Category: Shropshire News

Smart Horse Nutrition Competition Result

And the winner of 2 bags of Smart Balance from Smart Horse Nutrition is……..Joanne Holley, from Innsworth, Gloucestershire. Well done Jo, Smart Horse Nutrition will be in touch with you soon.

Entries Now Open for 2016 BEF Futurity

Headmore Bugatti. Photograph by Kevin Sparrow

Headmore Bugatti. Photograph by Kevin Sparrow

Entries open on 1st July for the Baileys Horse Feeds/BEF Futurity Evaluation series of 2016.

Futurity welcomes entries from British bred young horses from foals to three years with the potential to be dressage horses, endurance horses, showjumpers and eventers.

The 2016 Futurity evaluations will run from the 15th to the 31st August, covering 11 venues nationwide with a total of 12 days of evaluations.

Entries are made on a user friendly online system at

Futurity dates and venues 2016:

15th August –  Valeview EC, Leicestershire 

16th August – Richmond EC, North Yorkshire 

17th August – Myerscough, Lancashire 

18th August – Reaseheath College, Cheshire 

19th August – Keysoe EC, Bedfordshire 

22nd August – Tall Trees Arena, Cornwall 

23rd August- Hartpury College, Gloucestershire 

25th August – Writtle College, Essex 

27th August – Brendon Stud, East Sussex 

28th August – Catherston Stud, Hampshire 

30th August – Solihull RC 1, West Midlands 

31st August – Solihull RC 2, West Midlands

SEIB Trailblazers National Championships 2016, held at Stoneleigh Park

Horses and ponies from across the country will descend upon Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire at the end of July for the much anticipated 2016 SEIB Trailblazers Championships. The senior and junior Dodson & Horrell Dressage Championships will be on 29 – 31 July, the Equestrivan Showing and Working Hunter Championships on 30 – 31 July, the senior and junior Countrywide Show Jumping Championships on 3 – 6 August and Solution Saddles Combined Training Championships on 4 – 5 August.

The SEIB Trailblazers Championships are a 7-day equestrian extravaganza with on-site camping, stabling, flags and flowers.  It provides riders at grassroots level with the opportunity to experience a Championship atmosphere, the thrill of riding in the grand arenas and the prospect of completing a lap of honour in magnificent style.

The SEIB Trailblazers National Championships are the culmination of the hard work put in by every amateur rider that has qualified through the two rounds of qualification competitions at over 65 venues throughout the UK.  Riders compete at the level they wish in Showing, Show Jumping, Dressage and Combined Training.  Getting to the championships is a huge achievement, and riders are encouraged to enjoy the experience and do their best. 

There is no joining fee to become a Trailblazer member or horse registration required.

As well as the all-important championship finals, the event also offers optional dressage and show jumping warm up days, giving competitors at the Championships more classes and the opportunity to get used to the atmosphere.

The popular Master Class in the Park supported by Equestrivan is back again and two extremely talented top riders are ready to share their advice. One of the leading event and dressage riders in the country Ruth Edge will be hosting the dressage master class on Friday 29 July at 7pm. Ruth started her high profile career as an event rider and now competes at the top level dressage holding six national dressage titles, as well as eventing.

Top international show jumper and consecutive winner of the Hickstead Derby in 2014 and 2015,  Trevor Breen will provide an insight into his training techniques for producing show jumpers at 7pm on Thursday 4 August.

Admission and parking is free for supporters and spectators at the SEIB Trailblazers Championships, so come along and see what Trailblazers is all about. 

Further information on the Championships, to find your local venue, or for further comprehensive details of the Trailblazers series, please visit   Find us on Facebook at, or contact our team in the Trailblazers central office on

More crime committed

The following incidents have occurred in the Forest North between the 8th and the 16th June.

10th June incident 167 a stable block was entered at a farm in Redmarley and a saddle, lawn mower, strimmer, air compressor, drills and other power tools were stolen.

13th June incident 359 at a property in the Philips Road area of Redmarley a gate was lifted off its hinges to gain entry to a shed and garage. A ride on lawn mower, specialised milk feeder valued at £6000.00 and horse tack was stolen.

On the 15th June incident 396 In the Hawcross area a garage was broken into by breaking the padlock and a petrol strimmer, five in one petrol garden tool and a two tool boxes were taken.

On the 16th June incident 72 in the Playley Green area a diesel pressure washer was stolen from the front of a property.

There have also been two incidents in the Oxenhall area

On the 8th June incident 280 diesel has been stolen from a farm yard.

And on the 15th June incident 202 tools worth £800.00 were taken from an unlocked shed.

A quad bike was also stolen from a property in the Hartpury area incident 260 of the 13th June

If you have any information about these incidents please call 101 or e-mail

Rio Olympics – What’s when?

Opening ceremony Friday 5th August

Dressage – Wednesday 10th August, Thursday 11th Aug, Friday 12th Aug, Monday 15th August

Eventing – Saturday 6th August – Tuesday 9th August

Show jumping – 14th Aug, 16th Aug, 17th, 19th August

Modern Pentathlon – 18th, 19th, 20th August

Closing ceremony – Sunday 21st August

New XC schooling course – Ace Cross Country

Ace Cross Country is open for schooling, clinics & rallies. We are a new venue just off Junction 1 of the M50. We welcome everyone, young, old and everyone in between…that goes for the riders & horses! Our fences begin at 45cms and go up to 90cms, with lots in between. We are ideal for young horses, novices & those new to cross country. And anyone who just fancies having some fun! Our course has been created to give confidence and be inviting. We have water, ditches, corners, arrowheads and loads of fun stuff! We also have grass dressage arenas for hire and show jumps coming!

Website address:
You can find us on Facebook:
Email us:
Telephone: 07775 668908

British Cycling Road Race – Herefordshire

Once again the Climb on Bikes CC road race will be held on the 19th of June starting at 10-00am and finishing around 1-00pm ish.

It will be raced around the same circuit as last year, on roads in Weobley area. The cycling road race starts from Weobley and head on the A4112 towards Leominster before turning left and heading through Pembridge Village, left in Lyonshall and then going left again at Sarnesfield and back to Weobley to complete 1 lap of 4.

80 riders are competing in the event and will be supported by 3 motorcycle outriders, 2 official commissaire lead cars, 2 support cars, an ambulance and first car and a service vehicle. Marshals will be stationed around the course in strategic positions including Pembridge and Lyonshall village to try and manage traffic and minimize any possibility of an incident.

Rural Watch message – Crime incidents in the Forest North 

A Honda quad bike has been stolen on the 28th May between 13.30 and 14 30 from a property in the Playley Green area of Redmarley. Unknown offenders have unhooked a trailer from the back of the bike and it is believed they drove it onto a vehicle to transport it. On the 31st May an IFOR Williams stock trailer was stolen from a property in the Littledean area of Cinderford. Unknown offenders were seen towing it behind a 4×4 around 17.20hrs.

If you have any information about this incident please call 101 or email quoting incidents 263 28th May.

Hartpury looks set to be final stop on Road to Rio for Olympic champions!

Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin. Photo copyright Sally Newcomb

Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin at Hartpury FOD last year. Photo copyright Sally Newcomb

Dressage superstars, Charlotte Dujardin OBE and Valegro, are heading back to Hartpury, hoping that the Festival of Dressage proves the springboard to more Olympic success.

The Festival, which runs from July 6th to 10th, is likely to be the final competition before the 2016 Olympics in Brazil both for Charlotte and World Freestyle record holder Valegro and for fellow Great Britain dressage star, Carl Hester MBE, and Nip Tuck; although team selections for Rio are yet to be announced.

Hartpury’s Elite Dressage coach, Carl Hester MBE, is also Charlotte and Valegro’s coach and mentor, having nurtured their talent from their very first competitions together.

Charlotte and Valegro, who are based in Newent, were double Olympic gold medallists at the London 2012 Olympics. Since then, they have amassed an impressive tally of medals, including becoming 2014 Individual Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle World Champions, winning Team Silver at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and gold at the 2014 and 2015 Dressage World Cup. They have also claimed three World Records.

Both Charlotte and Carl put in star turns at last year’s Hartpury Festival of Dressage, when record entries saw more than 400 riders from 17 nations compete in more than 40 dressage and para-dressage classes over five days of outstanding equestrian sport.

Having already won three major classes over the first four days, Charlotte teamed up with Valegro again on the final day to wow the crowds with a fantastic test to win the Baileys FEI CDI Grand Prix Special with 87.765.

Valegro is a regular visitor to Hartpury to use the hydrotherapy treadmill at Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre. He is brought by his groom, Alan Davies, several times a month as part of his normal regime, increasing his visits to twice a week in the build-up to competing at major events.

Charlotte said: “We love Hartpury. We’re so lucky to have a facility like this so close by and it’s such a super show; we look forward to it every year. The people behind the scenes here are incredible and so are the facilities.”

At last year’s Festival, London 2012 Olympic team gold medallist, Carl, rode Nip Tuck to victory in the Superflex CDI Grand Prix Freestyle.

Phillip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury College, said: “We are thrilled that Charlotte and Carl and their phenomenal horses are making the Hartpury Festival of Dressage such a key part of their build-up to Rio.

“The Festival always attracts a star-studded line-up of competitors from all over the world but, to have such renowned ambassadors for the sport at the college is very special. Everyone in the Hartpury community will be rooting for them, both at the Festival and hopefully at the Olympics.

“It’s such exciting news and we’re hoping for big crowds to cheer them on and give them the best possible chance of going for gold in Brazil. To have the chance to watch the very best in the world at our unique venue is an opportunity not to be missed!”

The Festival features five of days of outstanding equestrian sport, incorporating Premier League, CDI3*, CPEDI3*, Shearwater Young Dressage Horse Semi-Final, British Dressage Young Pony Championship and the Elite Stallions Prix St Georges Young Horse Championship.

Saturday’s gala evening is always the major highlight. Last year’s sell-out gala evening saw 800 spectators watch outstanding dressage action in an electric atmosphere.

Tickets for the gala evening, which includes day entry, are £16.50 in advance. A hospitality VIP package for the gala evening is available for £60 to include champagne reception and four-course meal overlooking the Hartpury Arena.

Day entry is free on July 6th and 7th, or £6 per person on July 8th, 9th and 10th. Under-16s go free on all days, except the gala evening. If you would like to come on the 8th, 9th and 10th, you can buy a combined ticket for the special offer price of £15. Parking is free on all days.

Find out more and book your tickets at

Neighbourhood Watch Warning!

We have intelligence that the Redmarley, Corse and Staunton areas of Glos are being targeted by thieves from the West Mercia area. It would appear that they come over and scout the area during the day to pick targets returning at night. Please be aware and report any suspicious vehicles with their number plate to the Police at the time on 101.


Foster mother urgently needed

Foster mother urgently needed

Foster mare urgently needed …..THIS LITTLE BOY NEEDS A MUM ASAP ….. Please contact Louise Powell – 07967130783


More theft incidents in Forest North

It has been reported that a tennis court roller has been stolen from a property in the Conigree Road area of Newent on the 23rd May.  Also between 18.00 hours on the 21st May and 07.30 hours on the 24th May unknown offenders have stolen a Quad bike from a farm in the Mitcheldean area. The bike valued at around £3,500 was removed from an open barn along with a lot of old car and lorry batteries.

If you have any information about this incident please call 101 or email quoting incidents

Incidents in Forest North

A quad bike has been stolen from a farm in the Leddington area of Dymock on the 20th May. The bike was stolen from a barn at the farm yard. A dark coloured car was seen in the area at the time. An attempt has been made to take a trailer from a property in the Gloucester road area of Longhope on the 23rd May. Please be aware and report anything suspicious to the police on 101.

