Southdown Hunt West Open Spring Show

The Southdown Hunt West Open Spring Show  takes place on Sunday April 28 from 8.30am-5.30pm.
The venue is the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead and it is hosted by the Southdown Hunt West Pony Club.

Pony Club Spring Show takes place at Hickstead

Tickets for the event are available from
It is an event not to be  missed and bound to attract plenty of entries for this
pony club is highly competitive and last year took part in a tetrathlon at
Hickstead,  with 23 youngsters competing and all classes contested.
Definitely a date for the diary.


SEIB Novice Winter Championships

BRC welcomed a new title sponsor for this year’s event, SEIB Insurance Brokers, who have been involved with BRC sponsoring both the Quadrille and the Horse Trials Championships in previous years.

This year’s BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Novice Winter Championships, took place on March 30 and 31 2019, at Arena UK in Grantham, Lincs.

This was a two day competition, for senior and junior riders, with almost 500 competitors taking part in team 80cm show jumping championships and a range of prelim and novice dressage championship classes for both teams and individuals.

The weather was superb over the weekend, with the five dressage arenas bathed in glorious sunshine all day Saturday. This year BRC also introduced several direct entry dressage classes for both veteran horse and rider, grassroots intro and native type dressage at prelim and novice level.

South Durham Saddle Club senior dressage team winners

Nicolina Mackenzie, SEIB Insurance Brokers Marketing Manager was on hand all weekend to present rosettes and sashes: “SEIB are delighted to be sponsoring these Championships this year, it gives riders something to look forward to, and compete in, during the long winter. I have been very impressed with the overall standard of the competitors and their lovely horses and ponies.

“This is the first time we have been involved and it has been a great experience, I have really enjoyed chatting to the riders. SEIB are the complete equestrian insurance broker offering cover for everything from the horsebox and trailer to horse and pony, riding school, livery yard and private home with stables.”

This year’s winners were: Senior Novice Winter Dressage Team Championship 1, South Durham Saddle Club from Area 2, which finished on a team score of 12, just one point ahead of last year’s team winners Atherstone & District RC from Area 5. Dawn Dalby riding Myshall Travis won her arena with Helen Williams riding Secretly Unique and Caroline Tough riding Trevoulter Silver Replica continuing in great form following their tremendous successes last year. Victoria Parker riding Thornbeck Andrew, also put in a great performance to finish fourth in her arena.

“We did well at the qualifier and we have four consistent horses but you never know what will happen on the day or how you will compare as everyone who is here is really good,” said Victoria Parker. “To win overall is fantastic and we will definitely be having a night out to celebrate.”

The senior overall individual dressage champion, Kerry Tyrell riding Himoons Spellbound – New Forest RC in Area 17 was absolutely thrilled with her homebred, gelding.

“My biggest problem is remembering the test so when I went down the centre line at the end I was so happy to have got that far that I forgot to set up for the halt and we fell into it,” said Kerry.

“I only have a field to work in so we mainly hack out and only tend to canter at competitions or during lessons. Recently he has been really struggling when transitioning from canter to trot as he nosedives because his back end is so powerful but today I managed to put my leg on and ride him into it and it was one of the best tests we’ve ever done.”

Senior 80 Winter Show Jumping Championship    

Nick Staines once again built a bright, exciting championship show jumping track, which saw two teams finishing on eight faults after the two rounds, requiring a jump-off. Finn Valley RC from Area 14, kept their cool to post slightly quicker jump-off rounds to lift this year’s title. Longton RC from Area Area 3 took second place and Bath RC finished third.

The overall individual winner was student, Kayleigh Bowen riding her 14.2hh, Welsh, light bay, mare, Blaencwn Brenhenis from Cwmaman RC in Area 21, producing the fastest clear round jump-off time, from the ten double clear rounds during the day.


Junior Novice Winter Dressage Team Championship New Forest RC in Area 17, lifted the junior title, finishing on a team score of nine, two points ahead of an Area 9 team on eleven. All four New Forest RC team riders produced excellent individual tests and were so pleased with this result. Both Matteo Lallo riding Morrigian Bernardino and Callum Robertson riding Ferro Curry won their respective dressage arenas.

Junior Individual Champion Charlotte Lane riding New Oak Thyme from Ingatestone & Blackmore Riding Club

The overall individual junior champion was Charlotte Lane riding New Oak Thyme from Ingatestone & Blackmore RC Area 8. Charlotte and her diminutive bay pony produced a beautiful, expressive individual N24 test, which also helped her team to finish third.

“All I can say is ‘wow’,” said Charlotte. “I’m really proud of his test – particularly of the medium trot and the stretch in his walk – and of him, he tried so hard and was just brilliant today.”

