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Patagonian adventure: Clare King comes second in the first Gaucho Derby

21-03-2020

Clare King is now home at Barbury Castle from her adventurous ride in Patagonia - back to husband jumps trainer Neil King and their two children.  And back to the rigours of the coronavirus - the effects of which she had not heard about while in deepest Patagonia - and...

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Coronavirus: Barbury Racecourse loses second point-to-point as season is shut down

17-03-2020 Russell Smith

Point-to-point racing in Britain has been shut down for the 2019-20 season - due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Event Rider Masters cancels 2020 series due to Impact of coronavirus pandemic

13-03-2020

Before the 2020 eventing season in Britain has even started, it has been dealt a severe blow with the cancellation of the 2020 running of international Event Rider Masters competition - due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Greatwood Charity's Newbury events re-scheduled - amateur riders race & their raceday

09-03-2020

As Newbury will be racing 'behind closed doors' this coming weekend, the charity race re-scheduled for Saturday, 21 March will NOT now take place. The Greatwood Charity has two new Newbury Racecourse dates for your diaries - Saturday, 21 March and Saturday, 16 May.

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Brian Meehan launches racing club for 2020's Flat season - the horse has been chosen but not his name

03-03-2020

Manton trainer Brian Meehan is launching a new syndicate in the form of a racing club for the new Flat season and on Saturday (February 29) members and potential members were at a special open day to see the chosen, unnamed two-year old.

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Newbury's Mencap meeting: Pipe ponders Cheltenham targets for Brinkley and Richard Johnson's winning again

01-03-2020 Emma Blackburn

David Pipe is eyeing potential Cheltenham Festival targets for Brinkley after the five-year-old Martaline gelding produced an eye-catching performance in landing the West Berkshire Mencap “National Hunt” Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Friday (February 28).

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Newbury racing: Paul Nicholls sends out three in bid for tenth Greatwood Gold Cup

28-02-2020 Emma Blackburn

Paul Nicholls will be triple-handed as he bids for a record tenth success in the Grade 3 William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday (February 29).

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It'll be the challenge of her life: after racing in Mongolia, Clare King's tackling the Patagonian Andes for a children's…

28-02-2020

She normally rides out for her husband, the successful jump racing trainer Neil King on the northern edge of the Marlborough downs - where it's windy, but it's a gentle landscape.  Now Clare King is saddling up for the ride of a lifetime across the remote Patagonian Andes in South...

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Newbury's leap year’s day meeting: will Bennys King rule - on a day when anything can happen?

25-02-2020 Emma Blackburn

Trainer Dan Skelton hopes he has found the right horse in Bennys King to secure his first win in the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup and deny his former boss Paul Nicholls a tenth success in the race at Newbury on Saturday (February 29).

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Olivia May’s Newbury Racecourse debut - in aid of the Greatwood Charity

22-02-2020 Olivia May

On Saturday, 29 February, the Amateur Jockeys Association will stage a charity race at Newbury Racecourse in aid of the Greatwood Charity – which cares for former racehorses and uses them to assist children with special educational needs through its Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) educational programmes.  I am honoured to...

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Brodie Hampson rides Jennys Surprise to win Sandown's Royal Artillery Gold Cup

 

Brodie & Jennys Surprise led in by Sally Randell (left of picture)Brodie & Jennys Surprise led in by Sally Randell (left of picture)Brodie Hampson, who works at trainer Sally Randell's Broad Hinton yard, won the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown today (February 19) on her father's horse Jennys Surprise.  

They went out favourites, looked well beaten, but the eight-year-old mare rallied and came home strongly to win by a length and a half.  Jennys Surprise is trained by Fergal O'Brien.

This annual three mile chase is for military amateur riders.  Mark Hampson had served 22 years with the Royal Artillery - so Brodie qualified for the ride.   Nine horses went to post - including last year's winner Cowards Close who was fourth home - but four horses were pulled up.

It was an emotional victory for the Hampson family as Mark Hampson is terminally ill - but he was there to watch his daughter win in his colours. 

Brodie Hampson, 21, has had eight wins over hurdles, but this was her first chase win.

Later Brodie tweeted: "WOW!! Overwhelmed by all the messages, AMAZING day and a dream come true thanks to @FOBRacing Thankyou so much for the support everyone".

Brodie's win was cheered on by her employer, trainer Sally Randell - whose boss when she served in the Royal Artillery had been Mark Hampson. 

