Brendon Riding Centre at Pyecombe, Sussex, is hosting a series of eventing clinics this month. It begins with a Kristina Cook eventing clinic on Thursday January 24, in the Paris outdoor all weather arena with arena eventing fences.
This clinic will be followed a Gemma Tattersall eventing clinic on Tuesday February 5. On Friday February 22 Amber Barson-Greally will hold an Arena Eventing Clinic at Brendon.
Full details of these two clinics are available from Brendon or see:
It’s been a very busy winter at Hickstead with its Arena Polo season well underway, plus work ongoing on new all-weather cross-country training facilities.
Wet ground has caused some delays to the opening date of this amazing new schooling course, but Hickstead is still planning for it to be open by the spring.
There is much to look forward to this summer, with William Funnell aiming for a record fifth win in the Al Shira’aa Derby, and then there is the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain, which moves back to the Friday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show.
Tickets are on sale, so book now to take advantage of Hickstead’s early bird rates. The judges for HIckstead July 2019 has been announced.
In our latest veterinary feature from Sussex Equine Hospital, vet Sarah Davidson MRCVS writes about euthanasia of a horse.
Euthanasia, a topic above any other that instills fear into many a horse owner, is also referred to as a horse or pet being ‘put to sleep’ or ‘put down’.
The word ‘euthanasia’ itself is derived from Greek and means ‘a good death’ but, in the opinion of most vets, it is a gift that means we can alleviate the suffering before it gets too much, take away that heartache of watching an animal’s quality of life diminish and minimise the amount of pain experienced.
It is, however, something that all equine or pet owners will have to deal with at some point and, while it’s not possible to fully prepare for the pain resulting from the loss of a much-loved animal, giving it due consideration in advance can make a big difference to how you feel if it happens to you.
This article is largely referring to the euthanasia of horses, but can be transferred in many places to any animal. The need for a horse to be euthanased falls into two broad categories:
1) In an emergency situation, for example, a bad colic episode or a catastrophic fracture where the prognosis for survival is grave and/or, despite treatment, pain cannot be alleviated.
2) The horse is struggling getting by day to day. Maybe he/she cannot stand easily after rolling or is losing weight despite good feeding (a common problem in older horses). This can be more difficult as owners often find it hard to pick a day when the balance of quality of life tips from good to poor. For most, it comes down to a gut feeling
It’s a difficult subject to read about and, indeed, some may not be able to, stopping at the first paragraph above, but educating oneself with the answers to the following questions will help to prepare you, if you find yourself in this situation:• How will euthanasia be performed?
A huntsman, what is sometimes called a ‘knackerman’ or a vet can use a gun, but they must have a licence. However, finding a suitable place to use a gun can be tricky as there are many unpredictable factors.
The muzzle of the gun is simply placed on the horse’s forehead and a bullet fired into the brain. Death is instantaneous and the horse will fall to the ground. Some bleeding can be expected from the bullet hole and the nostrils and then twitching of the limbs may be seen. These are distressing, but entirely normal, reflexes.
The most common method of euthanasing a horse, however, is lethal injection, and only a vet can perform one. Due to the nature of the drug used in lethal injections, the horse’s body must then be cremated. It will be administered a sedative to calm it, followed by a lethal overdose of anaesthetic.
Most horses remain standing for up to a minute and take a few deep breaths, but as they fall, they will experience a loss of consciousness and, therefore, know nothing about it. Once down, the heart will stop beating. Again, the limbs will twitch and a few more deep breaths may be seen.
• Where will your horse be put to sleep? If it is an emergency situation, this is a factor that is less easily controlled but, generally speaking, good road access is essential, a soft, straw-filled or cushioned landing and a little bit of space is preferable. Familiar surroundings are also best as the horse is likely to remain more relaxed. If it’s the case that one of a pair of bonded horses has to be euthanased by lethal injection, there is evidence that a short period where the companion can approach and register that their friend is dead can minimise distress to the horse left behind.
• When will your horse be put to sleep?
In an emergency situation, when your horse will be put to sleep is unfortunately a decision taken out of your hands. However, if it is an elective euthanasia, there are lots of things to take into consideration. If it’s at a livery yard, when is it quietest? If at home, do you want family to be present or not? Will you need a few days away from work to come to terms with it: for example, a Friday before a weekend? Will you need a friend to offer support and, if so, when are they available? Will there be any family members or friends who would like to say goodbye? Will you want to spend one-on-one time with your horse beforehand. All things to consider carefully, so if that day ever occurs, you won’t have to agonise or make rushed choices.
