Posted on July 13th, 2018

Polo Date for the Diary…Saturday 28th July

The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in Windsor, England is gearing up to host The International after the Hurlingham Polo Association named the Club, the Home of English Polo. 

The Club will host the prestigious annual polo spectacular, showcasing an England Test Match against the United States, playing for The Westchester Cup.

The International Day has always been one of the highest profile sporting events in the British summer calendar and as always, this world-class day will be one of the stand-out social events of the year.

The Westchester Cup was created in 1876 and is always played for by teams from the USA and England. It has only been played four times since the Second World War and is currently held by England who won in 2013. Following on from last year, a Ladies International, featuring Flannels England Ladies will also be on the schedule, highlighting the importance of women’s polo across the globe.

The club are also delighted to announce that Charlotte Dujardin CBE, three times Olympic Gold Medalist, European and World Champion in the sport of Dressage will give a through the levels master class on International Day as she demonstrates her training techniques with a range of horses. The move is part of a long-term strategy by the Club’s Chairman to bring the equestrian disciplines closer together and to encourage new audiences to immerse themselves in Polo.

“I am delighted that the USA have issued a challenge and that the Flannels England team will be competing for this great cup in 2018. A huge amount of our pride and history is caught up in the Westchester legend and we want it to become the Ryder Cup of polo. We look forward to an exciting new chapter of this great story at our new venue.” Hurlingham Polo Association

“To play for the Westchester is very special and means a huge amount to the players. As a challenge trophy, which the winners retain, it has a great history. It has been in England since 1997 and this will be a very special and significant match for the US team” – United States Polo Association

“We are delighted that this prestigious trophy will be competed for here at the new hub of English polo on our first International Day. It is going to be a very exciting and truly an international day with the Flannels England team versus the USA first, followed by the Flannels England Ladies team playing for the Diamond Jubilee trophy. We are thrilled to host these two World class matches” Jamie Morrison – Chairman of Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.

For tickets visit:

Posted on July 9th, 2018

A Newcomers Guide to Hunting…

Ahead of the much anticipated Lycetts Festival of Hunting, the event’s title sponsor Lycetts offer an introduction to hunting. 

Lycetts Festival of Hunting, which takes place at the East of England Showground on Wednesday 18th July, is an annual showcase for the world of hunting and the countryside community, boasting the greatest gathering of hounds in the UK. The prestigious event also includes the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, which celebrates its 130th anniversary this year.

For many, the day marks the highlight of the summer social calendar and provides the ideal opportunity for newcomers to immerse themselves in the world of hunting. As many a seasoned Lycetts Festival of Hunting visitor will tell you, the hunting community welcome newcomers with open arms and relish the opportunity to share their enjoyment in the sport with others. The following guide offers tips and tricks for newcomers looking for a valuable insight into the world of hunting ahead of the landmark event:


A first outing with a pack of hounds can be a daunting experience yet taking note of a few key things will help newcomers quickly feel at home. The following may prove useful:

  1. At Least One of You Should Know What You Are Doing! – A novice rider on a novice horse is frequently going to find the day a challenge. The happy hacker who has never put a foot wrong may become so excited by the day that they behave entirely differently to normal: pulling like a proverbial train or barging and pushing. It is often best to hire an experienced hunter for the first few days until the rider knows the form.
  2. Be A Gracious Guest – Meets are not provided by the hunt but by individuals. The often lavish provision of drinks and food is due to the generosity of the host and it is therefore always polite to thank them when leaving the meet.
  1. Listen Out for Calls of ‘Whip on The Left’ or ‘Huntsman on The Right’ – This is a signal that hunt staff will need to pass and should be given priority. Make sure one’s horse is facing them and the hounds as they pass. Never allow the horse’s rear end to be facing the hounds.
  1. Volume Control – While chatting with other riders is key part of the day, there will be times when the Huntsman and Field Master need to listen carefully to what is going on. They will not appreciate loud conversations at these times and so it is always worth being attentive.



