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Jonelle and Tim Price top the field at Event Rider Masters third leg competition in Belgium

24-06-2019 A Correspondent

It was Tim Price's first win in an Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition - and his wife Jonelle took second place.  A great day at the office for the New Zealand couple who live in Marlborough.

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Barbury International Horse Trials: preparations well under way & "the grass is looking amazing"


Up on the Marlborough Downs, preparations for the Barbury International Horse Trials (July 4-7) are on schedule at the Barbury Castle Estate.   The temporary stabling for up to a thousand horses are built and the main marquee is up.  

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Father's Day racing at Salisbury sees Daddy's Daughter make her turf debut on just the right day

19-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

Salisbury racecourse hosted their Family Father’s Day race meeting, with a crowd of 5,000 including children (June 16) and Daddy’s Daughter was undoubtedly the most appropriately named winner of the day.

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Tim Price & Ascona keep Luhmuhlen's top honours in the family

17-06-2019 A Correspondent

New Zealand's Tim Price - recently named world's No. 1 eventer - has added another top trophy to the cabinet - this time taking out the Longines CCI5*-L at the Luhmuhlen Horse Trials in Germany (June 16).

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Newbury Races: She's in a class of her own - Antonia De Vega lands Johnnie Lewis Memorial race by four…

14-06-2019 Emma Blackburn

Antonia De Vegamay have earned the chance to emulate Sea Of Class in the Irish Oaks after coming from last to first to run out a clear cut winner of Newbury’s feature race (June 13), the Listed Johnnie Lewis Memorial British EBF Stakes.

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She won the world's toughest, longest horse race - or pony race - and has written a compelling account of…


In 2013, on a bit of a whim, Lara Prior-Palmer travelled to Mongolia and became the first woman - and the youngest competitor - to win 'the world’s longest, toughest horse race'.  Six years later this niece of Lucinda Green has written an astonishing book about her race: Rough Magic.

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Salisbury racecourse defies the weather to give punters a card with debuts and surprises

14-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

It was unseasonably damp and cold at Salisbury for their fifth fixture of the season (June 11). 32 millimetres of rain in the 18 hours before racing left the ground soft, heavy in places.

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Newbury: Antonia De Vega's new campaign starts in race last won by Sea Of Class

11-06-2019 Emma Blackburn

Antonia De Vega, winner of last year’s Group 3 Prestige Stakes, is ready to make her first start of the campaign in what promises to be another informative running of the Listed Johnnie Lewis Memorial British EBF Stakes for fillies at Newbury (June 13).

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Top of the world: Tim Price takes first place in the international eventing rankings


Tim Price has made it to the top spot in the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Eventing Rankings announced yesterday (June 4).

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For the record: Oisin Murphy wins at Salisbury's 'Spire FM Back on the Track' meeting - will he be…

04-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

2018 Salisbury champion jockey Oisin Murphy made a dash across country from a successful afternoon at Goodwood, where he rode a double, to ride Pempie to victory for Andrew Balding, in the closing race on the card - the 10-furlong classified stakes (May 25).

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Libby Law: eventing's premier photographer - with an accent on the New Zealand team


She is a familiar figure on the British eventing circuit - she wears dark clothes embroidered with her name and the name of her sponsors. She is about the same height as her two very long lenses - if you stacked one on top of the other.  And you can tell she works outside in the sun.

Libby Law is a New Zealander and since 2011 she has worked in Britain for about six summer months each year. At the end of October, when her business visa runs out,  she returns home for the New Zealand eventing and showjumping season.  

This year she came back to Britain via Kentucky for the Rolex CIC**** three day event - the first four star competition of the northern hemisphere season. And she had to watch her fellow New Zealander, friend and client, Tim Price and Wesko take down one rail in the showjumping to lose out on the $100,000 first prize to Germany's Michael Jung and Fischerrocano FST.

She is, she told Marlborough News Online with one of her cheeky grins, the only photographer to cover all six of the world's four star eventing competitions: "I love being part of the media for these occasions - I get a real adrenalin surge when I send good photos out to people who are really keen to use them."

She did not grow up with media connections, indeed she came to professional photography quite late in life.  She was brought up on a farm and rode horses.  But at nineteen and after her second scary three day event, she sold her horse and went off travelling.

