Posted on December 12th, 2019

DIARY DATE: British Breeding Stallion Event

British Breeding are delighted to announce their third Stallion Event, which will take place at Addington Equestrian Centre, Buckinghamshire on Saturday 8th February 2020.  London Olympic showjumping gold medallist stallion Big Star will return to the event, alongside a host of top stallions from high profile studs, including Catherston, Caunton Manor, Future Sport Horses, New Priory, Stallions AI and West Kington.

The British Breeding Stallion Event, sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds and in association with Competition Stallions, is a highly popular show, allowing vistors to see some of the best sport horse and pony stallions standing within the UK.  Stallions will be showcased in the main arena under saddle,  in dressage, eventing and showjumping disciplines.

Offering a vibrant mix of established household names alongside up-and-coming talent, the show also boasts a busy trade stand area to make a perfect day out for anyone considering breeding, or just to admire the equine talent. Products, services and studbooks will be represented in the trade stand area and visitors will have the opportunity to get up to date with the latest news and activities offered by British Breeding to support British breeders.

A favourite amongst both stallion owners and show visitors alike is the ability to ‘meet’ the stallions in their stabling area. This opportunity to view in such close-quarters allows visitors time to assess the horses’ conformations in a relaxed atmosphere, whilst also having the opportunity to talk directly to the stallion owners, trainers and riders, giving all a chance to really get to know one another.

With a large number of the top stallions standing in the UK expected to be on show, this marks an important event for mare owners, riders and spectators.  Several stallions will be shown with their some of their progeny, giving an invaluable insight into future generations.

Stallion bookings are now being taken on a first come, first served basis.  For those interested in trade stands, limited space is available within the arena, with two spaces also available outside near to the stabling area.  Should you wish to bring your stallion or book a trade stand, please contact  The deadline for all stallion and tradestand bookings is Sunday 5th January. A waiting list will be held for those bookings taken at a later date.

For further information and to book tickets, please visit

Posted on December 12th, 2019

National equine charities and Lincolnshire organisations lend helping hands to Bransby Horses

Bransby Horses

The Donkey Sanctuary and Co-op Lincolnshire are just a couple of the organisations who have donated or offered their time to Bransby Horses in the last few weeks. Teams have helped with lots of jobs from sweeping yards and poo-picking to lending an expert hand with the equines, if individuals have the right expertise.

Following serious flooding in Lincolnshire in November 2019, equine charity, Bransby Horses, lost 40% of their grazing land in a matter of days. With demand for their support at highest levels for years, more than 400 equines on site and their Barlings site not yet ready, the charity has hit crisis point.

The charity has said they need an additional £200,000 on top of the £6m the charity needs to run each year, to move 80-100 equines to their additional site, Barlings in Langworth. In just a few weeks, they have raised 15% of what is needed, from generous supporters from across the UK, but there is still lots of work to do.

As well as financial donations, the charity has been receiving offers of help from individuals who can spare a few hours, like-minded charities who share the same mission and big-hearted organisations from the area and further afield.

Rachel Jenkinson, Farm Manager at Bransby Horses said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the amazing help of our supporters and friends. We are receiving donations of money, items, time and energy which have all made an incredible difference. The messages of support are also keeping all our spirits up at this really trying time. The Donkey Sanctuary even sent us a knitted donkey with treats for the staff and then, sent their team down to help on the yards! Our challenge is by no means over and it will be a tough winter but with the continued support of generous people and our good friends, we can get through this.”

Bransby Horses has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming horses, ponies, donkeys and mules for more than 50 years. There are now almost 1,000 equines in the care of the charity with more than 400 on their site at Bransby and more than 500 in foster homes across the UK. Following the flooding of 2019, the charity is now at crisis point and is asking for people to donate, volunteer or rehome if they can, to help them continue their work through the winter and into 2020.

For more information, visit:

Photo: John Aron

Posted on December 5th, 2019

Wrap Up Warm this Christmas with the RDA 50th Anniversary Tartan Scarf

A tartan scarf launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Riding for the Disabled Association in 2019 is now available to purchase online from Norvite Farm and Country’s online shop.

The lambswool scarf, priced at £22.95 is made from a special new tartan featuring the charity’s colours and was produced by Lochcarron of Scotland.

By purchasing the scarf you will not only be giving someone a beautiful Christmas gift that will stand the test of time but also helping to support the fantastic work of the charity that has been providing therapy through horses for 50 years.

RDA would like to extend their thanks to Norvite Farm & Country for acting as a fulfilment service for RDA to facilitate online sales of the 50th Anniversary scarf. All monies from every sale go directly to Riding for the Disabled Association.

