Pauline is new RDA chairperson for South East

Pauline Roestenburg of Staplehurst’s Chalkdown RDA Group has become the new South East Regional Chair of Riding for the Disabled, with effect from January 2020.

She succeeds Lindsay Correa, who leaves after seven years, having been enticed to higher office by RDA UK as the Trustee responsible for Volunteer  Development.

Pauline joined Chalkdown RDA as a volunteer in 2012 and quickly became a member of the Committee and Trustee, subsequently taking over as Chair of the Group in 2016.

RDA’s new South East Regiona;l Chair, Pauline Roestenburg

She has been able to use her background in recruitment and advertising to raise the Group’s profile, improve volunteer training and generate fundraising opportunities.   This year she also worked as part of the Health & Safety Team at the RDA National Championships.

“It is a great honour to be chosen as the new chair to lead the South East Region into the next decade,” said Pauline.

“To follow in Lindsay’s footsteps will be no mean feat but I will do so with a passion and fervent belief in the amazing work that we all do at RDA. I have come to realise that you never stop learning at RDA, no two days are ever the same and our riders and ponies never cease to amaze me.

“I look forward to getting to know everyone as I strongly believe in teamwork and inclusivity. I know that by working together we will continue to build a fantastic future for RDA in our Region. “

Pauline takes on an active and healthy RDA region following the standard-setting work achieved by Lindsay.

Among the RDA family she was known fondly as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ for her tireless enthusiasm and encouragement. She certainly travelled the length and breadth of one of the largest regions to visit groups, support them and spread the word of the Regional team.

Pauline lives in Staplehurst with her family, dogs, and horses.   She studied at the London College of Music and relaxes by playing classical piano.  She also loves nothing better than hacking out in the woods on her horse Flora.

New native breeds festival at Carmarthen showground

The new Carmarthenshire-based show features full set of Mountain and Moorland HOYS Qualifiers

The Native Breeds Ridden Festival, based in Wales, will welcome 15 new Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifiers in 2020. Organised by the West Wales Horse & Pony Enthusiasts (WWHPE), the event will run at United Counties Showground in Carmarthen on Sunday May 31.

Mountain and Moorland breeds will compete at the Festival

As a recently formed group, the WWHPE’s aim is to appeal to a diverse audienceincluding all breeds and disciplines, ranging from racing to dressage, showing to driving as well as show jumping.

The group welcomes new members and hopes they will enjoy the calendar of equine talks and events. The ambition behind creating the new show is to provide a focused event for the large numbers of riders and ponies in the area to compete at. United Counties Showground offers a great site, that is well located due to the road network, and easy accessibility for exhibitors not only from Wales, but the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Horse of the Year Show Event Director, Emma Williams explained: “The Mountain and Moorland breeds have once again experienced a rise in the numbers contesting qualifiers across the board, resulting in a demand for additional qualifiers.

“Based on feedback, Wales has been identified as an area requiring more HOYS qualifying opportunities. Carmarthenshire encompasses an area not currently covered by other shows offering HOYS Mountain and Moorland classes, with the closest being the Royal Welsh Show 62.5 miles away. This made the Native Breeds Ridden Festival a natural choice for the new 2020 set of HOYS qualifiers.”

Mervyn Davies, Chairman of The Native Breeds Ridden Festival commented: “It is an exciting opportunity for us to launch this unique Festival with the HOYS qualifiers.  We look forward to welcoming exhibitors and their supporters from afar to West Wales”.

Richard Miller, Heniarth Stud, President of West Wales Horse & Pony Enthusiasts, added “In granting us this fantastic opportunity of qualifying tickets, we, as breeders and exhibitors in West Wales can only thank Grandstand Media for the recognition of the dedicated, consistent and successful enthusiasts from this area who have shown the Horse of the Year Show such a high level of commitment over the years.

“I’m sure this opportunity to gain qualification on Carmarthenshire soil will be valued and enjoyed by many competitors from the principality and beyond.”

