Posted on April 6th, 2020

Hartpury involved in investigating impact of coronavirus pandemic on horse owners

Hartpury University is supporting research looking at the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on horses and horse owners. The study aims to mitigate any potential long-term negative impact.

Dr Jane Williams – Associate Professor and Head of Research at Hartpury – has joined scientific and equine consultant Dr David Marlin and Louisa Taylor MRCVS, veterinary surgeon with equine nutrition specialists Science Supplements, in carrying out the new study.

They are inviting horse owners from across the UK, the United States and Australia to provide personal feedback via a short online survey to help assess the implications of the global pandemic on equine care and welfare.

To complete the survey, visit

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF), British Horse Society, British Grooms Association, Equestrian Employers Association, National Trainers Federation (NTF), and National Association of Stable Staff have all urged their members to follow government advice amid the current pandemic.

The BEF has said the maintaining the welfare of horses was still essential, making travel by owners to attend to them valid under the current government guidance, but it encouraged owners to keep visits to a minimum and to observe social distancing.

Dr Williams said: “The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact have developed rapidly. There is a lot of speculation and discussion ongoing and many horse owners and yard owners are concerned.“

Dr Marlin added: “We believe in order to try and understand the current influence of the present situation and to potentially help with the management of the impact on owners and horse welfare, it is important to understand what is actually happening right now. We are inviting horse owners to complete a short survey, which should take no more than five minutes with no personal data collected. The results will be made public as soon as possible and the survey will then be run again in one month’s time to help gauge the progression of the situation.

“With this information we will be able to develop a better understanding of the effects of the current situation, with the aim of being able to produce more targeted advice for horse owners, yard managers/owners and equestrian professionals.”

Louisa Taylor MRCVS said: “Our end goal is to support horse owners by offering guidance during this difficult time which will help them improve the health and welfare of their horses and ponies, while adhering to the constraints which have been put upon us.

“To do this effectively, we need to develop a better understanding of how the equine industry is dealing with the current situation.”

Posted on April 4th, 2020

Holland Cooper Support NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal

We are all being urged to take our one hour of exercise a day, and if you are a horse rider then you can do it in style in Holland Cooper knowing that at the same time you are helping to raise money for the NHS.

Holland Cooper have pledged that 10% of online sales will go towards the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

Posted on April 4th, 2020

Over £50K up for grabs from the SEIB Giving Virtual Awards and voting tied!

Two charities shared the top spot in the SEIB Insurance Brokers Giving Virtual Awards held from the 30th March to 3rd April. It is hard to believe that following over 36,000 nominations for 1,300 charities, two remained neck and neck and ended on exactly the same number of votes.

The front runners in the 2020 SEIB Giving awards and were each granted £15,000. Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare and Redwings Horse Sanctuary were announced as the leaders in the SEIB Giving Virtual Awards ceremony. During the virtual awards, two charities had their placings – and grant amounts – announced each day through video posts on SEIB’s social media.

Eight other charities reached the final voting stage of the SEIB Charity Awards and shared a further £20,500 from SEIB bet. All had their prizes announced and a video celebrating their brilliant work in the virtual awards.

The SEIB Giving Awards were due to be held in London on the 20th March 2020. When the awards were cancelled due to Covid-19 a quick decision was made by SEIB to go ahead and move them online. SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fehler said: “I am immensely proud of my company and our team have seamlessly ensured that each of the 10 shortlisted charities got their moment in the spotlight. Helping others is what SEIB is all about and I am delighted that we have been able to grant this money to such wonderful causes at this moment in time when it is so desperately needed.”

The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible. In previous years the criteria required that the grants should be used for a specific capital project. However, in light of Covid-19 SEIB realised how difficult it will be for charities to operate this year and on this occasion the money may be used for running costs to help keep the charities afloat.

Doris Banham Dog Rescue took best small charity in the 2020 SEIB Giving awards with a grant of £7,000. Trustee and Founder of the charity, Trudie James said: “This money is a real Godsend to us.  I would have loved to buy some kennels but I will have to use it for running costs to keep our dogs safe during this virus period.  I have worked out that this money will pay three months kennel, care and retraining for 21 of our dogs during our survival period.”

