Summer is the ideal time for new challenges. The long days and warm weather can help motivate anyone to get involved in a new sport or activity.
It has never been easier for disabled people to have a go at horse riding with 48 Accessibility Mark accredited centres up and down the country, providing riding opportunities for people with a range of physical and learning disabilities.
The RDA, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.
Heading down to the stables is also more than just about the physical benefits that can be gained from regular sessions in the saddle. For many disabled people life can sometimes feel isolating, and while riding is very much about being at one with your horse and the sense of freedom it brings, it is also a time to meet up with other like-minded horse mad people.
Most Accessibility Mark sessions will be performed in a group, where friendships are formed, that are based on a foundation of a mutual love of horses and not on each individual’s disabilities.
This social interaction is also strongly linked with an improvement in confidence and self-esteem, providing a few hours to escape from their day to day challenges.
If you are looking to learn a new skill, while making some new friends, this summer contact your nearest Accessibility Mark centre to find out about the horse riding options available to you.
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk
Entries have officially opened for Hickstead’s five-star July event, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show (24-29 July).
There is a wide variety of classes for amateur riders and novice horses, with showjumping classes now starting at British Novice level (90cm), going up to 1.60m international World Ranking classes. The show also includes a number of British Showjumping’s Winter Finals, including the SEIB Winter Novice Final, the Champagne Cave Winter Grades B & C Championship and a range of pony finals.
Most of the showing classes at the BHS Royal International Horse Show are championship finals, so horses and ponies have already been campaigning all season to qualify for the event. The show gets underway on the Tuesday with a full day of Skewbald and Piebald classes, while other championships taking place during the week include Show Hunter Ponies, Miniature Horses, Lead Rein, Hunters, Mountain and Moorlands, Working Hunters, Working Hunter Ponies, Working Show Horses, Riding Horses, Hacks, Intermediates, Riding Ponies and Cobs, with plenty of options for Amateurs and home-produced ponies. Driving classes include Hackneys, Trade Driving classes and the Osborne Refrigerators Scurry.
Competitor entries for the show close on Friday 1 June.
Visitor tickets are on sale now, with discounts applying in advance. This year, the show will conclude with the the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain on the Sunday afternoon, while the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup moves to Friday afternoon. Thursday’s main highlight is the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge, while the Queen Elizabeth II Cup retains its usual slot of Saturdayafternoon.
New for 2018 is the Family Zone, featuring a funfair and entertainment from popular West Sussex company Tomfoolery.
Entries, schedules and tickets are available from www.hickstead.co.uk.
Hiho Silver is delighted to announce that Alice Plunkett has joined the team of esteemed brand ambassadors for the company.
Alice is well known in equestrian circles as a racing journalist as she was part of Channel 4 Racing for 13 years and is now with ITV Racing. In addition, Alice has been part of the Event Rider Masters team since its inception and, of course, part of Team Fox-Pitt. In addition to this, she’s been a Hiho Silver fan for years.
“We love Alice. Andrew, our King of the Road, has been friends with her for a long time, so we’re absolutely delighted to have Alice as part of Team Hiho,” said Emma Warren from Hiho Silver. “As our tradestand attends so many events during the season, we see Alice a lot when she’s there with William, but we also have tradestands at other kinds of events, so Alice is a regular on the stand too!
“Alice is a superb ambassador because she’s a thoroughly lovely person and also shares passions with so many of our customers. She’s a busy working mum with horses, dogs, chickens and more, but also attends amazing events and is a real mover and shake in the industry. She needs jewellery that will excel in all this situations, that looks beautiful too, and that’s what we’re known for.”
This new partnership will also see Hiho at more of Fox-Pitt Eventing’s events.
“I’m so thrilled to be involved with Hiho,” said Alice. “It is such a great brand for us all who have to switch from poo picking to school run in five minutes! Gorgeous but practical!
“The team are so much fun and are going to be very much involved with the events we host at Fox-Pitt Eventing. I am really looking forward to the partnership.”
One of Alice’s first ambassador appearances will be at Badminton’s trot up where she’ll be working with Hiho’s Andrew Ransford in judging the best dressed male and female rider at the first horse inspection.
For more information about Hiho, see www.hihosilver.co.uk. To find out more about Fox-Pitt Eventing and the team’s calendar for this year, see www.foxpitteventing.co.uk
Successful Week of Dressage, Driving, and Para-Dressage FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Test Events Conclude at Tryon International Equestrian Center
TRYON, NC, USA - April 23, 2018 - Chester Weber (USA) maintained his hold on the lead through the Cones phase of FEI CAI 2* Four-in-Hand competition as part of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Dressage, Driving, and Para-Dressage Test Events at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), guiding his team to victory after blazing cleanly through the Richard Nicoll (USA)-designed course. The all-American podium remained unchanged from day two: Weber landed on 159.38 points after three days, while Misdee Wrigley-Miller (USA) maintained second place after driving Bravour, Beau, Bolino D, and Calipso to a score of 173.34 on a clean run, and James Fairclough (USA) finished in third with Bento V, Citens, Dapper and Zenden on a final penalty score of 180.21.
Weber spoke highly of his day-three team, consisting of Amadeus, Asjemenou, Gouveneur, and Ultra, and explained that he added Gouvenuer into the team after testing potential WEG contender, Reno, in his place for the Marathon phase. "I drove the Dressage team again, which was my plan from the beginning and they were really nice," he said. "I have a sort of inexperienced seven-year-old in the group [Gouvenuer], and I wanted to know what I had in him for a Cones leader and he actually did really well. I was really pleased with him."
