Fontwell double for Moore family

FONTWELL Park’s latest jump meeting saw the Moore family back in good form, with trainer Gary Moore winning the opening handicap hurdle with Twenty Twenty, a lightly raced four-year-old, ridden by son Joshua Moore.

He beat the Emma Lavelle-trained favourite, Celtic Joy, sent off at 9-2, by just over a length.

A double followed when his other son, Jamie Moore, won the Maiden Hurdle over two miles two furlongs with 9-4 joint  favourite Waikiki Waves, beating the other joint favourite New Millennium, trained by Phillip Hobbs and ridden  by Richard Johnson,  by just under three lengths.

First race winner Twenty Twenty ridden by Josh Moore Photo courtesy Fontwell Park Racecourse

Runners sent out at Fontwell or Plumpton  by trainer Linda Jewell, who is based at Sutton Valence, Kent, can always be respected.

This raceday was no exception, for she saddled up an 18-1 surprise when Ullrightharry won the Handicap Chase of the day over three miles two furlongs, ridden  by Brendan Powell. He beat 2-1 favourite Newtown Lad, trained by Michael Scudamore  by just over three lengths.

In the maiden hurdle over two miles three furlongs, trainer Phillip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson combined for Le Ligerien’s first win over obstacles. Sent off as 2-11 favourite,  Le Ligerien won by a comfortable 15 lengths and should go on to further victories.

Phillip Hobbs was another trainer in double form, for he also sent out 5-1 shot Victarion to win the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle of the day, ridden by Richard Johnson, by one-and-a-half lengths from Gary Moore’s runner, Deebaj.

Winner Victarion, provided a double for trainer by Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse

Trainer Linda Jewell won the opening handicap chase over three miles two furlongs with seven-year-old gelding Uallrightharry, ridden by Brendan Powell.

The winning horse has been carefully brought on with three hurdle races before he was switched to chasing, where he clearly has a good future. He was fourth on his initial outing over fences last month and should go on to more successes over larger obstacles.

Somerset trainer Jack Barber was in winning form, sending out seven-year-old French bred Shintori to victory in the two mile three furlongs handicap chase, ridden  by Nick Scholfield. He beat runner-up Truckers Tangle, trained by Alexandra Dunn, with Jamie Moore riding, by three quarters of a length.

A promising runner for the future was revealed in the National Hunt Flat Race at the end of the meeting. Only Money, a 6-1 shot trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon beat Milkwood, trained by Neil Mulholland and ridden by Robert Dunne, by just under three lengths.

Milkwood put in a good performance, having had a wind operation recently, and should go on to reward connections in the future.

Fontwell Park’s next meeting is on Friday April 12 with an Easter Eggstravaganza Raceday when gates open at noon.



New sponsor for HOYS 138cm class

Showing its invested interest in supporting young talent in showjumping, Grandstand Media is delighted to announce that Aztec Diamond Equestrian will take on title sponsorship of the 138cm Championship at Horse of the Year Show 2019.

This class was introduced to Horse of the Year Show in 1992 with the intention of providing a platform for young riders and an opportunity to depict future stars. In 2001, the 138cm Championship was won by William Whitaker aged 12.

Two years later he returned to HOYS to take the Junior Foxhunter title and a further two years later he won the Junior Show Jumper of the Year.

Aztec Diamond Equestrian is an innovative equestrian clothing brand created by a young equestrian herself, so as a company they understand the importance of harnessing young talent, perfectly matching the ethos of the 138cm Championship which they are sponsoring.

138 cm championship at HOYS Photo: : 1st Class Images

Jordan McCabe, CEO for Aztec Diamond Equestrian, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the 138cm Championship at HOYS this year. It is an honour to be a part of one of the biggest events in the equestrian calendar and give our full support to the talented young riders and ponies showcased in the class.

“We have been exhibitors at HOYS for the past three years, each year we are overwhelmed by the visitor response to both our stand and the show itself.

