Flat jockey Jimmy Fortune did not want his last race to be a wet September evening's Nursery Handicap qualifier on an all-weather track. So he was very pleased when trainer John Gosden gave him his last ride at Newmarket on Nathra in the Group One Sun Charriot Stakes on October 7 - the day he announced his retirement.
Eventing fans - and eventing hopefuls - were glued to Twitter at nine o'clock last Wednesday evening as the chosen competitors for fifth leg of the 2017 Event Rider Masters (ERM) CIC series were announced to the world - one by one and in reverse order.
Michelle Williamson runs the White Horse Livery - & really enjoyed her first three star eventing at Barbury
It is not only the headliners and international star riders who get a unique buzz from competing at the Barbury International Horse Trials. For local rider Michelle Williamson this month's Barbury was her first ever three star competition. Did she enjoy it? You bet she did.
SUPPORTING THE EQUESTRIAN INDUSTRY: how Chapel Forge Farriers & their apprentices provide an equine podiatry service from foal to racehorse
Founder Gary Pickford using the forge at Chapel Forge Farriers' Lambourn headquarters
In Upper Lambourn there is a disused cemetery beside a former chapel which now houses two forges - inside on the upper floor is the headquarters of Chapel Forge Farriers. It is Europe's largest firm of farriers employing a team of up to 28 farriers at any one time - as well as apprentices.
Lissa Green is understandably very excited at the prospect of her debut Badminton run but you get the feeling this 28-year-old event rider is bubbly much of the time. When we met she had not long received the call from Badminton.
“Malin Head Clover (Ali G) and I will be able to tackle the most exciting course in the world......my excitement and goosebumps haven't stopped since I got 'that' phone call from the Badminton Office ….so special,” she says.
Retraining of Racehorses: the story of the stellar second career of Marlborough owned & trained racehorse Beware Chalk Pit
Beware Chalk Pit with Rebecca Court
Beware Chalk Pit was twelve years-old when he won the Supreme Champion showing title at the four-day Retraining of Racehorses National Championship Show at Aintree in August last year. He is pictured here with his rider Rebecca Court and garlanded with his awards.
The former National Hunt chaser, a bay gelding by Anshan, came out of training in January 2015. And has made a remarkable switch to the show ring - with Rebecca Court. Marlborough resident Ann Leftley still has an interest in him.
A Wiltshire Police Community Support Officer is celebrating after displaying her show jumping skills to the Queen while competing in her first ever police event at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Riding her horse Donnerbolzen, PCSO Annabel Twiddy, of the West Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team, represented Wiltshire Police,and beat off competition from 98 others to win individually.
Her individual performance put PCSO Twiddy's team into sixth place out of a total of 33 teams. "All three members of each team jumped, and then the top 12 teams went into a jump off in the afternoon where Her Majesty The Queen came to watch."
"Our team qualified, and I was put forward to jump again," she said. "I've now been invited to represent the UK Mainland forces in Guernsey in August. Our team has also qualified for the Forces Equine Championships." "It was a true honour to present Wiltshire in front of the Queen, and I am so proud to have ridden for the force. I can't wait to do it again soon."
Annabel started with Wiltshire Police as a Special Constable in May 2013 and five months later joined the control room as a dispatch assistant and 999 call handler. In January 2015, she began training as a PCSO before joining the West sector team. A keen horse rider, she represented England Under 18s in show jumping: "I have ridden since before I could walk."
"I used to compete and breed horses full time but when the recession came around, unfortunately I had to sell all my horses bar one, which took me from 13 to one."
In 2015 PCSO Twiddy found Forces Equine who organise teams and various events for serving officers. This enabled her to compete in a mixed police team, with officers from Avon and Somerset and Derbyshire.
She asked to be allowed to represent the force and wear a Wiltshire Police uniform: "Permission and uniform was granted - I had a special PCSO tunic made for me and I was issued with a hat band and badge for my riding hat." She is currently in the top three of the Forces Equine Champions League.
Greatwood Charity, near Marlborough, James Paget led in a Cheltenham Festival winner - not many get to fulfill a dream like that.Just three years after his first ever contact with a racehorse at the
The horse he looks after at Neil Mulholland's yard, The Druids Nephew, had won the Festival's Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) with Barry Geraghty aboard.
“Before I went to Greatwood," James said, "I had never had any contact with horses, but as soon as I walked through the gates I knew that I wanted to work with horses for the rest of my life.”
James attended Greatwood’s Get Going programme during the summer of 2012. Via the Princes Trust, he came to the charity from the Amber Foundation, a residential charity that offers a fresh start to homeless unemployed young adults and helps them gain employment and accommodation.
"I was living in a hostel when I met someone that had been to the Northern Racing College (NRC) - my ears pricked up and I thought that may be something I would like to do. Also when I got talking about racing one of the members of staff at the hostel informed me that he used to be a jockey."
"Through the Princes Trust I went to Greatwood where they gave me the opportunity to apply to come to the NRC on their 12 week residential foundation course.”
After successfully completing Greatwood's Get Going programme and gaining an accredited qualification in ‘Basic Care of Horses’, James was then given a place at the NRC: “My first week was really interesting and I liked the fact that they had you doing everything from mucking out to riding within the first week. I’m not so keen on the mucking out but when I rode for the first time it makes the mucking out well worth it!"
After completing 12 weeks at the NRC, James gained more qualifications and subsequently went on to secure full time employment and now has a career within the racing industry - working for Bath based trainer, Neil Mulholland.
James is going from strength to strength and is in charge of Festival winning The Druid’s Nephew who is now vying for the most illustrious prize in National Hunt racing with an entry in the Crabbies Grand National next month.
Greatwood’s ‘Get Going’ innovative intensive educational programme develops key workplace skills for NEETS (not in employment, education or training), who may have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. Get Going is an intensive British Horseracing Education & Standards Trust (BHE&ST) accredited course and provides an introduction to careers with horses and the horse racing industry with an Entry Level 2 Award in Assisting with Basic Care of Horses