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,

WHW’s adopt a horse scheme

World Horse Welfare has a scheme which enables supporters to help equines in its care by adopting one of them.

The Adopt a Horse scheme gives you the opportunity to help a horse or pony at one of its four UK Rescue and Rehoming Centres.

Support World Horse Welfare’s Adopt a horse or pony scheme.
Photo:WHW

Each horse has its own story and the Adopt a Horse scheme gives you the opportunity to closely follow the progress back to health and a new life. Simply select the horse you would like to adopt and you will receive:

  • A pack about your chosen horse that includes: a film on DVD; a board-backed colour photo; pin badge; set of notecards; and recent updates written by the grooms and centre manager
  • Four exclusive updates each year that give a unique insight into your adopted horse’s progress, with notes and photographs from the team at the farm.
  • The chance to visit your adopted horse during centre open days.

Adopting a horse costs just £5.00 a month and is great way to help give a horse the second chance in life it deserves.

For more details about the scheme contact www.worldhorsewelfare.org/adopt

Horse safety on our roads

The British Horse Society (BHS) and UK Road Offender Education (UKROEd) are delighted to reveal that equines and equestrians will now be identified as vulnerable road users in National Driver Offender Retraining Schemes (NDORS).

The announcement follows a yearlong collaborative effort between the two groups to ensure the safety needs of equestrians are highlighted within the retraining courses and drivers are educated on how to pass horses responsibly on the road.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety for The British Horse Society said: “The British Horse Society has been working with NDORS for some time now and as a direct result of these conversations, NDORS will be including horse riders as vulnerable road users within all of their courses, including the Speed Awareness Course.

Horse safety in traffic
Photo: Sussex Safer Roads

“This is a really positive step forward for the safety of horses on the road and another example of how the BHS is well placed and connected to major stakeholders in the road safety community. This inclusion not only directs our safety messaging to a key audience but will instill confidence in many equestrians across the country who often fear they are the forgotten vulnerable road user”.

Ruth Purdie, Chief Operating Office for UKROEd said: “UKROEd who are the providers of the NDORS courses can confirm that every course mentions the requirement for safety when passing or considering vulnerable road users groups.

“A key priority in the group is “horses and horse riders” and I can confirm that everyone attending a course will be reminded of their obligations under the Highway Code and the specific laws covering their actions in relation to this vulnerable group of riders and animals.”

NDORS offer a range of courses which aim to cover most low level moving traffic offences. The scheme is operated across the country on behalf of the police service who outline the type of offender and the offence(s).

The inclusion of equines and equestrians as vulnerable road users within the courses provide a platform to promote the BHS’s ‘Dead Slow’ road safety campaign messages. The charity launched the campaign in 2016 to educate drivers on how to safely approach horses and riders using the roads.

The four Dead Slow behaviour change messages for drivers are: if I see a horse on the road, then I will…

1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph

2. Be patient; I won’t sound my horn or rev my engine

3. Pass wide and slow (at least a car’s width)

4. Drive slowly away

More top awards for Enable

EVEN more accolades came the way of outstanding horse  Enable, bred by her owner Khalid Abdulla, at the Racehorse Owners Association awards in London this week, sponsored by Zeus Capital.

Enable and Frankie Dettori
Photo courtesy of Reuters

The ceremony recognised those voted by the 8,000-strong membership of the ROA, which has been promoting the interests of owners in Britain since 1945 and is a shareholder of the BHA.

Khalid Abdullah was named as Owner of the Year, while his amazing filly Enable, who won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the second time and followed up with a history-making Breeders’ Cup Turf victory, was Horse of the Year. She also won the Middle Distance and Filly/Mare awards.

Her John Gosden-trained stablemates Roaring Lion (Miler), Stradivarius (Stayer) and Too Darn Hot (Juvenile) were others acknowledged at this prestigious event.

Full awards were:

Outstanding Novice Hurdler Kalashnikov; Outstanding Hurdler Buveur D’Air;

Outstanding Novice Chaser Footpad; Outstanding Chaser Altior;

Outstanding National Hunt Mare Apple’s Jade; Outstanding All-Weather Horse Captain Lars; Outstanding Juvenile Too Darn Hot; Outstanding Filly/Mare Enable; Outstanding Sprinter Mabs Cross; Outstanding Middle Distance Enable; Outstanding Stayer Stradivarius; Outstanding Miler Roaring Lion

National Special Achievement Award Cue Card; Flat Special Achievement Award Roy Rocket

Wetherby Racecourse won ROA Gold Standard for most improved small racecourse

ROA Gold Standard Large Racecourse of the Year Chester; ROA Gold Standard Small Racecourse of the Year Bangor; ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Large Racecourse Newbury; ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Small Racecourse Wetherby

Sussex Equine Hospital joins Colic campaign

SUSSEX Equine Hospital has signed up as a ‘Vet REACT Colic Champion.