Posted on December 3rd, 2019

Christmas plea from Bransby Horses

Recent heavy flooding in Lincolnshire has meant equine charity, Bransby Horses, has had to cancel all of their Christmas events and activities this year.  But they are urgently appealing to people to carry on visiting the site.

At the moment, the charity is welcoming a fraction of the number of visitors they have done in past years, they assume this is because people think they are closed! However, despite the damage, the Visitor Centre, shop and café have been totally unaffected by the flooding and continue to trade as usual.  In fact, the charity has an amazing selection of baubles and Christmas gifts that would normally be flying off the shelves.  The award-winning café continues to serve a selection of winter warmers and other tasty treats.

Visitor Engagement Manager Holly Hart said, “It’s heart breaking to see the visitor centre so empty – normally at this time of year we busy selling our winter gifts and the café would be full of people, but with visitor numbers so low, we stand to lose even more money from the floods.”

Having planned and organised a schedule of family-friendly festive things to do and other popular events such as the Rug and Tack Sale, the charity has just revealed that these need to be removed from their plans, so teams can focus on dealing with the impact of the floods and our Engagement team can continue welcoming visitors to the site day-to-day.

With approximately 1,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the charity’s care (450 based on site and more than 500 in foster homes), the floods have already led to the urgent moving of 100 equines, to dry temporary areas. This is not a long term solution for the charity and the land that has been affected will be unusable for the foreseeable future, due to contamination.

Two weeks after the two valves were closed by The Environment Agency, saving thousands of homes in Lincolnshire from flooding, both valves have been opened, helping some of the charity’s fields be relieved of water temporarily. The effects of the flooding are still being felt by the charity, whose teams are still working hard to keep all equines safe and have drafted in additional help to try and cope with conditions.

With the situation unlikely to be sorted in the immediate future, the plan to move 100 equines to their Barlings site, in Langworth, has become more urgent than ever.

The charity will be giving refunds to those who have booked activities already but are still desperate for people to visit their site for a day out. Whilst some of the land has been severely affected, visitor areas are still open and support is still needed by the charity to continue their work through the winter.

Charlie McCelland, Fundraising Manager at Bransby Horses has said: “It is a shame that we have had to cancel our events and activities over the next few weeks, especially as our team have worked so hard organising them, but, we know this is the right decision. Our horses, ponies, donkeys, mules…and people, must always come first and knowing what everyone has been through and continues to go through, there is still a tough road ahead.

“Whilst we are all working hard and getting good support from the local community, we still have a long way to go. Please do visit our website and social media channels to find out more about how to support our mission, so we can continue helping equines who have had a difficult and traumatic start in life. Please do also come and see us too! Our Gift Shop, café and some of our walkways are still open and the teams and animals would love to see visitors. Friendly faces coming in for the day help give us a morale lift during this challenging period. What we face is the worst conditions for many years but together, we can get through it and continue to be there for equines in need.”

The charity is planning to move some of their equines to their site in Barlings in the next four to six weeks, so the land at Bransby can be cleared up and has time to recover. Their timeline for moving animals and teams to the site in Langworth was originally the end of 2020, so the charity have been working hard to raise the money needed to have the right infrastructure in place at the site as soon as possible.

The charity has sent out a plea for donations of money, items, time and foster homes and have had a good response so far but the challenge is far from over. The charity will feel the effects of the flood for many months, possibly until the end of 2020.



Posted on November 28th, 2019

Get Gut Health on the Agenda at Your Riding Club in 2020

EquiBiome, a leader in gut health, is on a mission to reach horse owners with information on the advances in equine microbial analysis of the hind gut which is hugely important for the health, wellbeing and performance of any horse, especially those that are regularly competing.  

In 2020, EquiBiome is offering free talks to Riding Clubs in regions throughout the UK, delivered by experts in the field, including microbiologist Carol Hughes.

The talk will cover all aspects of gut health and how owners can use cutting-edge technology to identify imbalances and then take steps to restore health and performance. A closer look at the loss of biodiversity in horses’ grazing and how this has impacted on the competition horse of today will also be investigated.

Said Carol: “The equine intestinal tract houses an incredibly complex and diverse microbial population producing energy for the horse. The microbes directly influence good health and performance, including temperament, energy levels, nutrient availability and vitamin production. Your horse is what he eats and the success of the diet depends first of all on knowing what is going on in the gut.

“EquiBiome started out in the racing industry to improve the performance of Thoroughbreds in training but we are excited to now be able to offer support to horses and ponies in all areas of competition.”

To register your interest in a talk for your Riding Club please contact EquiBiome by emailing One talk will be provided for each region, please contact EquiBiome early to avoid disappointment.

