Goodwood’s popular May Festival

From May 23 – 25, Goodwood Racecourse’s ever popular May Festival returns and with it the announcement of a new local initiative with Age UK.

Believed to be the first concept of its kind set out by a racecourse in the country, ‘Friends of Goodwood’ aims to connect like-minded individuals who might otherwise face barriers with attending racing due to being alone.

Buses operated by Age UK will run a door-to-door collection service in the local area. Once at the course enthusiasts will be hosted and receive a talk from former Clerk of the Course, Seamus Buckley.

Helen Rice, CEO of Age UK West Sussex commented: “It’s so exciting to be working with Goodwood to provide opportunities for days out. This chance to come together and reduce isolation is massively important to us and knowing Goodwood cares about this means a lot. We hope this relationship will continue to blossom and that together we can serve more people and provide wonderful experiences.”

Don’t miss May Festival race day at Goodwood Racecourse, Saturday 26th May 2018
Photo by Liz Finlayson

Goodwood Racecourse’s, General Manager, Alex Eade said: “We are delighted to welcome this new link with Age UK; we enjoy wonderful views across the South Downs so with ‘Friends of Goodwood’ we very much look forward to giving something back to the local community and in the process putting a smile on peoples’ faces who might not otherwise come racing.”

Over the three days, The Food Market, located on the East Parade Lawn, will invite guests to sample and shop a plethora of locally-sourced food and drink as well as offering family activities for young foodies.

Several culinary displays in the Demo Kitchen will be hosted by chefs including Kenny Tutt, 2018 winner of BBC Masterchef, James Golding from The Pig Hotel Group, and local Michelin starred chef, Matt Gillan. Aside from the food, racegoers can enjoy an exquisite cocktail masterclass with Mirabeau on the Oak Tree Lawn, twenty-minute bespoke demonstrations will enlighten racegoers with beautifully blended recipes to kick start the summer.

Alex Eade continued; “The May Festival is always a flagship event for us; from a superb selection of street food on the concourse, to the jockeys and trainers omelette challenge, there is something for everyone across the three days.”

Tickets can be purchased from only £20 in advance and children under 18 go free in all enclosures. Please call 01243 216610 or visit for tickets, hospitality, and further information.


Longines increase Hickstead support

Hickstead is delighted to announce that Longines will be increasing its support of the showground in a new partnership deal that continues until 2021.

The Swiss watch brand is already the Title Partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch of the entire Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series, of which Hickstead hosts the British leg.

As well as taking title partnership of the five-star international showjumping event known as the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, they will also be known as the overall event partners for the Longines Royal International Horse Show  July 23-28 2019.

All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, West Sussex

One of the oldest horse shows in the world at 112 years old, the Longines Royal International Horse Show features hundreds of championship showing classes alongside national showjumping, carriage driving, scurry driving and the popular MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge.

Longines also takes on naming rights to Hickstead’s famous International Arena. The Longines International Arena is one of the largest grass showjumping rings in equestrian sport, and the iconic ring has played host to most of the best horses and riders in the world. .

“We are extremely fortunate to have a longstanding partnership agreement with Longines, a prestigious company and the biggest supporter of international equestrian sport,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “Our sport simply could not exist without such partners, and we are delighted to have signed with Longines for a further three years.”

The scheduling of the international showjumping classes has been altered for this year, with the flagship Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ leg moving back to its traditional slot on Friday afternoon, while the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup returns to the Sunday afternoon and will bring the event to a close.

“After a revised timetable last year, we have returned to the previous show format with the Nations Cup on Friday,” explains Lizzie Bunn. “This allows selected riders to focus their attentions on representing their country on the Friday while also allowing them to make the decision whether to ride the same horse in Sunday’s Grand Prix or to compete one of their other top rides.”

Tickets are on sale now from


Tickets are on sale now from

Harry Charles disqualified from Young Rider Championships

The BEF has been informed by the FEI that Harry Charles has been disqualified from the Young Rider European Championships which took place last July in Fontainebleau, France.