With colic one of the most common equine emergencies, Sussex Equine Hospital has signed up to become a Vet REACT Colic Champion, as part of the ‘REACT Now to Beat Colic’ campaign.

Launched by The British Horse Society and The University of Nottingham, the campaign and its champion vets are committed to help horse owners combat the life-threatening condition of colic.

Photo: Sussex Equine Hospital

They will be working together to make the best decision for each individual horse – from sharing information with owners about different types of colic and how to recognise the clinical signs.

Research by The University of Nottingham found that more than 90 per cent of horse owners did not feel confident in spotting early signs of colic.

It starts with using the REACT acronym to spot any early signs of colic:
R Restless or agitated
E Eating less or dropping reduced
A Abdominal pain
C Clinical changes
T Tired or lethargic

The Sussex Equine Hospital will be posting more on its  ‘championship’ status soon. See its Facebook page for details.

And in the meantime, for more information from BHS and to see a list of other champions joining the campaign, click on the links below:
http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/our-campaigns/react
http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/our-campaigns/react/vet-react-colic-champions

 

Flaming Spear heads for finals day

Flaming Spear showed a good turn of foot under Robert Winston to win the mile £45,000 Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes, an All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier, on Polytrack at Kempton Park recently.

The six-year-old, now successful three times from four All-Weather starts, gained a free and guaranteed start in the £150,000 Sun Racing All-Weather Mile Championship at Lingfield Park on the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19, 2019.

Trainer Dean Ivory was thrilled for Flaming Spear, who is owned by Tony Bloom and started the 3/1 favourite in the 11-strong field. He said: “I am delighted – we have overcome issues Flaming Spear had with the stalls and he is a lovely and relaxed horse.

Flaming Spear in action
Photo: John Simpson

 

“He had a good draw tonight (two), was quite handy from the start and won going away.

“It has been the plan for a while to go for the mile final on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, which is quite a long time away.

“We can now count back from Good Friday and be more laid-back in planning his races.”

Flaming Spear raced in fourth on the outside, a bit keenly initially, as Pactolus (Stuart Williams/Fran Berry, 25/1) took them along.

Winston asked Flaming Spear to move forward after turning into the straight and the son of Lope De Vega came through strongly to hit the from over a furlong out.

Flaming Spear ran on well to beat Hathal (Jamie Osborne/Nicola Currie, 10/1) by three quarters of a length, with outsider Pattie (Mick Channon/Gerald Mosse, 33/1) finishing strongly to take third, a further length and a quarter back.

The 2017/18 All-Weather Horse Of The Year, Victory Bond (William Haggas/James Doyle, 4/1), victorious in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30, had his first start since May and kept on in fourth. The winning time of 1m 37.17s was the fastest on the night comparatively.

Victory Bond in action at Lingfield Park  Photo: John  Simpson

Super tough stayer Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning, 11/4 favourite) gained his 14th victory – 12 on All-Weather surfaces – when beating Higher Power (James Fanshawe/George Wood, 5/1) by a length in the £25,000 32Red Handicap over two miles.

George Wood gained compensation on 16/1 top-weight Exceeding Power, trained by Martin Bosley, in the last race, the 12-furlong £11.200 32Red.com Handicap, when just holding 6/5 favourite Landue (Marcus Tregoning/James Doyle) by a short-head.

Cowdray Park launches polo Memorial Cup

Following the tragic loss of King Power Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash at the King Power football stadium in Leicester on Saturday October 27, Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced the launch of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Cup in 2019.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ alongside Gonzalito Pieres Photograph by Mark Beaumont

The new trophy will be presented for the first time to the winning team of the Quarter Final match in the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship taking place at 3.00 pm on Sunday July 14 2019, and thereafter annually.

The King Power Foxes polo team won the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017, having first entered the Gold Cup in 2014.  In 2018 Cowdray Park Polo Club was delighted to see King Power take over sponsorship of the prestigious 22 goal British Open in a three year contract.

