Equine America supports Hickstead ring

One of the All England Jumping Course’s eight rings has been given a major makeover ahead of this year’s international shows.

The Equine America Ring Three has been transformed from a grass ring to a state-of-the-art vast all-weather arena, measuring 65m x 127m. It has the same Andrews Bowen surface as used in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Perfect going in Hickstead ‘s Equine America Ring Three  Photo courtesy of Hickstead

Competitors will be pleased to know there is also a new warm-up area incorporated into the arena, alleviating the pressure on the other collecting rings. Elsewhere on the showground, the Hickstead team has extended the Airowear Ring 4 warm up by an extra 450 sq m.

Renowned supplements company Equine America has taken on naming rights to Ring Three, as part of a three-year agreement.

“Equine America is absolutely thrilled to support Hickstead as the title sponsor of the newly-transformed Ring 3 and the new Water Complex, which forms part of Ring 4,” said Lee Middleton, Managing Director of Equine America UK Ltd.

He added: “In addition, we also look forward to inviting our customers to The Equine America Pavilion, where you can chat with our hugely respected nutritionist, Deborah Lucas and benefit from the prime viewing location.”

Ring Three and Ring Four will later form the Hickstead all-weather cross-country schooling facility, which will be launched this autumn. Equine America have also taken on the naming rights of the Water Complex, which will be the main feature of this fabulous new addition.

“We are looking forward to the start of our international season next month, and we’re sure the new Equine America Ring Three is going to prove very popular with our competitors,” said Hickstead Director Edward Bunn.

“Not only will they ride on an Olympic-standard surface, but this gives us a contingency in the event of very wet weather and will allow us to hold more external events during the summer as well as forming part of our new cross-country schooling facility. We are also very grateful to Equine America for their support of Hickstead.”

Hickstead now has four all-weather arenas, including the international warm-up and the Bunn Leisure Arena. The famous Longines International Arena, however, which was given a £500,000 renovation in 2011 to ensure all-weather footing with a turf surface, will always remain a grass arena.

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (June 20-23 ) and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 23-28 ) are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk.

Frankie Dettori’s 200th career win at Goodwood

MORE than 23,000 racegoers enjoyed three days of culinary delights and racing thrills at Goodwood Racecourse, when the Sussex track hosted its May Festival last week.

Guests enjoyed some inspiring demonstrations from Matt Gillan, Jane Devonshire, and Sarah Jayne Stanes, while chefs from Goodwood House, Farmer, Butcher, Chef, and  Goodwood Academy showcased their flourishing talent.

A culinary crescendo was met when top jockeys stole the show with Jamie Spencer, Andrea Atzeni, Hollie Doyle, and Brighton based Jason Watson, swapping the saddle for saucepans. The three-minute Jockeys Omelette Challenge, judged by Goodwood Hotel Head Chef, Mark Foreman, saw Jamie Spencer and Jason Watson crowned champions.

As racegoers basked in the sun on Thursday, it was Frankie Dettori’s victory aboard Terebellum in the British European Breeders Fund Maiden Fillies’ Stakes which crowned his 200th career success at the Sussex track.

Frankie Dettori receives his 200th win award: Photo courtesy of Goodwood

The milestone comes 32 years after he rode Lizzy Hare to victory, and around 70 of those 200 triumphs have come during Glorious week down the decades.

The feature Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes went the way of Aloe Vera for Harry Bentley, having travelled beautifully throughout she went away readily at the line to beat favourite Shambolic. Winning trainer Ralph Beckett commented; “I was not expecting that. She’s from a very good family and it looks like we have something nice on our hands.”

Friday saw the highly touted Private Secretary land the feature Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Cocked Hat Stakes for John Gosden. Unbeaten in three starts this season he looked like a horse going places, Frankie Dettori commented; “He’s maturing all the time, and will stay further, he showed a good turn of foot to win.”

