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,

Crowds to return to Plumpton Racecourse

PLUMPTON Racecourse has issued an announcement following the Government’s decision on November 23, that racegoers can return to Plumpton race meetings,

Plumpton Racourse issued an announcement to members today saying:”We hope you are well and excited by the news yesterday of the return of crowds to sports stadiums – we certainly are!

“It certainly feels like some light at the end of the tunnel and so we will do all we can to get people back safely and quickly, with members at the top of the list.

“As yet, we have not seen the finer details of what the return will entail in terms of rules and procedures, and the racecourse will have to operate differently to normal as there are sure to be guidelines we have to adhere to and a limit on attendance.

“We will of course be in touch as soon as possible with regards to the site plan and what will be required to attend.”

“On that note, we also understand if people do not want to attend just yet and may choose to wait until a vaccine is available or just until they feel more comfortable.

“If you did not want to return immediately on December 7 or until 2021, please do let us know and we can certainly roll this on for you. We really appreciate your support throughout the crisis and we’ll make sure we get you back as soon as possible, but also when you are ready too as well.”

Pyecombe Horse Show dates for 2021

ONE of the most popular horse show venues on the Sussex equestrian calendar is Brendon at Pyecombe, which caters for all levels of riders in a top class series of shows each season.

The year 2021 will be no exception- with show dates released for a four-day Spring Show in April, from Thursday April 22 to Sunday April 25- followed by a Round Show on May 2, and a Young Horse Show from Thursday July 1 to Sunday July 4.

A Championship and Derby Show follows from Thursday August 5 to Sunday August 8. One day shows and Junior shows will run from February to October 2021. For more details see below or contact www.brendonpyecombe.co.uk

Impressive arena facilities at Brendon

Plumpton features racing behind closed doors today

Another week in lockdown, another behind closed doors raceday to run, which Plumpton racecourse hopes enthusiasts can you can all enjoy from afar.

Plenty of competitive action as always at Plumpton

This popular track had 40mm of rain overnight and a precautionary 8am inspection went ahead with the going unsurprisingly heavy, soft in places and racing goes ahead today with the first race at 12.45pm, all live on @SkySportsRacing

With regards to the day itself, Plumpton Racecourse reminds everyone you can watch on your app’s and/or Sky Channel 415 and attached is the racecard as a PDF or an online link .

In the meantime keep safe, keep well and Plumpton will keep you updated on any developments about the return of crowds as soon as possible.

Runners and form for the first four races on Monday November 16 2020 are below.s.

