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

Valiente win Midhurst Town Cup in high scoring epic

An epic contest between Valiente and La Indiana in a league game for the 2018 King Power Gold Cup, played for the Midhurst Town Cup, delivered one of the highest scoring and best matches seen by Cowdray Park spectators in recent times.

Each playing their second match in the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Bob Jornayvaz’s Valiente met Michael Bickford’s La Indiana with the world’s two leading 10-goal players on opposing sides – Adolfo Cambiaso for Valiente and Facundo Pieres for La Indiana.

USA patron Jornayvaz took the number 1 position for his side with Englishman Hugo Lewis at 2 and Argentine players Cristian Laprida at 3 and Cambiaso at Back. Also from the USA, Michael Bickford was at number 1 for La Indiana, with Australian Alec White at 2, American Nic Roldan at 3, and Argentine Facundo Pieres at Back.

Valiente- winners of the Midhurst Town Cup: Photo courtesy of Chris Orange

La Indiana marked the scoreboard within seconds of the match starting, Bickford scoring from Roldan’s pass. Valiente won the throw in with Laprida looking for Cambiaso, but an infringement enabled Laprida to level the scores from a 30 yard penalty. Weaving his way around Pieres, Laprida made a neat field goal and 2-1 on the scoreboard for Valiente. A collision on the field gave another penalty to Valiente which Cambiaso lost little time in converting from 40 yards. The teams came back to the centre, La Indiana stole the ball from Cambiaso and suddenly Pieres worked his magic sending a massive lofted shot from 70 yards through the posts to take back a goal for his side.

Then came a trio of goals from Cambiaso The score moved on to 6-2 in Valiente’s favour. Pieres stole the ball from Laprida and went on the attack to achieve La Indiana’s only goal of the chukka. Lewis replied, giving Valiente 7-3 on the scoreboard. Three goals in succession from penalties were scored by Pieres taking La Indiana up to 6-7 bjut a flurry of goals from each side saw scores levelled at 10-10 by half-time.
That went to 13-13 by the end of Chukka 5.

The breathtaking action continued into the sixth chukka when Pieres sent through goal number 28 giving his side a 15-13 lead. In the heated action, a 60 yard penalty was awarded to Valiente which Cambiaso sent soaring to secure just a one goal difference. Another penalty was given away and Laprida was given the job of sending the 30 yard shot home and it was 15-15.

Cambiaso went racing away again hitting the ball in the air as he headed for the goal, but the whistle blew. A safety shot was awarded to Valiente. Huge Lewis swiftly took it and Valiente secured the lead which saw them the victors in the 2018 Midhurst Town Cup.

The historic Cup and generous prizes of leather document cases were presented by Mrs Mariya Burton of Aspinal of London. She also presented the award for Most Valuable Player to Christian Laprida. The Best Playing Pony prize, awarded to Facundo Pieres’ Galactica was presented by Mrs Lila Pearson.

Top result for showjumper Katie

East Sussex’s Katie Vaughan claimed top spot in the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Round at Felbridge Showjumping Club

The KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Round took place at Felbridge Showjumping Club and it was Katie’s speedy treble clear which gained her victory.

All sixty-seven competitors gathered with the aim of securing a place in the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Championship Final which is to be held at the British Showjumping National Championships in August.

All starters were looking to achieve a sought after treble clear as this would secure their qualification place.

Katie Vaughan competing at Felbridge

Katie from Lewes, East Sussex proved to be on winning form riding her eight- year-old bay mare Finessa KM.

This partnership delivered two clean rounds for their place in the jump-off where they combined accuracy with speed to finish in 39.53 seconds with a treble clear.

With another nine combinations also achieving a treble clear, a total of ten combinations now go forward to the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Second Rounds Final.

Results: 1 Katie Vaughan & Finessa K M – 0/0/0 – 39.53 seconds
2 Karl Standing & Diamond Slave – 0/0/0 – 40.81 seconds                                                3 Lorraine Lock & Artisan I – 0/0/0 – 43.03 seconds                                                        4 Emma-Jo Slater & Stand Up -0/0/0 – 44.06 seconds                                            5 Nicholas Edwards & Idodinus PP – 0/0/0 – 44.94 seconds                                              6 Katie Coomes & Romanos Legacy – 45.33 seconds                                            7 Lorraine Lock & Ibiza – 0/0/0 – 45.88 seconds                                                          8 Charlotte Whittall & Johnny Splash – 0/0/0 – 45.91 seconds                                9 Emma-Jo Slater & Bon Amego – 0/0/0 – 46.03 seconds                                                10 Gemma Birch & Gerton – 0/0/0 – 46.25 seconds
The British Showjumping National Championships 2018 will be hosted at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire during the week August 7 – 12.

Sussex Equine Hospital Open Day

Sussex Equine Hospital, located in Billingshurst Road, Ashington, West Sussex ( RH20 3BS), is hosting an Open Day on Saturday April 21 from 10am-3pm.

This is an invaluable opportunity to see the outstanding facilities at this centre of excellence, which operates to care for and about horses to highest possible standards.

Founded in 1951, and formerly known as the Arundel Equine Hospital, it moved from Arundel to Ashington in July 2017.

Bone scan isolation unit  at the new Sussex Equine Hospital- one of the many new facilities there

The brand new, state of the art, purpose-built facilities have brought patients and clients the very best standards of equine veterinary health care.

Twenty dedicated equine vets, with interests in different equine veterinary disciplines, are supported by a large team of nurses, grooms and office staff. providing excellence in equine veterinary practice. made possible by vets that care passionately and provide a unique service tailored to individual needs.

Everyone is welcome at the open day, which will showcase the top quality equine veterinary facilities  run by a a highly qualified team of specialists vets.

