WHW chief executive thanks all for 2018 support

Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, has thanked everyone who supported this worthy charity during 2018.

This enabled WHW to continue successfully with its outstanding work in rehoming needy equines of all breeds and ages.

Roly Owers pictured with a horse ready to be rehomed by World Horse Welfare Charity    Photo:WHW

He said :”From extreme weather conditions in both the UK and further afield putting huge pressure on our resources to the uncertainty around Brexit – 2018 has certainly been a challenging year for equine welfare.

“However, it has also been a positive one with almost 300 horses finding new homes on our rehoming scheme and new legislation which better protects our equine population.

“On behalf of everyone here at World Horse Welfare, we would like to say thank you for supporting the charity in 2018 whether through donating, adding your voice to our campaigns, reporting concerns to our welfare line, rehoming a horse and much more.

“You are vital in helping us reach as many horses in need as possible and we look forward to continuing our work with you in 2019 as we experience ever more of these changing times.”

World Horse Welfare is an international horse charity that improves the lives of horses in the UK and worldwide through education, campaigning and hands-on care of horses. Since it was founded in 1927, its whole approach has been practical, based on scientific evidence and our extensive experience, and focused on delivering lasting change across the full spectrum of the horse world.

To see how you can help visit: https://www.facebook.com/WorldHorseWelfare/

Does your horse whistle while it works?


SAVE THE DATE! This is the theme of the next Tour & Talk Sussex Equine Hospital is running on January 15 2019 at the hospital premises on the outskirts of Ashington.

Three of its well-renowned vets take the floor to share their insights on overground endoscopy, throat surgery and other standing surgical procedures, all in the lecture room upstairs and all aimed at sharing valuable knowledge.

Start time is 7pm, but tours of the hospital begin at 6.15pm. Put your name down by calling 01903 883050. TICKETS ARE FREE!

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Don’t miss Plumpton’s Sussex National day

PLUMPTON Racecourse has plenty to offer in 2019, starting with the Sussex National Race, sponsored by Sky Sports Racing on Sunday January 6.

Gates open at this popular fixture at 10.30am, and the first race is at 12.40pm, with the last at 3.40pm. The big race itself is scheduled for 2.40pm and promises exciting action. With more than  £80,000 of prize money on offer and the big race itself worth more than £30,000, this day always attracts a good turnout of runners.

The maximum field size of 18 is often reached at this raceday, where the feature race itself is over 3 miles 4 ½ furlongs. Last year the race was won by favourite Vinnie Lewis, trained  by Harry Whittington.

But the race has sprung some surprises in the past, with Itoldyou winning for Linda Jewell at 11-1 in 2015 and the Gary Moore trained Reblis winning in 2014 at 5/1.

Sussex National winner Itoldyou with trainer Linda Jewell and jockey Tom Cannon in 2015
Photo: Jeannie Knight

There will be a competitive seven race card and the chance for some tips from Colin Brown and Dave Crosse before racing in the paddock. It will also be Plumpton’s first day on the Sky Sports Racing channel  there will be live music from the Wild Murphy’s in the Paddock Bar and some children’s entertainment.

A couple of hospitality boxes are still available, with balconies overlooking the course offering the chance to celebrate with family and friends. There are also two restaurants available on site, the Paddock Restaurant (limited availability) and Marquee Restaurant, both offering lunches, tables for the day and great vantage points of the action.

If it is just tickets you want, Plumpton offers a newly re-furbished Southdown Bar with increased seating, a new café and food outlet (including bean to cup coffee from a new local supplier, Back Yard coffee based in Ditchling, a new bar (also serving the aptly named “Crazy Horse” from our local brewery Hepworths), making this a great local day out.

Plumpton offers top class jump racing
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Tickets are available from just £16 when buying ten or more. All children under 18 come in FREE of charge with adults. There are  plenty of other food outlets, burger vans, coffee units and options on site so all racegoers will be well catered for.