Race 1 12.45 2½m114y Happy 27th Birthday Alex Hinds Novices’ Hurdle (4)
1 Soldiers Hill (IRE) 5 11-5 127 :b.g Mustameet (USA) – Hot Oscar (IRE)- trainer Olly Murphy, jockey Aidan Coleman Form: 448-6186P cheekpieces and tongue strap.
2 Bit of A Legend 6 10-12 – b.g Midnight Legend – Kitty Wong (IRE) trainer Cynthia Woods , jockey Max Kendrick (3).
3 Greenrock Abbey (IRE) 4 10-12 – ch.g El Salvador (IRE) – Aos Dana (IRE) trainer Alan King, jockeyTom Bellamy. 4 Iconic Flight 5 10-12 – b.g Sixties Icon – Sabreflight trainer Linda Jewell, jockey Dave Crosse. 5 Le Fou Royal (FR) 9 10-12 – b.g Le Fou (IRE) – Kalon Ced’a (FR)- trainer Chris Gordon , jockey, David Noonan Form: 8/5 tongue strap.
6 Pride of Pemberley (IRE) 8 10-12 – ch.g Flemensfirth (USA) – On Galley Head (IRE)
trainer Nigel Dunger, jockey Rex Dingle (3), Form: 8,
7 Bunny Boru 6 10-5 – b.m Brian Boru – Home By Midnight: tongue strap
8 Glencoum Lass (IRE) 6 10-5 – b.m Court Cave (IRE) – Clare Belle (IRE) trainer,
Toby Lawes, jockey Tom O’Brien Form: P-8
9 Old Times (IRE) 5 10-5 – b.m Doyen (IRE) – La Belle Bleu (IRE)
Trainer Toby Lawes, jockey Brendan Powell
Form: 0.
Race 2 1.20 2m3f164y
“Betting.Bet” Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (3)
1 Black Kalanisi (IRE) 7 11-8 127 b.g Kalanisi (IRE) – Blackthorne Winter (IRE)
Joseph Tuite Daryl Jacob,Form: 2112/5-U3;
2 Smith’s Bay 7 11-4 123 b.g Midnight Legend – Takotna (IRE) \trainer Alan King, jockey Tom Bellamy, Form: 65/1227-
3 Francky Du Berlais (FR) 7 11-3 122, b.g Saint Des Saints (FR) – Legende Du Luy (FR)
Trainer Peter Bowen, Jockey Sean Bowen Form: 435327-12 tongue strap
4 Elisezmoi (FR) 6 10-6 111gr.g Lord Du Sud (FR) – Diva De La Borie (FR)
Trainer Gary Moore ,Jockey Jamie Moore
Form: 2510U/2PRace 3 1.50 1m7f195y
Sky Sports Racing On Virgin 535 Selling Handicap Hurdle
1 Jumping Jack (IRE) 6 12-2 102, b.g Sir Prancealot (IRE) – She’s A Character
Paddy Butler, Miss Harriet Tucker (7) Form: U22174/6-0; 2,fficer Drivel (IRE) 9 11-12 98 b.g Captain Rio – Spiritville (IRE) Trainer Suzi Best Jockey Daryl Jacob Form: 826
3 Clearly Capable (IRE) 11 11-9 95, b.g Bienamado (USA) – Spout Road (IRE) Trainer Tony Carroll, jockey Lee Edwards Form: 233144-6;4 Honorable (FR) 5 11-2 88, b.g Lawman (FR) – Petite Noblesse (FR), trainer Gary Moore, jockey, Jamie Moore. Form: 750/40-706 visor.5 River Dart (IRE) 8 11-1 87, ch.g Dutch Art – Sky Galaxy (USA) Tony Carroll Max Kendrick (3)Form: P/83-96 cheekpieces; 6 Sandycove Island (IRE) 10 10-13 85
b.g Lahib (USA) – Twilight Breeze (IRE)Phil York Mr Philip York (3). Form: 7865P5/30-7 Flanagans Field (IRE) 12 10-11 83b.g Araafa (IRE) – Zvezda (USA),Bernard Llewellyn Jordan Williams (7);Form: 2073314-4 blinkers.
8 Her Dream (IRE) 8 10-6 78, b.m Yeats (IRE) – High Benefit (IRE), trainer Olly Murphy, jockey Mr Luke Scott (7) Form: 0P/9 tongue strap. 9 Shadow’s Girl 8 10-5 77 gr.m Fair Mix (IRE) – Special Beat Trainer Bernard Llewellyn, jockey Charlie Price (5) Form: 15726-457 cheekpieces. 10 Wahwonaisa 8 10-5 77 b.g Kalanisi (IRE) – Clandestine
David Bridgwater Brendan Powell, Form: 36/96 blinkers. 11 Devious Dicks Dame 5 10-2 74
b.m Dick Turpin (IRE) – Bridal White Trainer Zoe Davison, jockey James Davies.
Form: 99P4/08P-8 hood; 12 Annieareyouok 5 10-1 73 br.m Passing Glance – Ellerslie Jackie
Max Young Jason Dixon (7) Form: P40; 13 Chance It (IRE) 10 10-1 73, b.g Tajraasi (USA) – Lafanta (IRE); trainer Johnny Farrelly, jockey Alain Cawley. Form: 41U0-3544 visor and tongue strap.
Race 4 2.20 2m214y Stonegate Homes 10 Year Anniversary Celebration Handicap Chase 1 Le Coeur Net (FR) 8 11-9 115 ch.g Network (GER) – Silverwood (FR)
Trainer Anthony Honeyball, jockey Ben Godfrey (7) Form: 52/3221UP- cheekpieces and tongue strap’ 2 Wenceslaus (GER) 8 11-8 114 b.g Tiger Hill (IRE) – Warrior Czarina (USA)
Trainer David Bridgwater, jockey Brendan Powell Form: 312114-26 cheekpieces;
3 Court Duty (IRE) 8 11-8 114 b.g Court Cave (IRE) – Easter Duties (IRE), trainer, John Flint Jockey Richard Johnson. Form: 11F3-0561 tongue strap. 4 Darling Alko (FR) 7 11-6 112
b.g Al Namix (FR) – Padalko Tatou (FR), Trainer Toby Bulgin, jockey Max Kendrick (3lb claimer).Form: 08/474123-5. 8, Bad Boy Du Pouldu (FR) 9 11-4 110 b.g Loup Solitaire (USA) – Wild Flush (USA) Trainer Gary Moore, jockey Niall Houlihan (7) Form: 8U4-212 tongue strap. 6 Robin Des Mana (IRE) 9 11-0 106 br.g Robin Des Pres (FR) – Kokopelli Mana (IRE) Trainer Phil York, rider Mr Philip York (3)
Form: 6665154-6

