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 moorcroftracehorse@gmail.com

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: www.southdownsrda.org  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 : http://www.pcuk.org/index.php/training/coaching/training_area_instructors_courses

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.

Don’t miss Ride Safe event at Brinsbury

HORSHAM & District Riding Club invites all riders to Ride Safe- an event taking place at the Brinsbury Campus of Chichester College, near Pulborough on Monday February 12.

The Ride Safe event is at the college’s Equine Centre  beside the A29 at North Heath in West Sussex, at RH20 1DL.   Please be there for 10am for a  prompt 10.30am start.

This is a Rider Responsibility Event dedicated to all aspects of riding safely, whether on  the road, in open countryside and at shows.Ride Safe covers what to wear, discussion about hazards you may encounter and how to deal with them.

It is a follow-up to the British Horse Society’s televised and highly acclaimed 2017 DEAD SLOW campaign which aimed at encouraging drivers and cyclists to “Pass Wide and Slow” – the video of which was viewed more than 2.6 million times on-line.

Slow down for horses and pass wide


Alan Hiscox, the British Horse Society’s Director of Safety, has had 26 years equine experience as a Mounted Police Officer. He will give a talk and video presentation.        Tim Briers, BHS Riding and Road Safety Assessor and Trainer (Stage 3 in coaching Horsemanship), will instruct four ‘guinea pig’ riders on the soon to be updated Riding & Road Safety Test.

The BHS has also launched the Ride Safe Awrd to provide riders with the knowledge to protect themselves and their horse. It covers all aspects of riding so it is very important that you are aware of this Award.

It is accompanied by a comprehensive “Ride Safe Guide” that teaches riders how to manoeuvre in traffic, and what to do in a difficult situation on the road. Anyone 11 years or older can take the Award at selected BHS Approved Centres and It will be essential for those just beginning their BHS qualifications.

Equisafety Ltd with their latest Hi Viz clothing and other safety wear for riders and horses, and Myrocam UK – suppliers of head and body safety cameras, have also been invited to this event.

Advance Tickets for members and non members cost £6.00 each, which includes       light refreshment.  Send cheques made payable to HDRC and your contact details to the  organiser:  Mrs Marilyn Turner, Ryersh House, Ryersh Lane, Capel, Surrey RH5 5LJ.  (Tel. 01306 711069 / mobile 0752 732 7564 after 7pm)

OR pay via PayPal on-line:  www.hdrc.org.uk and see under “Events”

Tickets on the day will cost £8 each, payment by cash only.

Pony Racing Points winners announced

The Pony Club Champion Safety Wear Pony Racing Points Series came to a close for 2017, seeing 346 pony and rider combinations taking part across six days of racing at some of the best known racecourses in the UK.
Taking the top spot with 31 points in the 128cm and under category was 10 year old Zak Kent riding Glebedale Stopwatch for the Essex Farmers’ Hunt. Essex resident Zak, who took part in six race days and won at Wolverhampton, aims to be as successful as his heroes Bob Champion and Sam Twiston-Davies.

Pony Club saddle pads

Line up of winners in the Pony Club Championships

He said: “I would like to thank my parents and my brother Bradley for their help, but most of all I’d like to thank my pony who is my best friend and my partner.                        The winner of the 138cm and under category was Grafton Hunt’s Harvey Poole, who lives in Northants. Eleven year old Harvey and his horse Warmwell Lizzie competed in five races, taking wins at Ascot and Haydock Park. Harvey, who said the win was ‘amazing’.

Exciting action in pony club polo championship

Harvey commented: “I still can’t believe it’s true that I’ve won the Championship in my first year of racing. I hope to continue Pony Racing and become a professional jockey when I’m old enough.”
Violet Barton’s Miss Wonderful lived up to her name by winning all of their 148cm and under races at Wolverhampton, Lingfield Park, Cheltenham and Ascot.                  Fifteen year old Violet, who lives in Leicestershire and is a Member of the Quorn Hunt Branch, said: “I am thrilled to have won, and doing so well has given me the confidence to ride in more flat races.” Violet, whose ambition is to be a jockey, continued to thank The Pony Club for the opportunity to get into racing, adding: “It’s the most amazing feeling and is very addictive!”
The winners and their families will enjoy a day at the ‘Jingle All the Way’ Race Meeting at Ascot Racecourse where they will also be presented with their prizes.

Pony Club taster tickets

The Pony Club year is set to end in festive style at Olympia, The London International Horse Show (December 12-18 ). There will be lots on offer including Taster Tickets for anyone who is interested in being part of the largest equestrian organisation for young people.

Visitors can pick up a Taster Ticket from The Pony Club stand – in its new location G47 – and go and experience for themselves all the fun, learning and friendship that is to be had at Pony Club.

Team Pony Club will be on hand to speak about the organisation and give details of the wide range of training and riding opportunities available across the nine equestrian sports available to members, as well as items to purchase.

Close up of Pony Club chaps

Also available on the stand will be Pony Club ‘must haves’ including Pony Club saddle pads from Nuumed, a range of Pony Club full chaps, half chaps and waterproof chaps from Just Chaps and books from superstar authors Nick Skelton, Carl Hester and Clare Balding.

Pony Club saddle pads

Alongside these will be sensational stocking fillers, including a new design lycra hat covers and pencil cases, and best sellers ‘Pete the Pony’ cuddly toys, fleece ear warmers and plastic mugs.

Olympia shoppers do not need to worry about buying heavy or bulky items, as they can be safely left at The Pony Club Shopping Drop Off point. The Shopping Drop Off is being run by an army of invaluable Pony Club Volunteers including members, parents, District Commissioners and centre proprietors, and can be found on stand GH7.

For more information about the show please visit https://www.olympiahorseshow.com/ and for information about The Pony Club contact Vicky Kangurs at vicky@pcuk.org