Successful qualifer for Horsham Riding Club

Horsham Riding Club members took part in a new 2019 British Riding Club Arena Eventing qualifier at Brendon, Pyecombe recently on a dry day.

The 70cm team of Louise Hamilton, Amy Little, Katy Bryant and Helen Ellicott got the club off to a great start with Amy on Thistle Forset Lady winning as an individual while Louise on Flight of Earls Foggy Moggy came fifth and the team itself also won.

There were two senior teams in the 80cm, Horsham Horrors (Amy Sheen, Eleanor Petrie, Leila Royle-Davies and Jackie Oxley) and  Horsham Hippies (Maxine Gayler, Suzie Artlett, Jenny Elgey and Libby Powell. Jenny on Oscar finished third.

Amy on Wolvers Obsession finished fourth and Suzie on Mrs Beaton was sixth. The Horrors team were second and the Hippies third.

The juniors also had a team in the 80cm with Olivia Nolan, Olivia O’Reilly and Olivia Mackay. The girls all rode well to finish individual 4th, 5th and 6th with the team  taking second place.

Finally the 100cm team of Elise Gayler, Sara Ingleson, Becky Lloyd, Eleanor Petrie and individual rider Liv Watts all rode exceptionally to end the day with a super win. Sara on War Lad was individual winner, Elise on Hotspur Last Tango second, Liv on Agher Spotted was third and Becky on Goldenboy fourth.

The club hopes its winning 70cm and 100cm teams will be heading to the new Championship at Aston-le-Walls next year.

Sara Ingleson winning the 100cm on War Lad
Photo: LRG Photography

Well done to all the Horsham riders that took part in this new BRC arena eventing qualifier at Brendon, Pyecombe. Everyone was extremely lucky to have a dry day after torrential rain night the previous night.

The 70cm team of Louise Hamilton, Amy Little, Katy Bryant and Helen Ellicott got the club off to a great start with Amy on Thistle Forset Lady getting an individual 1st, Louise on Flight of Earls Foggy Moggy 5th and the team came first too.

There were two senior teams in the 80cm, Horsham Horrors Amy Sheen, Eleanor Petrie, Leila Royle-Davies and Jackie Oxley, Horsham Hippies Maxine Gayler, Suzie Artlett, Jenny Elgey and Libby Powell. Jenny on Oscar came third, Amy on Wolvers Obsession fourth and Suzie on Mrs Beaton sixth. The Horrors team were second and the Hippies third.

The juniors also had a team in the 80cm with Olivia Nolan, Olivia O’Reilly and Olivia Mackay. The girls all rode really well to come individual fourth, fifth and sixth with the team in second.

Finally the 100cm team of Elise Gayler, Sara Ingleson, Becky Lloyd, Eleanor Petrie and individual rider Liv Watts all rode well to end the day with a superb win. Sara on War Lad was individual winner, Elise on Hotspur Last Tango second, Liv on Agher Spotted third and Becky on Goldenboy fourth.

The club is waiting for confirmation from British Riding Clubs but hopefully its winning 70cm and 100cm teams will be heading to the new Championship at Aston-le-Walls next year.

Veterinary advice about hunting

In our monthly equine veterinary feature, Dr Sarah Davidson BVMS MRCVS Assistant Vet at Sussex Equine Hospital give advice about hunting.

Vet Sarah Davidson BVMS MRCVS

For some, there is nothing better than a day out hunting. It’s sociable, exhilarating and a great way to bond with your horse. However, as with any activity involving horses, it comes with risks to both horse and ride and outlined below are some of the injuries you may expect to see from time to time involving your horse and a few hints and tips for how to avoid them, spot them and treat them.

Even for a fit horse, hunting can be strenuous on their bodies. A thorough cool down and wash off is essential before travelling home to minimise musculoskeletal injuries and help with recovery. When removing tack, during washing off or before loading, a full body check for cuts, bruises or other injuries reaps rewards because the quicker any injury is spotted, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Terrain covered while out is likely to include stony ground. Horses running on adrenaline will be less likely to notice the stones, but solar bruising is commonly seen in horses from a few hours after hunting to days down the line. In a similar vein, shoes are prone to being sprung which would definitely spell the end of your day out.

Depending on the level of soreness, a few days’ box rest on a deep bed may be sufficient, but those that are suffering more may need anti-inflammatories and a poultice.

Wounds come in many shapes and sizes and more importantly, are caused by many different things. General rules are to assess location, depth, associated pain, local reaction and level of bleeding.