Jump Racing was back at Fontwell Park yesterday behind closed doors

It was good to have jump racing back at Fontwell Park yesterday, opening with a competitive Novices Hurdle over two miles one furlong,albeit behind closed doors.

The race was won by trainer Colin Tizzard, who sent out French-bred Furkash at 11-2 to win the race under a good ride from jockey Jonjo O’Neill Junior. This horse ran well, and held off a challenge for the lead two out, taking over with a well-time challenge aat the last to beat Lord Baddesley, 10-11 favourite, trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Joahua Moore.

Trainer Linda Jewell gained third place with Iconic Flight, ridden by Dave Crosse at 400-1. Favourite Lord Accord, trained by Neil Mulholland and ridden by Brendan Powell came to grief at the 4th, when blundering and unseating his rider.

There was a popular local victory in the John Rogerson Memorial Novices Handicap Chase over two miles five furlongs when 10-3 shot Mister Murchan scored a good win for local trainer Richard Rowe, who is based at Sullington. Brendan Powell Jr gave the horse an excellent ride.

Highly competitive jump racing at Fontwell Park Phoro: Jeannie Knight

Colic Awareness Week success

The British Horse Society and the University of Nottingham received a great response to their recent Colic Awareness Week campaign.

The British Horse Society (BHS) and the University of Nottingham’s Colic Awareness Week was well received by the equine community. Online resources, such as webinars and an equine care and emergency plan, remain live for concerned owners who have not yet had the chance to view them or download the plan.

Colic signs in a horse Photo courtesy of Equi Search

The BHS and University of Nottingham strongly advise all owners to create a detailed plan of how to deal with an emergency before the situation arises. When time is of the essence, as is the case in many incidents of colic, having a plan in place and thinking REACT (restless or agitated, eating less or droppings reduced, abdominal pain, clinical changes, tired or lethargic) can make the difference to improving the chances of a successful outcome for the horse.

The care plan, which is still available on the BHS website, has been downloaded over 1,500 times. BHS also shared ten free webinars presented by the colic team members from the University of Nottingham, on BHS social media giving owners an insight into a wide range of colic-related issues, which are available to view on the BHS Facebook Video page:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/197704983342/260154592055301. These were also extremely popular, with almost three thousand people engaging with them.

Emmeline Hannelly, Welfare Education Manager at The British Horse Society said: “The response that we have had to Colic Awareness Week has been outstanding. Those horse owners who have #PledgetoREACT have taken an important step to have a plan in place should the worst happen to their horse. By using these resources, as well as thinking REACT, you can help protect the welfare of your horse. The resources are all freely available from our website www.bhs.org.uk/colic and BHS social media platforms.”

Alistair Love, BVSc Cert AVP (EP) MRCVS said, “Clevedale Veterinary Practice was delighted to support Colic Awareness Week and got involved promoting the care plan to our clients. As a Vet REACT Colic Champion practice, it’s great to be part of this initiative and help owners be prepared for a worst-case scenario’.

Dr Katie Lightfoot, BSc (Hons) PhD AFHEA at the University of Nottingham said: “’The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science were delighted to have collaborated once again with the fantastic team at The British Horse Society for a successful Colic Awareness Week. It is essential to us that research is shared with owners to help improve the health and welfare of horses. Colic has a big impact on horses and their owners and remains a key focus for our research group. We are really pleased to see once again all the engagement and involvement of our champion vet practices, horse owners and groups across the sector who help make this a truly collaborative initiative.’