Club Chairman Roderick Vere Nicoll commented:  “We know that Vichai Srivaddhahaprabha loved being at Cowdray Park with his King Power team that included his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ in alternate years.  We are honoured to be marking his polo legacy by playing for his trophy during the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship.”

Competitive jump racing at Plumpton

Racegoers were rewarded with competitive jump racing at Plumpton yesterday which started with an impressive win in the opening Maiden Hurdle by 40-1 shot Third Wind.
Trained by Hughie Morrison and well ridden by Tom O’ Brien, the four-year-old gelding, which is owned by Mouse Hamilton-Fairley,  should progress from here and is a decent prospect for the future.

Third Wind with connections following victory in the Maiden Hurdle Photo :Jeannie Knight

Runner-up Fly To Mars, also sent off at 40-1, is another decent prospect for the future. Trained by Colin Tizzard, ridden by Harry Cobden and owned by Brocade Racing, was making his hurdling debut and will undoubtedly progress for the experience. Favourite Acey Milan, sent off at 8-15 was unplaced. Breaking Waves filled third spot for trainer Noel Williams, but should come on for the run.

The Novices Steeplechase over two miles one furlong saw an easy win by Kalashnikov, trained at Newmarket by Amy Murphy and ridden by Jack Quinlan. This brown Kalanisi gelding had three previous wins to his credit and two seconds, prior to this latest victory. His victory came at the expense of runner-up Envoye Special ( Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden).

Kalashnikov, trained by Amy Murphy following his win in the novices steeplechase with connections and jockey Jack Quinlan Photo: Jeannie Knight

Paddy’s Poem, trained at Findon by Nick Gifford, with Leighton Aspell in the saddle, plugged on to take third place on his first outing over larger obstacles and will benefit for the experience.

Trainer Tom Symonds made the trip from Ross-On-Wye pay off when sending out progressive mare Royal Claret with Ben Poste in the saddle to win the Mares Handicap Hurdle over three miles one furlong by an impressive ten lengths. Seaborough trainer Keiran Burke clinched second place with Jully Les Buxy, with Nick Scholfield up. Third place went to Wishicould, trained by Charlie Mann.

In the two mile Novices Hurdle Race Coole Well (pictured below) proved he has the talent to win, having previously unseated his rider on his previous outing. Trained by Jamie Snowden and with 5lb claimer Max Kendrick riding, he came home one and a half lengths clear of Manning Estate, trained by Oliver Sherwood and ridden by Leighton Aspell.

Coole Well trained by Jamie Snowden with jockey Max Kendrick following the victory Photo:Jeannie Knight

 

The Tin Miner, trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by Tom Cannon, sprang a 20-1 shock when winning the three mile one furlong handicap chase by eight lengths from Clondaw Bisto, trained by Suzy Smith and ridden by Paddy Brennan. Sartorial Elegance ( Colin TIzzard and Tom O’ Brien) was third.

The Tin Miner and Tom Cannon on the way to victory
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Then there was a 25-1 winner of the two mile handicap hurdle, when conditional jockey Sean Houlihan, a 5lb claimer, brought home Legend of France, trained by Pat Phelan to a six-length victory over 9-2 joint favourite, Seaweed, trained by Chris Gordon.

The next meeting at Plumpton will be a Christmas Raceday on Monday December 17

Police officer’s BHS award

A North Yorkshire Police officer has been given a prestigious BHS award in recognition of her work to help keep riders safe on the roads.

Sergeant Zoe Billings was presented with the Tarquin Trophy by the BHS president, Martin Clunes, at a ceremony in London on 23 November 2018.

Sergeant Zoe Billings receives the Tarquin Trophy from British Horse Society president, Martin Clunes

 

The Trophy is awarded annually to an organisation that makes a significant contribution to equestrian safety.

To date, Sgt Billings has delivered safety presentations to around 300 riders at joint North Yorkshire Police and BHS events.

Her talks are aimed at reducing the vulnerability of horse riders and involve talking about both the practicalities of rider safety and the psychological side, such as when to ride, when not to ride, and how to react when their horse is scared by something.

Improving riders’ relationships with motorists, including courteous riding, such as thanking motorists and what to do when drivers react in a disappointing way, forms part of the talk along with presentations from the BHS and a civil law input from a solicitor.