Like any sport, hunting has its own vocabulary. Picking up the hunting lingo by knowing these terms and using them correctly will help newcomers become a dab hand at hunting in no time. Top terms to know are:

  • Jump – In hunting circles the word ‘jump’ is a verb and not a noun. Those in the know will talk about ‘jumping fences’, not ‘doing jumps’, despite fences often being referred to as hunt jumps.
  • Hunt – A ‘hunt’ is the collective noun for the institution. It is also the period of time the hunt is actively following a trail. It does not refer to the day (which is called a ‘day’s hunting’).
  • Run – The active period of following hounds as they follow a trail across country is referred to as a ‘run’.
  • Country – The word ‘country’ is used by hunting people to describe the geographical area over which a hunt operates with two distinct meanings. It can refer to the type of ground a specific hunt usually crosses or it can refer to the actual geographical reach over which they hunt. Each hunt has a clearly defined country within which its meets are held.
  • Good Morning / Good Night – Hunting people will greet each other at the beginning of the day with ‘good morning’ and, whatever time they go home, they will say ‘good night’. This is just the way it is and does not mean they have lost their marbles.


It is easy to be impressed by beautiful horses and immaculately turned out riders. However, one thing hunting teaches is never to judge by first appearances. Here are a few examples:

  1. The man in scruffy tweed and wellies who holds open a gate is quite probably the owner of the farm or estate on which the hunt is taking place. Greet every person on this basis and novices won’t go wrong.
  1. Not every good hunter would fare well in a showing class. Not judging by appearances also applies to horses. Sometimes the ugliest of animals will be a spectacular hunter. Amateur hunters can usually spot these horses by the warm greeting other riders give them, often referring to them by name.
  1. Follow the elderly fellow in the faded coat. When crossing difficult country, do not follow the dashing man on the fine steed, but rather the elderly fellow in a faded coat who knows every inch of the country and will know the safest crossing places. He or she will neither waste time nor energy, preserving these for a serious run and they will invariably be right up there at the end.


There are many people involved in hunting and it is often very tricky to tell the key members apart. When it comes to the mounted field, there are a few types to look out for:

  1. Masters and Officials – Once the day begins, everyone is equal. But some are more equal than others! These are the Masters and Officials who run the day. The Huntsman, Whippers In and the Field Master should be easy to spot. The next most important person is the Hunt Secretary who will welcome hunters as they arrive and collect the cap. This is the money hunters pay at the beginning of the day, which goes towards the management of the hunt, including looking after the hounds.
  1. Thrusters – These are the people who ride at the very front of the field, usually as close to the Field Master as they can get. They will dazzle with their courage and impress with their tenacity. Many of them will be very experienced and skilled riders. However, they may not be the best people to emulate. Newcomers to hunting will learn a great deal more if they observe more modest riders who watch hounds and conserve their horse’s energy.
  1. Children – Younger hunters on small ponies may appear sweet, yet never underestimate them. Many will have been hunting since they were toddlers and will out-gallop and out-jump the best adult riders. They are easy to spot by the determined glint in their eyes and their quiet manner. Follow them at your peril!
  2. Pilot – Newcomers will quickly learn that some people never refuse at fences. Outward appearances may not make this obvious. For those wanting to follow someone over a fence who is going to give ones horse a good lead, be attentive and work out who is a good pilot and, if possible, slot in behind them. A good indicator is a quiet rider on a happy-looking horse.
  3. The rest – Old hunting prints would have us believe that almost everyone dazzles and jumps their way across country. In fact, there are often more who don’t do this than those that do. Surtees once said: “Happy are they who hunt for their own pleasure – and not to astonish others”. Within every hunt, there are those who simply ride at their own pace, go through the gates and avoid difficult situations. They may not astonish others, but they will certainly be enjoying themselves.


