Posted on September 9th, 2019

Stars of sport and broadcasting gather for 50th anniversary RDA awards

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a star-studded awards evening, recognising the outstanding achievements of riders, volunteers and horses. Host Clare Balding will be joined by ITN news anchor and journalist Alastair Stewart; motor racing legend Damon Hill; W Series’ British racing driver Alice Powell and celebrity auctioneer Philip Serrell for a night of celebration and fundraising.

Each year the RDA Gala Awards celebrates the achievements of its riders and carriage drivers, and the outstanding contribution made by its volunteers and horses. In this milestone year for RDA, the 2019 awards will be extra special. As RDA celebrates 50 years as a leader in disability sport, Damon Hill will be joining Alastair Stewart on stage to talk about the vital role sport can play in shaping lives.

“I’m delighted to be attending the RDA Gala Awards evening,” says 1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill. “It’s a fantastic charity that currently enhances the lives of more than 25,000 disabled adults and children, so I’m really looking forward to finding out more about it and to meeting some of the people with and for whom it does so much excellent work.”

Alice Powell, a star of W Series, the new single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers only and the winner of the W Series ‘Brand Finale’ race at Brands Hatch, Kent, in August, adds: “As someone who thrives on high-speed competition, I’m inspired and impressed by the work that RDA does for disabled people, harnessing – literally – the athleticism of horses in order to add mobility and empowerment to thousands of disabled people’s lives. I’m really looking forward to attending the RDA Gala Awards evening therefore.”

“The RDA Gala Awards is always an emotional and thought-provoking evening,” says long time RDA supporter Clare Balding, whose latest book, The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance, features a disabled girl who rebuilds her life through riding. “This year’s event will be a great opportunity, not just to celebrate everyone involved today, but also to reflect on the many thousands of people who have benefited over the years – and to the volunteers and horses who have given so much.”

RDA is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through horse riding and carriage driving and today supports over 25,000 children and adults all over the UK. Awards will be presented to the RDA Rider of the Year, Volunteer and Young Volunteer of the Year, and RDA Horse of the Year.

The RDA Gala Awards 2019 is on 2nd October at Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DQ. Tickets and more information from Sal Atkinson, The awards are kindly supported by Childs Farm, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Snuggy Hoods.

Posted on September 3rd, 2019

Bransby Horses is Given The British Horse Society Stamp of Approval

This year, Equine rescue and rehabilitation charity, Bransby Horses, has received The British Horse Society (BHS) Accreditation. On Tuesday 27th August, BHS Business Development Manager, Sarah Dale, and BHS Changing Lives Through Horses Manager, Phillippa Founds, visited the 600-acre charity site in Lincolnshire to congratulate the team.

BHS Approval represents the highest standards of training, horse welfare, customer care and safety. Approved centres are expected to maintain these at all times. To achieve this status, sites must apply for the assessment, with supporting evidence, undergo a site inspection, including a review of equine training practices and a number of interviews are conducted. After the initial inspection, further annual inspections are carried out to check high standards are being maintained and the centre can retain the BHS approval.

Bransby Horses was graded by BHS as part of their BHS Approved Centres scheme earlier this year after rigorous assessments. The equine charity which rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes equines across the UK, passed in all areas of the accreditation assessment. The charity even achieved ‘Highly Commended’ in the Horse Welfare, Retraining, Customer Care, Grassland Management and Working Procedures categories.

Rachel Jenkinson, Farm Manager at Bransby Horses said:

“We are thrilled with this achievement and this approval from The British Horse Society. It takes a big team of passionate and knowledgeable people to run this amazing charity and whilst seeing rescued equines have a second chance at life is a reward in itself, having this approval shows we are transparent in our working practices and also achieve the highest standards of care for our equines, staff and visitors. We are all incredibly proud of the work that we do and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us and donated their time and energy over the years – we couldn’t have done this without you!”

In addition, Bransby Horses Farm Manager, Rachel Jenkinson with some of the riding team (and happy horses Mushu, Blueberry, Sooty and Honour) proudly received an Approved Retraining Centre plaque to place on their Riding Barn. This recognition has come just a few months after the entire site achieved BHS Accreditation.

The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes, and safety for horse and riders. It currently has more than 109,000 members, making it the largest equine membership organisation in the United Kingdom. It is one of the 19 organisations which form part of the British Equestrian Federation. The BHS is the largest equestrian charity in the UK, helping equestrian businesses by providing them with the highest standards of excellence and health and safety requirements to adhere to.

Bransby Horses is dedicated to rescuing and improving the lives of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules across the UK. With public support, the charity is working harder than ever to continue making positive differences to equines whenever they can. Founded in 1968 by Mr Peter Hunt, Bransby Horses is now one of the UK’s largest equine welfare charities, currently caring for almost 1,000 animals (more than 400 on site and more than 500 in foster homes).


