Posted on May 9th, 2019

International athletes line up to contest the 2019 FEI Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International

There are just two weeks to go until the 2019 Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International, incorporating the FEI Eventing Nations Cup. This year the event runs from 23rd – 26th May and will, as usual, welcome riders from across the globe.

Fifteen nations will be represented, from Spain and Sweden to Brazil, Canada and Australia. Entries for the headline ‘CCISO4*’ class, which incorporates the only British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, are strong – but will any team successfully challenge the winner of the previous four years, Germany?

Serious contenders for victory in this competitive class include recent Badminton Horse Trials winner Piggy French, who brings forward Cooley Monsoon and Graf Cavalier. Piggy’s fellow team gold medallist from last year’s World Equestrian Games, Gemma Tattersall also has two chances with Jalapeno III and Santiago Bay, while overseas riders to watch are Ingrid Klimke (GER) and Vittoria Panizzon (ITA). Vittoria has entered her punchy little grey mare, crowd favourite Borough Pennyz.

Other top riders throwing their hats in to the ring at Houghton include Eventing icon Lucinda Green, past Badminton winner Sam Griffiths, another British World Championship team gold medallist Tom McEwen and Swedish team medallist Ludwig Svennerstall.

Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International also plays host to, and sponsors, the British Eventing Under 21 Championships. The on-form Heidi Coy, who took individual silver at last summer’s Junior European Championship, has four horses entered – including her medal winning Royal Fury, and it would be hard to bet against her topping the leaderboard at Houghton. Bubby Upton is likely to be her biggest threat – Cola III is a previous seven-year-old Young Horse champion and finished second at Houghton last year, while Eros DHI should also be in contention.

Running alongside the International event, there are showjumping, combined training, dressage, arena eventing and pony club classes, as well as the popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers, while new for this year is an invitation only Varsity challenge between teams from Oxford and Cambridge.

For those less horse-orientated there will be ‘have a go’ dog agility hosted by Riding for the Disabled, Musketeer’s charity for this year, children’s entertainment, over 70 tradestands, food outlets, and a licenced bar.

One option worth considering is camping on site. This is a truly unique opportunity as camping is not allowed at Houghton Hall at any other time of the year. Camping packages can cover anything from one night to the whole event.

Tickets can be bought in advance via the website, and on the Gate, which opens at 8.30am every day.

Posted on May 7th, 2019

Bransby Horses reveals plans for their Summer Fayre

Lincolnshire-based equine charity, Bransby Horses, is hosting their 44th annual Summer Fayre on Sunday 2nd June. Last year, the Summer Fayre attracted a record number of visitors and it is hoped the Fayre this year will be another success for the charity. For many in the area, it is a chance to visit the local gem, take the family for a day out and meet some of the 400 animals the charity looks after across 600 acres of beautiful countryside.

Entry to Bransby Horses is free and the charity has confirmed they will have more activities than ever this year. There will be horse demonstrations, a trailer training and loading demonstration, a riding team display, falconry, children’s play zone, arts and crafts, a dog show, dog agility display, shopping (including a second hand tack sale), glitter tattoos, charity stands, a barbecue and a wide selection of food available. There will also be the usual picturesque walkways available to enjoy a stroll, so families can visit some of the horses, donkeys and mules who are living there.

Visitors can travel by car as there is plenty of parking (suggested donation £1) but Stagecoach will also be providing a free local bus service from Lincoln City Centre Bus Station which runs through Saxilby and stops at the Visitor Centre at Bransby Horses. Bus times and stop details can be found here

Having celebrated their 50th anniversary last year, the charity has also recently confirmed they have almost reached 1,000 equines in their care. More than 400 equines living on site and 500 rehomed but continuing to receive support from the charity. In fact, last year alone, the charity helped rescue and rehabilitate 93 horses, donkeys and mules showing how the role of public support continues to be pivotal to the continuation of the work the charity do.

Vicky Varney, Event Coordinator at Bransby Horses said: “The Summer Fayre is quite honestly one of my favourite events of the year as it brings our team and animals together with neighbours, supporters, animal-lovers and families looking for a fun day out. It is a really good community event and as well as raising money for us to continue our work, it gives us the chance to catch up with friends and meet new people, share our knowledge and lots of our stories. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of the public and we are always touched by the distance some people travel to visit us. Thank you everyone!”

For further information please visit

Posted on April 30th, 2019

Raring to go for the Redwings Show!