Contact Plumpton Racecourse on 01273 890383 or on line at https://tickets.plumptonracecourse.co.uk/shop/cart

Tickets in advance: Grandstand & Paddock Group (10+) – £16; & Paddock – £18 Brighton Bus – £5 (Leaves Brighton train station 1h30 before the first race, and leaves Plumpton 30 mins after the last race) Available until midnight on Friday 4th January.

On the Day: Grandstand & Paddock – £21 No group discount on the day, or concession prices.


Fontwell double for Moore and victory for Hier Encore

HORSHAM trainer Gary Moore was back in fine form at Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day meeting yesterday, when he saddled up a double, with both horses ridden by son Jamie.

It was triggered when Chivers, sent off 4-5 favourite, won  the two mile two furlong handicap chase in convincing style by 15 lengths from Sky Full Of Stars, trained by Chris Gordon, with Invicta Lake, trained by Suzy Smith, a further 11 lengths back in third place.

Chivers had shown little over hurdles, but his clearly has a decent future over fences, with the runner-up being a previous winner over the larger obstacles.

The double was completed for the Moore family, when previous Fontwell Park winner, Sussex Ranger, sent off 7-2 favourite, won the Southern Cranes and Training Division Handicap Hurdle over two miles one furlong

Sussex Ranger and Jamie Moore,pictured  with connections following an earlier win by Sussex Ranger at Fontwell Park Photo: Jeannie Knight

Sussex Ranger won comfortably by more than four lengths from 5-1 shot Monday Club, trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis, ridden by conditional jockey Alan Doyle.

The opening novices hurdle race saw a good win for newcomer On The Slopes, a four-year-old gelding owned by Skill Scaffolding Ltd, ridden to victory by Tom Cannon. The win came at the expense of previous hurdles winner Sky Full of Stars, trained by Jamie Snowden and owned by Mrs Carolyn Kendrick.

There was a good double on the day for amateur rider Rex Dingle, who gave Burgess Dream an excellent ride to win the handicap chase over three miles two furlongs for East Sussex trained Anna Newton- Smith. This talented rider previously won the opening handicap hurdle at the meeting with evens favourite Bonza Girl for trainer Jeremy Scott.

Hier Encore, trained by Nigel Dunger, well ridden by Harry Teal, en route to a decisive victory in the conditional jockeys race Photo courtesy Fontwell Park

Hier Encore made a winning return to racing at the meeting following a gap after previously being trained at Pulborough by David Menuisier. Entered in the conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, he was partnered to victory in the capable hands of claimer Harry Teal

The six-year-old gelding is now trained by Nigel Dunger at Pulborough. He unfortunately fell on his first outing for Nigel at the previous Fontwell meeting at the first obstacle, after being seriously hampered by another horse.

But there were no mistakes this time and he went on to win by a decisive 10 lengths under Harry Teal There should be more to come.

Strong entry for King George VI Chase

In-form trainer Nicky Henderson looks to be the one to follow at Kempton’s Boxing Day meeting, where the feature race is the prestigious King George VI Chase.

Last year’s winner of that race, Might Bite, trained by Henderson was an impressive winner and is also in this year’s field of 11 runners for  the big race, currently at 3-1.

Trainer Nicky Henderson Photo: John Simpson

He heads the field as the current favourite with the sponsors despite a disappointing return at Haydock last month where he finished at the back of the field but connections hope he can put that run behind him.

Another strong contender is Bristol De Mau, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, which won the Betfair Chase by four lengths. His trainer is hoping to win this Grade One contest for the first time.

Paul Nicholls, who has won this race nine times, cannot be discounted and his Grade Two winner, Politologue wull by running over three miles for the first time in this race. His other runner is a six-year-old- Clan Des Obeaux.

Colin Tizzard’s runners have been in good form recently and Native River, which won the Gold Cup is one of his two runners.

