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Keyflow Stage1v3

We visit Neil King's Barbury yard and meet up with new Assistant Trainer, Hetta Stevens


  Hetta Stevens is the new assistant trainer with Neil King at Barbury. The Wroughton trainer is also aiming to build on success with jockey Bryony Frost over the Winter. Bryony showed up at Neil’s Ridgeway Racing yard at Upper Hersdwick Farm on the Marlborough Downs on Sunday.

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Charity pilot to introduce former racehorse Ouzbeck to Marlborough Care Home Residents


Racing charities Greatwood and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) are working with the Racing Together team to deliver a pilot programme at OSJCT Coombe End Court care home in Marlborough.  Greatwood - based on the outskirts of Marlborough- was the first charity to use former racehorses to educate children, young people...

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Wiltshire Show is open for entries in all classes


Back by popular demand for a second event this year Due to popular demand, the organisers of The Wiltshire Show have agreed to hold a second show this year during the weekend of 25 and 26 September.

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Tack shop turns from hobby to business success


Wootton Bassett’s Hat 2 Hoof in line for top award Hat 2 Hoof has rapidly turned into a horse and pony rider’s Mecca in Wiltshire. Now, four and a half years after opening in the Old Post Office in Broad Hinton, the store, and its owner Terri Hemmings have been nominated for...

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Major Equine Clinic Application for Poulton Hill presented to Town Council Planning Committee


The Application for development of the Equine Clinic at Poulton Mill was discussed on Monday evening at the Town Council’s Planning Committee meeting. Planning reference: PL/2021/04663 Dr Andre Buthe, owner of the site and applicant along with his wife Dr Christna Ober, was present at the meeting to present the proposals and...

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Newbury Races: Sam Spinner renews rivalry with Paisley Park in Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle

25-11-2020 Emma Blackburn

Sam Spinner, runner-up to Paisley Park in last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle, returns to hurdles for only the second time since the 2019 Cheltenham Festival for a renewal of the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle that features the last two winners of this three mile crown.

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Newbury Racecourse: 2020 renewal of the Ladbrokes Trophy looks a wide open race

24-11-2020 Harriet Collins

A total of 19 horses have held their ground for the 2020 Ladbrokes Trophy (Saturday, 28 November) following the five-day confirmation stage, with David Bridgwater’s The Conditional and Scottish raider, Aye Right currently joint favourite with the sponsors at 7/1, for what is shaping up to be another highly competitive...

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Coronavirus: Tedworth Hunt’s 2021 Barbury point-to-point cancelled


The Tedworth Hunt point-to-point meeting at Barbury Racecourse, scheduled for 11 April 2021, has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Newbury: Ladbrokes gallops morning to be broadcast live on Racing TV - free to air

15-11-2020 Harriet Collins

The countdown to the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival starts on Tuesday, 17 November at Newbury Racecourse as the official Gallops morning takes place with key contenders ahead of the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy - which will be run on Saturday, 28 November 2020.

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Newbury Races: entries announced for Ladbrokes Trophy - can De Rasher Counter win again?

28-10-2020 A Correspondent

2019's winning trainer Emma Lavelle is looking forward to running De Rasher Counter in this year’s £200,000 Ladbrokes Trophy on Saturday, 28 November, for which 39 entries are revealed today (28 October 2020). 

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Bring on the beetroot! Sir Mark Todd and Keyflow prepare for Olympic year

Sir Mark Todd - and friendSir Mark Todd - and friendIt may be the off-season for eventing in Britain, but it's a very busy time for Sir Mark Todd - a founding director of the Marlborough-based equine feed company Keyflow, technical adviser to the Brazilian national team and, of course, a long serving stalwart of New Zealand's national team - with six Olympic Games and two gold medals to his credit.

He is recently back from one of his visits to Brazil to advise at their 3* qualifying competition for the Olympics.  And he is back too from Cornwall where Keyflow launched its new feed product with the eye-catching name Pink Mash - more of which later.

When Marlborough News Online visited Sir Mark's Badgerstown headquarters on the edge of the Marlborough Downs, it was blowing a gale and he was a bit worried about his horses crossing the channel on their way to the Geneva Horse Show for Saturday evening's Rolex indoor cross country competition.

Sir Mark moved to Badgerstown immediately after the 2012 London Games - and he loves it there.  It's good for transport links and is in wide open country - space for grass and all-weather gallops and a cross country course.

Sir Mark invested in Keyflow Feeds when it was first set up by fellow New Zealander Cam Price three years ago to provide a 'super-premium' range of feeds and supplements designed by world renowned equine nutritionists.  "Nutrition", Sir Mark says, "is a big part of high performance horses."

"There has to be a reason to change from one brand to another" and he explains how Cam Price visits all areas of the country advising people on nutrition - and putting forward the technical details of Keyflow's way to improve a horse's long-term health and performance.

