Jemima and prize (Photo: Julian Portch) A young rider from Marlborough College has been crowned individual senior winner at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships (August 4).
Jemima Stratton, who lives in Salisbury, was victorious in the Senior Schools division riding her own Jefke – who is known in the stable as ‘Rambo’.
“He acts like his namesake!” said Jemima, who turned 14 last week. “We event and compete in Pony Trials, and are aiming for the European Championships. He definitely finds the showjumping phase the easiest.”
It was Jemima’s first time competing at the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead in West Sussex: “I didn’t have a plan in the jump-off as I have never done one on him before. But he’s really quick and seems to turn for the next jump before I’ve even asked him to.”
Jemima and Jefke provided two perfect rounds to keep all the poles up in a competitive class. They posted a time of 39.14 for the jump-off to beat her closest rival by a tenth of a second.
Deputy Headmaster of Hurstpierpoint College Tim Leeper (see photo) was on hand to present the prizes.
Chelsea Pearce & Albert VI in CIC2* dressage at Barbury Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Pearce, who is based near Marlborough, has been selected for the eventing squad to represent Great Britain in the International Equestrian Federation Junior European Championships in Italy later this month.
She will be taking her own eleven year-old Dutch gelding Albert VI. In July she completed her first CIC2* eventing competition at the Barbury International Horse Trials - a step towards being chosen for the GB team. In June she had been named on the long list named for the championships in Italy.
Since then she and Albert have returned good results in Open Under 21 Competitions at Cholmondeley Castle and Wellington. On both occasions they were clear and without time penalties in the cross country.
Chelsea told Marlborough.News: "I am delighted and very proud to have been selected to represent my country. Albert has been a real professional this season and has continued to improve."
"I owe a huge thank you to my Trainer, Annabel Scrimgeour, who has worked tirelessly this season improving our dressage and of course I wouldn't be able to achieve this without my Sponsors and Supporters: Ariat Europe, Aqueos, HAYGAIN Hay Steamers and Longcroft Building Services."
"I am very much looking forward to the championships in Italy and am very grateful to the selectors for giving me this opportunity."
The Championships will take place at Montelibretti, just north of Rome between September 22 and 25. The Junior GB team is sponsored by Racesafe - the makers of body protectors for riders.
The British Junior team won bronze at the 2015 championships in Poland
The full team of six riders is:
Felicity Collins, 18 from East Sussex, with the seven year old German gelding, RSH Contendor, owned by Ms Vicky Collins and Mrs Avirna Milton
Richard Coney, 17 from Lincolnshire, and his own eight year old Irish gelding Kananaskis.
Phoebe Locke, 16 from Somerset, and the eight year old Irish gelding Union Fortunus, owned by Phoebe and Miss Jamie-lee Day
Chelsea Pearce, 17 from Wiltshire, with her own 11 year old Dutch gelding Albert VI
Chelsea Round, 17 from Warwickshire, and her own nine year old British gelding Fleetwood Mac V
Bubby Upton, 17 from Suffolk with Eros DHI, a seven year old Dutch gelding owned by Mrs Rachel Upton
First reserve will be Storm Straker, 17 from North Yorkshire, with her own 14 year old Dutch gelding Well Designed.
Greatwood's founder & managing director receives the cheque from Mayor Margaret RoseGreatwood, the charity based at Clench Common that looks after retired racehorses and use them to help disadvantaged children, were voted one of Marlborough Town Council's small grants.
They were awarded £928 as match funding for six St John's Academy students to attend one of their 'Developing Confidence' courses.
On Thursday (February 25) the Town Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose, her Deputy and Mayor elect, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton and his wife, and five of their fellow councillors and the Town Clerk visited Greatwood for a tour and the presentation of the cheque.
They were shown round by Mrs Sasha Thorbek-Hooper, Greatwood's full-time fundraiser and met some of the 47 horses currently being looked after by Greatwood and some of the young people benefitting from one of the charity's many courses.
Donations and grants like this one are needed as match funding because schools can no longer afford the full fees to send their students to alternative providers of specialist courses - like Greatwood.
Greatwood price their courses at a level to attract as many students as possible, but even then for some courses this means there is a shortfall against the amount the school can afford, and that is where the match funding comes in. With enough donations coming in Greatwood are sometimes able to offer fully subsidised placements.
The councillors heard how young people - from six year-olds upwards to 24 year-olds - can benefit from working with animals whether they need help with low personal esteem, behaviour problems or lack of confidence.
