HOYS has new class for purebred cobs

HORSE of the Year Show is introducing a brand-new class for HOYS 2019. In support of the SEIB Search for a Star series, which has proved a popular addition to the timetable since it was introduced in 1998, HOYS will this year welcome purebred traditional cobs to compete in the SEIB Traditional Horse/Pony class.

At each of the five SEIB qualifiers, one solid and one coloured horse will go through to HOYS, so a total of ten traditional cobs will have their time to shine at the UK’s most prestigious horse show.

Traditional Gypsy Cob Photo: John Simpson

Event Director for Horse of the Year Show, Emma Williams, said: “We are delighted to be opening up the opportunity for more horses and more riders to be eligible to compete at Horse of the Year Show, which is so widely recognised as the pinnacle of the showing year.

“Until now we have not had a class available for solid coloured traditional cobs so this will provide them with the opportunity to compete amongst the highest calibre of competitors, along with their coloured counterparts. We would like to encourage as many amateur riders as possible who enjoy competing their traditional cob, to make the most of their opportunity to compete under the spotlight at HOYS.”

SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “This brand new competition will support the SEIB Search for a Star ethos of providing opportunities for grass root riders with their beloved horses and ponies. Nearly 20 years ago HOYS allowed SEIB to take ex-racehorses there for the first time and look what a success that class has become! We hope and believe that traditional cobs will prove to be as popular.”

Long-standing SEIB Search for a Star judge Richard Ramsay said: “This is a really interesting addition to Search for a Star. The traditional gypsy cob qualifiers deserve plenty of support and I am very much looking forward to judging the classes.”

The Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA) is wholeheartedly supporting the new SEIB Search for a Star competition. Founding TGCA Director, Andrea Betteridge said: “I am thrilled that the Traditional Gypsy Cob Breed will be showcased within the exceptional SEIB Search for a Star series with its finals at the most prestigious show of the year.”

The new SEIB Search for a Star competition for traditional cobs is open to pure-bred registered cobs only. Horses and ponies will have to have a Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA) passport or have theirs over stamped by the organisation, to prove that they meet the breed standard and are not part-breds.   However, as always with SEIB Search for a Star, no competitor has to be a member of any organisation.

This new competition will follow the standard rules for SEIB Search for a Star, which are strictly enforced. The first qualifier of the season takes place at Osbaldeston Riding Centre on  April 14 . Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers set up Search for a Star over 20 years ago so they could offer a unique competition opportunity to many of their amateur rider customers.

Horse of the Year Show takes place this year from October 2-6 2019 at the Resorts World Arena, the NEC Birmingham for another year of breath-taking displays and unbeatable competition. Tickets and a full timetable of events will be released in February. To stay up to date with the latest HOYS news and to be the first to know what’s happening, sign up to HOYS newsletter here: https://hoys.co.uk/newsletter-sign-up/

British 2019 dressage bronze championships

British Dressage has announced three host venues for this year’s Bronze Championships, Summer Music Championships and Nettex Associated Championships.

The Nettex Associated Championships, a unique series of ten title opportunities for horses of all shapes and sizes, is set to be bigger and better than ever with the breeds combining to make two show-stopping festivals.

The first of these will take place from October 31 –  November 3 at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Buckingham, and will incorporate Championships for Draught, GB PRE, Lusitano, British Native Ponies, traditional gypsy cobs and Arab horses. The second Associated Championship fixture will be hosted by Leicestershire venue Vale View EC and will provide the setting for CHAPS, RoR, Thoroughbred and Veteran Horse and Rider combinations to battle for the accolades.

Returning after a successful debut year, the Bronze and Summer Music Championships has a new home for 2019 in premier venue, Sheepgate Equestrian Centre in Lincolnshire.

Dressage at Sheepgate Equestrian Centre , which will host the 2019 Bronze and  Summer Music dressgage championships.  Photo: courtesy of Sheepgate  Equestrian

The team at Sheepgate are no strangers to the big occasion, as hosts to the annual BD Youth Under 25s Championships, Sheepgate Premier League as well as an Area Festival, the Bronze and Music Championships promise to be well worth the journey.