Junior Novice Show Jumping Championship

This year saw Barnard Castle & Teesdale RC from Area 2, in County Durham secured the win, finishing on a team score of eight faults. The girls were so excited to clinch this title. Penistone & District RC and Billericay & District RC were second and third respectively, both on 16 faults, but Penistone had the quicker team round times.

The overall junior individual winner was 18 year old Sarah Endean riding her 23 year old ISH coloured, gelding, Bunnow Magpie from Tendring Hundred RC in Area 8, who finished in the quickest jump-off time, with three clear rounds.

BRC would once again like to thank sponsor SEIB Insurance Brokers and all the tremendous volunteers who helped made this such a successful weekend.

All results can be found on the BRC website:

New British Riding Clubs’ championship

A new arena eventing championship for British Riding Clubs in 2019 has been kindly sponsored for the first time by HorseQuest UK, whose the team will be welcomed at  the first of this season’s exciting BRC Championships.

These will be taking place at Aston le Walls in Northamptonshire on March 9 and 10. The senior and junior riders, competing in teams and as individuals, have already pre-qualified in their areas across the UK.

These area qualifiers have been a great success and have resulted in more than  470 riders coming to this year’s inaugural event.

Arena Eventing action
Photo: British Eventing

They will be contesting a range of classes which will run across the two days as follows:

Saturday March 9 – 70cm (mixed), 80cm (juniors), 90cm (juniors)

Sunday March 10 – 80cm (seniors), 90cm (seniors), 100cm (mixed)

“This brand new Championship was originally introduced as a result of member feedback, and it will give clubs another chance to compete and have fun together,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

Arena Eventing is now proving to be extremely popular throughout the UK, especially during the winter months. The BRC Championship classes will consist of a course of show jumps immediately followed by cross-country fences, and will finish with the last fence as a show jump, called The Joker.

This key fence will be set at a discretionary 10cm higher than the rest of the course. There will be a maximum of 20 jumping efforts,  nine show jumping, ten cross-country fences as well as the joker show jump fence.

British Riding Clubs will welcome everyone to Aston le Walls for the climax of this new Arena Eventing series, where visitors will be able to browse the latest adverts on its tradestand, and find out more about our membership club HorseQuest Advantage.

Plus there will be the chance to win a show jumping lesson with its Ambassador Bex Mason, which will subsequently be featured in the BRC Rider magazine.





Riding Club’s success

West Sussex Riding Club (WSRC) is associated to British Riding Clubs and provides an ideal place for horse riders in the West Sussex area to further their training, compete regularly and enjoy their riding.

The Club has been established for a long time and has a variety of members from different backgrounds from single horse owners to professional riders.

WSRC offers many events throughout the year in all sorts of disciplines such as cross country, show jumping and dressage, as well as its annual show.

There are both senior and junior sections which can compete to qualify for the annual championships – from Club, Area and National levels.


Its popular Winter Dressage series has begun at Boxgrove and results on September 22 2018 were: Class 1-1a: 1 Di Collins and Rubie 67.17; 2 Tina Merritt and Regal Dancer 63.04;  3 Tabitha McCaskie and Hector 59.34; 4 Michelle Robinson and Spartacus 52.82. 1b 1, Anna Tuck and Rayning Diamond 60.43.

Class 2a- 1 Lexi Solaja and Dragonfly Six  66.84; 2 Sonya Smith and Village Beauty 62.10; 3 Chloe Fairston and The Dancing Dun 59.47; 4 Tabitha McCaskie and Hector  53.52 Michelle Robinson and Spartacus, 53.15.

Class 3- 1 Charlotte Tarrant and Silken Eve 3 68.27; 2 Amanda Bazley and Alfie Moon, 3 66.89; 3 Lexi Solaja and Dragonfly Six 3 63.79; 4 Sarah Parkes and Choc a Bloc 3 62.06.

Class 4/5- 1 Edna Petter and Harry 4&5 64.64; 2 Dawn Wattis and Bowerbrook Belle, 4&5 57.17.

Class 5 PYO- 1 Paula Broadhurst and Magyar Sotet Lovag  5 67.50; 2 Paula Broadhurst and Magyar Sotet Lovag, 5 65.97; 3 Carolyne Allen and Harristown Bear 5 62.50 3; 4 Elaine Whitcomb Trenwheel and Bonnie, 62.50. 5 Dawn Wattis and Bowerbrook Belle, 5 61.50; 6 Val Hall and Sway Molly Moon 5 59.32.


Goring and District Riding Club sponsored ride

Moorcroft demonstration of long-reined and ridden horses

A demonstration of long-reined and ridden horses takes place at Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre at Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold, West Sussex on Saturday September 1.

The centre has an outstanding reputation for its immense success in retraining ex-racehorses so that they can have a bright future when they leave racing- going on to lead fulfilling lives in new, caring homes outside the sport.