If you have any information about this incident please call 101 or email quoting incidents 401 of the 20th or 108 of the 23rd…..


Filly foal Carthago Girl, photo Kevin Sparrow

Filly foal Carthago Girl gained an elite premium of 9.00 at Solihull in the showjumping section in 2015. Credit Kevin Sparrow Photography.

The 2016 Futurity evaluations will run from the 15th to the 31st August, covering 11 venues nationwide with a total of 12 days of evaluations. Entries are taken online and will open on the 1st July 2016.

The Futurity is open to British bred horses and ponies with group ages for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds, and selects for the main disciplines of dressage, show jumping, eventing and endurance. Each horse or pony undergoes a vet’s assessment and is then evaluated in hand and loose in an indoor school. Three year olds entered into either the show jumping or eventing sections are required to loose jump.

The BEF’s Head of Equine Development Jan Rogers said. “Breeders, buyers and riders of British bred horses are increasingly finding that a Futurity premium is very useful in helping to assess these horses.  We are also seeing a marked improvement in the standard of youngsters entered in the futurity, which is very good news for the future of British breeding”.

Three-year-old horses and ponies are encouraged to attend for their final futurity year as a threshold score will result in an invitation to the Futurity Equine Bridge selection day under saddle in the following year.  The aim of the Equine Bridge is to provide direction and support to riders and trainers and to help owners and breeders realise the best of their horse’s ability.

For more information, visit

Futurity dates and venues 2016

15th August –  Valeview EC, Leicestershire 

16th August – Richmond EC, North Yorkshire 

17th August – Myerscough, Lancashire 

18th August – Reaseheath College, Cheshire 

19th August – Keysoe EC, Bedfordshire 

22nd August – Tall Trees Arena, Cornwall 

23rd August- Hartpury College, Gloucestershire 

25th August – Writtle College, Essex 

27th August – Brendon Stud, East Sussex 

28th August – Catherston Stud, Hampshire 

30th August – Solihull RC 1, West Midlands 

31st August – Solihull RC 2, West Midlands

Picture:  Filly foal Carthago Girl gained an elite premium of 9.00 at Solihull in the showjumping section in 2015. Credit Kevin Sparrow Photography.

Equestrivan latest brand to join Trailblazers

Working Hunter Supreme Champion - Brooke Pickering (Byley Cracker Jack)

Brooke Pickering, riding Byley Cracker Jack, winner of the 2015 Trailblazers Working Hunter Championship.

Equestrivan are the latest brand to join Trailblazers as sponsors of the 2016 Trailblazers Showing Championships and to support the Master Class in the Park. Equestrivan join other top brands SEIB Insurance Brokers, Countrywide, Dodson & Horrell, Snowflake bedding and Solution Saddles as sponsors. 

Equestrivan are a family owned business based in Berkshire manufacturing quality 2 horse horseboxes.  Owned and run by horse lovers, they understand the importance of safety when transporting your best friend and will only ever sell vehicles in which they would confidently transport their own horses. 

Equestrivan are the perfect partner for the Trailblazers Showing Championships as they understand the special partnership between horse and rider, especially at the grass roots level.  The Trailblazers Equestrivan Showing Championships offer in-hand and ridden classes as well as working hunter.

New to the Championships last year, which proved to be very popular, the Equestrivan Master Class in the Park consists of a dressage master class on Friday 29 July and a show jumping master class on Thursday 4 August, both are free for all at the show to watch.

“Equestrivan are so excited to be sponsoring the Trailblazers Championships. It is a brilliant series and we are proud to be involved.” said Equestrivan Director, Sharon Matthews.

The 2016 SEIB Trailblazers Championships will take place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire from the 29 July – 6 August 2016.  With the superb facilities at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, finalists will enjoy that unbeatable championship atmosphere, the thrill of riding in the grand arenas and the prospect of completing a lap of honour in magnificent style. 

Trailblazers competitions include dressage, showing, working hunter, show jumping and combined training, with classes for both senior and junior riders. There are over 65 venues throughout the country offering Trailblazers qualifying competitions and the series provides every aspiring competitor with an opportunity to compete at different levels in their chosen discipline. 

A full list of first and second round dates, venues, as well as comprehensive details of the Trailblazers series is available on the website  Find us on Facebook at, or contact our team in the Trailblazers central office on


Erik Winter takes over as course designer for Badminton

Erik Winter takes over as course designer for Badminton

Eric Winter has been appointed to take over from Giuseppe Della Chiesa as course designer for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. After three years in which he successfully brought a fresh eye to Badminton Park Giuseppe did not feel able to accept the invitation to continue for a further period.

Eric, 53, who lives with his wife and family near Chepstow, only some 30 miles from Badminton, has designed the course at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for the last 10 years and during that time he has also designed for the Asian Games, 2 European Pony Championships, a European Junior and a European Young Rider Championship. He was Technical Delegate at Badminton 2011-2014 and as a rider completed the event in 1991.

Giuseppe said: “After having had the privilege of designing Badminton for three years it has been a true honour to have been offered the possibility to continue but, sadly, I am not able to go on due to shifting life priorities and new personal commitments. Being also a true believer in the benefits of changing course designers from time to time I wish Eric all success.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Duke of Beaufort, Hugh Thomas and all the very special Badminton team for their trust and support through this challenging and rewarding journey. Last but not least a very special thank you goes to James Willis and all the Willis Bros without whom nothing would have been possible. It has been a real pleasure to work with all of them”.

Eric said: “It is a great honour to be asked to design the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton course – it is such an iconic event. I first visited Badminton in 1974 – that was my first ever taste of eventing. In recent years I have been involved in several different roles and have got to know the team behind the scenes very well. To be asked to design here is truly a dream come true and I am extremely thankful to all those involved for giving me this opportunity. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Summer Feeding – is your horse on the right track?

Smart Horse - Spring GrazingAs we move forward towards summer with the weather finally improving, it is important to adjust the management of your horse or pony to reflect the change in environment he is living in.

Robert Fowler from Smart Horse Nutrition – a new feed company locally based in Hay on Wye in Herefordshire – is here to give us some insights into how to manage this change and into the nutritional needs of your horse this summer.

During the winter months your horse faces challenges from cold weather, the lack of nutrients available from grazing and a continued work load. As a result, your horse will tend to use more energy to meet these demands in winter and it will take more energy just to maintain his weight and condition. Rugs, shelter, extra forage and high energy feeds are all ways to help manage your horse during winter and help him to maintain his optimum body weight.

Now we are in spring and approaching summer, many of these environmental factors disappear. The weather is warmer, the grass is growing and we tend to see our horse’s condition increasing. For sport horses, the few hours spent grazing will provide more nutrients and be less challenging than cold, wet weather and for those horses living out 24/7, life will suddenly become a whole lot easier. 

Manage the change

Managing this change is vital to maintain a healthy horse. It is important to allow your horse to gradually adjust from eating hay or haylage as their main forage source, to eating grass. Don’t stop feeding hay or haylage, as spring grass is low in essential fibre and his digestive tract must be given time to adjust to the change. This transition should take several weeks rather than just days as the microflora in the horses’ hind gut will need to adapt to the change in diet.

Metabolic disorders

This is also the time of year when horses and ponies are most at risk from metabolic disorders, such as laminitis or insulin resistance. Such animals should not be given free access to new spring grass and a management program should be worked out to allow these horses access to pasture, but without the risk of over indulgence. A bare paddock in the spring will still have a lot of grass shoots coming through and these can be the most dangerous to the metabolic-at-risk horse. Using a grazing muzzle can offer a solution to some horses and there are a number of paddock layouts that can encourage a horse to move and eat on the go and so replicate a more natural grazing pattern.

It is essential that an exercise program is worked out to help these horses burn calories, as weight gain is the greatest danger coming into summer. Ponies especially find spring and summer a very easy time. Most pony breeds have been developed to withstand harsh environments with little food and they are extremely good at converting any food into energy.  Welsh, Shetland and Highland ponies, to name a few, have extremely efficient metabolisms, as do some horse breeds such as the Iberian breeds and Arabs. So when these breeds are offered nice spring grass and an easy life, it puts them at great risk of metabolic disorders.

However, it’s possible for us, as responsible horse owners, to manage this through both an exercise and feed regime. Cutting down on available calories is essential: feed low energy forage such as oat straw, and balance this with a good quality feed balancer. There are many feeds on the market for the ‘at risk’ horse, but you have to remember that what you are aiming for is a balanced, low energy diet and this can simply and cheaply be achieved by using oat straw chaff and a quality feed balancer. Exercise is an essential part of managing the challenges Spring brings, as it is not just the addition of grass to the horse’s diet that can lead to weight gain. An improvement in the weather also means the horse will not use as much energy to keep warm and so will then store this energy as fat. We then need to increase exercise to burn off these unused calories, but what could be nicer than making the most of the good weather than spending more time riding your horse?!

Smart Balance

Part of the Smart Horse Nutrition range, Smart Balance is the ideal summer time feed for horses at grass, those at risk of laminits, or those that tend to pile on the pounds in summer.

Smart Balance bagsSmart Balance is a concentrated supply of micronutrients; vitamins, performance minerals, amino acids, Omega 3 and antioxidants, along with an advanced digestive aid, packed into a low calorie feed.

Smart Balance is ideal for laminitics and horses that need to lose weight as it is low starch and sugar, molasses free and provides optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, which are so essential in keeping your horse healthy and to aid in repair and healing. Smart Balance contains high levels of vitamin E and selenium, antioxidants that combat free-radicals, optimum levels of biotin (which is scientifically proven to improve hoof quality) and generous levels of B vitamins for efficient energy metabolism. Smart Balance is also made without cereals or cereal by-products, is Soya free, and contains non GMO ingredients.

Smart Horse Nutrition is on mission to allow you to take control of your horse’s diet.  By providing you with the 3 essential building blocks of a balanced diet – micro nutrients (Smart Balance), macro nutrients (a Smart Muesli) and fibre, Smart allows every horse’s diet to be tailored exactly to its individual needs, for the benefit of your horse’s health and your pocket.

For more information see, call 01497 570345 or email

Smart Balance - Smart Horse Nutrition

Smart Balance – Smart Horse Nutrition

Badminton Horse Trials

The lake awaits at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

The lake awaits at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Photograph copyright BHT / Sally Newcomb

The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials takes place from 4th – 8th May preceded by the renamed Mitsubishi Motors Cup. The International 4* event begins on Thursday although all horses must first pass the Wednesday trot up. As always there is a star studded International entry for Badminton, which is the one all event riders want to win – even more than an Olympic Gold medal!

Louise Harwood walking the course at Badminton last year

Louise Harwood walking the course at Badminton last year. Photograph copyright BHT / Sally Newcomb

Once again Herefordshire International event rider Louise Harwood is competing. Louise, from Eardisley, has 2 rides this year: Whitson, owned by Roy and Emma Baker and the homebred Mr Potts, who completed last year. Mr Potts is owned by Louise’s mother Jackie and was named after the vet Graham Potts who helped bring the 4 legged Mr Potts into this world! Louise, aka Wiggy, is no stranger to Badminton having ridden her other homebreds there, full brothers Bit of a Barney and Partly Pickled.

Mr Potts, Louise Harwood's horse, was named after Mr Potts the vet!

Mr Potts, Louise Harwood’s horse, was named after Mr Potts the vet! Photograph copyright BHT / Sally Newcomb

Last year’s winner William Fox-Pitt has withdrawn which will disappoint his many fans, but a terrible fall last October delayed William’s preparations this Spring and a fall at Weston Park (although no injuries were sustained) meant time just ran out.