She worked in Australia - in hotels, in marketing, the travel business and in radio. Shed went to Canada and fell in love: "Beautiful country, beautiful people."  Seven good years, but the love did not last.  And in 2010 she returned to New Zealand: "I was a little baffled with the world - but excited to be home."

Aged 34, she used her marketing experience to set up a cleaning company - paying good wages and with contracts to clean offices: "Never clean for private homes!  It's not worth the bother they give you."

Then along came another idea: photography.  She had had a camera from the age of eight and loved her photography and in Australia she had done some amateur courses.  So she set out on a new way of life: "I thought to myself, get a camera and allow yourself to follow your feet."

Having bought a good camera and set-up a website, her feet took her to meet some of New Zealand's young eventing stars - Lizzie Brown, Jock Paget and Jesse Campbell before they (and many other New Zealand eventers) moved to Britain.  They told her about eventing in Britain.  

The Little TurtleThe Little TurtleHRH Ninja - by HondaHRH Ninja - by HondaWith a 'you can only ask' attitude she applied to Badminton for accreditation - and got it.  She was amazed by the Badminton eventing scene - and then succeeded in getting accreditation to Burghley too.  That was in 2011.

"I know horses and am quite a confident person - I didn't worry about what people thought of me."  As good as her word, in 2012 she invested £40,000 in her first full season in Britain.  Some of that investment was a mobile home - her 'Little Turtle'  - which makes travelling round Britain and Europe so much easier and cheaper.  In winter it is kept at the Prices' Mere Farm.

Libby Law covering a polo tournamentLibby Law covering a polo tournamentIt is a full-on life: most of her regular clients are in New Zealand and  she will start to get emails from them at about eleven o'clock at night - and is often still sending off photos at three in the morning.  

She has a contract with Equestrian New Zealand's High Performance Squad, with the major Australian website An Eventful Life - which in fact covers most of the world's eventing and horse trials, and with the popular magazine New Zealand Horse and Pony.  She has other contracts and is, as she insists, a freelance: "I have the freedom to do what I want."

At home she is now sponsored by Honda New Zealand and is the proud owner of 'HRH Ninja'  - "My fab Honda CRV-Limited."

Has Libby Law Photography, I ask gingerly, now become known and valued internationally?  She mouths a 'yes'.  Recently she was invited to cover an important competition in Qatar, which is preparing an eventing team for the Rio Olympics:  "It was a fantastic occasion - and the light was just great for photographs."

In Britain she has the whole flock of New Zealand eventers around her - many of them in the Marlborough area: "Everything revolves around the New Zealand eventers. I love the closeness of the community - it's very comfortable."  But the more there are over in Britain the harder she has to work - in May there were 26 New Zealand horses taking part in Tattersall's International Horse Trials three day event in Ireland - and running between the rings and the events and catching all the competitors at the right moment is quite a skill - and she covers quite a few miles each day.


Libby Law's classic photo of New Zealander Jesse Campbell & Amsterdam IILibby Law's classic photo of New Zealander Jesse Campbell & Amsterdam II"Mark Todd is my hero - and I love the New Zealand eventers."  But she tells a story against herself about her first commissioned article shoot with Sir Mark: "I even left the lens cap on.  Mark just smiled - a little."

Libby Law is an enthusiast for her photography and her specialty: "Each year I love what I am doing a bit more.  I adore my work."  Now she is in the least bothered by the world.  She just smiles at life - and she smiles a lot!

[All marked photos are the copyright of Libby Law Photography.]

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Lil Rockerfeller tops off Neil King's successful first season training on the Marlborough Downs


Neil King with Lil Rockerfeller Neil King with Lil Rockerfeller Trainer Neil King's "best season ever" ended on an especially high note with Lil Rockerfeller's win at Sandown on the last day of the 2014-2015 jump season - also remembered widely as the day of AP McCoy's last professional ride.

A year after moving from Newmarket to Upper Herdswick Farm on the Marlborough Downs just by Barbury Castle, King is really pleased with his new Ridgeway Racing stables:  "We're over the moon. We're so fortunate the ball has rolled for us - it won't always happen like that when you've just moved."

