The Princess Royal was “delighted” by a demonstration of dressage to music in tutus as she visited a Warwickshire Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre.
Princess Anne officially opened Lowlands Farm RDA’s new dressage simulator Charley last Wednesday (13 July), and presented long-service awards to volunteers and some “very special” horses and ponies.
The RDA president also enjoyed a handy pony display, courtesy of the Centre of England, Lapworth and Fen End RDAs. Daniel Timms demonstrated trotting and cantering Charley on a beach and through a forest, thanks to a screen with the simulator which can show a number of different environments including a dressage arena.
A spokesman for Lowlands Farm RDA said: “As a gold medal-winning Olympian herself, the Princess Royal was fascinated by the sophisticated dressage moves the simulator can make and the huge benefits it gives to our disabled riders.
“Lowlands Farm riders Dawn McBride and Zia Clayton rode dressage to music, complete with tutus and wands, the delighted face of the Princess Royal said it all!”
Lowlands Farm RDA chairman Ro Pudden MBE had welcomed more than 250 guests, riders and volunteers who gathered for the occasion.
The spokesman added: “A huge thank you to all our volunteers and supporters; we couldn’t do the wonderful work we do without you. Also thank you to all the guests who came to join us at the opening.
“We would love to hear from anyone who may benefit from riding with us, no experience is needed.
“As one of our riders said: ‘Sometimes I feel trapped in this body but when I ride it feels like I can run again – only the horse is my legs. I feel alive again when I’m riding.’”
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Lowlands Farm RDA is always looking for volunteers.
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, or call 01926 843403.
With the Royal International Horse Show about to kick off (26-31 July 2016), we round up the reasons that you need to make a beeline to Hickstead this year — from top class showjumping to getting the ultimate shopping fix
1. Prestigious showjumping
The showjumping at the Royal International is among the oldest and most prestigious in the world. The two classes not be missed are the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday (30 July) and the Longines King George V Gold Cup on Sunday (31 July). Although this year’s showjumping fields will be short of Olympic riders due to it coming just one week ahead of Rio, Hickstead never fails to attract top riders from across the globe. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup kicks off on Saturday at 2.05pm ahead of the British Speed Classic at 4.15pm. The King George V Gold Cup will culminate the week’s jumping classes, starting at 2.45pm.
2. The pinnacle for showing riders
Watch showing at its most supreme during the six-day show — for showing producers the Royal International is a championship show and is the culmination of many months of qualifications during the spring. There is a host of prestigious classes for many types and breeds of horse and pony — the classes to watch out for are the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony Championships.
3. Brits do battle
Don’t miss the chance to see British riders compete as a team on home soil. Friday’s feature class is the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. The Brits will go head-to-head with other nations to qualify for the series final in Barcelona in September.
4. Get your shopping fix
There are more than 250 shops to satisfy the shopaholics visiting the Royal International this year. The Charles Owen shopping village offers a variety of stands selling everything from tack, clothing, footwear, equestrian equipment, gifts, produce and more. Amid the shops there is also a children’s funfair to keep the younger spectators amused.
5. Dress to impress
Ladies’ Day is held on Saturday (30 July) and raises funds for charity. Visitors are encouraged to don their best attire and there is a host of prizes on offer for the most elegantly dressed ladies.
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6. One for the eventing fans
A handful of event riders will make a visit to the West Sussex venue on Thursday (28 July) for the Amlin Plus Eventers’ Challenge. The ‘new-look’ class is back at Hickstead by popular demand.
Don’t miss the full report from the Royal International in the 4 August issue of Horse & Hound magazine
With the recent release of the film interpretation of Roald Dahl’s famous book The BFG, we thought it was about time the horsey equivalent was celebrated. Take a look at our selection of big friendly giants for sale on the Horse & Hound website this week.
1. ‘Quality mare and foal’
Gender: mare and filly foal
Selling points: “This Clydesdale mare is fully registered with the Clydesdale Horse Society. She is sold with a filly foal. This mare has bred three filly foals and she is good tempered and well-mannered. Her filly foal, born in April, is a very good example of the breed — she is halter trained and well handled.”