This year’s competition will be made all the more exciting as Michael Jung has won the Kentucky 4* horse trials this weekend and is in contention for the Rolex Grand Slam which has only been won once, by Pippa Funnell. To win it, a rider has to win Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton back to back, although in any order. The current prize for the Rolex Grand Slam is $350,000.

For all the news and results, visit the Badminton website:

The Mitsubishi Motors Cup, formerly called the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships, has championships at BE90 and BE100, (BE = British Eventing, 90 means 90cms which is the max height, and 100 – max height of 100cms).  Rider and horse combinations qualified at regional finals which took place last Autumn. Although this is thought of as an amateur championship due to the restrictions on eligibility to enter, riders can certainly use it as a stepping stone to greater things.  One such rider, Ben Way from Warwickshire, rode at the Grassroots Championships a few years ago and has since progressed to compete at the 4* Badminton which he does again this year.

One local rider I’ll be supporting is Sarah Mitchell from Herefordshire, who rides Puzzel in the MMC BE90 Championship. Good luck Sarah!

Find out more about the MMC at and see if your friends have qualified by viewing the entries here:


Cracking Card For Cold Harbour Point-to-Point This Sunday.

A busy day is in prospect next Sunday (1st) at Cold Harbour, Monkland for the Radnor & West Hereford Hunt Point-to-Point, where the four mile Area Classic, the Crudwell Cup Mens Open is among the minimum of 7 races on the card. A total of 163 horses have been entered for the meeting, and it is likely that a couple races may be divided on the day.

Clerk of the course, Alan Rogers and his team have been hard at work preparing the course, and the going is currently ‘good’. However, if the rain forecast for later in the week does not materialise, the team are poised to water the course as needed to provide the best possible conditions.

There will be plenty of action at the popular riverside venue (HR6 0JS), with 3 pony races scheduled for 12.45pm, the first point-to-point race at 2pm, a parade of hounds after the 3rd race and a Hunt Scurry over a shortened course after the last race.

Entrance to the course, with its superb natural grandstand, is £10 per person, with under 16’s and car parking free

Herefordshire Dressage Rider Lucy Pincus excels at Keysoe CDI after GB selection

Up and coming dressage stars from the Hartpury Equine Academy filled three of the 10 UK selection spots for the prestigious Keysoe CDI – the first international on home soil this year.

Lucy Pincus riding Sheepcote Doncalisto

Lucy Pincus riding Sheepcote Doncalisto

Lucy Pincus, Francesca Bradley and Lily Hewitt were among 10 UK Young Riders selected to compete for Great Britain Under-21s at the CDI 3* event by British Dressage, with the talented trio coming up against senior professional riders. London 2012 Olympic gold medallists, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester – Hartpury Equine Academy’s elite dressage coach – competed at the event in the top classes.

Lucy and her horse, Sheepcote Doncalisto, claimed an excellent second place finish in the Young Rider Freestyle dressage to music class with 70.917% as well as finishing fourth overall in the Young Rider Individual (67.631%) and seventh in the Team Test (66.227%).

Lily finished in ninth spot in the Team Test on Sir Charlie Chaplin with a score of 64.122%, 10th in the Young Rider Freestyle (66.500%) and 13th in the Young Rider Individual (64.649%). Affected by the unseasonal snow, Francesca Bradley and Baldovino had three 14th place finishes, in the Team Test with 62.850%, in the Individual (63.114%) and in the Freestyle (63.875%).

Lucy has been in excellent form so far this Spring, achieving a score of 74% in the Intermediate I class at Kings Equestrian and then achieving fifth (Prix St Georges Music), sixth (Prix St Georges) and eighth place (Intermediate I) finishes in the Myerscough Premier League.

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie Chaplin

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie Chaplin

Lily was also delighted with her score of 68.11% in the advanced medium open class at the recent Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury.

Fellow Equine Academy starlet, Alessya Kaiser, has also been in excellent form in senior competitions recently. She achieved a first place finish on her horse, Aida, in the British Dressage affiliated Prix St Georges at Chester Hall with 66.58%, despite a difficult warm-up, and the duo – still tired from the previous day – secured third spot with 62.10% in the same class at Pachesham Equestrian Centre only a day later.

Francesca Bradley riding Baldovino

Francesca Bradley riding Baldovino

The pair then headed to Hickstead, where they won the Silver Section Prix St George and they were third overall with a score of 66.10% out of 13 competitors.

Alessya said: “The competition at Hickstead was superb! I was really worried because we were competing in torrential rain and Aida is very sensitive but she was perfect in the warm-up and rode her nicest test so far.

“With 7s for the pirouettes and the changes, the judge at C had me winning the whole class on 68.7% but the overall score with the second judge was 66.10%. I was so happy with her and with our placings.”


Point to pointingThe Ludlow Hunt point-to-point scheduled for this Saturday at Bitterley (SY8 3HF) has attracted a very respectable entry of 160 horses.

There will be card of a minimum of 7 highly competitive races, with the first at 1.30pm. The action ‘between the flags’ will be  followed by 2 Pony Races, and there will be the usual bars, stalls and children’s amusements that always make Bitterley one of the best attended meetings of the season.

With a dry week in prospect, it is hopeful that the going will be perfect for an exciting afternoon of racing.

Entrance to the course is £10 per person, accompanied under 16’s free.

Local trainer, Victoria Collins has entered 4 of the 11 hopefuls for the Hunt race, and fixture secretary, Sarah Dawson will be crossing her fingers that her top-rated Gauvain will be able to go one better than his recent second at Eyeton-on Severn. However, there is plenty of strong opposition, notably in Midnight’s Mischief, Union De Chenet, Neighbour’s Lady and the gallant Upton Centurion, though the drying ground may see some horses find better form.

There are 11 entered for the Confined race, and Sheila Crow is double-handed with Abbeyview and Irish Anthem, the latter having suffered 2 narrow defeats recently, and looks due for a victory. However, Gareth Thomas’ Hazy Tom has 2 recent placings in Ludlow Hunter ‘chases, albeit over a shorter distance. Swift Council has 2 early-season placings, while Midnight’s Mischief, runner up on her both appearances so far, may choose this option.

The Subaru Restricted race has attracted 27 entries, several of which are recent Maiden winners, but a few, including the impressive Colarado Doc and Late Romantic were over two and a half miles rather than the three needed here. Big Bad Barry won on his only appearance in December for Axelle Wall’s stable, and may have been waiting for better ground. Flea The Bar was an impressive winner at Upton-on-Severn recently in the mud, while Upton Kaddy defied sticky conditions at Eyeton-on-Severn to stay on well. The tough little mare, Brown Revel, trounced opposition recently at Hereford Racecourse in slightly better conditions.

The Men’s Open over two and a half miles has attracted some distinguished performers among the 22 entries. The Waley-Cohen’s Warne recently won unchallenged at Dingeley, Fruit Fayre is a class act from the Crow stable who has mostly won over 3 miles, but did win her Maiden over this distance,  and Green Winter from John Bryan’s yard has not been out of the first 2 in five runs this year. Hazy Tom may prefer this distance, which Black Banjo won over at Cothelstone. Tim’s Crusader and Coolna Shuil have both recently won over 3 miles, but have both had placings over two and a half in their careers.

The AGA Ladies Open has some awesome performers amongst the 21 entries- 11 of them are rated over 103, and it really looks as if it may be a clash of the Titans. Arthurs Secret, Awesome George and Hazel Hill were all classy winners at Brampton Bryan recently, while All Great N Theory has not yet been unplaced this year……practically ALL have good form, but Arthurs Secret is the real eye-catcher.

There are 36 entries for the Open Maiden, so there may be a possibility of it being split on the day. There are several with form, including Alphamar, who was 8L 2nd in a Club Member’s at Siddington recently, Dewi’s Mate who has a couple of good 2nd’s to his credit and Delineate, who has three placings in 2016, but the eyecatcher is Richard Lee’s Herefordshire, who was recently only a length and a half 2nd in a Restricted at Hereford Racecourse.

There are 33 horses listed for the ‘Young Horse’ Maiden over two and a half miles. Philip Rowley has entered two who have good placings, Follow The Bear and Round Robin.  Kelly Morgan’s 4 year old charge, Extreme Appeal has an attractive weight allowance and unseated late on while well in contention last time out. Gareth Moore’s Bleu et Or also holds appeal with consistent placings.

The point-to-point races will be followed by 2 competitive Pony Races, with valuable points towards the Area Championships.

Laura Wollen wins at the BD Winter Championships

Day one of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College produced seven worthy winners over nearly 12 hours of dressage action.

Ledbury based Laura Wollen wins riding Woodlander Buddy Holly. Photo by Kevin Sparrow -

Ledbury based Laura Wollen wins riding Woodlander Buddy Holly. Photo by Kevin Sparrow –

Dressage rider and trainer Laura Wollen, who is based at Fairfields Stables near Dymock, posted 74.74% to win the PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Open riding Helen Farley-Higgs’ ‘Woodlander Buddy Holly’.

“It was a nice easy, flowing test. I was really pleased with the walk as he’s got such a massive walk.” Laura adapted her floorplan, designed by herself and complimenting bold, brave music created by Julie Geraghty at Equivisions, from the regionals especially to show off this pace after one judge was unsure of whether his walk should be marked as a 7 or a 9. Today a ‘shark-tooth’ shaped walk across the arena confirmed it as the latter.

“A typical dressage diva,” Laura confirms Buddy can be a little tricky, “we brought him out last night for the arena walk and he was so spooky but today he managed to go in there and just concentrate. He definitely knows when to put his working hat on!”

Returning for the Albion Medium Open on Sunday, Laura and the nine year old, by Burlington, who train with Peter Storr, will have tomorrow off. “I’ll just need to refresh and remind him to give even more in such a hot class! I’d love to be placed in the top half and, if I’m really greedy, I’d love a top five place as it’ll be great preparation for the summer where he’s already nearly qualified for the Medium.” Laura also hopes the pair will be able to give qualification for Advanced Medium level a go soon – “It’s just about getting the changes right – they’re huge!”  For full report from day one click here

Day two at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College, saw dressage newbies, Jamie Broom and Furst Impression claim the Albion Medium Restricted Championship. For full report from day 2 click here

Day 3 at Hartpury saw new champions for the Blue Chip Novice Restricted Championship, Blue Chip Novice Open and the PDS Saddles Elementary Restricted Freestyle as well as the Petplan Equine Area Festival Novice Open Championship.  Petplan Equine Medium Restricted Area Festival Championship. Young dressage rider Hannah Bown (23) from Steventon, Hampshire stormed to victory to win the Blue Chip Novice Restricted Championship with a super score of 71.09%. Hannah rode her own Sandro’s Storm (pictured right), an elegant seven-year-old son of Sandro’s Dancer.  For full report from day 3 click here

Day 4: In a hotly contested class with less than two percent separating the top five, it was Shropshire-based Theresa Smyth who topped the leader board in the Petplan Equine Medium Open Area Festival Championship on day 4 of the championships. For full report on day 4 click here

Day 5: The British Dressage Winter Championships have come to an end after 5 days of competition at Hartpury. As reported by BD, five worthy champions were crowned on the final day of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships to bring the curtain down on five amazing days of top sporting action with over 750 tests being completed. For full report on day 5 click here

For full results and scores click here

Don’t Miss Brampton Bryan’s Sole Fixture Between The Flags!

Sadly, there will only be one point-to-point fixture at the popular riverside venue of Brampton Bryan (SY7 0JU). Due to rising costs, The Teme Valley Hunt & United Pack have combined to run a meeting this Sunday (10th) and have attracted a very respectable entry of 140 horses for the 7-race card.

