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Horse recovers from stable window accident in the nick of time for nationals

A dressage horse gave an impressive national championships performance, despite a nasty stable accident just weeks before securing her place at the event.

Keri Bishop’s Danish warmblood mare Ekko Christianslund Gevalia (Gevalia) climbed out of her stable window on 27 July, sustaining wounds to her hind legs and belly.

The 11-year-old by DeNoir was spooked by a neighbouring farmer’s sheep, who had escaped from their field.

X-rays revealed she had not been seriously harmed, but she needed rest to allow the cuts to heal.

“Her legs were swollen and the cuts kept opening every time she walked,” Keri told H&H.

Keri was due to compete in the medium gold regional final at Bury Farm on 10 August and was only able to get back on the mare the day before the event.

“I had to compete after one 20-minute schooling session in the space of two weeks,” she said.

“A friend of mine who runs Dallas Burston polo grounds’ British Dressage competitions let me hire their arena with white boards the day before so at least she had seen an arena.

“The only thing I could do was go with what I had and not completely freak out that we were so unprepared.

“We had a few little blips in my test but was thrilled to score 69% and be placed third to qualify for the national championships.

“Luckily Gevalia isn’t a spooky horse at competitions so she was just really chilled out — almost too chilled out and in holiday mode.”

Keri and Gevalia went on to have a successful national championships last week, competing in the medium gold and the advanced medium, for which they had qualified directly at a premier league.

“Thankfully we were more prepared for the nationals,” said Keri.

“We came 11th in medium gold with 70% and 10th in advanced medium gold with 69%. To do that among some of the best riders in the UK and the world was absolutely amazing and I’m so proud of her.”

Continued below…



This was Gevalia’s first championships and Keri is hoping she will do even better next year.

“She’s a really lovely character with a heart of gold,” she added.

“Her stable window will be remaining closed from now on!”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

Tales from Stoneleigh: ‘We moved her twice each day — five steps to the solarium and then five steps in reverse back to her stable’

Five months ago, one horse competing at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships at Stoneleigh (14-17 September) this week, was just embarking on a long rehabilitation period after fracturing its cannon bone.

MFS Caliana, a 10-year-old chestnut mare had spent nine week on box rest.

Her owner and rider Jennifer Johnston Harman explains: “We think ‘Cali’ sustained her injury while throwing some impressive shapes on the lunge towards the end of the winter. She took a lame step and then by the afternoon she was non-weight bearing on her near fore. It took us five days to diagnose what was wrong and then she had to spend nine weeks on box rest in a very confined space. We moved her twice each day — five steps to the solarium and then five steps in reverse back to her stable.”

Cali then spent weeks in walk doing steady rehabilitation to re-build the muscle she had lost.

“It was a real labour of love, but thankfully she was a good patient and I think that has a lot to do with how well she has returned to competition,” explains Jennifer, who rides full-time.

There was one good thing to come out of Cali’s injury.

“As she was so bored walking all the time, she started offering piaffe,” laughs Jennifer. “So that’s made us even more determined and ambitious to move up the levels.”

Cali came to Jennifer as a “very tricky four-year-old”.

“She can throw angry, ginger lady tantrums!” says Jennifer who spent two days travelling down from her home in Aberdeen to compete here. “But we’ve stuck with her as she’s also fabulous.”

The pair have had “lots of fun” contesting premier league competitions and competing in the prix st georges and advanced medium championships this week scoring 66.11% and 68.71% respectively.

Continued below…

“My daughter is 17 and would love to steal Cali to do junior teams on, but we’ll have to see about that!” says Jennifer.

Keep up-to-date with all of the news from the National Dressage Championships by keeping an eye on the Horse & Hound website, and don’t miss the full magazine report, out on Thursday 21 September.

Original Source File

The week that was: seven days in the horse world

Tim Stockdale

International rider Tim Stockdale has resigned from the British Showjumping (BS) international committee over the decision not to send a team to the European Championships.

Tim handed in his formal resignation after hearing the news that Great Britain would be represented by two individual riders rather than a four-man team — and without the committee being consulted.

