Posted on December 6th, 2018

‘Better – Not More Education’ at the 2019 International Eventing Forum

The annual International Eventing Forum has become an essential date in the calendar of riders of all levels of skill and ambition, and 2019 looks set to be no different.

Taking place on Monday the 4th of February at Hartpury Equine, this year the ‘Theme’ of the day is ‘Better – Not More Education’ and aims to address the view that “more training” is the answer to the challenges faced by the sport of eventing. However, with more training there is a perception that “we are making things better and we’re doing our bit”.

Not so – not all training is bad…but a lot is.

The 5 Presenters at the 2019 International Eventing Forum are among some of the very best trainers and riders in the world, and attendees can look forward to a fantastic day of education and inspiration that will set your training on the right path for success.

The morning will start with a Dressage session given by Adam Kemp FBHS and Matt Frost, a skilled Trainer and a Rider partnership, who together make up AM Dressage. Presenting a session titled ‘“Simple” still Works’,  Adam and Matt will demonstrate and explain the core elements of successful dressage riding and training, where ‘simple’ for the horse and ‘simple’ for the rider can achieve the best results.

Next to inspire the attendees will be Major (Retd.) Richard Waygood MBE giving his session on “Direct” Riding! Richard has had a busy and varied career, with his CV presenting achievements ranging from being the first serving officer of the British Army to compete at Badminton for 23 years and eventing a number of horses for Her Majesty The Queen, to the huge successes achieved by Team GB’s Dressage and Eventing Teams, under his direction as Performance Manager.

After the lunch break, when you have the opportunity to chat with like-minded eventing ‘geeks’, the renowned Irish International Show Jumping Course Designer Tom Holden teams up with Former Show Jumping World Champion and Irish Team European Champion Dermott Lennon for their session – The “Jumping Test” and “The Solution”!

Whether your goal is to complete your first BE90 or you’re aiming for 5* success, the forum is always a fantastic day and is perfect for trainers, owners and riders of all grades and levels of ambition.

Tickets are just £50 if purchased in advance (or £45 if purchased before the end of December), so book today to avoid disappointment! It is not to be missed.

Posted on December 3rd, 2018

Thousands raised at Hickstead’s Showtime Ball

More than £7,000 was raised at Hickstead’s annual Showtime Ball on 17th November, with all profits from the night going towards improving the showing facilities at the showground. 

Around 150 guests from the showing community attended the glittering black tie event, which takes place in the Members’ Restaurant overlooking the famous International Arena. The Ball has been held each year since 2015 and has raised in excess of £25,000 since it started, allowing Hickstead to make a number of beneficial changes to the showing arenas at its international shows.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Roger Stack Award. Named after Hickstead’s former Showing Director Roger Stack, who sadly died in December 2016, the award is presented for the showing performance of the year.

This year’s recipient was top show producer Jayne Ross, who has won countless titles at Hickstead including five British Horse Society Supreme Horse titles.

“It was such a special treat to receive the Roger Stack Award, winning it is definitely one of the highlights of my showing career and it’s a real honour to be selected,” said Jayne. “Hickstead is one of my favourite shows of the year, if not my favourite, and to win in that main ring is always so special.”

Presenting the award, Hickstead Director Edward Bunn said: “If we listed everything Jayne has won, we’d be here for hours. She has won numerous championships and -supremes, and she’s one of our biggest supporters. She is a very worthy winner of the Roger Stack award.

“We would also like to thank all the people who donated auction prizes, and everyone who came to the Ball and made it such a success,” Edward added.

Above: Jayne Ross winning in 2016. Photo: Craig Payne.