Photo: Bransby Horses farm Manager Rachel Jenkinson accepts the BHS Approved Retraining Centre plaque from Sarah Dale, BHS with Honour

Posted on August 19th, 2019

Voting Now Open for Absorbine National Groom Awards

For the ninth year running, Absorbine are hugely proud to be sponsoring The Groom of the Year Awards. Voting for this year’s nominees is now underway for this prestigious national award, with the winner to be announced at The British Showing Awards on 19th October 2019, at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.
Finalists have been split into two categories; professional and amateur grooms, with a total of eight individuals. Spanning the country, ranging from Devon to North Yorkshire, the nominees have range of experience but all with a common interest – their love and devotion to horses and the discipline of showing.
This year’s nominees for the Absorbine Professional Groom of the Year Award are:
Alice Tomlinson of Team KMP; Charlotte Grooby of Team Jinks; Hannah Pollard of Emmersons and Mark Chester of Jayne Ross Showing.
This year’s nominees for the Absorbine Non-Professional Groom of the Year Award are:
Claire Batterbee from North Yorkshire, Rachael Longbottom from Lincolnshire, David Woolley from Devon and Laura Marshall from Lancashire.
Leading horse care products company, Absorbine are thrilled to be able to continue their support and sponsorship of these awards. Says European marketing manager, Rachael Holdsworth, “The ethos of Absorbine is reflected in this fantastic award and we are so pleased to support our grooms, without whom many competitors – both amateur and professional – could not be so successful. Our grooming products are used by so many and it’s fantastic to be able to give something back to those who deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to the discipline.”
To vote for the finalists in this year’s Grooms Award visit Voting closes Saturday 7th September.


Jo Jack receiving her award from Rachael Holdsworth of Absorbine

Photo: Equinational

Posted on August 13th, 2019

British Showjumping National Championships: Essex’s Suzannah Engelmann wins National Club Senior 1.00m Championship

The clouds broke just in time for the start of the Senior National Club Championships on Day 4 of the British Showjumping National Championships 2019.

Bringing the Senior National Club Final Championships to an end was the 1.00m Senior National Club Championships where we saw Suzannah Engelmann, riding Lissin Rocket, take the title posting the only clear round. Fellow Saffron Walden Riding Club member and runner up, Sarah Hamlett, riding Grafique Banta, have just returned from a successful trip to France, winning gold for Great Britain at the World Club Tournament in France. The pair were delighted to share the ring in the final lap of honour of the day in Arena 3.

Photo; 1st Class Images

Posted on August 13th, 2019

In memoriam: Iona Sclater (2003 – 2019)

British Eventing was devastated to receive the news that one of our young members and bright stars in the sport, Iona Sclater, sadly died in a riding accident at home on Sunday 11th August.

Long-listed for the 2017 and 2019 European Championships for Ponies, 15-year-old Iona was an exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider. In just five seasons competing with British Eventing, Iona amassed 33 top ten results and represented the Eastern region four times at the Under 18 Regional Team Championships (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019).

Iona’s impressive results this season to secure her a place on the Pony European Championships long-list, include taking second place in the Pony Trial at Weston Park (1) and fourth in the Pony Trial at Lincolnshire Horse Trials in April, both on her pony Foxtown Cufflynx. Most recently Iona won the BE100u18 at Stratford Hills this June on Foxtown Cufflynx, and also claimed the win in the BE100 at Aston Le Walls (2) in May riding Machno Excalibur, along with the Open Novice Under 18 at Burnham Market International (1) in April with Janet Willis’ Watermill Rocks.

Our thoughts are with Iona’s friends and family, her Dad, Charles, Mum, Hetty, and sisters Lara and Alicia, at this very difficult time.

Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

Posted on August 9th, 2019

British Showjumping National Championships: Brentwood’s Nellie Lock and Ellie’s Miss Chief take the title in the Pony Bronze League 138cm & Under Final

With thirty-one starters, the Pony Bronze League 138cm & Under Final was a thriller of a class at the British Showjumping National Championships 2019. The jump off course proved a challenge, comprising of a double of verticals and oxer which dashed many Championship dreams, only a few combinations managed to go double clear.

Nine-year-old Nellie Lock and Ellie’s Miss Chief took the title with an extremely quick time of 34.91 seconds. The partnership have only been together for four months and within that time have gone from strength to strength. Their career together kick started by winning the 10 Year & Under Team Qualifier at Wales & West last month, and have excelled from then on to become a National Champion.

Chief has a lovely temperament and isn’t hard to control, so I told myself to just go for it,” beamed Nellie. “I’ve been training really hard with my instructor Sandra Dean, aiming for this class so all our hard work has paid off!”