“After getting to know what goes on there behind the scenes, we are so grateful for the huge amount of work put into the event each year by every person involved, from the organisers to the trainers.

“We really wanted to give our support to not only the talented young riders and ponies in the 138cm Championships, but to each and every person that makes HOYS one of the greatest events in the equestrian calendar.

“My team at Aztec Diamond have worked incredibly hard over the past five years to build the brand to be what it is today. Now to be recognised and appointed as official HOYS sponsor is a real honour. We are so excited to give back to an event that has given us so much over the years.”

Event Director, Emma Williams, commented: “On behalf of the show, I have great privilege in welcoming Aztec Diamond Equestrian Centre as a class sponsor of the 138cm Championship. The team at Aztec Diamond is so dedicated to its cause and is passionate about what it does.

“This has been evident in their stand popularity at HOYS over the last few years. I look forward to welcoming them back to Horse of the Year Show once again this year and wish them all the best with their new sponsorship platform.”

Join them this year at Horse of the Year Show for more than 16 hours of family entertainment daily at The NEC Birmingham Resorts World Arena, October 2 – 6 2019. Tickets start from £34.00 and there is a range of fantastic packages which can be purchased via the website or by calling the Box Office on 0844 581 8282.

Firle Place country show and horse trials

A Country Show and Horse Trials takes place on May 11 and 12, at Firle Place country estate in Lewes, East Sussex. This event attracts hundreds of visitors and has been a huge success for many years.

Alice Dunsdon and Sambo competing in previous horse trials
Photo: Firle Place Horse Trials

It offers an outstanding day out for horse lovers, dog fans, families and anyone who enjoys a traditional country fair with a wide range of diverse stands, local crafts and a farmers’ market. Excdllent shopping facilities make this an excellent weekend.
Discounted tickets at just £8 are currently available and admission is free for children under 14.
This year, organiser BEDE Events is adding some exciting new features to the Horse Trials, making this a family festival for everyone. A range of diverse trade stands, local crafts, a farmers’ market and some great shopping make the weekend a ‘don’t miss’ event for locals and visitors alike.

Dogs compete too
Photo: Firle Place Horse Trials

The horse trials action includes dressage, show jumping and an exciting cross country course. As well as the equestrian sport, there are more dogs than you can shake a stick at. Dog lovers can enjoy terrier racing, a Gundog Scurry, a minority breed show and a gun dog demonstration.
Here are some of the other attractions at Firle:
● Petting farm
● Carriage Driving
● Pony Club Games
● Gun dog scurry
● Funfair
● Face painting
● Target shooting
● Terrier racing
Firle Place Country Show and Horse Trials has become established as one of the oldest and finest equestrian events in the country, set in the beautiful, historic county of Sussex, at the majestic estate of Firle Place, five miles south-east of Lewes.
For those travelling from further afield, there are lots of welcoming hotels, cosy inns and
comfortable B&Bs available in the local area.
Discounted tickets at just £8 are currently available and admission is free for children under 14. To buy tickets visit

Sussex Raceday at Plumpton on April 7

This Easter, at  Plumpton races on Sunday April 7, everything is  about Sussex, and with this comes a whole host of activities, demonstrations and entertainment all from the local area.

In the marquee will be the second edition of the ‘Sussex Farmers Market’, bringing together food, drink, sport, culture, wildlife and crafts. With more than double the amount of stands attending, it is sure to be a bigger success than last year’s edition.

There will be demonstrations throughout the day from Morris Dancers and Stoolball, both of which are at the heart of Sussex and its history.

Alongside all of this will be seven great races, plus Paddock Restaurant and Hospitality boxes.

Expect plenty of close racing action at Plumpton
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Enjoy a day at the races in the heart of East Sussex in the Paddock Restaurant, where Dave Crosse will take everyone through the card and escort you down to the final fence to see  the thrilling final stages of each race up close.

Come rain or shine, you willl be in prime position to enjoy the day. An exquisite three course meal, table for the day, racecard, tipsters talk, tea/coffee and table service  makes for a great day out enjoying racing.