With less than two weeks to go, final preparations are underway for Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s annual show which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The Redwings Show will return on Sunday 12th May at Topthorn Equestrian Centre, near Stowmarket in Suffolk, and offers classes to suit all abilities.

While entries are welcome on the day, early-bird entries will close on Sunday 5th May so make sure to put your name down now to avoid missing out.

In celebration of the Redwings Show’s 10th birthday, winners will be presented with an exciting array of new prizes. This year’s Supreme Champion will take home the top prize of 25 bales of bedding donated by Sundown Products (delivered to an address of their choice), while other prizes include a £150 voucher from showjumping manufacturer Jump 4 Joy, £100 Spillers feed voucher, saddlecloths donated by SEIB Insurance Brokers, and goodie bags from Equilibrium Products.

Young competitors will also have the chance to get their hands on annuals donated by Pony Magazine, while Diss Event Photography – who will be capturing the highlights of the day – have also added to the prize haul with vouchers for free prints for some of the winners.

The Redwings Show offers a varied schedule of showing classes, from traditional In-Hand and Ridden Showing classes, to Working Hunter, Veteran and Heavy Horse classes. The dedicated Novice Ring and Just for Fun classes also provide new or young competitors the chance to enjoy some practice in the show-ring and take home a rosette or two… or more!

The popular Best Rescue classes, open to any horse or pony rehomed from a registered charity, will also return, while the Donkey Breed Society affiliated donkey classes, which are open to members and non-members, will for the first time include a class for miniature donkeys too.

Due to the current concerns regarding the equine flu outbreak, Redwings will be asking entrants to show their horses’ passports on the day to prove their vaccinations are up-to-date prior to competing.

Redwings Show organiser Jude Palmer, said: “With less than two weeks to go, we’re really excited and looking forward to welcoming competitors, both old and new. With the showing season getting underway, the Redwings Show is the perfect opportunity to get some practice in and you could go away with one of this year’s great new prizes. We’re so proud to be marking 10 years of this fun and inclusive event and we hope as many horse owners as possible will be able to join us in celebration!”

The full schedule and entry forms can be downloaded at, or alternatively you can contact show organiser Jude Palmer on 01508 481032 or email

Posted on April 15th, 2019

Get a Sneak Preview of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

Are you heading to this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials? Well here’s your chance to get a sneak preview of the exciting cross-country course thanks to a new programme on Horse & Country.

The Badminton 2019 Preview show, presented by Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, takes in a course walk with well-known designer, Eric Winter and leading event rider, Sam Watson as they look at the five most serious combinations on the course.

Watch the programme first on Horse & Country’s streaming service from Thursday, April 18. Sign up to watch at

If you want to know more about how riders will tackle the major combinations, at what is one of the most talked about events on the equestrian calendar, subscribe to H&C to watch this fascinating show.

The five most demanding combinations including the Savills Staircase, Shogun Sport Hollow, Mirage Water, Nyetimber Heights and The Lake with L200s are the main features of the programme.

Watch and learn as Eric and Sam discuss how riders will approach and jump each obstacle as they make their way round what is arguably one of the world’s toughest courses.

Throughout the programme, Irishman Sam is true to his words and honest with his thoughts on each combination as he chats to Eric, getting the low down on the course designer’s thinking behind each fence and the angles they should ideally be tackled on.

With fantastic drone footage running alongside Eric and Sam’s humorous banter and chat, this highly entertaining show is a must watch on the countdown to the prestigious event.

Watch on Horse & Country’s web and mobile apps and streaming devices, also on Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Roku, Samsung Tizen.


Posted on April 15th, 2019

New facilities ready to welcome visitors this Easter

Visitors to Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s Caldecott centre in Norfolk this Easter will be among the first to enjoy new facilities following a year-long makeover.

The visitor centre in Fritton near Great Yarmouth, which is home to more than 110 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, has recently opened a brand-new café and gift shop in the beautiful setting of Caldecott Hall.

The café has been named Oliver’s Café in memory of one of Redwings Caldecott’s beloved former residents and Adoption Scheme members, Oliver Twist, who passed away in 2018 having spent 19 happy years at the visitor centre.

Alongside the improved amenities for visitors, which also includes a new welcome building, Redwings has also invested in new horse care facilities at the site, including additional woodchip paddocks, field shelters and veterinary stables.

The finishing touches are also being added to a brand-new rehoming centre, which will allow rescued horses and ponies to be rehomed from Redwings Caldecott for the first time.

