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Keyflow Stage1v3

Newbury Racecourse: 25 declared for Weatherbys Super Sprint with Get It the favourite

17-07-2020 Harriet Collins

Lambourn based Clive Cox is aiming to win THE Weatherbys Super Sprint for the first time with Get It, who was most recently placed fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and is a general 5-1 joint favourite for the race with betting partner, bet365.

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Barbury Horse Trials open the much curtailed eventing season - without the crowds


It was a very different looking Barbury Castle Estate venue for the very belated opening of the eventing season after the Covid-19 lockdown.  This was a 'behind close doors' programme shortened to two days - Saturday & Sunday 11 & 12 July - and held in wonderful sunny weather.

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Brian Meehan Racing Club's two-year-old Tanfantic wins his first race


Back at the beginning of March, before the equestrian world found itself behind closed doors, then in lockdown and now once again behind closed doors, we reported on a locally trained hope for the new Flat season.  Hopes were high for a new recruit to Brian Meehan's Manton yard.

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In July Barbury Horse Trials will reopen the British eventing season - behind closed doors


Barbury Horse Trials will be kicking off the return of the British eventing season next month - organised as last year by Musketeer Event Management.

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Newbury welcomes return of horse racing with three-day restart fixture

08-06-2020 Harriet Collins

Racing returns to Newbury Racecourse this Thursday (June 11) - behind closed doors.  A finalised order of running, as well as sponsorship details for this week’s three-day restart fixture has been announced.

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Newbury's back - behind closed doors


Staff at Newbury racecourse are looking forward to the resumption of racing with three racedays next week - Thursday 11, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 June.

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Locally trained Newbury star De Rasher Counter now has a full brother


With the birth of a foal at Karina Casini's national hunt stud farm near Marlborough, the winner of Newbury Racecourse's 2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase De Rasher Counter has gained a full brother.  

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COVID-19 RESPONSE: Newbury Racecourse adds kitchens, staff & more to meet meals on wheels demand for vulnerable elderly in…

09-04-2020 A Correspondent

Just because there is no racing, Newbury Racecourse have not stopped helping their neighbours.  They have launched a partnership with Age Concern Newbury & District and Swift Couriers to feed the most vulnerable elderly in West Berkshire during the COVID-19 crisis.  

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Eventing: another cancellation


The 2020 Houghton International Horse Trials - scheduled for May 21-24 - have been cancelled.

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Season over for Paisley Park


Ogbourne Maizey trainer Emma Lavelle has told the Daily Mirror that Paisley Park will not race again this season.

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Champion jockey Richard Hughes retiring early to start training

Richard Hughes at NewburyRichard Hughes at NewburyRichard Hughes, who lives in Collingbourne Ducis and has been stable jockey to the nearby Hannons' training yard for twenty years, has announced he his retiring before the end of the current flat racing season.

As the Racing Post headline put it so succinctly: "Champ calling time at top of his game as he puts future first."  That future is his new career as a trainer - based just over the border in Hampshire at Stockbridge.

He had said he wanted to be flat racing's Champion Jockey for a fourth year running.  Now, as the preparations for his training yard take preference, he will retire in two weeks' time - at the end of Goodwood.  From August 1 he will no longer be a jockey.

Earlier in the year Hughes told Marlborough News Online that it would be harder to win the championship again as he had to make time to prepare his yard and employ his staff.  With 45 winners on the board, he could still have won the championship - though at present he is lying in second place in the table behind Silvestre de Sousa.

On Saturday (July 18) Richard Hughes rode a winner at Newbury.  He took the four-year-old Windfast, trained by Brian Meehan at Manton, to beat Mister Universe by a length in a seven furlong handicap.  As it happens Mister Universe was ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.

Richard Hughes in the Queen's racing colours Richard Hughes in the Queen's racing colours Hughes wrote in his Racing Post column: "It's only recently things started to change in my head.  I began to realise the enormity of what I was trying to take.  While at the July Sales at Newmarket it became obvious how much time, care and attention I must devote to the upcoming yearly sales.'

"I honestly feel my first full year of training will be the most important year in my training career."

Hughes apologised to those who had backed him to retain the championship.  Betfair Sportsbook and BoyleSports have said they will refund stakes on Hughes.