2. ‘Stunningly handsome’
Selling points: “I bought this horse when he was a six-year-old straight from the hunting field where he was used as a hireling. He has hunted with many local packs and he loves his job. He jumps everything he is pointed at with many different people on his back. He has been eventing with placings at BE90 and BE100 level with dressage scores in the 20s. He would make a magnificent master’s/hunt horse. Good to do.”
3. ‘Huge potential’
Selling points: “This homebred horse by Mill Law out of a thoroughbred mare has jumped double clear at 90cm one-day events with good dressage results this season. ‘Golden Mill’ has three rhythmical paces with a scopey jump. He is very nimble and responsive for his size. He is a joy to ride and really puts a smile on your face. He is an absolute gent and has hunted for four seasons with the Warwickshire. This horse has never been known to refuse. He jumps for joy, loves his job, is very genuine and willing in all disciplines and a perfect all-rounder for someone wanting to be competitive. He has talent to excel with an engine that keeps going. Never sick or sorry and is easy to do.”
4. ‘Jumps for fun’
Selling points: “This horse has been point-to-pointing and is fit and ready to run through the summer. Owner giving up. Has hunted and would make a fantastic eventer.”
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6. ‘Top class showjumping prospect’
Selling points: “‘Everest’ was imported from Ireland in 2014 having been professionally produced with his future in mind. He is working well on the flat with lateral work and flying changes established. He is comfortably jumping 1.20m and is popping 1.30m+ at home. He has huge potential for 1.60m classes when he is older and the talent to take him all the way, making him a grand prix prospect for the future. He is bold, brave, careful and scopey. He would suit any level rider looking for future success and is the perfect gentleman in every way.
NB: Horse & Hound has not checked the accuracy of the claims made in these adverts and cannot be held liable if the information included above is inaccurate in any way
The Olympic eventing champion reveals his tips for turnout, philosophy about giving his horses a break and a few other surprising preferences…
1. All Michael’s horses go in the field every day in the morning and the evening. “They maybe do a bit of work in the morning, then go out, come in for lunch, go out again and then do a bit of riding in the evening,” he says.
2. But he doesn’t believe in putting horses out to grass completely for a holiday after a big event. “They have a break, but still do some easy riding and lungeing,” he says. “I think that as athletes they have to be exercising a little bit for their muscles.” Michael also believes it is better for horses’ minds to keep them in some work as the contrast between intense attention and being put out can make them wonder what they’ve done wrong and why they are not important any more.
3. Michael’s favourite food is steak.
4. He believes competitions are the “mirror” of working at home. “When you train well and prepare your horse well, it works well in competition,” says Michael.
5. The Jungs always have about eight or 10 people in their team on the yard. They often have riders with them for training for anything from a week up to several years — New Zealand Rio rider Jock Paget and British young rider Sam Ecroyd are among those who have benefited from stints with the Jungs.
6. Michael’s favourite alcoholic drink is whisky and, although he didn’t sample any Scottish whisky at the Blair Europeans, he has visited a distillery in Kentucky while there competing.
7. His girlfriend Faye Füllgraebe is a horse physio and also events. Her sister Freya was young rider European champion in 2011 at Blair Castle riding Oje Oje.
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8. His brother Philip lives in Canada and works for the pharmaceutical company La Biosthetique, which is where La Biosthetique-Sam FBW gets his name.
Look out for our exclusive interview with Michael in the 4 August issue of Horse & Hound magazine
Germany’s Michael Jung will ride La Biosthetique-Sam FBW in the eventing at the Rio Olympics as his first choice of ride, FischerTakinou, has suffered an injury.
Takinou, the reigning European champion, won the CIC3* at Aachen on his final prep run last week. But Michael announced today on his Facebook page that the horse is out of action with an infection — using the emoji for “feeling devastated”.
“Today I have to write the worst news of the year,” he said, explaining that the decision not to travel Takinou has been taken with his family, coaches and team vet Dr Carsten Rohde.