During the jump season he has had 29 winners and his horses have won £240,000 in prize money.  And he has gained more owners and has more horses at the yard.  You only have to look at the well groomed state of the yard itself to see what a busy year it has been.

Lil Rockerfeller's win at Sandown is a story all of its own. "Disappointingly", Neil told Marlborough News Online, "after all the work we had done with him, neither I nor his usual jockey, Trevor Whelan, were there to see his victory."   Neil was in Ireland to see Trevor getting married: "So it was his fault!!"

But the story has another twist:  the ride went to another conditional jockey (the jump equivalent of flat racing's apprentice jockeys): Sean Bowen.  And with his win on Lil Rockefeller he clinched the Conditional Jockeys Championship for the season - edging out Nico de Boinville, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Sean Bowen is seventeen.  He is the son of Peter and Karen Bowen - Peter trains in Pembrokeshire.  After the race Sean said: "It was brilliant of Neil to put me on him. This week I've been working hard to get in front of Nico and he's been hard to beat. It's been good and there's been plenty of highlights."   

Trevor Whelan Trevor Whelan There is, as it were, a sub-plot to this story, Trevor Whelan finished third in the Conditional Jockeys Championship.

Neil King bought Lil Rockerfeller last August, but it took until Christmas to find buyers for him: "Since we started racing him, he's improved and improved."  

At the end of March, he won at Ascot with Trevor Whelan aboard - running on well to win the Coutts Juvenile Handicap Hurdle by six lengths.  After the race Whelan was very positive about the horse: "He's a nice horse, but he only ran last week, so he's been busy.  That's my first Ascot winner and it's been a good season for me."

For the next jump season - which has, it should be said, already started - Neil will still have Trevor Whelan as his stable jockey.  There will also be another conditional Lizzie Kelly at NewburyLizzie Kelly at Newburyjockey, 22-year-old Lizzie Kelly who joined the yard earlier this year.

She too has had a season to remember. On New Year's Day she won at Cheltenham on Aubusson - leaving AP McCoy eight lengths behind her.   A couple of weeks later she won Kempton's Lanzarote Hurdle on Tea for Tea.  

Both horses are trained by her step-father Nick Williams and she rode them both at the Cheltenham Festival - though without a place.  She's gathering quite a fan club of youngsters who admire the way she takes on the big and male names in racing.

Last week, on her twenty-second birthday, she rode another winner for Neil King - Dire Straits won at Plumpton in a novices' hurdle - never mind it was a two horse field.  She brought Dire Straits through to beat the favourite, Thats My rabbit.

Southway StarSouthway StarZeroeshadesofgreyZeroeshadesofgreyOther Ridgeway success stories have included Southway Star who had four wins in a row at the start of the season - having been bought by King at the October sales for £2,300.  One of her wins, at Fontwell, gave King a hat trick of winners in a day - with Zeroeshadesofgrey and The Boss's Dream winning at Uttoxeter.

On New Year's Day Zeroeshadesofgrey made his debut at Cheltenham - coming a creditable third.

But before Neil King starts to plan for next winter's campaign and the stable's open day in September, he has some horses at the yard for the flat season - and stepping up to hurdles.  In March Conserve won on Wolverhampton's all-weather track and on Tuesday (May 5) is entered at Fakenham - over hurdles. Regulation is entered for an amateur riders hurdle race at Kempton on Monday (May 4) and later at Royal Ascot.

FOOTNOTE:  You can get odds of 25-1 on Sean Bowen succeeding Tony McCoy as champion jump jockey - for the 2015-2016 season.


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Haddon Training sponsors awards for grooms – Nikki Newman is runner up

David Grant with Nikki NewmanDavid Grant with Nikki NewmanNikki Newman, who lives in Marlborough, did not even realise she had been nominated until she got the email telling her she had been judged as runner up for Haddon Training British Grooms Award.  Nikki is a freelance groom and was nominated in secret by the employers she works for.

The Marlborough based company Haddon Training were sponsoring the awards for the first time and were delighted by the number of nominations they received.  The awards have not been run for the past six years due to the lack of a sponsor.

Haddon Training provide work-based training and apprenticeships - especially got the equestrian industry.  They are an OFSTED 'outstanding provider'.