Competitive Plumpton racing behind closed doors

Plumpton was back in the limelight when racing took place behind closed doors again today, November 2. Some competitive racing made the day worthwhile and nine runners went to the start for the opening Mares Maiden Hurdle over two miles.

Top jump racing action at Plumpton Photo: Jeannie Knight

There was a good win in the maiden race for 4-2 shot Peace Prevails, trained by Jim Boyle and ridden by Robert Dunne. But Findon trainer Nick Gifford sent out five-year-old bay mare Jungle Prose to claim runner-up spot in impressive style under James Davies, beaten by only three quarters of a length. A horse to watch for the future.

Trainer Nick Gifford’s mare Jungle Prose impressed in maiden race

Favourite in this race, Midnight Callisto, trained by Anthony Honeyball finished third under Aidan Coleman.

The formidable combination of trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon won the following Novice Hurdle Race with 3-1 shot Blame the Game, which relegated 4-6 favourite Linelee King, trained by Olly Murphy into second place, ridden by Aiden Coleman. There were a few non runners in this race claiming unsuitable ground.

But the Novice Handicap Chase over three miles one furlong; attracted a competitive field. with seven-year-old Aughnacurra King, trained by D J Jeffreys, sent off at 16-5, winning the race under a good ride from Thomas Bellamy. In runner up spot was 13-2 shot Collingwood Court, with third place going to Moroval, at 12-1.

The handicap hurdle over two miles five furlongs went to Amour de Nuit, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden. This horse, which touched 13-2 , had plenty in hand and kept on well in the run in to beat the Colin Tizzard trained Buckhorn George by three quarters of a length, with Vive Le Roi ridden by Harry Bannister for trainer A W Carroll in third.

The  Handicap Chase over  2m 3f  was won impressively by Un Beau Roman, trained by Paul Henderson and ridden by Nick Scholfield , sent off at 18-1. One to watch for the future.

British Horse Society supports Government research into firework noise impact on animals

In the last year, more than double the number of incidents involving fireworks were reported to the BHS, up from 66 to 134. Over 400 incidents and, tragically, 23 horse fatalities have been reported to the BHS since 2010.

The British Horse Society (BHS) will be supporting the House of Common Petitions Committee’s report on their inquiry into fireworks. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) have committed to delivering an awareness campaign as the 2020 firework season gets underway, which will promote the safe and considerate use of fireworks, with a focus on the effects on animals.


The BHS is supporting the Governments campaign, providing advice and resources for horse owners, as well as working alongside other animal charities, such as the RSPCA, to raise awareness. With many public displays being cancelled due to COVID-19 it is expected that there will be many more informal displays this year.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the government and other animal charities to provide the OPSS with our statistics and to help with the wider education around the use of fireworks.”

“Fireworks may be enjoyable for some people, but they can cause considerable trauma or distress to horses. We would urge anyone planning to set off fireworks during this period, especially on November 5th to consider the effect it may have on local animals and the potential fire risk to stables or outbuildings.”

“If you are a horse owner and you are aware of a firework display, please notify your neighbour or display organiser to the location of horses nearby and let them know the challenges horses and other animals face when fireworks are let off. Ask them if there are any changes that they could make to ensure the animals safety, such as setting the fireworks off in another direction.”

“I also urge our equine community to report any firework concerns to the BHS horse incidents website (www.horseincidents.org.uk).  It is vital that we gather this evidence, so that we can provide the OPSS with data across the UK, to assist with further decisions around fireworks in the future.”

The BHS offers practical firework advice to horse owners if they are concerned for the welfare or safety of their horse. This includes downloadable posters; horse owner checklist to prepare and make firework season as safe as possible for you and your horses, and information and guidance for people planning their own private firework display. All the resources and information are available at www.bhs.org.uk/fireworks

As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and places to ride and carriage drive off road, and safety for horse and riders. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers is committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere.

