Live launch of 2021 Gauntlet of Polo ®

THE 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® LAUNCHES FEBRUARY 17,

LIVE ON GLOBAL POLO TV

The Pinnacle Competition with $1 Million in Prize Money features the Most Skilled Athletes and Finest Horses in the World

An “invitation only” Virtual Media Day on Jan. 6 provided updates on the upcoming polo season, the safety restrictions for on-site fans, the teams that are competing, how to watch, and an overview of travel to Palm Beach County during these unprecedented times. Video from the event can be watched herehttps://we.tl/t-IRo9cDxSNv

The 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® will begin with the C.V. Whitney Cup from Feb. 17 – March 7, continue with the USPA Gold Cup®, March 10 – 28, and conclude with the illustrious U.S. Open Polo Championship® March 31 – April 18. Reigning 2019 GAUNTLET OF POLO® Champions Pilot are among the nine teams, seeking to inscribe their name on the trophy for the second time and secure the prize money purse in 2021.

Revising the prize money distribution for the 2021 season, the new format still guarantees a total of $1 million in prize money, however, runners-up in each tournament will also receive a portion of the earnings. $100,000 will be awarded to each of the winning teams of the C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup® and $25,000 to each runner up. Similarly, $200,000 in prize money will be presented to the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® and $50,000 awarded to the runner up. Additionally, any team who wins all three tournaments consecutively will receive a $500,000 bonus and be crowned as the GAUNTLET Champion. Another exciting change from prior years will be a donation made by USPAGL to the final two teams’ polo charity of their choice. 

“I’m grateful we can bring polo back to the players, members and fans and I anticipate a highly competitive and exciting season that is not to be missed,” said Robert Puetz, CEO of the USPA. “Featuring the world’s greatest players and equine partners, the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®  would not be possible without the outstanding efforts from all the Team Organizations to persevere through the challenging times and return to vie for the coveted title and largest prize money purse in the sport.”

All three GAUNTLET OF POLO® tournaments will be exclusively livestreamed on Global Polo TV (GPTV), polo’s premier destination for live and on-demand polo content in the world, as well as the world’s largest polo archive. GPTV is accessible at globalpolo.com and on major apps including iOS, Android, Roku and Amazon Fire. To date, more than 130 official USPA events have aired live, 500 on-demand videos and 5,000 hours of content have been available on the platform.

“Global Polo TV is part of the long-term vision of USPA Global Licensing and U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the USPA and sponsor of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®,” said David Cummings, Chairman of USPA Global Licensing. “Our mission is to provide polo content and inside polo stories that are accessible anytime and anywhere. With the increasing uncertainty of the pandemic, Global Polo TV offers a safe viewing experience for all our fans and members.”

November 2020 marked the beginning of GPTV’s transition to pay-to-view live game packages for non-USPA members consisting of three package options: the Polo Pass, the GAUNTLET OF POLO® Pass and the Premium Polo Pass. The Polo Pass is the only one of the three passes which excludes the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®. Special offers are available at www.globalpolo.com

Sad death of racehorse trainer Zoe Davison

Racehorse trainer Zoe Davison died shortly after two of her racehorses, Brown Bullet and Mr Jack had scored an excellent double when both won at Plumpton’s meeting yesterday.

Her stable staff had prepared Brown Bullet and Mr Jack to secure the poignant winning double over jumps. Zoe had continued to train until the end and died aged 60 after a long battle with terminal breast cancer.

Davison's stable was based in Sussex close to Plumpton
Zoe Davison’s stable was based close to Plumpton Photo: PA:Press Association

Zoe Davison had suffered from breast cancer for the past four-and-a-half years, but her daughter recently revealed it had spread.

Assistant trainer and daughter Gemma said that the family were taking it day-by-day. And just two hours after the second leg of an emotional double for the team at Plumpton , Zoe died in hospital.

Brown Bullet ridden by James Best secured the first win, with stablemate Mr Jack winning later on the card to create a memorable double.

Gemma, and Zoe’s husband Andrew Irvine, had run the stables and looked after the horses while Zoe was in hospital. Zoe was a former amateur rider turned trainer, and had sent out more than 100 winners during her career- most of them at Plumpton, where she will be sadly missed.

Poignant meeting at Plumpton, as winning trainer dies in hospital

Racing took place at Plumpton’s popular jump course on Sunday when the opening Sky 415 Novices Hurdle attracted nine runners and produced a competitive race.