Due to open this summer, the rehoming centre will allow even more rescued horses to be trained to find loving new Guardian homes as part of Redwings’ rehoming scheme, providing the space for more horses in desperate need to be given a place of safety at the Sanctuary.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “Redwings Caldecott has been welcoming visitors for almost 20 years so we felt it was about time the site received a well-deserved makeover. We can’t thank people enough for the support they have shown us and our rescued residents throughout all these years and we hope these new facilities will make everyone’s visits even more enjoyable.

“The welfare of our horses and donkeys is always our priority so we’re delighted to have invested in a number of improved care facilities, including our soon-to-be-complete rehoming centre which marks an exciting expansion of our rehoming operations. For the first time, we’ll be able to train rescued horses at Redwings Caldecott to find loving homes outside the Sanctuary – and our supporters will have the chance to watch their progress! The more horses we can help find loving Guardian homes, the more space we have in the Sanctuary to help those in need.”

Redwings Caldecott, in Beccles Road, Fritton, Norfolk, NR31 9EY, is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm. Entry is free and dogs on leads are welcome.

For more information, visit

Posted on April 4th, 2019

Bolesworth International Opens Its Doors to Riders

Looking to compete at one of the most prestigious shows in the country? This year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show comes back bigger and better than ever with a host of classes from top-level CSI4* to the Amateur Series at 1.25m and 1.15m level, and full range of national, age and pony competitions.
The stage is very much set for this year’s event – running June 12th to 16th at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire – providing the opportunity to compete in one of the best amphitheatre-style international arenas in the world. National and International entries and rider packages are now on sale for this year’s show and booking early is recommended.
Said Show Promoter, Nina Barbour: “Each year we aim to develop new classes and competitions at Bolesworth International and want to attract riders across all levels, from the very best show jumpers in the world to those who compete week in and week out on the national calendar.”

Entries can be made through the following channels:
CSI2* Entries
The CSI2* is running at Bolesworth International Horse Show with sections at 1.30m, 1.40m and 1.45m. There are a limited number of invitational hybrid entries available, incorporating 4* (B and C Tours), and 2* (A Tour) classes.
Entries are available via the Bolesworth Show Office: 01829 307676.

CSI Amateur Entries
Why not make the most of the opportunity to compete in a truly international competition environment?
CSI Amateur packages are available to any Home Country rider with a valid FEI Horse Registration as well as all International riders.
Amateur Packages are available for 1, 2 or 3 horses and incorporate VIP Hospitality tables, providing an ideal base to relax and watch the competition during the show. Please contact the Bolesworth Office for further details.
NB: To compete in the Amateur series in your home country, you do not require a full FEI Passport.

Bolesworth National Entries
Bolesworth International Horse Show is delighted to be hosting a range of British Show Jumping National classes, from British Novice, through to Foxhunter, alongside 4, 5 and 6-year-old series.
Entries are open to all competitors registered with British Show Jumping (riders can jump on day tickets, please contact for further details).
National classes are all block entry, allowing competitors to jump in four classes throughout the show – an ideal chance to stay on site and watch the international competition!

Pony Classes
Pony entries are available by qualification and invitation for 128cm, 138cm and 148cm. Please contact for further information.
Entries are available on via the competitors page.

What’s On
As well as world class sport, the Show features top class entertainment and sport, including the Cazenove Capital Eventers Grand Prix, Carl Hester Dressage Demonstration, Bolesworth Elite Yearling Auction, Equitop GLME Puissance and the exhilarating Ride and Drive. All riders accreditation will permit access into amazing Club Boles every night of the show, featuring live music and themed party nights.

VIP Hospitality
Experience the entertainment from our luxury ringside hospitality marquee. Day hospitality packages are available to riders at £135 + vat per person, with evening packages starting at £95 + vat per person.
Would you like to take advantage of a rider package combining Amateur or CSI 2* entries with exclusive VIP hospitality? Then contact or 01829 307676 for further information!

Posted on April 1st, 2019

New Product Launch: Ultimate in equine movement enhancement technology

Equestrian Direct has today announced the ultimate in equine movement enhancement technology.

The Warwickshire based company’s BounciRide is made from recycled trampolines which were tragically damaged during the recent, and seemingly never-ending, storms Freya, Gareth and Hannah.

BounciRide is an ideal top-up for surfaces which dry out in the warmer months. Dry, deep, dusty surfaces not only increase the risk of injury, as horses struggle to move through the surface rather than on top of it, but can also ride ‘dead’, absorbing the energy from the horse’s stride.