Many of the disadvantaged young people who attend Greatwood courses have reduced expectations of progressing into education, training and on towards employment. And although not yet an accredited provider of apprenticeships, they are working closely with the Northern Racing College to develop appropriate courses that will provide entry to work in the equestrian industry and similar areas of employment.
It was sobering to hear that Greatwood are having more young people sent to them with post traumatic stress disorder - in some instances arising from primary schoolchildren's experience of domestic violence.
Among the retired racehorses the councillors met was 24 year-old Deano's Beeno. Trained by Martin Pipe he had 57 starts under rules and had 13 wins - including an Ascot long distance hurdle in 2003. In this eight length victory he was ridden by AP McCoy who recently rated the ride on Deano's Beeno his eighth most memorable.
Meeting Deano's Beeno Ravastree & Forgery enjoying their exercise sessionStudents Daniel and Shaun meet councillors with Sasha Thorbeck-Hooper (centre)(click to enlarge)
During his career Deano's Beeno won £268,500 in prize money and is now Greatwood's star attraction - and he looks extremely fit and well. Not all Greatwood's horses have had such illustrious racing careers - some, though bred for racing, have never made the start tapes.
Deano's Beeno companion at Greatwood is Paul Cass - a gelding made it to the start once: a two mile National Hunt flat race at Catterick in 2000. He came fifteenth out of the field of fifteen - and was fifteen lengths behind the fourteenth placed horse. Of course he gets the same welcome and the same treatment at Greatwood as other racehorses.
Greatwood needs to raise £500,000 a year to continue to look after the horses and develop educational courses. Each horse costs £8,000 a year in food, straw, and vets' and farriers' bills.
Besides finding retired racehorses that can really help young people, one of the charity's aims is re-homing horses - not always an easy or speedy way to cope with these horses who are no longer earning their keep at training yards.
The charity's next big fundraising day is Newbury Racecourse's Greatwood Day on Saturday, 5 March. The card includes the Grade 3 Greatwood Gold Cup - always a highly competitive race. Further details here.
Students get a taste of the hard work that keeps Greatwood going
Sarah Dalziell-Clout, New Zealand's Director of High PerformanceNew Zealand's eventing squad for the Rio Olympics - four of its five members travelling to Brazil are based in the Marlborough area - are aiming to win two medals at the Games.
This week Sarah Dalziell-Clout, high performance director of Equestrian Sport New Zealand joined team members at their training camp near Chepstow.
She arrived from New Zealand three weeks ago - just in time to attend the Barbury International Horse Trials: "They showed me the gallops there - they're wonderful. And I loved the trials - it's such a great setting in that bowl in the hills."
Sarah told Marlborough.News that they have been upfront about their ambition to achieve one team and one individual medal: "Our team has pretty incredible depth in riders and horses. You always need luck on your side on the day - making sure the horses are sound."
"Now I just want to wrap the horses in cotton wool, but they have to keep training."
And they were still training this week.
Team member Sir Mark Todd - who brings to the team the experience of preparing for nine Olympic Games - was warming up and then completing a full dressage test [see photos below]. He and Leonidas II were watched by coach Erik Duvander and other members of the team.
Minal's Jonelle Price told Marlborough.News she has a good preparation for the Games with her 11-year old dapple grey Faerie Dianimo. Known in the yard as Maggie May, she is a feisty mare - in Jonelle's words 'an opinionated athlete': "A couple more gallops and then we're off."
Mr and Mrs Price watching the training sessionJonelle and Maggie May had finished seventh at the previous week's Aachen 3* competition. After their dressage test they were in second place and added just eight show jumping faults and 6.80 time penalties in the cross country.
"To get to the Olympics is why I do this sport," Jonelle told me. "Within eventing the World Equestrian Games are held in the same regard. Outside the fraternity the Olympics are recognised by the whole world. Any sporting person's dream is to get to the Olympics."
Jonelle's husband Tim is the squad's travelling reserve: "He's on a bit of a holiday as things are. But he has to be ready until the trot up" - when the horses are checked to make sure they are fit to compete.
The Rio Games may be a watershed for eventing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) want more gender equality and more teams at the Tokyo Games in 2020. Sarah Dalziell-Clout says eventing scores well on the gender front, but getting more teams into the competition may mean some 'dumbing down'.
Talks are going on between the national organisations and the International Equestrian Federation (known as the FEI) and negotiations with the IOC will follow: "We could end up with the Olympics not being the sport's pinnacle. They have to be careful not to lose the Olympics premier position to the World Equestrian Games."
