Category: Shropshire News

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


Suggest a worthy equine welfare charity

Equissage’s Sally Prichard asks: “Do you have a worthy equine welfare charity nomination that we can add to our list? They have to be self funded and not a large organisation.

Because we are accepting trade-ins of old Equissage kits from anyone upgrading to the new Equissage Pulse, the used kits are being donated to suitable charities/organisations. We will consider all applications but we only have a limited amount of product to do this with. Contact Sally Prichard – 07973 838072 or send a message via Facebook: and get in touch if you are interested in upgrading to Pulse too!”

You can view the Equissage advert on this page

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.

Join in the discussions on the forum

The new forum includes different categories for different topics. Join in the discussions about hacking in the area or start a new topic, by clicking here

Hartpury duo hoping GB’s Natasha Baker can help make their dreams come true

Two talented Hartpury riders will have the opportunity to step their equestrian skills up several gears after winning an exciting ‘mentorship’ with a Great Britain Paralympian.

Great Britain Paralympian, Natasha Baker MBE, with Hartpury student Ella Slowley. Photo: Jo Hansford

Great Britain Paralympian, Natasha Baker MBE, with Hartpury student Ella Slowley. Photo: Jo Hansford

Ella Slowley, 18, from Berkeley in Gloucestershire, and Hope Hayward, 22, from Glastonbury will be working with Natasha Baker, MBE – the Para Dressage rider who won two gold medals for Britain in the London 2012 Paralympic and five-time European Para-Dressage Champion.

While Ella is on the second year of a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Horse Management (business), Hope is in the final year of a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Management.

Natasha said: “I am so thrilled at the idea of working with talented young riders to help them reach their full potential. It would be a dream come true if I could inspire others to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. I am very excited at the prospect of being able to pass on some of my knowledge.”

The mentorship opportunity came about through a competition run by Jo Hansford Photography, offering three young riders from the South West mentoring sessions with Natasha, a personalised photo shoot with their horse and a branded gilet and rug.

Hope said: “Words cannot describe how over the moon I was when I found out that I was one of the three winners. I am really looking forward to the one-to-one mentoring with Natasha.

Great Britain Paralympian, Natasha Baker MBE, with Hartpury student Hope Hayward. Photo: Jo Hansford

Great Britain Paralympian, Natasha Baker MBE, with Hartpury student Hope Hayward. Photo: Jo Hansford

“As I am a grade IV para dressage rider, I have had the opportunity to watch Natasha compete on a few occasions. I have massive admiration for her riding ability but also her capacity to remain calm under pressure; she always looks like she is enjoying herself whilst at competitions.

“I am really hoping to get some guidance about competition nerves and how to cope with the pressure of important competitions. I also want some advice on the progression from national to international level and tips on how to perform a good freestyle test. I can’t wait to get started.”

Ella said: “I am really excited for what the next year has to offer. I am really happy that I have been chosen as one of the sponsored young riders, and I am really looking forward to the mentoring with Natasha Baker.”

Natasha, 25, is currently aiming for the Rio 2016 Paralympics and she is the new Patron of the Cotswold Riding for the Disabled charity. You can find out more at

Message Forum

The message forum is back. You’ll find the link in the menu above or from the Collecting Ring. This new forum has new categories, so you can choose where to post. All the old posts are in the ‘All Topics’ general category. Post away, but please don’t use the forums for advertising! Adverts must go on the main website as usual.

Hartpury lecturer part of research project exploring rider personalities

Risk-taker? Try eventing! Getting on in years? Don’t worry, it could make you a better rider!

A Hartpury lecturer is breaking new ground as a joint contributor to an important study revealing the link between the personality traits of riders and the equestrian sports they choose.

Jane Williams

Jane Williams

Dr Jane Williams, Hartpury’s new Head of Animal and Land Sciences, has teamed up with another two researchers – Sport Psychology expert Dr Inga Wolfman and Psychologist and Biochemist Dr David Marlin – to produce a fascinating study that has been published in a top research journal.

Entitled ‘The role of personality in equestrian sports: an investigation’, the study has been published in the ‘Comparative Exercise Physiology’ journal.

It looks at whether certain personality types are associated with different equestrian disciplines ranging from general pleasure riding, to dressage, eventing, showjumping, Western, showing and more.

Jane said: “We undertook the study because there was very limited research in this area in equestrian sports. In other sports, personality has been linked to levels of athlete and also with the types of sport people participate in but we felt that there was an opportunity to explore the link between riders’ personalities and their choice of equestrian disciplines.”

A key finding of the research was that riders who compete are more conscientious and extroverted than leisure riders, while those over 35 tend to be less anxious and more emotionally stable, which could make them better riders.

The study also uncovered the finding that those who compete in a discipline like eventing are generally more open to taking risks, while dressage riders tend to be more open to new experiences, ideas and thoughts.

David said: “Most competitive riders will, at some stage in their career, encounter situations that will tax their resolve. Riders who are conscientious by nature will work very hard at overcoming these obstacles. And riders who are extrovert might even enjoy the challenge of it all.

“Horse riding is one of the few sports where performance isn’t hindered by someone’s advancing years. Current findings help to explain why riders who are calm, committed and empathetic can be much more effective at training horses.

“Knowing that these character traits develop with age, we need to encourage any kind of coaching system whereby older, experienced riders take younger ones under their wings.”

Hartpury has just opened a brand new rider performance centre that will see the college support equestrians from all disciplines and levels to access facilities and professional therapists that will enhance their performance as riders, as well as recover from injury.

And Jane is hopeful that this new research can play its part in fine-tuning students’ skills. She added: “Now that we know what makes riders tick, based on their innate personality traits, we can help them make the most out of the partnership with their horse.”

Inga said: “Understanding more about personality can have important implications for how equestrian sports are marketed, on talent selection and on how riders are coached.”

News from Bradford’s Veterinary Physiotherapy

Here at Bradford’s Veterinary Physiotherapy we are expanding and growing to ensure we can offer a wide range of skills and expertise to offer you all.  We are very proud to say we now have two new members to our team both Ros and Nicola are fully qualified human Chartered Physiotherapists who have gone on to complete their postgraduate studies to ensure they can now transfer all their amazing Physiotherapy knowledge and skill to our animal partners!

Left: Ros Smith - MSc Vet Phys. BSc (Hons) MCSP, HCPC ACPAT Cat A.     Right: Nicola Molloy - Pg Dip Vet Phys. BSc (Hons) MCSP, HCPC ACPAT Cat A

Left: Ros Smith – MSc Vet Phys. BSc (Hons) MCSP, HCPC ACPAT Cat A. Right: Nicola Molloy – Pg Dip Vet Phys. BSc (Hons) MCSP, HCPC ACPAT Cat A

They are an incredible duo and a fuelled mix of smiles and skill!  We’re delighted with them both and they work closely with Tim and Rhiannon (Bradford) to create an all-round fabulous and professional team! Some of you may have met them earlier in the summer at our Equine Spinal Evening! Feedback from that evening was incredibly positive and everyone got a lot out of the evening, plus a good catch up with some old friends!

Both Physiotherapists are mad keen and enthusiastic about this amazing profession and what we can offer you as horse owners.  Whether you need general advice, an overall equine body check-up or a resolution of a specific physical dysfunction or concern then we can offer all of this for both your horse and yourself the rider!  Don’t forget you are 50% of your equine partnership so your balance/symmetry out of the saddle will affect your horse when you’re riding and vice-versa! Sometimes it will be your horse moving with an asymmetry or sometimes it will be you when you’re sat in the saddle.

“Cannot recommend highly enough. Ros is a miracle worker (Tim’s ok too!) seriously these people are fantastic they have taken my horse from a wreck of an ex-racer to the brink of our eventing career. Rider just needs to man up now!! Thank you team”

“Very valued team members of our production yard. We wouldn’t have any of the results we’ve had if it wasn’t for the guys at Bradford’s”

Coming up in the next six months:

Exciting Educational Evening … ‘EQUINE BIOMECHANICS’

*18th November 2015 at Ledbury Rugby Football Club (LRFC), Ross Road, Ledbury HR8 2LP

* 7-9pm

(Watch our Facebook and Hereford Equestrian website for further details)

We’ll be introducing another amazing Physiotherapist to our team

A brand new all singing, all dancing website

Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook, to be the very first to hear of our offers, talks and other totally AMAZING stuff like our ‘Exercise of the Month’!

Search for Bradfords Veterinary Physiotherapy, check us out and just click on `Like’

To have our quarterly newsletter sent to you email us on and we’ll add you to the list!


Bradford’s Veterinary Physiotherapy
Alexander Park

T: 01432 890490

Best Areas for Hacking?