Posted on November 18th, 2019

VOTE NOW! Nominations open for the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards

Nominations are now open for the first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards which will be presented at the glamorous British Horse Foundation dinner at the Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on the 11th January 2020. SEIB has set up these awards to celebrate the best in riding schools and livery yards throughout the UK in association with horse care and supplements company NAF.

SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “The riding school and livery yard awards will make Christmas extra special for those that are short-listed. SEIB know that there are livery yards and riding schools that provide an outstanding service and we want to recognise and highlight their skill and commitment.”

The SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards have categories for best riding school, best full livery yard and best do-it-yourself (DIY) livery yard. Once the nominating process is closed, the expert panel of judges will draw up a short-list of yards which they will visit in person to decide on the winner. All the short-listed yard proprietors will be invited to the awards dinner and the results will be announced on the night.

NAF Advertising and PR Manager, Melissa Newman said: “NAF are delighted to be in partnership with SEIB to support this award. Riding schools and livery yards are vital to keeping many peoples passion for horses a reality and a stepping stone into the world of life long equestrianism and horse ownership. The support, opportunities and five-star care both riding schools and livery yards provide is invaluable, as well as the friendships created at these establishments, with horses and ponies at the heart of it all.”

To nominate your favourite livery yard or riding school, please visit and simply let us know who they are and why their livery yard or riding school is so special. Nominations open on the 18th November and will close on the 9th December. Everyone placing a nomination in the SEIB Riding School and Livery Yard of the Year Awards will be put into a free prize draw to win a pair of tickets to the black tie British Horse Foundation Awards dinner in January.

Jan Rogers of the British Horse Foundation said: “We are thrilled to be able to host the presentation of the brand new SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards at the 2020 British Horse Foundation Dinner. This event has been held at a glittering London venue for over 21 years and it is always good to welcome innovative new awards to the occasion. We look forward to showcasing these worthy winners in January.”

Nominate your favourite for the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards at

To purchase tickets for the British Horse Foundation Awards dinner go to:

Posted on November 18th, 2019


Enjoy a festive day out at Redwings Horse Sanctuary this December when the charity hosts its first ever ‘Traditional Christmas Fayre’.

Held in the beautiful rooms and marquee of Caldecott Hall, at Redwings’ Caldecott visitor centre in Fritton near Great Yarmouth, everyone is invited to come along on Sunday 8th December, between 10am and 4pm – and entry is free!

Shoppers will be able to browse a wide variety of stalls showcasing unique goods – from artisan food to jewellery, from local artwork to children’s toys – providing plenty of Christmas gift inspiration and all those magical little touches to help make your home feel truly festive.

For those looking for tips on how to cook up the perfect Christmas lunch, they can also watch a demonstration by chef Nigel Raffles and ask all those burning questions to help solve their cooking conundrums.

There’ll even be the chance to purchase and take home a freshly-cut Christmas tree, as well as relax with a mulled wine or a warming hot chocolate after a busy day’s shopping!

Rescued donkey Esther will also be making a special appearance, as well as Redwings’ mascots Red and Wings, to enjoy plenty of festive cuddles and ensure everyone receives a warm welcome.

Redwings Caldecott is home to over 120 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, and visitors are welcome to stroll the paddocks and wish a Merry Christmas to these very special residents too.

Nicola Knight, Head of Communications, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be hosting our first ever Traditional Christmas Fayre! Thanks to our amazing supporters, this year Redwings Caldecott has undergone a transformation with the addition of new horse care, rehoming and visitor facilities, and we look forward to this festive event being the first of many more to come.

“We really hope as many people as possible will be able to support the event, pick up plenty of wonderful Christmas gifts and enjoy some time with our rescued horses and donkeys too!”

Redwings Caldecott can be found in Beccles Road, Fritton, Norfolk, NR31 9EY.

For further information, call 01508 481000 or visit

Photo: Esther the donkey will be making an appearance at Redwings’ Traditional Christmas Fayre.

Posted on November 14th, 2019

What Riding For The Disabled Association Means To Me

2019 has been a very special year for Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and throughout this anniversary year the 50 Faces campaign has been highlighting the amazing people that make the organisation so diverse and inspiring.

As the year draws to a close we decided to catch up with a few of the 50 Faces to find out what RDA means to them.

Yolanda Hansford
Yolanda Hansford began riding with Yeovil and Sherborne RDA in 1974 on the recommendation of her orthopaedic consultant as a form of therapy for scoliosis.

Having been born with a narrowing of the aorta, throughout childhood Yolanda was in and out of hospital, and discovering RDA was the first time in her life that she felt in charge of something.