Posted on December 3rd, 2018

Evening with the Legendary Ramiro B Proves a Huge Success

More than 250 guests attended a very special ‘Evening with Ramiro B’ at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire to learn more about the many successes of this legendary stallion. Hosted by his owner, Nina Barbour, the event allowed visitors to get close up and personal with the Belgian Warmblood stallion and gave those looking to breed with their mare next season the chance of a stud fee deal for 2019.
A busy evening included Ramiro B showcased by handler Steven Lemon as host Alistair Mizon guided visitors through his successful career as a show jumper and stallion.
Leading event rider, Oliver Townend, well known for his success with Ramiro B progeny then rode Laura Collett’s Advanced ride, Cooley Again. By Ramiro B out of an Irish Sport Horse, the 10-year-old Cooley Again is proving a very talented horse with Oliver relishing the ride as Laura is off with a broken hand.
“I have been riding Ramiro B offspring for more than 15 years and he has been an integral part of my career,” said Oliver. “He passes on his great temperament and is a real dual purpose stallion. Even if we don’t get a superstar, we get a lovely horse for junior or young rider level.
Cooley Again shows all the traits of a Ramiro B progeny and is a natural athlete with enough movement to allow you to ride him and a careful jump with plenty of scope.”
Oliver then rode Cushlas Reviro, a 7-year-old, owned by Nina and destined for a career as a show jumper. By Ramiro B out of Cushlas Reve Du Lac, Bear as he is known at home also drew much praise from Oliver.
“A different type to Cooley Again, this horse still has the athleticism you look for and is a real pleasure to ride with a lot of movement and a forward thinking brain,” said Oliver.
Standing at Stallions AI in Cheshire, at 24-year-old Ramiro B is limited to 80 mares 2019.
Said Tullis Matson of Stallions AI: “Last season 80% of the mares were in foal with chilled semen and 86% with fresh, his strike rate is quite phenomenal. He is a delight to handle and his temperament is second to and his stock is now proving hugely successful in eventing and show jumping all over the world.”
Added Nina: “The evening has been a huge success and it is wonderful to say that Ramiro B offspring have had a phenomenal year in 2018. The mark he has made is extremely special and we felt an evening to recognise his achievements would be brilliant.”
Ramiro B has a stud fee of £1200 plus VAT offering fresh, chilled or frozen semen.
For further information telephone Faye at Stallion AI Services on 01948 666295 or

Posted on November 27th, 2018

Councils need more funds or animals could suffer says RSPCA

Cash-strapped councils are legally obliged to run stray dog services, care for pets belonging to owners in hospital, ensure pets shops and kennels are properly licensed, and protect animals from environmental health and noise issues. More recently they were also tasked to tackle problems with fly-grazed horses and will soon be expected to enforce even stricter conditions on an even bigger range of animal establishments but with no extra funding.

Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor are the RSPCA said: “Councils are under increasing pressure from budget cuts, and, sadly, animal services are often the first to be affected.”

There is no sign that demand for these services is reducing and if anything councils are being asked to do more crucial animal welfare work – with no extra funding.

“We are already seeing the impact of this in the number of services being cut or outsourced, the number of previously specialist animal welfare staff being given ever wider remits and, in the most extreme cases, some local authorities abandoning aspects of animal welfare provision altogether.

“We’re concerned that councils need more funds or animals could suffer. Everyone involved, at all levels of government, must start to recognise and value the work of the hardworking staff involved in protecting animal welfare.”

An RSPCA report, Ten Ideas in 10 Years – has been released as the charity recognises local authorities for pioneering initiatives to improve animal welfare through its PawPrints Awards.

The RSPCA’s report features the 10 best examples of ideas that have won the charity’s prestigious Innovator in Animal Welfare Award in the last ten years since the RSPCA PawPrints awards were created  – innovation that makes a real and lasting improvement to animal welfare without placing a huge financial burden on the cash-strapped organisations who are delivering them.

The 10 ideas:

1 Multi-agency working

2 Protecting equine welfare and tackling fly-grazing

3 Promoting responsible dog ownership

4 Ensuring the welfare of dogs in kennels

5 Tackling the illegal pet trade

6 Ensuring animals are not forgotten in contingency planning

7 Protecting the welfare of pets in housing

8 Protecting vulnerable people – and their animals

9 Enforcement, education and prevention

10 Protecting farm animal welfare


Rachel Williams added: “The work that local authorities, housing providers, contingency planners, the police and other public sector organisations do to protect and improve animal welfare is absolutely vital and should be recognised and celebrated.

“However we feel there needs to be political will from elected representatives to stop animal welfare services from being sacrificed when budgets are tight or tightened further, and crucially, there needs to be more money, more guidance and more support from national governments to help protect animal welfare services and dedicated animal welfare staff.”

Posted on November 27th, 2018

Redwings is honoured with National Welfare Award

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is delighted to have been honoured by the British Horse Society for its innovative approach to promoting horse health at Appleby Horse Fair.

Education and Campaigns Manager Andie Vilela and Chief Executive Lynn Cutress were presented with the Welfare Award on Friday 23rd November at the Society’s annual awards ceremony which celebrates individuals and organisations positively impacting the lives of horses and the people who care for them.

For over 10 years, Redwings has been attending the historic Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, which attracts thousands of Gypsies and Travellers with their horses, for trade and for leisure, every year.

The charity, working alongside other equine welfare organisations, provides a vital service to fair-goers, including veterinary care and advice.

Looking for a way to engage with more fair-goers, Redwings launched the Appleby Welfare Awards in 2015 to celebrate some of the high-quality horses and examples of good horsemanship seen at the Fair.