To reserve a table, please call  01273 890383 .

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome explained

  • Our latest equine veterinary feature, written by Dr. Sarah Davidson, BVMS, MRCVS) of Sussex Equine Hospital at Ashington, explains equine gastric ulcer syndrome.

    Dr. Sarah Davidson, BVMS, MRCVS of Sussex Equine Hospital. Ashington.

    Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) can affect any horse or pony, even though we see it more frequently among high-performance horses.
    Some studies suggest prevalence of around 37 per cent of leisure horses, 60 per cent of performance horses and up to 90 per cent of racehorses. Foals are also particularly susceptible, with around 50 per cent of foals developing stomach ulcers, especially in times of stress.
    EGUS is one of the most commonly under-diagnosed condition in horses.
    So, what are gastric ulcers? To understand this, we first need to understand how the normal equine stomach functions.
    The horse’s stomach is divided into two regions, an upper ‘squamous’
    region and a lower ‘glandular’ region. The squamous region is covered by stratified squamous epithelium and lies on top of the glandular region, separated by a well-defined border called the margo plicatus.
    The glandular region is the region that contains and produces the stomach acid
    and digestive enzymes, this part of the stomach is protected by :
    a/bicarbonate protective layer; rapid cell turnover; prostaglandins; and intracellular tight junctions.  The upper squamous region does not have these protective adaptations and so is vulnerable to stomach acid.
    In a natural environment, the horse is designed and adapted to graze for 16-20 hours of the 24-hour day, what we call a ‘trickle feeder’. The horse’s acidic stomach contents are buffered (neutralised) by saliva produced from this regular and almost constant grazing. The horse constantly produces stomach acid (over a litre an hour) whether it is eating or not.
    It follows that domesticated horses that are stabled with restricted forage will be producing gastric acid and because they aren’t eating it won’t be being neutralised by the saliva, so the stomach pH will start to decrease. Horses are also naturally designed to move little and often only needing to move at high speed when evading predation.
    With this ‘normal’ gentle movement, the gastric acid is generally restricted to the lower glandular part of the stomach rather than the upper squamous region. Domesticated horses, however, spend less time eating (decreasing saliva production) and more time exercising (splashing the gastric contents on to the less protected squamous region).
    Gastric ulcers occur when the gastric acid and digestive enzymes overpower the protective factors in the stomach lining. There are two types of gastric ulcers:
    Squamous Ulceration: The dorsal (top) region ulcerates from
    extended exposure to acid secretions and a lack of protective mechanism. Glandular Ulceration:The ventral (bottom) region is covered in glandular epithelium and ulcers occur here when the protective mucus layer is compromised.
    Research has shown causes of EGUS include exercise training, high carbohydrate diets, stress and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Bute. There is also a mechanical mechanism: when galloping the pressure from the abdomen causes mthe stomach to contract, pushing acid from the glandular stomach up in to the more vulnerable upper squamous stomach region.
    The signs of EGUS are vague and variable and this contributes to the under diagnosis of the condition. Some signs that may be noted include:
    Reduced appetite or weight loss, poor performance, poor condition (including a dull coat)
    Behavioural changes or an altered temperament (bucking, rearing, refusing to jump, resenting the girth being done up)
    Mild or recurrent colic and or teeth grinding
    Diarrhoea and cribbing
    Foals may also show teeth grinding, excess salivation and excessive lying down, colicking,  infrequent nursing and diarrhoea
  • As you can see, these signs are vague and maybe confused with back pain, sacroiliac pain or bad behavior. Additionally, the severity of the clinical signs does not always correlate with the severity of ulcers.
    While we can be suspicious of EGUS, the only way to confirm, diagnose and monitor the condition is by having a gastroscope. This is relatively simple, painless procedure whereby your vet passes a three-meter-long video scope down into your horse’s stomach and visually assesses the oesophagus, stomach and proximal duodenum.
    Ulceration is graded on a scale of 1 to 4 with 1 being mild thickening and inflammation only, to 4 being deep widespread ulcers. Bleeding does not relate to the depth or the severity of the ulcers. Grades 2 or above are considered clinically significant.
    In the past, the only licensed drug was Gastrogard (omeprazole), a proton pump inhibitor given orally, which inhibits gastric acid secretion and is highly effective in healing gastric ulcers.
    However, there has now been an injectable form of omeprazole licensed which requires an injection intramuscularly weekly, for some horses and owners this is more convenient than administering an oral dose daily. Total healing time is usually between two and four weeks, although severe cases can take a little longer.
    A full course of treatment is usually prescribed for 28 days. The horse may need to be taken out of work during this period to minimise damage to the
    healing tissue, but it is not always necessary.
    You can help to reduce the potential for gastric ulcers developing in your horse by changing the management to resemble a more natural lifestyle:
    Increasing turnout and reducing concentrate feeds
    Allowing free-choice access to grass or hay in the stable
    Feeding more frequently to increase and prolong saliva production to help buffer the acid in their stomach
    Feeding a small amount of easily digestible feed before working to act as a sponge,  soaking up free gastric acid and reducing splashing onto the squamous part of the stomach
    Cutting down on the use of high carbohydrate diets
    Splitting the feeds into four feeds rather than two
    Using medication at times of greatest risk, like traveling or competition
    Where ever possible, reducing stress
    Additionally, there are feed supplements like activated charcoal and other veterinary preparations that may be of benefit. Unfortunately, if you don’t make the management changes, then it is likely EGUS will reoccur. If you have any concerns regarding your horse and EGUS then contact your vet for a consultation