Speaking after the ceremony which was held at Saddlers Hall, Sgt Billings said: “I am delighted that the talks have been recognised by the British Horse Society. After investigating fatal and serious road collisions for several years and seeing the devastation they cause, this is a small contribution to help keep riders safe.

“The presentation includes much humour and self-deprecation, and features my own horse, Megan. It’s been likened to road safety meeting stand-up comedy, which is a great way to engage people and get serious messages across.

“I’m also pleased that it’s received a lot of positive feedback, including some repeat audience members! I’m looking forward to supporting more events and raising awareness of the importance of rider safety.”

Horse Megan with Zoe

Director of Safety for The British Horse Society, Alan Hiscox said: “We’re delighted to have awarded North Yorkshire Police with the Tarquin Trophy for their exceptional service in the cause of equestrian safety. North Yorkshire Police were one of the first to support our ‘Dead Slow’ campaign and help spread its vital safety messages and they have shown continual support to the BHS over the past couple of years. All of us at the BHS are extremely grateful for their passionate commitment.”

North Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Phil Cain, added: “My congratulations go to Zoe on a very well-deserved award. Road safety is a priority for North Yorkshire Police and being a large, rural county, we have a thriving equestrian community with lots of activities going on.

“We are honoured that the British Horse Society has recognised Zoe’s work which contributes to our overall road safety strategy to keep all road users safe.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than £7,000 raised at Hickstead Ball

More than £7,000 was raised at Hickstead’s recent annual Showtime Ball , with all profits from the night going towards improving the showing facilities at the showground.

Around 150 guests from the showing community attended the glittering black tie event, which takes place in the Members’ Restaurant overlooking the famous International Arena. The Ball has been held each year since 2015 and has raised in excess of £25,000 since it started, allowing Hickstead to make a number of beneficial changes to the showing arenas at its international shows.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Roger Stack Award. Named after Hickstead’s former Showing Director Roger Stack, who sadly died in December 2016, the award is presented for the showing performance of the year.

This year’s recipient was top show producer Jayne Ross, who has won countless titles at Hickstead including five British Horse Society Supreme Horse titles.

“It was such a special treat to receive the Roger Stack Award, winning it is definitely one of the highlights of my showing career and it’s a real honour to be selected,” said Jayne. “Hickstead is one of my favourite shows of the year, if not my favourite, and to win in that main ring is always so special.”

Jayne Ross receives the Roger Stack Award from Hickstead Director Edward Bunn Photo: Craig Payne

Presenting the award, Hickstead Director Edward Bunn said: “If we listed everything Jayne has won, we’d be here for hours. She has won numerous championships and -supremes, and she’s one of our biggest supporters. She is a very worthy winner of the Roger Stack award.

“We would also like to thank all the people who donated auction prizes, and everyone who came to the Ball and made it such a success,” Edward added.

Boxing Day racing at Fontwell Park

Don’t miss Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day meeting this year. This festive event is one of the most popular fixtures on this racecourse’s calendar.

There is always top class jump racing at this popular fixture, which has seven races scheduled.

Last year the opening Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, run over two miles three furlongs set the standard for the day with a thrilling finale, in which only a neck separated the first two home.

In the final stages Ben Hicks and Michael Heard fought out the finish in fine style with Michael Heard going on to bring 6-4 favourite Oskar Denarius home to win by a neck for trainer Jennifer Mason from 13-2 shot River Dun, trained by David Pipe.

Last year’s winner of the conditional jockeys’ race, Oscar Denarius  ridden  by Michael HeardPhoto: Fontwell Park Racecourse

Again this year, the racecourse will be transformed into a winter wonderland with reindeers, an Ice Rink and festive food and beverages, as well as plenty of games stalls for family entertainment.

The atmosphere and cheers will continue throughout the day and one of the most prestigious races in England, The King George VI Chase at Kempton Park will be relayed on the big screen for everyone to see.

And at Fontwell Park itself, some top quality jump racing is guaranteed at this popular fixture.

Tickets start from £19 when booked in advanced. The Premier admission tickets are likely to sell out so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Centre course parking on this fixture is FREE of charge, so it is operated on a first come, first serve basis. Be aware that the centre course is all grass, so please ensure you wear the appropriate footwear.

The meeting is sponsored by Southern Cranes and Access Ltd- a locally -owned company which is now a leading provider of mobile crane hire, contract lifting services and powered access hire in London and the South East.