Hertfordshire based, Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled (RDA) received a grant of £5,000. Trustee and volunteer Karen Gosen said: “We are delighted with the money and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the SEIB awards. The nomination stage in particular was very engaging for our riders and volunteers. It was one of our volunteers – who is an SEIB customer – that let us know about the awards.”

The UK’s oldest horse charity, The Horse Trust – founded in 1886 – earned a grant of £4,000. Once Upon A Smile, a Manchester based bereavement charity received a £2,000 grant from SEIB and Hope Pastures and the Flicka Foundation were granted £1,000 apiece. Claire Turnbull from the Flicka Foundation said: “We really truly appreciate this support – now more than ever. Our rescued donkeys are blissfully unaware of the current global crisis, but they deserve only the very best second chance at life and we must find ways to continue to be here for them.” The South Essex Wildlife Hospital and Hope Rescue each received a grant of £250.

SEIB’s Marketing Manager Nicolina MacKenzie said: “Charities are facing some tough times ahead and we have been determined to not only make sure that our finalists receive their SEIB grants, but that they also have the opportunity for some publicity through our virtual awards. I am very grateful for the magnificent support we have received with staging these awards.   In particular to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the Horse of the Year Show for the efforts they have made to promote the SEIB Giving virtual awards.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded £15,000 in the SEIB Giving Awards. As a charity 100% funded by donations from the public, this generous grant will go a long way towards caring for our 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. This news is also a very welcome boost for our teams right now who are working hard in challenging times to ensure our rescued residents still receive all the specialist care they need, so thank you to everyone who supported our application.”

Sally Crawford, Bransby Horses Executive Director of Engagement and Income Generation, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the incredible £15,000 awarded to us by SEIB Insurance Brokers. Working since the November 2019 floods has been tougher than usual and though the waters have finally subsided, the fallout from this devastation continues. The money we’ve been so kindly awarded will go towards purchasing a Kabota vehicle which we can use at our Barlings site where over 50 horses and ponies have been moved as a result of our Bransby land being ravaged by the floods. Thank you so much SEIB from us all here at Bransby Horses.

The Charities Trust provided SEIB with their help to carry out due diligence ensuring that each of the finalists met all criteria of the grant and are above board.

SEIB works closely with the charitable sector and insure many charities and non-for-profit organisations. Whilst SEIB is an independent broker, the company is owned by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group that is in turn owned by the charity Allchurches Trust.

Giving is embedded in the culture of SEIB. From supporting grass roots competition that gives opportunities to amateur riders that they could only otherwise dream about, right through to the company’s unwavering loyalty to promoting nationwide equine welfare.

The SEIB team does a huge amount for local charities and SEIB has proudly supported the Burghley Sponsored Ride for the past six-years by covering expenses so all proceeds go to charity, it has raised over £250,000 during its history.

Photo: Redwings Lynn Cutress holding Apricot, Lucy Bent and Gemma Walpole

Posted on April 3rd, 2020


LEADING Olympic riders from across the disciplines, as well as horse racing jockeys and celebrities have shown their support for a major fundraising initiative launched by the team behind Bolesworth and Liverpool International Horse Shows. 

‘Equestrian Relief’ is an urgent fundraising campaign to raise money and change lives, with donations going directly to support the efforts of the wonderful work being carried out by the NHS.

Leading names are all showing their support including two Eventing World Champions Ros Canter and Zara Tindall, Olympic Gold Medallists Carl Hester & Scott Brash and racing legends AP McCoy and Frankie Dettori.

Each day two members of each team will take part in a daily challenge. The five challenges, which are; On the Gallops, Plankety Plank, Horse Drawn, Showstopper and Dark Horse will test our riders skills physically, creatively and artistically. Much more will be revealed over the coming days so make sure you join in the fun at 7pm each evening from Monday 6th April – Monday 13th April where our daily highlights will be broadcast across all the Liverpool International Horse Show channels and all info can be found at

Said Nina Barbour, Bolesworth Managing Director:

“Our priority is to unite the horse world to support our health workers and our goal is to raise a sum of money that will make a real difference. All donations will go directly to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Crisis Fund – supporting NHS staff and volunteers on the frontline as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.

“We’ve already got some fabulous sponsors on-board – including long standing Bolesworth supporters Equerry, Equitop and Horse Scout – who have all made generous contributions to get us started.

