.”

Mike Baker confirmed: “This is a crucial time and a fantastic opportunity for us. It is only recently the UN General Assembly for the first time agreed language on the need to protect working animals which was a fantastic step forward.

“Now we have to persuade them to turn words into action and we will work tirelessly to ensure donkeys, mules and horses everywhere have their voices heard as we work with our partners to make this a reality.”

During a lunch hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development at the UN headquarters in New York, The Donkey Sanctuary CEO Mike Baker and World Horse Welfare CEO Roly Owers greeted guests from across the UN, Africa and civil society organisations.

Others at the lunch included UNDESA, UN diplomats from Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt, plus representatives from the UN Food and Agriculture Cluster, the Tellus Institute, the Stakeholder Forum, Thinking Animals United and CIVICUS.

Felix Dodds from the University of North Carolina said: “Development aspirations of SDGs will not be realised if animals are not part of the equation.”

After all the meetings, Mike Baker concluded:“We share a passion with our colleagues at World Horse Welfare to ensure as many working donkeys, horses and mules as possible get the care and welfare they need.

“We deliver that ourselves every day to thousands of equids but across the world there are many millions who need more protection. We cannot do this alone. We need to persuade others that this is something they should do and moreover it is in their interest to do.

“What was striking in our meetings at the UN was whilst people agreed with us they had not really considered the issue previously and wanted to learn more. So there is an opportunity and we will be following up these very encouraging conversations to build the partnerships that can build a better world for working equids far beyond the limitations of our own organisations.”


Burghley Estate to host eventing championships

British Eventing – the National Governing Body of eventing in the UK – has announced that from 2020, Burghley Estate in Stamford, Lincolnshire, will host the British Eventing BE80 Championship for an initial three-year term from 2020 – 2022.
Burghley Park will welcome the BE80 finalists during the week of the international Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and provide a truly unique competition experience for riders at the entry level of eventing.
Taking place during the week of the CCI4* competition – the very highest level of eventing – combinations will be riding for Championship glory over the same turf as some of the most famous and successful horses and riders of the sport, including Mark Todd, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Andrew Nicholson.

The Olympic Horseshoe with Burghley House beyond Photo: Kingswood Associates

To qualify for 2020, Regional Finals will be staged across the country, each providing those that are eligible with the exclusive opportunity to compete at Burghley over a brand-new cross country course being designed especially for the Championship.
BE80(T) Regional Finals will be trialled next year for the 2019 Championships at Kelsall Hill (2), before the Championships head to Burghley in 2020. Full details, including eligibility and qualification, for both the 2019 and 2020 BE80(T) Championships will be announced in the coming weeks.
As with all BE80 classes, competitors at the Championships will be able to access the support of  BE Accredited Coaches in the form of cross country and show jumping course walks, help in the show jumping warm up and guidance and advice answering any questions.
BE Chief Executive David Holmes commented; “This is a hugely important development for our members and the sport. Burghley House is steeped in eventing tradition and is a stunning location for a Championship event. We are particularly grateful to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Director, Elizabeth Inman, and her team, along with Miranda Rock President of Burghley Horse Trials, for their enthusiastic support of this new British Eventing initiative.”
David continued; “Following the successful pilot of the Airowear BE80(T) Championship at Kelsall Hill Horse Trials in September, congratulations must go to our inaugural winners Amy Dixon on board Goodluck II.” Our thanks go to the organising team at Kelsall Hill who hosted a fantastic 2018 competition – we look forward to heading back for the Championships at Kelsall Hill next year.”

BHS student champion scheme

The BHS Stewart Hastie Veterinary Student Champion scheme has been launched in partnership with the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine to forge a link between veterinary students, horse owners and the work of the BHS.

The inspiration for the initiative came from Dr Teresa Hollands, Senior Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Nutrition.

Dr Hollands said: “Veterinary universities provide an amazing opportunity for the work of the BHS to be promoted to a new and important audience.”Equally exciting will be the sharing of research being undertaken by veterinary universities and the dissemination of this knowledge to members. Surrey is proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to working with the BHS.”

Successful BHS clinics in Scotland

The first in a series of equine healthcare and education clinics to be held in Scotland has been hailed a huge success, with more than 22 horses and ponies having attended.

The clinic, run by The British Horse Society (BHS) in association with British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) was hosted at Bowhouse Equestrian Livery, Kinglassie at the end of September.

A total of 22 horses and ponies were treated and offered services such as castration, worming, passporting, dental checks and microchipping. The clinics are designed to help alleviate the equine overpopulation crisis currently occurring throughout the UK.

Helpers and vets at the successful Scottish event
Photo: British Horse Society

Helene Mauchlen, National Manager for The British Horse Society Scotland said:

“The introduction of healthcare and education clinics in Scotland is an important advancement in Scottish equine welfare. We have noticed a trend in displacement across the Scottish border due the recent Control of Horses Act 2015 in England and Wales and the relatively cheap and widely available land in Scotland, therefore the demand for these clinics is increasing.

“The clinics offer vital healthcare to those horses in need of it most and helps ensure they have a more secure future. The clinics provide a positive environment where we are able to provide advice, support and education to a large numbers of owners.”

The clinic was run with support from the SSPCA, Bransby, World Horse Welfare and The Donkey Sanctuary. BEVA members provided all the veterinary expertise needed for the day and Zoetis provided all the wormers. 18 horses were castrated, 16 passported and microchipped and all 22 horses were given a full dental check.

The British Horse Society has been provided health care clinics in England for the last three years, 948 horses have now attended the clinics and 453 have been castrated.

As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes, and safety for horse and riders. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers are committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere. Find out more about our current campaigns: www.bhs.org.uk