WHW’s care of emaciated ponies brings Equifest awards

Ponies Buttercup and Fydlyn Kenen (Clyde) have been so successfully transformed since coming into the care of World Horse Welfare that they were awarded Champion and Reserve Champion Rescue Pony at Equifest this year – an incredible achievement given the ponies’ condition a year ago.

Equifest is the biggest rescue competition of the year and for the ponies to reach the final is in itself a huge achievement. A field of twelve deserving ponies qualified for the evening championship so to win was a triumph for all concerned.

Clyde arrived at World Horse Welfare emaciated and in poor condition Photo: WHW

Piebald mare Buttercup came into the charity’s care in June 2018 and is amongst the worst cases that staff at Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre had ever seen. She was severely emaciated and dehydrated, yet somehow still gave birth to a tiny filly foal.

Buttercup was also found emaciated and in bad condition Photo: World Horse Welfare

Penny Farm Yard Supervisor Karen Wright said: “It’s incredible that Buttercup and her foal both survived, given the terrible condition that Buttercup was in. She needed urgent treatment and was far too weak to care for her foal herself, so the team had to hand-rear the foal, Frieda.

“It took months of dedicated care from the team to get Buttercup strong enough to even be turned out in the field, but she’s gone from strength to strength since then. She’s really blossomed this summer and loves attention, so we thought she should have a trip to Equifest to take part in the rescue classes. Seeing her win Rescue Pony Champion is incredible – a real testament to the team’s dedication and care over the last year.”

Black gelding, Clyde came, into the charity’s care in May 2018 after being found in a field, severely emaciated and with overgrown chipped feet.  He was covered in lice and had chunks of hair missing from his coat where he had tried to rub to ease the irritation. Clyde was very lethargic when he arrived, with sunken eyes and no real will to survive.  The team at Penny Farm worked hard to make him more comfortable, treating his skin condition and using a duvet under his stable rug so that his protruding bones did not rub and create sores.

Karen said: “Clyde was in such a poor condition on arrival that it took weeks of dedicated care and attention before he started to become interested in his surroundings and really respond to treatment. He’s comes on in leaps and bounds since then and although he can still be a bit wary of new people his confidence is growing fast. He’s turned into a very handsome pony and we were really proud to show him off at Equifest.

Wiinners Buttercup and Clyde in top form after care by WHW.

“For Buttercup and Clyde to be transformed into showing champions in just over a year is a great tribute to the team’s hard work, given how poorly they were on arrival.  We’re very proud of both ponies and Buttercup is doing really well with learning to drive, so we hope that she will be ready to rehome very soon.”

You can seeWHW horses and ponies which are currently looking for new homes here: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/rehoming

World Horse Welfare (Registered charity no: 206658 and SC038384), is an international horse charity that improves the lives of horses in the UK and worldwide through education, campaigning and hands-on care of horses.  Since it was founded in 1927, itswhole approach has been practical, based on scientific evidence and our extensive experience, and focused on delivering lasting change across the full spectrum of the horse world.

In the UK its dedicated network of Field Officers investigate and resolve welfare problems, and it has four Rescue and Rehoming Centres where horses in need can receive specialist care, undergo rehabilitation and find loving new homes through WHW’s rehoming scheme – the largest of its kind in the UK.

Its international programmes alleviates the suffering of thousands of working horses by providing essential knowledge for horse owning communities in the developing world. WHW also works tirelessly to change legislation and attitudes to horse welfare through campaigns and education, including our founding campaign to end the suffering endured by the tens of thousands of horses transported long-distance across Europe to slaughter each year. It supports the responsible use of horses in sport, and is independent welfare adviser to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

World Horse Welfare relies on voluntary donations. Itssupporters are its lifeblood and WHW always aims to fundraise in a caring and responsible way. Its fundraising activity is governed by the Fundraising Regulator but it also go much further to ensure our supporters feel valued and protected.