Read more…

Blair CIC Harriet Wright

The organisers of Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials (24-27 August) have apologised “unreservedly” for a judging error which meant the wrong rider was crowned CIC3* winner.

Harriet Wright, 18, and Ngong Hills took the title by 3.9 penalties from Matthew Heath on Cooley Lord Lux.

Find out what went wrong…

Rider weight has been found to have a “substantial temporary effect” on horses’ movement and behaviour, initial findings of a landmark study have shown.

Researchers led by the Animal Health Trust’s (AHT) Dr Sue Dyson have “taken the first step towards tackling the issue of rider weight” in a pilot project.

How the research was carried out…

A colt found with a headcollar embedded in the flesh of his face is flourishing in his new home.

The pony, now named Star, was rescued by World Horse Welfare in 2013.

Star now has a loving home… (warning, graphic images)

A man has been banned from owning horses for life after he left an elderly mare to suffer in a “pitiful state”.

Philip Strachan of Stocks Drive, Goole, appeared at Beverley Magistrates Court on 6 September and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of a horse in his care.

Left battling for life…

LEBOWSKI Beanie Sturgis

Lebowski, a horse with whom Beanie Sturgis has enjoyed great success, has been retired from the sport aged 17 after winning his final run.

Known as “Rotter” at home, Lebowski, who started at eight four-star events, will retire to the hunting field and for Beanie’s two children to enjoy.

‘A Ferrari of a horse’…

Silviniaco Conti team chasing

Silviniaco Conti has won his first rosette in his new career after retiring from racing.

The National Hunt star enjoyed a spin round the novice class at the Belvoir Team Chase on 10 September with his new rider, Charlotte Alexander, and finished second with Team Rideaway.

Find out what Conti’s future holds…

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

Original Source File

Abandoned mare loses battle despite charities’ best efforts

A mare abandoned with severe laminitis has died despite charities’ best efforts to save her.

Piebald Raggy was found very underweight in Harlow on 23 August, at the site of a disused school. She was also suffering from severe laminitis that left her unable to move.

The four-year-old was producing milk, indicating she may recently have lost her foal or had her foal removed from her.

She was taken to House and Jackson’s Horse Clinic for emergency treatment funded by Redwings and the RSPCA but, despite the best efforts of the vets, her condition deteriorated.

The decision was made to put her down on 6 September.

“Due to the severity of her condition, the outlook for poor Raggy was very uncertain from the start but we were determined not to give up on her,” said Redwings’ senior welfare officer Jo Franklin.

“The vets did everything they could to give her the best chance of pulling through, but sadly she was just too ill.

“Simply standing up became too much for her and it was decided that the kindest thing to do would be to put her to sleep.”

RSPCA chief inspector Samantha Garvey added: “We are so sad that poor Raggy lost her fight for life, the RSPCA had worked with Redwings to give her the best chance we could of survival.

Sadly Raggy was just another example of an irresponsible owner abandoning their sick or injured horse to die alone and leaving someone else to deal with it.

“We still want to find the person responsible for dumping Raggy, and as we believe she had recently had a foal, we desperately want to know how the foal is doing as we are concerned for its welfare.

Continued below…



“So anyone who can provide any information is urged to call the RSPCA or Redwings.”

A Redwings spokesman added that the charity would like to thank the public for their support since Raggy’s rescue and continue to urge anyone with information to come forward.

Anyone with information about Raggy is asked to call Redwings’ welfare team on 01508 481008 or email welfare@redwings.co.uk or contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

Landmark study takes ‘first step’ in tackling rider weight

Rider weight overweight

Rider weight has been found to have a “substantial temporary effect” on horses’ movement and behaviour, initial findings of a landmark study have shown.

Researchers led by the Animal Health Trust’s (AHT) Dr Sue Dyson have “taken the first step towards tackling the issue of rider weight” in a pilot project.

Six horses and four riders took part in the study, which ran from 4-8 September.

The riders all rode “to a reasonable standard” but their weight was variously classed as light, moderate, heavy and very heavy.

