About Jeannie Knight

Jeannie Knight confesses to a lifelong passion for horses, which started at the early age of four when accompanying her father and uncle to a race meeting at Wetherby. Born and bred in Yorkshire, she has been a journalist all her life, working for a range of northern papers, including the Northern Echo and Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, later moving to the south of England. She worked for The Sporting Life, writing features and racing news for Sussex area when her three sons were small, and later joined the West Sussex Gazette as chief reporter. There she created a full page of equestrian news for the West Sussex Gazette, which still continues. The first woman to fly a hang glider in this country, she and her husband Tom ran a hang gliding school for ten years and when Tom turned to microlights and light aircraft, she sold her hang glider and bought a racehorse that had been destined for Ascot sales. She used her to hack across the Downs around Findon and Washington, later breeding a foal from her, which she sold to go eventing in the north of England. "There are so many untold stories about horses and their riders, whether in racing, show jumping or any other sphere, that my aim is to highlight as much equestrian news and achievements as possible," she said,

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 https://hoys.co.uk/the-hub/win-2/ . 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.

BHS is new sponsor at Balmoral Show

The RUAS has announced that the British Horse Society has become a new sponsor at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The British Horse Society is sponsoring the Registered Irish Draught Ridden Class, taking place on Thursday, May 16, in the CRL Arena.

Crowds at a previous show
Photo: Balmoral Show

Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank will return to Balmoral Park, Lisburn from Wednesday, May 15 until Saturday, May 18, 2019. For the latest updates on the show visit www.balmoralshow.co.uk or follow Balmoral Show on Facebook and Twitter.

The British Horse Society is the UK’s largest equestrian charity. It provides a strong voice for horses and people, on a range of topics including:

Welfare services for horses and advice for owners

Campaigning for and protecting equestrian rights of way

Promoting riding for all

Offering world-class qualifications

Approvals system awarding quality instruction and care

Goodwood looks forward to a new racing season

Horseracing has been a part of Goodwood since 1802, when the 3rd Duke of Richmond introduced the sport for the amusement of local army officers.

Fast forward 200 years and Goodwood’s racing season now consists of 19 unique racedays, including the flagship event, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’.

Qatar Goodwood Festival Photo: George Gunn

This year, 19 days of racing take place at the world’s most beautiful racecourse between May and October including one of the undoubted highlights of the season, the Qatar Goodwood Festival – widely known as Glorious Goodwood.

The festival takes place from July 30 ending on August 3 this year. It consists of five days of thrilling horse racing action set in an unmatchable downland setting.

Elegant fashion combines with some of the greatest races in the world to create a festival week like no other.

Goodwood has played host to the Sport of Kings for more than 200 years., having been launched as a flat horseracing course for local officers by the third Duke of Richmond in 1802.

Framed by views of the Sussex Downs to the north with the Chichester Plains and the Isle of Wight to the south, Goodwood Racecourse has a reputation as being one of the most beautiful in the world. The finishing straight is lined by the bright white pavilions of the grandstand, where everyone gathers to cheer the horses home.

Racing at Goodwood for 2019 opens on Saturday May 4.

Goodwood also has two racing groups within Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Groups, known as Grog. The two Grog horses are trained by William Knight and Ralph Beckett.

William Knight has confirmed that Goodwood Sonnet is in fine fettle and enjoying his exercise on the long sand gallop.  He has recently had his winter flu and equine herpes vaccinations without any recourse and is now ready to step up to faster work.

Goodwood Sonnet enjoying a washdown after racing Photo courtesy Chichester Observer

His first piece of work will be on Friday, March 29 and he will then work weekly leading up to his intended debut at Goodwood on May 4.

Ralph Beckett has confirmed that Goodwood Rebel is in good health and doing plenty of upsides work on the short canter.   He is very happy with the colt at this stage and continues to think of him as an early type.   Goodwood Rebel will have his ‘flu & EH vaccines next week.