Sir Mark in his feed store of Keyflow productsSir Mark in his feed store of Keyflow productsSpecialising in feed and supplements for sporting horses, Keyflow has Key Riders who support the brand:  Sir Mark and his New Zealand compatriots Jonelle and Tim Price, with Canadian star Rebecca Howard represent the eventing world.  And from show jumping Keyflow has the Whitaker Brothers (John and Michael) with Jack Whitaker (Michael's son) and Yorkshire's Ria Scott - all British riders.

Another joint enterprise with Keyflow is The Mark Todd Bridging the Gap scholarship scheme.  It is run by British Eventing with the support of the Mark Todd Collection (his horse equipment and clothing brand) and Keyflow.  The scheme helps riders moving towards Advanced/2* eventing level or towards a more established 3* level - there is no particular age limit.  

The scheme has experienced trainers - Jill Watson and Lizzel Winter - and applicants attend a series of training days.  The latest winner was Tim Cheffings from Tiverton.  He's receiving a mentoring programme, a year's supply of Keyflow Feeds and goods from the Mark Todd Collection.

Sir Mark told Marlborough News Online: "It gives them a boost and a leg up.  It's an expensive and tough sport to get into - this is a way for us to put something back into the sport over here."

Sir Mark's work with the Brazilian eventing team began after the last Olympics.  The home team wanted to put on a good show for the Rio crowds - and some of the leading Brazilian riders have spent time at Badgerstown.   

Eventing is quite a new and small-scale sport in Brazil.  Competitions can have as few as nine entrants.  And - like many other eventing teams - as the Games approach they will be at the mercy of injured or non-performing horses.

The outlook for both British and New Zealand Olympic teams is fairly open.  Both teams have key riders recovering from serious injuries: Wiliam Fox-Pitt for Britain and Andrew Nicholson for New Zealand.

Pink MashPink MashKeyflow riders feature well in the international rankings list.  The current rankings name Tim Price as third in the world with Sir Mark at sixth position.
Kewflow have been expanding fast this year.  Sir Mark says they can only just keep pace with the orders.  They are working hard to expand their network of stockists so people can buy their feeds quickly and easily, all over the country.

Which brings us to the new and innovative Pink Mash with its beetroot and super fibre.  It is specially aimed at maintaining a horse's healthy hind gut which is critical for health and performance.  It soaks in 5-10 minutes and can be used as a partial replacement for hay or forage.

Sir Mark is 'very excited about it':  "It's new, it's different and it's a very good product."   You can ask Keyflow for a free sample.

And the 55th Concours Hippique International de Geneva?  Sir Mark on his 14-year-old grey gelding Landvision came tenth out of the nineteen international riders.  And not too far behind was Brazil's Ruy Fonesca on Korsica in fourteenth place.

Sir Mark raises his eyebrows:  "I can't believe the London Olympics were nearly four years ago.  And the next eight months to Rio will fly by!"

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British riders take top three places in Event ’Rider Master’s fifth leg - luck deserts Jock Paget again

Oliver Townend jumps into a winning position (Photo courtesy  & copyright Libby Law Photography)Oliver Townend jumps into a winning position (Photo courtesy & copyright Libby Law Photography)The fifth leg of the inaugural Event Rider Masters competition saw an exciting if somewhat uncertain finish on Sunday (August 28) at the Blair Castle International Horse Trials in Perthshire.

There was no doubt that British rider Oliver Townend took first place - becoming the first double winner of the Event Rider Masters' six leg contest and scooping up the £16,000 first prize from the £50,000 pot.
Riding Cillnabradden Evo, who Townend partnered to win the fourth leg at Gatcombe three weeks earlier, the pair were faultless show jumping to head out on the cross-country in pole position, where they completed an impressive clear jumping round adding just 2.4 time penalties.  

Marlborough-based New Zealand rider Jock Paget was the on-and-off-and-on-and-off again holder of second place.  But he was, after two reviews of the television footage of the cross country, finally found to have jumped the wrong side of a flag - and was eliminated.

Riding the nine-year-old Angus Blue, Paget had a dressage score of 50.7 and four show jumping faults and with no cross country penalties would have been sure of second place.  This set-back follows Paget's terrible bad luck at Rio when his horse was injured in a freak stable accident and he was replaced in the New Zealand team.

Young British rider Tom McEwen on board Diesel took second place with British Rio team members Gemma Tattersall  riding Santiago Bay in third.

The ERM final is in two week’s at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (September 10 & 11) and the contest for the £50,000 ERM bonus for the outright looks wide open.

Australia’s Paul Tapner is the current overall series leader on 92 points.  He finished in sixth place at Blair castle riding Kilronan.  Gemma Tattersall lies in second with 90 points, Oliver Townend in third with 74 and New Zealand's Jonelle Price is in fourth place on 69. 

Tapner, Tattersall, Townend and Price are all tipped as serious contenders for the ERM series title.  

Paul Tapner, who has stables in Highworth, remains hopeful:  “We always thought Oliver was well suited to this series and he’s certainly making a strong late challenge, Gemma has also been very threatening on the leader-board in all her ERM starts and Jonelle is a very fierce competitor."

"I hope my horse Yogi Bear can pull something special out of the picnic basket at Blenheim in order to secure us the series!"

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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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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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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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