Richard Hannon, who is Hughes' brother-in-law, said: "`It's the end of an era but he wanted to enjoy his last couple of weeks and Goodwood has been good to him, so it's a nice place to end things."

Richard Hannon told the Racing Post: "I totally understand his situation.  He wants to get on with training and that's fine.  he has to do what's best for him."

2015 will indeed go down in racing history as the end of an era.  In April twenty times Champion Jump Jockey AP McCoy retired.

Before he retired: AP McCoy with trainer Jonjo O'NeillBefore he retired: AP McCoy with trainer Jonjo O'Neill

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Changing places: Sally Randell takes over Broad Hinton training yard from Andy Turnell


Sally Randell and KillimordalySally Randell and KillimordalySally Randell has just applied for her training licence.  For the past year she has been assistant trainer at Andy Turnell's yard on the edge of Broad Hinton - soon she will be taking over the yard.  

Turnell, who as a youngster was a star jockey and then became the quiet man of racehorse training, is still recovering from the stroke he had two years ago which paralysed much of his right side.  He will be changing to a 'supporting role' at the stables.

He and his wife hit it off with Sally from the word go.  He told the Racing Post: "I'm confident this will work.  Apart from being a tireless worker, Sally is bringing new owners to the yard."

Turnell 'inherited' his licence from his father who trained at Ogbourne Maizey.  But Turnell, who is now 66, moved his training establishment around England, before settling back to Wiltshire and his everyday view of the Hackpen white horse.

Sally had been training point-to-pointers in Wales and when she arrived at the Turnell yard just a year ago, it was empty.  While Andy was recovering from his stroke, the horses had gone to other other trainers.  Working together closely , Andy, his wife Gilly and Sally have re-built the yard and have been having successes - six winners in the 2014-2015 jump season.

There are now seven horses training in the licensed yard for the summer.  In the winter Sally hopes to get that up to sixteen or seventeen.

Sally has completed her three modules at Newmarket's British Racing School.  Also on her courses was another soon-to-be trainer from just the other side of Marlborough, champion jockey Richard Hughes.

On the all-weather circuit On the all-weather circuit When Marlborough News Online was at the stables, Sally and amateur jockey Brodie Hampson were riding out the final two horses of the morning.  Brodie was on the eight year-old Waddingtown Hero who has had two recent wins in chases at Ffos Las.

"Ffos Las has been good for us," says Sally with a smile.  But looking closer at the results tables you find that Waddingtown Hero has come third-first-second-second-first in his last five races - providing quite a tonic for the yard.

Sally was riding the bay gelding Killimordaly - a six year-old named after a village near Galway.  His Irish owner, Patsy Hardiman, died recently - very suddenly.   

Sally Randell, Donnas Palm, Brodie Hampson Sally Randell, Donnas Palm, Brodie Hampson His  family are keeping Hardiman's other horse, the four year-old Any Destination.  But Sally is now forming a syndicate to keep Killimordaly at the yard.  He raced over hurdles last season and early in June he came second in a two mile seven furlong chase at Ffos Las.

Brodie, in the earliest of her twenties, has known Sally since she was eleven.  Her father was Sally's detachment commander when they were serving with the Royal Artillery.  And she met Brodie who kept a pony at the regimental Saddle Club when Sally was there.  

They have worked together for five years and Sally believes Brodie has a great future as a jockey.  She won her first ever point-to-point race and with six wins over jumps and under rules she came second in the 2014-2015 Amateur Lady Jockeys National Hunt Championship - behind Bridget Andrews.

Sally told us that one of best memories of her year at the stables was seeing the delight on Andy Turnell's face when Brodie rode Aristocracy to a three lengths victory in a hurdle race at Wincanton last November: "He thinks the world of Brodie."

Sally herself was no mean jockey and only announced her retirement earlier this year.  In 2009, riding Oakfield Legend, she became the first woman to win Sandown's Grand Military Gold Cup.  She won it again in 2014 on Bradley and again this year on Loose Chips.   

Another boost to her year has been seeing how Andy made great progress in his recovery once the horses were back in the yard: "He's back to his old self."  

He travels to the races with Sally, but gets pretty tired.  Every week he goes to Oaksey House, the Injured Jockeys Fund headquarters in Lambourn, for physiotherapy - and he rides with the Lambourn Riding for the Disabled.