Over-reach injuries are either caused by a hind limb reaching a front limb or from one horse getting too close to another. Most are superficial and inconsequential, but deep ground can mean that cuts are higher up and involve fetlock and pastern joints or the tendon sheath.

Clean the wound thoroughly, inspect it carefully and bandage it up.
Grazes to knees, fetlocks and stifles may be seen after jumping solid objects like stone walls and again, often amount to nothing. Occasionally, however, the joint is involved. Be critical when looking at the wound and if you can see straw coloured, sticky fluid, be concerned.

Sharp objects such as gate latches can create very dramatic-looking wounds with large skin flaps and lots of blood. Very often these kinds of wounds are much better stitched, but for this to happen, the vet must be called within six hours. A photo is very helpful and will allow your vet to bring all the necessary equipment and to do the best reconstruction job possible. While you are waiting for the vet to arrive, washing the wound with fresh water (a hose will do) or, in the case of excessive bleeding, apply steady firm pressure.

The most feared of all ‘wounds’ is the invisible wound, the blackthorn. Things to look out for are a non-weight bearing lameness and a hot, swollen, painful joint. Either of these things should ring alarm bells and your regular vet should be called immediately.

Blackthorn hedge

From recent research it appears that the inflammation is caused by the chemical that makes the thorn black rather than an infective process. This means that a thorn found and treated early carries an excellent prognosis, but is likely to involve surgery costs along the way.

Horses have no muscle below their hocks and their knees, this means that the joints and tendon sheaths are more exposed so it’s a good idea to avoid clipping your horses legs before hunting, leaving an extra layer of protection.

If you are in any doubt, call your vet for advice and very importantly, if your horse sustains a wound and its tetanus vaccination status is unknown or lapsed, it is better to be safe than sorry and agree to an antitoxin injection.

Tendon injuries will also crop up, getting your horse good and fit before the season can help them to withstand such injuries. Good riding can also play a part, by avoiding deep mud for example. Banding and cold-hosing will minimise swelling. Your horse will likely be sore so Bute can also be beneficial as pain relief and an anti-inflammatory. Remember though, your vet may want to assess the horse before you administer anything.

It is well known fact that horses enjoy a day out hunting as much as their owners. This can manifest in many different ways from being extra vocal to passing the odd loose dropping. Some horses will be on their toes and even more reactive than usual. A horse that is known to kick should have a red ribbon in its tail.

While most of the above injuries will be spotted at the end of the hunt or upon unloading at home, it’s good practice to check your horse one last time before turning in for the night. A hard day’s work, profuse sweating and maybe catching a chill can cause a horse to colic and this is less likely visible until they relax in their stable.

All things said, hunting should be a great day out and if due care and attention by both horse and rider is exercised, accidents will stay at bay.

Death of top showjumper Tim Stockdale

Top British showjumper Tim Stockdale has died  at the age of 54  after being diagnosed recently with stomach cancer. His wife Laura and their sons, Joseph and Mark were with him.

Tim first competed at International level in 1988 and represented Britain in more than 50 Nation Cup events as well as  in senior championships

He first represented GB  at the 2002 World Equestrian Games with his horse, Fresh Direct Parcival.  He and grey mare Fresh Direct Corlato were the top British pairing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also represented Britain in 2009 at the European Championships held at Windsor.

International showjumper Tim Stockdale pictured at Hickstead with vet Ed Lyall MRCVS of Arundel Equine Hospital

Another of his memorable victories were winning the 2002 Grand Prix at the Horse of the Year Show with Fresh Direct Paricival.

He went on to win the prestigious King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead, partnering Fresh Firect Kalico Bay in 2010. The following year he broke three vertebrae in his neck in a fall, but returned to top level competition. He was still competing and winning in International events in September this year, before he was diagnosed with cancer.

He had started riding at the age of seven and progressed through the Pony Club as a member of the Grove Hunt branch and started his professional career working for Mike Saywell, moving to the position of second jockey to Graham Fletcher.

He then worked and trained under John Naylor and with Susan and Lutz Meyerding.

Tim met his wife Laura while competing at Henley in 1991. They invested in a Northamptonship yard in 1996, which they developed into a first-class showjumping yard and their home. Tim and Laura were married and went on have their first son Joseph in 1999, followed by Mark in 2004.

Nottingham Trent University awarded Tim an honorary degree for services to equestrianism and in April 2010 he was presented with the British Equestrian Federation’s medal of honour at the British Open Showjumping Championships in recognition of outstanding services to equestrian sport.

A Memorial Service will be held later to celebrate his life and achievements.



Dead heat in BHS charity race

BBC Sports presenter Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and retired police officer Fiona Symes celebrated a dead heat victory at Newbury Racecourse yesterday (8 November) following the British Horse Society’s (BHS) inaugural charity race.