BRC SEIB Winter Championships

Good luck to all the competitors ahead of this year’s BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Novice Winter Championships 2019, which will be taking place this weekend (30-31 March) at Arena UK, Grantham, Lincs.

Almost 500 junior and senior riders will be taking part in both 80cm Show Jumping and a range of Prelim and Novice Dressage classes, for junior and senior teams and individuals. New for this year are also a number of direct entry dressage classes, including Veterans, Into and Native Type.

Past winners at tghis prestigious event
Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

There is a new sponsor for this year’s event with SEIB Insurance Brokers stepping in to support the championships

“SEIB is delighted to sponsor these Championships particularly as it gives riders something to look forward to, and compete in, during the long winter.

“This is the first time we have been involved and are looking forward to seeing everyone there.  SEIB is the complete equestrian insurance broker offering cover for everything from  the horsebox and trailer to horse and pony.  Riding school, livery yard and private home with stables,” said Nicolina Mackenzie, SEIB Insurance Brokers Marketing Manager

Results and pictures will be posted on the BRC Facebook page over the weekend, with full results available on the BRC website after the Championship event.

Hickstead’s 59th Al Shira’aa Derby this year

Hickstead’s 59th Al Shira’aa Derby takes place on Sunday June 23 this year. Top riders will face the iconic course that includes the Devil’s Dyke, the double of ditches, one of the widest open water jumps in the world and the fearsome 10ft 6in slope of the Derby Bank.

This year, reigning champion William Funnell will bid to become the first five-time winner of this famous class

William Funnell winning a past Hickstead Derby
Photo courtesy of Hickstead

Spectators will get their first impression of Derby form in Thursday’s Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard, and then riders must qualify for the main event during Friday’s Bunn Leisure Derby Trial. The focus of Saturday afternoon is the British Speed Derby, where riders tackle some of Hickstead’s permanent fences at top speed.

Showing highlights include the final of the Tattersalls/RoR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship, plus there will be scurry driving, carriage driving and more. On Saturday evening, the Celebrity Derby Challenge sees leading show jumpers give a new sport a try.

Tickets start at £20 for general admission with advance discounts and concessions available. Admission is free on Thursday.

Tickets are on sale now from

Campaign To Beat Colic

As part of the ‘REACT Now to Beat Colic’ campaign, The British Horse Society (BHS) and the University of Nottingham are launching their first ever Colic Awareness Week on Monday April 1 – Sunday April 7 2019.