But it turned out to be a particularly poignant raceday because popular UK trainer Zoe Davison, who had a double at the meeting, was in hospital . She sadly died shortly after her stable’s winning double at the track, where her stable staff prepared Brown Bullet and Mr Jack to win over jumps.

The winner, Brown Bullet, trained by Zoe Davison and ridden by James Best, was impressive, having been held up in the rear for most of the race, but made good headway in the final stages. Brown Bullet took the lead after jumping the penultimate fence, and despite going left was in charge during the final 110 yards to win.

Zoe Davison also sent out the winner of the third race, a handicap hurdle over one mile and seven furlongs, when Mr Jack, ridden by James Davies beat Bard of Brittany ( Sheena West and James Best) by three quarters of a length,

Runner up was Bay of Intrigue, trained by John O’Shea and ridden by Jeremiah McGrath. His chances of claiming victory were hit by hanging left and not being able to rally in the final 100 yards. In third place was Whataboutwalt, trained by Ella Pickard and ridden by David Noonan, who put in a good performance but could find no extra in the final 100 yards.

Winner of the Sussex National at Plumpton – Seaston Spirit, trained by Oliver Sherwood and ridden by Aiden Coleman Photo: Plumpton Racecourse

In second place was 4-1 favourite Special Acceptance, trained by Paul Webber and well ridden by Tom O’Brien to take second lace, two lengths behind the winner. A further length back in third place was Benevolent Dictator at 9-2, ridden by Jamie Moore and trained by Gary Moore.

But there was compensation for the Moore family when they sent out High Up In The Air, 11-8 favourite, ridden by Jamie and trained by his father Gary, to win the Handicap Chase over two miles three furlongs from Oxwich Bay, trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Adam Wedge. Further back in third was Rostello, trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.

Plumpton racing today is televised

Sunday’s card looks a cracker and let’s hope the feature race is as good as last year’s renewal where a masterful ride from Harry Cobden brought home Christmas in April for Colin Tizzard and the Swallowfield Racing Team to win the Sky Sports Racing Sussex National.

Competitive racing at Plumpton behind closed doors Photo: Jeannie Knight

Unfortunately racing is behind closed doors with no public there to see the racing live, but Sky Sports Racing will have a good team there. Tune in on channel 415 or through your betting apps where you can also watch the racing without having a bet nowadays.
 
The racecard for today with all the runners and riders, includes the last of Plumpton’s Bonus Races this season. The prize is £40k if the horse wins today and then goes on to win a steeplechase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
 
Race previews by the Tote are a useful guide to the days punting and/or placepots if you did want to have a flutter! Click on url4107.plumptonracecourse.co.uk/ls/click

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.’

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.

BHS SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT IMPACT OF FIREWORKS ON HORSES

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

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.

 

Ask The Experts clinics for riding clubs

Due to the great success of British Riding Clubs (BRC) virtual Sports Resumption clinics, it has organised a timetable of new ‘Ask the Experts’ clinics which will be taking place over the next few months.

During July and August 2020 BRC have been running a series of online clinics following the release of large amounts of important information and guidance relating to restarting riding club activities.

BRC is aware that with this large volume of new information which members, clubs and organisers have had to take onboard and understand, they may at times have felt that these were often complex and overwhelming. So it was decided that to support our riding clubs better we would set-up a series of virtual Sport Resumption clinics, where attendees could ask their questions in person online. 

“It has been great to be able to reassure so many of our clubs. Everyone is keen to resume activities in a safe and steady way and to be able to assist them has been wonderful. As a result of these clinics we have informed organisers that feel confident in running Covid secure activities.” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson – BRC Manager & Editor Rider Magazine

These clinics have been designed to offer members, clubs and organisers the chance to speak with BRC officials about resuming riding club activities and they have proved to be extremely popular. Attendees have been able to ask specific questions relating to Covid-19 compliance, keeping volunteers safe, any new rules that needed further clarification, or just having the chance to hear how it has gone for other riding clubs across the UK.

Members were able to book their place on to an hour-long session giving them the chance to raise questions and queries, with up to 15 attendees taking part per session.

“I found the clinic really useful, we were able to ask any questions we had and they were answered thoroughly. It gave me the reassurance I needed to ensure that we can resume activities while remaining Covid safe for everyone attending our events, including volunteers, riders and spectators.” said Rebecca Rayner – Stevenage & District RC

Due to the success of these virtual Sports Resumption clinics, BRC has now organised a series of new ‘Ask the Experts’ clinics. Starting on August 12, and they will run until October 21, every Wednesday at 7pm. Each session will focus on specific topics such as; General Q&A, Marketing, BRC Rules, Health & Safety and Safeguarding.