Sally says the Turnell training establishment is "A really great yard" and she is very pleased to be taking it over.  It has 17 licensed boxes, enough paddocks for the horses to be turned out every day, an under-cover horse walker ("Great for the winter!") and a long all-weather circuit.  Further down, the barn has sixteen more horses that Sally plans to keep for point-to-pointers.

Brodie Hampson & Donnas Palm at the Cambridge Harriers Point-to-Point, Cottenham December 2014 (Photo copyright Racehorse Photos) Brodie Hampson & Donnas Palm at the Cambridge Harriers Point-to-Point, Cottenham December 2014 (Photo copyright Racehorse Photos) On the day we visited Sally, yard manager Gerald Burton and his son Sam were away on training courses.  Sam is just turning sixteen and joins as a novice aiming to be an amateur jockey.

Sally has just appointed Emma Owen to look after the yard's admin and publicity, and she too has been at the Racing School.  And Kate Leahy is joining the team soon.

And then we are introduced to Donnas Palm - an eleven year-old grey gelding with a history and now quite a magisterial presence at the yard.  

Beginning in 2008, Donnas Palm raced in Ireland and chalked up six wins and three seconds in his first 13 outings.  Ridden by such well-known jockeys as Paul Carberry and Barry Geraghty, he won eleven races under rules.   Racing in England from April 2013 onwards was not such a success.

He is now trained by Sally for point-to-pointing.  In that first race in Ireland at Navan he was ridden by Nina Carberry, so it is fitting that Brodie Hampson has been racing him recently.

Brodie says he is an 'absolutely straightforward horse'.  There is, however, a 'but'.  If he finds himself in the 'wrong position' with other horses in a race "He simply tries his best to stop."  Brodie now has the measure of him and Sally hopes he will be at the yard for the rest of his days.

Thanks to Racehorse Photos for use of their photo of Brodie Hampson and Donnas Palm.

[Click on photos to enlarge them.]



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Chelsea Pearce wins Chepstow charity race - on a camel


Sam Twiston-Davies (left) & Chelsea approaching the finishSam Twiston-Davies (left) & Chelsea approaching the finishCharity races have been in the news recently - Victoria Pendleton  (retired cycling champion) and Tony McCoy (retired jump jockey champion) have both made headlines riding for charity at some of England's premier racecourses.

They were both riding race horses.  Chelsea Pearce won her charity race at Chepstow Racecourse on a camel - what is more in the final she came home ahead of the highly rated jockey Sam Twiston-Davies who had been the runaway winner of the three heats.

Though still at school, Chelsea Pearce, who is based near Marlborough, is making her mark as an accomplished eventer.

The race was sponsored by William Hill and was to provide funds for the Bristol-based Paul's Place charity.  Paul's Place works to improve the lives of physically disabled adults across South Gloucestershire, Bath and North-East Somerset, North Somerset and Bristol.

Chelsea - in the orange and light blue silks - led all the way in the final race: "It was  for a great cause - and I had a wonderful day!"  It certainly does not look the easiest of rides.

You can still support Paul's Place at this Justgiving web-page.

They're off...They're off...


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David Quinn long-serving stalwart at Beckhampton yards dies aged 90

1985: David Quinn (in trilby) and Steve Raymont lead Rainbow Quest to the start for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe1985: David Quinn (in trilby) and Steve Raymont lead Rainbow Quest to the start for the Prix de l'Arc de TriompheDavid Patrick Quinn, who for many years was travelling head lad for trainer Jeremy Tree at Beckhampton, has died shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday.  He lived in Avebury Trusloe.

Quinn continued to work at Beckhampton after Tree retired and when his assistant trainer, Roger Charlton, took over the yards in 1989.  Roger Charlton continues to train at Beckhampton - now with his son Harry as his Assistant Trainer.

Talking about Quinn, Roger Charlton told Marlborough News Online: "He was a huge part of the Beckhampton team."  

Charlton remembers David Quinn travelling with Sanglamore to Chantilly in 1990 for the French Derby - which he won by half a length with Pat Eddery aboard.  And then, four days later, Quinn took Quest for Fame to Epsom for the Derby - again with Pat Eddery.  Quest for Fame won by three lengths.

Quinn, from Ballingary, Limerick began his career in racing as an apprentice to Curragh trainer Michael Collins.  He moved to England in 1947 and worked for trainer Monty Smyth.  