Sam — as he will be known at the Games when commercial prefixes and suffixes are stripped from horses’ names — won individual and team gold at the London 2012 Olympics with Michael.
He is now 16 years old, but continues to show brilliant form — he won Burghley last year and Badminton this spring, allowing Michael to clinch the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing. He too had a run in Aachen where he finished sixth.
Back to back titles?
The fact Sam is heading to Brazil raises the possibility of him winning individual back-to-back gold medals, something which only two horses have ever done before in eventing — Marcroix, in 1928 and 1932 with the Netherlands’ Charles Pahud de Mortanges, and Charisma, with New Zealand’s Mark Todd in 1984 and 1988.
Michael will ride in the German team alongside reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo, Ingrid Klimke on Hale Bob OLD and Andreas Ostholt, who makes his Olympic debut on So Is Et. The travelling reserve is Julia Krajewski with Samourai Du Thot.
The full definite entries for the equestrian events in Rio were released by the FEI yesterday, but of course substitutions can still be made in the case of injury.
Don’t miss H&H’s full Olympci preview in 28 July issue, plus pull-out form guide and exclusive interview with Michael Jung in 4 August issue.
Lack of funding has raised serious questions over whether the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will go ahead in Canada.
Canada’s minister of sport and persons with disabilities, Carla Qualtrough, last week confirmed that the Canadian government would not be supporting the games.
“On July 11, 2016, the 2018 World Equestrian Games organising committee was informed that the government of Canada will not be providing federal funds to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games,” read a statement from minister Qualtrough’s office.
“The event has an estimated budget of $100 million (£58.2 million), of which approximately $66.6 million (£38.76 million) of overall revenue sources must be raised from the private sector.
“As of today, no private sector funds have been confirmed, nor has a deficit guarantor.
“Federal funding was never committed for this event, we have continued to be clear of our requirements and expectations in our discussions with the 2018 WEG organising committee.”
If it does go ahead, the Bromont games would be just the second time WEG has been held outside Europe.
FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez told H&H on Monday (18 July) that “as a matter of priority” the FEI will be meeting with the Bromont organising committee (COJEM) and Equine Canada to get a “full picture of the situation” and to look at the next steps.
“The FEI has been officially advised by the COJEM that the Canadian Federal Government has made the decision not to fund the 2018 FEI WEG in Bromont and obviously this is very disappointing,” said Ms Ibáñez.
“As the international governing body, the FEI has a responsibility to ask the right questions and protect the future of our flagship events.”
A spokesman for Equine Canada declined to comment.
This is not the first time funding shortages have been raised as a possible problem for WEG 2018.
A spokesman for minister Qualtrough told H&H in May the government had not offered support “at any time” before or after Bromont (news, 26 May).
In May, five senior figures from the WEG 2018 organising committee resigned stating they “will not be able to deliver and to stage the games as planned in two years”.
These included former CEO Luc Fournier, chairman of the board François Duffar, Julie Payette, René Perreault and Linda Heathcott.
Fournier is the second CEO to resign — his predecessor Paul Côté had also resigned, last August.
The Quebec venue is also not the first WEG to struggle with money.
But the FEI has expressed support and determination that WEG will go ahead.
FEI president Ingmar de Vos, who visited Canada in April, told H&H in May that the resignations were not a “surprise”.
He said: “We need to get a full picture and look at how we can work with Equine Canada [the national federation] and the board to deliver the games. The FEI remains fully committed to the concept of WEG and believes this way of organising world championships is absolutely right. There is already interest in the bidding process for the 2022 games.”
Below is the list of the confirmed horse and rider combinations that will representing their countries in Rio, including reserve riders where appropriate. This list will be kept up to date with any changes in the run-up to the Games as they happen.