The new HOYS qualifying classes will be:

  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Fell/Dales/New Forest & Highland Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Connemara Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh C Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh D Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Dartmoor/ Exmoor/ Shetland Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh A Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh B Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland First Ridden Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Lead Rein Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland exc. 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 133cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Junior M & M Ridden Small Breed Pony of the Year
  • Junior M & M Ridden Large Breed Pony of the Year


Christmas In April wins Plumpton’s Sussex National

PLUMPTON’S prestigious Sky Sports Racing’s Sussex National race was won yesterday by trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Harry Cobden with French-bred Chrismas In April.
This horse was sent off as 9-2 joint favourite and a front-running performance saw off any challengers from the 11 strong field which tackled the three miles four furlongs race.
Christmas In April was in front throughout the race and his task was made easier when Hard To Forget blundered at the third fence, unseating his rider.
Sackett continued in the lead, with Vinnie Lewis and Christmas In April the nearest pursuers and then came Uallrightharry. But Christmas in April took up the lead when Sackett made a bad mistake with two circuits to go.
Four from home Sackett made another bad mistake and Christmas In April, with Harry Cobden in board,took advantage and went into the lead, followed by Rathlin Rose and Uallrightharry.

Harry Cobden and Christmas In April en route to victory Photo courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

They went on to win by two lengths from Uallrightharry, with Rathlin Rose third and then Belle Empress.

The Colin Tizzard stable is currently in top form with Christmas In April’s victory, becoming the second big winner for  the yard another big winner over the weekend, following the success of Fiddlerontheroof in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle on Saturday.






Don’t miss the Sussex National at Plumpton

EXPECT some top class jump racing at the popular Plumpton track tomorrow, Sunday, when the feature race will be the Sussex National. There will be seven races in all at this meeting, where racegoers have great views of the entire track.

Sussex National Raceday Image courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

The first race at 12.40 will be the Sky Sports Racing On Sky 415 Novices’ Hurdle over 1 mile seven furlongs, which has attracted six runners. Of these, Highway One O Two, trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Leighton Aspell, appeals. Having been a course winner this month, this runner comes from a yard which does well at Plumpton.

Leighton Aspell is also booked to ride Vicenzo Mio for Chris Gordon in the later handicap hurdle over two and a half miles. The horse finished second last time out and should be in the shake up there too.

Trainer Chris Gordon

A Novices Chase over two miles three furlongs follows, with five declared to run. Of these,  eight-year-old chestnut gelding, Not Never, makes most appeal. Trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Jamie Moore, this runner has won at both Plumpton and Fontwell Park. He comes from a yard in form, with Gary Moore sending out four winners in the last fortnight.

The handicap hurdle over two miles four furlongs has attracted the maximum of 15 runners and is a competitive affair.

Kent trainer Linda Jewell does well with her occasional runners at this track and sends Royal Concorde for this race, to be ridden by Brendan Powell. Currently priced at 12-1, and carrying bottom weight, this horse could be in the mix at the end.

The feature race of the day- the Sussex National Handicap Chase over three miles four furlongs has attracted 11 runners, headed by Vinnie Lewis, a course and distance winner, ridden by 3lb claimer Page Fuller and trained by Harry Whittington.

West country trainer Colin Tizzard does well with his runners at Plumpton and sends his French-bred Fontwell Park winner, Christmas In April, for this competitive race, to be ridden by Harry Cobden.

Two well-supported races complete the card, with nine runners in the handicap chase over two miles three furlongs, headed by another Chris Gordon runner, Tara Bridge, ridden by Leighton Aspell.

Also catching the eye in this race is the Jack Barber-trained Shintori, to be ridden by Nick Scholfield, a jockey who does well at Plumpton.

The final race is a handicasp hurdle, just under two miles in distance, and with 12 runners entered. The favourite is likely to be Lightly Squeeze, trained by Harry Fry and riddn by 5lb claimer Bryan Carver.


Clondaw Bisto wins for Lewes trainer

There was a great start to 2020 for Lewes-based trainer Suzy Smith, when she sent out nine-year-old Clondaw Bisto to win an amateur rider chase at Fakenham yesterday at 7-2.

The nine-year-old September Stormbay gelding was well ridden by Zak Baker over the 3 miles 6 furlong trip, with the  rider encouraging him throughout the race.  Clondaw Bisto is also owned by Suzy Smith, and finished well on the good to soft going.

Clondaw Bistro in the winners spot    Photo courtesy of John  Simpson

This was the horse’s first win over fences, having finished third in a chase at Plumpton before Christmas on heavy ground. This performance augurs well for the future and there should be more to come from Clondaw Bistro.

Another recent winner from the yard, which also impressed, was Oscarsman, with a good round of jumping at Plumpton in a maiden hurdle, when partnered by Micheal Nolan.

Suzy is based at County Stables, set on the Old Lewes Racecourse in the heart of the South Downs National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty with a deep historical connection to horse racing.

Lewes Old Racecourse was a functioning racecourse for more than 250 years – from the 1700’s right up until it was closed in 1964 – much of the original racecourse fencing still lines her gallops there.