Following the Team Final, samples were taken from Vivaldi du Dom, the horse ridden by Harry Charles and these tested positive for the controlled medication substance Lidocaine.

As a result Harry Charles has been automatically disqualified from all results at the event meaning that he loses his Individual gold medal and that Great Britain drops to Team Silver and Germany move up to Team Gold.

Harry Charles in action

Nick Fellows, Chief Executive for the British Equestrian Federation commented “This was a controlled medication substance not a doping substance, but it should not have been present in Harry’s horse at the time of competition.

“Of course it is desperately disappointing for Harry and the young rider team, but we accept the decision of the FEI and naturally uphold their zero tolerance in respect of the international Clean Sport policy which we also follow at a national level.”

Iain Graham, Chief Executive for British Showjumping said “This is a wake-up call for everyone in the sport and really highlights the necessity for all of our athletes, both national and international, to ensure they both understand and adhere to the FEI clean sport policy.”

On his disqualification from the Championships Harry Charles said: “Words can’t convey how really sad I am for my fellow team members having to receive the news that this has happened. I will speak to each of them individually and I just hope I can then put this behind me and move on”.

The four riders that made up the team with Harry were Graham Babes, William Fletcher, Amy Inglis and Georgia Tame; all of whom have been informed and understand the decision.

Trainers contest new shoeing rule for racing

A ROW has broken out about a new rule being introduced by the British Horse Racing Authority, which will insist that all horses taking part in jump racing should be fully shod for safety reasons.

The regulation already applies in Flat races and is set to come into force over jumps on February 1, in the belief that it will make jump racing safer by reducing the risk of horses slipping.

But there is widespread opposition to the move to introduce the rule for jump racing. One trainer said: ” Jump racing is totally different from Flat racing and the British Horse Racing ought to understand that.

A racehorse about to bring hind legs forward for landing  Photo: John Simpson

“The very act of jumping means the hind legs come through on landing and if the horse has to wear shoes it would automatically create an enormous risk of the front legs being sliced into.”

It has been said that any trainer disregarding the new rule will be able to have their horse re-shod prior to a race, or their horse will be withdrawn by the starter. Trainers have expressed concerns to The National Trainers’ Federation, which has asked the BHA to review the situation.

Trainer Mick Easterby

Mick Easterby said his brother Peter and other trainers agree with him and he is not going to put shoes on his horses’ hind feet when they race. Meanwhile  the BHA has said shoeing all four hooves will be compulsory in jumps races from February 1.

He pointed out that one of the most common injuries in racing over hurdles and fences is an overreach caused by the hind hoof cutting into the back of a front leg. This can cause damage to the tendon or even result in removal of a front hoof.

Mick Easterby told reporters :”I ran a horse over hurdles at Newcastle the other day. It wasn’t a good jumper and it came back with a nasty over reach. Luckily it didn’t have hind shoes on, so it will be able to race again, but if it had it would probably have cut its leg in two.

Other trainers have agreed with him but the BHA said in a statement issued to the Press: “Following a two-year process which has involved review of data and consultation with participants, the Rules Committee has approved a change to the rules in order that horses running in jumps races must wear hind shoes, as is the case in Flat races. This is a safety initiative for the benefit of horse and rider to reduce the risk of a horse slipping.

“Trainers will require special dispensation to run horses over jumps without shoes on their hind hooves and can apply for dispensation.”

But NTF chief executive Rupert Arnold says the BHA needs to look at the issue again. He said in a statement :”Since we communicated to trainers the intended change in the rules regarding the shoeing of jumpers, several have expressed their disquiet about it,”

“As a result of that, and because none of the incidences of horses slipping in the BHA survey involved horses who weren’t wearing hind shoes, we have gone back to the BHA to ask them to review their decision to change the rule pending further discussion.”

Star male jockeys v women at Olympia tonight

Star jockeys from the Flat and jumps will be showing their skills at showjumping today when Olympia hosts its annual Champions Challenge as part of the London International Horse Show, with a male team taking on female riders.