Date Championships Venue
31 October – 3 November Associated Championships (1)
Inc. Draught, GB PRE, Lusitano, Native Pony, TGCA, Arab horse
Bury Farm, Buckinghamshire
7 – 10 November Associated Championships (2)
Inc. CHAPS, ROR, Thoroughbred, Veteran horse and rider
Vale View EC,
Date to be confirmed


Bronze and Summer Music Sheepgate EC,

The Nettex Associated Championships will come together to form two celebrations of all breeds. The ten-strong championship series has grown steadily in number and gone from strength to strength with the valued support of title sponsor Nettex and proven Championship venues Bury Farm and Vale View EC are on board as hosts.

Sarah Payne’s team at Sheepgate EC is renowned for hosting major events and the Bronze and Music Championships will flourish under their care.

She said: “Both myself and the Sports Operations team have thanked all venues involved in the tender process and offered congratulations to the three successful show centres. We are very much looking forward to the year ahead.”

Fontwell’s competitive Sunday meeting




Harry Charles disqualified from Young Rider Championships

The BEF has been informed by the FEI that Harry Charles has been disqualified from the Young Rider European Championships which took place last July in Fontainebleau, France.

Following the Team Final, samples were taken from Vivaldi du Dom, the horse ridden by Harry Charles and these tested positive for the controlled medication substance Lidocaine.

As a result Harry Charles has been automatically disqualified from all results at the event meaning that he loses his Individual gold medal and that Great Britain drops to Team Silver and Germany move up to Team Gold.

Harry Charles in action

Nick Fellows, Chief Executive for the British Equestrian Federation commented “This was a controlled medication substance not a doping substance, but it should not have been present in Harry’s horse at the time of competition.

“Of course it is desperately disappointing for Harry and the young rider team, but we accept the decision of the FEI and naturally uphold their zero tolerance in respect of the international Clean Sport policy which we also follow at a national level.”

Iain Graham, Chief Executive for British Showjumping said “This is a wake-up call for everyone in the sport and really highlights the necessity for all of our athletes, both national and international, to ensure they both understand and adhere to the FEI clean sport policy.”

On his disqualification from the Championships Harry Charles said: “Words can’t convey how really sad I am for my fellow team members having to receive the news that this has happened. I will speak to each of them individually and I just hope I can then put this behind me and move on”.

The four riders that made up the team with Harry were Graham Babes, William Fletcher, Amy Inglis and Georgia Tame; all of whom have been informed and understand the decision.

Help prevent eventing horse injuries

Could you help with the future of injury prevention in event horses?

The Animal Health Trust is working with British Eventing, the British Equestrian Federation and World Horse Welfare to investigate risk factors for injury and illness in horses competing in BE events.

They are seeking riders and owners of horses who have competed in all levels of BE competition to take part in the online survey:

To be eligible to take part in the survey; horses must have competed with British Eventing, at any level and in any number of events. If you would like to participate it is asked that one survey is completed per horse, and thank you for taking the time to complete it. All information provided is strictly confidential and no details will be passed on to any third parties.

Eventer Sam Griffiths competing at Houghton   Photo: British Eventing

Results from previous studies led by the Animal Health Trust, with support from British Dressage, the BEF and the FEI, have been used to advise trainers, riders and owners about how to prevent injury in dressage and show jumping horses.

As well as helping injury prevention in event horses, anyone who completes this questionnaire will be eligible for entry into a prize draw worth over £1000 (entry optional). The prize package includes:

  • A lesson with Richard Waygood MBE, World Class Eventing Performance Manager
  • A lesson with Piggy French, member of the 2018 World Championship gold medal winning team in Tryon
  • A Fairfax Performance Bridle of your choice
  • A Fairfax Performance Breastplate
  • British Eventing rider and horse membership worth over £250
  • Hy Fashion bundle worth £200, includes a jacket, breeches and shirt
  • A framed pastel head study of your horse by acclaimed artist Yvonne Lamden Cooper
  • A pair of Fairfax Calf Stirrup Leathers
  • Back on Track goodies
  • Cool down boots from Premier Equine
  • British Eventing branded saddle cloth from Griffin NuuMed
  • Gift voucher to spend on tickets to the SsangYong Blenheim Horse Trials
  • Bottle of Cool Down from Absorbing

To enter the survey go to:


If you would like further information on the project please contact Carolyne Tranquille at the Animal Health Trust. Email: carolyne.tranquille@aht.org.uk Telephone: 01638 751908

Brexit and travelling horses abroad

Although the outcomes of Parliamentary negotiations surrounding Brexit remain uncertain, the horse world has been working closely together to understand the implications for horse owners when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

Leaders from a number of organisations from horse sport, racing, vets, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have been developing plans for what needs to be done in case the UK leaves with no deal.