 

 

 

Spring Jumps Raceday at Plumpton tomorrow

Sky Sports Racing Spring Jumps Raceday takes place tomorrow, Monday March 18 at Plumpton racecourse.

Blow away those Cheltenham blues by joining everyone at Plumpton for this brand new raceday for 2019.

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

Take advantage of this bonus fixture and enjoy a competitive six race card, featuring the Class 3 Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase.

Spend 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 where you will experience the thrilling final stages up close.

Come rain or shine, you will be in prime position to enjoy the day  if you take up this offerm which consists of a three course meal, table for the day, racecard, tipsters talk, tea/coffee and table service – there isn’t a better way to enjoy your day.

You can ring  01273 890383 to discuss the options and make a booking for what should be a highly competitive raceday.

Two horses die every week on roads

Alarming new statistics have revealed nearly two horses a week are being killed on UK roads, with more than 845 incidents involving horses and drivers reported to The British Horse Society last year.

The British Horse Society (BHS) collates statistics each year to understand the rate of incidents involving horses and riders on UK roads. In the last year alone, 87 horses and 4 people have been tragically killed whilst riding on the roads and 73 per cent of incidents reported occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely.

Slow down for horses and pass wide

The charity is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses on the road, with the new statistics showing an incident increase of 109 per cent compared to the previous year.

The increase in incidents follows a partnership with Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society and The Verderers of the New Forest, encouraging them to report all incidents involving feral ponies and horses to the BHS horse accidents website.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the British Horse Society said: “The inclusion of horse incident statistics from Dartmoor and the New Forest allow us to have a much better understanding of the rate of incidents occurring on our roads. The dramatic increase in incidents is of huge concern, but we are aware that only 1 in 10 accidents are reported to us, therefore these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to promote our key Dead Slow messages and strive to ensure all vulnerable road users are kept safe.”

Since November 2010:

  • 3,737 incidents have occurred on the road
  • 43 people have lost their lives and 1085 injured
  • 315 horses have been killed and 945 injured

The BHS launched its Dead Slow campaign to help better educate drivers how to pass horses on the road. The key behavioural change messages to drivers are:

If I see a horse on the road then I will …

1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph

2. Be patient – do not sound their horn or rev the engine

3. Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible

4. Drive slowly away

The BHS is also currently working on a six month trial with Huufe, a new app that allows people to report incidents easily and quickly. The app allows the user to select the type of incident they were involved in whilst also recording the location and time.

The app records no personal data during its trial period therefore the BHS is still encouraging riders to continue reporting incident to its horse accidents website.

First British international dressage event of year today

Today marks the start of the first international dressage competition of the year on British soil as more than 70 competitors from nine countries head to Bedfordshire’s premier venue, Keysoe for three days  of action over senior, young rider, junior and pony classes in the CDI3*, all supported by Childéric, Spillers, Equine Construction, TRM, Dodson & Horrell, Devoucoux and Keysoe Boutique.

Leading the British charge is Carl Hester who brings his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck, or Barney, who’s back in action after a break since the 2017 European Championships.

Dressage rider Carl Hester competing at the Olympics Photo: Georges Souvier

Also travelling from the yard is Charlotte Dujardin with catch ride Erlentanz, who she’s riding for owner and normal jockey Sonnar Murray-Brown while his broken leg mends. She also has Mount St John VIP in the small tour ranks; a great warm up ahead of the NAF Five Star Winter Championships where the Vivaldi-sired mare has qualified for both NAF classes, the PSG and Inter I.

Charlotte Dujardin in action Photo: British Dressage

Heath Farm in Oxfordshire also has two riders bound for Keysoe; Emile Faurie brings his newest star Café’s Caletta for a first CDI run on home turf while his stable jockey Tom Goode is making his big tour CDI debut with Samantha Geddes’ Vivaldi-sired Dior.