 Lycetts Festival of Hunting is organised by The East of England Agricultural Society, in association with Addo Events. The event takes place on Wednesday 18th July, at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

 To book tickets, which are now on sale, and for more information, visit:

Posted on July 9th, 2018

Timetable announced for this year’s HOYS Live Zone

Horse of the Year Show is proud to present the HOYS Live Zone for the second year running with some new and exciting talks and demonstrations.

The HOYS Live Zone is located in the HOYS Retail Village at Horse of the Year Show which takes place the NEC Genting Arena Birmingham from 3rd – 7th  October this year. The staged area which was introduced last year will incorporate a fabulous line up of guest speakers, interactive sessions, celebrity rider signings and talks from leading industry experts providing visitors with the opportunity to get more involved than ever before.

Posted on July 9th, 2018

Special Guests Announced For Horse Charity’s Open Day!

Two special guests will be making an appearance at Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s free open day on Sunday 15th July.

Adoption Star donkey Esther will be welcoming visitors to Redwings’ Hapton headquarters, south of Norwich, when the horse rescue charity hosts a day of tours, demonstrations, food and fun this month.

Esther was just two months old when she was rescued from the horrors of Spindle Farm, Amersham, in January 2008. She was so weak from the neglect she had suffered that when she arrived at Redwings she had to be carried off the horsebox.

Now happy and healthy, Esther lives at Redwings’ Caldecott visitor centre, near Great Yarmouth, but is making the special trip to attend the open day in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of her rescue.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service will also be returning by popular demand to give a fascinating and dramatic demonstration of how they rescue animals in tricky situations using one of their training model horses.

Although Redwings has visitor centres across the UK, its headquarters – home to its largest Rehoming Centre and Horse Hospital – opens just once a year to the public.

Redwings’ Chief Executive Lynn Cutress, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Esther to our Hapton Open Day. Ten years ago, the image of this little donkey being carried off the horsebox became a global symbol of the neglect that took place at Spindle Farm.

“Today she remains an inspirational symbol of the recoveries made by so many of the Amersham survivors and the happy lives they now enjoy. We can’t wait for people to meet her and find out more about her story in this special anniversary year – and we know she will adore all the fuss and cuddles too!

“We’re also thrilled to welcome back Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, whose fascinating demonstration of how they rescue horses, was one of the many highlights of last year’s open day. It’s definitely not to be missed!”

The open day, which will run from 10am to 4pm, will include tours of the hospital by Redwings’ own veterinary team, including a special tour designed just for young children. During the vet tour, everyone has the chance to meet rescued horses and donkeys and find out how the charity cares for its 1,500 residents – of which almost 350 live at its 350-acre Hapton site!

Redwings’ rehoming team will also be showcasing how the charity trains its horses – many of whom arrive at the Sanctuary either semi-feral or having never been handled – with the aim of helping them find loving new homes outside the Sanctuary as part of the charity’s rehoming programme.

And there will be plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with the horses with pony grooming and self-guided walks around the centre’s paddocks, so don’t forget your good footwear. Look out too for cheeky mascots Red and Wings who will be dropping by to meet everyone!

After all that fun, visitors can relax with their pick of hot and cold refreshments, as well as browse a bring ‘n’ buy sale, a tack sale and Redwings’ own pop-up shop full of exclusive gifts with all proceeds going towards the care of the charity’s rescued residents.

Redwings Open Day is completely free and will take place on Sunday 15th July, from 10am to 4pm, at Redwings Hapton, Norwich, Norfolk, NR15 1SP.

Posted on July 2nd, 2018

Show Jumping Superstars Head To Keysoe

The College Equestrian, Keysoe, Bedfordshire, gears up for three days of scorching hot competition as global stars line up to compete in this week’s CSI** and CSIYH1* from the 3rd – 5th July. Riders from ten Nations, including Olympic medallists and recent Global Champions Tour winners line up to compete in the venue’s first jumping International of the year.