If you live somewhere with great hacking, we’d love to hear about it. Please either comment below or email  Alternatively, you can join the discussion on Facebook:


Autumn is upon us and the Burghley Horse Trials have begun. This popular 4* International Horse Trials is in Lincolnshire, but well worth the journey to watch the action and enjoy the extensive shopping. Cheer on Herefordshire rider Louise Harwood who rides 2 – Mr Potts and Whitson.  And Shropshire based Irish rider Alan Nolan who is competing at his first Burghley riding Bronze Flight. Useful links:

Burghley website:

Times and results:

Horse and Hound live updates:

How to watch Burghley on TV:

BBC coverage: Highlights – BBC Two, 3-5pm on Sunday, 6 September.

Cruising to Gold and Clinching Team GB Silver.

Franky Reid-Warrilow and Dolley Whisper gave a masterclass in all three phases at the Helvoirt 2* European Championships to claim the individual gold medal by a convincing seven point margin.

The home produced mare was third last to go in to the dressage arena and produced a stunning test. With all eyes watching, Franky delivered a truly professional, mistake free and polished performance. The little mare was attentive and expressive throughout with the real highlight coming in their last medium trot, where she belied her small stature to show unrivalled power and cadence that wowed both judges and audience alike. During the test the GB support team had a tense time watching the score board flickering the position of the pair from 3rd to 1st place continuously. Franky reported that half way through her test, during the walk, she glanced up at the scoreboard and when she saw 3rd position it made her go for it even more. The dressage concluded with the British duo taking the lead on 40.40, but only just, as the Hungarian pair of Csaba Sarkozi and PK Halle Berry sat just 0.7 penalties behind.

Meanwhile in the team standings, Great Britain had made a fantastic start. A harmonious team test, followed by a leading individual score and good solid performances underneath from all six combinations, gave Great Britain a 10 point overnight margin ahead of the Germans.

Franky Reid Warrilow and Dolley Whisper XC 2 star European Champions

Franky Reid Warrilow and Dolley Whisper XC 2 star European Champions

Cross country day saw a clever and technical track built by Bas Verhoeven and it was deemed a true championship test. Questions came up thick and fast especially from fence 6 onwards. The leading pair had to sit back and watch for an entire afternoon before being the last on course in the 30 degree heat. With a precarious GB team position (only two fellow team members had posted clear rounds and only one inside the time), on a course that was causing carnage, the pressure was again on. However, Dolley Whisper and her rider set out meaning business and did not disappoint. A faultless round saw them breeze through the finish line seven seconds under the optimum time to increase their lead to 2.7 penalty points, although still less then a fence in hand overnight. Sadly in the team standings Great Britain slightly fell by the wayside and had lost their gold medal chance to an unpassable German team. Two combinations failed to complete and Danielle Dunn had two uncharacteristic run outs. The team just hung on to bronze medal position. Belgium held fourth with less than a 3 penalty buffer and the Netherlands, with what seemed an unassailable lead, sat in silver position over 20 penalties to the better.

Franky Reid Warrilow medal ceremony 2 star European Champion

Franky Reid Warrilow medal ceremony 2 star European Champion

After a successful Sunday morning trot up for both the leading pair and Team GB, the final phase saw a good show jumping track set in the Helvoirt’s packed main arena. Again the British duo had to sit through an afternoon of watching before taking their chances as last to go. Poles had been flying, but the Brits remained strong with a clear round from Tyler Cassells, four faults for Danielle Dunn and an unlucky 12 faults for Zoe Wilkinson. However, in a turn of events the Dutch team sat below Team GB, when the final pair entered the fray but with less than a fence in hand. With unthinkable pressure, Franky piloted her phenomenal mare to the most notable clear round of the day. Never looking like touching a fence, they convincingly claimed their well deserved top podium position for an individual gold medal, which in turn led to the amazing feat of Great Britain rising to clinch team silver.

Success for event riders in the region

Franky Reid-Warrilow from Powys is the 2015 CIC 2* European Eventing Champion having won individual gold last week at Helvoirt, in the Netherlands.  She was also in the silver medal winning GB team. Franky was riding her own Dolley Whisper with whom she also won the CCI 2* at Weston Park last autumn and the CIC 2* at Somerley Park this Spring.

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire rider Ella Hitchman has just completed the XC clear and without time penalties at the Young Rider European Eventing Championships as a member of the British team. The event is at Strzegom in Poland. The GB team were in Gold medal position after the dressage and if Will Furlong goes clear XC will remain at the top of the leaderboard going in to tomorrow’s SJ.

Louise Harwood, from Eardisley in Herefordshire, had a great Bicton winning the open intermediate section with Jenga and an intermediate section with Balladeer Miller Man.  Louise has both Mr Potts and Whitson entered for Burghley, so go and cheer her on!


XC from 8.30am – 6.17pm at the NAF Hartpury International Horse Trials

The NAF Hartpury International Horse Trials continue tomorrow with XC all day Saturday. It’s a great chance to see top International riders some of whom will be competing at the European Championships in September. The CCI 1* XC starts at 8.30am, as does the CIC 3* show jumping. This is followed by the CIC 3* XC beginning at 12:10pm. The day concludes with the CCI 2* from 15:40pm to 18:17pm. The CIC 3* Show jumping phase starts at 8.30 am and finishes at 11.30am.

As well as top International event riders such as William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook, Pippa Funnell, Piggy French and Aoife Clark, you can watch some of the many talented event riders from our region:

Herefordshire rider Harriett Beaumont with her CCI 1* ride Annaghmore Bonita

Herefordshire rider Harriett Beaumont with her CCI 1* ride Annaghmore Bonita

SOPHIE BRISE, Shropshire
ANNETTE HIGGINS, Worcestershire
SUSANNAH WATTS, Worcestershire
CAROLYNE RYAN-BELL, Worcestershire
ROSIE THOMAS, Worcestershire
ALAN NOLAN, Worcestershire
SARAH WEAVING, Worcestershire
SARA SQUIRES, Monmouthshire

and 17 from Gloucestershire. See more here:

The top 20 in the CIC 3* looks like this after dressage:

Superflex CCI*** Section C Scores

Hartpury Horse Trials & European Dressage Championships

For the next few days you can enjoy top competition at home and abroad.  The NAF International Horse Trials is underway at Hartpury College. For all the action at Hartpury, come along, or see the website for more information:

To follow the European Dressage Championships, visit:

Louise Harwood 5th at Gatcombe

Louise Harwood was 5th in the British Open Championship at Gatcombe over the weekend.  The class was won by Australian Christopher Burton, with Jonelle Price of NZ second, so it was 3rd placed Nicola Wilson who was crowned British Open Champion as the highest placed British rider.  Oliver Townend was 4th and Louise 5th and therefore the 3rd best British rider with Whitson who jumped a fast XC round to add to a sub 40 dressage and just one rail down showjumping for another great result on Roy and Emma Baker’s Whitson.

The top 10 were as follows:

348 TS JAMAIMO Christopher Burton
36.9 9
4 9
2.8 43.7 1
329 CLASSIC MOET Jonelle Price
37.8 11
4 11
6.4 48.2 2
346 BELTANE QUEEN Nicola Wilson
34.3 4
8 12
6.4 48.7 3
338 ARMADA Oliver Townend
33.5 3
16 23
49.5 4
344 WHITSON Louise Harwood
39.9 16
4 16
9.6 53.5 5
50.0 38
6.0 56.0 6
319 COOL DANCER Olivia Wilmot
49.5 34
11.2 60.7 7
315 VANIR KAMIRA Paul Tapner
40.4 19
12 33
9.6 62.0 8
334 BULANA Nicola Wilson
40.3 18
27.6 67.9 9
314 ISLANMORE GINGER Alex Postolowsky
49.8 36
4 36
22.4 76.2 10

GB Pony Event Team win Gold

Saffron Cresswell from Worcestershire was part of the Gold medal winning British team at the European Pony Eventing Championships at Malmo in Sweden.  Saffron, a member of the Ledbury Pony Club, was placed 5th individually on Cuffesgrange Little Ric. The British team also included Thomas Tulloch from Shropshire who finished 4th individually on Spirit VI, Phoebe Locke 9th on Quay and Harriet Wright 12th with Foxtown Cufflynx. All the team riders jumped clear show jumping.  Riding as an individual, Phoebe Nicholson from Herefordshire was 18th with Llanstephan Brenin and Jessica Thomas 23rd with Another Island.  The British team finished on a collective score of 138.7, France won silver with 154.6 and Sweden, won Bronze on a score of 160.1  Full Team Placings can be viewed at:

Individual results can be viewed at:

The British Pony and Show Jumping teams also won gold as reported earlier.