British team rider Gareth Hughes will be looking to resume his 2018 form with Anne Keen’s Don Carissimo when they won both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the May CDI3* in Aachen.

Also flying the Union Flag in the Big Tour will be Henriette Andersen (Flavio), Liz Diegutis (Saskia Hit), Maria Eilberg (Royal Concert), Sara Gallop (Bandreo), Alex Hardwick (Royal Chester), Emma Hindle (Romy del Sol), Georgina Stokes (Talented Mr Ripley) and Vicky Thompson Winfield (Artist).

Small Tour riders include: Katie Bailey (Boccelli 6), Nikki Barker (Durable), Henry Boswell (Folt), Katrina Cantrell (Woodlander Donna Summer), Kate Cowell (Dramatic Conquest), Louise Davison (De Galles), Jess Dunn (Alicante Valley), Paul Friday (Roman Noir Himself), Nathalie Kayal (Cleverboy), Kate Lister (World Exclusive), Sarah Turner (Eduardo) and Sarah Williams (Bohigas W).

They join riders from Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Portugal.

Our selected Young Riders are: Rebecca Bell (Nibley Union Hit), Isobel Berrington (Bing), Angus Corrie-Deane (Tiny Tempur), Charlotte Dicker (Sabatini & Salomon Z), Jade Ellery (Porsche’s Eloy), Alex Hellings (Uvender V), Megan Ingham (Wanadoo), Thea Millward (Walentino 77) and Rebecca Swain (Bon Jovi).

The Juniors include: Megan Assouline (Botero), Catlin Burgess (Chocotof), Charlie Grieve (Fedor van het Booienhoof), Clare Hole (Pro-Motion & Winnetou GEP), Jessie Kirby (Belle Amie), Juliette Lindsay (Prince May the First), Avery Maude (Double Agent), Charlotte McDowall (Alivia), Amelia Moncrieff (Billionaire), Chloe Naylor (Karisma), Charlotte Snape (Camelot III) and Olivia Wrennall (Disneyland).

Finally, our Pony contingent is: Bonneville Bourne (Fin C We), Lavinia Johnson (Dublin), Holly Kerslake (Valhallas Zorro), Annabella Pidgley (Cognac IX & Ine), Steffi Thomlinson (Vavassa), Hermione Tottman (Brasil), Olivia Whitelaw (Brouwershavens’s Viceroy) and Mollie Witham (DZL Royal Sunrise).

Chief Executive of BHS to retire

Lynn Petersen, Chief Executive of The British Horse Society (BHS) has announced her retirement, following a long and successful career of more than 40 years in both commerce and charity.

The BHS is now the UK’s largest equestrian charity with more than 106,000 members under the leadership of Ms Petersen who has grown the Society’s membership by 43%.

Lynn Petersen

During the last six years, Ms Petersen has been the driving force behind modernising and growing the BHS, launching successful campaigns like Dead Slow, React Now to Beat Colic, 2026, Paths for Community, Changing Lives through Horses and Friends at the End. These campaigns have had a significant impact for horses, owners, riders and the equestrian industry.

In the same period the Society’s world-class education system was upgraded, leading to more than a 50% increase in candidates. Lynn has also pioneered an initiative to take the BHS education systems to other countries where no such systems exist. This year the new BHS Challenge Awards has been launched, offering recreational riders the chance to improve their knowledge and skills.

David Sheerin, Chairman of The British Horse Society said “It has been a remarkable journey for the BHS under Lynn’s leadership as CEO, and previously as Chairman of the Society and a Trustee. Her vision and achievements will leave an indelible mark on the BHS and the wider equine industry in the UK and internationally. We wish her the very best in her retirement.”

The Society promotes and protects the interest of all horses and horse lovers across the UK. Its core focus is education, welfare, safety and equestrian rights of way.

Good crowd at Plumpton’s Anglo Irish Raceday

The Anglo Irish Raceday at Plumpton on Monday this week was a good preliminary to the Cheltenham Festival, with some competitive races on the card. In addition a Cheltenham Preview panel was a big attraction, with some top racing personalities taking part.