Rio Olympics: confirmed showjumping riders and horses
- Matias Albarracin with Cannavaro 9
- Jose Maria Larocca with Cornet du Lys
- Bruno Passaro riding Chicago Z
- Ramiro Quintana riding Appy Cara
- Scott Keach on Fedor
- James Paterson-Robinson on Amarillo
- Edwina Tops-Alexander on Carentina
- Matt Williams on Valinski S
- Judy Ann Melchlor with As Cold As Ice Z
- Nicola Philippaerts with Zilverstar T
- Beatriz Ferrer-Salat riding Delgado
- Severo Jurado Lopez riding Lorenzo
- Jose Daniel Martin Dockx riding Grandioso
- Claudio Castilla Ruiz riding Alcaid
- Reserve: Borja Carrascosa Martinez riding Wonder
- Yann Candele on First Choice 15
- Tiffany Foster on Tripple X III
- Eric Lamaze on Fine Lady 5
- Amy Millar on Heros
- Reserve: Kara Chad on Bellinda
- Roger Yves Bost with Sydney Une Prince
- Simon Delestre with Ryan des Hayettes
- Penelope Leprevost with Flora de Mariposa
- Kevin Staut with Reveur de Hurtebise
- Reserve: Philippe Rozier with Rahotep de Toscane
- Christian Ahlman on Taloubet Z
- Ludger Beerbaum on Casello
- Daniel Deußer on First Class van Eeckelghem
- Marcus Ehning on Cornado NRW
- Reserve: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with Fibonacci
- Nick Skelton and Big Star
- Ben Maher and Tic Tac
- Michael Whitaker and Cassionato
- John Whitaker and Ornellaia
- Reserve: Jessica Mendoza and Spirit T
- Greg Broderick with MHS Going Global
- Reserve: Bertram Allen with Molly Malone V
- Reserve: Cian O’Connor with Good Luck
- Talzo Sugitani with Avenzio 3 or Imothep
- Daisuke Fukushima with Cornet 36 or Messenger
- Reiko Takeda riding Bardolino
- Toshiki Masul riding Taloubetdarco KZ
- Reserve: Koki Saito riding Capilot
- Jeroen Dubbledam riding Kenith
- Harrie Smolders riding Emerald
- Maikel van der Vleuten riding Verdi
- Jur Vrieling riding Zirocco Blue
- Reserve: Gerco Schroder riding London
- Sergio Alvarez Moya with Carlo 273
- Eduardo Alvarez Aznar with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot
- Pilar Lucrecia Cordon with Gribouille du Lys
- Manuel Fernandez Saro with U Watch
- Reserve: Gerardo Menendez Mieres with Cassino DC
- Malin Baryard-Johnsson on Cue Channa
- Rolf-Goran Bengtsson on Unita
- Peder Fredricson on All In
- Henrik von Eckermann on Yajamila
- Reserve: Charlotte Mordasini on Miebello
- Lucy Davis riding Barron
- Kent Farrington riding Voyeur
- Mclain Ward riding Azur
- Elizabeth Madden riding Cortes C
- Reserve: Laura Kraut riding Zeremonie
Fans of War Horse will have a chance to get their hands on puppets used in the hit play later this year.
A full set of original puppets used in the stage show will be auctioned at Bonhams in London in aid of charity.
Horses Joey and Topthorn, a pair of crows and the goose will be going under the hammer at the evening auction on 13 September.
A spokesman for the auction house said this is the “only time” a full set of these famous puppets will be made available at auction.
“This is a one-off opportunity to acquire a piece of theatrical legend and benefit a great cause,” said Bonhams’ director of African Art, Giles Peppiatt.
“War Horse captured hearts round the world including famously that of HM The Queen.”
Joey and Topthorn will make an appearance on the night and the full set will be signed and numbered 1/5 by master puppeteer Adrian Kohler.
In all, eight sets of puppets were made, of which three are being preserved for future producions.
Money raised at the sale will go to the Handspring Trust, a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of inspiring creativity, commitment and innovation towards new puppet theatre arts.
The charity was founded by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, of the Handspring Puppet Company — creators of the War Horse puppets.
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is the most successful play ever put on by London’s Royal National Theatre.