The awards are open to grooms working in all parts of the equestrian industry.  They were presented by Haddon Training’s chief operating officer David Grant at the annual British Breeders awards dinner.

The overall winner was Caroline Heard who works for a hunting yard in winter and in summer as a showing groom and producer.

David Grant with Caroline HeardDavid Grant with Caroline Heard David Grant with Jessica Errington David Grant with Jessica Errington

Jessica Errington won the award for grooms who were part of the British team at the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games in France.  

She was looking after British eventing team member Harry Meade’s mount Wild Lone who collapsed and died immediately after completing a clear round in the cross country.  Meade said the tricky conditions on the course were not the cause of Wild Lone’s death.

Nominating Jessica, Meade said she had dedicated her life to looking after Wild Lone and had handled an extremely difficult situation with huge dignity.  Wild Lone was a thirteen year-old gelding and the World Games were his sixth four star eventing competition.

As a freelance groom Nikki Newman shows great versatility in handling a point-to-pointer one day, an eventer on another day, a dressage horse the next day and a mountain and moorland show pony after that.  The nomination pointed out that she gave each kind of horse attention and care of the highest standard.

Commenting on her award, Nikki said: “It’s not that I have done anything different to any other groom in the country.  Everyone is at home in the rain, dealing with muddy fields and the cold weather, it doesn’t matter if you are an apprentice or a head groom, everyone is doing the job.  But it’s great that grooms in general are being recognised.”

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Hennessy Heaven! Newbury Festival fan Sasha Thorbek-Hooper explains why it’s the must-go sports event, how to enjoy it - and the Gold Cup runners

I know that Christmas is just round the corner when I turn the page in my diary and see the ‘Newbury Hennessy 3-Day Winter Festival’ marked heavily in bold. It’s always a huge highlight of my year, and not just because I am fanatical about jump racing, but because it is such a great social event in the local calendar.

A combination of the best horses in England, France and Ireland competing at the highest, nerve jangling level, all set in glorious surroundings, coupled with fantastic racecourse facilities and all harmoniously gelled together, thanks to the awesome atmosphere created by the 50,000+ crowd that’s sure to be there over the three days.

Steeped in history, Hennessy are the longest standing commercial sponsors of any race in the British Isles and past winners have included some of the equine greats:
•    the awe inspiring Arkle, winner of the race twice in ’64 and ’65 (as well as winning The Cheltenham Gold Cup three years consecutively and notching up a total of 27 race wins from his 35 starts)
•     the 18 hand giant – Mill House in ’63
•     Burrough Hill Lad (’84) trained by the legendary Jenny Pitman, the first woman ever to train a Grand National winner.
•    2007 and 2009 saw the nation’s darling, Denman carve a niche in Hennessy history by becoming only the third dual winner of the Berkshire track’s most prized race.

The race has had its fair share of grey winners in recent times too: One Man (’94); the equally loved Suny Bay (’97); Teeton Mill (’98); and What’s Up Boys in 2001.

I have watched the last 16 runnings of the Hennessy Gold Cup from the steppings of the Hampshire Stand, and my favourite year without doubt was in 2005 when the Nicky Henderson trained, Trabolgan defied a top weight of 11st 12lbs to hold off French raider L'Ami by two-and-a-half lengths.

What made the win so special was that his jockey, Mick Fitzgerald, had only just returned from a broken neck earlier that very week. Standing in front of the winning post, with tears pouring down my face it was a fairy tale race that raised the roof.

In a bitter sweet twist, the horse that Mick beat that year was the very horse that ended his riding career three years later when Fitzy took a crashing fall from L’Ami at the second fence of the 2008 Grand National.

As a seasoned Hennessy racegoer here are my top tips on how to get the most out of your day:

•    DRESS WARM: Hennessy Day is notoriously cold so first and foremost make sure you are comfortable. You don’t have to forego fashion - a stylish, winter coat over the top of something practical is the way to go. Leather boots or funky wellies will ensure that your feet will stay warm and dry too.

•    ARRIVE EARLY: Avoid the traffic, panic and last minute travel-related arguments with family and friends by getting to the track in plenty of time. The gates open early, so make a day of it by taking a picnic or having brunch at the course. You don’t have to come by car: there is an on-course train station, therefore making the fight over the designated driver a non-starter!