Travelling horses abroad
Photo courtesy of John Simpson

The chief concern for horse owners will be transportation. Their focus has been on the following areas:

  • All horses leaving the UK to enter the EU will need a new type of Export Health Certificate (EHC) which would require blood tests signed off by an Official Veterinarian (OV) to confirm it is free from disease. EHCs would last 10 days and would accompany the horse and its horse passport. Requirements for movements to the rest of the world remain largely unchanged.
  • Developing a new type of Equine Travel ID Document. This would be needed, as well as a horse passport, for horses which do not have studbook passports or are not registered with an international body which governs sport or racing (such as the FEI)
  • Given increased demand, ensuring there will be enough Official Veterinarians and other experts and specialists, to carry out health inspections, blood tests and produce EHCs
  • Submitting evidence to the EU about the UK’s health status so that the UK can be granted a Third Country status/category. This will determine the extent of the blood tests required by horses before moving
  • The effect on transport authorisations, certificates of competence and vehicle approval certificates
  • The extent of probable delays at channel crossing points (Channel Tunnel and ferry ports) and the need for more Border Inspection Posts both in the UK and the EU, because of requirements to check horse identity and health certificates
  • Tariffs on permanent horse movements
  • A system to take over from the EU’s movements recording database (TRACES) to enable the UK to keep its own horse movement records
  • Mutual recognition of EU and UK studbooks to preserve their registered horses’ ability to travel without the additional Equine Travel ID Document
  • Availability and recognition of veterinary medicines

British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Chief Executive Nick Fellows says; “The terms of the UK’s departure from the EU have not yet been confirmed but, given the serious implications for equestrian sport, we have been working closely with the relevant authorities. As soon as the situation becomes clearer the BEF will inform its members so that horse owners will be aware of actions they may need to take.”

BETA International awards 2019

The arrival of this year’s array of dazzling new products was celebrated in the Innovation Awards during BETA International 2019, at the NEC, Birmingham this week

Sponsored by the show’s media partner and leading industry title, Equestrian Trade News
magazine, the awards are designed to reward creativity, craftsmanship,technology and inspirational invention. They have not been introduced to the market during the 12 months preceding the show.

All products entered into the awards’ eight categories are considered by a panel of independent judges – each carefully chosen for their skills and expertise in a specific field.

This year those with the challenging task of selecting the winners were British Eventing team vet Liz Brown, saddler and saddle-fitting expert Kay Hastilow, Steve Hodgson, owner of retail store Nags, Essentials, Kathryn Jaquet, equine nutritionist Essentials, Kathryn Jaquet, managing director of retail business RB Equestrian, Catherine Rudenko and international event rider James Sommerville.

Equestrian Trade Awards:Equestrian Trade News’s editor, LIz Benwell (left), and senior advertising executive, Beth Crow (right), presenting the award to Lisa Fay, Arpan Bhatia and Sanna Snellman, of Stride Innovations.

“We have been bowled over by the quality of new products being launched at BETA International,”said show organiser Claire Thomas.

“It is extremely exciting to see the industry working so hard to generate all these fantastic new things, with a great deal of enthusiasm, time and money being invested in them. We were thrilled to see the awards go to all those who played a part in their success.”

Winners of the 2019 Innovation Awards were: Country Clothing and Footwear. Best products on display at BDETA International, Country Clothing and Footwear.



Twelve dressage riders chosen for coaching

British Dressage has announced the 12 riders selected to attend the Sport England-funded BD Youth National Academy, supported by Avansce, which takes place over the weekends of February 9-10 and  March 2 – 3 March 2019 at Kilbees Farm in Berkshire.