Winners chosen by the charity’s vets, in categories such as Best Trotter, Best Horse Handler and Best Hoof Health, are presented with rosettes, sponsored by the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association.

Their photos are also shared on social media so their success can be celebrated with their friends, family and other fair-goers. To date, the Appleby Welfare Awards’ social media page has been followed by over 3,700 people.

Last year, winners were invited to take part in a participatory video project where they were filmed sharing their own horse care advice, from the consequences of using inappropriate shoes to avoiding rub wounds, also widely shared on social media.

Andie Vilela, Education and Campaigns Manager (pictured), said: “One of the really powerful aspects of the project has been to give a voice to responsible horse owners within a community not often heard.

“By recognising great examples of equine care and giving fair-goers an opportunity to share their stories with their peers, we hope to encourage more meaningful conversations about welfare, not just between fair-goers, but between fair-goers and charities – such as ourselves – too.

“We know some horse owners are apprehensive about turning to welfare organisations for advice through fear of being judged. By embracing a positive approach through our awards, we’re starting to see this change, for example, our vets are able to provide more preventative health care advice because fair-goers are not as worried about speaking to them.

“This is opening up opportunities for two-way learning as we become more aware of the equine welfare issues they’re particularly concerned about and we can tailor our advice and support to be more relevant to their needs.”

Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive, added: “Making the effort to break down the barriers between different horse-owning communities is so important because when we celebrate our common ground everyone is inspired to do more for horses.

“We’d like to thank the British Horse Society for this wonderful honour, all our staff who have made this project a success and everyone who has supported us, especially our sponsor the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association.”

Posted on November 27th, 2018

National Equine Forum to lead latest debate on Brexit’s impact on the equine sector

The outline programme for the 27th National Equine Forum has been confirmed. This popular annual event, to be held in London on 7th March 2019 is shaping up as a calendar essential for all those wanting to learn the latest about the horse industry in a changing world. It will include a leading section on the impact of Brexit, with Britain scheduled to leave the EU just three weeks after the event.

The National Equine Forum provides a dynamic platform for government officials, vets and equestrian industry leaders to share their knowledge and inspire debate with representatives from all areas of the UK’s equine sector. The coveted Sir Colin Spedding Award is also presented at the event, to a worthy unsung hero of the horse world.

The 2019 programme is highly relevant for anyone who has an interest in horses. Defra officials will discuss the impending EU Exit and what it means to the UK’s equine sector in practical terms.

Stewart Everett, Chief Executive of Equine Register, together with leading equine organisation representatives will give an insight on making the most of the Central Equine Database on an everyday basis.

NEF 2019’s panel discussion will explore how charities fit into the modern world, involving representatives from the main equine charitable sectors. As the UK’s equine welfare crisis continues, the major charities are more frequently pooling their strengths and resources to tackle major cases to best effect.

Dr Simon Curtis FWCF will present the Memorial Lecture on his lifetime in farriery and aspects of foot care. These lectures are given each year and link to past winners of the Sir Colin Spedding Award; Simon was last year’s winner.

A special horse and rider fitness section will involve world-leading experts sharing their knowledge on the science behind fitness and the practical aspects of training both equine and human athletes.

Dr Andrew Hemmings, Head of the Equine Management and Science School at the Royal Agricultural University will give an enlightening presentation on equine stereotypical behaviours – an area that is continuing to see considerable advancement in knowledge and management guidance.

The winner of the Sir Colin Spedding Award will be announced and the award presented. This award was established in 2013 in recognition of the late Professor Sir Colin Spedding’s services to the equine sector – most especially founding the National Equine Forum and Chairing it for 19 years.

Early Bird tickets are available for the Forum from Monday 3rd December until Tuesday 15th January 2019 with the first ticket offered at the special price of £50. After this date the first ticket purchased by an individual or organisation will cost £65; subsequent tickets for the same organisation will cost £100.  The ticket price includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. To apply or to find out how you could enjoy the privilege of becoming a Friend of the Forum please email

Further details on the NEF 2019 programme will be released in the New Year. For further information on the NEF visit

Posted on November 22nd, 2018

Exclusive Christmas prizes to be won at new horse show High Flyers

High Flyers, the prestigious new horse show coming to the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough next year, has announced exciting prizes for the High Flyers Christmas Draw, which is now open to enter.

The star prize is a private viewing box on the Saturday of the show, the winner plus five guests will enjoy the show from one of the Arena’s VIP Pods, VIP parking for 3 vehicles, a complimentary of glass of Prosecco, and tea and coffee all day. The runner up will receive an exclusive hamper of goodies plus two for the day of their tickets choice.