House of Commons Petition Committee’s report can be seen on the link below. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmpetitions/242/24202.htm

Cheltenham dodges bad weather and racing is set for Friday

 Cheltenham avoided the worst of recent bad weather and the track is set to go ahead tomorrow, Friday, with its first meeting since March.

The ground was eased to good, good to soft in places, after clerk of the course Simon Claisse walked the track on Wednesday afternoon.

Today is forecast to be dry before showers on Friday when Cheltenham hosts a seven-race card, the first four of which will be shown on  ITV4.

Dan Skelton is expected to run his Grade 1 winner Allmankind there this Saturday. The four-year-old was an impressive juvenile last season and a leading contender for the Triumph Hurdle following a good win in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle over the festive period. However, he could only finish third behind Burning Victory there.

Trainer Dan Skelton

 The Sea Moon offspring is earmarked to begin his new campaign in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Prestbury Park, and his trainer has been pleased with how his stable star has been training ahead of this weekend.

He said: “I am very happy with him and I presume he’s improved for a summer, but of course the run on Saturday will tell us if he has.”

Winter training opportunities at Hickstead are thriving with new schooling facility

When the Directors of the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead opened their new all-weather cross-country schooling facility exactly one year ago, they couldn’t have foreseen just what an important role it would play in this most unusual of years.

Top class action at Hickstead Photo: Nigel Goddard

Like many businesses in the sporting and event sectors, Hickstead faced a difficult year when the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of its two international horse shows. The new cross-country facilities had been launched as a supplementary income for the showground, running from October through to May in the ‘off season’.

But with neither of Hickstead’s flagship shows able to run, the training facilities have stayed open for most of this year, aside from the weeks of full lockdown, and during September’s Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships, which was the only Hickstead-run event to take place this season.

In its first year the facilities have proved very popular, with thousands of riders heading to West Sussex to train over the variety of cross-country obstacles. The course is set across two vast all-weather surfaces – the Equine America Arena and adjoining Airowear Arena, along with the large Equine America Water Complex – with jumps ranging from 60cm to 1.10m in height. It offers year-round foot-perfect going, which has been particularly beneficial during the wet winter and prolonged dry .

Part of Hickstead’s excellent cross country facilities

Among those to train at Hickstead include Olympic event riders Pippa Funnell, Tina Cook and Gemma Tattersall, while plenty of leading trainers have also held training clinics at the facility.

Another opportunity that has proved popular has been the showjumping hire in the 2plan Wealth Arena, featuring a professionally-built course designed by international course builder Ben Townley. The jumps include fillers, planks, water trays and combinations, and the course is regularly refreshed to keep it varied and challenging.

This winter showjumping hire will continue until the end of November, with floodlit sessions available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Arena Polo at Hickstead will return for December and January, before the showjumping hire resumes from February until late spring.

Arena hire runs under strict Covid regulations, and all bookings must be made online at hicksteadschooling.co.uk.


Plumpton Racecourse message re membership restrictions

A Plumpton spokesperson said today:

“I realise we all follow the same news and so I am preaching to the choir here, but the latest set of Government Restrictions were clearly a blow to the racecourse and of course to your prospects of joining us for some racing in the near future.

“Just in case you hadn’t heard, the latest Government Restrictions put a stop to crowds returning to racecourses from today, October 1, and instead said that we may not see a crowd for up to six months.

We have greatly appreciated your support in this lockdown and hope to do so again going forward. The plan, if you are agreeable, is to keep the 2020/21 membership rolling for when we are allowed people on the racecourse. We will of course be allowed people back in at some point soon and we would like to re-issue the membership at that point with all the same benefits as previously, and you’d have of course already paid for i

It wasn’t confirmation that you would be prohibited from attending for this length of time, but it gave the Government some room on not setting an official date for getting crowds back, in the meantime giving further headaches and uncertainty to venues such as ourselves.


It is hard to define exact parameters as we don’t know how many fixtures it would entail from this season and next season, but rest assured we’d make absolutely sure you had your full memberships worth based on previous seasons.

If this is not to your satisfaction, then please do call the office and speak to us about this as it is a strange time all round.

Hopefully we get back to some normality soon in all our lives, and we would sincerely hope one of the first things you can do is visit Plumpton.


Dan, Holly & Team