Middleham trainer, Mark Johnson, as usual had a successful few days at Goodwood, with three winners. Lake Volta put up an impressive performance in the Thames Materials Handicap, with the aim now being to come back for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Elarqam, bounced back to form on Saturday with a win in the Betfair sponsored Listed Festival Stakes, while later in the card, Kings Advice showed a plucky performance to make all in the Betfair Exchange Handicap Stakes.

Mirage Dancer won back to back Tapster Stakes, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the five-year-old looked every bit a class act with winning jockey Pat Dobbs commenting: “It was a messy race with a slow pace, so he’s done it the hard way, having strengthened up over the winter he really does look exciting.”

Alex Eade, General Manager of Goodwood Racecourse said; “We had a lovely atmosphere across the course for this meeting, alongside the top-quality racing, and it was great to see so many people enjoying the food demonstrations, Food Market and Mirabeau masterclasses.

“We now look forward to a busy June, with four fixtures coming up in quick succession. Our Three Friday Nights series kicks off on June 7 with MK headlining. This is then followed closely by our brilliant Family Raceday to enjoy on 10 June.”

Young rider is final jockey for Magnolia Cup race

A young rider from Brixton’s Ebony Horse Club has been confirmed as the twelfth and final jockey in this year’s Magnolia Cup race at Goodwood Racecourse on Thursday August 1.

Khadijah Mellah, 18, who has been a member of the Ebony Horse Club for five years will join model Vogue Williams, Olympian Victoria Pendleton and nine other amateur riders in the female only charity race which is the opening contest on Ladies’ Day and will take place before a capacity crowd of 25,000 sports fans.

Throughout her training for the race a documentary team will trace Khadijah’s journey from Brixton, South London, to one of the world’s most famous racecourses. The film will be jointly funded by Great British Racing, the sport’s promotional body; Goodwood Racecourse and The Racing Foundation, as official partners.

Magnolia Cup-rider,Khadijah Mellah, with Frankie Dettori and Ollie Bell.  Photo: British Horse Racing

Khadijah is currently revising for her A-Levels this summer and will combine studying with a gruelling fitness regime to prepare her for the transition from the club’s ponies to a thoroughbred racehorse in the race.

Having learned to ride at Ebony Horse Club she has already ridden out at Chris Wall’s yard in Newmarket and Simon Dow’s stables in Epsom where she will train, and visited a racecourse for the first time when attending Newmarket’s Craven Meeting in April.

She said, “I am super-duper excited about riding in the Magnolia Cup. It was a great experience riding at Chris Wall’s and Simon Dow’s yards and seeing how different racehorses are. It was my first time on a racecourse at Newmarket last month so it was good to get my head around what raceday is like and what it’ll be like on the day. It’s going to be a busy few months with my A-Levels as well but I can’t wait to get going.”

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell who is a patron of Ebony Horse Club said, “I am incredibly excited about the documentary and its potential to shine a light on Ebony’s brilliant work and the ways in which it is opening up opportunities for its members in racing, the sport that I love.

“It will be an incredible achievement for Khadijah to go from riding at the Club to being able to compete on a racehorse at Goodwood and we are all so impressed with her commitment and drive. She is a great personality and a brilliant rider and we will all be rooting for her in the Magnolia Cup.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing which is an official partner of the film and is part funding it said, “We are very proud and excited to be supporting this brilliant initiative. As a sport we need to be doing so much more to broaden the appeal of racing and we hope that Khadijah’s story will inspire and capture people’s imagination about the power of horses – be they at Ebony or on a racecourse – and prompt more people to consider the sport.”

The film is being produced by Tom Bolwell and Mattia Reiniger, who will document Khadijah’s life in the run up to race day including her riding and training regime, as well as her home life in Brixton.

Don’t miss double demonstration at Moocroft

A DOUBLE demonstration at Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre next month offers an excellent opportunity or horse owners and supporters of this fine charity to see the art of long reining and its benefits for horses.

The event takes place on June 29 at 10am when Moorcroft horses being retrained will also go on display under saddle, with a full explanation of what Moorcroft does and why.