“Each rider rode each horse, in a randomised order, and performed a standardised 30-minute exercise protocol that consisted mainly of trot and canter,” said an AHT spokesman, who added that the horses were ridden in their usual tack and that gait was monitored subjectively and objectively, taking into account behaviour, forces under saddle, alterations in back dimensions, as well as heart and respiratory rates and salivary cortisol levels.

“The aim of this stage of the study was to determine whether there were measurable differences in these outcomes among riders of different weights,” said the spokesman.

“All horses finished the study moving as well as when they started.

“Data analysis is ongoing but researchers can confirm there was a substantial temporary effect of rider weight as a proportion of horse weight (but not necessarily body mass index per se) on gait and behaviour.

“It appears that any adverse influence of less than ideally fitting tack was accentuated markedly by heavier riders. This study does not mean that heavy riders should not ride, but suggests that if they do they should ride a horse of appropriate size and fitness, with a saddle that is correctly fitted for both horse and rider.”

The researchers said they owed a “huge debt of gratitude” to the owners of the horses, and to World Horse Welfare, whose facilities were used.



The research came about after recent controversy over rider weight, which led to World Horse Welfare and the British Equestrian Federation setting up an initiative to raise funds for research into the issue.

“This study highlights the need for further research for which additional funding will be required,” said the AHT spokesman.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

Original Source File

Showjumper to take on Everest challenge

Shauney Watson Everest

A show jumper is swapping riding boots for trainers as she prepares to take on one of the world’s toughest marathons in aid of an equine military support charity.

Shauney Watson, who has competed up to 1.30m and also works as a riding instructor, is running the Everest marathon on 27 November, hoping to raise £2,000 for Horseback UK.

The 21-year-old ran her first marathon at Loch Ness in September 2015 in aid of Combat Stress.

She has since completed a number of ultra-marathons and off-road races over mountainous terrain to qualify for the Everest run, the world’s highest marathon.

Shauney has no military connections, but studying hypnotherapy and learning about post traumatic stress disorder and the work that Combat Stress and Horseback UK do to help ex-servicemen and women has inspired her.

Shauney Watson Everest

“I thought it was such a worthwhile cause,” she told H&H.

“After I ran the Loch Ness Marathon I thought ‘I need another challenge’.”

She added that she did not expect to be accepted for this year’s Everest marathon as by the entry cut-off date at the start of the year she still had some qualifying runs to complete.

But her fitness levels were good enough for her to be accepted and she has been training hard in preparation.

Article continues below…


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“I think the most worrying aspect is the altitude — there’s nothing you can really do about it,” said Shauney.

“We will be running on half the normal oxygen levels. The temperature is also going to be quite a challenge as we could be setting off in around -20C and it could vary up to +30C.

“It is just going to be the most incredible place to run — there are trails that have 300m drops next to them — that is what I’m really looking forward to, the scenery and being in a totally different culture.”

The marathon is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest in the world and runners spend 26 days training in Nepal to acclimatise to the altitude.

The start is at Gorak Shep, which lies 17,000ft above sea level, and the finish at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar (11,300ft).

Shauney is also seeking sponsorship to help fund her through the trip, but stressed all fundraising donations will go to Horseback UK.

The Scotland-based charity uses horsemanship and the outdoors to develop confidence and self-esteem in ex-servicemen and women.

To sponsor Shauney, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/run-watson-run

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

‘A bright future’: new home for foal found ‘growing’ into headcollar *warning: graphic images*

A colt found with a headcollar embedded in the flesh of his face is flourishing in his new home.

The pony, now named Star, was rescued by World Horse Welfare in 2013.

The then two-month-old foal was found with a headcollar embedded in his face due to it not being adjusted as he grew.

Star was taken to the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar where he had surgery to remove the headcollar, which had damaged his nasal bone, causing him great pain.

Once well enough, Star was moved to World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre to begin his rehabilitation.

“He had never been handled so was very fearful of humans but with dedicated care and attention he slowly began to make progress,” said World Horse Welfare spokesman.

“The damage from the headcollar was so severe that he is left with permanent scarring and damage to his facial bones, but thankfully this doesn’t prevent him from leading a normal, happy life.”

Star has since been rehomed by Hertfordshire-based Charlotte Shepherd.