Sir Mark Todd relaxing after his dressage test Sir Mark & Leonidas... ...it was nearly as hot as Brazil.
After the training: Sir Mark listens to the coaches
The New Zealand team's horses and their grooms fly out to Rio on July 29 - with a twelve hour flight ahead of them. The riders and the rest the team follow the next day.
Canada's Rebecca Howard & Riddle Master in the Barbeury ERMThirty-four horses flown from Stansted Airport, have arrived in Rio for the Olympic equestrian events - among them are ten British-based combinations who are supplied with feed and supplements by the Marlborough company Keyflow.
The ten include three members of the home Olympic team - Brazilian event riders based in Britain.
This company probably has more British-based Olympic horses on its books than any other feed company. Cam Price, Keyflow's founder and its managing director, told Marlborough.News: "We are extremely honoured and privileged to be feeding that number of Olympic horses."
Sir Mark & Tim Price see theie horses off on their way to RioThe Brazilian eventing team is trained by a Keyflow director, the very experienced New Zealand Olympian, Sir Mark Todd. The home team's Keyflow trio are Carlos Parro (based in Shropshire), Ruy Leme da Fonseca (based in Wantage) and Marcio C. Jorge (based in Baydon.)
It was Marcio Jorge who caused a sensation during the Event Rider Masters competition at the Barbury International Horse Trials early in July with his near perfect dressage test to lead the world's top riders at the end of the first day - his score of 32.5 was the best dressage score to date in the ERM's series.
He took overall fifth place in the ERM's Barbury leg.
Another official Keyflow rider at the Games will be Canada's Rebecca Howard. She used to be based in Marlborough, but is now based at Little Cheverell near Devizes. This will be her second Olympic Games as a member of Canada's eventing team.
The New Zealand eventing squad has three Keyflow riders: Sir Mark Todd (based at Badgerstown), Jonelle Price (Minal) and travelling reserve Tim Price. Another Keyflow eventer is Swedish Olympic team member Ludwig Svennerstal, who is based at Sir Mark Todd's yard.
Marcio congratulated at Barbury - a coach Sir Mark Todd looks on Marcio interviewed by ERM's Alice Plunkett Marcio Jorge in the ERM cross country at Barbury
The other two Keyflow riders now in Rio are the British show jumpers Michael and John Whitaker.
Coming soon: Keyflow binsSo the feed experts at Keyflow will be keeping a careful eye on the Rio results. But they are busy too following Keyflow's takeover of Chestnut Horse Feeds - a Warwickshire feed company that was three times the size of Keyflow. This branch is now based in north Nottinghamshire.
Some of the Chestnut staff - like sales manager Sharron Harrington - have moved across to Keyflow. One of the main attractions in this tie-up was Chestnut's use of bulk bins for delivery. These wheeled bins stand one metre high and hold 200 kilos of feed - and they avoid the use of environmentally unfriendly paper or plastic sacks.
Chelsea Pearce with Kilnaboy Buffet and his Longcroft rugMarlborough eventer Chelsea Pearce has just gained her first financial sponsorship. Bristol company Longcroft Building Services Limited will be supporting her this season.
Longcroft Building Services specialises in refurbishing, maintaining and repairing residential and commercial properties. In particular they have a strong reputation for their work on period properties needing materials sympathetic to the age and style of the building.
Longcroft also sponsor the Stow-on-the-Wold National Hunt trainer Graeme Macpherson - he describes his sponsor as "an ardent National Hunt racing enthusiast".
No doubt he is referring to Longcroft director, company secretary and racehorse owner Mrs Laura Day who has first hand experience of the eventing world and has a promising hurdler, Kayf Blanco, at Macpherson's yard.
Chelsea has already had sponsorship in kind from the Pewsey firm Aqueos, which produces revolutionary brands of care products, from the well-known riding boots, equestrian clothing and accessory company Ariat, and from Haygain equine hay steamers.
Chelsea Pearce is seventeen and studying for her A Levels and also for an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence with Hartpury College. After next year's exams she plans to take a gap year before going to university
Chelsea & Kilnaboy Buffet winning the Portman ONu18 eventThe 2016 eventing season has started well for her. Earlier this month she came first on Kilnaboy Buffet in the Open Novice under-18s competition at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset.
And just last Sunday (April 24) she came fifth on Albert VI in the Hambleden International Open Intermediate under-21s competition: "I was delighted with this result as this was only our fourth Intermediate and a definite step up from our other Intermediates."