The week aims to raise awareness of the importance of recognising the more subtle, earlier signs of colic so that veterinary assistance, diagnosis and treatment can be sought quickly for this potentially fatal condition.

The campaign was launched as a result of five years of research by the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science that found 90 per cent of horse owners did not feel confident spotting the early signs of colic. In addition to this, up to one in three cases of colic seen by vets as an ‘out of hours’ emergency were critical, requiring urgent veterinary care. Of these critical cases, more than 80% of horses were euthanised or died.

Since the campaign launched, the BHS have distributed nearly 30,000 colic packs and nearly 15,000 guides to horse owners and carers.

Emmeline Hannelly, Welfare Education Manager at the BHS said: “We are really excited to be hosting our first ever Colic Awareness Week with the University of Nottingham. Since we launched ‘REACT Now to Beat Colic’ in 2016, we have received so many positive responses from horse owners and vets as a result of the information we provide.

“Colic is still a huge welfare concern for horse owners due to the suddenness with which it can appear and the potential consequences that it can cause. I think that dedicating a whole week to raising awareness of the issues associated with the condition will help to provide owners with the information they need to make informed decisions about their horse’s welfare.”

Sarah Freeman, Professor of Veterinary Surgery at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham said: “Our colic research team is delighted to be working with The British Horse Society to raise awareness of colic. Colic is the most common emergency in the horse and can involve some really difficult decisions for owners. The Colic Awareness Week is a great new initiative to help owners recognise signs of colic early, act promptly and make the best decisions for their horses”.

Throughout the week, The BHS and the University’s Vet School will be providing top tips and videos on how to prevent colic. Veterinary practices across the country that are part of The BHS and the university’s ‘Vet REACT Colic Champions scheme’ will also be raising awareness of colic by sharing information with their clients throughout the week.

Horse owners can access more information about colic and get involved with the awareness week by following The BHS’s website:  and social media channels.


Jockey Noel Fehily to retire

Jockey Noel Fehily will retire from race riding today, Saturday, at Newbury at the age of 43.  He has had an impressive career as a jockey, during which time he rode 477 winners in the last five seasons alone, and a remarkable 976 placed horses. But health issues have influenced his decision to retire.

Born in Ireland in 1975,  the son of a Cork farmer, he didn’t have racing in his blood. He started out riding on the point-to-point circuit in Ireland and moved to the United Kingdom in 1998, when he was already in his early twenties.

He rode for Charlie Mann, for whom he won on Ivy Boy in 1998, and clocked up 13 winners in that first season. The following season he had 16 winners and turned professional in 2000.In 2005 he was appointed second jockey for Jonjo O’Neill whilst also riding several horses for Charlie Mann.

It was another three years before his really made his mark, winning his first Group/Grade One race riding the Charlie Mann-trained ‘Air Force One’ to victory in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown in 2008.

Winning jockey Noel Fehily, pictured here at Plumpton,  to retire         Photo: Jeannie Knight

Noel Fehily ended an impressive 2008/09 season with 89 winners in Great Britain, finishing fourth in the race for the Champion Jockey title, whilst amassing overall prize money of just over £900,000. The ensuing 2010-11 season was a poor one for him through injuries ranging from several shoulder problems, a broken leg and wrist problems.

He became first jockey to Emma Lavelle in 2012 and achieved a 21 per cent winning strike rate aboard her horses. He also rode several horses for Paul Nicholls, mainly when Ruby Walsh was forced to miss action, with a high level of success.

But he recovered to ride more than 100 winners in a single campaign in Great Britain. His total of 127 winners in Great Britain with a strike rate of 21 per cent was without doubt his most successful campaign, as he also accumulated total prize money of over £1 million for the first time.

Noel Fehily won more than £1.5million in total prizes the following season, despite only having 85 winners. He has achieved more than that amount again this season and is currently in fourth place in the Champion Jockey title race with 118 winners, whilst he has also ridden more than 100 second places.