There will also be an introduction to thermography at 10.45am by Sarah Villa, with a demonstration from Sync Equine.

Equine thermography is a non-invasive monitoring tool that uses the very latest Infrared imaging equipment and computer software to detect minute differences in the horse’s thermal and neural condition, and allows quick and efficient identification of trauma in an injured animal

At 12.30pm a demonstration of ridden Moorcroft horses will be accompanied by a full explanation of what the centre does and why it does it.  Book your place by ringing Mary on  07929 666408.

An ex-racehorse almost ready for re-homing following successful retraining at Moorcroft. Photo: Mark Beaumont

Don’t miss this fine opportunity to see the outstanding work done at Moorcroft by chief executive Mary Frances and her staff, with retraining methods, including long reining, which enable ex-racehorses to go on to a fulfilling life after racing with new owners.

There will be refreshments and a marquee containing with equine related stands which visitors will find interesting and useful.

Mary hands over the reins to a course participant in a long reining session at Moorcroft
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Another event planned by Moorcroft is an evening at the Random Hall Hotel, close to Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre. This will feature an interesting talk from chairman Nigel Neville and a presentation  by Mary Frances.

This will be a fun and informative evening, giving a chance to find out more about Moorcroft’s vital work, supporting injured and vulnerable ex-racehorses, The cost is £50 person. Please book early with Mary by ringing 07929 666408.

Meanwhile retraining work continues at the centre every day in a quiet and professional manner, putting first the needs of horses in its care.


Steve Guerdat to compete at Spruce Meadows

The 2012 Olympic Champion, winner of three Majors, current FEI World Cup Champion and No. 1-ranked show jumper in the world- Steve Guerdat (SUI)- has committed to compete at Spruce Meadows this summer

The year, 37 year old Swiss equestrian legend  confirmed he is scheduled to compete in three of the Spruce Meadows CSI5* Summer Series Tournaments, together with six of his horses that will be travelling with him.

“It is a great opportunity for me to come with my horses to Spruce Meadows during the summer. I have been competing the past 5 years at the ‘Masters’ in September, but always wanted to come for the ‘National’, ‘Continental’ and ‘Pan-American’ presented by ROLEX in June,” said Guerdat. “I have always been a great supporter of these traditional events, with big grass arenas and enthusiastic crowds. Spruce Meadows has mastered the secret formula between tradition and innovation – it’s fantastic”.

Steve Guerdat, number one for Longines FI Jumping World Cup  Phito: John Simpson

Spruce Meadows is recognized as one of the leading equestrian destinations in the world. Located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada the outdoor venue welcomes the best equestrian athletes in the world. From tradition to new developments, Spruce Meadows always offers the highest quality experience. It is common to see former and current champions at Spruce Meadows, such as Eric Lamaze, Steve Guerdat, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward and Kent Farrington, all of whom are scheduled to compete at Spruce Meadows this summer.

While the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, the September leg of the ROLEX Grand Slam of Show Jumping, has always been recognized as the pinnacle of the season, Spruce Meadows has been playing host to four weeks of top international competition each summer for 44 consecutive years and counting.

International riders from more than 20 nations compete at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Recently retired Hall of Famer, Ian Millar, also known as Captain Canada, has fond memories of his summers in Calgary, where, for Canadians and international athletes alike, “a single month of competition is like an additional five years of experience,” he says.

The Spruce Meadows Summer Series starts with the ‘National’ presented by ROLEX on June 5 and conclude with the ‘North American’ presented by ROLEX on July 7.

Borde Hill Horse Trials at the weekend

Borde Hill Horse Trials take place from Saturday May 25 to Monday May 27 inclusive. The event is sponsored by JH Builders and Bill Kear Arenas and Gallops and will support Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

The venue is located near Haywards Heath, West Sussex at RH16  1XP and all tracks make good use of the parkland and woodland settings.

Fences are well presented and dressed, with a mix of permanent fences and sturdy portables.