The campaign will also be launching a charity auction on Monday 6th April with a host of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences up for grabs! Bid for the chance to get one on one with some of our equestrian celebrities for an exclusive Q&A session online, go behind the scenes with ITV racing, or even bid for a round of golf with AP McCoy and Oli Bell.  The paintings produced by the teams in the Horse Drawn challenge will also be included in the auction lots!

Zara Tindall said: “It’s a very challenging time for the equestrian community right now with so many people affected in so many ways. Being a high-risk activity, we also have a responsibility to minimise the impact on the NHS who are valiantly working to support the nation and save lives. Taking part in Equestrian Relief and knowing that donations are going directly to help NHS workers on the frontline makes it a no-brainer for me.  I am happy to be part of this campaign and look forward to seeing just how much we can raise”.

Frankie Dettori said: “I am super excited to announce that I will be taking part in Plankety Plank and Bake Off Easter Showstopper all in aid of Equestrian Relief. It’s going to be great fun, however we are all very competitive so I can’t wait to get started – so please make sure you support us!”

Scott Brash said: “All over the country we are coming together to support the phenomenal NHS staff during these very challenging times. As a strong equestrian community we must stay united in the battle against Covid19 and we are hopeful that Equestrian Relief can make a huge impact in raising funds directly to support those who are putting their own lives at risk to help others. Let the challenges commence and please make sure you support us and give what you can to this incredible cause.”

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together said: “Every person on our team and NHS teams throughout the country, are playing a vital role in being there for others during this emergency. Please join in with the Equestrian Relief team effort by showing your appreciation, gratitude and solidarity for our NHS workers who are responding heroically to the biggest challenge the NHS has ever faced’.

To donate and for details of the Equestrian Relief campaign visit

Posted on April 3rd, 2020


Organiser’s Statement: In light of the continuing health crisis facing the country and the advice from the UK Government around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is with great regret that we have made the inevitable decision to cancel this year’s Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials.

Robert Miller, land agent for Houghton Estate, said;

“This decision, as hard as it is to call, was the socially responsible, unavoidable and correct course of action. A great deal of hard work, love and creativity goes into the planning of any event, making the decision to cancel a very hard one, but considering the current crisis facing the country the decision was clear.” 

This week we have seen many significant sporting events due to be held later this summer, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Wimbledon and Badminton Horse Trials, either cancelling their 2020 date or postponing, even as far as 2021.

Musketeer Event Management’s Director Alec Lochore, who is also the Eventing Competition Manager for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, added:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives of us all. Whether my small team in Norfolk who plan events such as Houghton or the larger team I work with on a daily basis in Tokyo, we have to stop and take stock. In unprecedented times we need to work together to support the healthcare workers around the world and adhere to the measures taken by world leaders and sporting governing bodies to help stop the spread of the virus to protect and save lives. 

“I would like to thank all competitors, owners, sponsors, officials and much heralded volunteers for their continued support as we look ahead positively to 2021.”

Full refunds will be issued for all tickets purchased through the box office and any payments made for trade stands. Please allow 14 days for us to process the refunds and any queries should be directed to

All updates regarding the remaining date in 2020 season and the provisional dates for the 2021 season will be available on the website.

Posted on April 3rd, 2020

132nd Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show and the Lycetts Festival of Hunting cancelled

Mindful of the latest Coronavirus public health guidance, the organisers of the 132nd Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show and the Lycetts Festival of Hunting have reached the decision to cancel this popular countryside event, which was due to take place on Wednesday 22nd July 2020.

As with many other major events, the organisers have found that it is impossible to plan safely for this year’s Festival. As well as the obvious limitations on gatherings of large numbers, there is also a concern that hunts will also be unable to put in the enormous effort that is required in the months leading up to the festival in preparing hounds for the show ring, and horses for the inter-hunt relay, whilst also complying with the government guidelines on social distancing, staying at home, and protecting the NHS.

The Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society is also conscious to reduce any potential burden that the event might have on the emergency services.

 “Since 1878, the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show has been cherished as the annual showcase for the world of hunting and has only ever stopped during wartime,” said Alison Queenborough, Secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society. “This time it’s a global pandemic which is placing huge demands on our public health service. Whilst ‘Peterborough’ exemplifies the history and tradition of hounds, celebrates rural life and is a great social gathering, we do not wish to place unnecessary burden on our public services which must be focussed on the nation’s health and well-being. We are, however, looking at ways in which we can interact remotely with our community in the coming weeks and months, and contribute towards the social support network that the hunting community is so well known for during these difficult times.”