His most recent winner in a Group One race was on the Nicky Henderson trained Buveur D’air in a top novices hurdle at the Aintree Grand National festival at the start of April. Altogether he has ridden more than 1,000 winners in Britain during almost 20 years.

Off the track, Fehily married his wife Natasha in County Cork in 2007 and they have since had a daughter, Niamh, who was born in 2012. Health issues have affected him this season, including appendix surgery in January which has had its complications.

Despite returning to win at the Cheltenham Festival this year aboard Eglantine Du Seuil, the 43-year-old has decided to retire at the top on Saturday, when he hopes to add to his tally of winners at Newbury.

Win chance to be crowned HOYS superfan

Six of Horse of the Year Show’s most enthusiastic and engaged fans will this year have the opportunity to be recognised for their love of the show by becoming ‘HOYS Superfans’ ahead of this year’s HOYS in October at the Resorts World Arena, NEC Birmingham.

A social campaign built with the aim of connecting with the younger followers of Horse of the Year Show, it has been designed to resonate with 16-28 year olds who are keen influencers in the equestrian industry through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube vlogs.

Household Cavalry at HOYS
Photo: Horse of the Year Show

The social media tag for the campaign is #TeamHOYS and the lucky six Superfans will be challenged to achieve the highest number of ticket sales and recruit the most members of #TeamHOYS.

 How to get involved

HOYS is looking for six enthusiastic, horse-loving and social media savvy individuals to help spread the news about Horse of the Year Show 2019.  Horse of the Year Show ) is one of the longest standing horse shows in the UK and is the biggest week of the year for equestrian entertainment.

Returning to The NEC Birmingham this October, the event will showcase national and international showjumping classes, the finals for the Pony Club Mounted Games Prince Philip Cup, and will see the best of British show horses come forward for the finale to the showing season. So whether you are a show jumper, a pony club member or a showing enthusiast, you are covered.

The Crawley and Horsham Pony Club Hunt South’s Mounted Games team

The lucky six Superfans will work alongside existing HOYS Ambassador and will be set up as an affiliate with the official ticketing partner, The Ticket Factory. This will track how many ticket sales you generate through promotion of the show. For each ticket you sell, you will receive a 2% commission on the face value ticket price, and to make sure you look the part you will get your very own HOYS clothing to enjoy.

You can blog to your heart’s content and tell all your friends about some of the exciting plans in store for 2019. Whichever Superfan has sold the most tickets by August 31 2019 will be crowned the Ultimate HOYS Superfan and will receive a very special, unique and never offered before prize…..

 Check out the prize! Ever wondered what it is like to spend a day backstage with the Press Team at HOYS? Well now is your chance!

As part of the prize, you will be invited to spend a day backstage with our HOYS ambassador Hannah Eccles. You will be mingling amongst well-known equestrian journalists from the likes of Horse & Hound, interviewing riders, taking shots for social media, speaking to some of the other members of our team and getting a real feel for what it’s like to put on one of the biggest horse shows in the UK.

And as if that isn’t enough, you and a friend will then be invited to enjoy an evening in hospitality, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a well-earned treat.

The runners up will also each receive a pair of tickets to come along and enjoy the show on the Sunday evening for the Gala Evening Finale.

 Abide by Terms and Conditions

  • Entrants must be over the age of 16 to enter
  • You must be able to demonstrate how you will communicate the HOYS news through way of blog/vlog/social media following
  • You must abide by Horse of the Year show’s social media rules as well as brand guidelines
  • Candidates must be available to attend the show, 2nd – 6th October 2019
  • The winning Superfan must have sold a minimum of 10 tickets in order to claim their prize.

Enter now

To fill out your application form, head to . Applications to become a HOYS Superfan will close on 30th April 2019 and winners will be selected by a panel of Grandstand Media Ltd employees. The lucky six winners will be contacted by Friday May 10 2019.