“When I first saw the story about what had happened to Star I couldn’t quite believe it; the extent of his injuries was horrific and the fact he was so young,” she said.

“I couldn’t quite get my head around how or why anyone would let this happen. I knew I needed to help him and offer him his for ever home; I had the space for him and the knowledge with youngsters — I knew it was the right thing to do. I applied for him straight away.

“Star has come on leaps and bounds since I rehomed him. He was still quite nervous when he arrived so it has taken time and lots of TLC to make him the pony he is today. He really is my best friend, a true mummy’s boy!

“He’s been enjoying learning about the world and developing his education so I know he has a bright future ahead and I’m hoping he can be backed to ride in the future.

I would 100% recommend rehoming. There are so many horses out there in need of their for ever home and when one pony is rehomed it makes space for the next one who is need of help from World Horse Welfare.”

September marks World Horse Welfare’s annual rehome a horse month, which highlights the benefits of rehoming.

Each year, World Horse Welfare rehomes around 300 horses and ponies with more than 1,800 currently in homes around the UK.

“Rehome a Horse Month is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the many reasons why rehoming should always be the go-to option for anyone looking for a new horse or pony,” said World Horse Welfare deputy chief executive, Tony Tyler.

“Not only can you be guaranteed complete honesty and transparency, but you also receive the support and back-up of the World Horse Welfare team, plus the safety net that the horse or pony can be returned to our care at any time should your circumstances change.

“We are so grateful to all of our fantastic rehomers who are giving these horses and ponies a second chance at the life they deserve and it really is incredible to hear of all the amazing things they are achieving. From loyal companions and hacking horses to show ring successes – it seems there is nothing rehomed horses and ponies cannot do!”

Original Source File

Unique horses raise funds for terminally ill patients

herd of hospice

A herd of horses are helping to raise money for terminally ill people.

The collection of 24 unique horse sculptures have been displayed across west Kent and East Sussex.

Local artists have designed and decorated each sculpture, with the installations featuring inspiration from areas including the natural world, countryside, mythology and Shakespeare.

The idea is to draw people out into the community to see the horses and to raise funds and awareness for the Hospice in the Weald.

Schools in the area have also created 29 ponies in support of the project and all the equines will gather at the Royal Victoria Palace in Tunbridge Wells for an exhibition on 3-13 October.

Fans of the exhibition will also have the chance to buy one of the horses at auction on 11 October. Online bids are being taken ahead of the event on www.herdofthehospice.co.uk

“These sculptures have been brilliantly designed and brought a huge public reaction,” said Nick Farthing from the hospice.

“Each one is completely original in design, thanks to the artists’ vivid creativity.

“A number of horse-lovers have already inquired about buying one of the horses as an unusual and lovely gift or to adorn their own home.”

The hospice, based in Pembury, provides free care to patients with a terminal illness, their families and carers in west Kent and north-east Sussex.

Article continues below…


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The horses have been in place since July, but the exhibition has not been without issue.

Sadly, last month vandals attacked and damaged three of the heard, which have since been repaired.

“So much brilliant creative work has gone into the designs that it is heartbreaking to have this happen,” said Mr Farthing.

“The horses will be repaired but that is going to cost us money we can ill afford to lose.

“It is so disappointing for all of the people who have been joining in the fun since we launched the Herd of the Hospice? campaign in July.

“So many people have told us how much they have enjoyed going around Kent to find all the horses.

“As we are a charity, not part of the NHS, Hospice in the Weald is so dependent on the community it serves to help raise funds in order for us to continue to provide vital care and support to patients, families and carers.

“It is incredibly upsetting that a small minority of people would attempt to ruin what has been a very positive campaign for the majority of the community.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

How to get your hands on tickets for the BD National Dressage Championships

Keith Robertson riding Boheme AF Sulsted

The LeMieux British Dressage National Dressage Championships take place next week (14-17 September), where the cream of the UK’s dressage competitors will gather all in one place.

The championships take place at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, with national titles from prelim to grand prix up for grabs. It is a great opportunity to see your favourite horses and riders up close and personal and to shop ‘til you drop thanks to over 80 equestrian retailers.