Suzy treats each horse as an individual giving them care and time to develop mentally and physically to reach their potential. The wide open spaces of the Downs, the healthy fresh air straight off the sea, and the miles of bridle paths keep the horses fresh and interested in their work.

Potters Corner wins Welsh Grand National

Welsh-trained Potters Corner, trained by Christian Williams and ridden by Jack Tudor, aged 17,  was yesterday’s 8-1 winner of the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. He succeeded in maintaining his lead to hold off the challenge of Truckers Lodge.

The nine-year-old bay gelding is part-owned by Wales rugby player Jonathan Davies.

The horse had shown his capabilities when named Welsh Horse Racing Chaser of the Year before Christmas.  His trainer told the press that the Welsh National had been his target all year.

Potters Corner en route to winning the Welsh National. Photo courtesy of John Simpson

It had been 54 years since there had been a Welsh winner of this race. Owner Jonathan Davies described the victory as ‘ a dream come true’. He praised the trainer for sending out this winner in such good form.

Last yearf’s winner, Elegant Escape was unable to pull off  back to back wins in the race, despite being sent off as favolurite for this year’s race. But he was carrying more than 9lb in weight than last year and this pegged him back in the race.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Truckers Lodge, despite jumping poorly on occasions, looked the most likely to spoil the Welsh celebration at Chepstow.

But Potters Corner held on gamely and pulled clear after the final fence to a well deserved victory.

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre’s long reining course

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre will continue its good retraining work for ex-racehorses in good style in 2020.

On Saturday January 11 one-to-one tuition in the art of long-reining will be available at the centre at Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold, West Sussex. This enables horses to develop posture and strength.

Well-trained Moorcroft ex-racehorses will be used and one-to-one tuition will take place in the centre’s  excellent indoor school facilities.

A transformed and retrainedex-racehorse in a long-reining demonstration at Moorcroft
Photo: Mark Beaumont

Chief executive at Moorcroft, Mary Frances, says numbers are limited and early booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

The cost of the session is £40 per person. Contact Moorcroft to book your place on 07929 666408, or email

This is one charity which is continuing to develop and helps an increasing number of ex.racehorses to a better future thanks to excellent retraining work.

Another date for the diary is Saturday, Janjuary 2020, when Kate Akers MVETPHYS RAMP will give an equine massage course from 10am-12pm, cost £40 per person.

For more information see,uk

Taking a look at how horses sleep

Research is being undertaken by Tuck,  a community devoted to promoting sleep health awareness.  As part of its mission, Tuck has created a resource debunking common myths about how horses sleep.
It has answered questions like whether horses sleep standing up, how much sleep horses need, and more.
Jay Summer of Tuck writes:  “Whether you ride horses or just admire the majestic animals from afar, at some point you might have wondered how horses sleep.
“Maybe you saw a horse lying in a field and wondered if horses sleep lying down or standing up. If you have pets, you probably already know that the sleep habits of dogs and cats differ quite a bit from that of humans.
“Just like other animals, horses have their own unique sleep requirements and patterns that differ from ours.”

A horse asleep on its feet
Photo: John Simpson

This article by Tuck focuses on everything you might want to know about how horses sleep:Do horses really sleep standing up or must they lie down? Can they dream like humans do? How many hours of sleep do they need on a daily basis? How are horses’ sleeping habits the same or different compared to those of other large animals? Keep reading to find the answers to your questions.

How Horses Sleep

Horses Sleep Both Standing Up and Lying Down

Like cattle and some other animals, horses are capable of sleeping in a standing position. Sleeping while standing is beneficial because it tricks potential predators into thinking the animal is awake and less vulnerable. The ability to sleep while standing is due to a series of leg ligaments and bones called the “stay apparatus” that allows certain large animals, such as giraffes and zebras, to lock their legs.

Contrary to popular belief, horses do not do all of their sleeping standing up. Horses engage in light sleep while standing, but cannot experience REM sleep unless they lie down. Horses regularly take short naps while standing throughout the day, which is likely the reason many people assume horses always sleep standing up.

Horse sleeping standing up Photo:John Simpson

Horses Sleep Less Than Humans 

Although horses are much larger than humans, often weighing over 1,000 pounds, they do not require as much sleep as humans do. Most horses only need 5 to 7 hours of rest each day, and less than one hour of that rest is REM sleep, one of the deepest sleep stages. The amount of sleep a horse needs changes over their lifetime. Foals can sleep half the day away, while the oldest horses need only a few hours of sleep each day.