Following open heart surgery for the third time, Yolanda was diagnosed with lung disease and was devastated to have to give up riding. She then discovered RDA Carriage Driving that enabled her to carry on life with her beloved horses, regularly competing, going on carriage driving holidays and even representing her RDA Group at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Said Yolanda: “I became Regional Chair for RDA in the South West last year, which has enabled me to not only champion the work RDA does, but at the same time be able to give something back. After all, the RDA has given me so many wonderful   experiences and memories that will last forever.”





Lesley Morrill
Lesley Morrill has been a volunteer at Hope In The Valley RDA since 1985. She has taken on a number of tough challenges to raise much needed funds for RDA, even becoming a member of the 100 Marathon Club.

Completing 100 marathons in two years and six months, Lesley became the oldest woman to start doing marathons and reach the one hundred mark.

The challenges helped remind Lesley of the difficulties faced by RDA riders on a daily basis.

Said Lesley: “We all have different reasons for volunteering with RDA but for me it is the joy of seeing the riders succeed and helping someone to be a part of something. It’s not about rosettes; it is about what you can do for someone to give them a better quality of life.”






Mike Butcher
For Mike Butcher, horses have always been a release. Growing up in a complicated family environment meant he has always appreciated the benefits of spending time with horses.

After leaving school at 16 he had one ambition and that was to work with horses and he was introduced to RDA when he volunteered as part of a college course. This inspired Mike to become an RDA Coach as with his experience he could see how he could help the riders progress.

One of Mike’s proudest achievements is the pivotal role that he played in introducing show jumping as an RDA discipline, adding an exciting challenge to RDA sessions.

Said Mike: “I am always proud to see riders improving year on year at the National Championships. I see all the benefits of RDA – it’s proven, it’s a fact, with the help of the excellent structures they have in place, RDA works.”




Sam Cyrus
Sam Cyrus is a participant and volunteer at Wormwood Scrubs RDA. She began riding about 30 years ago and would cry every time the volunteers tried to take her off the pony.

After leaving school she began volunteering and has just completed her British Horse Society Certificate in Horse Knowledge.

Said Sam: “RDA has encouraged me to push me out of my comfort zone, to do things that I have never done before. RDA has helped me to believe that I can do anything.”

For further information visit

Posted on November 5th, 2019

Essex’s Michael Fursedonn claims the SEIB Winter Novice Championship Qualifier at Addington Equestrian

The Winter Classic Show at Addington Equestrian took place over the back end of last week and the venue played host to a number of qualifiers including the SEIB Winter Novice Qualifier held on Saturday morning. A large field of seventy-two competitors came forward with hopes of claiming one of two qualifying tickets available for the Championship Final at the Longines Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead next summer.  

Course Designer Phil Ashworth built a fair track for the first round with twenty-seven of the initial starters producing a first round clear. The jump-off whittled the clears down to seven and the top of the leaderboard proved to be very tight with the first six placings separated by less than two seconds.

Brentwood based Michael Fursedonn took the win on board his own Cevins Pleasure, a 5-year-old British bred chestnut gelding by Cevin Z. They topped the leaderboard with a double clear in a time of 38.04 seconds. Just 0.06 of a second separated the top two placings with Helen Rees and her own 6 -ear-old British bred mare, Bianca Du Rouet, picking up the second qualifying ticket on offer after they crossed the finish line in 38.10 seconds.


Photo: Hoofprints Photography

Posted on November 4th, 2019

Date for the Diary: Most celebrated equestrian artist in the UK exhibits in Belgravia

Katie O’Sullivan, whose collectors include Duke of Edinburgh, Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber, Earl and Countess of Derby, will be exhibiting 35 new works in a solo exhibition running from 6th November to 28th November.

Born in London 1959, Katie is from an Irish family, and graduated from the Chelsea College of Art. She has been exhibiting her work since 1981, most often at The Osborne Studio Gallery, but also in New York City, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Married to the trainer Jamie Osborne, who keeps at least 70 horses in their stables at any one time, she lives and works in the middle of the racing scene of Upper Lambourn, Berkshire.

The late Sir Peter O’Sullevan, the Voice of Racing, who was Chairman of the Osborne Studio Gallery, describes her painting with his usual mastery: “Katie is quite simply one of the most original and beguiling interpreters of the power and grace of the horse in the history of equine art.”

Her painting is never dull, she uses gold and silver leaf, paints over collages of old engravings.  Her subjects are not confined to thoroughbred racehorses and jockeys, but inspired by African wildlife and for this exhibition she has been drawn to the beauty and brilliance of birds.

Katie has been working for 18 hours a day to complete this portrait of thoroughbred stallion Northern Dancer, surrounded by portraits of his progeny, all champions.

For more information visit: