Posted on January 4th, 2018


The auction of a limited 1915 edition of Black Beauty has raised vital funds for Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which could pay for enough hay to feed almost 100 rescued horses over Christmas.

Successful bidder Sue Day, currently living in Suffolk, was recently presented with the beautiful book by Redwings’ Chief Executive Lynn Cutress following the end of a silent auction that ran from July to November.

The rare hardback copy of this beloved novel, complete with colour illustrations by famed equestrian painter Lucy Kemp-Welch, was generously donated to Redwings by a supporter who asked that it be sold to help horses in need. Author Anna Sewell was born in 1820 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and wrote Black Beauty while living in Old Catton, north of Norwich. Sadly she died just a few months after the novel’s publication in 1877.

The book was placed on public display at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell over the summer as part of its own special exhibition celebrating the 140th anniversary of the publication of Black Beauty, which was marked on 24th November 2017.

Redwings also provided fun talks and activities at the Museum for families about horse welfare during the school summer holidays and even lent a life-sized model of a black horse for the exhibition.

Black Beauty fans were invited to submit their silent bids for the book at the Museum or log them with Redwings, with the coveted edition being awarded to the highest bidder at the end of the auction.

Sue said she was first read the book by her mother and she has held the characters of Black Beauty, Ginger and Merrylegs close to her heart ever since. A long-term horse owner, life member of the British Horse Society and member of the British Driving Society, Sue runs her own business providing horse drawn carriages for special occasions and operates horse-drawn boats on canals. She has recently set up a society in celebration of Anna Sewell’s life and passion for animal welfare, which aptly began on 24th November.

“I want this book to be for the society, to be shared with those who have a similar interest in Anna Sewell’s life,” she said.

Commenting on why she supported the auction, Sue added: “Redwings offers horses that are in suitable health the opportunity to live in homes outside of the Sanctuary on loan. Some might be rehomed as companions to other horses, while others lead fulfilling lives being ridden. Their Guardians also have the opportunity to continue their training in their new homes and, where appropriate, can go on to be driven. This I wholly approve of, and I believe Anna Sewell would have believed in this approach too.”

Redwings, whose headquarters are south of Norwich and has five visitor centres across the country, cares for over 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day nationwide. The money raised from the auction could pay for thorough health checks for 20 new arrivals at the Sanctuary.

Redwings’ Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Sue for her wonderful bid, which will help us continue to provide vital care for our rescued residents. With 2017 marking the 140th anniversary of Black Beauty, this stunning book was a most fitting donation and we’re so pleased it has found a new home where it will be treasured.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who placed a bid, and to the Museum of Norwich for not just supporting the auction but, through their exhibition, helping us throw a spotlight on the importance of animal welfare and preventing suffering to horses – a wonderful tribute to Anna Sewell’s lifelong passion in a very special year.”

Posted on January 4th, 2018

Suffolk’s Ryan De Sousa becomes NAF Shining Star

We are delighted to announce that Suffolk Junior Academy Member, 10-year-old Ryan De Sousa from Newmarket in Suffolk has become Novembers’ NAF Shining Star. With all British Showjumping Junior Academy Members eligible for nomination, it was Ryan’s work ethic and attitude towards his riding career that shone through.

Ryan was nominated by Suffolk Junior Academy Lead Coach, Mia Palles-Clark; “Ryan is only 10-years-old and has already achieved a lot in his Showjumping career. He works very hard, training every week as well as supporting other members of the academy in training and at competitions. Ryan is currently working hard to complete his NAF 5* awards spurred on by the fact that he wants to represent England in the Home Pony International next year. Like anyone in the sport he has ups and downs which he takes well and is learning to be mentally tough as well as developing strategies to cope with nerves. This is all starting to pay off as he recently achieved his first clear round in a 128cm class with his fantastic pony, Emily. Ryan has also been very successful in style and performance classes, he has the patience and good attitude to develop and produce ponies correctly and with sympathy. Ryan will be in the sport for a long time and if he continues as he has started he will be a successful and shining example for other riders too.”

Since joining British Showjumping in 2015 Ryan has become an active competitor of ‘Just for Schools’ and is hoping to qualify for Horse of the Year Show in 2018. Ryan commented; “I am really thrilled to get this award, I was so excited when I got the news! I have to say a big thank you to my Coach, Mia Palles-Clark. My ponies and I have improved so much since joining the academy.”

Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, commented “Ryan is extremely deserving of the Shining Star award.  His dedication to the sport and hard work is clearly paying off. Ryan’s patience, great attitude and thirst to learn coupled with a wonderful approach to his ponies make him a fantastic candidate for the Shining Star accolade! Well done Ryan, we look forward to seeing you in the future!”

Posted on December 19th, 2017

A Royal welcome awaits local charity at their new home

Over a year’s worth of hard work, a huge fundraising effort and generosity beyond measure will be celebrated on Tuesday 19th December. Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, president of Riding for the Disabled will formally open the new home of the RDA’s Woodbridge and District Group.

Her Royal Highness will open the purpose-built premises, which include 40m x 20m indoor and outdoor arenas, community area, 25 acres of paddocks for grazing and a 1km all-weather track for carriage driving.

In a programme designed to showcase their new home and the valuable work of the Group, Her Royal Highness will meet volunteers, riders and horses. After a riding demonstration and awards ceremony, a formal unveiling of a plaque to mark Her Royal Highness’ visit will take place.

Suzanne Hammond Trustee for the Group said “We are absolutely delighted that our new home will be formally opened by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal. This will mean so much to our riders, carriage drivers and volunteers. Everyone has worked so hard over the last year to make our new home possible. We are so grateful and today is really the icing on the cake”.

The land and old farm buildings at the Groups’ new home ‘The Bays’, has been provided on a long-term lease by local landowners, the Chamberlain Family.

The Chamberlain family said, “This is a wonderful charity to be associated with and we are sure that the Group’s activities will benefit everyone involved”.

Suzanne Hammond said “We greatly appreciate the Chamberlain family allowing us the opportunity to develop our new home and build the indoor arena. Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal opening our new premises today is a wonderful Christmas present to all involved. But our work doesn’t stop now, in the New Year we have more fund raising to do to raise money for the continued renovations and a hoist to help some of our riders mount more easily.”

The Group will start riding lessons and carriage driving from their new home in January.

Posted on December 12th, 2017

Likit Expands Brand Ambassador Scheme

Likit has announced its latest #teamlikit winners: they include Carrie Munro (Essex), Hayley Young (Northants), Harriet Barron (Herts) and Gracie Tyte (Suffolk).

The annual opportunity to become Likit Brand Ambassadors is open to horse and pony owners of all ages and abilities, with successful candidates each winning a year’s supply of Likit Products, their own blog on the company’s website, a £100 training bursary, and branded kit for themselves and their horse.

Entrants had to create a short video explaining why they and their horse or pony really love Likit Products and what they hope to achieve in the coming year. Two of the winners were selected by the Likit team, with a further selection of their favourite videos going through to public vote on social media.

Brand Manager Lindsay Gall said, “This is the fourth year we have run the competition and we have once again been hugely impressed with the quality of entries and the passion that riders have for the Likit brand. Our previous Brand Ambassadors have done a tremendous job and we look forward to following our new team during the coming year and beyond.

“Likit is a global brand and we are also supporting a number of professional riders from around the world under our new #proteamlikit scheme, which is made up of avid fans of the products and includes up-and-coming British dressage rider, Samantha Wuidart.”

Posted on December 12th, 2017

Charlotte’s ‘In Fashion’ at Liverpool International Horse Show

With the Liverpool International Horse Show just days away here we catch up with triple Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin about her first visit to the iconic Echo Arena.

What are your plans for competing at the Liverpool International Horse Show?
This year will be the first time I have competed at Liverpool International and I will be bringing the talented eight-year-old En Vogue. It is fantastic that the show has introduced dressage this year with the new Equitop Myoplast Inter 1 Freestyle (Dressage to Music) class, which takes place on the Friday evening performance, December 29.

Your mentor, trainer and great friend Carl Hester is also competing there, should we expect some friendly rivalry?
Of course, that goes without saying. We are massively supportive of each other but when battling it out in the arena, it is everyone for themselves. Carl will be bringing Hawtins Delicato who is another huge talent so there is everything to play for and we can guarantee some great dressage on our 2020 Olympic hopefuls.

Tell us about En Vogue?
“En Vogue is competing at Inter 1 level and is a real star for the future. He can be hot and it has been a challenging journey so far, but getting him out to major competitions is really helping him to grow in confidence and he is just getting better and better. I am really looking forward to experiencing this amazing show with him.”

En Vogue is an eight-year-old by the much-heralded Jazz and one that is a definite contender for British teams with Charlotte.

This year the pair won the Prix St George at Somerford Premier League and took second place in the Inter 1 at the British Dressage National Championships. Charlotte has ridden En Vogue at a number of demonstrations this year and the handsome dark bay is a real crowd-pleaser and has a growing fan base of his own with people commenting on just how impressive the gelding is.

Have you any secrets for success?
There are certainly no shortcuts and it really comes down to determination, hard work, some luck along the way and never giving up on your dreams when it comes to achieving your goals.

How achievable is it for ambitious young riders today?
Both Carl and I have achieved our success through hard work and are always striving to increase our knowledge. Neither of us were handed it on a plate but we have certainly made the most of the opportunities so yes I would encourage young riders to dream big and aim for the top and surround yourself with good trainers. You never stop learning.

What do you think your relationship with Valegro has done for the world of dressage?
Without doubt, dressage is on a whole new level and is recognised by so many more people outside the sport more than it ever has been. The term ‘dancing horses’ came to the fore after London 2012 and to a certain extent helped promote the sport and make it more understandable for the public.

If there is ever a spare moment, what do you enjoy doing to relax and recharge?
Everyone in the team is so busy but we try and plan in short breaks when we can to recharge the batteries. With my fiancée Dean I do try and make time for a quick getaway or a nice meal out when we can. The Malvern Hills are also a great way to spend a few hours walking with the dogs.