For dressage riders, BounciRide is scientifically proven to improve horses’ natural cadence by over 200 per cent and when used as a show jumping surface, it is guaranteed to turn any pony, horse, donkey or mule, into a Grand Prix Showjumper.

Equestrian Direct Director, Ross Riley, said: “The trials were, umm, interesting. We laid a top-up of BounciRide to the jumping school at our competition yard and had to fit safety nets around the side of the school as the riders were pinging off left, right and centre. The horses loved it though. Once we duct taped the riders to their saddles and invested in some much taller jump wings – even the yard 12.2hh was clearing 1m40 with ease.”

BounciRide is not recommended for indoor schools with a ceiling height of less than 20 meters for obvious reasons.


Posted on March 28th, 2019

World class athletes line up for 2019 FEI Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International

Yet again the Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials has attracted the highest level of competitors from around the world.

Fourteen nations will be represented, the line up including many of the very best riders on the circuit. Between them, at Five Star – the very top level of eventing – these athletes have won 18 Burghley titles, 11 Badminton titles, eight Lexington titles, four Luhmuhlen titles and three Pau titles. In addition, we have two past individual European Champions and one past World Champion (two if you count Ros Canter, the reigning World Champion, who will be on event but not competing), and countless Olympic medallists.

All members of the victorious gold medal winning team from last year’s World Championships will be there: Piggy French, Tom McEwen, Gemma Tattersall and double gold medal winner Ros Canter, who might be sidelined due to impending motherhood but will be watching her regular horses compete and flying the flag for Riding for the Disabled, a charity with whom she has been involved for many years, and which is our official charity this year.

World and British number one Oliver Townend will be looking for an 11th win in the headline Four Star class, one which he has made very much his own over the last 12 years. He brings seven horses to Norfolk, including his Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class and Kentucky winner Cooley Master Class.

Other Five Star winners include Tim & Jonelle Price, Andrew Nicholson and Caroline Powell from New Zealand, and British favourites William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell and Mary King.

In a change of scheduling, our raft of world class riders will be competing their top horses on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the Intermediate and Advanced classes will take place, past World and European Champion Zara Tindall bringing two horses forward for the Advanced as well as competing a couple of novice horses.

Sunday’s action will be dominated by the International jumping phases, the Three and Four Star runners. One hundred and sixty combinations are entered in to the Four Star, which has been split in to two sections as a result. The Three Star will be no walk in the park to win either, with 115 entrants. A total of 845 entries have been received for the three days of competition.

Of course, the horse trials isn’t just about horses. Fen Falconry will be attending, with a variety of birds of prey on display, while the Lowestoft Dog Agility Display Team will be in action on both Saturday and Sunday. Add in bungee trampolines, bouncy castles, a climbing wall and Razz & Pearl’s circus workshops, plus over 40 shops, and Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International really does offer a fantastic day out for all the family.

Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International takes place from 12th-14th April at Sussex Farm, PE31 8AG.

For more information on any aspect of this year’s Horse Trials, and to book advance tickets, visit For more information on the work of RDA, visit

Posted on March 26th, 2019

SEIB clients vote for World Horse Welfare to receive top grant in £100K Charity Awards

SEIB Insurance Brokers granted a total of £100,000 to charity at their Charity Awards luncheon at the Grange City Hotel, London on the 22nd March. SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fehler presented a cheque for £50,000 and a commemorative plaque to Roly Owers and Emma Williams of the winning charity, World Horse Welfare. Nine other charities reached the final voting stage of the SEIB Charity Awards and received a further £50,000 from SEIB between them.

Barry Fehler said: “I have been at the helm of SEIB for over 50 years and it is with great pride that we are able to make these grants totalling £100,000 to projects voted for by our clients. I am delighted that since last year, with the support of our owners Ecclesiastical, we have been able to double the sum granted by SEIB to charity”.

The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible and the grant has to be awarded for a specific project. This is to ensure that the money granted will really make a difference. The winning project for World Horse Welfare was for Vital New Equipment, including a new tractor and trailer and a drone with a hi-res camera to help locate horses in need of help in hard to reach locations.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary took the runner-up grant of £15,000 for their Horse Hospital Treatment Room project and the smallest charity of the finalists, the Welsh Pony Rescue and Rehoming Charitable Trust took £10,000 for third place back to South Wales for their Every Life is Precious project. In fourth place was the Animal Health Trust, who were awarded a grant of £5,000 for the Digital X-Ray Appeal which could help diagnose new orthopaedic conditions.

