Posted on October 15th, 2018

Finalists named in 2018 BETA Equine Thesis of the Year competition

The first round of judging is now complete and the finalists for the 2018 British Equestrian Trade Association Equine Thesis of the Year Award have been announced. The competition, a celebration of excellence in academic undergraduate study, received a record 12 entries from universities and colleges offering equine-related degree courses across the UK and Ireland.

Each one took up the challenge to submit one student thesis, with the following student made it through to the finals:

Writtle University College – Caitlyn Cuthbert. Thesis:The Effect of Isolation on Equine Behaviour, Heart Rate and Heart Variability While Exercised on a Horse Walker.

Each student will present their thesis to a panel of expert judges during a special reception at the De Vere Staverton Estate Hotel, near Daventry, Northamptonshire, on Sunday 28th October. This is open to the public and members of the academic community. During the event, the winner and runner-up will be announced and awarded a trophy and cash prize.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

Shop Pink – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

After surviving two unfortunate journeys with Breast Cancer, former London based stylist, Annabel Brocks packed her bags and  headed to Suffolk to begin a new chapter. With her experience going from bursts of chemotherapy, Annabel found the freezing British Winters’ a challenge due to a lack of accessible products that offered a combination of warmth, colour and versatility while still having style and so the Annabel Brocks brand began. It was this fate that lead Annabel to create an unplanned brand that has developed a strong brand voice and cult following within only a few years.

Annabel is passionate about helping others and supporting Cancer Research so during Breast Cancer Awareness Month 15% will be given to charity on all PINK products.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

BE Foundation Skills Academy (England) Programme

British Eventing is pleased to launch the new BE Foundation Skills Academy Programme. Funded by Sport England, the programme is designed to identify, support and develop riders who are demonstrating the potential to progress in eventing.

BE is now inviting applications for the first cohort of the BE Foundation Skills Academy Programme and is seeking riders competing at the grassroots levels of eventing, showing natural ability and are making positive progress in the sport. The programme also aims to develop riders to feed into the BEF World Class Programme Podium Potential Pathway and show potential to one day compete at the Senior International level of eventing.

The 12 month training programme offers opportunities for talented riders aged 14 – 18 and will also include training and expert advice across two, two day camps. Along with coaching, successful applicants will gain access to industry specialists from the areas of farriery, saddlery, veterinary, biomechanics, equine nutrition, sport psychology and strength and conditioning.

Training an Education Manager, Sean Maxwell said; “This is an amazing opportunity for young event riders; the training and support covers many of the key areas required by the human and equine athlete today and will help develop combinations to be successful in the future.”

The BE Foundation Skills Academy (England) Programme is open to athletes aged 14-18 who fulfil the following minimum performance standards (MPS) and entry requirements:

  • English Athletes between the ages of 14-18 as at 31st December 2018.
  • Can provide evidence of regularly engaging with and attending BE 12-21 Training in 2017/2018. (Minimum of three sessions, excluding pre-training for the Under 18 Regional Team Championships at Frickley Park).
  • Has been placed in the top eight in three or more BE100 (ideally double clear), and/or has been placed in the top 15% of starters at other BE/Pony Club competitions at this level or above.
  • Has not been long listed, short listed or represented Great Britain at the Pony, Junior or Young Rider European Championships.
  • Including the MPS above; has been recommended by the Regional Coach and U18 Regional Coordinator or U18 Assistant as a candidate who has shown commitment to training and is developing the skills and potential to progress in the sport. If the Regional U18 Coach is also the home Coach, then an independent Coach must be used.

NB: Consideration will be given to riders who have only achieved MPS using Pony Results, but they must also have competition results on a horse at BE100 level or above and have a qualified horse available to attend training. Please supply these results with your application.

Applications will open on 8th October and will close on 29th October 2018.

Posted on October 9th, 2018

The thrill of the chase returns to Suffolk

“It’s the thrill of the chase! The speed. The sheer size of the hedges!” exclaims local rider Alex Belshaw at the thought of the Essex & Suffolk Team Chase. The annual fixture returns to Manor Farm, Semer on Sunday 4th November. Dubbed the Leicestershire of East Anglia, Semer boasts some sizable yet inviting hedges and good ground conditions.

In a season that has been fraught with cancellation due to the ground, the Suffolk fixture is all systems go with a fantastic grass cover and good going. “It has been such a shame to see so many cancellations due to the ground conditions this season. One minute it was snowing and bottomless and then next minute it was desert like conditions and rock solid going. We’ve been very lucky over here and have good going that should make for a thrilling season climax”, said Gillie Cranfield, organiser.