•    BUY A RACECARD: Well worth the few quid it will cost you. The racecard not only gives you a list of the ‘runners and riders’ (including a guide on how to understand the technicalities of each race), but it is filled with loads of useful information to make your day more enjoyable and stress-free.

•    SET A BUDGET: If you fancy a flutter, give yourself a budget for how much you want to bet on each race and don’t go over it. Put your betting money in your right pocket and your (hopeful) winnings in your left one - but don’t be tempted to dip into during the day. Hopefully by the end of the day you’ll be up and go home with an even bigger smile on your face.

•    RENDEZVOUS POINT:  If you are going in a crowd no doubt you’ll get split up at some point during the day. Mobile phone networks get jammed up, so decide on a rendezvous point just in case. This is especially important if you have children with you.

Runners for the 58th Hennessy Gold Cup (Saturday, November 29) at November 24:


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It’s Barbury week: Jonelle Price back at third place in world eventing rankings : five Brits in top twenty

Jonelle Price Jonelle Price With the Barbury International Horse Trials starting later this week, there is special interest in the International Equestrian Federation's new set of worldwide rankings for eventing riders.  This list covers the twelve months up to June 30 - and Mildenhall's New Zealand rider Jonelle Price is back as number three in the world.

She had been at three last year, but dropped to fifth in the FEI's previous list.  In June she came a tantalising second in the Luhmuhlen four star on Fairie Dianimo

Jonelle's husband Tim has dipped in the rankings from nine to sixteenth place - and that despite his brilliant performance coming a close second on Wesko at this spring's prestigious Rolex Kentucky competition.

The Prices are great fans of the Barbury International Horse Trials - not least because they are based so close by.  And they have put their names to Barbury's fundraising for the Prospect Hospice.

The top two places in the new rankings see Germany's Michael Jung and Britain's William Fox-Pitt change places with Jung now top of the list.

Lockeridge-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson is at five - down one rung.  And another locally-based New Zealander, Sir Mark Todd is back in the top twenty at 17 - up from 42nd position.

There are now five British eventers in the FEI's top twenty - with two of them joining William Fox-Pitt in the top ten.  Oliver Townend is at eighth - from seventh.  Nicola Wilson stays at tenth place - with a good performance at Kentucky behind her.  

Pippa Funnell has come back into the top twenty with a startling jump to fifteenth position from 31st.  And Gemma Tattersall is at 19 - up from 21.  

Many of these big eventing names will be competing at this week's Barbury International Horse Trials.

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Greatwood's record breaking day at Newbury Racecourse raised more than £135,000


Mike O’Kane presenting mementoes to winning connections of Gala Ball, who won The Ladbrokes Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle RaceMike O’Kane presenting mementoes to winning connections of Gala Ball, who won The Ladbrokes Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle RaceGreatwood Charity, held its annual race day at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday (March 5) with a lunch attended by 350 guests.   This year's major fundraising effort was bigger and better than ever with a phenomenal amount of money being raised.

In excess of £135,000 - net of costs - was raised which equates to a quarter of Greatwood’s total annual running costs.

"This", one of the organisers told Marlborough News Online, "is an astonishing amount of money, which will have a hugely positive impact on the charity."

Greatwood Charity, based at Clench Common, just south of Marlborough, looks after retired racehorses and uses them to help children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  It is an accredited alternative provider of SEND programmes and provider of ‘Positive Activities for Young People’ with the Wiltshire Council.
Greatwood’s Managing Director & co-founder, Helen Yeadon, called the day - the ninth to be held at Newbury - a resounding success:  "I would like to thank our sponsors:  Betfair, Betway, Ladbrokes,, Moore of Devizes Ltd, BetVictor, Bloor Homes, Haygrove and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing for their immense support of the day."

Tanya Stevenson of Channel 4 Racing - but shouldn't she be on the telly?Tanya Stevenson of Channel 4 Racing - but shouldn't she be on the telly?"The silent and main auction contributes to a large proportion of our fundraising efforts and I must thank all those who contributed and placed bids but also to our Patron, Jenny McCririck, who worked tirelessly procuring so many of the wonderful prizes."
And Helen Yeadon added: "A special note of thanks must go to Mike O’Kane from Ladbrokes who presented Greatwood with a cheque for £50,000 - a staggeringly generous donation for which the charity is enormously thankful."
"Finally a big thank you to the intrepid riders in the charity race, for training so hard and raising a huge amount of money in the process - along with the Stewards, Richard Osgood The Clerk of the Course, Sarah Oliver of the Amateur Jockeys Association."