• What would you like to happen afterwards?
Most owners will have their horse cremated but, whether you would like your horse’s ashes back (unfortunately at extra cost) is important. Burial is also possible, as is the donation of the body to the hunt, after going through much regulation and discussion with DEFRA and also provided it has not been lethally injected.
• Do you want to be present?
This is a completely personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer. You should discuss with friends and family, your vet or the yard owner if you are unsure. Horses are large animals and, to be brutal, rarely fall to the ground gracefully, so it’s ok to make yourself scarce if you do not wish for this to be your last memory of them. Nevertheless, if you feel brave enough to stand with them while the vet prepares everything, do so. It may be difficult, but you are unlikely regret it.
• Do you want anything to remember them by?
Owner’s will often choose to keep a shoe, a lock of hair from mane or tail or something else that they will remember their horse by. There are many companies around now who make horse hair into jewellery which can prove to be a lasting memento.
• Is your horse insured?
Depending on what level of insurance cover you have, you may be eligible for a pay-out. However, it is often the case that certain criteria have to be met. If putting your horse to sleep is planned, it is worth a phone call to ensure you have everything covered.
This list is comprehensive, but my no means exhaustive. Each individual case will carry different challenges. The most important things to note are that you must never leave a question unasked. It may feel far too difficult to put the words together at the end, but asking questions is a great way to ensure closure. It is such an emotionally sad time, which unfortunately most of us will experience at some point but, remember that no one is there to judge. It’s perfectly natural to be extremely upset.
One very important point to end on is that if you are struggling following the death of your horse, do reach out and ask for support. Your vet can be a source of comfort, but if you are really struggling, try The British Horse Society’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon were back in winning form at Plumpton’s latest meeting today, when they teamed up with six-year-old Baddesley Knight to take the opening race on the card.
The six-year-old was sent off at 1-2 favourite and justified the price by winning comfortably by more than three lengths from Colin Tizzard’s runner, Fly To Mars, with Charlie Longsden’s 12-1 shot Mach One, ridden by Johnathan Burke finished third
Trainer Paul Webber’s trip from Oxfordshire to Plumpton was made worthwhile when his runner Very Live, was a 7-1 winner of the two miles one furlong handicap chase, under a good ride from Gavin Sheehan , winning by just under three lengths from 12-1 shot Edgar, trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by 5lb claimer, Mitchell Bastyan.
Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham, who has a good record with her horses over jumps, was in the winner’s spot when her seven-year-old gelding Potters Hedger was well ridden by Jack Quinlan, justifying as 5-2 favourite.
They finished eight lengths clear of David Pipe’s 3-1 shot Three Star General with Gary Moore’s Ruby Yeats, ridden by son Jamie, in third place.
Ulan Bute, an 11-year-old gelding trained by Venetia Williams, and ridden by Charlie Deutsch showed he can still win well by taking the Veterans’ Handicap Chase over three miles one furlong in good style, with good jump at the last ensuring victory.
Sussex trainer Suzy Smith, who is based at Lewes, enjoyed a good win in the two mile four furlong novice hurdle.
Her impressive runner, Debestyman, sent off at 7-4, and ridden by Gavin Sheehan, beat 13-8 favourite Manning Estate, ridden by Leighton Aspell and trained by Oliver Sherwood into second place- with Colin Tizzard’s 6-1 shot Coastal Drift into third place.
The final two mile handicap hurdle was won by 11-4 shot Generous Jack, trained by Suzy Best and ridden by Darryl Jacob, finishing eight lengths clear of the field.
Nicole Pavitt from Crawley, West Sussex sealed the win in The Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Qualifier, which took place on Friday afternoon at Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre in Fareham, Hampshire.
One-third of the initial starting combinations jumped a clear first round to make it through to course designer Matthew Hoskins’ eight fence jump-off.
Only two combinations could produce a further clear to take home the two qualifying tickets up for grabs for the Championship Final which will be held at the prestigious Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, West Sussex in July.