Howard Newitt pictured competing at a previous Borde Hill Horse Trials Photo: British Eventing

New changes will be introduced in all classes this year, providing fair and inviting challenges at all levels.

All areas of the event are meticulously prepared according to the ground conditions and
the course is preserved for the events only and is not open for schooling.

Officials at the event will be:

Joint Organiser – Ms Lucy Cunliffe
Contact Ms Lucy Cunliffe
Phone: 01732 750568
Mobile: 07881 581124

Joint Organiser – Mr John Hill
Contact Mr John Hill
Mobile: 07831 499593

Joint Organiser – Mr Bill Kear
Contact Mr Bill Kear
Phone: 01293 862666
Mobile: 07786 375800

Entries Secretary – Mrs Ann Allen
Contact Mrs Ann Allen
Mobile: 07802 534837 NO CALLS AFTER 7.00PM

Opening of Goodwood’s May Festival

The first day of Goodwood’s May Festival welcomed glorious sunshine and superb racing. The East Parade Lawn was a hive of activity throughout as local exhibitors including Perfectly Preserved, Yarty’s Vinegar and Horsham Coffee showcased their produce.

With brilliant cooking demonstrations from culinary professionals including Jane Davidson, 2016 winner of MasterChef, and Goodwood Estates very own Ben Hammett of farmer, butcher,chef, it was jockeys’ Hollie Doyle and locally born, Jason Watson, who stole the show when showcasing their talents off the turf in the Jockeys Omelette Challenge.

Jockeys cook up a storm at Goodwood Racecourse

Hollie Doyle appeared to command the kitchen throughout the three-minute cook-off, however, it was locally born Jason Watson who prevailed in the taste test, judged by Goodwood Hotel Chef, Mark Foreman. This marked a change of fortune for Jason who could only finish fifth to Hollie’s dominant display aboard Apex King in The Three Friday Nights Handicap Stakes, earlier in the afternoon.

The feature Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes went the way of Aloe Vera for Harry Bentley, having travelled beautifully throughout she went away readily at the line to beat favourite Shambolic.

Winning Trainer Ralph Beckett commented; “I wasn’t expecting that, she’s from a very good family and it looks like we have something nice on our hands. The aim would be The Park Hill Stakes at the end of the season; I don’t think she wants any further than a mile and a quarter.”

On the supporting card it was a day to remember for Oisin Murphy who scored aboard 16-1 shot Spirit of Appin in the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap, before following up in the Jim Barry Handicap with Wedding Blue for trainer Andrew Balding.





Horse trials Nations Cup Squad announced

The selected British squad for the Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials from May 23-26, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Richard Coney (20) riding his own and Wendy Coney’s 11 year old bay gelding Kananaskis
  • Piggy French (38) on Jennifer Saunders’ 11 year old bay gelding Cooley Monsoon
  • Eliza Stoddart (26) and the Flint Syndicate’s 12 chestnut gelding Dick O Malley
  • Bubby Upton (20) and Amy O’Connor and Rachel Upton’s 16 year old gelding Fernhill Rock Star

The British squad of four, who will compete on home soil for the first leg of the seven leg CCIO4*-S series, sees three riders, and all four horses, receive their first senior team call up for Team GBR. Led by GB team stalwart and recent Badminton CCI5*-L and team World Championship gold medalist, Piggy French is joined by Richard Coney, Eliza Stoddart and Bubby Upton, who will all make their first senior team appearance.

Gold medalist Piggy French will lead the team.
Photo courtesy of

Great Britain will head to the opening of the 2019 FEI Nations Cup series on home soil and as defending champions following their win on a total of 94 points last year. The 2019 series calendar is as follows:

  • 23-26 May: Houghton International, Great Britain
  • 5-8 June: Pratoni Del Vivaro, Italy
  • 27-30 June: Strzegom, Poland
  • 24-29 July: Camphire Cappoquin, Ireland
  • 7-13 August: Le Pin au Haras, France
  • 19-22 September: Waregem, Belgium
  • 10-13 October: Boekelo, Netherlands

Side Saddle Area 8 plans outstanding display

Don’t miss Side Saddle Area 8’s show at the Festival of Horsemanship, which takes place on Saturday June 1 from 10am at Slindon in West Sussex.