GB Pony Teams excelling

You could almost claim the GB pony event team as our local team and they’re doing well, so fingers crossed for a team gold out in Malmo, Sweden! Following dressage and xc, the GB team were in silver medal position so will be hoping for a clean sheet to hold or improve on their position, but overnight team GB have taken the lead as one of the previously leading French team will not start SJ today and that has moved all the riders up a place individually too. The GB team comprises Shrophire’s Thomas Tulloch now lying 4th going into the show jumping, Worcestershire’s Saffron Cresswell lying 6th, Somerset’s Phoebe Locke 11th and Derbyshire’s Harriet Wright 17th. Herefordshire’s Phoebe Nicholson is representing GB as an individual and is lying 12th after a fault free xc round while Jess Thomas from Cheshire, also riding as an individual is lying 25th. Thomas Tulloch will be hoping for a clear round show jumping to give himself a great chance of an individual medal while 3 good rounds from team GB will keep them in the medals and hopefully Gold!

The GB Pony Dressage and Show jumping teams have already won team golds out in Malmo, with dressage superstar Phoebe Peters winning individual gold too in her last year in ponies.

To see the results, click here




Once again we see Herefordshire event rider Louise Harwood near the top of the leaderboard at a major event. This time it is Gatcombe and the British Open Championship where ‘Wiggy’ and Whitson are in 16th after dressage and show jumping. Before Sunday’s XC, the top 20 looks like eventing’s version of ‘Who’s Who’ with some very familiar names at the top including Olympic medallists and Badminton winners.

Gatcombe is in Minchinhampton, Glos, so it won’t take you long to get there to cheer on the riders in what is always a very exciting competition with the XC being run in reverse order. The shopping is great too!

If you can’t get to Gatcombe to watch the action, you can watch a livestream if your internet connection is good enough:


No   Horse   Rider H C B   Pen   Pl
330 RUTHERGLEN (AUS) Hoy, Andrew 207.0 209.5 199.5 31.5 1
328 MR HIHO Townend, Oliver 211.0 194.5 205.0 32.6 2
338 ARMADA Townend, Oliver 203.0 200.5 202.5 33.5 3
346 BELTANE QUEEN Wilson, Nicola 203.0 197.0 201.5 34.3 4
327 BAY MY HERO Fox-Pitt, William 204.0 190.5 202.5 35.2* 5
311 NZB CAMPINO (NZL) Todd Sir Mark, 205.5 190.0 197.0 36.1 6
322 CLIFTON LUSH (NZL) Paget, Jonathan 195.5 197.0 197.5 36.5 7
321 PAULANK BROCKAGH (AUS) Griffiths, Sam 200.0 191.5 198.0 36.6 8
348 TS JAMAIMO (AUS) Burton, Christopher 200.0 188.0 200.0 36.9 9
333 COOPERS LAW Chandler, Emilie 202.0 186.0 197.0 37.5 10
329 CLASSIC MOET (NZL) Price, Jonelle 199.5 186.0 198.0 37.8 11
326 PERFECT STRANGER (NZL) Nicholson, Andrew 194.5 186.0 202.5 37.9 12
331 CILLNABRADDEN EVO (NZL) Nicholson, Andrew 198.5 185.5 198.5 38.0 13
345 LUXURY FH Fox-Pitt, William 200.5 181.0 198.5 38.5 14
336 FERNHILL PIMMS Fox-Pitt, William 198.5 184.5 190.5 39.7 15
344 WHITSON Harwood, Louise 195.0 181.5 196.0 39.9 16
304 ARCTIC SOUL Tattersall, Gemma 187.5 188.5 195.0 40.2 17
334 BULANA Wilson, Nicola 194.0 185.5 191.0 40.3 18
315 VANIR KAMIRA (AUS) Tapner, Paul 193.5 186.0 190.5 40.4 19
312 KBIS BRIARLANDS MATILDA Taylor, Izzy 194.0 181.5 192.0 40.9 20

Herefordshire Country Fair SJ report & results

Sunday 2nd August – Show Jumping – Aramstone Ring

A brilliant day with nine hours’ non-stop action in the Aramstone Ring and a record entry of 143 starters provided some thrilling entertainment for the large crowds visiting the Fair. In the picturesque setting along the River Wye at Caradoc Steve Williams built some challenging tracks ensuring high-class competition for the excellent prize fund on offer.

The Herefordshire Country Fair Championship National 1.30m Open qualifier was won by Sarah Hedges riding Cristal Clear VII for which the lovely NFU Mutual Ross on Wye & Ledbury Challenge Trophy was presented by Matthew Price of NFU Ross on Wye.

The 1.20m Open was won by Amy Thomson riding Sunshine V and the Orles Barn Perpetual Challenge Cup was presented by the sponsor of this class, John Ewens of Spar in Ledbury.

Show Jumping Secretary
5th August 2015

First Equal 90cm Open - Ben Thomas Cook riding Irish Win Raeleen

First Equal 90cm Open – Ben Thomas Cook riding Irish Win Raeleen

First equal 90cm Open - Emma King riding Calcourt Quick Silva

First equal 90cm Open – Emma King riding Calcourt Quick Silva

IMG_7228 - Copy

Winner 1.15m Open - Sarah Jones riding Cannon Ball

Winner 1.15m Open – Sarah Jones riding Cannon Ball

Winner 1.20m Open - Amy Thomson riding Sunshine V receiving the Orles Barn Trophy presented by sponsor John Ewens of Spar in Ledbury

Winner 1.20m Open – Amy Thomson riding Sunshine V receiving the Orles Barn Trophy presented by sponsor John Ewens of Spar in Ledbury

Winner 1.30m Open - Sarah Hedges riding Crystal Clear VII receiving the NFU Challenge Trophy presented by Matthew Price of NFU Ross on Wye.

Winner 1.30m Open – Sarah Hedges riding Crystal Clear VII receiving the NFU Challenge Trophy presented by Matthew Price of NFU Ross on Wye.

Winner 1m Open - Emma King (Calcourt Quick Silva)

Winner 1m Open – Emma King (Calcourt Quick Silva)

Winner British Novice - Sarah Bowen riding Caravic

Winner British Novice – Sarah Bowen riding Caravic

Winner Discovery 1m - Georgie Pudge riding Dizzie Rascal

Winner Discovery 1m – Georgie Pudge riding Dizzie Rascal

Winner Newcomers - Sarah Jones riding Cannon Ball

Winner Newcomers – Sarah Jones riding Cannon Ball

Website disruption over

10 days without internet or a landline is somewhat challenging when you run a website business and live in an area without 3g! However, cables which were apparently extensively damaged have been repaired at the local exchange and normal service is now restored. Thank you for your patience and thank you to those who let me use their internet connection while mine was off!

Hereford Equestrian is 12 years old today!

12 years ago, the idea of ‘Hereford Equestrian’ was born. The first page was uploaded on 23rd July 2003 and it grew from there. Now, there are over 30,000 visits per month and usually over 3000 pageviews per day. Another revamp is in the planning stage to update and improve the website, so if you have any suggestions or ‘wants’, please let me know. A big thank you to everyone for supporting, Sally

Rural Watch Message for the Newent area, Glos

A tack room has been broken into on a farm in the Corse area on the 16th July.

Unknown offenders have cut the lock on a tack room to gain entry and strimmer’s and a jet washer has been stolen. Please be aware and check all out buildings regularly. Report all suspicious incidents to the Police on 101

GB Pony Eventing Team includes local riders

The final pony selection trial took place at Barbury Castle International Horse Trials. Following this, the final squad were announced and they will represent Britain on the Charles Owen British Pony Team at this year’s 2015 FEI Pony European Championships at Malmö, in Sweden, 5-9 August 2015.

The full squad short list is as follows:

Making their European Championship debut, Phoebe Nicholson 16, from Herefordshire with Llanstephan Brenin, 15 year old British-bred chestnut gelding by Pennardd Annwfn and owned by Hannah Mcleish. Phoebe and the Welsh Pony & Cob Society papered gelding have consistently achieving top ten placing in every competition on the Pony programme in 2015.

Also making their championship debut following a successful campaign so far this year, Saffron Cresswell, 14, from Worcestershire riding her own Cuffesgrange Little Ric, a 10 year old bay gelding. They won the final trial at Barbury as well as being sixth in the Charles Owen National Pony Championships last month.

Phoebe Locke 15, from Somerset riding her own Quay who is a 13 year old bay British-bred mare by Kuwait Beach. This is Phoebe’s second team appearance since she was part of the silver medal winning team in 2014 riding Mr Otto.

Jessica Thomas 15, from Cheshire with Another Island, 12 year old grey gelding by Island Lad and owned by rider. Jessica was second in the final trial at Barbury last week with the grey gelding who was previously competed in Pony Trials by Jamie Thomas.