The race jockeys with Mark Hampson, Brodie & the Gold Cup (click to enlarge)The race jockeys with Mark Hampson, Brodie & the Gold Cup (click to enlarge)Brodie Hampson has been working for Sally Randell since she was sixteen.

In 2011 Sally Randell was Surenaga 's trainer and jockey when they won the Royal Artillery Gold Cup.  And talking of Gold Cup's, Sally was the first lady jockey to win the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown - and she went on to claim another record by winning it three times.

They work hard and aim high at Sally Randell Racing - and certainly flourish over Sandown's jumps!

 [Sandown photos courtesy Bryan Mathieson]

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An apprentice’s diary from the World Equestrian Games 2014

 

Marcelo Tosi & Eleda All Black - trotting up for the judges [Photo copyright Nico Morgan Photography.)Marcelo Tosi & Eleda All Black - trotting up for the judges [Photo copyright Nico Morgan Photography.)Imogen Hellawell (known to all as ‘Immy’) is based at Marcelo Tosi’s Woodland Farm stables in Marston, near Devizes, and is working for her Advanced Apprenticeship in Horse Care and Management with Haddon Training, who are based in Marlborough.  Her Apprenticeship programme has been specifically tailored around a professional eventing yard.

“Throughout the programme Immy has been a dedicated learner who has shown a passion for working with horses. Immy demonstrates an extremely high level of quality in her work and a strong commitment to the care of Marcelo’s horses. Getting the opportunity to groom at WEG 2014 is incredible, knowing Immy Huggy would have been turned out beautifully.”  Alex Plank, Haddon Training Assessor.

Marcelo Tosi is a Brazilian event rider. He was selected to represent Brazil at this summer’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy. Imogen went to WEG as his groom with his horse Huggy - more formally known as Eleda All Black. [Photo of Tosi & Eleda All Black copyright Nico Morgan Photography - see more at his website.]

Imogen kept a diary of her time with Team Brazil for WEG 2014:

Packing, packing, packing
We started the trip to WEG on Saturday, August 23. We spent the day packing the truck not just for our horse, but for the other two team horses as well. By the time we were finished the truck was pretty full!

On French soil 
 We then set off at 7.00 am for the ferry in Portsmouth which was two hours away. When we were on the ferry, we did the final check on the horses (giving more hay and water) ready to leave them for the night. We arrived in Caen, France at 7.00 am. Once we left the docks we stopped to give the horses water and more hay. After a one hour drive from the docks we arrived at our base. We unloaded the horses and settled them into their stables.

The grooms' bunksThe grooms' bunksFinding our feet
We spent the most of Sunday, August 24 unpacking and getting the stables organised, in the evening we took the horses out to stretch their legs. Myself and the other grooms went to discover the groom’s accommodation, which was small but very comfortable.

Hustle and bustle
Monday and Tuesday were mostly the same:  the horses went for dressage training and then to  graze. The venue was becoming very busy with the other teams arriving.

Let the games begin…Wednesday, August 27

Marcelo and Huggy had an arena familiarisation.  This is where they could work in the warm up arena beside the main arena.  In the afternoon we had the first vet inspection, so before that I spent the early part of the afternoon plaiting and making the horse look beautiful!

Thursday 28th August

In the morning we had our dressage test, so I had to plait the horse up and prepare him for the test. Our horse did a reasonable test which we were all pleased with. In the afternoon we had one other team rider doing their test, so I went to watch it with the rest of the Brazilian team.


Friday, August 29

Today was a day off so our horse just went for a short gallop and jump just to prepare him for the cross country the following day. The rest of the day we spent a lot of time grazing.

 Our last team rider did an amazing test on Friday, putting him into the top 20 after the dressage.


Saturday,  August 30

Cross country day arrived with very wet ground, we were lucky to be ninth out on course!! The horse was taken for a light hack to relax him and stretch his muscles in the morning. I spent this time preparing the kit so I was ready to meet them at the finish (water buckets/ sponges/scrapers/spare shoes/grease/rugs etc.)

Then it was time to go cross country, I was full of nerves as the first horses hadn't made it home. Our horse came home finishing strongly! It was time to get him washed off and cooled down - this was a real team effort getting water on and off him.

When Huggy was cool enough we took him back to the stables to be iced and to rest. For the rest of the day I helped the other Team Brazil grooms with their horses at the finish, as they had helped me.   In between I kept walking and icing my horse.

In the evening it was crazy busy as we had to get all the equipment packed up, ready to leave early for the main stadium for the show jumping the following day.