Clerk-of-the-course, Wayne Tuffin and his team are renowned for providing the best possible ground, and have been hard at work for weeks on the riparian turf.

Entrance to the scenic venue –the longest established course in the Welsh Borders – is £10 per person, under 16’s and car parking free.

Point to pointing

The point-to-point action will be preceded by 2 hotly contested Pony Races at 12.30pm with the first point-to-point event at 1.30, and the final race will be followed by a Hunt Scurry over a shortened course.

There are 20 classy entries for the Confined race.
The French-bred 6 year-old, Arthurs Secret, from the in-form stable of Martin Weston, has already won on both starts this season, the latest by a cool 30 L. But Hazel Hill has also won 3 from 3 starts, scoring on his seasonal debut at Sandon recently. Oscar Delta was a good Garnons winner last outing, from the flying stable of Clive Price, and Namako, handled by Phillip Rowley was an Oakley Maiden winner. Lucy Turner’s Spit had an unlucky run at Hereford, being carried out when going well, and was only touched off a nose at Maisemore prior to that. And previous course winner, Upton Centurion has had a couple of dour seconds this time and can never be written off.

There are 17 hopefuls for the Restricted race, of which Sheila Crow handles two, and whichever she chooses must be respected. The handsome Againn Dul Aghaidh won a two-and-a-half mile Maiden at Garnons very easily, and Ring Ben has been a runner up on the last 2 occasions. However, Chris Hooley’s powerful grey charge, Frosty Heights has won two races at Garnons, and certainly looks set for better things. Upton Kaddy was a winner at Eyeton-on-Severn recently.

The Mens Open over two and a half miles is a new initiative for Brampton Bryan, and several of the 16 entries have form over this distance. The locally trained Hazy Tom is the highest rated, having been 3rd in a recent Ludlow Hunter ‘Chase over 2 miles 7f. But Decade Player seems versatile over any distance, ad was 3rd in a 2 mile hunter ‘chase in February. Repeat Business, who was runner up at Cheltenham in the Connolley’s Red Mills Intermediate Final is not without claims, and both Cold Knight and Theodore Lamb have recent placings to their credit.

There are 25 entries for the PPORA Members Race for Novice Riders, and Arthurs Secret is likely to be favourite if this is the option chosen. Heavenstown cantered home in a similar race at Garnons recently, and Be Definite prevailed by a nose at Maisemore over 2 mile 5f. Many of the others have form, while Irish Anthem is highly rated but has not visited the winner’s circle this season yet. If this option is chosen for Upton Centurion, he is sure to grind his way into contention.
The 12 entered for the Ladies Open are a class bunch. Awesome George tops the ratings, and having won his last 2 outings, is unlikely to find his 4lbs extra too much of a burden. Horsham Lad was a Sandon victor, Sagalyrique and Well Mett have been recently placed, Diamond Dolly won an Intermediate at Bangor and the consistent Petit Lord is rarely out of the reckoning, 3rd on his last appearance at Maisemore. Midnight Haze is a course specialist here and must not be discounted, while Hazel Hill must be respected if this is the option chosen.

There are several with recent form among the 30 entries for the Open Maiden race. The most eye-catching being Richard Lee’s Herefordshire, who stayed on well to be runner up at Hereford Racecourse last week. Johnathon Tudor’s charge An Cor has been bridesmaid a couple of times, while Dawn Woolf’s entry Dreamisi, who was 2nd at Garnons last time out may appreciate better ground. Gabe Mahon’s Another Coalition was a distant 3rd on his debut, and will be wiser for the run.
Midnight Bliss, from the Robert Luke stable looks the pick of the 21 entries for the Jockey Club Mares Only Maiden, having been a recent 2nd at Lydstep But Sheila Crow’s charge Sweet Belle was a recent 3rd at Eyeton-on-Severn, while Richard Evans’ Hurricane’s Girl is a consistent sort.

The Hunt Scurry will follow this race, at approximately 4.45pm.

Lucy Turner rides at Aintree

Lucy Turner riding Pentiffic

Lucy Turner seen here riding Pentiffic

Herefordshire jockey Lucy Turner (23) from Hoarwithy will follow her good run in the Foxhunters Champion Chase at Cheltenham Festival with a run in the Foxhunters at Aintree on Thursday 7th April. Once again riding her own ‘Richmond’ trained by her father Phil Turner, Lucy will be hoping for a good clean run round and a chance to be in the mix at the finish.

Follow the action on television or visit the website:

Good luck Lucy!

Updated: Lucy was unseated at Valentines, but said she had a great ride until then.


Free legal advice for horse lovers

The equine specialists at Harrison Clark Rickerbys are delighted to be able to extend a helping hand with free legal advice for horse lovers who are members of the British Horse Society (BHS), as the firm will now provide the BHS’ legal helpline.

The new service will enable more horse owners, breeders and riders to access the specialist team’s skills – they are all involved in the equestrian world themselves, and the firm already offers a similar service to members of British Dressage.

Ruth Coupe, who leads the team, said: “Because we know how important their horses are to BHS members from our own experience, we combine legal expertise with a deep understanding of the equestrian world. This puts us in an ideal position to support them when they encounter difficulties and need advice.”

Emma Day, the BHS’ director of membership, said: “This is great news for The British Horse Society and our 91,000 members. We look forward to the law firm providing the best possible advice and a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Harrison, Clarke, Rickerbys

L to R: Emma Day (BHS director of membership), Elizabeth Beatty (HCR), Lynn Petersen (BHS Chief Executive), Ruth Coupe (HCR) and Esther Stirling (HCR)

The helpline is open to all BHS Gold, Friend, Life and Founder members either by phone or by email. Member should call the number on the back of their membership card or can email, in both cases giving name and membership number.

The service is always available and offers half an hour of free legal advice on each legal matter raised; those issues need not relate to horses, though the team handling the calls has that specialist expertise.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has 400 staff and partners based at offices in Cheltenham, the Wye Valley, Hereford, Worcester, Birmingham and the Thames Valley, who provide a complete spectrum of legal services to both business and private clients, regionally and nationwide.  The firm also has a number of highly successful teams specialising in individual market sectors, including health and social care, education, agricultural and rural affairs, hospitality and leisure, defence, security and the forces, and construction.

Visit Harrison, Clark, Rickerby’s Website

Dead Slow campaign launched by BHS

Over 60% of incidents involving horses on the roads happen between 10am and 3pm, with accidents most commonly occurring in June, new statistics from The British Horse Society (BHS) reveal**.

The statistics are disclosed as the charity today (24 March 2016) announces the launch of a campaign urging drivers to slow down to 15mph when they meet a horse and rider on the road.

In the five years since the launch of its horse accidents website, over 2,000* reports of road incidents involving horses have been reported to the charity. Of these, 36 caused rider deaths, and 181 resulted in a horse dying from their injuries or being put to sleep.

75% of accidents happened because the vehicle passed the horse without allowing enough space, while over a quarter of respondents said that they also had to deal with driver road rage during the incident.

The majority of these incidents happened on a minor road and in a rural area. Nearly half of the horses involved were used to riding on the roads more than once a week.

Since the launch of the BHS horse accidents website in November 2010:

  • 90% of respondents were female
  • 1,799 of respondents were involved in an accident in England, 146 in Wales, 115 in Scotland, and 10 in Northern Ireland.
  • The counties with the highest number of accident reports are Essex, with 155 reported road accidents; Kent, with 89 reported road accidents; and Lancashire, with 81 reported road accidents.

The launch of the campaign, Dead Slow, follows a number of high profile petitions calling for greater protection for horse and rider on the roads following the injury of horse carriage master Mark Evans and the death of his horse Wil, who was hit by a car in Wales last month as he pulled a funeral cortege.

Lee Hackett, BHS Director of Policy, said: “We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road. A lot of people aren’t sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and so we have produced a video showing exactly how it should be done.

It’s worth remembering that these statistics are just the accidents reported to us, there will be countless others. Almost everyone who rides horses can recount a story about a time they had a near miss on the roads.

We are campaigning for legislative change, but that can take a long time. That is why we are asking for this instant change in behaviour from drivers.

The British Horse Society has produced a video demonstrating how to safely pass a horse on the road. The charity will also be asking equestrians to ensure that they thank any drivers who pass them responsibly.

Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Horses are large, powerful animals and they can easily panic and bolt if startled. This is dangerous for the horse, the rider and other road users. All drivers should be aware that they may come across horse riders at any time, especially in rural areas. If you see one, slow right down as you approach and pass it slowly and smoothly, without revving your engine or sounding your horn. If there’s not room to pass it safely, wait until there is.”

Horse accidents can be reported to the BHS via the website:



Mitsubishi Motors logo

Mitsubishi Motors 25th year as sponsors of the Badminton Horse Trials is marked by one of the strongest ever fields of competitors. The highlight is undoubtedly the return to top flight competition after serious injury last autumn of both William Fox-Pitt (Parklane Hawk) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo and multiple Burghley winner Avebury); the German presence is headed by Olympic Champion Michael Jung with La Biosthetique Sam, accompanied by Ingrid Klimke, twice 2nd at Badminton, Andreas Dibowski, Bettina Hoy and Andreas Ostholt. Michael Jung also plans to take one horse to Rolex Kentucky, which after his Burghley win in 2015 gives him a shot at the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, should he win in Kentucky.

Competition for the 4 places in the New Zealand Olympic team looks to be especially hot; Mark Todd has two rides, Blyth Tait returns after a 13 year absence, previous winner Jonathan Paget brings Clifton Promise and Clifton Lush, while husband and wife Tim and Jonelle Price will challenge these and Andrew Nicholson for places in Rio.

Notable British entries include former world champion Zara Tindall with her London Olympic and World Equestrian Games ride High Kingdom; previous winners Pippa Funnell and Oliver Townend; regular team members Tina Cook and Nicola Wilson; and several riders with a real chance of earning a ticket to the Games such as Gemma Tattersall, Izzy Taylor and Laura Collett.

2016 also sees a strong American contingent headed by multiple medallist Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin with a choice of 4 rides, Buck Davidson and Lynn Symansky. As always the Irish will be out in force, with another husband and wife combination in Michael and Patricia Ryan, Aoife Clark, Joe Murphy and Camilla Spiers. The Australians have always rated Badminton highly as a prelude to Olympic Games – they have two previous Mitsubishi Motors Trophy winners in Paul Tapner and Sam Griffiths, together with Christopher Burton and Bill Levett.

25 years after her mother Mary won the first Mitsubishi Motors Trophy, Emily King hopes to make her debut at Badminton with Brookleigh.

The full list of accepted entries and the waiting list can be seen at

FEI Rolex



A good days racing was had at the South Herefordshire Hunt Point-to-Point on Sunday 20 March at Garnons, Herefordshire. 


Photo by Phil Britt photography

It was the sixth race in the series of 12 qualifiers for the prestigious Dodson & Horrell Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association (PPORA) Club Members Novice Riders Series.  The going was good to soft, with soft patches. This did not deter spectators as this is always a popular meeting with local point-to-point enthusiasts.

The winner was 20 year old Richard Patrick riding Heavenstown, a 10 year old chestnut gelding owned by Exors of the late Mr M. Page and trained by Jonathan Tudor, the combination ran a convincing race on this undulating course, drew clear three out and held on well to the finishing post. This was the second win for the combination who recently won an easy Novice Riders’ race at Didmarton. Upton Centurion and Fredrick Timmis ran well but lost his place at fence eight and came through to finish second by three and a half lengths. The 9 year old bay gelding is owned by Mr P. J. Corbett and trained by Jeremy Mahot. Third was given to 10 year old Kilmacallogue Bay ridden and trained by Miss Emma Yardley and owned by Mr R. D. Potter. Fourth was Maller Tree ridden and trained by Christopher Wald and owned by Mrs K Dennis, the combination won at Cothelstone last time out.