On Saturday and Sunday, Olympic, World and European medallist Laura Tomlinson will share her top tips and dressage secrets in her LeMieux masterclass.

If you’re looking for something that little bit extra special, you can buy tickets to the ringside Nationals Pavilion, which is a good place to keep up on all the action while socialising and dining.

Plus, if you’re at the championships on Friday, be sure to go to the welcome party in the evening, where everyone is welcome.

Here’s how you can get your tickets and what you need to know about them…

  • Advanced ticket sales have closed, but tickets can be bought on the gate
  • Entry to the showground is by entrance ticket only. Once you have purchased your entrance ticket you can then choose whether to make use of the free uncovered ringside seating or upgrade your experience with a place in the Nationals Pavilion or by taking a covered grandstand seat sitting behind the judges in the LeMieux Arena at ‘C’.
  • Dogs are permitted on the show ground, but must be kept on a lead and under control at all times.
  • All attendees must retain their admission tickets as there will be random ticket checks within the show ground on entry to the arena seating.
  • Parking in the public car park is free of charge.

Gate ticket (admission)

Thurs/Fri: £18/adult; £11/child (aged 16 and under, children six and under go free)
Sat/Sun: £22/adult; £11/child

Grandstand seating (uncovered)

Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun: Free

Grandstand seating (covered) — these tickets do not gain access to the showground, they must be purchased in addition to an admission ticket

Thurs/Fri: £8
Sat/Sun: £12

Nationals Pavilion — these tickets do not gain access to the showground, they must be purchased in addition to an admission ticket

Thurs/Fri: £26
Sat: Sold out
Sun: £37

Keep up-to-date with all of the action from the National Dressage Championships by checking back to the Horse & Hound website throughout the show

Original Source File

9 things you didn’t know about dressage superstar Isabell Werth

Isabell Werth riding Weihegold OLD at the European Dressage Championships

Isabell Werth is one of the world’s most prolific dressage riders and she recently scooped three gold medals at the European Dressage Championships in Gothenberg. Here are a few things about her that you might not have known…

She boasts a total of 40 medals

Of these, 30 are gold, between Olympics, Worlds and Europeans championships. Her very first medals — gold — came at the 1991 Europeans on Gigolo FRH.

The 48-year-old has led Germany to Olympic gold five times

Isabell won team gold with Germany in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney), 2008 (Hong Kong) and most recently in Rio in 2016. She has won gold at every Olympic Games she has ridden at, also clinching individual gold in 1996 with Gigolo.

She has a talent for spotting talent

“The key, for me, is having a vision for each individual horse and having the patience and feel to make that vision a reality,” she says. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I realise that perhaps not many people have this gift.”

Isabell owes a lot to the support of Madeleine Winter-Schulze

“She’s always by my side, always so supportive,” says Isabell of her loyal owner and friend. “Whenever I ring her to say I’ve found a good horse, her first reaction is, ‘Well, have you bought it yet?’”

Dressage was not originally Isabell’s focus

Initially, Isabell concentrated on eventing and showjumping. But when renowned dressage trainer, Dr Uwe Schulten-Baumer, asked her to ride his horses, the two formed a formidable dressage partnership that lasted more than a decade.

She studied law after leaving school

Isabell spent a year working for the Oexmann law firm at Hamm, and from late 2001 to 2004 she worked in the marketing department of Karstadt.

Despite all her medals, every win still means so much

The doyenne of dressage was reduced to tears on the podium after winning her third gold of the European Championships in Gothenburg.

“It’s still so special. I am so full of adrenaline during my test, and afterwards that is replaced by emotion. I am so grateful and thankful,” she said.

There’ve been some setbacks…

In 2014, Isabell was fined €2,000 after her horse El Santo tested positive for cimetidine — a drug used to treat stomach ulcers — at the Rhineland championships in Lengenfeld in June 2012.

Continued below…

She has some mega scores on her record

She has broken the 90% barrier four times, all with Weihegold. The pair’s personal best score is 90.98%, which they posted in the freestyle in Gothenburg, en route to triple gold. The duo have scored under 80% just three times in international competition since January 2016.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out now

Original Source File