The midday race saw ten riders from across the country undertake intense training over a matter of months to become a jockey and each raise £2,000 for the UK’s largest equine charity.

Exciting action at BHS Charity Raceday
Photo: British Horse Society

Following their win, Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes said: “I am feeling amazing. It has been a hard but great experience and I don’t think I quite appreciated how much effort was going to be involved in this. But even just to come to Newbury and sit in the weighing room and ride on the track was fantastic”.

Fiona Symes said: “We never expected to win as he doesn’t run over a mile, he runs over a mile and a half and the ground was also against him. He was absolutely fantastic and every time I told him to keep going he did”.

The jockeys were each racing towards a fundraising target of £2,000 in aid of the BHS’s vital campaigns across safety, access, welfare and participation. Between them they have so far raised more than £18,000 and counting.

Tracy Casstles, Director of Fundraising for The British Horse Society said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to all ten jockeys and their supporters for their incredible efforts both on the day and in the lead up to the race.  The £18,000 raised so far will be hugely beneficial to the BHS, in all areas of work. We are all looking forward to the many BHS charity races to come”.

To find out more about each jockey and their journey or to help them secure their fundraising target please head to

Help Equine Partners get share of bag fund

Equine Partners CIC has called out for votes to help it bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Equine Partners CIC, based in Wisborough Green, is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Equine Partnrs CIC

Equine Partners CIC is one of the groups on the shortlist.

Speaking for this worthy cause, Liz Hibberd explained: “Our lovely big barn is in urgently in need of refurbishment. We support families when life is tough and use it for family Equine Assisted Learning sessions when the weather is wet or cold.

“It needs a new floor surface, a new metal shed to provide a toilet cubicle, some large pens so the horses can be free to relax when they are not working with a family and some equipment for families to use.  These will help us make a welcoming and fun place for families to visit.

“The barn is a vital space for us to work in during the cold wet months.  The refurbishment will make a huge difference to the families who visit us”

Equine Partners pony

Voting is open in Horsham and Broadbridge Heath Tesco stores in November and December, customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £60 million to more than 18,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them.

“The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

Artist Trudy Redfern’s open studio event

Renowned equestrian and animal artist Trudy Redfern has spent the last year creating a full-size horse sculpture made entirely from driftwood, which she personally sourced from beaches along the South coast.

This horse will be part of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Chichester’s Priory park, when it will be there to honour and pay tribute to the tremendous role the horse played in the Great War.

Trudy Redfern with her driftwood equine sculpture which will be part of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Priory Park.
Photo:  J N Visuals

Trudy, who is a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists and Animal Artists, said: “I would love to have the horse cast in bronze so people can enjoy it for years to come.”
The sculpture will be honouring the thousands of horses that were killed in the Great War.
Horses played a huge role in the first world war and they should be remembered for their bravery, spirit and endurance in appalling conditions.

Trudy also  created this horse’s head from driftwood

Tragically at the end of the war the horses were abandoned and suffered an even worse fate as work horses.
In 1934 the Brooke Hospital charity was set up to try and rescue the thousands of cavalry horses left in Africa. Tremendous funds were raised in England for these horses that had served their country,but sadly most of the horses had to be humanely destroyed due their appalling state.
Trudy said: “I wanted to create a horse that would reflect the beauty and spirit of the horse -something that would move people. It has had a huge impact. It is wonderful it is going to be included in the ceremony. I would like it to have a lasting impact so the hope is to have it cast in bronze.”

Trudy’s painting of horses racing

Her Open Studio event will be two days over the weekend of  November 24-25 from 10am – 4pm daily. It will be a great opportunity to see Trudy’s latest equine and wildlife paintings and horse-head sculptures at close quarters.
Trudy’s great passion in life is animals, especially horses. She explained:” I have always needed to be close to them and have ridden horses all my life. As an artist  it was natural I should endeavour to capture their spirit through painting.

Elephants depicted by Trudy

” I work mainly from a combination of life studies and my own photography and hold painting classes throughout the year at various locations in West Sussex for painters of all levels of expertise.”
She also has a new body of work produced from a visit she made to Africa on safari. Trudy said this trip was outstanding in that it enabled  her to have the  experience  of sketching a variety of animals close up from the back of an open truck.
The Open Studio event is also an ideal opportunity to choose some unique gifts to give at Christmas, for there will be original sketches/pastels from £10.
Everyone is welcome to the event at 10 Oak Tree Farm, Hambrook, Chichester PO18 8QA where refreshments will be available.
For more details see the website or ring Trudy at 01243 572504, mobile 07740 647310.