The 2019 BD Youth National Academy cohort is made up of the following riders selected from last year’s inaugural Foundation Academies:

Danielle Balsdon (South West region), Caitlin Clancy (South West), Mollie Clough (Eastern), Emily Coller (Eastern), Manon Evans (Southern), Jersey Garrett (Southern), Florence Human (South West), Sofia Jankiewicz (Central), Libby Johnson (Wales), Izzy Lane (Eastern), Olivia Rose Robertson (South West) and Susie White (Northern).

Selected on their talent, determination and trainability, the 12 young riders will receive coaching from British Olympian Spencer Wilton as well as number of high profile specialists from the industry.

Montage of British Dressage teams Photo courtesy of British Dressage

These include international groom Liz Geldard-Walsh, athlete mentor Charlie Hutton and practitioners such as physiotherapist Andy Thomas and TheraPlate – manufacturer of equine rehabilitation and sports conditioning platforms.

Riders will also benefit from training sessions with Academy supplier Avansce which will involve an introduction to the Synchronicity System™ as well as individual rein contact analysis sessions.

The sophisticated sensor-based system records rein tension on a smartphone app during riding and, with the aid of a scoring system, helps guide coaches and riders to find effective training solutions.

“I would like to congratulate all the riders on their selection,” commented BD Youth Director Claire Moir. “The Foundation Academies have proved to be a great success in their first year and it is exciting to have so many committed and talented young people keen to develop their skills and carve out a future in the sport.

“The purpose of the upcoming National Academy which is the ultimate stage of the series is to provide the selected riders with a 360 degree, comprehensive approach to both their own and their horses’ development, and we look forward to working with them over the two weekends. ”

“I also would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the 2018 Foundation Academy athletes, and remind you that you’re invited to reapply for the 2019 Academies later in the year.”

Second January Jumps Day at Plumpton

Plumpton Racecourse in Sussex hosts its second Wednesday meeting in January, the newly titled ‘Hepworth and Laine January Jumps Raceday’ on Wednesday next week, January 30.

Expect ompetitive jump racing at Plumpton
Photo: Jeannie Knight

The day highlights its local suppliers Hepworths, and one of their partners, the Laine Pub Group.

Hepworths (a local brewery which supply the bars on a raceday) will be joined by one of their key clients, Laine Pub Group. A special guest ale of theirs (Riddler) willl be available on the day in the Paddock Bar

Also in the Paddock Bar,  Hepworths will be giving away some samples of their brilliantly titled ‘Crazy Horse’ as well as the ever popular ‘Charger’.

Last year’s racing was one for the locals, with Gary Moore saddling three winners and Josh Moore providing the ride of Plumpton’s season aboard Leo Luna in the 3 mile Handicap Chase.

Trainer Gary Moore with son Josh
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Top horses are regularly unearthed at this fixture too, with Jerrysback winning two years ago before most recently finishing a close second in the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase at Ascot in December this season.

There is still limited availability in the Paddock Restaurant which can be booked through the office on 01273 890383. It’s the perfect way to join Plumpton in January, with three courses, a table for the day, entrance badge, racecard and a great all round view.

Arena polo test match at Hickstead

The Arena Polo Test Match for the Bryan Morrison Trophy returns to the All England Polo Club, Hickstead, on Saturday March 2 2019.

With the high-goal challenge match held before the Bryan Morrison Trophy, polo fans can watch two top-class games of arena polo for just £5 per ticket.

An International Arena Polo Test match at Hickstead: Photo Russ Kirby

A post-match luncheon will also take place following the Test Match for players and supporters, with tickets costing an additional £49.50 for those wishing to attend.

The Polo Clubhouse will be open throughout the day, offering a range of refreshments, while the Clubhouse viewing platform offers an unrivalled view of the Arena.

Gates open at 10.30am. Tickets are now on sale.  For more details contact www.hickstead.co.uk/polo/ 

Sponsorship & Trade Exhibitor Opportunities

The Arena Polo Test Match brings some excellent brand exposure and exhibition opportunities, from team shirt sponsorship to trade space and on-site advertising.

For further information on any of the above, please  call on +44 (0)1273 834 315.