He started work at Beckhampton on 13 December 1960.  His weekly pay was a bit over £17.  His name is linked to some of the most famous horses Tree sent out:  Danehill, Sharpo and Rainbow Quest - who famously, on his final outing, won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after a steward's enquiry.  [See photo above.]

Steve Raymont, now the Charlton's head lad and who had worked closely with Quinn, described him as "A thoroughly nice, ordinary guy with no airs and graces.  He was very straightforward and new his job inside out."

After he retired he still kept his interest in racing and would ask Steve Raymont how the horses were doing at the yard.

When Tree died in 1993 Quinn received a bequest of £5,000 - one of the key members of the Beckampton staff to be remembered in his will.   

Quinn is survived by his daughter Teresa, son Sean and four grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service at 1.30pm on Monday, March 21 at St Thomas More Catholic Church in George Lane.

[Photo courtesy Roger Charlton - with thanks.]

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Barbury's JCB Champions Challenge pits Dickie Johnson's team against Sir Mark Todd's

2015: Jump jockey Richard Johnson leads from Harry Meade in Barbury's  JCB Champions Challenge (Photo: Alan Dale)2015: Jump jockey Richard Johnson leads from Harry Meade in Barbury's JCB Champions Challenge (Photo: Alan Dale)This year at the St. James's Place Barbury International Horse Trials (7-10 July) senior riders from the eventing and horseracing world will clash once again in the third renewal of the JCB Champions Challenge on Saturday, 9 July.
The race, run in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), will feature a stellar line up of two teams of the world’s very best jump jockeys and eventers riding against each other over a specially designed course.  Sir Mark Todd and Richard Johnson have been named as the two team captains.
Eager to defend their Champions Challenge crown for a third consecutive year, the jump jockeys will be led by the newly crowned champion jump jockey Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson. 

Dickie will be joined by a trio of current and former jump jockeys: 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup winner and stable jockey to Barbury's Alan King, Wayne Hutchinson, one of the most successful jockeys of the modern era Tom Scudamore.  Completing the team will be John Francome MBE a former multiple champion jump jockey, who is also vice patron of the IJF.
Having been beaten by the narrowest of margins in the two previous years, the event riders have submitted a team comprised of speed and quality that includes two members of New Zealand's team for the 2016 Rio Games. 

2015: Sir Mark Todd in Barbury's JCB Champions Challenge  (Photo: Alan Dale)2015: Sir Mark Todd in Barbury's JCB Champions Challenge (Photo: Alan Dale)Sir Mark Todd, who will captain the eventers, and  Jonelle Price, known as ‘the fastest rider cross-country’.  They were both members of New Zealand’s Olympic bronze winning team at London 2012. 

Jonelle's husband Tim joins her in the team.  The couple made history in 2014 when they became the first husband and wife team to represent New Zealand at the World Equestrian Games in France. 

Australian eventer, Paul Tapner, completes the eventers' challenge.  He is a past winner of the Badminton Horse Trials and is renowned as a speed specialist in the cross-country phase.
The winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay, held on the same day, will form the final two teams in the JCB Champions Challenge.
Commenting ahead of this year's ‘Barbury battle’, Dickie Johnson said:  “In the summer months, as jump jockeys we try to take things a bit easier – but not this year, myself, Hutchinson, Scudamore and Francome – are in serious training and can’t wait to lay down the gauntlet to the eventers.”
In response, Sir Mark Todd (who at 60 has become New Zealand's oldest ever Olympian) aimed a cheeky shot at the jump jockeys: “I may be advancing in years, but I am confident I can get one over on Francome – as he is even more advancing than me!”
A new addition at this year’s St.James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials will be the third leg of the Event Rider Masters (ERM). The inaugural ERM is a new sporting series, showcasing the world’s best ‘Event’ riders with a total of £350,000 in prize money and each leg promising minimum prizes of £50,000 - and with television coverage which is being seen around the world. 
Tickets for the Barbury International Horse Trials start from £12 per person per day booked in advance.  Entrance is free for children under 12 years.   There is more information on the Barbury website where you can book tickets - or call 01672 516125.