Last year a number of side saddle riders came to Slindon village in West Sussex and performed a memorable display for visitors to the Festival.

It was such a success that this year the Side Saddle Association Area 8, which covers Sussex, Surrey and Kent, has been invited by Danielle Sercombe to arrange a show at the Festival to be held at Gaston Farm, School Hill, Slindon, near Arundel.

Expect plenty of side saddle action at the event
Photos: Belinda Wilkins

The show will include classes for all ages and abilities. The Side Saddle Costume Concours d’ Elegance class will be sponsored by Park Lady Costumes and will take place at 1pm in the main arena. Guest judge Margaret Winn from Slindon will join International Side Saddle rider and judge Paula Keely.

A commentator will enable the audience to learn about the stunning costumes worn. In the afternoon a few of the more experienced riders will be competing over a course of jumps.

Do visit the Side Saddle Area 8’s Gala Tent and perhaps even sit on a side saddle on a stand.

More information is available at http://www.facebook.com/FestivalofHorsemanshipsussex

Amy Inglis has double clear in CSIO 5*

It was another outstanding performance from the CSIO 5* debutante Amy Inglis when she jumped double clear in the Grand Prix of La Baule, France to finish in fourth place.

Friday had seen Amy make her first appearance on a top level nations cup team in great style when she produced the best result of the Brits by finishing on just a single time penalty across both rounds having left all fences untouched.

As if that wasn’t enough to get her noticed, she later came out and jumped a double clear in the Grand Prix, one of only four combinations to do so, claiming fourth place in what was a world class competition.

Amy Inglis and Wishes  : Photo by: Lewis Harding Photography

Making her performance all the more meaningful was that she was riding her mother’s homebred  11 year-old chestnut mare, Wishes,  who she has produced slowly up through the ranks herself.

It was a field of forty-five riders that came forward to contest the 1.60m course that twisted and turned its way across the vast grass arena at the Stade Francoise Andre..

There was just a total of eight  that managed to achieve a first round clear with Amy being the sole Brit to make it through amid what was a strong and established group. The fourth rider to come forward, and with no clears having been achieved at that point, Amy set the grandstands alight when she posted the first clear putting pressure on the remaining riders coming up behind her.

It was three of them that achieved the challenge set by jumping clear in a faster time with  Simone Blum (GER) taking the win with DSP Alice in a time of 43.33 seconds.  Hot on their heels and just a fraction of a second slower were Steve Guerdat (SUI) on Albfuehren’s Bianca, and Kenny Darragh (IRE) with Important de Muze who took second and third spots respectively.

For Amy, it was a fourth place finish ahead of Gregory Wathelet who was the fastest on 4 penalties with Iron Man van de Padenborre.

Talking afterwards Amy said “ I’m finding it hard to talk about it and take it all in if I’m honest as it hasn’t really sunk in yet.  She [Wishes]  is just so good, she jumped the Nations Cup like it was no effort to her and she’s such a fighter.  Then today when it was even bigger she just fought a bit harder.  She loves it and she is so brave with the biggest heart.

“It was the biggest course we have ever jumped, but I tried not to think about it and I knew there was no reason to worry as she would always do everything I ask of her.  I just wanted to go out and do our best and I am so happy with her.

“When I walked the course I kept saying I thought it was getting bigger, it looked really big as it’s our first time at this level.  Today has meant everything, Friday was amazing but to come out and  jump double clear today in the Grand Prix has just been unbelievable!”

British Showjumping would like to thank NAF, title sponsors of the Senior Nations Cup Teams along with the Children, Junior, Young Rider and Veteran teams.

The GBR showjumping teams are supported by the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Programme, funded by UK Sport through the National Lottery. The Programme focuses on identifying talent, developing potential and maximising medal-winning performances on the world stage.