"We are hugely grateful to the Chairman, the Directors and all of the staff at Newbury Racecourse for helping to make the day such a triumph.”

Mike O’Kane presenting mementoes to winning connections of Gala Ball, who won The Ladbrokes Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle Race

Some of the Greatwood team surviving a very cold and wet day's racingSome of the Greatwood team surviving a very cold and wet day's racing


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Haddon Training wins the Apprenticeship 4 England Training Provider of the year Small Prime Award 2015

Marlborough-based Haddon Training were announced winners at the Apprenticeship 4 England Training Provider of the Year Awards 2015 last week. The awards were presented at the Apprenticeship 4 England gala dinner at the Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London.

Haddon Training were shortlisted to the final four in the Prime Small 275-500 apprentices in learning category in January, with the winner to be announced at the awards ceremony. This is the first awards of its kind that Haddon Training has entered and the result has been welcomed by Haddon staff as both rewarding and gratifying.

Apprenticeships enable members of staff at equestrian yards and stables to work full time and gain a nationally recognised qualification.  
Since 1997, managing director Chris Hewlett has been the driving force behind Haddon Training, striving to raise the standards of training and good practice throughout the equine industry: “I am delighted that Haddon Training has been recognised for this national award. Making the finals recognises the hard work and dedication of every member staff within the company. We are proud to be at the forefront of raising the standards and profile of the equine industry within the education sector.”

The Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony was described by a member of the Haddon team as "Fantastic, with first class entertainment throughout the evening."

Haddon Training is a Grade One ‘Outstanding’ Training Provider which supports qualifications in Horse Care, Animal Care and Business. Haddon Training work with over 400 employers all over England and Wales supporting them to deliver high quality training to their staff.

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High value burglary at eventing yard near Marlborough


On the night of 30-31 December thieves broke into a tack room at an eventing yard at Foxhill near Marlborough - they stole ten specialist saddles, a large amount of other tack and veterinary supplies.

The Rural Crime Team describe this as a 'high value' theft and have issued a list of the stolen articles.  Anyone trying to sell these items should be reported at once to  Wiltshire Police via the 101 telephone number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Each Childeric saddle has a plaque rear of seat reading "Svennerstal" and each Voltaire saddle has plaque reading "LS" followed by a single number ( 1 to 4.)

The Swedish rider Ludwig Svennerstal is based at Sir Mark Todd's Badgerstown yard.  At 21, he was the youngest rider to take part in the 2012 London Olympics.  Two of Ludwig Svennerstal's top horses have qualified for this year's Rio Olympics.  

List of stolen property:
 2 clippers - 2 Big tubs leg clay from TRM - a magnetic rug - 15 bridles (3 from PS of Sweden, 8 from Otto Schumacher, 1 from Dy’on, 3 unknown brand) - 6 breastplates -
4 martingales - 4 10ml catrophen - 1 litre regumate - a first aid bag - 3 boxes of vetwrap.
List of Saddles stolen -
1. XC - Seat:P17.5 - FLAP:3 - Colour:Gold - Serial No. 415 11 - Blocks:4 - Panel:EF
 2. DR - Seat:D17.5 - Flap:3 - Colour:Black - Serial No. 388 11 - Blocks:2J - Panel:F
Voltaire Saddles:
1. Palm Beach 18 AN 3AA Black All buffalo RBQ grained M/M Px Pro BB05 C fill D10 - Serial number 1988.15
2. Adelaide 17.5 AN 3A Black All calfskin 3M Px Pro BB - Serial number [1989.15]
3. Adelaide 17.5 AN 3A Black All calfskin 3M Px Fin BB C10 horse with deep back - Serial number 1990.15
4. Palm Beach 18 AN 2AA Chocolate All buffalo RBQ grained L/M Px Fin BB10 C15 horse with deep back D15 - Serial number 2000.15
Childeric saddles;
1. Luc Childeric CFAP 18 Black - Serial number 1132.12
2. Luc Childeric CFAP Master 18" - Serial number 12.677
3. Not Known
4. Not Known.