Tell us more about the show?
Hospitality at The Liverpool International Horse Show is second to none and makes a fantastic present for great friends and family. Whether on the purpose-built platform at the head of the arena or in one of the VIP boxes – you won’t be disappointed.

This year’s Liverpool International Horse Show will see a host of leading names in action from 29th to 31st December, at The Echo Arena on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront.

For further information and to book tickets visit


Posted on December 12th, 2017

Petplan Equine opens applications for new Ambassadors

Petplan Equine is looking for customers who are role models for responsible horse ownership. In return, the Ambassadors will receive branded clothing and kit as well as £500 towards competition entries and training costs as well as the opportunity to benefit from coaching in their equestrian discipline from top trainers.

Rachael Jayne Barker, current Petplan Equine Ambassador, commented, “Being a Petplan Equine Ambassador inspires you, it pushes you to want to do better, not only in riding and competing, but in the way you own and manage your horses.”

See Facebook – applications close on 2 January 2018.

Posted on December 7th, 2017

Turning Your Passion Into Your Career – University Open Day

Your attention might be firmly fixed on Christmas festivities at the moment but come the New Year you may be considering your next career step, and specifically an Equine Degree, so it is well worth planning a visit to a University Open Day.

Writtle University College, who have recently invested £1.5million in equine facilities, will be opening their doors to potential Equine degree students on Wednesday 10th January 2018 so we asked them to answer some frequently asked questions surrounding the event, to find out more about what can you expect from their University Open Day…



How do I book on?
It’s easy! Simply visit and complete the booking form.

Is the University Open Day right for me?
This event is aimed at people who are looking to go to university and study a degree (or equivalent). If you are looking to study a College-level course or apprenticeship with us then you need to visit a College Information Event. Go to for details.

How old do you need to be to start a degree?
Typically you need to be 18 to start university, but there is no upper age limit! We welcome students of all ages and abilities. Speak to us and we will help you find the right course.

Can I bring guests?
Yes. You can book up to two guests online, but you are welcome to bring more.

Who will I meet?
You will have the opportunity to chat to academics from your chosen course, as well as staff from our support teams including finance and learning support.

Will I see student accommodation?
Yes. A student ambassador will take you on a tour of student facilities.

Can I drop in anytime?
The Open Day is a structured event which runs from 11am until 4pm so in order for you to get the most out of the day you will need to arrive by 11am. Please pre-book your space. If you are unable to commit to a full day please email us so we can accommodate you.

What will I be doing at the event?
You will have the opportunity to meet academics and hear all about your chosen course. During the free buffet lunch, mingle with Student Ambassadors and talk to support staff, before touring our subject-specialist facilities.

Is the event free?

Where do I park?
There is ample free parking on campus, including disabled spaces.

Is lunch included?
Yes. A free buffet lunch is included. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements before your visit via the booking form

Do I have to decide anything on the day?
No. We hope that you’ll leave us inspired and informed about the right course for you. Please remember that the UCAS deadline for university applications is Monday 15th January 2018.

For more information visit

Posted on December 7th, 2017

Discover Equine Courses and Apprenticeships – College Info Event








You may have read in our December/January edition all about Writtle University College’s impressive £1.5million new investment into their equine facilities and this has stoked your interest in finding out more, especially if you are looking to go to college and study a certificate or diploma (or equivalent).

So we asked WUC to tell us more about their forthcoming College Information Event, that is being held on Saturday 13th January 2018, and to answer a number of your questions…

Can I bring guests?
Yes. You can book guests online. To book your place visit

Who will I meet?
You will have the opportunity to chat to academics from your chosen course, as well as staff from our support teams, including finance and learning support.

Can I drop in anytime?
Yes. Information Events run from 10am until 1pm, meaning that you can drop in and see us at a time that suits you.

How do I book on?
It’s easy! Simply visit 

What will I be doing?
You will have the chance to speak to teaching staff from your chosen course, as well as our helpful support staff. This is a great time to ask any questions you may have.

Is the event free?

Where do I park?
There is ample free parking on campus, including disabled spaces.

Are refreshments included?
Yes. Complimentary refreshments are included. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements before your visit via the booking form 

At what age can I study a college course at Writtle?
You can study our courses straight from finishing your GCSE’s, or after your 16th birthday.

For more information visit


Posted on December 7th, 2017


Charlotte Dujardin is now confirmed to compete at Liverpool International Horse Show on Friday evening 29th December with her own En Vogue!

She will be joining Carl Hester in a stellar line up in the Inter 1 Freestyle (7pm performance), and will be available to fans for a signing session before the show starts!

Said Charlotte: “It is just incredible that we have high calibre events such as the Liverpool International Horse Show to compete at in this country. I am really looking forward to riding in the magical atmosphere of the Echo Arena later this month.

“En Vogue is competing at Inter 1 level and is a real star for the future. He can be hot and it has been a challenging journey so far, but getting him out to major competitions is really helping him to grow in confidence and he is just getting better and better. I am really looking forward to experiencing this amazing show with him.”

Book now at or call 08448000400

Posted on December 1st, 2017

Abbey England