Former World Number 1 and London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Maher tops the entry list for the CSI**. Essex based Ben heads to Keysoe with former Villamoura CSIYH* winner F One USA.

Ireland’s Shane Breen competes off the back of a Global Champions Tour Grand Prix victory in Monaco this weekend. From the golden beaches of the French Riviera to the golden fields of Bedfordshire, the world ranked 50th rider brings forward Clintofino, Colmar and recent Hickstead Masters Trophy winner Clyde Va.

Laura Renwick brings with her six rides across the CSI2* and CSIYH*, including the 8-year-old gelding Alothain De Blondel with whom she won the Vilamoura CSI3* 140 in February this year. One to watch in the Young Horse classes will certainly be Claretina (Clarimo x Caretino) who, with Laura, has already clocked up six international 5-year-old this season.

No stranger to wins at Keysoe and back to back Hickstead Speed Derby winner Matthew Sampson is making a name for himself as one of the quickest riders on the circuit. Matt brings his Bolesworth CSI4* winner Django Blue, the multiple young horse winner Budgie, along with the competitive rides on Ebolensky and Conlando 55.

Competition runs from Tuesday 3rd July until Thursday 5th, with the feature €25,000 Grand Prix coming on Thursday afternoon. Entry for spectators is free of charge each day with tradestands from Devoucoux, Spillers, CWD and food and drink available.

All of the action is available to watch online for free via

Posted on June 28th, 2018

Technical Issues

Due to a technical problem, our Competitions page is currently unable to take entries…

This is a temporary issue and we’re working hard to resume normal service!

Apologies for the delay, and please call back again shortly….

Posted on June 26th, 2018

Alnwick Equestrian Centre to host SEIB Search for a Star qualifier

The fourth qualifier in the 2018 SEIB Search for a Star series will be held at Alnwick Ford Equestrian Centre in Northumberland on the 8th July. This is a brand-new venue for Search for a Star owing to popular demand to have a northern qualifier.

SEIB Search for a Star was set up to give amateur riders and their horses the chance to compete at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and has led to many thrilled competitors achieving this dream.

Each SEIB Search for a Star qualifier holds classes for Working ponies and horses, Riding Horse Hacks, Show Hunters and Cobs. Competitors have the chance to qualify for HOYS in each of these classes. SEIB Search for a Star is professionally run with strict entry criteria.

For the 2018 running of the series there is a new SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship with its very own final at Your Horse Live 2018. This class will be held at each SEIB for a Star qualifier and is open to pure-bred Mountain and Moorland ponies ridden by amateur riders that fulfil the full Search for a Star rules and conditions of entry.

At each of the SEIB Search for a Star qualifiers there will also be a HOYS qualifier for the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championships. SEIB set up this Championship to support and encourage the re-education and training of ex-racehorses and help them on their way to a new career in the show ring.

Many former SEIB Search for a Star horses have gone on to great success in open classes and there are several open HOYS champions amongst those that have previously won at Search for a Star. SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “We are thrilled to have created these new opportunities for more amateur riders and we are very excited about this new Search for a Star venue. It has been a good few years since we had a qualifier so far north”.

Expert advice and support from the very experienced judges is on hand for all competitors at each of the five qualifiers. During the Championship build up there is the renowned Search for a Star workshop for all qualified combinations.

Entries will close on the 26th June. Late entries may be accepted with the addition of a late entry fee. Please see the Search for a Star rules for full details.

The remaining qualifiers for the 2018 SEIB Search for a Star and SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse series will be held at:

Vale View Equestrian Centre, Leicestershire – 5th August

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Lincolnshire – 2nd September (SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse only)

Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more.   The company has a long association with the showing world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting equestrian events and activities.