The final fixture of the season is certain to set fireworks ablaze with the exciting conclusion to the Foxdenton Intermediate League and the final qualifier for the Skinner’s Pet Food Open Championship. If that wasn’t enough the organisers have added two new classes to the schedule – a Novice Fastest and an Intermediate Bogey, giving competitors a variety of classes to suit the needs of their horses.

The only team chasing fixture in East Anglia welcomes a new sponsor for 2018 – True Royalty. The online streaming service for royal fans around the world, has joined the likes of NFU Mutual, All Season Fencing and Binders to support the ever popular Autumn fixture. ‘Thrusters’ from around the country will join local riders to compete for the £3,000 prize fund. An incredible team sport that thrives on adrenaline, it is fast and furious and certainly not for the faint of heart. Bravery and courage will be the prerequisite to succeed with a strong dose of humility and team spirit thrown in for good measure.

Contact Gillie Cranfield on 07768 708637.

The schedule can be downloaded here

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: Claudia Moore Crowned The Stable Company 138cm Championship

Wonder pony Sonas Barney completed a remarkable hat-trick as Claudia Moore claimed victory in The Stable Company 138cm Championship.

Sonas Barney, a 21-year-old veteran of the pony competition scene, has now won the prestigious competition three times with three different riders – Claudia, Madison Heath last year and Nicole Lockhead-Anderson in 2015. He is also the first pony to claim successive victories in the class.

It continued a memorable year for 13-year-old Claudia, from Brentwood in Essex, who helped Great Britain to Pony European Championship team gold this summer and also won individual bronze. Her time of 30.18 seconds secured victory by almost a second from Dorset rider Luli Loveridge, on 22-year-old Arrow Head Quiver, with Claudia also taking third place, riding Tullineaskey Fear Deas. Fourth spot went to Elissa Herrmann and Fountain Ranger.

“It’s incredible to win, especially because he is 21, which is quite old to be doing what he is doing. He just loves it so much,” Claudia said. “It is the first time I have won here, and I have such lovely owners, which makes this all possible. The jump-off was close; Luli Loveridge did an amazing job, but today Sonas Barney just did incredibly. “It means so much to me to win here. I have never won here before. I have come second, I have come third but I had never actually got that top spot.”

Image credit: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: The British Showjumping 128cm Championship

The British Showjumping 128cm Championship Izabella Rogers showed great form by winning the 128cm Pony Championship on Sunday.

The 10-year-old, from Chelmsford in Essex, triumphed in the corresponding class at Hickstead this summer, and she was again on top form with her 15-year-old grey mare Whinney Lass.

In a tight jump-off, just six hundredths of a second separated Izabella from runner-up Poppy Deakin, riding Munsboro Plunkett, as Izabella’s time of 31.05 seconds proved just enough for victory in a class that has previously been won by the likes of Great Britain international showjumper William Whitaker. Third place went to Noora von Bulow and Sparkel in the Andrews Bowen International Arena at the NEC’s Genting Arena, while Tabitha Kyle finished fourth aboard Corey’s Princess.

“It was amazing, really exciting,” said Izabella, as she celebrated her victory. “It was very nerve-wracking at the end. It was a testing jump-off course and I was just focusing on the last fence and hoping for the best. It’s a huge arena. I rode here last year and I came sixth, and to win it is such a different feeling. It’s the best day of my career.”

Image credit: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: Pony Foxhunter Championship

Holly Cooper added her name to the Horse of the Year Show roll of honour by winning the Pony Foxhunter Championship.

The 15-year-old, from Northamptonshire, did it in style on Valentino Supreme, a nine-year-old bay gelding that Holly has only been riding for less than a year.

Nine combinations from 31 starters made it through to the jump-off as many of Britain’s top pony showjumpers relished appearing in front of a big Saturday afternoon crowd in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. Holly put on a superb jump-off round which saw them clock a time of 32.10 seconds to finish well clear of the field. Tatiane Mauree, riding Horseabout Zibu, took second place, with Essex’s Courtney Young riding Neil 55 finishing third. It meant that she joined an illustrious list of former winners, which includes riders like William Whitaker, Louise Pavitt and Matt Sampson.

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year

Eight-year-old Sports Pony, Noble Peppermint, kept his cool throughout day three of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to claim the overall National Pony Society/Snuggy Hoods Working Hunter Pony of the Year after winning the 133cm section in style. Owned by Cheshire’s Kelly Ward, it was 11-year-old daughter Ruby in the saddle, fresh from her M&M Working Hunter Pony win and Reserve Champion title on their own Blackhill Imogen.