Find out more at: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/our-pledge-to-supporters

Plumpton’s new season starts this month

RACING resumes at Plumpton Racecourse with a Core Spreads Family Raceday on Sunday September 22.

This popular National Hunt track has a season opener raceday for all the family, with activities and entertainment throughout the day, and accompanied under 18s are admitted free.

Good viewing facilities of horses in the paddock at Plumpton           Photo: Jeannie Knight

Racegoers have a good view of racing and can also see runners and riders at close quarters in the paddock before racing as well as in the unsaddling enclosure afterwards.

There will be plenty of family entertainment, ranging from Meet The Trolls, face painting and a mascot race to static falconry display, derby horse hoppers, rodeo bull, soft play area, as well as seven races on the card.

    1. Plumpton offers top class jump racing with good viewing facilities.  Photo:Jeannie Knight

The opening day is an ideal time to sample some of Plumpton’s renowned hospitality with two restaurants to choose from. Enjoy the Paddock Restaurant with a three course a la carte menu, welcome drink, table for the day, racecard, admission all for just £80pp.

In the Marquee Restaurant you can enjoy a three-course set menu, welcome drink, table for day, racecard and admission opposite the final fence for just £70pp. To book call 01273 890383.

You can enjoy all 17 racedays at a reduced price by becoming a Plumpton Racecourse Annual Member.Single Membership – £200 while Double membership is £380.

Included in the price of the membership is a racecard at every fixture, discounted hospitality prices, £600 worth of tickets to other racecourses and sporting venues PLUS much more.

At this popular jumps track, racegoers can look forward to enjoying some top class jump racing throughout the winter and into next spring, with some quality horses amongst runners on racedays. Get your tickets early to save money.

Tickets are on sale now.


BHS Coaching conventions now open to all equestrians

Building on the success of its previous coaching conventions The British Horse Society has been holding  National Conventions in 2019. Previously targeted at the Society’s Accredited Coaches these events have been expanded to include a new day dedicated to any equestrian wishing to improve their knowledge and skills.

With demonstrations from top coaches, including Fellows of the BHS, and professional riders, and break out sessions focusing on lorry safety, course building and equine nutrition there will definitely be something for everyone to take away whether you are a professional coach or ride for pleasure.


Back by popular demand are  Gala Dinners. With guest speakers and panel debates these evenings have been rounding off convention days perfectly and are definitely not to be missed.

Sunday evenings will be ‘An Evening with….These will include a talk from an equestrian personality and a delicious gala dinner. On Sunday September 22 will be an evening with Richard Waygood MBE Team GB Eventing Performance Manager covering his life and career with horses.

Richard Waygood

Further information about Sunday Evening events at Cavan and Aintree will be announced later.

Monday evenings have been the ever popular Accredited Professional Coach Gala Dinners, with a twist! Each evening featured a panel debate with experts and professionals discussing a hot topic from the equestrian industry. These fun interactive evenings have provided an opportunity to participate and learn more with important take home information. They will also include a gala dinner and an opportunity to socialise with your fellow Accredited Professionals.

A variety of packages are available to include both convention attendance and evening events with something to suit everyone. For more information and to purchase tickets please go to www.tickettailor.com/events/bhs

Venues also have accommodation available so you can make it more than just a day and join for the whole event. For more information about overnight stays contact natcon@bhs.org.uk


If you think you would benefit from some top level coaching, then apply to be a demo rider. The BHS welcomes all types of horse and riders. You don’t need to be a serious competitor or professional rider to enjoy this opportunity, just show us you have the willingness to learn and benefit from a coaching session. For more information on how to take part in our competition to become a demo rider please email natcon@bhs.org.uk

Whatever your discipline or goal these days will help you get the most from you and your horse. So book now and avoid disappointment. Two are still to take place, so book now for:

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool15 – 17 September

Merrist Wood College, Surrey22 – 24 September

* Day 1 and 2 combined. Both days will count as CPD

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 Goodwood.com 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 www.hickstead.co.uk.


Tickets are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk.

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 www.hoys.co.uk/tickets

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.