Thomas Tulloch 15 from Shropshire returns to the squad this year with Spirit VI, 17 year old bay gelding (unknown breeding) who is owned by his mother, Jancis Tulloch a former 4* level rider. Thomas and Spirit VI are perhaps the squad’s best known combination having won two successive British Pony Championship titles as well as representing GB as part of the team last year.

Harriet Wright 16, from Derbyshire with Foxtown Cufflynx, 10 year old iron grey gelding by Westside Mirah and owned by rider. This combination join GB as squad first timers following a successful 2015 campaign including a win at Withington Manor as well as finishing the final trial in seventh place.

Each year the Pony European Championships are held for riders between the year of their 14th and 16th Birthday riding ponies between 142cm and 148cm (14hh – 14.2hh); this year Britain will be defending double silver after their success in 2014 at Millstreet, Ireland.

For full story, see:


Barbury International Horse Trials


The view from the xc towards the main arena at Barbury

The St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials came to a conclusion yesterday with Andrew Nicholson and Avebury triumphant for the 4th consecutive year in the CIC 3*.

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury wasting no time on the turns

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury wasting no time on the turns

If you have never been to Barbury International Horse Trials, make sure it is in your diary for next year. It’s in a spectacular location near Marlborough and you’ll say “wow” before you even turn down the drive due to the surrounding poppy fields and stunning views. The event is held in a valley thus providing an amphitheatre for spectators to enjoy a wonderful view of the whole event. Many of the best event riders in the world were competing here and every section was very competitive.

The highest caliber class was the CIC 3* which was won for the 4th year running by Andrew Nicholson riding Avebury.  He took 2nd place too with Nereo.  As is always the case these days, it was a truly International top 10, with four Kiwis in the top 5 placings. Two Brits, Nicola Wilson 4th and Laura Collett 6th, two from France, and one apiece for Ireland and Australia. See top 10 placings below.

Herefordshire rider Louise Harwood with Whitson

Herefordshire rider Louise Harwood with Whitson

Sadly Herefordshire rider Louise Harwood, who was lying 6th before XC, had to forego a place in top 10 after Whitson ran out at the corner after the eyehole.

At times the rain was torrential on Sunday and many riders and spectators got soaked, but the ground held up very well. The weather was much better on Saturday when there were 3 sections of CIC2* xc, 3* show jumping, the hunt relay, BS showjumping and the very entertaining JCB Champions Challenge enjoyed by many sitting on the grass bank in the sun. The jockeys team comprised AP McCoy, Richard Johnson, Sam Twiston-Davies and Wayne Hutchinson and the event team: Sir Mark Todd, Tina Cook, Harry Meade and Andrew Nicholson.

AP McCoy

AP McCoy leads his team to victory

As reported on the Barbury website: “The ‘Champ’ – AP McCoy, proved that his extraordinary talent in the saddle, which has kept him at the top of the jump jockeys championship for the past 20 consecutive years, still remains – as he led three former weighing room colleagues to victory in the JCB Champions Challenge at the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials today. Joining McCoy was Sam Twiston-Davies, 22, one of the brightest of the new generation of young jump jockeys; Richard Johnson, who is (after McCoy), the second-most successful jockey in jumps history, with over 2000 winners.  The quartet was completed by one of racing’s leading players Wayne Hutchinson, stable jockey to Barbury trainer Alan King.

Run in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, McCoy was returning to the saddle for the first time in public since retiring, riding against a quartet of some of the biggest names in eventing, led by Andrew Nicholson, who has won the Barbury International three star three times in a row with his lovely grey Avebury.  Andrew’s team mates were fellow New Zealander and rider of the 20th century Sir Mark Todd and two of Britain’s finest rider’s – Harry Meade, who finished third at last year’s Badminton Horse Trials and multiple winning Olympic medallist Tina Cook.  The winning Portman (juniors) and Bicester with Whaddon (seniors) teams from the Inter Hunt Scurry also took part.

The jockeys and eventers were VERY competitive in the JCB challenge

The jockeys and eventers were VERY competitive in the JCB challenge

In the preliminary round, McCoy’s team actually trailed in behind the Bicester with Whaddon, who stole a late win on their final leg, when the mount of Richard Johnson proved a little less than willing over the first two obstacles.  But amidst the “We miss you AP” that could be heard being cheered from the Barbury crowds, a jump off between the jockeys and the eventers was called for.

AP set a blistering start to take the lead over Andrew Nicholson and the final leg provided a nail biting finish between Johnson and Meade. They both crossed each other’s tracks in the water obstacle and following a ‘stewards enquiry’, the jump jockeys were crowned the winning team of the second battle of Barbury.

Following the race AP said:  “Thank you to the Eventers and Hunts for taking part as its in aid of the IJF, which is a really important organisation for horseracing and beyond. It felt great to be back in the saddle and today was something a bit different, and at least we won!”.”


Also as reported by the Barbury team: “New Zealand swept the board in the three two-star level (CIC2*) classes at the Barbury International Horse Trials, sponsored by St James’s Place Wealth Management, with Andrew Nicholson, Tim Price and Jesse Campbell taking one apiece.

The in-form Andrew Nicholson was unstoppable in section B, winning on the Headley Stud’s Loughnatousa Joey on the first occasion he had ridden the horse. He was the only rider of the 93 cross-country starters in the section to achieve the optimum time.

However, 19-year-old Ella Hitchman, who is in her first year of Young Riders, ran the experienced New Zealander close to the wire, finishing just 0.8 penalties in arrears. She would have won, but for collecting 1.6 time penalties to finish four seconds over the optimum on Rocky Rockstar.

“I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know where I could have made up the time,” said Ella, who is currently on a gap year and planning to go to Cirencester next year. “Still, it’s a pretty good result!

“We competed here last year in the junior trial, so I knew he could handle the hills and, anyway, he’s used to doing a lot of hill work at home [near Cheltenham]. Rocky is now 12 and it’s only that he’s showing us what he’s really made of.”

Gemma Tattersall 3rd in the CIC 2*

Gemma Tattersall 3rd in the CIC 2*

Gemma Tattersall, a candidate for the British team for the forthcoming European championships in September, which will be announced later this week, finished third on Santiago Bay.

Tim Price’s win on Kyrle Arscott and Diana Chappell’s The Court Jester in section C was particularly special because they had invited the Prospect Hospice in nearby Wroughton, which has a stand at Barbury, to “adopt” the horse for the day.
The 10-year-old gelding has already paid a visit to the hospice, where a member of staff had a sit on him. Tim has taken on the ride because his usual Australian rider Sammy Birch (nee McLeod) is pregnant. “He’s a class horse,” said Tim, who hopes to take him to Blenheim.

Tim finished on his leading dressage score of 36.1 with Australian Christopher Burton in second on Santana and Sir Mark Todd third on Amacuzzi.

Jesse Campbell, based down the road in Ogbourne St Andrew, and the youngest of the Kiwi trio, had the win in section D sorted right from the early stages with a fast round inside the time on Cleveland.

William Fox-Pitt, the dressage leader on Ramdam de Mons, hit one show jump and was then eliminated for a rider fall when the horse stopped at a ditch on the cross-country. Oliver Townend, second after dressage, had two show jumping rails down and dropped down the order.

Jesse explained that the eight-year-old has been taken slowly because he can be tricky. “He’s been hard work, he’s talented but a bit of a maverick and I’ve had a few bloody noses on him. I’ve always believed in him, though. He’s a big beautiful horse.”

It was another international line-up, with Ireland’s Camilla Speirs second on BT Cloud and Italy’s Stella Benatti third on Zaron. Mark Todd was giving his four-star horse Oloa an easy spin round for fourth and Izzy Taylor was best Brit in fifth on Direct Puissance.”

As reported in yesterday’s write up, Powys event rider Franky Reid-Warrilow had another great result with Dolley Whisper in the section won by Tim Price.  A clear XC inside the time and one rail down SJ secured her 4th place as best British rider, behind 2nd placed Aussie Christopher Burton and 3rd placed Sir Mark Todd.  Franky and Dolley Whisper have recently been selected to represent Britain at the CIC** European Championships in Helvoirt, Netherlands from 20 to 23 August.

Sam Smith, the popular event rider and equine sports therapist from Gloucestershire suffered a horrid rotational fall resulting in a dislocated shoulder and broken wrist, but I’m pleased to say he’s now on the mend at home. Get well soon Sam.