The event, sponsored by Markel Corporation, will have a team relay format and raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

This year’s competition sees Sir Tony McCoy and Bridget Andrews heading the two teams where women jockeys take on their male counterparts.

The female team includes Flat riders Josephine Gordon and Hollie Doyle, alongside Grade 1-winning jumps jockeys Bryony Frost and Lizzie Kelly.

Successful female jockey Lizzie Kelly will be competing Photo : Gerry Cranham

Bridget Andrews said of her team, who prepared for the event with professional showjumpers William and Pippa Funnell: “The training was lots of fun – they’re heroes of mine and we couldn’t have asked for better coaches.  I just hope we do well and make them proud.”

Lizzie Kelly added: ” I’ve never done anything of that level for showjumping so I’m really excited. I’ve been doing some practice at home and in the arena ahead of it. We’ve got a good team and we will try to be a bit more tactical and strategic than the boys.. It will be good fun.”

McCoy’s team features top Flat riders Ryan Moore and Jim Crowley, who are joined by this season’s two top jump jockeys, Richard Johnson and Harry Skelton.

The team has been coached by Harry’s father Nick Skelton, who won Olympic showjumping gold in Rio two years ago. McCoy, who is making his third appearance at the event, said: “The Markel Champions Challenge is such a crowd-pleaser and we all love it. I thought I would retire after last year’s win but my kids had other ideas so I’ll be back to beat the girls and claim another win.”

The event starts at 6.45pm and can be followed live on the BBC red button.

International showjumpers confirmed for HOYS

Get ready to take your seats to witness the greatest names of Showjumping compete at this year’s Horse of the Year Show.

HOYS is delighted to announce the International Show Jumpers who will be competing at the 70th Anniversary Show held at the Genting Arena, Birmingham’s NEC from October 3-7 2018.

There is a total of 30 spaces for riders competing in the nine CSI3* classes here at HOYS which commence on Friday October 5 and finish with the prestigious Leading Show Jumper of the Year Grand Prix on Sunday October 7.

HOYS competitor Matthew Sampson in action
Photo courtesy of Hickstead

This class, in addition to two other classes, carries Longines Ranking points and has the biggest prize fund of Horse of the Year Show at £40,000. Taking place during the Sunday Gala Evening Performance, it will provide exhilarating competition ahead of the HOYS Finale.

The riders are as follows;

1.       Julie Andrews (GB)

2.       Paul Barker (GB)

3.       Harry Charles (GB)

4.       Joe Clayton (GB)

5.       Nigel Coupe (GB)

6.       Joe Stockdale (GB)

7.       Robert Murphy (GB)

8.       Matthew Sampson (GB)

9.       Louise Saywell (GB)

10.   Robert Smith (GB)

11.   Helen Tredwell (GB)

12.   Mennell Watson (GB)

13.   John Whitaker (GB)

14.   Michael Whitaker (GB)

15.   Robert Whitaker (GB)

16.   Guy Williams (GB)

17.   Trevor Breen (IRE)

18.   Michael Duffy (IRE)

19.   Richard Howley (IRE)

20.   Denis Lynch (IRE)

21.   Peter Moloney (IRE)

22.   Karel Cox (BEL)

23.   Guido Hornesch (BEL)

24.   Francois Jr Mathy (BEL)

25.   Sameh El Dahan (EGY)

26.   Geoffroy De Coligny (FRA)

27.   Max Thirouin (FRA)

28.   Gerco Schroder (NED)

29.   Hendrick-Jan Schroder

30.   Angelie Von Essen (SWE)

Want a chance to meet and greet some of these international riders? Head to the HOYS Live Zone in the Retail Village where the celebrity rider signings will be hosted each day with selected riders. The Sunday Gala Evening is one not to be missed; with a live musical performance and a guest appearance from Martin Clunes and the Hook Norton Brewery ahead of the HOYS champions being crowned.