These four now qualify for the much coveted Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders Series final in May 2016, which for the first time is to be held at Garthorpe near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The new venue boasts a central location and Garthorpe has a sound reputation for producing good ground, even in a dry spring and its watering system is a key factor in achieving that aim.

Chris Gordon, Dodson & Horrell’s Technical Director commented “We are now in the 29th year of sponsoring the Series and it gets more competitive each season. We are looking forward to an exciting fixture list with six more qualifiers before the final.”

Golden Day At Garnons For South Herefordshire Point-to-Point.

Though entries for the South Herefordshire Hunt point-to-point had initially looked rather sparse, there was a gratifying turnout of runners to reward the efforts of clerk of the course, Stan Turner and his team, who had worked so hard to restore the ground following the Ross Harriers fixture a fortnight ago. The ‘good to soft with heavy patches’ going dried perceptibly during the afternoon, and a very decent crowd enjoyed some hotly competitive racing.

Even the weather smiled, and those wrapped warmly against the anticipated chill felt over-dressed by the end of the glorious afternoon.

Five runners went to post for the Castlebrook Members race, with a cheerful undercurrent of rivalry amongst the riders. Dawn Woolf, the trainer of three of the horses in the race, led them with her handsome veteran, Wogan for over a circuit before an uncharacteristic mistake separated the partnership in a bone-rattling fall, leaving Dawn worryingly prone for some time.

James O’Reilly, aboard the grey eight year-old, Frosty Heights, rode a beautifully judged race for his second Members race victory at Garnons this year for the sponsor, John Chinn. “I bought him in Ireland,” explained John. “I did a deal with my wife- she was quite insistent that I hung up my racing boots this year- and I bargained that I could buy a couple  to race as consolation!”  Frosty Heights is trained by Chris Hooley, who with his wife Ann, have been responsible for so many winners in different disciplines over the years. Dreamisi, ridden by the inspirational Guy Disney was 6L runner up, with Dawn Woolf’s other charge, Station Island (James Nixon) in 3rd.

Dawn Woolf was taken to Hereford Hospital for precautionary x-rays on her neck, but was later discharged, stiff and sore, but in good spirits. “I can’t wait to try another spin!”

Nobby Kivambo (Mark Wall) excited the crowd with his customary front running tactics, but it was Clive Price’s charge, Oscar Delta (James Nixon) who asserted two fences from home and flew 12L clear of his rivals. Accrdingtopalm (Ellen Nicholas) stayed on into second, the gallant Nobby Kivambo 3rd, just ahead of Itsonlyalfie, giving Ryan Bradford a great first ride of the season.

The Cotswold Mini Ladies Open developed into a tactical match between family-owned horses Get It On (Sarah Bowen for Angela Rucker) and Well Mett (Phine Banks) following the dramatic departure of Miss Treacle (Sara Bowditch) at the open ditch. Get It On maintained the advantage, and was 41/2L clear at the line.

The TBA Mares Only race was a dogged win for Patrick Hanley’s charge, Neighbours Lady (Matthew Barber), who duelled grimly with former course winner, Midnight Mischief (Hannah Watson) for the whole race, holding on by a length and a half. Elms School Story, ridden for the first time by Lucy Turner, completed in 3rd.

Sheila Crow’s charge Fruit Fayre (Paddy Gerety) was sent off as warm favourite for The Cobb Amos Men’s Open race, despite it being her first outing of the season. However, James Ridley, who had partnered the useful Big Georgie to victory at the recent Ross Harriers Garnons meeting, rode an enterprising race to battle valiantly when Fruit Fayre challenged from the home bend, and got the verdict by a short head. Red Tortue (Mark Wall) ran a creditable race to be 3rd.       

The Last Hour (Charley-Ann Rollason) made the early running in the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club race for Novice riders, but the Jonathon-Tudor trained Heavenstown cruised smoothly through in the hands of Richard Patrick two fences from home, and though Fred Timmis tried to rally the dour stayer, Upton Centurion, he could not get on terms to trouble the winner on the quickening ground. Kilmacallogue Bay and Emma Yardley were 7L 3rd.

Any novice from Sheila Crow’s yard has to be respected, and the imposing Againn Dul Aghaidh, a five year-old owned by her son Alastair, did not put a foot wrong  with Paddy Gerety over the 21/2 miles of the Wye Valley Brewery maiden race, cantering 10L clear of Away Down West (Richard Patrick) and Sinour (Peter Bryan). Having been patiently produced, he looks full of promise for the future.

The next fixture in the Welsh Border area is the North Ledbury at Hereford Racecourse, first race 1pm, preceded by 2 Pony Races.


Hartpury students are given a host of equine insights on Austrian adventure

Hartpury’s Equine students took their learning out of the classroom on a trip to Vienna, experiencing the famous ‘Fiaker’ and the celebrated stallions of the Spanish Riding School. 

Nineteen BTEC Diploma in Horse Management students and two staff flew to Austria, kick-starting their three-day trip with a visit to Vienna’s ‘Fiaker’ horses, enjoying a horse-drawn tour of the city. The ‘Fiaker’ hackney coaches feature in many famous songs and operas.

Hartpury Equine students trip to Vienna included a visit to the Spanish Riding School

On the second day, they headed to the city’s Veterinary University, where they observed an equine tooth extraction and were then part of a discussion on the isolation procedures that are used for horses on their campus. They then went to Vienna Zoo, where they observed a variety of enclosures and feeding programmes for animals ranging from meerkats and hippos to polar bears and elephants.

Hartpury Equine students trip to Vienna included a visit to the Spanish Riding School

Hartpury Equine students trip to Vienna included a visit to the Spanish Riding School

On the final day, the students visited the 450-year-old Spanish Riding School of Vienna, watching the morning exercise of the famous Lipizzaner stallions and had a tour of the facilities and stables.

The school continues to promote classical equitation, studying the way the horse naturally moves to cultivate the highest levels of Haute Ecole elegance the horse is capable of through systematic training. Lipizzaners are Europe’s oldest cultural horse breed.

Tom Hallam, Head of Hartpury College Equine, said: “The field trip to Vienna was an unforgettable experience and enabled the students to witness first hand some of the practices they have learned about in the classroom in an environment they have never encountered before.

“As well as providing the opportunity to see rare and famous breeds up close and personal, it gave them new skills and knowledge that will help their development and the trip opened their eyes to the wide range of careers in the industry, both in the UK and overseas.”

Hartpury students in Vienna

Time to Worm? Think worm count first!

How to plan a targeted worm control programme based on tests.

It’s the time of year for planning our horse’s parasite control, putting in place measures to ensure their wellbeing is covered for the year ahead with no unwelcome passengers. This no longer means developing a regular chemical programme – The British Veterinary Association and other parasitology experts are asking horse owners to ‘think twice before using wormers’ and advising horse owners to move to test based programmes, targeting wormers where necessary.

Resistance to wormers

Horse worms are evolving to become resistant to some worming drugs, especially those which have been around for a long time. This means that you can no longer rely on keeping your horse worm free purely by giving him wormers.

It’s much better to know what is going on and target the wormers at the wormy horses and at specific seasonal problems like encysted redworms, bots and pinworm. Using wormers sparingly should also mean that they stay effective for those times when our horses really need them.

Horse worm eggs under microscopeUsing worm counts and tests

Whether you have a single horse kept on an individual turnout or run a busy yard with mixed turnout a targeted approach can work for you.

Redworm, roundworm and tapeworm are the horse worms that pose the biggest pathological threats to equines and the parasites for which you should test regularly. You may also need to consider bots, lungworm, liver fluke, pinworm and neck threadworm in your programme.

How does a worm test programme work?

A mature, healthy horse can follow a very simple pattern of testing and dosing. A dung sample is taken approximately three times a year to check for the presence of redworm and roundworm and a saliva sample twice a year to test for tapeworm.

If all is well then no need to worm. Complete the year by treating for possible encysted redworm in winter. Foals, youngsters, neglected or older horses will require more attention.

 Targeted worm control programme

A word about encysted redworm

Encysted stages of redworm are not mature so don’t lay the eggs which are counted in the dung sample. It is important to treat with an effective product in the winter months then rely on worm count results over the next season.

Isn’t it expensive?

The main aim of using a targeted programme is to have a healthier horse with good worm control but one of the side benefits is that it is usually a less expensive option.

When you first start there may be a period when you need to both test and give a wormer if a horse proves to have a parasite problem. Using tests means that the problem is recognised and being dealt with.

About the tests

Horse worms under microscopeWorm egg counts are a reliable test for redworm (except encysted stages) and roundworm. Look for laboratories like Westgate Labs that use the industry standard ‘modified McMaster’ worm egg count method including a centrifuge – far superior to simple strained methods for getting a true picture of your horse’s worm burden. 

Tapeworm burdens can be diagnosed using a saliva test which detects tapeworm-specific antibodies present in the sample. The EquiSal Tapeworm test has been developed to reliably detect tapeworm burdens using a saliva swab that you collect from the horse yourself without the need for a vet. The test is scientifically proven to diagnose tapeworm burdens with high accuracy – it tells you if your horse has a burden and whether you need to worm or not.

Pinworm sellotape tests, lungworm sedimentation tests and liver fluke worm egg count tests are also available.

Test costs vary from £9.50 for a standard worm egg count to £17.95 for a tapeworm test and £5 for a pinworm test. Discounts for multiple horses, commercial rates for yards of 10 or more horses. For more information see 


The forecast is looking good for the South Herefordshire Hunt point-to-point meeting at Garnons (HR4 7JX) on Sunday (20th), where there will be a seven-race card, beginning at 1.30pm.

Clerk of the course, Stan Turner and his team of helpers have been working tirelessly to restore the ground and move the bends following the Ross Harriers fixture, and conditions are drying nicely so that the current going of ‘good to soft, with a few heavy patches’ (inspected on Wednesday) is likely to improve.

The beautiful parkland and magnificent country house are an imposing backdrop to the unique course, but with the vista of distant Welsh mountains, it is positively breath-taking, and popular with spectators, who seize the chance to spend an afternoon in such scenic surroundings.

Entrance to the course is £10 per person, with under 16’s and car parking free.


The handsome grey, Frosty Heights may be another winner for the sponsor, John Chinn, who purchased him as consolation for his wife insisting that he hung up his racing boots this season (having been Area leading Veteran last year). He won a similar event here at the last meeting, but will certainly meet more opposition, notably in Dawn Woolf’s charges, Station Island, who was 3rd at Larkhill last month, and Elms School Story, who pulled up here 3 out a fortnight ago. Sure to be a lot of red hot but good-natured rivalry here!


An interesting contest for the ‘Veteran’ horses. Heavenstown,from the Tudor stable was a recent easy winner of a Novice Riders race at Didmarton, while the Mikey Bowen-trained Cygnet was recently second in a similar event at Larkhill. Shakalakaboomboom was also runner up last time out. Oscar Delta has been placed twice this year from Clive Price’s stable near Hay-on-Wye, but if the seasoned performer, Nobby Kivambo, who has been in the frame 16 times of his 19 starts between the flags, makes an appearance here, they will all have to look to their laurels!


Angela Rucker has 2 recent winners entered, Get It On (Curre Ladies Open) and Minella Friend (Thorpe Lodge), but may have family opposition from Pat Tollit’s Well Mett, who was second at the same meeting, or Christine Banks’ Vasco De Mere, a runner up at Cocklebarrow. Joanne Priests’s History Master finished 3rd on his last appearance, but was subsequently disqualified.