Angus Keate, chairman of Lycetts said: “We completely understand why the Lycetts Festival of Hunting will not be taking place this year and appreciate the reasons behind it. Keeping our staff safe and our clients well looked after is especially important at this time and it is right we are all focused on that. Lycetts is very much open for business and hope you’ll feel able to give us a call if we can be of any assistance with your insurance and financial services needs.”

The Festival organisers have already advised their valued members, sponsors, trade stand exhibitors, advertisers and contractors of the cancellation, and thank all those who support the event each year. Attention will now turn to the event returning in 2021 and the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society and Lycetts Festival of Hunting look forward to seeing everyone there.

Posted on April 3rd, 2020

Latest British Equestrian Federation Update

New grants available
In the past few days, a number of grant funding opportunities have been announced in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to help provide support, some of which may be applicable to equestrian businesses, community projects and charitable organisations. Full details are available here.

These are in addition to the extensive Government support options previously detailed.


GOV.UK updates
All advice and changes in information are constantly updated on the GOV.UK website, particularly around restrictions, public health and requirements, so you are advised to check it regularly. Please remember the essential advice:

Stay at home

Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (provided you’re unable to work from home)

If you go out, stay two metres (6ft) away from other people at all times

Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

All equine employees, employers and businesses are encouraged to regularly check the advice and guidance on the GOV.UK website, which is being updated regularly to help access help and support.

There is also separate information for businesses in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.


Vaccination policy
We have released a statement on maintaining 12-month booster requirements for competition horses under the umbrella of our Member Bodies. The British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA) and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have advised all vets to only provide emergency cover. Vaccinations are considered routine treatment, so are not provided for under this guidance. If the 12-month booster is missed, your horse will be required to restart the vaccination program in line with the respective Member Body’s requirements. Those Member Bodies with six-month requirements in place will communicate their stance directly to their membership. The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) has extended their requirement to 12-month boosters, from nine months, for the remainder of 2020. Further details are outlined here.


Member Body activity
Here’s an update on the status of activity across our Member Bodies:

British Dressage & British Showjumping
All training and competition activity is cancelled up to and including 31 May.

British Eventing
All competitions are cancelled until further notice. All training has been refunded until end of April, while entry refunds in the same period are being processed.

British Equestrian Vaulting
All activity ceased with immediate effect until otherwise notified.

British Horseball Association
All competitions in April have been cancelled.

Endurance GB
All rides have been cancelled with immediate effect until at least the end of May.

United Kingdom Polocrosse Association
No tournaments or training will be held before the end of May.

British Carriagedriving
All training and competitions have been cancelled until the end of April.

Mounted Games Association
An announcement expected in April on competitions because none are scheduled until May.

Pony Club
All activity has ceased until otherwise notified.

All regional qualifiers and the National Championships have been cancelled.


Essential travel
Travelling to care for your horse, or to work for those who are employed in the care of horses, is allowed under the current Government restrictions while respecting the official guidance, provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.

If you have to travel to a yard to attend to your own horse, it is essential that you minimise the time spent outside of the home and remain two metres away from others. You should remember to wash your hands with soap and water both before and after contact with any animals. It’s worth keeping your horse’s passport or a signed letter from your yard owner in the car with you if you’re stopped by the police.

For those working with horses, the Equestrian Employers Association has provided a template letter to help with your journey if the police challenge you. It’s part of their coronavirus information hub. Those working in a yard environment are required to observe Public Health guidelines around social distancing and hygiene at all times.


Our advice on riding remains unchanged – we recommend that people don’t ride their horses unless strictly necessary. We should all respect the Government’s message of ‘stay safe, save the NHS, stay home’, and carefully consider the risks associated with riding. As a community, we should not be putting any additional pressure on our emergency and NHS services.

Personal circumstances will vary and we respect that individuals and businesses are being affected heavily in this situation, but we should all consider the potential impact of our choices.

While we can only offer advice, we would ask all riders to make an informed decision on whether to ride or not. If you do make the choice, we urge you to please ride within your means, wear up-to-standard safety equipment, avoid any high-risk activity and stay within the boundaries of your yard environment.