The event starts at 10.30am and refreshments will be available. Book your place now, at £12.50 per person by contacting manager Mary Frances on 07929 666408 or email

Some of the horses currently receiving expert retraining at the centre include Don’t Stare, Irving, and Zigger Zagger.

Don’t Stare, born in 2010, is a bay gelding who arrived at Moorcroft after he had keyhole surgery for painful kissing spines that had stopped him racing. He is currently enjoying his schooling.

Irving is relaxed and enjoying his retraining
Photo: Mark Beaumont

Irving, born in 2008, arrived at the centre in February this year. He too had keyhole surgery for kissing spines and is being given expert help with other issues.

A third horse enjoying his time at the centre is bay gelding  Zigger Zagger, born in 2009 and previously trained by Richard Rowe.

Zigger Zagger is retraining well for a life outside racing
Photo: Mark Beaumont

Mary said: ” Zigger Zagger is loving his time here and will give someone a really good time as a very safe hack and he is a horse that loves to school. He is good looking, strong and resilient with much to give.”

Don’t forget to get tickets for Moorcroft’s annual charity raceday at Plumpton on Monday October 22. It is this worthy charity’s most important annual fundraising event and this year it is hoped to exceed last year’s record sum raised for charity.

For more information on tickets ring Allison at Plumpton on 01273 890383 or Mary at Moorcroft on 07920 666408 for information about events and essential fundraising work for this centre of excellence.


South Downs RDA group’s new home

South Downs Riding for the Disabled group has announced that it has sadly had to relocate from Bridge House Equestrian Centre at Slinfold, due to redevelopment of the site.

The group’s new home is at the Horsham and Mid Sussex Equestrian Academy (HMSEA) at Albourne near Burgess Hill, West Sussex, where it runs three sessions on Wednesday mornings.

The group enjoyed five very successful and happy years at Bridge House during which time the owners, Liz and Chris McIlwraith, and wonderful liveries there, so kindly loaned their ponies to the group. Also they were always incredibly supportive.

However HMSEA has extended a very warm welcome to the group and all of its riders, and after the upheaval of the move all are settling nicely into the new surroundings.

Amanda with RDA horse Beau
Photo: South Downs RDA group

The group is now on its summer break but everyone concerned is looking forward to getting back in the saddle on September 12 and are eager to encourage new volunteers and local organisations and companies to get involved.

South Downs RDA will have a stand at the Albourne Village Show to be held on the village green at Albourne on Saturday September 1 2018 from 12noon to 4.30 pm and would be delighted to chat with anyone interested in joining the group or just learning more about the work they do.

The group has an impressive history, for it was founded in 1977 and operated not far from the South Downs at Upper Beeding. Three decades later it moved to the equestrian centre at Brinsbury College and in 2013 moved to Bridge House Equestrian Centre at Slinfold.

Now it is well settled at Albourne. where the ideal facilities, with outdoor and indoor schools,enable itt o operate year round and for its riders to enjoy riding outside in good weather.

On Wednesday mornings, it runs three riding sessions, offering riding opportunities to adults and children with quite a broad spectrum of disabilities from brain injury to autism and dyspraxia.

The ratio of volunteers to riders is necessarily high.   For every rider the group need a volunteer to lead the horse and at least one side-walker to walk (or run!) alongside the rider, to give guidance and to offer support and reassurance

The riding experience can be hugely rewarding – it can be exciting, or have a calming effect, it can give freedom,  and a unique experience of movement never possible ‘on the ground’ and for many just a very special interaction with the ponies and horses which are at the centre of everything the group does.

Carolyn Heitman, Chairman of our group explains “we need a specific type of horse that can cope with the differences that come with disabled people.   We have to do a lot of work with the horses to prepare them.  Even something as simple as having two people walking alongside a horse, whilst being ridden, is unusual for a horse, and can be unsettling for them”.

Whilst part of the Riding for the Disabled Association, which is a national charity, each group is run as an individual charity, and as such it is self-funding, and all members of the group are volunteers.

See the group’s website:  and also Facebook or ring Carolyn Heitman on 01403 711867   Also see Facebook@SouthDownsRDA



Pony Club coaching conference success

The recent sell-out Pony Club Coaching Conference was a huge success, with delegates enjoying a day of learning from some of the best minds in the equine world.

The theme of the conference, held at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, was ‘small change big difference’ and the aim was to show coaches how they can view their own training from a different angle; enabling them to get ahead and discover new ways of assisting others to reach their goals.

The line-up of morning speakers did just that, with sessions from equine biomechanics expert Russell Guire, performance psychologist Charlie Unwin, Dr. Caroline Benoist from the Neue Schule Academy and Stephanie Bradley from the Society of Master Saddlers covering wide range of thought-provoking subjects.