"I picked up a few more time penalties than I would have liked, but Hambleden is quite a testing track in the woods and Albert is a big horse and the constant twisting and turning back on yourself made it difficult for us to get into a good rhythm. It’s the equivalent of guiding a juggernaut through the trees rather than a nippy BMW!"
At the very start of the season she had a nasty fall at the Aldon International event when Djakota EB somersaulted at an obstacle during the cross country. Despite a very sore shoulder she then rode Albert VI to take ninth place in the Open Intermediate under-21 class.
Eight-year-old Djakota EB was evidently none the worse for the fall, as two weeks later Chelsea brought him in at fourth place in the Goring Heath Open Novice under-18s event - out of 39 entries. She is now close to stepping up to intermediate level eventing competitions.
Last month she was asked to ride former Grand National winner Comply or Die in the champions parade at the Cheltenham Festival: "It was a great experience - I was really honoured to ride him." Perhaps that's what gave her start to the new eventing season such a distinctive boost.
Next weekend she will be going to Withington Manor Horse Trials - nearly to Cheltenham again - aiming to take another step up the eventing ladder.
Jock Paget For Marlborough based eventing rider Jock Paget, the Rio Olympics will be his second Games with New Zealand's team. He was part of the Kiwis' bronze medal winning team at the London Olympics.
In the midst of preparations to go to the Aachen horse show, he told Marlborough.News that New Zealand has a really strong squad. He and Jonelle Price (Minal) have Olympic experience, she has World Championships experience and Clarke Johnstone is in great form. And then there is Sir Mark Todd: "Well, he's done everything - a few times."
In fact it will be the seventh Olympics at which Todd (who is based at Badgerstown) has competed for New Zealand and the ninth in which he has been involved. He was selected for the boycotted Moscow Games, he was in team in 1996 but his horse went lame and, after his 'retirement', he was the team trainer in 2004.
The squad for Rio has Tim Price as its travelling reserve and the very experienced Blyth Tait as its non-travelling reserve.
With a rueful smile, Jock Paget adds a word of caution about Olympic prospects: "We went to the World Championships as a favoured team and it all went terribly wrong - except for Jonelle. We just have to do well on the day - and hope that's enough."
Jock is taking the 17-year-old gelding Clifton Lush to Rio: "He's been an amazing horse for me." He has ridden Clifton Lush for five years and together they have been third and sixth at Badminton, been placed fifth at Burghley twice, won the Bramham International in 2011 and the British Open Championship in 2013.
Jock Paget and Clifton LushAlso travelling with Jock and Clifton Lush will be senior groom Anke Hoyer. The team will be supplying all that is needed by way of logistic, veterinary and farriery staff.
Not long after the London Olympics Jock suffered a major problem that threatened his future and took a great deal of perseverance to resolve. After winning Burghley in 2013 - a major success as that year it was an especially tough field - his horse Clifton Promise failed a drugs test.
He knew that he and his stable staff had not purposefully fed any banned substance to the horse and he had been using the same feed and supplement without any problems for many years.
With the help of his sponsors and his home federation - Equestrian Sports New Zealand - he set out to discover how the test had been failed.
He found an endurance rider whose horse had been failed because of the same substance. This rider had used a veterinary practice which knew how to look for contamination. They tested everything in the yard from buckets to taps and did DNA tests to get a timeline so they could tell exactly when the rogue substance had been introduced.
It turned out that a supplement that Jock had been using for years had become contaminated before it reached the yard. A weed had got into a batch and in an unnoticed reaction produced the banned chemical.
Fortunately the manufacturer had kept a sample of the batch from which Clifton Promise had been fed. They sent it for testing and the result was positive.
It had taken Jock ten months to be totally exonerated and clear his name. Clifton Promise was retired earlier this year.
With the Olympics approaching, Jock did not want to risk a repeat of that stressful episode. Clifton Lush has been independently tested and so has the current batch of the supplement and feed. Both were declared clean so he has bought enough of that batches to last through the Olympics: "We know everything we're using is safe."
Jock Paget is 32 years-old. He was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia when he was five. He came to riding quite late: "Where I grew up there no horses to be seen."
He left school at 15 and worked as an apprentice bricklayer. Four years later he rode a horse his father had bought, and when his apprenticeship was complete, he got a job as a working pupil.
Aged 26 he came to Britain with Clifton Promise and was based in Surrey till he moved to Wiltshire at the end of 2014: "We call Wiltshire the eventing capital of the world."
He married last November and lives near Marlborough.
Since his comeback Jock has been doing well again. Jock took Clifton Signature to ninth place in Germany's premier eventing competition, the Aachen three star, well into the prize money. He was 2.20 points behind his fellow New Zealand team member Jonelle Price who took seventh place.