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Changing the game : five great achievements by female jockeys in 2015

Lizzie Kelly dashes back to weigh-in Lizzie Kelly dashes back to weigh-in On Boxing Day 22-year-old Lizzie Kelly, who lives and works near Marlborough, made history, becoming the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race over jumps in the UK.  Kelly was riding Tea For Two at Kempton Park Racecourse in the Kauto Star Novice Chase for trainer and Nick Williams - who is her step-father.  Tea for Two is owned by her mother, Jane Williams.   

Lizzie Kelly has brought the curtain down in a fitting fashion on a decisive year for female jockeys.  In 2015 we celebrated some major milestones of women’s achievements on the racecourse around the globe.   Here are some highlights:

Silver Saddle for Sammy Jo

Sammy Jo Bell (photo Louise Pollard)Sammy Jo Bell (photo Louise Pollard)Apprentice Jockey Sammy Jo Bell was the heroine at this year’s Shergar Cup held at Ascot Racecourse in August.  Following a late call up for the ‘Girls’ Team', Bell won two of the six races – in the process arguably outriding four times winner of the L’Arc De Triomphe Olivier Peslier, as well as Damien Oliver - a three times winner of the Melbourne Cup.

Along with team mates Hayley Turner, the first female jockey to win a Group 1 race outright in the UK and Canadian Emma Jayne-Wilson, the girls were crowned the Queens of the Shergar Cup beating Great Britain and Ireland; Europe and the Rest of the World consisting of leading male jockeys from around the globe. Bell was also awarded the coveted silver saddle trophy as the fixture’s top jockey.  

Hayley Turner on Iftikaar (photo: John Grossick)Hayley Turner on Iftikaar (photo: John Grossick)In October, Sammy Jo’s contemporary and confessed role model Hayley Turner announced her retirement from race riding.  The 32-year-old is Britain’s most successful female flat jockey.  She became the first women to ride 100 winners in a year and accumulated 750 wins during her career including two Group One races: the July Cup at Newmarket and York’s Nunthorpe Stakes.  She also became joint champion apprentice jockey in 2005.  

Michelle Payne says ‘get stuffed’

Michelle Payne became another history maker on the 3 November, when victorious in the race that stops a nation – the Melbourne Cup in Australia. Payne became the first woman to win the race in its 155-year history.  

Riding Prince of Penzance, the pair were sent off as outsiders with odds of 100-1.  However following a strong move down the home straight they held off the fast-finishing Max Dynamite, ridden by Frankie Dettori, by three-quarters of a length to secure victory.  

Moments after making history, Payne made some controversial remarks much quoted in the press, criticising the racing world as chauvinistic.

Sopohie Doyle on Fioretti Sopohie Doyle on Fioretti Doyle flies the flag State-side

Brit Sophie Doyle has been making a name for herself riding in America over the past two years.  After becoming disillusioned due to lack of riding opportunities in the UK, Doyle made the decision to move to first California then Kentucky.  In her second year riding in the US she’s won over $1.6 million in prize money.   

In 2015 she rode in 747 races and won 72, however Sophie’s highlight was making her Breeders’ Cup début in the $1m Filly and Mare Sprint race, riding Fioretti the mare that brought her first graded stakes victory.    


Katie Walsh (Photo: Aintree Racecourse) Katie Walsh (Photo: Aintree Racecourse) Katie Walsh - Thunder and Roses at the Irish Grand National

Katie Walsh, arguably the most successful woman jump jockey in Britain and Ireland, in April became the third female in history to claim the Irish Grand National as she guided Thunder And Roses to victory at Fairyhouse, Ireland.

It is 31 years since jockey Ann Ferris struck gold aboard Bentom Boy, while Nina Carberry, also a highly respected Irish jump jockey, enjoyed National glory also aboard Organisedconfusion in 2011.

So what does 2016 hold?

Walsh is the most the successful female jockey in the world’s most famous jump race the Grand National held at Aintree. In 2011 she finished in third place riding Sea Bass.  She is tipped to become the first woman to win the ultimate test of horse and jockey.

Women jockeys have proven in 2015 that when given the opportunity they can deliver on a world stage.  So come on trainers and owner’s keep up the support and let’s cheer home the first Grand National female ridden winner in 2016!