Manchester based, Once Upon a Smile, received the SEIB Small Charity Award. This resulted in a grant of £10,000 for their project, Help Bereaved Families Rebuild Their Lives. Once Upon a Smile offers financial support and respite breaks to bereaved families.

Over 1,000 small to medium sized charities were nominated by over 22,000 public votes in the first stage of the decision making process for the 2019 SEIB Charity Awards. From these charities, a shortlist of finalists were selected and invited to submit detailed plans. The Charities Trust provided SEIB with their help to carry out due diligence to ensure that each of the finalists met all criteria of the grant and are above board. Following this, SEIB customers placed nearly 2,000 votes to decide on the recipient of the £50,000 grant and the runners up. The winner was announced at the SEIB awards ceremony and luncheon.

Barry Fehler continued “We are delighted that our customers have decided which of these very worthy causes should receive the grant. SEIB is so successful because we are totally customer focussed and this is another way that our clients can have their say. Each of the charities that reached the final judging had important projects that would really make a difference to the areas within which they operate and that was our aim when we set up this initiative”.

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 do a huge amount for local charities and SEIB has proudly supported the Burghley Sponsored Ride for the past five-years by covering expenses so all proceeds go to charity.

The other finalist charities, each receiving a grant of £2,000 each are; Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare, Lindsey Lodge Hospice, James Hopkins Trust, Wildlife Aid Foundation and the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.

Photo: L to R Barry Fehler, Roly Owers, Suzy Middleton, Emma Williams and Bipin Thaker

Posted on March 25th, 2019

Fans given the opportunity to become part of #TEAMHOYS

Six of Horse of the Year Show’s most enthusiastic and engaged fans will this year have the opportunity to be recognised for their love of the show by becoming ‘HOYS Superfans’ ahead of this year’s HOYS in October at the Resorts World Arena, NEC Birmingham.

A social campaign built with the aim of connecting with the younger followers of Horse of the Year Show, it has been designed to resonate with 16-28 year olds who are keen influencers in the equestrian industry through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube vlogs. The social media tag for the campaign is #TeamHOYS and the lucky six Superfans will be challenged to achieve the highest number of ticket sales and recruit the most members of #TeamHOYS.


How to get involved

HOYS are looking for six enthusiastic, horse-loving and social media savvy individuals to help us spread the news about Horse of the Year Show 2019!  Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is one of the longest standing horse shows in the UK and is the biggest week of the year for equestrian entertainment. Returning to The NEC Birmingham this October, the event will showcase national and international showjumping classes, the finals for the Pony Club Mounted Games Prince Philip Cup, and will see the best of British show horses come forward for the finale to the showing season.

The lucky six Superfans will work alongside an existing HOYS Ambassador and will be set up as an affiliate with our official ticketing partner, The Ticket Factory. This will enable HOYS to track how many ticket sales you generate through your promotion of the show. For each ticket you sell, you will receive a 2% commission on the face value ticket price, and to make sure you look the part you will get your very own HOYS clothing to enjoy. You can blog and vlog to your heart’s content and tell all your friends about some of the exciting plans in store for 2019! Whichever Superfan has sold the most tickets by 31st August 2019 will be crowned the Ultimate HOYS Superfan and will receive a very special, unique and never offered before prize…..


Check out the prize!

Ever wondered what it is like to spend a day backstage with the Press Team at HOYS? Well now is your chance! As part of the prize, you will be invited to spend a day backstage with HOYS ambassador Hannah Eccles. You will be mingling amongst well-known equestrian journalists from the likes of Horse & Hound, interviewing riders, taking shots for social media, speaking to some of the other members of the HOYS team and getting a real feel for what it’s like to put on one of the biggest horse shows in the UK. And as if that isn’t enough, you and a friend will then be invited to enjoy an evening in hospitality, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a well-earned treat.

The runners up will also each receive a pair of tickets to come along and enjoy the show on the Sunday evening for the Gala Evening Finale.


Abide by the Terms and Conditions

  • Entrants must be over the age of 16 to enter
  • You must be able to demonstrate how you will communicate the HOYS news through way of blog/vlog/social media following
  • You must abide by Horse of the Year show’s social media rules as well as brand guidelines
  • Candidates must be available to attend the show, 2nd – 6th October 2019
  • The winning Superfan must have sold a minimum of 10 tickets in order to claim their prize.

Enter now

To fill out your application form, head to . Applications to become a HOYS Superfan will close on 30th April 2019 and winners will be selected by a panel of Grandstand Media Ltd employees. The lucky six winners will be contacted by Friday 10th May 2019.