These included local jockey Joshua Moore, Cheltenham winning trainer Jamie Snowden,  Colin Brown, who was former jockey of Desert Orchid, as well as Sky Sports Racing commentator Tony Ennis, along with PR director for Coral, Simon Clare.

One of the highlights of the day was when Bryony Frost rode her 100th racing career winner, partnering Myplaceatmidnight for trainer Neil King in the Starsports.bet National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Race. She led from the start and after the last was five lengths clear and held on under competition to win by three and a half lengths.

Winning jockey Bryony Frost with My Place At Midnight
Photo: Plumpton Racecourse

Trainer Seamus Mullins does well at Plumpton and saddled up Micquus to win the Novies Handicap Chase  overtaking the long-time leader Champion Chase at the last and going on to win by a comfortable three and a half lengths.

Marc Goldstein, who has ridden many winners of his racing career at Plumpton, won the Handicap Hurdle of the day riding Steel Bob for trainer George Baker. This horse was sent off at 16-1 and put in a great performance, going on to win by three quarters of a length from Ballymagroaty Boy.

Steel Bob and Marc Goldstein on the way to victory on the right. Photo: Plumpton Racecourse

A local winner came when Lewes trainer Suzy Smith sent out Rosy World at 7-1 to win the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles.
This was a notable victory since Rosy World is the offspring of Material World- a grand racing mare trained by Suzy and bred by her late father Robin, to gain some good victories on local tracks.
This offspring put in a sound performance under rider Ben Godfrey to win by a comfortable five lengths from 66-1 outsider  Tsundoku, trained by Alexandra Dunn in second place, while the 3-1 favourite, Ruby Yeats, trained by Gary Moore, could finish only third.
Bath trainer Grant Cann teamed up with jockey Joshua Moore to win the Handicap Chase over three miles one furlong with French bred gelding Cadeau Du Bresil, beating 12-1 shot Dan’s Wee Man, trained in Gloucestershire by Jennifer Mason, into second place.

King Muro, blue and red stripes

The final race of the day- a handicap hurdle over two miles – saw King Muro win at 8-1 for trainer Michael Roberts under a good ride from Jeremiah McGrath. The winner beat 3-1 favourite Bolister, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Joshua by two and a half lengths.
The next meeting at Plumpton is on Monday March 18. Gates open at 12 noon, with the first race at 2.20pm and the last at 4.55pm.

BHS demonstrations over three days

Join the British Horse Society for three days of training demonstrations from top international coaches and all the latest information from industry leading speakers to improve your equestrian knowledge and skills.

Whatever your discipline or goal, the National Convention 2019 will help you get the most from you and your horse. It takes place at Hartpury College, Gloucester from March 24-26.

Day One features demonstrations from top coaches and professional riders, and break- out sessions focusing on lorry safety, course building and equine nutrition. There is something for everyone, whether you are a professional coach or ride for pleasure.

Day two is specifically for professional coaches wishing to update their CPD and Day Three for coaches wanting to improve their knowledge of the Society’s Professional Pathway and newly introduced Challenge Awards.

Speakers including Richard Waygood MBE, Ros Canter and Caroline Moore FBHS and Gillian Higgins.

Major Richard Waygood  MBE

Think you would benefit from some top level coaching? Then why not apply to be a demo rider. You don’t need to be a serious competitor or professional rider to enjoy this opportunity, just show us you have the willingness to learn and benefit from a coaching session.

Guest speakers and panel debates in the evenings round off convention days perfectly and are definitely not to be missed.

Sunday evenings will be ‘An Evening with….’. These will include a talk from an equestrian personality and a delicious gala dinner. Sunday March 24 and Sunday September 22 will be evenings with Richard Waygood MBE of Team GB Eventing Performance Manager -covering his life and career with horses.

. For more information please email natcon@bhs.org.uk