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.”





Don’t miss good racing at Fontwell Park today

Gates are open at Fontwell Park racecourse for an excellent Boxing Day programme of jump racing at this popular Sussex track, where the first race is at at 12.10pm.

Boxing Day Racing at Fontwell Park
Image courtesy of Fontell Park Racecourse

The Southern Cranes and Access Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle opens a good card- and has attracted nine runners, headed by likely favourite Oskar Denarius trained by Jennifer Mason with Ben Hicks in the saddle.
Local trainer Nick Gifford has his string in fine form at present and sends out Alka Step with Conor Ring in the saddle, while Gary Moore’s Yuokon Delta, at 16-1 is ridden by William Clarke.

The juvenile hurdle has only four runners but Oxford Blu,trained by Olly Murphy and ridden by Ian Popham seems to be the one to beat-and is likely to be odds-on.
The two miles one furlong novice hurdle will be more of a competitive affair, but is headed by dual winner this season, Highway One O One, trained by Chris Gordon, which is a useful performer and likely to make this three wins on the trot.

The two mile one furlong handicap chase could see Nick Gifford’s Brown Bear gaining a  victory over course winner Bredon Hill Lad, trained by Sue Gardner.

Brown Bear, pictured by Michael Harris, being washed down following his Ascot victory.

This classy horse won in fine style at Ascot in September and if he handles the Fontwell track as well as he did Ascot, he has the class to take this in front of his local owners’ group.

Trainer Gary Moore and son Jamie ought to take the spoils in the
handicap hurdle with Knocknanuss.

Like Sully, trained by Richard Rowe at nearby Sullington has been running into form recently, and has the assistance of Leighton Aspell in the saddle here, helping to compensate for top weight.

He would be a popular local winner if able to overturn favourite and triple winner,Silent Man sent out by trainer Tom Weston with Sean Bowen up.

Taunton set for tomorrow

TODAY was the second day without a jumps meeting- but if weather conditions remain as expected overnight, Taunton will host the £50,000 Peterborough Chase tomorrow (Thursday)

Taunton Racecourse

After a blank two days, jump racing is set to resume at Taunton  with the Grade 2 Chase set to become the most valuable race to be staged at the track.

Yesterday, Taunton clerk of the course Jason Loosemore said :” It is a cracking race. We have a Listed race ourselves, but nothing of this calibre. It’s brilliant news for Taunton.

Taunton Racecourse

“We’ve five lovely runners and it should be a great race. The race was transferred from Huntingdon after its cancellation last Sunday – and it is the most valuable we’ve ever had.

“The going is good to soft, good in places, but that’s likely to ease a bit with some rain forecast.”

The Peterborough Chase restaging is great news for Taunton, whose planned £115,000 Betfair-backed raceday in January 2013 – which would have been their richest raceday ever – was lost due to snow.

Tomorrow’s eight-race card surpasses that total by £1,000.

Sussex RDA Group appeals for support

The Sussex-based  Long Furlong RDA group is thrilled to announce it is one of the three nominated charities in the Hove Waitrose store for the month of December.

The location of this Waitrose outlet is in Nevill Road. It is right next door to Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium and easy to find.

Thanks to an original idea last year, this worthy group had a successful similar event at Waitrose in Storrington and Waitrose in Worthing.

Now the group hopes everyone will support it with this latest Waitrose green token plea, in addition to  a similar fundraiser with blue tokens at Tesco in November and December.

Long Furlong RDA group in action

On behalf of this very deserving group, Pat Baker said: “Please could you help us boost our token fund – prizes will be awarded for the most green and most blue tokens collected by an individual (you will need to keep your own tally!).

“Thank you for your tokens of support and please tell your family and friends.”

Czech superstar in action today

Czech horse Subway Dancer, trained by Zdeno Koplik is in the line-up         Photo:



A high-class line-up includes Subway Dancer, trained in the Czech Republic by Zdeno Koplik and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who stormed to victory in the 2016 G3 Prix Andre Baboin and was beaten a short-neck in the G2 Prix Dollar at Chantilly on September 30.