Posted on April 2nd, 2020

Virtual Windsor 2020 Set to Recreate Royal Windsor Horse Show Magic Online

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have launched Virtual Windsor 2020, a new online hub, which is free to the equestrian community. This enterprising initiative aims to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2020 due to Covid-19.

Virtual Windsor 2020 will host exciting features, the Show’s 200 shops, virtual Showing competitions, training videos, social media feeds and the best of online content from previous Royal Windsor Horse Shows and from the equestrian world at the moment

The shops that would normally have a physical presence at the Show will be displayed on the hub, giving users the opportunity to access some of equestrian’s best brands, including the latest technical equipment, country and lifestyle collections and clothing. One of the key drivers of the “Virtual RWHS Shopping Experience” are the deals some of which will be available exclusively on the platform.

Those visiting Virtual Windsor 2020 can also enter online equestrian competitions, including a variety of Showing classes adhering closely to the original Royal Windsor Horse Show schedule. Those wishing to compete will upload their entry in the form of a photo to put them in the running, with applicants able to enter via email or social media. A Royal Windsor Horse Show judge will then select 10 finalists, before announcing the winner. The winners of each class will then progress to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17th May 2020.

To further help fill the void, Virtual Windsor 2020 will give users access to features from the official Royal Windsor Horse Show programme, content from the archives,  guest bloggers, live Q&A sessions, and insights into Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021, which is already well into its planning stage. Giving equestrian fans a central hub to find training videos, light-hearted posts, the latest updates from top competitors, and tips from other riders, Virtual Windsor 2020 will support trainers, coaches, physios and riders who may be struggling during this time. 

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “This online platform is a way for the equestrian community to come together, it aims to support and entertain, keeping the spirit of Royal Windsor Horse Show alive during this difficult time. The platform involves everyone, from fans to riders, shops, competitors and officials.  We wanted to find a way that we could support the shops at the show and engage with our competitors and customers and I’m genuinely excited to see what we can accomplish. Our hope is that it will go part of the way towards recreating the magic in Windsor Castle’s iconic private grounds that we all expected to see in May.”

Ben Buxton, Events Manager of Fairfax and Favor said: “Virtual Windsor is an exciting real and online opportunity for Fairfax and Favor to have a presence at one of the leading horse shows of the year. Whilst we may not see customers (both new and existing) in person, we relish the opportunity to connect with anyone who would have seen us, and let them see our range, including the launch of our Spring Summer 2020 collection”

Posted on April 2nd, 2020

Cancellation of Euston Park Endurance Rides 2020

Organisers of The Euston Park Endurance rides have taken the difficult decision to cancel the planned 2020 events. This is due to public health concerns and the on-going restrictions in place from the UK Government surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions on mass gatherings and particularly events that would put unnecessary requirements on our emergency services, as well as the number of people required to travel from across the UK and the world have all contributed to making it impossible to stage the events this year.

The rides were due to take place on 13th – 14th June, 11th – 12th July and culminate in the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival from 12th – 16th August.

Nick Brooks-Ward, Event Director from organisers, HPower Group said: “Like so many other equestrian and major national events we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel the rides at Euston Park this season.  This will be a big disappointment to competitors and all involved but we know it is the right decision.  We are looking forward to coming back stronger than ever in 2021”.

Esther Young, Operations Director for Endurance GB said; “We empathise with the organisers of the FEI Euston Park series in taking this very tough decision which will be disappointing for our riders but entirely understandable given the worldwide situation. We will be reviewing our calendar and working closely with The Pony Club to seek to stage a Championship at another venue later in the year if at all possible.”

Posted on April 2nd, 2020

JON DONEY (1949 – 2020)

It is with great sadness that the Organising Committees of Royal Windsor Horse Show and Olympia, The London International Horse Show learned that Jon Doney MBE passed away today.  Jon was an absolute stalwart of the Shows, serving initially as Course Designer, and then President of the Ground Jury (CSI and National) for both Olympia and Windsor for more than 30 Years.  His lengthy experience and wise counsel was absolutely invaluable and his quick smile and warm words will be sorely missed around the showgrounds. 

Simon Brooks-Ward, Director of both events said, “I speak on behalf of all of us, when I say that we are all devastated. Jon was not only one of the most experienced and competent international jumping Judges, he was also a wise head, passionate about the sport and a great friend with a wonderful sense of humour. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Our thoughts are with Mary and their family.”