Synovial infection in a horse

Synovial Infection is discussed here by Dr Chris Baldwin BVetMed(hons) MRCVS, who is resident equine veterinary surgeon at the Sussex  Equine Hospital, Ashington.

Dr Chris Baldwin  Resident Veterinary Surgeon at Ashington Equine Hospital

The anatomy of a joint can be broken down into a few basic component parts, two opposing bones are encapsulated in a fibrous joint capsule which is lined with an active synovial membrane. At the end of each bone there is a layer of cartilage which facilitates the gliding motion of the bones over one another. Within the joint a fluid is produced by the synovial membrane which lubricates the articulating joints to reduce friction, provides a shock absorption, supplies oxygen and nutrients and removes metabolic wastes from the cells within the surrounding cartilage.

Surgery being conducted on a horse’s leg  Photo:John Simpson

Joints and the synovial fluids are sometimes referred to as immune privileged sites, this is to say they have a limited capacity to deal with infections. This is because the synovial fluid is a hyper-filtration of the blood produced by the synovial membrane. The synovial membrane produces a viscous, low cell, low protein fluid composed of hyaluronic acid, lubricin, proteinases, collagenases and phagocytic cells (removes the debris that results from normal wear and tear in the joint).

The fluid is an excellent medium of nutrients to allow bacteria to grow rapidly and the fluid is devoid of infection fighting antibodies and lymphocytes. This means the introduction of even a very small number of bacteria can result in a septic joint with an infection that cannot be fought off by the horse’s own immune system.

When bacteria enter a joint space, they reproduce rapidly releasing a multitude of toxins and waste products that results in the synovial membrane releasing a storm of inflammatory mediators to recruit infection fighting cells (neutrophils and lymphocytes). The neutrophils and lymphocytes produce bacteria destroying enzymes in order to tackle the infection, however if the host defences are overwhelmed, which in an immune privileged site they often are, then infection will set in.

Infection results in an extremely painful inflammatory response and synovial fluid production increases, which results in joint distension (which is also painful!) resulting in a severe lameness and an enlarged or swollen joint. Internally the process of the infection and the inflammation aimed at tackling the infection results in cartilage degradation, adhesion formation (tendon sheaths) and pannus/fibrin build up.

When determining if a synovial structure is infected or not your vet may take a sample of the fluid and analyse it for changes that may indicate an infection has established. Synovial fluid is normally a clear viscous fluid however when infected it becomes; turbid, less viscous and cell and protein concentrations increase.

If there is a wound close to a synovial structure then at the same time as taking a sample your vet may also inject sterile water into the joint and observe to see if the water comes out of the wound, if it confirms communication between the wound and the joint, if it doesn’t then the joint fluid sample will need to be analysed.

Once a septic synovial structure has been confirmed it is then important to treat the infection quickly and aggressively. Unfortunately, antibiotics alone have a very poor success rate because antibiotics given either into the muscle, vein or in feed have poor penetration into the synovial fluid.

The “gold standard” treatment is a combination of antibiotics and arthroscopy, this involves placing an arthroscope (camera) into the joint and flushing the joint fluid out with sterile saline, this flushing aims to relieve distension, remove bacteria, inflammatory mediators and restore normal synovial health.

The solution to pollution is dilution! This procedure can be done without the camera by placing multiple needles into the joint and performing what is called a “needle flush” however the benefit of using an arthroscope is that this allows removal of the built-up pannus/fibrin (which is heavily infected thick pus like-tissue).

Arthroscopy also allows visualisation of the joint to assess for any joint damage or contamination (dirt, thorns, hair), allowing an improved prognosis prediction. Arthroscopy has a much greater success rate than needle flushing alone because of all the above outlined benefits.

Although joint infections cause a severe lameness and can result in profound damage to a joint surface, if treated appropriately and promptly horses can make an excellent return to full athletic work. The key to success of fast veterinary intervention.

Dr. C. Baldwin, BVetMed, MRCVS

Vinnie Lewis wins Plumpton’s Sussex National in style


Vinnie Lewis and Harry Bannister on their way to victory Photo: John Simpson

Plumpton’s Sussex National meeting on Sunday fulfilled all expectations, with thrilling racing bringing top class action for a bumper crowd on a sharply cold but sunny day.

This is the most prestigious raceday of the year for the popular Sussex jumping track, and the three mile four and a half furlongs feature race provided a fine test of stamina and endurance over 16 chase fences for 11 runners this year.

The race boasts £30,000 in prize money and attracts potential Grand National contenders and top class racing. Despite overall heavy ground, which worsened in later stages of the day, the feature race attracted a quality field and competitive racing on an already attractive card for the day.

Harry Whittington’s Vinnie Lewis was a dominant and impressive  7-2 winner of this  2018 At The Races Sussex National at Plumpton .

Formerly trained in Ireland by Jimmy Mangan, the seven-year-old opened his account for Harry Whittington with an easy  win at Sedgefield in November and was the 7/2 favourite when he followed up  with a far more prestigious victory in this three-and-a-half-mile £30,000 contest.

Winning Sussex National jockey Harry Bannister Photo: John Simpson

Vinnie Lewis was never too far off the pace, well-ridden by Harry Bannister, and took the lead confidently four fences from home. While others around him were struggling in the testing conditions, Vinnie Lewis galloped on remorselessly and passed the post six lengths clear of Shanroe Santos, with Frank N Fair in third.

Harry Bannister told reporters afterwards: ” He did everything right and is basically a straightforward horse. He jumped well throughout and likes this soft ground, which gave him a great advantage in the race.”

He added: ” He is very nimble at his fences, and sure footed so generally I let him get on with it. I knew this was a big step up in grade from his good recent win at Sedgfield which had put him up in the handicap, but he is a young, improving horse and should keep going forward.”