CIC 3* Results:

125 AVEBURY Andrew Nicholson
33.9 1
33.9 1
51 NEREO Andrew Nicholson
38.3 4
38.3 2
97 LEONIDAS II Todd Sir Mark
38.4 5
38.4 3
141 BELTANE QUEEN Nicola Wilson
44.1 18
44.1 4
45.0 23
45.0 5
136 GRAND MANOEUVRE Laura Collett
43.3 15
2.0 45.3 6
140 PIAF DE BNEVILLE Astier Nicolas
43.8 17
2.8 46.6 7
115 SIMON PORLOE Padraig McCarthy
47.5 35
0.8 48.3 8
132 INDIAN MILL Paul Tapner
41.2 12
8 26
49.2 9
93 MINOS DE PETRA Pascal Leroy
41.0 11
4 15
4.8 49.8 10




Record-breaking Festival is biggest and best yet!

The shining and rising stars of dressage from all around the world put on a dazzling display at this year’s hugely successful Hartpury international Festival of Dressage.

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 and thousands of people followed the action from every corner of the globe. Saturday’s Gala Evening was a sell-out as 800 spectators watched the showcase of stallions and up and coming dressage horses in an electric atmosphere.

The new livestream from the event attracted more than 30,000 views during the Festival and others kept up to date with all the action on the website and the Festival’s Facebook and twitter pages.

The highlights were undoubtedly the performances of the top two horse and rider combinations in the world – Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro and Michael Eilberg on Woodlander Farouche – along with a huge number of top non-disabled and international para riders; many of them making the most of the Festival opportunities to prepare for the European Championships in Aachen, Germany, from August 12th to 16th.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Photo Sally Newcomb

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Photo Sally Newcomb

Great Britain’s London 2012 gold medallist, Charlotte, from Newent, had an exceptional Festival, and nearly 12,000 people have already watched the videos of the duo, as well as Charlotte on young pretender Barolo, that were posted on Hartpury’s YouTube channel, which also features videos of Eilberg and Farouche, Carl Hester on Nip Tuck and para dressage rider Sophie Wells on Valerius.

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.

Charlotte said: “I am so happy. He (Valegro) is such a superstar; he tries so hard and is just fantastic. 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.”

Becky Moody on Carinsio. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Becky Moody on Carinsio. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Becky Moody and Carinsio continued their successful week as they took the honours in the Andrews Bowen Intermediate I Freestyle with a score of 79.125. She was also top placed finalist in the Shearwater Five-Year-Old class with 86.6% on Full Fusion.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Phoebe Peters on Denford Surprise won the Pony Junior and Young Rider Team Test on 74.32%, while the top placed finalist in the Four-Year-Old class was Bryony Goodwin on Hawtins Fiorella with 83.0%.

In the Monarch Equestrian FEI Intermediate II, Michael Eilberg was in exceptional form even without the fabulous Farouche as he finished top of the class with 71.625% on Half Moon Dynasty.

Maya Goldburg finished top of the pile in the FEI Prix St Georges with Torino on 70.175%, while Olivia Towers won the Medium 75 on Mercian Calisso on 70.95%.

Philip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury, said: “The final day of the Festival provided a fitting finale as the exceptional standard of competition was maintained, including another stunning display from Charlotte and Valegro.

“With record entries and so many fabulous performances, we were delighted to have been able to share them with a much bigger audience this year, both through the popular livestream and the social media and web updates that showcased the best of the para dressage and the able-bodied dressage, sharing the stories and the results of our fantastic competitors.

“The support of our sponsors is absolutely crucial to the continued success of the Festival and a big thank you goes to them as well as to all the Hartpury staff and students who gave up so much of their time and worked so hard to make this year’s Festival such an outstanding event.”

Carl Hester claims Grand Prix Freestyle at Hartpury Gala

Carl Hester with Nip Tuck. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Carl Hester with Nip Tuck. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Carl Hester showed his Olympic pedigree at last night’s Gala Evening with a gold performance at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage.

Riding Nip Tuck, Hartpury’s Equine Academy dressage coach and Olympic gold medallist treated the crowd to a mesmerising display as he took the honours in the Superflex CDI FEI Grand Prix Freestyle event with a score of 80.050%.

Henriette Anderson, riding Warlocks Charm, secured second place with a score of 75.000% while Hayley Watson Greaves took the final podium position with a score of 72.750% on Rubins Nite.

In the Elite Stallions British Young Horse PSG Championship, Hester’s Great Britain teammate, Michael Eilberg, conjured up an eye-catching test on Woodlander Farouche as they stormed to victory with a score of 77.807%.

Michael Eilberg with Woodlander Farouche. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Michael Eilberg with Woodlander Farouche. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Alice Oppenheimer and Tantoni Sir Soccrates had earlier set the standard for Eilberg to beat with a score of 74.518% but eventually had to settle for second place, while Kate Cowell and Dahling took third with a score of 68.684%.

Lucy Pincus, a student on the Equine Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) provided by British Dressage and British Eventing and run exclusively at Hartpury, was also in action and she produced a fine showing on Sheepcote Don Calisto to finish just behind Cowell in fourth place after a score of 67.675%.

Sammie Gualtieri won the British Young Rider A Squad final with Emily Watts and Emily Blount finishing in second and third place respectively.

Franky Reid-Warrilow best Brit in the CIC 2* at Barbury International

Franky Reid-Warrilow with Dolley Whisper. Photo by Sally Newcomb

Franky Reid-Warrilow with Dolley Whisper. Photo by Sally Newcomb

Powys event rider Franky Reid-Warrilow had further success with Dolley Whisper when 4th in one of the 3 very competitive 2* CIC sections at Barbury International Horse Trials. All 3 sections were won by Kiwis with Andrew Nicholson heading one, Jesse Cambell another and Tim Price winning Franky’s section ahead of Aussie Christopher Burton in 2nd and NZ’s Sir Mark Todd 3rd. A clear XC inside the time ensured Franky 4th place despite one rail down SJ and she was best British rider. There were over 90 starters in each of the 2* sections.

In the strongly contested CIC 3*, it’s business as usual with Andrew Nicholson in the lead with Avebury, on a score of 33.6 looking for a fourth consecutive win. He’s also lying 3rd with Nereo, but snapping (nearish) his heels are Alex Hua Tian, Sir Mark Todd and Sarah Bullimore, with Herefordshire’s Louise Harwood up there too lying 6th before XC. Louise will no doubt be hoping for another good result here to strengthen her chance of being in the GB squad at Blair for the European Eventing Championships in September.

Barbury website:

Barbury results:


Another win for both Charlotte Dujardin and Lucy Cartwright at Hartpury

Charlotte Dujardin wins the Shearwater 6yr old class on  Mount St John Freestyle

Charlotte Dujardin wins the Shearwater 6yr old championship on Mount St John Freestyle. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Further delight for Dujardin and star display from Cartwright after further first-class festival action

After yesterday’s scintillating display with Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin produced yet another top performance as she secured top place in the Six-year-old Shearwater Young Horse Championships in the fourth day of action at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage.

The Olympic gold medallist produced a score of 88.600% riding Mount St John Freestyle to finish in first position, with Emma Woolley, riding Eldorado, and Sadie Smith, riding River Rise Escarla, finishing in second and third place after scores of 84.800% and 83.200% respectively.

Dujardin, who will be in action with Valegro again tomorrow, said: “I’m thrilled with today! There was a great atmosphere and a great experience for her [Mount St John Freestyle].”

A score of 91.000% for Lucy Cartwright and San Marco wins them the Five-year-old Shearwater Young Horse Championship. Photo Kevin Sparrow

A score of 91.000% for Lucy Cartwright and San Marco wins them the Five-year-old Shearwater Young Horse Championships

In the Five-year-old Shearwater Young Horse Championships, a magnificent score of 91.000% by Lucy Cartwright and San Marco saw them finish ahead of Dujardin and Florentina VI, who finished with a score of 85.000%, while third place went to Rebecca Hughes and Classic Flamboyant with a score of 83.400%.

Nicholas Lawson and Gladstone, winners of the 4yr old Shearwater Championship.  Photo by Kevin Sparrow

Nicholas Lawson and Gladstone, winners of the 4yr old Shearwater Championship. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

Nicholas Lawson and Gladstone clinched the Four-year-old Championships with a score of 85.600%, with Hughes finishing in second place in this class after producing a score of 84.400% riding Classic Gold Strike. Henry Boswell and Fidelius rounded off the top three with a final score of 79.400%.

In the afternoon’s action, a chance to compete at tonight’s Gala Evening – the pinnacle of the Festival of Dressage – was the prize on offer to the three best riders in the BYRDS A Squad Ride Off.

The 2015 BYRDS Inter-Regional event took place recently with teams of riders from regions all over the UK competing. Today, the top riders from the A squad competition competed in groups of three, all riding each other’s horses, and they were judged by International Rider Dan Sherriff.

Philip Cheetham, Hartpury’s Equine Director, said: “This competition gives young people the chance to ride at a high profile international show. It also enables British Dressage to demonstrate how our rider development works and to give centre stage to the talented young people they are developing for the sport of dressage.”