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It’s Royal Ascot : if you fancy a flutter here are SAM HOSKINS’ FIVE TO FOLLOW - a winner each day?


Sam Hoskins Sam Hoskins Sam Hoskins is racing manager of the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds syndicate.  Here he shares with Marlborough News Online his ‘Five to Follow’ for Royal Ascot - a horse for each day of this prestigious meeting (June 16-20) which this year has attracted a truly international entry.  As ever, watch what the coming rain might do to their chances:
MAKE BELIEVE, St James’ Palace Stakes (Group 1), Tuesday. 4-1.
The St James’ Palace Stakes promises to be one of the races of the meeting with the dual Guineas-winning Gleneagles taking on the Andre Fabre pair of Territories, who was second to the former in the English 1,000 Guineas, and Make Believe, who won the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamps a week later. With Gleneagles having had two hard races, I am inclined to side with Make Believe who was so impressive at Longchamps and who would not be running unless his masterful trainer thought he would go very close indeed.
CANNOCK CHASE, Prince Of Wales’ Stakes (Group 1), Wednesday. 12-1.
Cannock Chase goes into Royal Ascot this year as almost a slightly forgotten horse, but I still haven’t quite erased the memory of his superb Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3) win over this trip at this same meeting last year. He has had two relative warm-up runs in unsuitable conditions and they will have put him bang on for this whilst making him an interesting each-way betting proposition at the same time. He could very easily go an easier route than this but Sir Michael Stoute clearly thinks he is up to ruffling the feathers of the likes of market leaders Free Eagle and The Grey Gatsby.
FORGOTTEN RULES, Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1), Thursday, 11-4.
The Ascot Gold Cup is hotting up well with many eventualities possible in advance of this centrepiece race of the whole meeting. The most fascinating variable to consider for this race is that of the ground because if ever the ground ended up on the soft side of good, then it would heavily favour the Dermot Weld-trained Forgotten Rules, who is unbeaten in four starts including a Punchestown bumper on his debut last spring (!) and the Marco Botti-trained mudlark Tac De Boistron. Whilst the likes of Mizzou and Vent De Force represent the improving four-year-old generation form, I can’t help but think they will have their work cut out to beat Forgotten Rules, who has the world at his feet and will be very hard to beat as long as the ground is no faster than good.
ERVEDYA, Coronation Stakes (Group 1), Friday, 7-2.
Ever since the Aga Khan’s Aliysa was disqualified in the 1989 Epsom Oaks, his distinguished green colours with the red epaulettes have become a rarity on British racecourses. However, when they do turn up, they invariably go very close and I suspect this will be the case for his superstar three-year-old filly Ervedya, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget in Pau. She was scintillating in the French 1,000 Guineas last month and I think she can reverse Marcel Boussac form with the likely favourite Found.
POSTPONED, Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2), Saturday, 4-1.
Trainer Luca Cumani has a strong hand at Royal Ascot this year and I suspect he will hit the target at least twice - one of whom could be Postponed (don’t ask me who the other will be though!)  Postponed was highly progressive at three-years-old last year and has run two decent races so far this term - coming third in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh last time behind the wonderful Al Kazeem over 10 furlongs which is shorter than ideal. He steps up to 12 furlongs here and with his newfound positive tactics, he might just lead them a merry dance and finish off a good week for his smooth Italian handler.
Our Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds (KVT) syndicates are represented on Thursday at Royal Ascot with MAXWELL in the King George V Handicap for Andover-based Ralph Beckett. Maxwelll has won his two starts to date including an impressive victory at Salisbury last time.

He promises to be suited by the step up in trip in the King George V handicap and whilst the form of his Salisbury race hasn’t worked out great, he could give us something to shout about granted a good draw and some luck in running!

One of our other stars, TULLIUS, bypasses Ascot for a tilt at the Coral Eclipse (Group 1) on Saturday, July 4 at Sandown. However, he needs some softer ground to increase his chances..

For more information on our syndicates, visit the KVT website or email Sam on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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