Wrigley-Miller maintained her podium spot with a speedy round through the Cones phase and complimented the noticeable improvement in harmony for her team this week. "The team is really starting to gel and come together to work as a team and that was really what I noticed. They were all balanced together. I could really drive more forward, they felt great in my hands, and the obstacles drove so well," she emphasized. "I just feel like we've been a work in progress and we made huge strides yesterday. I was really pleased with our Marathon, but I went back and watched the videos and thought, 'I can go faster!' So, I think the horses and I have good timing going forward."
Wrigley-Miller was eager to contest the Marathon course this past weekend and had good things to report: "From what I've heard, there will not be a lot of change in the obstacles - I think they're beautifully built, and Richard [Nicoll] does such a great job of flagging them. He asks the right questions of horses and drivers. I think it's going to be really great."
While she made adjustments to the team between Dressage and Marathon, her horses remained as consistent as their results, and she used the same pairings for the final two days of competition.
"It was a good course," she said of the final phase. "It was what I've come to expect from Richard - that you drive the lines. It's Dressage training in Cones. The horses have to be supple and flexible and move forward with nice curves - it was a nice course. It had its little pieces that made us drivers think!"
Perry-Glass Victorious in FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special Presented by Adequan
The FEI Grand Prix podium remained unchanged from Friday's lineup, as the FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special presented by Adequan®, saw Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) dance with partner Goerklintgaards Dublet to an impressive score of 75.830%, taking the victory ahead of Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Horizon who finished in second on a score of 71.660%. Belinda Trussell (CAN) rode her own Tattoo 15 to third place honors with a score of 69.319%.
Perry-Glass and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x Ferro) owned by Diane Perry put in a more relaxed effort without losing the energy of Friday's winning ride. "My test, I felt, was a lot more thought out. After the Grand Prix, I was just really challenging myself to go in there and focus on what we do in the warm-up and get it in the show ring. That was my highlight. He's so talented as it is, that he does everything really well, but I think the passage tour was really good, as well as his changes."
Regarding "Dublet's" reaction to the arena after a weekend of acclimation, she continued, "He's still a spring chicken in there - he didn't lose any motivation or any kind of spark. He was actually more relaxed, but with energy. That's what all of his pre-show training was for, getting his mind really good, the aqua-tread, and all the work we do outside the arena. I feel like it's really translated to his stamina and how he holds his energy."
The atmosphere was exuberant at the in-gate, especially for the large support wearing red, white and blue - the American entourage was in full force and both Lyle and Perry-Glass expressed gratitude for the strength of the USA contingent.
"We have an incredible support staff from all of USEF," said Lyle. "They're absolutely amazing and take care of any question you may have. You can call them in the middle of the night and they're here to help you! It really helps to have such great backing, then beyond that, we have an incredible camaraderie between us as teammates," she continued. "Laura [Graves] is here watching and cheering on, and we're all really good friends. We say that all the time, but it's not just for show - we all are really good friends. It's really exciting to see everyone be so successful. It only elevates your own riding and your own training when you can be around people like that, and I feel very blessed that we are that way."
Perry-Glass agreed, "You look down the ranking list, and even people that are not on the ranking list or that are on the B squad, it's amazing to see that you're so close to them." She also noted the importance of this strong team unit as a team sport.
"There's only one class that's individual. Growing up in team sports, you have to have that camaraderie and be to be a team player. I think it elevates everyone's sportsmanship and I think it makes you perform better. Plus, you can lean on them when you have questions or concerns or ideas, and especially in stressful situations."
PRIORITY TICKETS FOR THE WORLD’S GREATEST EQUESTRIAN CHRISTMAS PARTY, OLYMPIA, THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW, GO ON SALE
Tickets for Olympia, The London International Horse Show, taking place from Monday 17 – Sunday 23 December 2018, are on sale.
Over 90,000 spectators travelled to watch the world’s top riders take centre stage in 2017, with numbers expected to soar at this year’s Show.
Ticket purchasers are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment, as the week-long equestrian spectacle is predicted to sell-out in 2018.
Host to three FEI World Cup™ events in Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping, the UK’s largest indoor Show will once again feature the world’s best riders in the iconic Olympia Grand Hall. Kicking-off the week will be the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Leg on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December, won by Swedish rider Patrik Kittel in 2017, with the FEI Driving World Cup™ Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell taking place on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 December. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ leg, which last year saw six of the top ten riders in the world compete, will take place on Saturday 22 December, after crowds were treated to a faultless performance by Julien Epaillard in 2017 as he took the title from 2016 winner, and leading Brit, Scott Brash.
Olympia is set to feature top international Show Jumping competitions throughout the week, with the return of the sell-out Cayenne Puissance on Wednesday 19 December, last year won by Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, and the pinnacle of the week’s Show Jumping action, the unmissable Olympia Grand Prix wrapping up the competition on Sunday 23 December.
The hugely successful ‘Race Night’ at Olympia will be returning for yet another year, featuring the popular Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. The 2017 Challenge saw ten of the greatest ever jockeys, including team captains Frankie Dettori and Sir A P McCoy, compete head-to-head in an exhilarating relay Show Jumping competition. The unmissable evening of race themed entertainment will be taking place on Friday 21 December.
The Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, which in 2017 saw a stellar line-up of young jockeys following in the footsteps of their parents, including son of flat racing legend Frankie Dettori, will add to the roster of action taking place throughout the week, alongside The Kennel Club Dog Agility. The Show will also welcome a number of international equestrian displays, due to be announced later in the year.
In between competitions and performances, visitors will have the chance to shop in the Show’s luxury Shopping Village, featuring over 200 stands showcasing equestrian goods, jewellery, home décor and clothing, just in time for the festive season.
More information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here, in addition to performance announcements, and a detailed Show schedule in due course.