The three riders who went through to the Gala Evening were Samantha Gualtieri, Emily Watts and Emily Blount.

A chance to compete at the Gala – the pinnacle of the Festival of Dressage – was also the prize on offer to the three best riders in the BYRDS A Squad Ride Off.

In the Shadow Horse FEI CDI Intermediate I competition, British rider Becky Moody found herself in two of the top three positions after producing a winning score of 74.421% with Carinsio, while later securing third place in the competition with a 71.026% score riding Tirsa. Charles Hutton and Super Blue finished in between Moody’s scores after producing a total of 74.316% to secure second place.

World number one’s Charlotte & Valegro win at Hartpury Dressage Festival

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro lived up to their star billing in style with a stunning success on the third day of the Hartpury Festival of Dressage.

Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro.

Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro. Photo Sally Newcomb

The world number one dressage duo, from Newent, produced a mesmorising test to win the CDI FEI Grand Prix with an impressive score of 85.440% as they stepped up their preparations for the upcoming European Championships in Aachen Germany from August 12th to 16th. This followed Charlotte’s win on rising star Barolo in yesterday’s Lemieux FEI Grand Prix.

Carl Hester with Nip Tuck

Carl Hester with Nip Tuck. Photo Sally Newcomb

Charlotte’s mentor and Hartpury Equine Academy’s dressage coach, Carl Hester, was also in imperious form on Nip Tuck, delighting the bumper crowd to achieve an impressive score of 78.040% for second place. In third place was Fiona Bigwood with Atterupgaards Orthilia on 76.800%.

It was a fantastic morning for Great British rider, Becky Moody, who won the Horse Scout FEI CDI Prix St. Georges International I riding Carinsio, with a score of 74.263% and was presented with her prize in a mounted prizegiving by Lucienne Elms from sponsors Horse Scout Ltd.

Moody also bagged third place with a score of 71.000%, riding Tirsa. Second place went to another GB rider, Charles Hutton, who achieved 71.895% riding Super Blue.

Today also featured outstanding dressage from the FEI Para Freestyle Tests and Sophie Christiansen continued to blow the crowd away on the third day at the festival. She achieved a spectacular 82.300% on Athene Lindebjerg in the Grade 1a and won the prize for the best overall para dressage rider at the Festival.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled with my new horse – Athene Lindebjerg – this is her first International competition and I am really excited about the future. She does not really like noise so freestyle is quite challenging. It was challenging but everyone told me how good I was to keep it together and keep going and I came out with over 80%.”

Anne Dunham came in second on LJT Lucas Normark (79.250%) in the 1a and third place went to Michael Murphy on Aura (71.450%).

Lee Pearson clinched first place in the 1b on Zion with 77.300%, ahead of Ashley Gowanlock on Ferdonia 2 (73.400%) and Natasha Adkinson on Sweet Caledonia (73.150%).

Natasha Baker scooped first place in the Grade II, scoring 75.600% riding Sooki St James, ahead of Erin Orford and Rebecca Hart. Baker said: “Sooki was good, I’m really, really pleased with her. This is her first indoor competition since last year which was her first ever international. Hartpury is a big arena with a big atmosphere, but I’m so proud of her. She’s had such a consistent year, I couldn’t have wished for more.”

Nicky Greenhill and horse Gregorian Chant have had an outstanding Festival so far, and day three proved no exception. With yet another first place finish, Greenhill took top spot in the Grade III with 75.700%, ahead of Rosemary Gaffney on Aldham Mill Dubloom (74.200%) and Roberta Sheffield’s score of 72.800% on Double Agent

Sophie Wells on C Fatal Attraction took top spot in Grade IV after an equally impressive first two days. Her stunning test scored a sensational 77.000%. Second place was awarded to Charlotte Cundall on The Chenko Artist (73.150%) and third place to Fiona Maynard on WS Legolas (71.750%).

Tomorrow promises to bring excitement with the Shearwater Young Horse Championships, the CDI3*, and of course, the highly anticipated Gala Night.

Carl and Charlotte in the lap of honour

Carl and Charlotte in the lap of honour. Photo Sally Newcomb

The Festival runs until Sunday 12th July. For more information on weekend tickets, visit . There is no charge for parking.

You can also see the full results from today’s competition on this website, plus the latest news and information on competition entries, as well as on the Hartpury Festival of Dressage Facebook and Twitter.

Worcestershire rider Saffron Cresswell wins final trial for GB pony team

While Andrew Nicholson leads the CIC 3* with Avebury, fourteen year old Saffron Cresswell, from Malvern, Worcestershire, won the final British team trial for the pony European Championships to be held in Sweden 5-9 August.  Riding Cuffesgrange Little Ric, Saffron won this section completing on 28.7 penalty points.

Click here for full news and results from Barbury

Valegro is waiting in wings while Charlotte steals the show on second day 

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Charlotte Dujardin, claimed a stunning victory with young pretender, Barolo, on a sun-drenched second day at Hartpury Festival of Dressage. 

Charlotte, who is based in Newent, heaped praise upon the Hartpury experience as she stormed to victory with a score of 73.120% in the Lemieux FEI Grand Prix on Barolo, who is jointly owned by her coach, Hartpury Elite Dressage coach and fellow Great Britain Olympic gold medallist, Carl Hester, with Anne Cohn.

The world number one will now return to the Festival tomorrow with World Cup champion and world record holder Valegro, and Carl Hester will also be in action on Nip Tuck. The draw will be made later tonight.

She 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. The water treadmill and the normal treadmill not only benefit us but lots of other local people too.

“I was riding my second string horse here today. Barolo is only nine, which is young for this level of dressage, and we were looking for a good score so that we can continue pushing on with him. It was only his second Grand Prix and I’m really happy with how he went.”

Charlotte finished ahead of Amy Woodhead on Pro-Set on 69.680% and Amy Stovold on Macbrian with 68.700 in the Lemieux Grand Prix.

In the Zamar FEI Intermediate I, Maria Eilberg claimed the honours on Royal Concert with 73.947%, with Lisa Hopkins on Coole Contender second with 70.132% and Nathalie Kayal third on DHI Homerun with 69.649%.

In this morning’s Premier League action, the magnificent Michael Eilberg stole the limelight with all eyes were on him and Woodlander Farouche in the Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges Qualifier.

Eilberg’s breathtaking test achieved an unbeatable score of 77.851%, which saw him fly into first place. Alice Oppenheimer placed second with 75.088% and Kate Cowell took third place with 70.965%.

Fourth place was achieved by Herefordshire rider Lucy Pincus, who is on the Equine Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence run by British Dressage and British Eventing and run exclusively at Hartpury, who scored 69.254% – another great performance after her podium finish yesterday.

The Lovington Ice Advanced 100 saw Kate Cowell scoop first place riding Dahling with a score of 71.328%, finishing ahead of Levi Hunt on Abbey Tiron (70.234%) and Zoe Sleigh on Dark Legend (69.297%).

Day two of the Festival also featured fantastic performances in the FEI Para Individual Championship Tests. In the Grade IV, Sophie Wells continued yesterday’s fine form, achieving yet another double podium finish. She achieved first place on Valerius with 74.024% and second place on C Fatal Attraction scoring 72.952%.

It was also another unbelievable day for Nicky Greenhill, who took first place riding Gregorian Chant in the Grade III Test with an outstanding 73.146%, having also won yesterday’s Grade III Team Test. Greenhill said: “He was just amazing, he tried his heart out and I could not have asked for more.”

Sophie Christiansen also expanded on yesterday’s exceptional performances by scooping a brilliant first (79.870%) and third (73.739%) in the Grade 1a, with Anne Dunham coming in second (74.522%). In the Grade 1b, it was the outstanding performance by Lee Pearson riding Zion that clinched first place, followed by Ashley Gowanlock (71.414%) and Natasha Adkinson (68.931%).

In the Grade 11, top spot went to the USA’s Rebecca Hart – another of yesterday’s winners – with a fantastic 71.429% on Schroeters Romani, with Erin Orford and Dior second on 71.200% and Lauren Barwick third on Off to Paris with 71.143%

The Festival runs until Sunday, 12th July, and admission on Friday 10th is free. For more information on weekend tickets, go to . There is no charge for parking.

You can also see the full results from today’s competition on this website, plus the latest news and information on competition entries, as well as on the Hartpury Festival of Dressage Facebook and Twitter.

Barbury International Horse Trials

This week the St. James’s Place Wealth Management ( Barbury International Horse Trials takes place and features four days of equestrian excellence and some of the world top riders, including riders from Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Powys, Shropshire and Gloucestershire.  The equine spectacle takes place from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 July on the Barbury Castle Estate just outside Marlborough, Wiltshire.  The prestigious CIC three star competition culminates on Sunday with the cross country phase (Following dressage and showjumping on the previous days) running in reverse order of placing.  See the Barbury website for visitor information and come and support your local event riders as well as some of the Worlds best.