For full details, rules and entry forms visit or Find us on Facebook at:


Photo: SMR photos

Posted on June 26th, 2018

Staying Ahead of Strangles

Simple and effective ways to protect horses and yards from the highly infectious disease strangles is the theme of Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s latest free evening of expert talks.

Did you know, as reported in Redwings’ 2016 Strangles Survey, despite 80% of owners being willing to pay for their horse to be tested for strangles, only 13% of yards have any form of strangles screening for new arrivals in place?

With outbreaks of the highly contagious respiratory disease strangles continuing to occur across the country, awareness and implementation of effective biosecurity measures has never been more important. And we can significantly reduce the risk of strangles simply by taking a few positive and proactive steps in how we care for our horses.

Redwings’ “Strangles: Staying a step ahead” seminar is taking place at the charity’s Aylsham Visitor Centre, north of Norwich, on Wednesday 25th July from 6.30pm and will be of particular interest to livery yard managers and their clients.

Attendees will be treated to a presentation by Redwings’ Head of Welfare and Behaviour Nic de Brauwere who will be sharing valuable prevention and management advice. The evening will also offer practical solutions for balancing biosecurity while also being part of an active equestrian community.

Nic will also be on hand to answer any questions attendees may have, and everyone will go home with a goody bag of free resources and information.

Andie Vilela, Education and Campaigns Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be offering another free seminar, especially one that is so important in our campaign to ‘Stamp Out Strangles’. Myth-busting, practical advice and effective solutions based on real-life scenarios are the key topic of this evening event, so it’s one definitely not to be missed. And we think livery yard managers in particular will find this seminar particularly useful!”

To book your free place on the evening seminar, call 01508 481032 or email

Posted on June 25th, 2018

British Showjumping’s Team NAF Children European Championship Squad

Representing Great Britain under the title sponsor banner of Team NAF in the Children & Junior European Championships in Fontainebleau, France, the competition takes place between the 8th – 15th July at the Stade Equestre du Grand Parquet.

Atiya Bussey, aged 13, from Norwich, Norfolk will ride Chesterfield Z, a 12-year-old grey gelding owned by Louise Bussey.

The Children Team medals will be decided on Wednesday 11th July whilst the Junior Team medals will be decided on Friday 13th July. The Children will then compete for their Individual medals on Saturday 14th July whilst the Juniors will jump for their respective Individual medals on Sunday 15th July. The Chef d’Equipe’s accompanying the teams will be Tony Newbery and Clare Whitaker.

Image Credit – British Showjumping

Posted on June 18th, 2018

Olympian Red Gorilla Rider Sharon Hunt to Star at Hickstead Meeting

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting 21st – 24th June 2018, one of the most popular events in the equestrian calendar, sees Sharon Hunt, bronze medallist champion at the 2012 British Olympics competing as the Red Gorilla sponsored rider.

Sharon has been a Red Gorilla ambassador for over a year and has been using the total stable management package. Her decision to compete was a last minute entry and will bring some great excitement to the meeting as one of her horses Loughnatousa Venture was in winning form in the foxhunter at the Suffolk Show. Sharon hopes he will be winning form again in the classes she will be competing in.

Around 45,000 spectators are expected to flock to the West Sussex showground in June, with visitor numbers peaking during the famous Al Shira’aa Derby on the Sunday afternoon. The Derby course is fearsomely tricky, with iconic obstacles such as the Derby Bank, the Devil’s Dyke and the double of water ditches guaranteeing plenty of thrills and spills for spectators.

To celebrate this great event, Red Gorilla in conjunction with Sharon Hunt Eventing will be offering a lucky person who attends the show a chance to win a coaching session with Sharon at her stables. In addition Weatherbeeta, the leading supplier of horse rugs will be giving the lucky winner one of their WB CFT Classic Lightweight turnout rugs as an additional prize. The one lucky winner will also be the face of Red Gorilla in the equine promotional and publicity material for the season. To enter simply visit the Red Gorilla stand 30 at the shopping village for an entry form.