Being a member of the Pony Club, Nellie was also awarded the sash for best placed Pony Club member, making it a brilliant finish for the young rider who is based in Brentwood. “She’s a lot of fun and I have five years left in 138’s so would love to aim for the 138cm HOYS Final one day,” she grinned. With such early success for the new partnership, there is no doubt they will have an extremely successful five years.

Sienna Palin and Calusa take second place, with Cameron Cobb and Williams Dream Boy taking third.

Photo: 1st Class Images

Posted on August 8th, 2019

British Showjumping’s Team LeMieux Pony European Championship Squad Announced

Two locally-based riders have been named as part of the squad selected to represent Great Britain under the title sponsor banner of Team LeMieux in the Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland.

The competition takes place between the 13th – 18th August 2019 at the Stragona Equestrian Centre.

Claudia Moore, aged 14, from Brentwood, Essex with Elando van de Roshoeve, a 15-year-old bay gelding owned by Katrina Moore and Holly Truelove, aged 16, from Brigg, Lincolnshire with Rexter d’Or, a 14-year-old grey stallion owned by Barrie Truelove will be joining Hannah Barker, Lila Bremner and Shaunie Greig.

The Pony Team medals will be decided on Friday 16th August and they will then compete for the Individual medals on Sunday 18th August. The Chef d’Equipe accompanying the squad will be Clare Whitaker.

Posted on August 8th, 2019

British Showjumping National Championships: Eloise Squibb takes the Pony Foxhunter Masters

Eloise Squibb piloting 12-year-old grey gelding Rudgeway Maestro continued their winning streak and were the well-deserved winners of the Pony Foxhunter Masters on Day 3 of the British Showjumping National Championships, after winning the Pony Newcomers Masters the day before.

At just 14-years of age, Eloise showed experience beyond her years navigating her way around the jump off accomplishing a quick time of 35.92 seconds out of the fifteen competitors who made it through to the jump off.

Commenting on her win, she said. “I didn’t think I could have a double win! Especially as I knew the people before me in the jump off were really quick so I had to go quicker.”

She continued, “As I’ve only had Rudgeway Maestro for two months I came to practice my jump off turns.” Which after her two wins at the National Championships it is safe to say she has mastered! Having had an unbelievable show together so far, the combination will be competing in the pony 148cm Silver League later this morning to see if they can end their time at the National Championships with a triple win.

Ella Quigley and Daisy De Chambord take second place, with Charlotte Hollinshead and Alenas Ennistymon taking third.

Photo: 1st Class Images

Posted on August 8th, 2019

British Showjumping National Championships: Chelmsford’s Izabella Rogers is crowned the National 128cm Champion

Izabella Rogers aboard the grey mare Whinney Lass jumped to the finish to take the National 128cm Champion title at the British Showjumping National Championships 2019.  With the top four placings offering a qualification to Horse of the Year Show as well as Olympia there was all to play for.

Izabella took the title riding the 16 year old mare Whinney Lass after travelling to the Championships from Chelmsford. The combination have been a partnership for the past three years, where they have gone from strength to strength and are the reigning Horse of the Year Show 128cm Champions. Speaking of their win today, Izabella explained: “I thought my round would be fast enough as Whinney covers the ground quickly.”

Izabella has competed at HOYS previously in 2017 in the 128 Championship aboard SNL Ginger Ninja where she came fifth, and returned in 2018 with Whinney Lass where they took the 128 Championships title. The combination now hopes to defend their title at HOYS this year.

Second place was Noora Von Bulow with Sparkel III and third place was Emily Irvine with Bunbury Conquest.

Photo: 1st Class Images

Posted on August 8th, 2019

Dumped six-week-old foal lucky to survive: Charity appeals for information

A six-week old foal found dumped in a field on the outskirts of Swaffham in Norfolk has survived against the odds and is now in the care of World Horse Welfare. The charity is appealing for information and is keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the foal previously or spotted anything suspicious in the area.

The skewbald colt foal, who has one very distinctive blue eye, was found by the owners of the field when they were tending to their sheep on the morning of Tuesday 31st July. They contacted World Horse Welfare who immediately collected the foal and took him to a safe yard where he is receiving the care and attention he needs.

“At such a young age this poor little chap should still be with his mother,” said World Horse Welfare Field Officer Jacko Jackson who was called out to collect the foal. “It’s lucky he was found relatively quickly as had he been left for much longer, especially in the extreme heat we have had, it’s unlikely he would have survived.

“Horses are not normally weaned until six months of age but this little foal is clearly a fighter,” he continued. “We bottle fed him for a couple of days and he has now learnt to drink milk from a bucket and is doing very well.”

The foal will remain with World Horse Welfare and in time will be introduced to other youngsters at the charity’s Norfolk centre so that he can learn how to socialise and behave naturally within a herd.

Please contact 0300 333 6000 if you have any information that can help.