West Sussex young riders at Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, will welcome the return of the much-loved Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, a fast and furious race showcasing some of the UK’s young, talented, and up-and-coming jockeys from December 17-23.
This year’s line-up includes Alice Crowley, daughter of 2016 British Flat Racing Champion Jockey Jim Crowley, of Pulborough. as well as Olive Nicholls, daughter of British Champion Jump Trainer, Paul Nicholls.  The pair of youngsters has the equestrian genes to contend, but how will they fare in Olympia’s Grand Hall?

Entrants are required to be aged 8-14 and must be under five feet tall. Riders race around a track, jumping obstacles mimicking those at the Aintree Grand National, only in miniature form. The event is the pinnacle of the Shetland Pony Grand National calendar and is set to attract hordes of spectators from the 90,000 attendees, who are due to visit Olympia over its seven days of competition.

Qualifier for Shetland Grand National

Although undoubtedly a fun-filled event, there is also a real spirit of competitiveness among the riders. Many of them are aiming to emulate past competitors, who have graduated from the Shetland Pony Grand National to become professional equestrians, including Sam Twiston-Davies and Tom Garner, who are now established names on the racing circuit.

Following in the footsteps of the Twiston-Davies brothers, Gloucestershire has another Shetland Pony Grand National competitor tipped for the top: nine-year-old Lucas Murphy, whose father, Timmy Murphy, has ridden over 1,000 winners in the professional jump racing world. Joining Murphy and his pony Shelcroft Buttercup will be Lucy Aspell, daughter of back-to-back Grand National winner, Leighton Aspell. Aspell will be returning for her second successive year at Olympia and is likely to pull out all the stops to go the distance.

All proceeds from the Shetland Pony Grand National will go to the nominated charity, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Founded in 1983, the charity has raised an incredible £16 million for cancer research and will be the direct beneficiary of the money raised by the young jockeys, who last year managed to raise a terrific £42,500.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

Billericay RC’s Wizard of Oz lifts title

The BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Quadrille of the Year final 2018 took place once again at Bury Farm Equestrian Village in Buckinghamshire this month.

The packed crowd was thoroughly entertained on Saturday evening by the four participating Quadrille teams, which had previously qualified for this year’s final on September 29.

The teams took to the stage as part of the Bury Farm ‘All Stars Gala’ event, which included Extreme 4 In Hand Carriage Driving, Shetland Pony Grand National, Scurry Driving and a Show Jumping Grand Prix.

Billericay lifts the coveted trophy

The Quadrille teams went to town on their stunning costumes, elaborate chorography and aptly chosen, foot stomping music, with the crowd clapping and cheering along to the very differently themed routines. Buchan RC (who had made the 12.5hr trip down from Scotland), were up first with their futuristic space riding club recruitment theme.

This was followed by regular campaigners, Saffron Walden & District RC with their military themed, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Cornwall TREC Group were next to attempt to influence the judges with chocolate and gin in their take on St. Trinians, and lastly Billericay RC, who are new to Quadrille, presented their interpretation of The Wizard of Oz.

The three judges, Richard Baldwin, List 2 Dressage Judge, Alison Duck, List 2 Dressage Judge and Tracey Hopkins, British Show Jumping Judge, were captivated by the sheer spectacle and entertainment value demonstrated by these teams, their first task was to inspect the incredible costumes out in the collecting and they were then positioned around the arena to judge the routines from different perspectives, with all the marks added together to reach the final scores.

1st Billericay RC – Wizard of Oz – Area 8, scored 89.4%

2nd Saffron Walden & District RC – Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – Area 8, scored 86.5%

3rd Cornwall TREC Group – St. Trinians, Area 19, scored 85.8%

4th Buchan RC – Buchan RC Space Mission 3000 – Area 2, scored 85.6%

Donna Leavens, from SEIB Insurance Brokers was on hand to present the trophy and fabulous quadrille championship rosettes to the four teams.

She said:“The work that goes into each one of these Quadrille teams is truly amazing. The time it must take to get all four horses and riders together to practise and produce their amazing routines and costumes is a major achievement, adding the distances that many have travelled to get here makes it a wonderful championship to be involved with.”

“We are shocked but really chuffed,” said Eleanor Watts from Billericay RC. “We have had to make two substitutions due to horses going lame, we did the best we could but we weren’t sure we’d done enough to win.”

Full results and pictures can be found on the BRC website and facebook pages.

RDA annual awards and conference

Two of the world’s elite dressage riders came to honour the achievements of volunteers from the south east region’s Riding for the Disabled Association at the recent annual conference and awards ceremony.