Kelly said: “This is their first season together. We’ve owned him since he was four but he’s been leased out for a couple of years, as he was too big for Ruby. He’s got a heart of gold.” The pony is home produced and the pair do a little of everything at home including show jumping and arena eventing.

Dumfriesshire’s Hannah Sloan rode her own Tinkas Flash to a win in the first section of the day, the Intermediates, before going on to claim overall reserve champion; a fantastic end to Hannah’s career in Intermediates. She took the Champion title at HOYS last year on the chestnut gelding who is now 16-years-old.

“He jumped well this morning,” said Hannah. “The course was up to height, technical and asked plenty of questions.”

Essex’s Eddis family celebrated another win in the 153cm section. A regular at HOYS, Cashel Bay JJ, now aged 15, gave Lucy a fabulous last ride at HOYS on him. Lucy is in her second year of university and her sister Susie will now fully take over the ride on Cash.

Among Cash and Lucy’s placings at HOYS are overall Champion M&M Working Hunter Pony in 2016, and first in their Working Hunter Pony section in 2016 and 2017. “You never let yourself think you can do it again,” said Lucy speaking after the class. “He’s just the most gifted pony.”

It was a long journey worth making for the Beaumont family and Jan Beaumont’s Connemara mare Edie. They took the 143cm section coming all the way from their home in Northern Ireland. Phoebe Beaumont has been with the 13-year-old grey mare for four years and this was her first ride at HOYS.

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: Glebedale Mumbo Jumbo shows us how it’s done in the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Pony of the Year

Welsh ponies dominated the NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds Mountain & Moorland Ridden Pony of the Year Championship on day two of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). This prestigious Championship is a culmination of nine class sections, which have been split.

Although small in stature, Zoe Holmes’ Welsh section A, Glebedale Mumbo Jumbo held his own among a fantastically strong field of winners and second placed ponies from all sections. Wonderfully ridden by Essex’s 11-year-old Isabella Sharifi, the pony was brimming with style and presence all the way round the ring.

This was Isabella’s first time in an open class at HOYS, and the pair had no problem stepping up a gear after their fourth place in the Brineton/Kare Plus Mountain & Moorland First Ridden Pony of the Year yesterday.  Sharn Linney who has produced the grey gelding for the past two years, said: “It’s amazing! They’ve started with a bang!”

Sharn now has two ponies in the Ruckleigh School Supreme Pony of the Year Championship on Sunday following Thistledown Van-der-Vaart’s win in the Brineton Colne Mountain & Moorland Mini Pony of the Year Championship yesterday. “They’re both amazing,” she said. “We can only hope they perform to their best, but we’ll be happy whatever the outcome.”

A homebred Welsh section C took the Reserve Champion title. Linda Atkinson’s stallion Danwood Llewellyn won the breed section with Hannah Atkinson in the saddle ahead of 23 other fantastic Welsh section Cs. The seven-year-old bay pony had presence in abundance to catch the judges’ attention in such a strong field.

Based in North Essex, Baileys Horse Feeds have been manufacturing top quality feeds since 1982 and have a long association with showing.  They’ve supported top producer, Lynn Russell, for over 30 years and been involved with this NPS Mountain & Moorland Ridden Championships for 25 years. Their range now includes; Ease & Excel and Performance Balancer, two of the leading feeds suitable for horses prone to Gastric Ulcers, which help horse owners provide a balanced yet appropriate diet to help in the management of susceptible horses.

Image credit: 1st Class Images

Posted on October 8th, 2018

HOYS 2018: Jessica Howard takes the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Champion title

Cambridgeshire’s Jessica Howard produced a nerveless performance to win the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Championship on day two of Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham. Almost half of the 24 starters jumped clear, setting up a jump-off that did not disappoint in terms of its intensity and exhilarating speed.

Despite being last to go in the jump-off, Bedfordshire-based Jessica, riding Tinkas Gentleman Jim, kept her composure to clip almost half a second off the previous leader’s time set by Shropshire’s Lily Freeman-Attwood on Capability Brown.

Essex’s Courtney Young and Sky VI finished third, with Berkshire’s Tatiane Mauree and Horseabout Zizu taking fourth and Wiltshire’s Lila Bremner, daughter of comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner, securing fifth spot aboard Lapislazuli.

Reflecting on her victory, Jessica said: “It took a while to qualify, but we got there in the end. It’s insane to win it. It’s just totally unreal. If someone had told me last year that I would win this class this year, I would have laughed. I would have said ‘no way’.

“We’ve had quite a journey together, but he has really come into his own and is really confident now; I am so happy with him. He always rises to the occasion. He is such a careful pony, and he looks after himself, and it has just been about getting him careful and confident at the same time. I am, without doubt, the happiest person you could imagine.”