Cross country day was a real team effort as everyone helped everyone! Our Chef d'Equip made sure us grooms had what we needed from food to information about the next day, and our vet gave the best care to get the horses ready for the next day.

The Brazilian riders rode all three horses home safely, so we had a team for the next day!


The showjumping arenaThe showjumping arenaSunday,  August 31
The alarm went off at 4.30am. We had to get the horses ready for an 8am trot up. My horse was a bit stiff so we took him for a long walk to loosen up.  Then we did another lot of icing. I plaited him up and prepared him for the last vet inspection, we arrived half an hour early to give them a good walk. My horse trotted up very well and passed the vet inspection, as did the other two team horses!


After the trot up it was a mad rush to get the horses loaded and ready to leave for the hour drive to the main stadium. We settled the horses and organised the equipment we needed.  At 12.45pm the riders had an arena familiarisation in the stadium, so that the horses could see everything before jumping with a full stadium of 22,000 spectators!!

Then it was my boy’s turn to jump his round. He had 3 poles down but we were very happy with him as he tried his heart out for us. There were only 13 clear rounds, so it was a course that caused a lot of problems.

Huggy in retirement Huggy in retirement When he finished it was a bit of an emotional moment as this will be his last eventing competition, as we are retiring him now. Everyone was very happy with the results as the team finished 8th out of 18 teams.

Monday, September 1

We arrived home Monday lunchtime, Huggy has now started his retirement in the field.

It was a successful WEG both for the team and Marcelo - and me.

Huggy has been an amazing horse for us, he has had an impressive career: winning team Bronze at the Pan AM Games 2011, competing at Burghley Horse Trials CCI 4* and Pau CCI 4*, the London 2012 Olympic Games and now a World Equestrian Games, he fully deserves his retirement!


 ________

 


No sooner was Immy back at the yard, than she was asked to accompany one of Tosi’s horses on its journey by air back to Brazil.

The Brazilian eventer Marcelo Tosi has been based in  Britain since 2010.  The 44-year-old has a degree in animal science and is a director of the Agromix Animal Feed company.

He was assistant trainer to the Brazilian team for the Athens Olympics in 2004.  He then based himself in Belgium for six years.  He rode for the Brazilians at the London Olympics.

In 2011 he won team bronze at the Pan Am Games in Mexico.  He now trains with Nick Turner, Mark Todd and dressage rider Anna Ross-Davies.

Eleda All Black, owned by Bronwen Jones and Iain Greer, is a 17 year-old British bred gelding.

 

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The Queen watches Wiltshire PCSO Annabel Twiddy and Donnerbolzen's winning rounds

PCSO Annabel Twiddy & Donnerbolzen PCSO Annabel Twiddy & Donnerbolzen A Wiltshire Police Community Support Officer is celebrating after displaying her show jumping skills to the Queen while competing in her first ever police event at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. 

Riding her horse Donnerbolzen, PCSO Annabel Twiddy, of the West Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team, represented Wiltshire Police,and beat off competition from 98 others to win individually.  

Her individual performance put PCSO Twiddy's team into sixth place out of a total of 33 teams. 

"All three members of each team jumped, and then the top 12 teams went into a jump off in the afternoon where Her Majesty The Queen came to watch."

"Our team qualified, and I was put forward to jump again," she said.
 "I've now been invited to represent the UK Mainland forces in Guernsey in August. Our team has also qualified for the Forces Equine Championships." 

"It was a true honour to present Wiltshire in front of the Queen, and I am so proud to have ridden for the force. I can't wait to do it again soon."

Annabel started with Wiltshire Police as a Special Constable in May 2013 and five months later joined the control room as a dispatch assistant and 999 call handler. In January 2015, she began training as a PCSO before joining the West sector team. 

A keen horse rider, she represented England Under 18s in show jumping: "I have ridden since before I could walk."

"I used to compete and breed horses full time but when the recession came around, unfortunately I had to sell all my horses bar one, which took me from 13 to one."

In 2015 PCSO Twiddy found Forces Equine who organise teams and various events for serving officers. This enabled her to compete in a mixed police team, with officers from Avon and Somerset and Derbyshire. 


She asked to be allowed to represent the force and wear a Wiltshire Police uniform:
"Permission and uniform was granted - I had a special PCSO tunic made for me and I was issued with a hat band and badge for my riding hat." 

 She is currently in the top three of the Forces Equine Champions League.