During its eight-year run, it was watched by more than 7 million people worldwide and toured across 11 countries.
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- Stud owner comes to the rescue of War Horse Joey
- Are you a War Horse fan? 7 things you might not know about the lead actor
Each set of puppets took eight months to create and is made of cane, leather and tyvec, (for the manes and tails) — a material used in book-binding.
The torsos are reinforced with aluminium and are strong enough to carry a rider.
The show closed on London’s West End in March, but if you have not yet managed to catch it, a UK tour of the production begins in September 2017.
Riders will tolerate a lot in the name of Olympic glory, from flash floods and stifling heat to jet lag and volcanic terrain. We take a look at some of the most inhospitable weather conditions riders have had to face through history
Past Olympics abound with tales of flooded courses, volcanic terrain and horses dying in transit. Stifling temperatures in Barcelona 1992 provoked a four-year study into the effects of heat and humidity — leaving a lasting legacy in how we cool horses today — while in Mexico City 1968 riders collapsed due to the high altitude only a week before the event.
So what have our great riders of the past suffered in the name of Olympic glory?
Mexico City, 1968
Mexico City 1968 is the only Olympics to have been held at altitude. Team GBR was brilliantly prepared, with riders taking pills to help them cope with the thin air, and horses flying out three weeks before.
Jane Holderness-Roddam, an eventing team gold medallist, says: “We were way ahead of our time.”
“Our team vet, Peter Scott Dunn, made the horses wear aluminium shoes so as not to carry extra weight,” she says. “And while other horses were getting colic with the different water, we’d brought a water filter.”
As Britain’s first female Olympic rider, Jane was told to be “particularly fit”. “I ran five miles a day, and did 800 skips on the hospital roof where I worked as a nurse,” she says. “I was chuffed to see big men collapsing out on runs, while I was OK — though we were all affected by the altitude.”
Showjumper David Broome, also riding in Mexico, did suffer the effects of 30% less oxygen in the air.
“We had a practice event a week before, and I collapsed two fences from home,” he says. “But we improved as the week went on.”
In fact, it was the weather that proved most significant. Although the climate at the cross-country site in Valle de Bravo was mild, the intense seasonal rainfall during the Olympics was not factored in.
“It rained every day at 1.30pm, except on cross-country day when it started raining buckets at 10.30am,” says Jane. “I went before it was really flooded, but still had two falls where my 14.3hh couldn’t manage the false ground — a crust on top of squelch.
“Only three teams finished — the course caused carnage. One water jump spread from 12ft to 40ft; you could only see flags in a sea of water. The horses had to splosh through until they fell in a ditch, so we earlier riders planted sticks where they were supposed to take off and we were pulling horses out. It was great camaraderie, but it would never have been allowed to continue nowadays.”
Most Olympic cities have been warmer than Britain, but Barcelona 1992 was dangerously hot. Two horses collapsed, and with the even hotter and more humid Atlanta on the horizon four years later, a team of experts was summoned.
David Marlin, who led the research project funded by the International Olympic Committee and the FEI, says: “Barcelona was a wake-up call; it was lucky there were no fatalities. Horses were finishing cross-country with temperatures off the range of the thermometer, over 41°C. We needed to find out the key to what would be reasonable to ask of horses given the expected conditions.”
Dr Marlin’s research led to the now ubiquitous “aggressive cooling” with iced water, and partially acclimatising horses at home by training in rugs and at the hottest part of the day.
For Atlanta, the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index was developed, which takes into account the interaction of temperature, humidity, sunlight and wind to give a number. If it’s under 28, horses should not be adversely affected by heat, while above 33 means “conditions are incompatible with safe competition”. Barcelona was around 28; Atlanta was 30, which meant that two loops were removed from the course in deference to the conditions.
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The full version of this article was first published in the 7 July issue of Horse & Hound magazine
Our top riders haven’t always been super-slick operators. Once-upon-a-time, they were on hairy ponies and the lead rein — or even being ditched in the water jump. Can you guess who these riders are?