A small but select –and interesting! contest! Julia Batho’s Midnight Mischief has been a course winner here in the past, and makes her seasonal debut. Elms School Story has also won here, and has had the benefit of a run here last time. But Neighbour’s Lady was a recent 3rd at Bangor for Pat Hanley’s stable, while the beautifully-bred Freya Star is an unknown quantity.


This could well be a re-match between the dour stayers Big Georgie and Upton Centurion, who treated us to a magnificent duel here last time, the former just shaking off Jeremy Mahot’s dogged charge in the closing stages.  However, if the multiple winner, Fruit Fayre, handled by Sheila Crow, makes a seasonal debut here, will be hard to oppose. Jane Price’s War Path was a recent 3rd at Bangor.


Heavenstown was a recent easy winner of a Novice Rider’s race at Didmarton, with Jane Allfrey’s Take Over Sivola 10L behind in 2nd, and may choose this option. But Maller Tree won equally well at Cothelstone last time out, and connections of the dour Upton Centurion may choose this race. Always a Chance, Be Definite and Kilmacollogue Bay have all been placed this season, while The Last Hour gave Charley-Ann Rollason a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to finish runner up in the Hunt race here last meeting.

WYE VALLEY BREWERY OPEN MAIDEN FOR 4,5 & 6 YEAR OLDS, (About 2 miles, 4 furlongs) – 9 runners

If Sheila Crow’s Againn Dul Aghaidh runs, he is likely to be sent off hot favourite, having only been beaten 3/4L at Horseheath last month. Robert Luke’s handsome Midnight Bliss was fancied when pulling up here last time. John Bryan’s charge, Sinour will have improved following his introduction, while James Ridley’s debutante, Tilted Storm, has a significant 21 lbs allowed.


With appreciation to other sponsors Spar- Ledbury, Heron Supplies, Wye Valley Metals, Venetia Williams, plus advertisers, Balfours, and Castle House.


Hartpury research helps HRP’s revolutionary new product to clinch top innovation award


Hartpury lecturer and lead researcher, Victoria Lewis, with BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science student, Poppy Jane Stallard-Pearson, at the BETA event.

Research carried out by Hartpury lecturers has played its part in a new saddle pad winning a national innovation award.

The study led by Senior Equestrian Sports Science lecturer, Victoria Lewis, and conducted at Hartpury University Centre, compared the pressure exerted on a horse’s back in a variety of ridden gaits using HRP Equestrian’s ‘Wing’ saddle pads compared to conventional square saddle pads. 

Lucy Dumbell, Hartpury’s Associate Dean: Quality and Standards, was also part of the research team, with consultancy provided by Scientific and Equine Consultant, Dr David Marlin and third year BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science student, Poppy Stallard-Pearson.

The research team were able to provide scientific evidence that this revolutionary new product significantly reduced the pressure exerted on a horse’s back when being ridden, backing up the findings of HRP Equestrian’s CEO and the inventor of the Wing Saddle Pad, Helen Ross.

The Hartpury team’s study played a part in the new ‘WING’ saddle pad winning the recent prestigious BETA Innovation Awards 2016, Saddlery and Tack, up against a range of exciting new products. HRP launched the new ‘wing’ saddle pads at the BETA event at the NEC, Birmingham. The judges’ comments included: “It is lovely to see a scientifically-based, broad-appeal product in so many styles.”

Victoria said: Our study showed that there was significantly less pressure exerted on a horse’s back when standing, walking, trotting and cantering when using the winged design saddle pad compared to a conventional saddle pad. 

Equine facilities at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. Picture by Clint Randall

Victoria Lewis presenting the new winged saddle pad and Hartpury’s research to students at a research seminar at Hartpury.
Picture by Clint Randall

“In fact, the results showed that there was no pressure at all behind the saddle over the lumbar spine during trot and canter using the ‘Wing’ saddle. It was fantastic to see the product win such a major award and the study we conducted recognised as important in providing more scientific evidence that this new design can reduce pressure on a horse’s back.”

Dr David Marlin added: “Many horses can suffer rubbing over the spine due to saddle pads, leading to hair loss, hair discolouration, increased sensitivity and infection and a saddle pad that eliminates rubbing caused by pressure in this area could prove very popular.”

You can find out more about HRP Equestrian’s new ‘Wing’ saddle pad and order online at

Lucy Turner to ride at Cheltenham

Lucy galloping Richmond

Lucy galloping Richmond

Whilst Victoria Pendleton has been receiving a lot of press for her challenge to ride in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham, lining up alongside her is 23 year old Lucy Turner from Hoarwithy, Herefordshire.

Lucy schooling Richmond


Lucy qualified for the Foxhunters by finishing 2nd in two hunter chases, firstly at Taunton and then at Warwick on her own ‘Richmond’, trained by Lucy’s father Phil Turner. Richmond is an 11 year old French bred bay gelding by Assessor out of Hirondel De Serley.

This is Lucy’s first season riding ‘Rich’, but she knows him well having looked after him for two seasons as a stable lass at Venetia William’s prior to this.  Lucy says Richmond is a good jumper and is hoping that if they have a clear run round,  that he’ll be good enough to be in the mix. When qualifying, he finished not far behind two very nice horses who have both gone on to to win again this season.

Lucy was 4th at Ascot on Elenika

Lucy – 4th at Ascot on Elenika, trained by Venetia Williams.

Lucy has also ridden for trainer Venetia Williams with results including 5th in a Amateur hurdle race at Ludlow and 4th at Ascot in January in an Amateur Chase. With 6 winners to date, Lucy has the foxhunters at Aintree in her sights later this season all being well.

The Foxhunter Champion Chase is run after the Gold Cup on Friday at the Cheltenham Festival and is televised on Channel 4 Racing. Don’t miss it and good luck Lucy!

UPDATED: Congratulations to Lucy who, although unplaced, had a great ‘spin’ round Cheltenham on Richmond who jumped really well.


The British Horse Society announces £250,000 investment in the instructors of tomorrow

At its national convention at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, The British Horse Society today announced a brand new initiative to support the future of riding instructors.

The BHS Instructors Scholarship aims to increase the number of qualified BHS Assistant Instructors (BHSAI) across the UK. Over the next five years the BHS will invest £250,000 in this significant education initiative. BHS Chief Executive, Lynn Petersen, said: “Education is at the heart of The British Horse Society. As more and more people turn to riding as a leisure pursuit, we want to make sure they have access to the best instruction. Learning to ride properly is vital for the welfare of the horse while making sure the rider is safe and having fun.

“The BHS is committed to providing BHS qualified instructors for all riders, so we are delighted to be making this investment in the education of our future instructors.”

The objectives of the scholarship are: • To ensure the industry is supplied with well-qualified, inspirational instructors • To support talented individuals to achieve a successful career in the equestrian industry • To provide support to BHS Approved Centres Anyone who would like to benefit from this opportunity should visit for more information and to download an application form.

Tapes Go Up at Garnons for Local Point-to-point Season this Sunday!

The tapes will go up for the local point-to-point season  at Garnons (HR4 7JX) this Sunday (6th March), when the Ross Harriers will be staging the first fixture in the Welsh Border Area for 2016.

Supporters have been hard at work at the picturesque estate, siting fences, paddocks and car parks, and the course looks splendid.

“The current going is good-to-soft with heavy patches, but drying so far” reported entries secretary, Verity Look. “We’re hopeful of a big crowd of spectators, and have re-arranged the car parking. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a day out racing at such a beautiful venue.”

The first of the seven races is due off at 1pm, and entrance to the spectacular fixture is £10 per person, under 16’s and car parking free.


Sunday, March 20th – South Hereford Hunt – Garnons 1.30pm

Sunday, 3rd April – North Ledbury Hunt – Hereford Racecourse 1pm

Sunday, 10th April –Teme Valley & United – Brampton Bryan 1.30pm

Saturday, 23rd April – Ludlow Hunt –Bitterley 1.30pm

Sunday, 1st May –Radnor & West Hereford Hunt – Cold Harbour 2pm

Sunday 15th May – Golden Valley Hunt – Bredwardine 2pm

Sunday, 29th May – North Hereford Hunt – Hereford Racecourse. 2pm

Step aside Lord Sugar

Hartpury’s equine entrepreneurs wow industry leaders with perfectly-pitched products.

Hartpury students have been impressing major equine suppliers NAF with their business acumen; pitching products and marketing strategies in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style session. 

In a session led by NAF, a group of around 40 first and second year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Horse Management (Business) students were asked to come up with ideas for a new product.

They were given an insight into the business and the products already in the NAF range and how they are made, as well as how they are marketed nationally and internationally. The students were asked to consider how any new product concepts they devised would fit in and work with existing ones.

Hartpury students NAF productThe winning team of Beth George and Shannon Lloyd Pepperell, came up with the idea of treats similar to NAF’s ‘Appy’ and ‘Minty’ treats but they were called ‘Breathy’ and ‘Flexy’ and contained ingredients to benefit joints and respiration. They won a bag of treats and NAF merchandise.

Mandy Cook from NAF, said: “It was great to see how engaged the students were with the task. They had some fantastic ideas with solid reasoning behind them.

The ideas put forward were discussed at our product development meetings after the session and everyone was very impressed with the thought that had gone into them and the range of products proposed.

“The tomato-based products for whitening and stain removal, treats with respiratory and joint ingredients and the Fill-eeze product were particularly well received. If we decide to progress any of these products further, or the concepts be used in developing other products, we will definitely let the students know!”

Hartpury College Equine tutor, Jennifer Mellows, said: “It was really useful for the students to understand how a major equine business has grown through developing their existing products, coming up with new ideas to diversify its ranges and exploring new markets.

“They also learned more about marketing, the importance of research in product development and maintaining high quality at all times. It was great for them to be able to apply what they have learned in their lessons to a real-life business example.

“That complements the work experience they have to carry out one day a week as part of their course. Some of them choose to do that on campus at our own equine events or in the equine therapy centre, while others are out at eventing yards and, increasingly, students are choosing to complete their placement in business and retail environments, including in marketing roles. It’s a great way for them to gain a better understanding of the career paths available to them.”

Further success for Hartpury Academy Dressage Rider

Following her success at Addington Manor earlier this month, Hartpury’s Dressage Academy rider, Lily Hewitt, won both the Advanced Medium and Prix St George classes at Allens Hill last weekend.

Hewitt and her horse, Sir Charlie Chaplain, rode to the double victory at Allens Hill Competition and Livery Centre in Worcestershire. Hewitt is currently competing in the top end classes of British Dressage and the partnership are at the introductory level for international dressage.

The competition hosted two British Dressage List One judges – Carole Thornton and Lady Inchcape – who awarded excellent scores to the duo.

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie Chaplin

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie Chaplin

Having received the top score of 70.41 in the Advanced Medium class, Hewitt and Sir Charlie received 70.92 from judge Thornton in the Prix St George and a score of 71.31 from Lady Inchcape to take first place for the second time.

The 20-year-old international dressage rider currently has her sights set on Great Britain selection. Currently in her first year of Hartpury’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition degree, Hewitt has also been training on the 2015-2017 BEF England Excel Talent Programme.

The national programme was developed to extend the rider talent pathway below the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme. Hewitt is one of the selected riders across the UK on the Dressage squad which is run alongside three other squads representing the Olympic disciplines.

While on the pathway, Hewitt is being supported by the Hartpury equine team to improve her riding and develop her full potential.

She said: “I had a fantastic day at Allens Hill. Charlie was an absolute star in the terrible weather. The strong winds and pouring rain didn’t upset him at all.