A record-breaking turnout from across four counties were treated to presentations from Paralympic Gold Medallist, Sophie Christiansen and International Grand Prix rider and world class coach, Sarah Sjoholm Patience.

Nearly 150 delegates also enjoyed workshops and talks from David Mortlock from the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, Emma Bayliss from RDA UK’s national office who talked about the Tracker System and participant Sally Jones of Kipling County who outlined her path through RDA in both carriage driving and riding.

RDA regional chairperson Lindsay Correa (right)  shares a joke with Sophie Christiansen Photo: Amanda Jane Smith

There was also the annual presentation of the regional awards by the presenters, as well as a new award from regional sponsors, Cowan Architects, in recognition of the Young Volunteer of the Year- the Cowan Challenge Trophy.


Cowan Challenge Trophy for the Young Volunteer of the Year – Georgia Budden from Quest RDA (Chobham, Surrey) who has shown total commitment and helped out in the holidays with extra chores, always being the first to step forward and offer to help.

Sophie Christiansen with award winners Georgia Budden and Freddy Lamb, both of Quest RDA
Photo: Amanda Jane Smith

Young Volunteer Hebe Award – Emily Heyman from Cobbes Meadow RDA (Chartham, Kent) for being a loyal member of the team, giving her time twice a week to help with both riding and driving.

Participant Titan Award – Helena Burgess from Chalkdown RDA (Staplehurst, Kent) suffers with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and a range of additional disabilities that leaves her with constant pain and chronic fatigue. She has been a determined, brave young woman who has blossomed and grown.

Participant Titan Award – Freddie Lamb of Quest RDA who has Aspergers and hypermobility. He has worked really hard to improve his riding while always smiling and his confidence has grown tremendously. He raised £500 for Quest by completing a 2 mile sponsored ride.

Special Recognition Trophy – Julie Jones of Quest RDA in her role as chairman for a group that has expanded the number of ponies and places that it can offer following substantial fundraising and leadership.

Horse of the Year – Sinatra from Epsom RDA (Surrey) who is a favourite because he just strides out and enjoys his work.

Buchan Bobby Award – Hope in the Valley RDA (Plumpton, East Sussex) which has had a stellar year, celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a Royal Visit, sending two riders to the RDA National Championships and giving up one of their riding sessions to act as ambassadors to the RDA with a Countryside Challenge demonstration to 160 Trefoil Guild Members at Firle Place in East Sussex.

Volunteer of the Year – Pauline Roestenburg of Chalkdown RDA who took over the Chair two years ago and has transformed the group’s impact on the local Kent community, doubling the number of volunteers, adding to the Trustees and overhauling the finances into a healthy cash surplus.

Long Service Awards – Susie Hill, Chalkdown RDA and Teresa Jones, Epsom RDA for 25 years’ service

Louise Larkman of Long Furlong with the long service award for the late Vernon Roper. Photo: Amanda Jane Smith

Legacy Awards – Vernon Roper, Long Furlong RDA (Pyecombe, West Sussex) should have received his 25 years long service award but died leaving an impressive legacy of energy and enthusiasm and Janet Bettell Higgins from Kipling County RDA (Chalvington, East Sussex) who was another legend, loved by so many whose lives she touched.

Great success of Moorcroft Raceday 2018

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre at Slinfold is celebrating an outstanding success achieved by its recent annual raceday at Plumpton Racecourse.

Chairman Tim Fox has announced that the event was a record day all round, with 385 guests supporting the raceday charity lunch in a Plumpton marquee, with £71,000 raised on the day for this worthy charity.

” He said: “This was a great team effort all round – thanks to everyone involved for their contributions.”
Moorcroft continues to fulfill a vital role in retraining former racehorses for new roles outside racing, under the expert guidance of manager Mary Frances BHSII & BHS.SM

Mary has many years experience in training horses with the main emphasis on them being comfortable and sound to be ridden, to do a job enabling these horses to have  a long-term future.

 All the horses go through a simple, basic, sympathetic retraining programme which they thrive on and aspects of this training is explained at the centre’s evening courses and regular demonstrations.

All Moorcroft horses learn to long-rein for posture improvement and strength. They can work on straight lines in a good outline, strengthening and lifting their backs every step of the way so they become comfortable horses for riders to sit on and therefore happy horses. There are many advantages to this schooling method and, taught correctly, it has huge benefits for any horse.

Contact Mary for further details on courses and demonstrations, as well as ways in which to support this very worthy charity on  07929 666408 or email moorcroftracehorse