His other runner Thistlecrackthe 2016 32Red King George VI winner, will return to Kempton after a promising seasonal reappearance at Haydock where he finished third, just five and three-quarter lengths behind winner Bristol De Mai and stablemate Native River.

Trainer Colin Tizzard
Photo: John Simpson

The only Irish entry for this year’s race is  the Gordon Elliot trained Shattered Love, a mare which won the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March and was last seen finishing runner up to Min at Punchestown earlier this month..

2015 Gold Cup hero Coneygree holds his place in the race following an encouraging reappearance at Cheltenham last month finishing third.

This year’s King George VI Chase at Kempton is a very strong one and a case can be made for every horse in the race.

Hickstead is premier venue for Arena Polo

The All England Polo Club at Hickstead was founded in 2006, and is now one of the premier Arena Polo venues in the country. It hosts tournaments throughout the winter season, including the International Arena Polo Test Match each March.

When the club first opened, former Chairman of the HPA Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers said: “Hickstead has created one of the most modern and impressive arenas in the country. Not only has it hosted very successful international matches but it has worked hard to encourage the young to play.”

USA 10-goaler Tommy Biddle, who came to Hickstead for the first time in 2014, instantly became one of Polo at Hickstead’s biggest supporters: “This is the best surface I have ever played on. Hickstead has the best arena in the world!”

Exciting Arena Polo action at close quarters at Hickstead Photo: John Periam 01243 584718

Founder member Jack Kidd attributes this success to the huge surge in popularity of arena polo in recent years: “In the past ten years the science of arena polo has evolved to create the most passionate, gladiatorial, fast game that I have ever played.”

.A plus point  for arena polo is that it eliminates the need for a large string of ponies. A club member could happily play with two ponies throughout the season.

The Arena Polo Test Match, officially called the Bryan Morrison Trophy, returns to Hickstead each spring.  This is a significant spectator event, ensuring the crowd experiences one of the top highlights of the global winter polo season.

This is an outstanding day out at Hickstead with the chance to enjoy a drink on the clubhouse viewing deck and watch world-class polo action unfolding in the arena below

For more details about the Arena Polo programme see http://www.hickstead.co.uk/polo/

Star male jockeys v women at Olympia tonight

Star jockeys from the Flat and jumps will be showing their skills at showjumping today when Olympia hosts its annual Champions Challenge as part of the London International Horse Show, with a male team taking on female riders.

The event, sponsored by Markel Corporation, will have a team relay format and raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

This year’s competition sees Sir Tony McCoy and Bridget Andrews heading the two teams where women jockeys take on their male counterparts.

The female team includes Flat riders Josephine Gordon and Hollie Doyle, alongside Grade 1-winning jumps jockeys Bryony Frost and Lizzie Kelly.

Successful female jockey Lizzie Kelly will be competing Photo : Gerry Cranham

Bridget Andrews said of her team, who prepared for the event with professional showjumpers William and Pippa Funnell: “The training was lots of fun – they’re heroes of mine and we couldn’t have asked for better coaches.  I just hope we do well and make them proud.”

Lizzie Kelly added: ” I’ve never done anything of that level for showjumping so I’m really excited. I’ve been doing some practice at home and in the arena ahead of it. We’ve got a good team and we will try to be a bit more tactical and strategic than the boys.. It will be good fun.”

McCoy’s team features top Flat riders Ryan Moore and Jim Crowley, who are joined by this season’s two top jump jockeys, Richard Johnson and Harry Skelton.

The team has been coached by Harry’s father Nick Skelton, who won Olympic showjumping gold in Rio two years ago. McCoy, who is making his third appearance at the event, said: “The Markel Champions Challenge is such a crowd-pleaser and we all love it. I thought I would retire after last year’s win but my kids had other ideas so I’ll be back to beat the girls and claim another win.”

The event starts at 6.45pm and can be followed live on the BBC red button.