“It was really useful to ride in front of such great judges and I want to say a big thank you to Lizzel Winter (Hartpury’s Equine Academy Director) for all her help, which has been invaluable for my development.”

Success for Hartpury Students

Two Hartpury dressage riders are one step closer to Great Britain selection following a number of encouraging results – most recently at Addington Manor.

Lily Hewitt and Francesca Bradley, both 20, impressed in the Young Rider Team Test at the High Profile Dressage show held at Buckinghamshire’s Addington Manor – one of the key competition dates on the pair’s calendar.

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie ChaplinHewitt, a first year Sport and Exercise Nutrition degree student, finished in second place riding Sir Charlie Chaplain, scoring 65.79%, while Equine Science student, Bradley, claimed fourth spot with 62.96% on board Baldovino.

With both riders working towards Great Britain selection, Bradley followed up her opening day result with a sixth place finish in the PSG Freestyle to Music, scoring 67.88% in an event filled with senior riders.

Lizzel Winter, Hartpury’s Equine Academy Director, said: “Both Lily and Fran have both performed extremely well at a high level competition in tough events and it’s great to see some encouraging results from the two of them.

“They are both working hard here at Hartpury to improve as they look ahead to Great Britain selection so it was great to see positive results.

“We’ll keep working hard with the girls to make sure they keep improving and will of course support them all the way towards their bid for international selection.”

Lily Hewitt riding Sir Charlie Chaplin

Suspicious Activity

Police are concerned over a number of suspicious incidents that have been reported in connection with suspicious persons coming to properties using various excuses and paying particular attention to dogs. Working dog breeds and pedigrees seem to be the target. Please will all dog owners be aware and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 101. When out walking with your dog off the lead be aware of people around and keep the dog within your site where possible. Also be aware of leaving your dog unattended in the front garden.

Rural Watch Forest

This is a Police Message

Tools have been stolen from a shed on a farm in the Dymock area on the 15th January.

The incident occurred between 15.00hrs and 15.30 when unknown offenders removed a power blower and grinder saw valued at £1000.00.

On the 19th January a land rover was stolen from a farm in the Normanaland Road area of Dymock . Unknown offenders moved several vehicles including a tractor in order to access the land rover.

Please be aware and report all suspicious incidents to the Police on 101

Hartpury students take reins for exciting City Farm riding school project

A Hartpury student and graduate are at the heart of a project that is giving more people who lives miles from the countryside the chance to ride and learn about horses.

Sam Goss, 50, who studied a Masters in Coaching Science at Hartpury, has played a leading role in establishing a new riding school at St James City Farm, Gloucester, which has recently celebrated a busy and rewarding first year, having been formally opened by Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

The centre provides the local community, including young people from inner city schools and children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, with opportunities to ride. The centre has six horses – three living at the centre and three who come as required.

Sam Goss (right) and Charlotte Forkes

Sam Goss (right) and Charlotte Forkes

While Sam is working as the riding school co-ordinator and senior coach at the centre, current Hartpury student, Charlotte Forkes, 24, from Stroud, is also coaching there. Masters in Research Equestrian Performance student, Charlotte, is currently undertaking her British Horse Society assistant instructor qualification.

Thanks to Sam’s hard work, the centre has not only secured their council licence but also been awarded British Horse Society approval – meaning the centre has passed an inspection recognising the high standard of safety and welfare for both clients and horses.

This approval also allows the centre to encourage and support riders to take British Horse Society qualifications, which will help them increase their knowledge and ensure they meet industry standards if they then want to go on to work with horses or study for an equine diploma or degree.

Sam said: “It has been a really exciting first year! I’m so proud of what we’re achieving at St James City Farm Riding School. We’re giving children and adults from all different faiths and backgrounds the chance to experience horses and ponies.

“They are not only riding but also working with the ponies to understand their environment and how they can change a person’s ability to look at their own life and development.

“We’ve also become one of only three facilities in the UK that the Pony Racing Authority are using to develop an initiative around inner city children taking up pony racing. The aim is for one of the children to race at Cheltenham Racecourse in April. Even the Bristol Mounted Police section have been to visit the centre, performing a demonstration for clients!”

St James City Farm has always enjoyed a close working relationship with Hartpury’s equine, animal and agriculture departments. Hartpury students are able to access the farm and the riding centre for work experience, volunteering and to use the facilities.

Sam is also currently developing the work that she carried out whilst studying for her Masters by working with international riders and developing social and psychological environments around children from a range of different backgrounds.

Pacefeeder – The ‘slow’ indoor and outdoor hay feeder

If you’ve experienced problems with your horses eating their hay or haylage far too fast which can lead to all sorts of problems including gastric disorders, or perhaps your horses are forever dragging their hay all around the stable and treading it in to their bedding, you need a Pacefeeder!

This is a new product available now:


The ‘slow’ indoor and outdoor hay feeder

Pacefeeder is a specially designed hay feed box with a self-adjusting grid to allow a horse to search, pull, chew and eat a limited amount of hay in a naturally continuous and slow manner in their correct body posture.  This means ensuring the horse is getting the right amount of hay over a longer period of time, mimicking a horse’s natural grazing behaviour.

Pacefeeder’s slow hay feeding method makes for a happier, healthier and more relaxed horse.

The Pacefeed indoor and outdoor hay feeder has been created specially as a slow hay feeder.  The Pacefeeder is durable, water and rot proof, easy to clean, fit and long lasting.  The Pacefeed is designed and manufactured in Ireland and is available in different shapes and sizes to suit you and your equine’s needs and in 5 different colours.

Benefits of using the Pacefeeder for horses

  • Works with the horses natural digestive system and behaviours.
  • Horses are less likely to suffer from ulcers and other gastric disorders.
  • Perfect for horses with issues like laminitis, inhalant allergies, bronchial & joint problems and weight issues.
  • Natural position of head and body when used leading to less physical problems.
  • No ingestion of dirt, sand & parasites from the ground.
  • Helps reduce anxiety and stress levels in your horse.
  • Helps reduce bad stall habits and behaviours.

Benefits of using the Pacefeeder for ownersPACEFEEDER-ulotka1

  • Contributes towards reducing vet bills.
  • Reduces feed costs.
  • Reduces waste from trampling and soiling of hay.
  • Saves you hours of labour and effort on filling, feeding times and clean-up.
  • Horses are always ready to ride or work.
  • Gives you a more flexible schedule.

See the Pacefeeder flyer or visit their website


Tel. 00 353 86 254 4482

Do you know an old pony called Malibu


Hannah is trying to find her old pony, called Malibu: 12.2hh, chestnut, gelding, 22 years old.
2002-2006 he was located in Worcestershire.
2007: believed to have moved to South Wales.
Now: he could be anywhere!
Hannah has set up a website with lots of photos, her story, and all of his details.  Have a look and share via social media and help Hannah find Malibu.

Backbury Hill, Mordiford

“Back in 2010 Herefordshire Council made an order to register a footpath over Backbury Hill in Mordiford, with much of the user evidence being equestrian. I (Peter McKay) objected considering that with equestrian user evidence it ought be a bridleway, and the order has at long last been sent to PIN’s to be determined. The initial equestrian user evidence was gathered by Parish Council in the early 1990’s, and I enquire if anyone used to ride over Backbury Hill and would support this objection by providing a written statement saying they used to ride, or knows of anyone who did who may support the objection, seeking its registration as a bridleway?”
Update from Peter McKay, 10th January 2016:
“This has now got to the Planning Inspectorate stage, and it would be helpful if any who rode over Backbury Hill back in the 1990’s were to write to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/25 Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN quoting reference FPS/W1850/7/11 saying so, and saying this ought be recorded as bridleway, not footpath, by the 26th of January.”
For more on this topic and to join the conversation, see the forum posts headed Backbury Hill

Thieves everywhere!

The latest Neighbourhood Watch Message is to notify people of a dwelling burglary which has taken place in the Mill Lane area of Redmarley on the 4th January between the hours of 11.30 and13.18. Unknown offenders have broken a pane of glass in the rear door to gain entry. They have gone into a bedroom emptied the contents of a jewellery box and stolen items. Please be aware. If you have items of jewellery please photograph them as this can be very useful in tracing them. Smart water can also be used to security mark jewellery and is available from Coleford Police station.  If you see anything suspicious please contact the Police on 101.

A tack room was broken into in the Upleadon area of Newent between the hours of 11.00 hrs and 14.30hrs on the 17th December. Entry was gained by forcing the door and a large amount of tack stolen.

Also, there were two incidents in the Staunton Area on the 16th December. A shed has been broken into in the Moat Lane area by breaking off the padlock. An orange hedge cutter valued £200.00 and horse clippers valued at £270.00 stolen. In the Malvern Road area outbuildings have been entered on a farm and a Strimmer has been stolen.

Please be aware and report all suspicious incidents to the Police on 101

Happy New Year!

Wishing all Hereford Equestrian visitors a happy, healthy, safe and successful 2016.

In 2015, according to Google analytics, there were 322,938 visits to this website with the best month being May when we peaked with 34,509 visits. Over the year that resulted in a huge 1,775,996 pageviews! Thank you for your loyalty to the website. Happy New Year

Happy Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and a happy, healthy and safe 2016. Thank you once again for using Hereford Equestrian and have fun!

With very best wishes,


Happy Christmas

2016 Hat Standards – updated

It’s a bit confusing, but the BSEN1384 (or EN1384) hat standard will no longer be recognised as an acceptable standard for riding hats in the UK from 2016. If your hat has another allowed standard, for example, BSEN1384 & PAS015 (1998 or 2011) along with the Kitemark, it would be acceptable, but not BSEN1384 on it’s own.

However, it seems you can continue to wear a BSEN1384 hat for British Dressage until the end of 2016, , so the best advice I can give you is to check with the governing body of the equestrian sport which you do.


Horse and Hound have written a clear piece regarding hat changes for 2016 on their website

Neighbourhood Watch Message

There have been two incidents in the Staunton Area on the 16th December. A shed has been broken into in the Moat Lane area by breaking off the padlock. An orange hedge cutter valued £200.00 and horse clippers valued at £270.00 stolen. In the Malvern Road area outbuildings have been entered on a farm and a Strimmer has been stolen. Please be aware and report all suspicious incidents to the Police on 101

Mud Fever

Mud Fever – At this time of year there is no shortage of rain and mud within the three counties in which we reside. For many reasons it is advisable to maintain some degree of field turnout during the winter months. Many of you will be familiar with Mud Fever or ‘pastern dermatitis’ as an irritation of keeping horses out at grass when the going is good to soft, or just plain muddy. Read full article by Three Counties Equine Hospital here

Theft of livestock

Gloucestershire police would like to make you aware that this week there has been theft of sheep reported in the FOREST OF DEAN area.  There has been a lot on Gloucestershire Radio on Wednesday 9th December 2015 about theft of livestock and Farming today on Radio 4 also did a report in connection to the increase of livestock theft.

Please report any suspicious activity to us on the 101 number or email .

Help find a lost dog

‘Dog Lost’ are currently looking for a missing dog that has vanished into thin air. Can you help?

Tyson, missing in the Golden Valley area

Tyson, missing in the Golden Valley area

Tyson has been missing over 4 months and his owners are frantic as they live away and although we have had some sightings in the Golden Valley area he has gone to ground again.  Please click the following link and then share on social media

Earlier I reported that a black labrador called Memi was also missing from the HR2 area but sadly, her body has now been found. No further details are known as to why she died, but obviously her owners are devastated.

To help, please click the link above to see the full details and then share via any social media you use.