Jock's main sponsor is AnaCap Financial Partners with support from other companies including The Pure Feed Company and Childeric UK. You can watch a short video made by Cavewood Productions here.
The jump down to the water in the main arena is probably the most watched obstacle on Barbury International Horse Trials' famous cross country course - it's in prime position for spectators and it is sponsored by Keyflow Super Premium Horse Feeds.
Appropriately enough, Keyflow's range of equine feeds was launched at the Barbury Horse Trials in 2012. They’ve been there every year since and will again occupy their stand this year in prime position with great views of the competition and a cold Pimms never far away – everyone is welcomed.
The company is run by New Zealander Cam Price who lives in Marlborough - and the company has its head office just behind the High Street.
Cam has worked in the equine nutrition business for over ten years. He headed up Australian feed giant Mitavite's operation first in New Zealand and then in Britain. With the recession and unhelpful currency movements, Mitavite decided to close its European export arm - and Cam spotted an opportunity to launch a innovative new range of products designed to give riders what their horses need in the best way possible.
New Zealand's most successful event rider, Sir Mark Todd (now based just over the downs at Badgerstown) is a Keyflow founder, shareholder and remains as an involved director. Cam told Marlborough News Online: "He is a very switched on businessman - as well as a great horseman."
Sir Mark Todd at Luhmuhlen"We went to the riders first and analysed what their horses nutritional needs were." He went to the Whitaker show-jumping family and designed a mix specifically for them: "And then we did the same for Mark. We started with the riders and horses rather than in the lab - then we met in the middle."
The 'lab element' came with Keyflow's two renowned nutritional consultants: Dr Catherine Dunnett founded Newmarket-based Independent Equine Nutrition - an international consultancy. And Australian Dr Ray Biffin who was responsible for Mitavite's very first proprietary feed in 1987.
In 2013 two Keyflow products earned British Equine Trade Association Innovation Awards - Whitaker Bros Jumpmix won and Mark Todd Maestro competition mix was runner up.
As well as the elite British show-jumping Whitaker brothers (John and Michael - and now young Jack Whitaker who is the latest show-jumping prodigy in the dynasty) and Sir Mark Todd, Keyflow have a list of Key Riders. These include Cam's brother Tim and Tim's wife Jonelle and Canadian Rebecca Howard - all based at Mildenhall.
Keryflow at Marlborough marketAt present Jonelle is fifth in the international eventing rankings - and Tim is ninth.
Probably only people in Marlborough with a definite interest in Keyflow products will have noticed this business in their midst. But for six weeks last winter Cam took a pitch in the High Street's Saturday market - just to get the name a bit better known. However, his main aim is to keep in touch with Keyflow users.
"I love building horses with the right nutrition for what they do. If you're selling ploughs you meet a famer once in ten years. With horse feed it's an everyday relationship - they open your bags of feed every day,"
So he does a lot of travelling to stables to help people with their horses' nutritional needs - usually spending two days a week on the road.
Keyflow’s feeds are put together by a production partner in East Anglia using ingredients sourced in Britain and some specialist ingredients from abroad. The feeds are then distributed from a warehouse in Corby.
One of Cam's current tasks is building up a nationwide network of stockists: "It's a very competitive market - it's not so much the number of companies, more the vast number of products most of them produce - the market gets a bit swamped. It's a very squeezey market - many retailers are short of space."
Watch this space for an announcement soon in the development of that network of stockists.
At the Barbury International Horse Trials (9-12 July), while Cam and his team will be spreading the word about Keyflow, they will also be keeping an eye on their Key Riders. Success in competition helps boost Keyflow's reputation but also proves that their products perform.
Jonelle and Cloud Dancer Last weekend they were watching the leader boards at Luhmuhlen's four and three star eventing competitions. The Luhmuhlen premier or four star competition was won last year by Tim Price.
On Sunday (June 21) Jonelle Price and the little grey Faerie Dianimo secured second place with 32.80 points just behind Ingrid Klimke's 32.70. Jonelle was very pleased with the result: "Give us another six to 12 months and I might be able to find that point one."
In all three Keyflow Riders were in the top ten with Mark Todd (fifth) and Rebecca Howard (tenth.) And then Jonelle took Cloud Dancer to fifth place in the three star competition - coming down the leaderboard a little as rails went down in the show jumping.
What successes will Barbury bring for Marlborough-based eventing riders - and for Keyflow?
Click on images to enlarge them