Horses also sleep at different times than humans do. They are not diurnal like us, nor are they nocturnal. Horses can sleep at any time, day or night, and generally spread their sleep out across each 24-hour period by sleeping for minutes at a time instead of one long block.

Horses Experience REM Sleep, But Not While Standing

Horses likely dream since they experience REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep, while lying down. Horses move their eyes during this deep sleep stage, and sometimes even lightly move their legs. At this point in time, we can’t know what it is that horses dream about, but it seems likely they dream about things they experience in waking life.

Horses Often Sleep with a Buddy Lookout

Horses often lie down to sleep when there is another horse nearby that remains standing. This practice likely evolved as a protective method. If all horses in a herd were to lie down to sleep at the same time, they would become more vulnerable to a predator’s attack.

Horses Can Have Sleep Problems

A horse sleeping with a buddy lookout
Photo: John Simpson

Horses can also have trouble sleeping because they are in pain, their sleeping space is not soft, or they must compete for sleeping space with other horses.

Horses Yawn, But Not Because They’re Tired

Like humans and many other mammals, horses yawn at times. Unlike humans, their yawning isn’t a signal that they’re becoming tired or need to sleep.

Horse Yawning
Photo: John Simpson

Both wild and domestic horses yawn, with male horses yawning much more frequently than female horses. Researchers have found that when horses yawn, it is often a signal of stress or frustration. For example, a horse might yawn because they are enclosed in a small area and want more space, or because they see food they want to eat and cannot access it.


Although there are many differences between the ways humans and horses sleep, there are also similarities.

Horses enjoy sleeping on soft bedding and can have their sleep disturbed by noise and stress.

Sleep helps horses restore their energy and is closely tied to their weight and other aspects of their health. Like us, horses can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation.

You can check out the fascinating work of Tuck here:

For more information contact  Tuck Sleep’s community relations officer below:

Kayla Johnson
Community Relations | Tuck Sleep
PO Box 61293
Seattle, WA 98141-6293

Kayla Johnson


Georgia Tame leads under 25 British Championship Olympia qualifier

Twenty-four talented combinations competed in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Qualifier and it was 22 year-old Georgia Tame from Horsham, West Sussex who came out on top in the impressive Olympia Grand Hall.

Georgia was on board Quintella, an 11 year-old bay mare owned by Old Lodge. Each and every one of the starting field had been invited to compete in this thrilling two round qualifier at Olympia, the London International Horse Show and they were all focused on achieving a top ten finish.

Securing a place inside the top ten would ensure a coveted spot in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final which will run on Sunday December 22 at 6pm.

The twelve fence track set by Course Designer Alan Wade set a stiff challenge with just four able to find the key to jumping clear in the first round whilst six of the starters jumped for just four faults to give us the top ten overall. Those who jumped clear were invited back into the arena for the jump off and two went on to bag a double clear.

Georgia Tame riding Quintella DS

Following an impressive first round, Georgia showed off Quintella’ pace and scope in the jump off when the pair delivered a double clear in 32.21 seconds, a result that they will be hoping to emulate in Sunday’s Championship Final.

Sixteen year-old Oliver Fletcher from Faringdon, Oxfordshire was runner up on Temple Rebus, a 12 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Graham Fletcher. They delivered the only other double clear in 35.37 seconds after two foot perfect performances.

Third place went to 20 year-old Charlie Jones from Lutterworth, Leicestershire who was first to go in both rounds on Dexter, an 11 year-old bay gelding owned by Ardencote Stud. The combination had just a single pole down in the jump off in 35.45 seconds.

The other representative in the jump off was 20 year-old Harry Charles from Alton, Hampshire on Valkiry de Zance, a 10 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Irina Abramovich. They also picked up four faults and jumped round in a time of 42.20 seconds.

The top ten from this qualifier now advance through to the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final which will run during the evening performance on Sunday 22nd December at 6.00pm. Faults will not be carried through from today, so each rider will start on a score of zero and riders will be jumping for the lions share of the £13,000 prize pot on offer. With a start height of 1.45m, the class runs over two rounds with the top five progressing through to the jump off before the eventual Champion is crowned.

In addition to the four horses and riders above, the following combinations have also qualified for Sunday: Jack Whitaker & Scenletha, Jodie Hall McAteer & Salt˜N Peppa, Millie Allen & Quinu de Pravia, Flo Norris & Con Pleasure 5, Scarlett Charles & Lordanos Junior and Jessica Mendoza & Dublin.



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