Royal Julius (Jerome Reynier/Clement Lecoeuvre) was edged out on his latest outing in the G3 Premio Ribot at Capannelle, Italy, while Silver Look (Satoshi Kobayashi/Fabrice Veron), a dual G2 winner in Argentina, makes her French debut for new connections.

Qatar Racing, who took the 2016 renewal of the Prix Lyphard with Mr Owen, aim for a repeat victory with this year’s G1 Deutsches Derby fifth Promise Of Peace (Andreas Wohler/Thierry Thulliez).

Four British-trained runners include recent Lingfield Park handicap fourth Utmost (John Gosden/Tony Piccone), classy Sinfonietta (David Menuisier/Franck Blondel) and four-time All-Weather winner Abareeq (Mark Johnston/Ioritz Mendizabal).

Prost, trained in Newmarket by Ed Vaughan, is unbeaten in two All-Weather appearances, having captured a Polytrack maiden at Deauville at the end of last year and stayed on well for a length victory in a mile handicap on Tapeta at Newcastle on October 10. Gregory Benoist partners the three-year-old son of Tin Horse.

Vaughan commented: “Prost was back on a surface that he liked at Newcastle. I had him ready for the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot but he missed the cut and hadn’t been working well through the summer.

“He started to really come into himself before Newcastle, so we were expecting a big run. We are going back to France because he is eligible for French premiums, even though he is German-bred, and we will see if he is a horse that we can travel with over the winter.

“I don’t think the step up to nine and a half furlongs will be a problem, especially as they tend to go steady early on in France. He wasn’t stopping at Newcastle, when he hit a little flat spot and then picked up again.

“I will keep him going over the winter and Good Friday could be among the plans. We might go pot hunting abroad at some point as he is as effective on turf once he gets a nice, flat track and good or faster ground.”

Also today, Listed Betway Churchill Stakes victor Master The Worldsteps up to a mile and a half for the £40,000 Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes (6.40pm) at Kempton Park.

The 10 runners also include Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop/PJ McDonald) and multiple Group race winner Western Hymn (John Gosden/Robert Havlin), who were second and fifth respectively behind Titi Makfi over the course and distance in the Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes on November 6.

Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett/Martin Harley), one of two runners for Qatar Racing, comes into the race on the back of one start this year when an encouraging fourth in the G3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury on October 28.

Her Majesty The Queen is represented by promising filly Daphne (William Haggas/Jim Crowley), who made her mark at Pattern level last time out with victory in the 32Red EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield Park on November 2.


British Dressage board changes

British Dressage today announces some changes to the Board of Directors, with two members of the Board recently standing down from their positions. 

Newly appointed Finance Director Karen Wilson tendered her resignation after only six weeks in post at the end of last month.  Maggie Copus, who was previously BD’s Finance Director until September this year, has therefore been co-opted back on to the Board with immediate effect and a formal election for this position will take place in due course.

Jo Graham has also left her position of Judges Director after two years in office.  Jo’s deputy on the Judges Committee, Jane Peberdy, will take over as Chair of the committee on an interim basis and the Board will discuss a replacement Director appointment at their next meeting in December.  A formal announcement will then follow once the Board has fully considered the options available.

Penny Pollard, British Dressage

BD Chairman Penny Pollard commented; “It’s always disappointing to lose valued colleagues.  I wish Karen well in her professional role with the oil industry in Scotland and hope that she will stay involved with BD in the future. 

“We owe Jo an enormous debt of gratitude for her hard work and determination to modernise the Judges training and examination system.  With the help of the office team, technical committee and regional volunteers, BD has revolutionised its methods to the point that we’re now the envy of other countries.  She leaves judging in a healthy place and should be incredibly proud of her achievements.

“We wish Jo well in her future projects and thank her for giving her time as a volunteer over the past two years in what is a challenging role.

“We have a great deal of experience on the Board and we will now continue to build on the excellent progress that has already been achieved this year.  To have Maggie back will give us stability and continuity, so we can further our plans to develop a modern, vibrant and successful sport.”