Greatest Honour to miss Kentucky Derby

Greatest Honour is to take a 60-day rest and will miss the Kentucky Derby. The news comes following diagnostic testing earlier in the week. The horse, by Tapit (USA) out of Tiffany’s Honour (USA) , trained by Claude Iii Mcgaughey.

Following the results of diagnostic testing earlier this week, the thoroughbred will not run in the Kentucky Derby.

Greatest Honour will miss Kentucky Derby this week following diagnostgic testing

 Courtlandt Farm’s homebred Greatest Honour will go on 60-day rest following diagnostic testing earlier this week.

Over Easter weekend, trainer Shug McGaughey felt Greatest Honour was not moving as well as he had been going into the Florida Derby. Out of an abundance of caution, McGaughey advised that diagnostic testing be performed on the colt.

Those findings were forwarded to Dr. Lawrence Bramlage, a leading equine surgeon in Lexington, Kentucky. Based on the findings, Dr. Bramlage was of the opinion that Greatest Honour would benefit significantly from a 60-day rest period. At that time, Greatest Honour should be ready to start back under tack and hopefully prepare for a fall campaign.

Greatest Honour placed third in the Curlin G1 Stakes Florida Derby on March 27, snapping his three-race winning streak. The three-year-old bay colt was set to compete in the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

About Courtlandt Farm
Located in Ocala, FL, Courtlandt Farm is a 370-acre horse racing operation owned by Don and Donna Adam of Bryan, TX.

Three RDA volunteers have won prestigious award

THREE long standing volunteers have been selected as recipients of this year’s Riding for the Disabled Association Presidents’ Award – the most prestigious award presented by the RDA for exceptional dedication to this charity. What is more exceptional is that two are from the same Group.

Bridgyd Richards from Fairwarp and Sally Grainger (Bidborough) are both from Eridge RDA (which meets in normal times at Chelwood Gate) and Jo Lee is from Epsom RDA. It is hoped that all three will be able to receive their awards in person from the RDA President, HRH Princess Anne, at a prestigious event as soon as circumstances allow.

BRIDGYD RICHARDS OF ERIDGE RDA is pictured below with Ockey

Bridgyd is a stalwart of Eridge RDA and has been for 46 years, having joined soon after the Group’s inception. She has been a committee member and trustee ever since – a record of volunteer service unequalled in the Group.  Indefatigable in attendance at committee meetings, riding sessions and fundraisers, she has shown a life-long commitment and loyalty to the riders.  She is the Group’s memory-keeper and an unflagging proponent of the charitable aims for which the group was founded so many years ago.

Bridgyd has never missed the Monday session despite the years of milking and caring for her prize Jersey herd of cows until her retirement and now, despite hip problems, she still attends to keep records of each session.

“I am so thrilled to have received this award as it was so unexpected. I have had a wonderful time, visiting many other groups and competing three times at the RDA Pony of the Year at Wembley – even coming second” says Bridgyd. “It’s been a great ride and still is!”

Her many years of experience with disabled children has stood the Group in good stead. Bridgyd simply is Eridge RDA.

SALLY GRAINGER, ERIDGE RDA

Sally has given a lifetime of service to Eridge RDA and has remained quiet, unassuming and constant throughout. She started as a teenager over 40 years ago and has always been a firm favourite with the riders with her reassuring and friendly manner. 

Sally Grainger of Eridge RDA

Sally has been the Group’s Secretary, a pony keeper, a pony transporter, an occasional rider’s chauffeur, a Christmas Lunch Chef, a weekly volunteer, a keeper of confidences for parents, volunteers and trustees. She has supported the Group in at least five moves, secured and overseen healthy finances, seen many riders progress from tots to young adults and shy volunteers become confidant instructors.

“I was really surprised but absolutely delighted to have been given such an amazing award” says Sally. “It has been a privilege to have been able to help and I have met so many inspiring young people, their parents and carers and have learned from them all”.

Sally is certainly a rock of the Eridge Group which would be lost without her and would not have flourished in the way it has.

JO LEE, EPSOM RDA

Jo Lee began with Epsom RDA in 1989 as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award and in the three decades journeying from teenage volunteer to Trustee and Group Coach, Jo has made an outstanding contribution to the Group and is very much at its heart.

As well as coaching disabled riders on her regular Wednesday evening riding sessions, Jo has responsibility for overseeing the care of the charities’ herd of 10 horses. In addition, she is always prepared to step up and lead on a myriad of other activities to help the Group including organising the in-house riders’ championships, tackling the logistics of volunteers, riders and ponies travelling to Regional Championships and National Championships as well as fundraising and making sure the yard is kept in an orderly fashion.

Jo said “When I first arrived at Epsom RDA as a teenager I never for one moment imagined that Epsom RDA would become such an important part of mine and my family’s life. I am delighted to have been recognised in this way, but I am mindful that I am one individual representing the wider Epsom RDA community.”

About Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in the South East:

In the South East we have 35 groups across Surrey, Sussex and Kent with over 2,000 riders of all ages. They come to enjoy the experience of riding, carriage driving, show jumping, dressage endurance and western style, with opportunities to learn a new skill, enter competitions or even take a holiday.

This can bring a new dimension to necessarily restricted lives, encourage independence and does much to improve a wide range of medical conditions. We have the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers who regularly and cheerfully give up their free time. Its instructors work closely with physiotherapists and other health professionals to encourage every individual to aim for attainable goals – some modest, others far more ambitious.

Breen Equestrian opens state-of-the-art new stud


Showjumping team Breen Equestrian has expanded its business by launching a luxurious new breeding facility close to its home base at Hickstead in West Sussex.

Pook Bourne Stud is a state-of-the-art breeding premises with space to accommodate up to 85 mares and young horses. Nine stallions will stand at the stud, including prolific show jumping winners- Golden Hawk, Can Ya Makan and Clyde VA.

The aim is to breed around a dozen foals each year under the Breen Equestrian prefix, while the stud will also cater to clients who wish to send their mares to the stud with the aim of breeding their own potential superstars.

BELOW: SHANE BREEN EN ROUTE TO WINNING THE HICKSTEAD AL SHIRA DERBY Photo courtesy of Hickstead


Breen Equestrian is run by Irish international showjumper Shane Breen and his wife Chloe, who already have a superb reputation for breeding, producing and selling top class sport horses.

Fellow showjumper Greg Le Gear, a qualified AI technician, is the Stud Manager at Pook Bourne Stud and is in charge of the day-to-day running of the breeding side of the business.

Shane Breen commented: “I’m very proud and excited that Breen Equestrian can offer some of the world’s best stallions, as well as facilities that are second to none.”
For more information visit www.breenequestrian.com

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.