Annabel and Donnerbolzen...watched by The Queen.Annabel and Donnerbolzen...watched by The Queen.

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Nigel Bunter puts Barbury Castle Estate up for sale - future of International Horse Trials and Alan King Racing in the balance

The main ring at the International Horse Trials with the cross country course beyond it - and sheep on the downsThe main ring at the International Horse Trials with the cross country course beyond it - and sheep on the downsThe Barbury Castle Estate - owned by Nigel Bunter - is for sale.  The estate - on the Marlborough Downs just north of the town - is home to leading racehorse trainer Alan King and to the annual Barbury International Horse Trials, which is one of the country's premier eventing competitions.

It will be the second time that Alan King has had the ownership of his yard and the gallops change. There will also be some uncertainty about the future of the Barbury leg of the Event Rider Matsers competition.  The venues for the 2017 series are due to be announced next month.

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Grand National hope The Druid's Nephew highlights James' success story at Cheltenham

James - in the green jacket - leads in The Druids Nephew (photo courtesy GJ Multimedia)James - in the green jacket - leads in The Druids Nephew (photo courtesy GJ Multimedia)Just three years after his first ever contact with a racehorse at the Greatwood Charity, near Marlborough, James Paget led in a Cheltenham Festival winner - not many get to fulfill a dream like that. 

The horse he looks after at Neil Mulholland's yard, The Druids Nephew, had won the Festival's Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) with Barry Geraghty aboard.

 “Before I went to Greatwood," James said,  "I had never had any contact with horses, but as soon as I walked through the gates I knew that I wanted to work with horses for the rest of my life.”
 
James attended Greatwood’s Get Going programme during the summer of 2012. Via the Princes Trust, he came to the charity from the Amber Foundation, a residential charity that offers a fresh start to homeless unemployed young adults and helps them gain employment and accommodation.
 
"I was living in a hostel when I met someone that had been to the Northern Racing College (NRC) - my ears pricked up and I thought that may be something I would like to do.  Also when I got talking about racing one of the members of staff at the hostel informed me that he used to be a jockey."

"Through the Princes Trust I went to Greatwood where they gave me the opportunity to apply to come to the NRC on their 12 week residential foundation course.”

After successfully completing Greatwood's Get Going programme and gaining an accredited qualification in ‘Basic Care of Horses’, James was then given a place at the NRC: “My first week was really interesting and I liked the fact that they had you doing everything from mucking out to riding within the first week.  I’m not so keen on the mucking out but when I rode for the first time it makes the mucking out well worth it!"
          
After completing 12 weeks at the NRC, James gained more qualifications and subsequently went on to secure full time employment and now has a career within the racing industry - working for Bath based trainer, Neil Mulholland.  

James is going from strength to strength and is in charge of Festival winning The Druid’s Nephew who is now vying for the most illustrious prize in National Hunt racing with an entry in the Crabbies Grand National next month.
 

Greatwood’s ‘Get Going’ innovative intensive educational programme develops key workplace skills for NEETS (not in employment, education or training), who may have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.  Get Going is an intensive British Horseracing Education & Standards Trust (BHE&ST) accredited course and provides an introduction to careers with horses and the horse racing industry with an Entry Level 2 Award in Assisting with Basic Care of Horses

GJ Multimedia

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European Eventing Championships: Great Britain's juniors in bronze position - Chelsea Pearce is in eleventh place

Great Britain's junior eventing team had good cross country day with five of their six riders going clear and inside the time. 

This put the British team in bronze medal place after both dressage and cross country stages.

And the team is less than one show jumping error behind the second placed team - France.  The German teram have led since the first day - having put in impressive dressage scores.

The championships are being held at Monteliberetti - at Italy's Military Equestrian Centre.

After the dressage stage of the Junior Championship, Marlborough's Chelsea Pearce was lying sixteenth out of the 42 junior riders.  But after 'a superb' cross country round, she has moved up to eleventh position. 

She is riding as an individual.

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New Zealand eventing looks for a UK-based manager

As we have reported, the Marlborough area is home to most of New Zealand's top-performing event riders.

Now, with some changes at the top of the sport, the High Performance Director of Equestrian Sports New Zealand is calling for expressions of interest for someone to take theUK-based role of High Performance Manager (Eventing) for 2017-2018.

"The High Performance Manager will be a key part of the Eventing High Performance Team which is tasked with delivering a world-leading eventing high performance programme that produces repeatable and sustainable successes at Olympic and World Championships." 

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