Hartpury’s Horton closing in on Great Britain selection for European Championships

Hartpury’s up and coming event rider, Anna Horton, has been shortlisted for the Young Rider European Championships following a string of good performances.

Anna Horton

Anna Horton

Horton’s inclusion comes after the 19-year-old rider put in a strong performance on her mare, Barones II, at Houghton Hall in the CCI2* event. Her score of 57.00 was enough to finish in 12th place overall and leave her in contention to be selected for the Great Britain squad when the European Championships begin at the end of August.

The first year Hartpury Sports Coaching Degree student had finished her previous event at Bicton in the top five and will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of former Hartpury students Dani Cuomo, Brett Gardner, and Olivia Oakley, who have previously represented Great Britain at the Young Rider European Championships. Graduate Astier Nicolas also represented France at the European Championships.

Horton, from Swindon, aims to be one of the final six to be selected to go to Poland, where the European Championships are being held this year. She is also looking to compete at the Festival of British Eventing Intermediate Championships and Blenheim International CIC 3* events in the future.

Horton is part of the elite equine academy at Hartpury, where she receives training from Nick Burton and Corinne Bracken, and support regarding nutrition, fitness and psychology.

Hartpury’s Equine Academy Director, Nick Burton, said: “Anna has worked extremely hard over the winter months and spring event season to improve her dressage and jumping techniques. She picked herself up from an early season fall at Aldon to produce solid results since and the Great Britain selectors have rightly now acknowledged her achievements.”

Hartpury Equine AASE rider, Sam Ecroyd, also had a good showing in the same competition as Horton, finishing in third position.

GB’s para dressage riders and local riders excel at the Festival of Dressage

Great Britain’s para dressage powerhouses steal the limelight on Festival’s opening day to move step closer to Rio selection.

Great Britain’s para dressage finest were the stars of the show as spectators were treated to a host of outstanding performances on the first day of the Hartpury Festival of Dressage today.

With qualification points for the Rio Paralympics in 2016 up for grabs, the GB contenders achieved some spectacular scores and the top spots in most of the para dressage classes.

Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen scooped first and third spot in FEI Para Team Test Grade 1a on Athene Lindebjerg (77.696%) and Janeiro 6 respectively (73.435%) with another GB rider in second as Anne Dunham scored 75.174% on LJT Lucas Normark.

 Two Great Britain riders also took the top spots in the 1b as Lee Pearson and Zion finished well ahead of the field with 75.920, with Natasha Adkinson on Sweet Caledonia second with 70.400%.

The USA pipped GB to honours in the Grade II as Rebecca Hart on Schroeters Romani rode into top spot with 72.706%, just ahead of GB’s Natasha Baker and Sookie St James (72.618%) and Erin Orford on Dior (69.500%).

However, GB’s Nicky Greenhill wowed the crowds in the Grade III with 71.158%, which handed her first place on Gregorian Chant. Heather Bennett scored 70.211% for second place and third place went to Roberta Sheffield with 68.500%.

In the Grade IV, Sophie Wells claimed first place with a score of 74.310% riding Valerius and second place with 69.286% riding C Fatal Attraction. Third place went to Charlotte Cundall riding The Chenko Artist, with a score of 67.476%.

Lucy Cartwright riding Waterloo V. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

Lucy Cartwright riding Waterloo V. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

In the able-bodied Premier League, Gloucestershire’s Lucy Cartwright won both the 1a and 1b classes in the Fairfax FEI Prix St George. She achieved 69.693% in the 1a, riding Fergana, and while Herefordshire rider Beth Barnett was second, two up and coming dressage riders with Hartpury links filled third and fourth place.

Also from Herefordshire, Lucy Pincus, a student on the Equine Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) provided by British Dressage and British Eventing and run exclusively at Hartpury, came in third with 68.114% and Emma Corbett – a recent Equine Science graduate who is based in Upleadon – was fourth with a score of 67.456%.

Cartwright then achieved a fantastic 70.746% in the 1b riding Waterloo V, with Nathalie Kayal achieving second place and Maya Goldburg taking third.

Former Hartpury A-level student and Hartpury Equine Academy talent, Olivia Oakeley, who is based in Stroud, performed well in the Baileys FEI Intermediate II. She rode Donna Summer to a score of 65.263%. It was tight at the top with winner Gareth Hughes on Samba Hit III and Maria Eilberg on Royal Concert both scoring 68.816%. Alice Oppenheimer was third on Headmore Bodicia with 68.158%.

Sonnar Murray Brown topped the pile in the NAF Five Star Optimum Advanced Medium, riding Erlentanz to a stunning score of 75.526%, finishing ahead of Lisa Hopkins on Cortez with 70.921% and Nadine Gregory on Candover Dramatico with 68.684%. The latter pair also finished third in the Tagg Equestrian Advanced Medium with 69.459%, as Lisa Hopkins took top spot on Cortez  with 71.351% and Tor Smith and Sundancer II finished second in 70.270.

Emma Corbett. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

Emma Corbett. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

Excitement now builds for day two tomorrow (July 9th) as Michael Eilberg will be aiming to impress on his own horse, the superstar Woodlander Farouche, in the Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges Qualifier and Charlotte Dujardin will be looking to triumph in the LeMieux FEI Grand Prix, riding Barolo. Valegro will not join the Festival party with Charlotte until Friday.

The Festival runs until Sunday, 12th July, and admission on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th is free. For information on weekend tickets, go to . There is no charge for parking.

You can also see the full results from the competition on the website, plus the latest news and information on competition entries, as well as on the Hartpury Festival of Dressage Facebook and Twitter.

McCoy poised to ride in Barbury’s JCB Champions Challenge

20 times champion jump jockey AP McCoy OBE is earmarked to make a return to the saddle at this year’s St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials in the JCB Champions Challenge on Saturday 11 July.

McCoy retired from race riding in April this year following an extraordinary record-breaking career with 20 consecutive jump jockey titles, over 4,300 winners and was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the year in 2010.  The ‘Champ’ will be joined by a trio of jump jockeys in the second running of the JCB Champions Challenge, a unique horse-race between the country’s top riders held in aid of Injured Jockeys Fund.

The race will feature jump jockeys versus event riders, against each other over a specially designed course, including a water jump.  The winning junior and senior teams from the Inter Hunt Scurry, held on the same day with over 30 teams taking part will form the final two teams.

Joining McCoy will be Sam Twiston-Davies, 22, one of the brightest of the new generation of young jumps jockeys, Richard Johnson, who is, after McCoy, the second-most successful jockey in jumps history, with over 2000 winners.  The quartet is completed by one of racing’s leading players Wayne Hutchinson, stable jockey to Barbury trainer Alan King.

The eventers team boasts an awesome line-up of equestrian accolades and achievements.  Andrew Nicholson, who has won the Barbury International three star and Burghley horse trials three times in a row with his lovely grey Avebury will lead the eventers.  He will be joined by fellow New Zealander and rider of the 20th century Sir Mark Todd. Furthermore, both Nicholson and Todd have each ridden in seven Olympic games.  Completing the quartet are two of Britain’s finest rider’s Harry Meade, who finished second at last year’s Badminton Horse Trials and multiple winning Olympic medallist Tina Cook.

Nigel Bunter, Chairman of the Barbury International Horse Trials said:

“Last year the jump jockeys were victorious in the inaugural running of this event and with the some of the greatest names in horseracing and eventing taking part and its also very exciting we will be welcoming AP McCoy to Barbury.  We are expecting a nail biting renewal and the eventer’s will be hungry for a win.  We are delighted to host the Champions Challenge again together with JCB and supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund.  May the best team win!”.

A JCB spokesperson added:

“2014 was the first year JCB was involved at Barbury with the JCB Champions Challenge. It is not only a great event to showcase our range of construction equipment, but also fantastic to be supporting the racing’s charity the Injured Jockeys Fund.”


Equestrian excitement builds ahead of star-studded events at Hartpury!

With the Festival of Dressage less than a week away and the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials hot on its heels, Hartpury is bracing itself for an invasion of world class superstars!

While the Festival, which runs from July 8th to 12th, will get the perfect 10th anniversary present with Charlotte Dujardin OBE and her wonder horse, Valegro, among the competitors; the Horse Trials, from August 12th to 16th, always attracts the biggest names from the eventing world.

Andrew Nicholson competing at the NAF Five Star International Horse Trials. Action Replay Photography.

Andrew Nicholson competing at the NAF Five Star International Horse Trials. Action Replay Photography.