Georgia tops Hartpury qualifiers

West Sussex based Georgia Tame has topped The Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Qualifier at Hartpury University

The Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Qualifier at Hartpury University in Gloucestershire took place on Saturday and it was Georgia Tame from Horsham, West Sussex who took the top spot.

Georgia Tame in winning action  Photo: Sarah Radford

A total of forty-three combinations came forward to compete for the two qualifying tickets on offer for the Championship Final which will be held at the prestigious Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, West Sussex next July.

Fourteen went on to secure their place in the jump off and six double clears were produced overall.

The fastest double clear came from Georgia Tame on board Z 7 Caretina, a seven- year-old bay mare owned by Team Z 7. This pair made light work of the jump off course and used all of the available shortcuts to cross through the finish in 38.92 seconds.

Ella Jones from Llantwit Major, South Glamorgan rode into second place with Back in Action, a 12 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Huw Jones. They delivered their double clear in 39.02 seconds.

Hartpury University – Saturday December 15 2018
The Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Qualifier Results

1. Georgia Tame & Z 7 Caretina – 0/0 – 38.92 seconds
2, Ella Jones & Back in Action – 0/0 – 39.02 seconds

Competitive racing at Plumpton

Competitive racing at Plumpton’s latest jump meeting this week saw some favourites overturned, including odds-on Colloney in the opening novice hurdle over two miles.

Trained by Olly Murphy, owned by JP McManus,  and ridden by Barry Geraghty the four-year-old, which had previously won a National Hunt flat race,  was beaten by Neil King’s Brandon Castle, with Bryony Frost riding.

Trainer Neil King was in winning form
Photo: John Simpson

The latter, a six-year-old had plenty of racing experience to his credit, with six wins and ten places on the Flat and all weather. He won well and should continue to progress.

There was compensation for Barry Geraghty in the Novices Chase over three miles one furlong, for he partnered 2-9 favourite O K Corral to a two length victory over Neil Mullholland’s 3-1 shot Impulsive Star,

Previous Plumpton winner The Tin Miner, which won so well last time at the track for trainer David Bridgwater when beating Clondaw Bisto in the 3m1½f chase, found one too good at this latest Plumpton meeting.

This time the seven-year-old Presenting gelding was beaten by six lengths over the same distance by French-bred I See You Well, trained by Seamus Mullins with conditional jockey Daniel Samson in the saddle.

Winner See You Well with trainer Seamus Mullins and jockey Daniel Samson. Photo courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

The combination of trainer  Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon rarely go away from a jump meeting empty-handed and this raceday was no exception. They won the handicap hurdle over two miles with 5-2 favourite Seaweed by a comfortable five lengths.
Jockey Wayne Hutchinson and trainer Alan King teamed up for the most certain victory of the day when Mr Pumblechook won the maiden hurdle as 1-6 favourite by an easy 10 lengths.
Trainer Jack Barber and jockey Nick Scholfield also impressed when 100/30 Shintory overturned favourite Chivers ( Gary and Jamie Moore) in the two mile three furlong handicap chase.
Iskara Lady, trained  by Harry Fry with Noel Fehily riding was an easy winner of the National Hunt Flat Race.
Plumpton Racecourse  will be staging the Sussex National Meeting on Sunday January 6 when gates open at 10.40 and the first race is 12.40



Worming and resistance to wormers

This  feature about worming has been written by Dr. S. Davidson, BVMS, MRCVS, Sussex Equine Hospital

Sarah Davidson, Veterinary Associate, Sussex Equine Hospital

There is regularly talk in the news about antibiotic resistance, how it affects us now and how it will affect us in the not-so-distant future.

The veterinary world is currently experiencing a similar problem regarding wormers and it’s called anthelmintic resistance. Resistance to wormers comes about when there are a large number of worms in any one horse’s intestines. A chance mutation occurs in the genetic makeup of one of those worms making it able to survive the the specific worming drug used.