The prize draw is easy to enter, contestants simply need to visit  and fill in the form. Betsy Branyan, equestrian event director at East of England Arena, said, “These are prizes that will appeal to every horse enthusiast, and with the draw for first prize on December 17th, it will be just in time to give someone a very special Christmas present.”

Betsy added “We’re also looking forward to holding another draw in time for St. Valentine’s day next year, with two more great prizes on offer.”

High Flyers will be at the East of England Arena from March 15th to March 17th 2019, showcasing a range of competitive showing classes, and brand new championships for young sports horses.

Posted on November 14th, 2018

Essex’s Falcon swoops to take the inaugural SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship

The first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship took place at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park on the 9thNovember. Chantelle Chapman from Manningtree, riding her mother Victoria Oliver’s Fell pony, Greenholme Falcon took this brand-new title in the BETA arena at Your Horse Live in front of an enthusiastic audience.

SEIB Insurance Brokers have set up the new Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland championship with the help of Your Horse Live to create more opportunities for amateur riders at a national championship level.

There was added anticipation for the Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland final as it was the first ever championship competition to take place at Your Horse Live. The BETA arena truly provided a real feel of the big occasion for each of the Search for a Star finalists.

Read all about it in our next issue…

Photo: SMR Photos

Posted on November 13th, 2018

Suffolk Rider Features in Omega Equine All Star Academy – The Hit TV Show of the Year

The ‘must watch’ programme of the year on Horse & Country TV – the Omega Equine All Star Academy – is set to have you crying, laughing and wanting more! This five-part, hit equestrian reality TV show premieres on 25th November at 9pm and is the channel’s biggest and most anticipated event of the year.

Starring eight wannabe academy students the hour long programmes provide warts and all action as they strive to impress the celebrity judges and instructors during their stay with Pammy Hutton at the legendary Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire.

The contestants, six female and two male, will undertake a battle-royal as they do everything in their power to be the third winner of the prestigious title which includes the chance to co-present an episode of the channel’s Rudall’s Round-Up programme with well-known host, Jenny Rudall.

Providing plenty of laughs, highs and lows along the way the Omega Equine All Star Academy is set to prove very entertaining and great viewing over the forthcoming weeks.

The team include Tessa Halsall from Suffolk who bought her horse Hal as a gangly yearling hoping he would make 17hh, she says with a smile, he became an overgrown pony but certainly wouldn’t swap him for another!

Guy Simmonds, a 30-year-old from West Wales, is a falconer by profession. He has been working hard to compete at BE90 level and his dream is to fly falcons from horseback.

Debbie Day will partner her 16.3hh Clydesdale Farra, and after getting over a fractured pelvis a year ago is aiming at dressage and show jumping.

Coloured mare, Remi belongs to Sophie Wratting and their four year partnership has come on in leaps and bounds thanks to being bold and not afraid to be different.

Nikki Sinclair (35) is a geography teacher with two young boys who will partner her bay gelding Jake in the series.

Student veterinary nurse Gabrielle Wheatley from Wiltshire and her seven-year-old mare, Fleur are currently focusing on show jumping, while Georgia Russell and Barney are now eventing after a set-back when she sustained a broken leg while out eventing.

Last, but not least, in the Omega Equine All Star Academy team is Jake Tarrant, an event rider who has big ambitions for his rides Troy and Waldo.

The programme will see the students not only riding and training but also demonstrating their skills when it comes to turnout, natural horsemanship, equine anatomy and media expertise.

Look out for leading names Charlie and Pippa Hutton, Harry Meade and many more as they guide the students over the series.

Tune in to Horse&Country TV on 25th November at 9pm – SKY Channel 184 or Virgin Media channel 298, H&C web and mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Roku.

Posted on November 1st, 2018



Sir Peter O’Sullevan (Voice of Racing) established his Charitable Trust in 1997, to raise funds for equine causes. Last year the auction raised £122,000.

Each year a perpetual bronze trophy in the shape of Peter’s own racing binoculars is awarded for a lifetime’s contribution to the sport. HM The Queen and HM Queen Elizabeth were winners in 2002 and 2009.

However the highlight of this year’s auction and luncheon on 22nd November at the Dorchester Hotel, is a rare volume from his personal collection, ‘I Walked by Night’ the Life and History of King of the Norfolk Poachers, written by Himself.

Original pencil sketches by major 20th century Norfolk artist Edward Seago were given to Peter O’Sullevan by the artist, which gives the book its uniqueness and exceptional provenance.

This lively memoir was edited by Lilias Rider Haggard, Norfolk countrywoman herself, daughter of the celebrated Sir Henry, with a feast of illustrations by Edward Seago. It was first published in 1935 and ran into many editions.

Seago shared a love of all things equine with Sir Peter, who became a close friend.