The afternoon began with the presentation of the inaugural Coach of the Year Awards, designed to reward those who have gone above and beyond to help Pony Club Members achieve their goals.  The Young Coach of the Year Award went to Old Berkshire Hunt Branch’s Aaron Nobbs and Linda Pearce picked up Coach of the Year for her contribution to the Cottesmore Hunt Branch.

A stunned Linda was very surprised to have been nominated, let alone short listed. She said: “I’m really humbled; it’s a great honour.” Linda continued to talk about how much she enjoyed the Coaching Conference, and how increasing knowledge positively impacts the way coaches teach.

Aaron said: “It feels amazing to have won. I’m so overwhelmed; there are so many good young coaches in The Pony Club.” Aaron said the Coaching Conference was ‘a real eye opener.’ “It’s been a really interesting day with lots of useful information.”

Aaron Nobbs, Pony Club Young Coach of the Year receiving his award.

Aaron and Linda received a keepsake glass plaque, a training bursary and products courtesy of sponsors Vydex British Horse Supplements.

Everyone gathered in the arena for the afternoon session which was delivered by International show jumper and trainer Matt Lanni. With the help of six young Pony Club riders, Matt ran two sessions; the first dealing with issues such as rhythm, straightness, rushing and refusing, and the second which covered jumping exercises to create a better way of going over a course of fences.

For more information about CPD courses for Pony Club Coaches please visit the Pony Club website at :

Successful Ride Safe event

A  successful Ride Safe event was held by Horsham and District Riding Club at Brinsbury College recently in conjunction with Alan Hiscox , who is the British Horse Society Director of Safety.

Alan has 26 years of experience as a Mounted Police Officer, and he gave a talk and video presentation about safety for riders.

He spoke of his work of corresponding with the Department of Transport, Off Roaders, Cyclists and   Driving Instructors.

Alan Hiscox explaining to a rider about riding safely.

He stressed that it is a rider’s responsibility to make themself be seen and also to know the highway code.

This was followed by a demonstration involving  Tim Briers, British Horse Society’s Riding & Road Safety Assessor and Trainer, who used three riders to demonstrate the update on the Road safety Code.

This included correct hand signals on the road, warning drivers there is something ahead your horse does not like, riding alone, problems of vehicles driving too fast or too close .

Two riders under instruction with their horses at the event

In addition he emphasised awareness of noises, including drones and low flying aircraft.

He answered many interesting questions following his talk and both Alan and Tim answered many interesting questions and at the end .

Both Alan and Tim stressed how important it  was to report any accident, incident, near-miss,  and abusiveness -even if no one was hurt-  to the British Horse Society and/ or Police.

Tim advised horse riders to obtain a Ride Safe handbook from the British Horse, saying it was full of useful information which would help people to ride safely and enjoy themselves.

The event had been held at half-term so that younger riders could benefit from the useful advise- but organisers were understandably disappointed that none attended.

The session had been scheduled so they could benefit from the event,  to enable them to take on board advice on how to stay safe in the future.

Pony Club Championships 2018

The Pony Club has announced that The Pony Club Championships will be held at Cholmondeley Castle Estate in Cheshire in 2018.                                                              The Championships are the first level event for some riders, and the pinnacle of achievement for others, and the event will showcase an incredible array of up and coming talent across five action-packed days from August 17-21 .

A Pony Club Championship celebration

Home of the annual Pony Club Championships since 2012, Cholmondeley Castle will host around 2,000 Members taking part in the Olympic sports of show jumping, dressage and eventing, alongside polocrosse and mounted games. The championships will also incorporate competitions for Centre Equitation, the Musical Ride, Horse and Pony Care and the judging of the art competition.                                                     Other key dates for 2018 include:
February 12 The Pony Club Coaching Conference at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, LU7 9BT.                                                                                                                     March 5 The Pony Club Conference at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU
April 14/15 The Dengie Winter Championships at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, K18 2JR (incorporating the National Quiz Finals)
August 9/12 The Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships at Offchurch Bury, CV33 9AR
August 10/12 The Pony Club Polo Championships is at Cowdry Park Polo Club, GU29 0AQ (*with the Jorrocks section held on August 8 at Hurtwood Park Polo Club, GU6 7SW)
August 19 The Pony Club Endurance Championships at Euston Park, IP24 2QH
*Awaiting final confirmation.                                                                                            The Pony Club is ‘the’ starting place for anyone with an interest in horses and riding, who wants to learn and have fun in a safe and caring environment.
Membership is open to anyone up to the age of 25; from total novices to those with more experience who aspire to the highest standards of riding and horse care, developed by training, assessment and access to a wide range of equestrian sports. Branch membership is for those with access to a horse or pony, and Centre membership is for those without access to a horse or pony.