Alternatively you can contact Dog Lost – Helpline: 0844 800 3220

Hartpury’s talent pool in safe hands as Lizzel Winter takes over as Equine Academy Director

Lizzel Winter, Hartpury's new Equine Academy Director

Lizzel Winter, Hartpury’s new Equine Academy Director

With a Great Britain coach and former 4* competitor taking a firm grip on the reins, Hartpury’s reputation for producing the future stars of the equestrian world looks to be in very safe hands.

The boots of former international eventing rider and Great Britain team member Nick Burton are never going to be easy to fill, but Hartpury’s new Equine Academy director, Lizzel Winter, boasts an impressive equine pedigree of her own and is aiming high with the college’s rising stars.

Currently responsible for the Rider and Coach Development programme for British Eventing (BE), Lizzel is also one of only 54 British Horse Society (BHS) fellows in the world – Hartpury equine lecturer, Jeremy Michaels, is also one of that elite group.

The wife of renowned course builder, Eric Winter, who designs the cross-country course for the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, Lizzel is also the director of Severn Vale Equestrian Centre, plus an assessor, coach educator and external verifier for BE and the BHS.

As a private coach, Lizzel has recently started working with French international rider and former Hartpury student Astier Nicolas, who recently won his first CCI4* title at Les Etoiles de Pau.

She even fits in some eventing coaching in Portugal and Botswana and supporting her children, James, 15 – a talented showjumper and eventer who has competed for Wales, and 11-year-old daughter, affiliated showjumper Phillipa, to develop their riding!

Lizzel Winter has evented to 4* level

Lizzel Winter has evented to 4* level

A former 4* eventer and Grand Prix dressage rider herself, Lizzel has a wealth of experience in bringing on young rider and horse partnerships. While she currently runs BE’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ programme for riders aged 21 and over making the transition from 2* to 3 and 4* competition, Lizzel has also coached youth squads at the highest level.

In her five years with Team GB’s Under-18s, they amassed 10 medals, but she also coached the Portuguese youth squads at European Championship level. Now she’s in charge of ensuring Hartpury’s most promising riders reach their potential.

She said: “Nick was here for 10 years and has built up a unique and excellent Academy programme at Hartpury alongside other fantastic coaches like Carl Hester and Corinne Bracken.

“There are 29 riders currently in the Academy – more than ever before – and my job is to make it even stronger; to develop even more elite riders that go on to compete on the international stage at Championship level.

“We’ve got lots of riders on talent ID programmes and I’m looking to work even more closely with the AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) and Excel programmes and the governing bodies to ensure we’re all pulling in the same direction to support those riders to achieve what they are capable of and increasing competition support.

“I’ve been really impressed with the level of talent here and I’m really excited to be working with young riders across all the disciplines, especially now we have the fantastic new Rider Performance Centre here, which is the first of its kind in the UK.”

The Rider Performance Centre – the Margaret Giffen Centre for Performance in Equestrian Sports – enables riders from all disciplines to access facilities and professional therapists that will enhance their performance and help them to rehabilitate from injury.

It incorporates a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning suite, rider performance zone including horse simulator, 3D motion capture and electromyography equipment, alongside weightlifting platforms and sport therapy area.

“One of the most exciting things about Hartpury is the opportunity for the elite sport and equine academies to work more closely together,” added Lizzel.

“I spent three years on an elite sports coaching programme at Ashridge and I firmly believe that there is so much we can learn from other sports and sharing our knowledge.

“Historically in equine, more time commitment has been given to the horse but the new Rider Performance Centre allows us to focus more closely on the rider as athlete too. It’s a huge advantage.

“In the long-term, I’d love to build on the work I did with the Great Britain junior squads and build more biomechanics and analysis into riders’ programmes.

“One of the first things I’ve introduced though is a system where students can see at a glance when coaches are available and book in time with them, which will help them to manage the balance between their competition and coaching time and academic study. We have to be so careful not to overload them. They need to maintain mental space to prepare for big competitions to ensure they produce their optimal performance.”

Accolade to the Horse in Conflict and Work

Free-spirit-memorialThe Free Spirit Memorial Appeal is raising funds to create a lasting memorial acknowledging the horse’s unfaltering service to mankind in times of conflict and work.  The memorial will be a life sized bronze stature by award winning sculptress Georgie Welch.  A place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire has been chosen and Olympic dressage rider Richard Davison has marked the spot where the impressive statue will be sited.

This accolade to the horse is the only memorial that the NMA has granted to an animal in its own right and will also celebrate the horses that continue to serve us today through work, rehabilitation of the sick and disabled, education and of course the joy and pleasure they provide in leisure and sport.

Further information can be found at

Walking in water; could it be a magic ingredient in Valegro’s winning mix?

Valegro with supergroom Alan Davies alongside, working in the water treadmill at Hartpury.

Valegro with supergroom Alan Davies alongside, working in the water treadmill at Hartpury.

While dressage aficionados may already think that Valegro walks on water, new research emerging from Hartpury has shown that walking in water could be boosting the wonderhorse’s performance.

With Olympic gold medal winner Charlotte Dujardin OBE’s multiple world record holder enjoying regular sessions in the ‘Aqua-fit’ water treadmill at Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre, a trio of researchers have produced a paper that evidences how this kind of therapy can influence a sport horse’s performance and rehabilitation.

Recently published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, the research from Hartpury provides new information about how to use water treadmill exercise for the training and rehabilitation of sport horses.

Dr Kathryn Nankervis, Principal Lecturer in equine therapy at Hartpury

Dr Kathryn Nankervis, Principal Lecturer in equine therapy at Hartpury

The study focused on 14 horses from a range of equestrian sports, not only dressage. The paper, which is called ‘Water depth modifies back kinematics of horses during water treadmill exercise’ has been written by Principal Lecturer in equine therapy at Hartpury, Dr Kathryn Nankervis, Pauline Finney – a Masters in Equine Science student at Hartpury, and the Centre’s consultant osteopath Liz Launder.

Their study was conducted in Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre using 3D motion capture. The aim was to find out how water depth affects back movement in normal healthy horses.

Dr Nankervis said: “Our study showed that walking in water has the effect of rounding (flexing) the lumbar spine, but as water depth increases, the thoracic spine becomes more extended or dipped.

“This has implications for both the rehabilitation of horses with back injuries and the training of elite dressage horses. Dressage horses need to be able to flex (or round) the back in the area behind the saddle; and our work shows that walking in water does support this flexion.

“This is just one reason why water walking is being incorporated into the training of many top horses, including the current World, European and Olympic Dressage Champion, Valegro.”

Dr Kathryn Nankervis working in the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury

Dr Kathryn Nankervis working in the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury

Dr Nankervis added: “Water treadmill exercise is just one of the many treatment tools available to us within Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre. Through a programme of research, we aim to learn how best to use a wide range of exercises to both maintain performance in elite horses and recover horses from injury.”

Hartpury lecturers help equestrian competitors with expert advice in new book

A host of Hartpury lecturers have played their part in the release of a new book that will help riders and students be more effective in their equestrian training and understand the science behind performance.

Titled ‘Training for Equestrian Performance’, the book has been co-edited by leading International equine physiologist Dr David Evans and Hartpury’s Head of Animal and Land Sciences, Dr Jane Williams.

Equine Book

Hartpury lecturers. From L to R: Dr Chris Potter, Linda Greening, Dr Jane Williams, Kirsty Lesniak (on horse), Gillian Tabor and Dr Nicki Potter

The book combines chapters from leading experts in Equitation Science from around the world including six of Jane’s colleagues. Hartpury lecturers Linda Greening, Kirsty Lesniak, Gillian Tabor, Dr Chris Potter, Dr Nicki Potter and Jenni Douglas each wrote chapters for the guide. The book was created to help the modern equestrian competitor optimise their own and their horse’s potential in training and competition, both individually and as a partnership. It also aims to support the equestrian sports science student wanting to understand more of the science that underpins training of both the horse and rider.

Jane said: “The book explores a wide range of topics that have an effect on competition preparation and performance, and it was great that so many members of Hartpury staff could make a key contribution in sharing their particular expertise.”

The guide brings together the fundamental scientific principles which underpin competition preparation for the horse and rider including exercise physiology, psychology, conformation, biomechanics and feeding for performance. It also explores the various principles of training and alternative training methods that can help individuals (horses and riders) extend their careers.

“The book gives the reader the chance to select techniques and devise training regimes that can help them to achieve competitive goals as a rider, for their horse or within the horse-rider partnership but it also enables students to understand each component that plays a role in competition success,” Jane added.

The book builds on Jane’s previous research investigating performance factors in elite equine athletes and riders, including a ground breaking study with Dr David Marlin and Dr Inga Wolframm, which found links between the personality traits of riders and the equestrian sports they chose to compete in.

The book is available from Wagingenin Press at


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Hartpury’s Hope and Lucy on right track to dazzling dressage careers

Hope Hayward competing

Hope Hayward competing

Hartpury’s Hope Hayward has yet another reason to celebrate after being selected into a British Equestrian Federation (BEF) backed excellence programme.

The 22-year-old para dressage rider will be part of the BEF England Excel Talent Programme squad for the next two years after impressing selectors with her performances over the last 12 months, including finishing third and fourth respectively in the British Dressage Para-Dressage Winter and Summer National Championships.

Her selection follows the news that she has won a ‘mentorship’ with Great Britain Paralympian and five times European Para-Dressage champion, Natasha Baker, MBE alongside fellow Hartpury student, Ella Slowley.

Hope, who is in the final year of a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Management, is currently a grade IV para dressage rider.

The Excel programme is backed by Sport England and seeks to identify and support riders and horses that demonstrate talent and potential in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

It will give Hope access to top equestrian specialists including international coaches, physiotherapists, psychologists, farriers, saddlers, vets and nutritionists as part of her continued development on the programme.

Hope said: “Most exciting is the fact that the Excel programme has been set up to support riders to fulfil their potential and to potentially lead on to the World Class Programme and a career at international level. I am hoping to develop my freestyle test this year and to compete at my first CPED1* or 2* next year, so for me this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Studying for my degree at Hartpury gives me access to fantastic equine and sporting facilities and knowledge. When I compete at Hartpury, I do really feel I am on home ground. Having stabled my horse, Lottie, here means she is familiar with the arenas as well, which gives us both more confidence.”

After an induction day later this month, Hope will have her first training days as part of the programme at the beginning of November.

Lucy Pincus, Hartpury Equine Academy's new dressage scholar for 2015-16.

Lucy Pincus, Hartpury Equine Academy’s new dressage scholar for 2015-16.

Another of Hartpury’s most promising dressage talents, Lucy Pincus, from Bartestree, Herefordshire, has tasted competition success recently. Lucy won two Medium classes at the Affiliated Dressage at Hartpury last weekend on her young horse, Sheepcote Suncrest, with scores of 74 and 75.

Lucy said: “This year, I made a really big step up to Prix St Georges with my horse, Sheepcote Don Calisto. I was pleased to end the season winning the regionals with 70% and also getting a podium place at Hickstead CDI.

“My younger horse, Sheepcote Suncrest, has also been successful, winning the Under-25s Championship at medium level in August and qualified for the summer nationals at elementary and medium.

“We have now started qualifying for the regionals again and I did my first show towards this at Hartpury last weekend, where I was really pleased to gain two wins.”

Lucy is the Equine Academy’s new dressage scholar for 2015-16 and also a student on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence Equine – the British Eventing and British Dressage programme run exclusively at Hartpury.

Photograph one shows Lucy Pincus, Hartpury Equine Academy’s new dressage scholar for 2015-16, who has tasted competition success recently. Photograph two shows Hope Hayward competing.

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