Harriet works in Marlborough running Rochester Women, specialising in PR and marketing for sportswomen and female teams. All the details here.  Read her blog SportWoman            

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Darcy is by no means the only attraction at High Hope’s Stud at Chisbury


Darcy and Tom Hanlom at High Hope's StudDarcy and Tom Hanlom at High Hope's StudFor the latest news on Darcy the mare shot in the head while in a field at Chisbury - see Marlborough News Online news pages.

Darcy’s home is the High Hope’s Stud which is run by Mark Hope and Tom Hanlom.  They moved to what had been Chisbury Manor Stud in March. Mark had run a stud farm at Hungerford Park and Tom was based at Boomerang Stables in Chilton Foliat.

They have teamed up to run a multi-enterprise equestrian centre. They have been doing a great deal of renovation to house, barns, stables and fencing and have had the fields ploughed and re-seeded to provide better grass for the horses.

Across the road they are about to put in an arena with an all-weather silica sand and fibre surface.  They have sixty acres which includes part of the moat or ditch around Chisbury’s Iron Age fort.  

They lease indirectly from the Ramsbury Estate – both land and buildings were bought recently from the Crown Estate by Stefan Persson as part of his purchase of the ‘Savernake Estate’ agricultural holdings.

At the heart of their operation is the stud.  In the summer, when it is busiest, they can be taking in 40 mares a month.  They arrive, are either covered or artificially inseminated, get a 14-16 day scan to see if they are bearing twins, have a second scan at 28 days to check the foetus’ heartbeat – and if all is well, they go home.

Silver Pond Silver Pond The stud has a range of top class stallions.  The thoroughbred Silver Pond is one of the best known.  He raced flat and was placed in Group 1 and was a winner of Group 2 races, taking prize money of over £417,000 in his short racing career.

It was a career that ended in a disastrous anti-climax:  arriving for the Dubai World Cup – for which was a favoured entry – he left his horsebox with an injury and could not run.  And he had just been sold for £5million.  

He  is now a much favoured stallion.  Irish breeders are keen on him for flat and National Hunt progeny and the stud already have half a dozen bookings for January and February – and two people have recently tried to buy him.

Another stallion standing at High Hope’s Stud is Maxmillian Voltucky – a Dutch warm blood who won 32 national and international dressage championships in a row.  He was sired by Voltaire who in 1996 was rated number two in the world on the dressage and jumping index.

Nelson van de HelleNelson van de HelleWorld class show jumping stallion Nelson van de Helle is the newest addition at High Hope’s Stud and will be available this stud season for the first time since retiring from his show jumping career. 

A Belgian warm blood, Nelson jumped at top level in South Africa before moving to Europe to compete. He has numerous wins to his record including the South African Derby with international rider Ronnie Lawrence.

High Hope Condor on the way to a clear roundHigh Hope Condor on the way to a clear roundOne of their stallions bears the stud farm’s name:  High Hopes Condor is now with the highly successful French showjumper Dan Delsart competing in Fox Hunter competitions – with plenty of double clears.

Delsart is now running a training competiion yard with Victoria Wearing at Farndish on the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire border.

High Hopes CondorHigh Hopes CondorCondor has had four seasons at stud.  He has appeared consistently in the top five in the annual ranking of showjumping sires.  One of his progeny, Condors Boy, was named Leading Showjumping Yearling in 2011.

The High Hope’s Stud’s other enterprises include livery at various levels – they currently have ten client horses.  They run a cleaning and repair service for pony and horse rugs.  

They stable horses for private owners and undertake pre-training work, work with ‘difficult’ horses and rehabilitation work.  Tom Hanlom is known for his skills with tricky horses and also teaches.  He and Mark laugh as they explain that they specialise in doing some of “the hard work” for owners – hard work and sometimes hard knocks.

As an undergraduate Tom studied equine science at Limerick University and then did a research MSc at Essex University.   He loves sport and was in the Irish judo team before switching to eventing.

Among the yard’s eventers he has a 14-year old gelding Uptown Jonny who is ‘sharp’ and quite naughty – but with “one hell of a jump”.   Uptown Jonny is returning to eventing having last competed in 2008.

It is difficult to find the time to push young horses up the eventing grades, but Tom says: “I am looking to build up the string for next season.”  He has already qualified for the Badminton Grassroots competition.  This is run before the main event to give young riders and young horses experience of that iconic eventing course.