The fastest double clear came from Nicole Pavitt riding Sandra Pavitt’s Xena 16, a Warrior sired 9 year-old bay mare which Nicole has competed from a four year-old. Nicole navigated the fastest route in the jump-off crossing the finish line in 44.69 seconds.
Will Fletcher from Farringdon, Oxfordshire on his father Graham’s Drewmain Cedric were the only other combination to jump double clear. Will steered the 8 year-old British-bred chestnut gelding into second place in a time of 47.17 seconds.
Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre – Friday January 11 2019
The Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Qualifier Results
1st Nicole Pavitt & Xena 16 – 0/0 – 44.69 seconds
2nd William Fletcher & Drewmain Cedric – 0/0 – 47.17 seconds
Image: Nicole Pavitt & Xena 16 in action in The Champagne Cave Winter B&C Qualifier at Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre (Credit: Simply Event Photos)
FONTWELL Park had perfect conditions for jump racing at this popular track on Monday when a good crowd enjoyed competitive racing.
The opening handicap hurdle race, over two miles three furlongs, was won by Not Never, sent out by Horsham trainer Gary Moore, and ridden by son Jamie. This seven-year-old chestnut gelding had been useful on the Flat but has been even better over jumps, since transferred to handicap hurdles.
He was in fine form at Fontwell when taking the race comfortably, beating runner-up Wind Place and Sho, trained by James Eustace at and ridden by Kielan Woods. Third place went to Rough Night, sent out by Alex Hales, based at Edgecote.
Trainer Oliver Sherwood was delighted with the win in the Maiden Hurdle Race by six-year-old bay mare Millarville, ridden by Aiden Coleman. He revealed the mare had suffered from a soft palate, which had been cauterised successfully. “Aiden held her up early on and she jumped the last well,” he said.
Bryony Frost continues to impress as a jockey and she was in fine form in the handicap steeplechase over three miles two furlongs, partnering Midnight Bliss, a 5-1 shot, to a half-length victory. The winner is trained by Caroline Fryer at Wymondam. Runner-up Cucklington ridden by Harry Cobden for trainer Colin TIzzard was sent off favourite and Robinroyale (Johnny Farrelly and Tom Cannon, was third.
The Maiden Hurdle race over two miles and three furlongs saw a field of 12 runners take part and an unfortunate incident at the start saw some long-priced results.
The 1/2 favourite French bred Umndeni, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson, was bumped into at the start, unseating RIchard Johnson and 66-1 shot, My Destiny, which won by a nose, was trained by Brendan Powell at Upper Lambourn and ridden by Brendan Powell Junior.
Colin TIzzard’s Carrick Road, owned by Brocade Racing with Harry Cobden up, was the unfortunate runner up, beaten only by a nose, while Crossley Tender was third, trained by Paul Henderson and ridden by Nick Scholfield.
The two mile three furlongs handicap chase was comfortably won by Night Of Sin, sent off at 3-1, trained by Nick Williams and ridden by Harry Cobden.
The final race, a handicap hurdle , which was won well by the 100-30 favourite, Sky Full of Stars, a nine-year-old gelding trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon.
The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on Sunday January 27.
Competitive jump racing is promised at Fontwell Park tomorrow, Monday January 14, with all races well-subscribed.
The first race at 1.20pm is a handicap hurdle over two miles three furlongs with twelve runners. In the opening two mile three furlong handicap hurdle, the field is headed by Not Never, a seven-year-old chestnut gelding trained by Gary Moore, and ridden by son Jamie.
Not Never has two previous wins to his credit at Plumpton early last year but was well beaten when he reappeared at Ascot in December, after a very long break -but will have come on since then .
Stablemate Master of Speed, to be ridden by Joshua Moore, runs in the same Fontwell race. This seven-year-old has one win to his credit in 2016 at Kempton for Moore and had been off since then until a run at Kempton over Christmas.
Another stablemate Dancecraft, fourth last time out, runs in the second race, a Mares Maiden Hurdle, where opposition includes past winner Oriental Cross, trained by Tim Vaughan and ridden by William Kennedy, which was third on his last outing.
Dan Skelton runs five-year-old So Lonely in the race, placed four times this season and ridden by Harry Skelton.
Eight runners contest the three miles two furlongs handicap chase. Caroline Fryer runs Midnight Bliss with Bryony Frost in the saddle. Midnight Bliss was pulled up last time out but has clocked up four good wins this season.