If you are yet to book your tickets then there’s still time, call the Box Office on 0844 581 8282 or visit

Medal for team GBR in Tryon

It was mission accomplished for the Equestrian Team GBR dressage quartet when  achieving their primary aim of qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, picking a bronze medal up as a well-deserved bonus.  

After Spencer Wilton and Emile Faurie put GB in with a fighting chance on day one of the Helgstrand Dressage FEI World Team Championship, it was down to two familiar faces, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin to produce a piece of riding brilliance with their two young charges, Hawtins Delicato and Mount St John Freestyle respectively, who had less than a dozen Grand Prix performances between them.

Emile Faurie


Carl came into the sweltering arena with the ten year old he jointly owns with Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory and looked like they were seasoned Championship regulars and scored  77.28 per cent- a new personal best for the exciting duo.

Carl Hester

He has always held the horse in high regard and that potential was realised on the world stage.

He said:“I’ve had him since he was five; I saw him canter by at a show and just saw his hind leg and thought ‘I have to have that horse.’  I then found he was bred and owned by a small stud just three miles from home. The last person I saw as I went in was his breeder Judith (Davis) and I was proud that she was able to come and see him compete,” he said.

Charlotte Dujardin was the first of the chasing pack to go with Mount St John Equestrian’s Mount St John Freestyle.  At just nine, she was one of the youngest in the field but  scored 77.67% to give Team GBR a final score of 229.45 for the others to match.

Charlotte Du Jardin Photo: British Dressage

Afterwards, Charlotte told the world’s media; “What an amazing horse to come here and do that!  To cope with the environment and produce a test like that, I’m over the moon with her.   There’s a lot of expectation on her and I’m so proud that she didn’t bother with anything, she’s so exciting for the future. “

So the audience, bathed in the North Carolina September sunshine, settled in for a battle royal in the final session where it would go to the wire for the medals.

Germany’s Isabel Werth was the first contender with the mare she holds most dear, who had the luxury of knowing that her team had secured gold even without her score so it was just down to securing qualification for tomorrow’s Grand Prix Special.  A spectacular 84.82% was the score to take the lead.

For the third FEI championship in succession, Germany won to cement their current domination of dressage with a reversal of the Rio places below with the USA in silver and Team GBR in bronze.

Chef d’Equipe Caroline Griffith commented; “This performance is truly exciting for the future. These young horses and the way the our riders have produced them is just incredible. I’m proud of them; it was a great atmosphere today which gave them all great confidence.  To come here and secure our Tokyo qualification and come away with a medal just shows the quality of horses and riders we have.  Watch out world!”

All four British riders finished in the top 30 so are through to Friday’s Grand Prix Special when the first individual medals will be decided.

Isle of Wight horse trials expect glorious weather

The weather forecast is looking glorious for the London Capital & Finance Osborne
Horse Trials on July 25 and 26 – pack.
The unprecedented heatwave of 2018 looks like it will continue well into August, making
sure that the first ever horse trials seen on the Isle of Wight will be one to remember. The unique location at Osborne House means that visitors can not only enjoy the top class eventing on show but also slip down to the beach and enjoy the sunshine.
Stuart Buntine, Managing Director of BEDE Events, has been resident on the island during the last week and said: “This event is shaping up to be something totally different, never before have I seen such a beautiful location that lends itself so well to eventing. This weather has really been the icing on the cake.”

The first horse trials to be held on the Isle of Wight will have superb setting

The team is currently transforming the grounds of holiday home of Queen Victoria into the sporting calendar’s latest venue. London Capital & Finance Osborne Horse Trials has a range of attractions to suit both equestrian and non-equestrian fans. With shops to browse, arena contests, dog agility shows and demonstrations, a Victorian Funfair, Gin Den and a wide choice of bars and eateries on offer, there really is something on offer for everyone.
Stuart said: “The summer holidays are here, and as a parent myself I know that trying to
keep children entertained every day for six weeks solid can be a challenge. London Capital & Finance Osborne Horse Trials really will keep the whole family entertained”
Earlier this month it was announced that all primary aged school children on the Island
would be given free tickets to encourage participation in sport, something Stuart is
passionate about.
“Not only do we want to deliver an amazing sport to the Isle of Wight,
we want to create a legacy of positivity around sport,” he said..
With thousands set to attend the inaugural London Capital & Finance Horse Trials, don’t
miss a second of the action, tickets available at