This worm then has offspring that also carry the new gene and, therefore, the ability to survive worming treatment. Very quickly, the horse has a resistant population of worms.

The lifecycle of a worm involves time spent in a host animal and also on the pasture, so when these resistant worms are passed by the horse on to the pasture, its field mates are at risk of becoming burdened with resistant worms and the problem spreads.

The issue we are facing now is a result of many years of poor worming protocols:

  • Using the same wormer each time.
  • Blanket treatment of all horses. There is a common phrase that 20% of horses will carry 80 per cent of the total worm population, this means that not all horses need treatment all the time.
  • Not following the manufacturers’ recommendations, most commonly worming more frequently than necessary which increases the rate of selection of resistant worms, but also under-dosing.
  • Not using the right wormer for the particular worm likely to be present in the horse at that time.
  • Not taking into consideration the age of the horse, as horses get older they develop a degree of immunity to intestinal parasites. Younger horses need a higher level of care and attention.
  • Roundworms in horses

All these things considered, there are new ways of thinking that can help to minimise the spread of resistance and keep your horse’s worm burden under control at the same time. If you keep your horse on a livery yard, there may already be protocols in place, but if not, it might be worth a discussion because treating a whole herd with resistance in mind is a much more effective way to tackle the problem than each horse having a slightly different management plan.

  1. Collect faecal samples, keep them cool to prevent eggs hatching which will skew the result and submit them to a lab for worm egg counts (number of eggs per gram of faeces). The lab should also specify the type of eggs present and their distribution.
  2. Based on the number of eggs reported, a decision must then be made as to whether the horse is wormed or not. Sources vary but a suggested cut off is 200 eggs per gram. Any horse with a burden above this should be treated.
  3. Treatment should be influenced by the species of egg identified.
  4. It is then possible for those that wish to be extra-vigilant to work out whether resistance is a problem in their horse. A faecal sample can be taken two weeks later and again submitted to a lab. If the wormer has been effective, the number of eggs per gram should have decreased by 90%. If you have not seen a satisfactory result, worm with a different drug to target those worms that were not killed off by the first treatment.

On top of combating resistance, taking faecal samples instead of blanket treating all horses regularly can save a considerable amount of money.

An ideal plan for timing of faecal samples is to begin in spring and treat according to results. If you have not had to treat your horse, take another faecal sample three months later and so on. If you have treated your horse, ideally take the second sample two weeks later, but otherwise wait six months until autumn to take another sample.

A point to note here is that worm egg counts do not take into consideration tapeworms, due to their lifecycle. To test for tapeworm, a blood sample should be collected and submitted to a lab to look at antibodies and again, depending on the result, a decision is made whether to treat or not.

Good pasture hygiene remains very important in the control of worms, poo-picking to minimise pasture contamination, rotation between species, for example, cattle and or sheep and rotation of fields, if possible, will all help. If new horses are coming onto a yard, checking and treating them before they are turned out on to pasture is ideal, but understandably not always practical.

It is worth bearing in mind that the above is in relation to adult horses that are in good health and body condition. If you suspect that a horse in your care has a high worm burden, discuss an appropriate plan with your vet as a rapid kill of worms can cause your horse to become sick or even be fatal.

Foals have a different susceptibility to worms and should also be wormed with a careful programme. Foals are susceptible to ascarid worms which are thick, white worms that can be up to 15 inches in length. Adults have an inherent immunity.

Ascarids can block the intestines completely and, if killed all at once can cause diarrhoea, low protein and more seriously telescoping (scientifically termed ‘intussusception’) of the intestines and death.

Management of intestinal parasites is as important now as it ever has been. While most horses will live out their days without worms causing them a problem, it has been clearly demonstrated that an uncontrolled worm burden increases the risk of colic, diarrhoea and un-thriftiness in horses.

If we cannot combat worms with the drugs that we currently have due to resistance, these are problems that we are going to see more commonly in the future as there are very few or no new drugs being developed.