Meanwhile Invicta Lake, trained at Lewes by Suzy Smith, was fourth at Fontwell Park in early December and improved on that, finishing third at Fontwell Park on Boxing Day. The 12-year-old gelding seems better suited by Fontwell than other tighter tracks and could go on to do even better there.
The two mile three furlong maiden hurdle race has twelve runners and Carrick Roads, trained by Colin TIzzard and in-form jockey Harry Cobden could well win this race.
In the two mile three furlong handicap chase, trainer Lawney Hill travels triple winner Clondaw Westie from Oxfordshire to be ridden by Aidan Coleman. Her eight-year-old gelding was a dual Fontwell winner last season and clearly likes this track, and this trainer rarely goes away empty handed from here.
The final race- over two miles 1½furlongs-could go to Sky Full of Stars, trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon. This nine-year-old gelding was second at Fontwell last time out and should improve on that.
The richest and most prestigious race in the Fontwell Calendar- the National Spirit Hurdle Race- will be run for the 54th time on Sunday February 24 at Fontwell Park racecourse
This race is certain to attract some of the country’s finest talent. This £80,000, Grade 2 race originated 53 years ago and is named after the dual winning champion hurdler, National Spirit.
After the prize fund increased by a further £30,000 in 2016, the National Spirit Hurdle has continued to attract some of the best horses with excitement beginning to build for months in advance.
Recent winners include Old Guard, Lil’ Rockerfeller, and Black Corton.
At Fontwell Park, there are two enclosures to choose from:
The Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure which grants access to three grandstands, the parade ring, winning circle and a number of bars and food outlets.
Or, you can choose the Premier Enclosure which includes entry to all of the above – plus access to the ground floor of the Premier Grandstand. In here, you’ll find a large indoor bar, the Premier Café as well as seated viewing overlooking the Winning Post. There is also access to a beautiful rear terrace – the perfect quiet spot to study the form.
Popular ticket options include the Premier Lounge Enclosure with a raffle and live auction presented by resident tipster Colin Brown. The £95 package includes a hospitality ticket, champagne reception, three course served meal, tea, coffee and chocolates, afternoon tea and cake, a Raceday programme, table for the day in the Premier Restaurant and reserved car parking.
There is also a £29 complete raceday package includes Premier Enclosure Ticket, Raceday Programme, £2 bet, Drink & Hot Meal from the Premier Café. PLEASE NOTE: This package is only available in advance and must be purchased by midnight the day before racing. *Drink Includes selected Draught Beer, Wines & Soft Drinks.
The Premier enclose allows access to all public areas of the racecourse, including the ground floor of the Premier Grandstand and Fontwell Gardens.
The Premier Grandstand offers additional indoor and outdoor seating opposite the finishing post, as well as a terrace area over looking Fontwell House and Gardens. There are full food and drink facilties as well as betting and flat screen television to watch the racing action close up.
Meanwhile there is racing at this popular track tomorrow, Monday January 14, with the first race at 1.20pm, followed by fixtures on Sunday January 27 and Thursday February 14.
Glen Rocco fulfilled all expectations for West Sussex trainer Nick Gifford at Kempton Park races today, Saturday. He was sent off as 11-4 favourite and won the three mile handicap chase by 23 lengths from Colin Tizzard’s Bally Longford at 9-1.
An eight-year-old chestnut gelding, by Shirocco, Glen Rocco has always been highly regarded and has proved to be a progressive horse.
He put in an excellent performance to win the three mile handicap chase comfortably under a fine ride from jockey James Davies,
There has always been plenty to like about Glen Rocco, owned by Jeremy Khyle, G Mason and D Stevens.
This eight-year-old chestnut gelding has been brought on patiently by Nick Gifford at the famous Downs Stables at Findon and placed carefully in races to suit him.
Attention to detail in his training has reaped a good reward at Kempton where Glenn Rocco, partnered by James Davies, scored a memorable victory after jumping fluently throughout the race.
Nick Gifford Racing commented:”Glen Rocco jumps for fun and was given a great ride by James Davies to win this three mile chase at Kempton . A big shout out to Vova who led him up and rides him everyday at home .
“Rocco is a pretty strong ride and has been bouncing and fresh since his last run on Boxing Day . His owners are thrilled and as are all the team at home.”