Quarter finals of polo championship

The penultimate weekend of the 2018 King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo
Championship attracted large crowds for the thrilling Quarter Final matches leading to a
place in the Semi Finals, writes Liz Higgins
Following a tense five way shoot-out for a place in the Quarters, the following eight teams are through to the Semis: Alfi Investments, El Remanso, La Bamba de Areco, La Indiana, Park Place, RH Polo, Talandracas and Valiente.
On a total score of 16 to ALFI Investments 11, the four man English squad of El Remanso remain undefeated as they head towards the Semi Finals.
La Bamba de Areco vs Talandracas saw a win for Jean Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco side on a final score of 10-8 to Decaux’s side.

Winners of the  Centenary Cup, La Indiana, at Cowdray Park Polo Club, Midhurst  Photo:Clive Bennett Photography  20180715 ©2018 C6310.CR2

Sunday’s Centenary Cup saw La Indiana vs Valiente in a hard fought but somewhat scrappy match, with the world’s finest 10 goal players, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres, on opposing sides and fighting for every ball. An even first half saw the teams deadlocked at 5-5, but a dominant second half from La Indiana, led by six goals from Facundo Pieres, saw La Indiana run away in the final three chukkas for their 13-8 victory.
 At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Final of the July 4 goal tournament reached its
conclusion on Sunday July 15 in a fast–paced skilful show of polo between James
Rogerson’s Connect44 team and Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze.
Just a half goal separated the teams as they went into the final chukka on 5-5½, but a remarkable turn-around by 2 goal player John Kent for Connect44 saw a reversal of fortune for Rogerson’s side. Kent’s three goals in succession,answered by only one from the Sea Breeze 4 goaler Nick Pepper, saw James Rogerson enjoy his first victory at Cowdray Park on a final score of 8-6½

Schools and Pony Club championship over two days

More young riders than ever will have the chance to compete here at the famous All England Jumping Course, due to the expansion of the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.

The annual showjumping competition will now run over two days (August1-2) instead of one, with a number of new championship classes added to the schedule. On the Wednesday, the Hickstead Elite NSEA Individual Championship will take place in the International Arena, while the Hickstead 1.00m NSEA Team Championship will run concurrently in ring 4, with the best six teams going forward to the final deciding round in the International Arena later in the day.

The first day of the show will also include a new 80-85cm Individual Championship, which will be an ideal supporting class for those riders competing on the Wednesday, plus it will act as the perfect warm-up for Thursday’s Finals.

Millfield School’s Senior team- past winners of the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships Senior title. Photo: Julian Portch Photography

The second day of this ‘Schools Festival’ will once again include finals for Junior Schools, Senior Schools and Branches of the Pony Club. However, there can now be up to 4 riders per team in both Schools Divisions, meaning teams will have a ‘drop’ score for the first time in the 55-year history of the competition. In addition, the Junior Schools class will now be held over a 90cm course, following a successful trial in 2017.

As usual, the teams must qualify in the outer rings with the top 10 going through to a final in the International Arena (eight in the Pony Club Final), home to famous classes such as the Al Shira’aa Derby, the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain.

“The Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships have been part of our annual fixture list since the 1960s, and past competitors have included Pippa Funnell, Jodie Kidd, Robert Whitaker and the Duchess of York,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

“We wanted to expand this popular event and give more young equestrians the chance to gain experience round our International Arena. We also hope the new classes will encourage more schools and Branches of the Pony Club from around the country to make the journey to Hickstead.”

Entries are now open with admission to the show completely free to spectators. For details and timetables, visit