Sponsored by NAF, the Hartpury International Horse Trials features the anticipated Optimum CCI1*, Magic CCI2* and Superflex CIC3*. But the star billing always goes to the stunning action on the cross-country course – built by Andrew Hunter and designed by Eric Winter – on Saturday, August 15th. A shuttle bus service takes spectators to the viewing sites of all three testing courses on Hartpury House Bank.

In previous years, competitors have included such luminaries as Sir Mark Todd, Zara Phillips, Mary King, Pippa Funnell, Harry Meade, Andrew Nicholson and Chris Burton. The entries for this year’s competition will be unveiled soon.

For the Horse Trials, the dressage (August 13th and 14th) and the showjumping (August 15th and 16th) take place in Hartpury’s International Arena, which features tiered seating and more than 30 shopping stands for spectators to enjoy.

Hartpury’s Equine Director, Philip Cheetham, said: “With the countdown on to the Festival of Dressage next week, preparations are now well underway for a feast of equestrian action at Hartpury. To have the chance to watch the very best in the world at our unique venue is an opportunity not to be missed.”

Charlotte Dujardin OBE competing at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage on Valegro in 2012. Photograph by Kevin Sparrow.

Charlotte Dujardin OBE competing at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage on Valegro in 2012. Photograph by Kevin Sparrow.

Next week’s Festival will feature more than 400 riders from 16 nations compete in more than 40 dressage and para-dressage classes. It will incorporate Premier League, CDI3*, CPEDI3*, Shearwater Young Dressage Horse Championship and new for 2015, the Elite Stallions Prix St Georges Young Horse Championship.

Now in its 10th year, the Saturday Gala evening performance remains the highlight of the week, with the Superflex CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle affording such previous winners as Richard Davison, Maria Eilberg and Charlotte Dujardin.

Admission is free from Wednesday to Friday for both the Festival of Dressage and the Horse Trials. Entry for the Saturday and Sunday cost £5 for the Festival and £10 for the Horse Trials. Under-16s are free all week and parking is also free.

You can find lots more information and book online at and or call 01452 702126. To stay up to date with all the action and a chance to win tickets, don’t forget to follow both events on Facebook and Twitter.

A Tribute to Pat Parker

Well known Herefordshire horsewoman and breeder of Connemara ponies who died peacefully at her home on June 13, 2015 at the age of 85.

Pat slipped from the world as she would have wished to do, her heart simply stopping, without warning, while she was sitting in her kitchen reading the Horse and Hound. It would have been, the coroner said, like a light going out at the flick of a switch. That light burned long and strong in so many areas: not just for her family and friends, but in the many groups and organisations in which she was involved for so many years.


Pat Riding in Portugal

Her love of music led her to join the Pembridge Church Choir, and she and her sister Ann performed in many concerts with the Vale of Arrow Choir. She also spent a substantial number of years as a magistrate in Kington, only standing down when the court moved to Leominster. However, horses were her life long passion. She had a very long and happy association with the Radnor & West Herefordshire Pony Club, both as Secretary and District Commissioner, and she and her late husband, Teddy hosted the annual summer camp at Weston House. For as long as anyone could remember she seemed to have run the horse events at Pembridge Show and regularly stewarded at Kington Agricultural Show, and agreed to be its President even though this meant having to wear a smart hat, something she always hated. She was a long-standing and active member of the Radnor & West Herefordshire Hunt and the Vale of Arrow Riding Club. She also put in long hours with Riding for the Disabled. She not only rode, but continued to work in the stables, mucking out and filling buckets and hay-nets – well into her eighties.


Pat with her connemara stallion Arrow Javelin

However, Pat was born a Londoner and only got the chance to own a pony when her family moved to the village of Pembridge in Herefordshire. She had developed a love of connemaras when she trained for her professional exams at the Calmore Connemara Stud in the New Forest so she bought a little Connemara called Carina of Calla for fifty guineas. “Crackers” as she was known , ‘had feet like bedroom slippers, a kick like a mule, and was quite un-catchable’. Pat nevertheless trained her and when she decided to put her in foal to a stallion belonging to the Meade family in Chepstow, she harnessed Crackers to a pony-trap and drove there, returning a few days later by the same method: a round journey of some 102 miles. She would recall that on the return trip Crackers trotted along briskly, ‘looking very smug’, and eleven month later she produced a filly foal. This was the start of the Arrow Connemara Stud, which eventually included several generations of Crackers’s progeny and two award-winning stallions. Pat celebrated fifty years of breeding Connemaras in 1997 with the birth of fifth-generation Arrow Golden Crisp, who is a favourite of many of her daughter, Sue’s students at her Arrow Equestrian Centre. Pat always wanted to breed a dun stallion, and eventually got one with Arrow Javelin (always know as AJ), whom she rode until he died aged 25, less than a year ago.

If asked for a single word to describe Pat, perhaps ‘indomitable’ would be the one that many people would come up with. Though small in stature, she was always physically courageous, not to say reckless, and this may have been a by-product of riding in point-to-points when she was young. She was a fearless horsewoman to the end, facing competition jumps in her sixties that would have daunted riders forty years her junior. She had what is known as a very good seat and was rarely dislodged from her mount: once, while out with the Radnor hounds, she managed not only to stay on a bucking horse but, holding the reins in one hand, shot out the other hand to catch her hard-hat in mid air after it had flown off. She did, of course, have falls, but always waved away the concerned enquiries of alarmed spectators, insisting that she was fine even on the occasion she had in fact almost certainly cracked her pelvis. Her excellent seat was much admired when she and her daughter, Sue, went to Portugal to have classical dressage lessons. Even the famous Luis Valenca stopped what he was doing to applaud her classically correct passage. Her long-term dressage trainer, Erik Herbermann, would have been proud of his pupil, who only started lessons with him in her fifties.

It is often said when people die that what they have left behind them is laughter. In Pat’s case this really is true. In the many letters people have written, her laughter has frequently been invoked. ‘Her laugh,’ one friend recalled, ‘was more than mere sound but somehow involved her whole body, her whole being.’ This laughter was perhaps the result of Pat’s no-nonsense approach to life, a tendency to take things as they came, though not always without grumbling. ‘She was always so reliably full of good humour and optimism,’ a friend wrote, while a frequent and much younger visitor said: ‘She did me good just by being who she was.’ ’ That is surely as good an epitaph as anyone could hope for.

And this poem was read out by her son, Peter, at Pat’s funeral:


Horses she loved, and laughter, and the sun,

A song, wide spaces and the open air;

The trust of all dumb things she won,

And never knew the luck too good to share:

Now though she will not ride with us again,

Her merry spirit seems our comrade yet,

Freed from the power of weariness and pain,

Forbidding us to mourn or to forget.


This is an edited version of the Tribute written by Pat’s children, Peter R N Parker and Sue Nevill-Parker and read at her funeral. The full version can be read at:

Hay Show need your help!

Hay Show, on Sunday 26th July, are desperate for helpers – Judges for Dressage, In Hand, Ridden etc. Also Stewards and general helpers. This show has been running since the late 1800s and it would be tragic to lose it. If you can help, please contact show secretary Charlotte Drake by email or via Facebook

Excitement builds as Olympic champions announce Festival appearance

The Festival of Dressage will get the perfect 10th anniversary present with news that dressage superstars, Charlotte Dujardin OBE and Valegro, are heading to Hartpury.

The Festival, which runs from July 8th to 12th, will be Charlotte and World Freestyle record holder Valegro’s only competition before they head to the European Championships in Aachen.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Photo Kevin Sparrow

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Photo Kevin Sparrow

The duo recently wowed the equestrian world with a superb victory at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas. As part of their preparations for that competition, Valegro stepped out on the hydrotherapy treadmill at Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre.  

Breaking new ground as students present research at major student conference

Students from the UK and beyond shared their innovative scientific research at the fifth Alltech-Hartpury Student Conference.

Students were invited to submit their own scientific research that reviewed emerging issues within the field of equestrian science. Some of them were then invited to speak at the conference alongside world-renowned scientists and researchers, while others were asked to present their research as a poster.

The conference provided a unique opportunity for students to present their research to an audience of 

Louise Harwood and Mr Potts complete Badminton

‘Mr Potts’ is the 3rd homebred horse Louise Harwood has ridden at Badminton. Previously, Louise, or Wiggy as she is known to family and friends, has ridden full brothers Bit of a Barney and Partly Pickled round the great event.  ‘Mr Potts’ foaling was a tricky one and he was eventually heaved in to the world with the help of vet Graham Potts ‘Potsy’ from the Three Counties Equine Hospital. Jackie Skelton, Louise’s mum, is said to have seen a resemblance between vet and foal and announced he must be called Mr Potts! Little did they know then that this huge foal would one day gallop keenly round Badminton. Handsome is as handsome does! Louise said:…