[Click on photos to enlarge them.  Photos of the stallions are copyright of High Hope's Stud.]

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Designed for television: Barbury International to host part of the new Event Rider Masters three star series

Opening day's cross country - Barbury International 2015Opening day's cross country - Barbury International 2015Although the BBC have televised what was known as The Badminton Three-day Event for many years, as a whole the sport of eventing has kept a pretty low profile in Britain - and it is certainly not one that features regularly on television.  This may be the year all that changes.

A group of enthusiasts and television producers have got together to organise a six-leg CIC*** contest called Event Rider Masters - and the Barbury International (July 9-10) is to host one of the legs.  

As a television sports director once told Marlborough.News, the Barbury cross country course, held in a natural amphitheatre on the Marlborough Downs, is ideal for live coverage: "You could just about do it all on a couple of cameras!"

The format of the CIC*** competitions involved will stay mainly the same.  The aim of Event Rider Masters is to package the sport specifically for television audiences with the lure for owners and riders with levels of prize money as yet unseen in the world of short-format Eventing.

Event Rider Masters - organised in partnership with EventingLive - promises new technology and reactive data to give a better experience at events and on television for spectators, riders, owners and sponsors alike.  The series will include a 30-minute magazine style TV show, and a condensed 90-minute live show for each of the six legs.

Barbury International 2015Barbury International 2015Barbury International 2015Barbury International 2015The other legs of this new competition will be at Chatsworth House (May 14-15), Bramham Park (June 10-11), Gatcombe Park's Festival of British Eventing (August 6-7), Blair Castle (August 27-28) and Blenheim Palace (September 10-11).

Each of six classes will be run under International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rules and be open to 40 horse and rider combinations.  The contest has a guaranteed prize fund of £350,000 - £50,000 for each class and a £50,000 end of series prize fund for top riders.

The series has the support of British Eventing, the British Equestrian Federation, the Event Horse Owners Association, the Event Riders Association - and has the approval of the FEI.

Yogi Breisner, the British Eventing team's World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe, believe the series is bound to attract new riders, owners and horses:  “It will be a fantastic development for the British team and will, without doubt, help us build on and sustain our impressive Olympic track record.”

Tim Price walking the Barbury cross country courseTim Price walking the Barbury cross country courseMarlborough area based New Zealand national team eventers Sir Mark Todd and Tim Price are both firm supporters of this development for their sport.  As Tim Price puts it: "A sport's growth and development is key to its ultimate success. I believe the Event Rider Masters team have these values at their core. By delicately repackaging our ‘brand’ and delivering it to a world-wide audience, the benefits to our sport and to anyone involved and passionate about Eventing, will be immense.”

And Sir Mark adds:  “The Event Rider Masters is without doubt the most exciting development in eventing that I’ve ever seen.”

The series organisers are planning a swift roll-out into Europe - with plans underway for worldwide coverage.

In addition to the excitement of this new attraction, Barbury will be welcoming the world's top eventers for their pre-Rio run out.  There will be a fun contest between jockeys, eventers and show-jumpers in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.  

The charity lunch will be in aid of Great Western Hospital's Brighter Futures appeal for its planned radio-therapy unit - with the chance to meet charity's patron, Rory Bremner.  And, once again, there will be the irresistible dancing sheep.

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Beckhampton trainer Roger Charlton cheered by Time Test win at Royal Ascot

In the colours of owner Khalid Abdullah, with Frankie Dettori in sparkling form and the ground right, Time Test trained at Beckhampton by Roger Charlton ran away with the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes on Royal Ascot's Gold Cup day.

The race turned into a battle between Marlborough trainers.

Sent off as favourite for the race, Dettori took Time Test from midfield to beat the Queen's horse Peacock by three and a quarter lengths.    Peacock is trained by Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon and was ridden by local jockey Richard Hughes.

After the race Dettori said the three-tear-old Time Test felt like a Group One horse.

In the run-up to Royal Ascot, Roger Charlton had the disappointment of finding one of his star horses Al Kazeem had suffered an injury and could not run in this week's Prince of Wales's Stakes.  The seven-year-old suffered an injury when winning the prestigious Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last month - by a neck.

Al Kazeem was retired to stud at the end of the 2013 season, but proved sub-fertile and returned to racing the following year.   The Tattersalls Gold Cup won his owner €155,000.

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