These clinics will offer members and clubs the chance to speak with BRC officials and specialists in these subject areas. Members may have some specific questions about how to market their club, new rules that may need extra clarification or need further health and safety guidance for getting club events back up and running with the new Covid-19 compliance or maybe a safeguarding query. These will once again be hour-long sessions which will offer attendees the chance to raise their queries.

In order to attend these clinics, members will need to book onto a session on a day that suits them best and have access to a computer and the internet. We have a maximum capacity of 15 attendees per clinic and this will be determined on a first-come-first-served basis.

To book, please email: Lydia.joyce@bhs.org.uk with your name, riding club, official role and the email address you want the invitation to be sent to. You will receive an email response to confirm if your booking is successful. Listed below are the scheduled clinic dates:

  • 12 August – General Q&A
  • 19 August- Marketing
  • 26 August – Safeguarding 
  • 2 September – Health & Safety
  • 9 September – Rules
  • 16 September – General Q&A
  • 23 September – Marketing 
  • 30 September – Health & Safety
  • 7 October – Safeguarding
  • 21 October – Rules

For full details including how to book on to these clinics, please use the following BRC website link and scroll down to the relevant section

http://www.bhs.org.uk/enjoy-riding/british-riding-clubs/news

Stoneleigh Horse Show 2020 cancellation

Event cancelled

It is with great regret that due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic Grandstand Media Limited, has decided to cancel this year’s Stoneleigh Horse Show scheduled to take place in August at Stoneleigh Park. 


A statement from the company said: “The provisional date for next year’s event is Friday August 13 to Sunday August 15 2021. Our priority has been, and will remain to be, the health and safety of all of those involved in the show as well as our responsibility to support everyone’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus.   

“This decision has been made alongside the announcement that Horse of the Year Show will no longer take place this year.

“The 72nd edition of HOYS will now be staged from Wednesday October 6 – Sunday October 10 2021, at the NEC Birmingham. “
 
Emma Williams, Grandstand Media Limited event director commented: “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision and it is not one that has been made without considerable thought and discussion; we have done so with the utmost concern for the wellbeing of all those involved in making Stoneleigh Horse Show happen. 

“Considering the impact of COVID-19 on the showing qualifier season we believe that this decision is inevitably the right one for all concerned. I would like to thank all those involved in Stoneleigh Horse Show, and in the wider showing community, for their understanding and patience during these undeniably challenging times. 

“Our thoughts are with those that have been, and continue to be, affected by this pandemic.”As communicated by British Showjumping on Friday June 26, there remains a commitment to deliver the National Finals and the reallocated Spring Championships at Stoneleigh Park this August.  British Showjumping will announce further information about the respective finals through their official channels in due course.

BHS warns public not to feed horses

The British Horse Society (BHS) has issued a warning to members of the public not to feed any horses they may encounter whilst out and about.

With more people taking to the countryside during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BHS has been made aware of instances where horses have been seriously injured, made extremely ill or in some cases having died due to the public feeding the horse or through actions such as leaving gates open.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Welfare at The British Horse Society said: “The BHS is urging members of the public not to feed horses in fields as this can cause serious illness and be potentially life threatening.

Horse grazing in a field Photo: John Simpson

“We believe many people act with no malicious intent and are simply unaware of the risks that certain foods or grass cuttings can pose to horses.

“We encourage horse owners to download signs the BHS has produced warning the public not to feed their horse. The greater the awareness of the issue, the more likely people are to change their behaviour in the future.”

The BHS is offering the following advice to the public:

Although feeding horses may seem harmless, it is important not to due to the following reasons:

  • Any type of food, grass cuttings or any other plants can cause horses to become extremely unwell or even kill them
  • Fighting between horses could break out and cause an injury
  • Horses may mistake your fingers for food and accidentally nip them

If you cross land with a right of way where horses are kept, the above points will be applicable but also ensure you:

  • Leave gates and property as you find them 
  • Keep to the right of way
  • Take your litter home
  • Keep your dog on a lead and bag and bin your dog’s mess
  • Give horses lots of a space and avoid coming between mothers and their young
  • If you see a horse in distress, alert the nearest farm/yard or check for a sign with owner’s detail on.

The BHS has produced signs for horse owners to place around their fields warning the public not to feed their horses. These are available for download at bhs.org.uk/behorseaware.