Posted on February 25th, 2016

Suffolk showjumping Academy win Gold!

On Tuesday 16th February members of Suffolk showjumping Academy travelled to Bury Farm Equestrian Village to represent their county in the national Academy showjumping Teams competition.

They had to compete over two days and showjumping with points adding to a final result. In the junior section Imogen Milner-Moore rode her 138cm pony Spikeman, Sophie Knight ride her 148cm pony mini marianne, Lucy Spittle rode her 128cm pony Barham maestro and Patrick Thurstonrode his 138cm pony Tynan earl grey.

On the Wednesday they completed on a zero score to take them forward with a good chance in day two- the second day they all completed their round again in a zero score which put them in a fabulous position as the course was tough and the time allowed was shortened to championship time meaning a lot of fellow competitors were gaining time faults. The excitement increased as the round neared its end and there were no other teams on a zero score from both days.

Ann Withey from Copdock Riding Centre was supporting and helping the teams and keeping score and knew they were now in a very good position – The final team was Essex and after a couple of minor mistakes Suffolk realised they had won gold – a fantastic day for the team and Lucy Spittle then jumped off to take individual gold too!

The excitement was not over as Saffron Baker and her horse loulabelle II had also jumped on a zero score on day one in the young riders competition. She continued this on day two to then join a fast jump Off and complete the round in the fastest time to win individual gold for Suffolk too! Ann was thrilled with the day’s results and its great result for Suffolk showjumping! Mia Palles-Clarke who is area representative was thrilled with the news of the result.

Posted on February 25th, 2016

Ban for Suffolk Woman who Caused Suffering to Over 30 Horses and 20 Dogs

Marilyn Read convicted of 29 offences under Animal Welfare Act

A Suffolk woman has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to over 30 horses and 20 dogs in her care after they were found emaciated and living in their own faeces.

Following an initial welfare concern about a group of ponies kept on land near a railway line, World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Jacko Jackson and RSPCA Inspector, Jason Finch investigated Ms Read’s premises where they found over 30 miniature horses in a variety of sheds, barns and fields – many living up to two feet deep in their own faeces. In addition to the unsuitable environment, most of the ponies were underweight and many had badly overgrown feet, dental problems, worm burdens and eye infections.

Stallions and mares were housed next to each other with only a small fence to separate them, causing unnecessary stress and fighting between the herd, with expert witness for the prosecution vet Peter Green describing the property as ‘massively overstocked’ with ponies and lacking in adequate grazing or space for them to exercise. Dogs were kept in small cages without fresh water or food and were described as ‘depressed’ by another vet, Kerstin Politz.

Ms Read was convicted of 29 offences under Section 4 and Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act and has been given a six-year ban from keeping horses and dogs, with a three month suspension to enable her to rehome the animals currently in her care. She was also ordered to pay £2,500 in costs which will be paid at a monthly cost of £50. This prosecution is Ms Read’s third under the Animal Welfare Act having been previously convicted in 2007 and 2004 respectively.

The original 35 ponies seized in summer 2014 are now in the care of the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare where they are undergoing rehabilitation with a view to rehoming them in the future.

World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Jacko Jackson said:

“We are pleased that this case has now come to a resolution but at the same time disappointed that the sentencing was not stronger given this was Ms Read’s third conviction.

“Ponies are simply not designed to live in such close confinement and a plot of 5-6 acres is nowhere near sufficient to sustain upwards of 30 ponies, regardless of their size. Ms Read was offered a range of help and support from World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA and other charities but was unwilling to accept the fact she was unable to cope with the numbers of animals in her possession. No one person could possibly look after more than 70 animals (horses and dogs) and ensure they all received the appropriate levels of care, something which was clearly demonstrated in the numerous health problems suffered by both the horses and dogs on Ms Read’s property.

“Now that the case has concluded, the ponies can undergo intensive rehabilitation, a process which has had to be put on hold during the two years this prosecution has been ongoing. Many people don’t realise that any horses or ponies in our farms as part of a prosecution case can only be given basic care and stallions cannot be gelded which means they must be individually housed instead of living in herds or groups as our other horses do. This understandably places a huge strain on our resources, so it’s positive that the team at our Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre can now begin work with these ponies.”

FEB16 News Pnies Squalid

Posted on February 11th, 2016

Victoria Pendleton is to ride in her first hunter chase at Fakenham next Friday

Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder over 3 miles at Fakenham on Friday 19th February.

Nicholls told, “Should Victoria reach Cheltenham, her and Pacha Du Polder are more than capable of finishing in the first six. Victoria’s improvement since challenge began is phenomenal,” says Nicholls.

Champion trainer, Paul Nicholls said, “Fakenham is the logical target after their excellent debut together when they failed by inches to land a Point-to-Point at Milborne St Andrew on January 31st. It is important for Victoria to gain experience in a Hunter Chase before considering a tilt at the ultimate challenge of riding in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham in March.”

The three mile Hunter Chase at Fakenham is seen as yet another step towards Pendleton’s ambitious goal of riding in the St James’ place Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham.

Nicholls added: “The race over 3 miles at Fakenham, an easy track, looks ideal and comes at a perfect time before Cheltenham. Pacha Du Polder is a very classy chaser, a brilliant jumper, travels well in his races, has smart form over Aintree’s National fences and showed he stayed three miles at Milborne St Andrew.”

FEB16 News Pend3

Posted on February 8th, 2016

Gaby Sumner Shines for the Suffolk Academy

The NAF Shining Star for January 2016 has been awarded to 14-year-old Gaby Sumner from Ipswich, Suffolk. Gaby is a committed and supportive member of the Suffolk Academy and she was nominated for the award by Academy Lead Coach Mia Palles-Clark.

When talking about her nominee, Mia said “Gaby is dedicated member of the academy and especially enjoys the team ethos and spirit that it creates. Since being a member, she has made a lot of friends and has greatly benefitted from the academy environment, something which is reflected in her results. Gaby also has her sights set high and she knows how to set herself goals and subsequently achieve them. She also supports her fellow academy members and is a valued team member.”

Having ridden since a young age, Gaby progressed through the Pony Club and joined British Showjumping back in September 2013. During her time as a member, Gaby’s showjumping has developed and she has qualified for a number of Championships and second rounds, including this summer’s Pony Newcomers Second Rounds. On board her main ride, Cruising for Candy, Gaby is also aiming for the Pony Foxhunter Second Rounds and the English Home Pony team.

A delighted Gaby was pleased to hear that she had become a NAF Shining Star and commented “I first heard about the award from Mia and it was something that I really hoped I would win one day, so to have been recognised is a really nice surprise. The academy is very enjoyable and I have met lots of new friends who I also get to see at competitions. I also like the training sessions and competing on academy teams. This summer, I’m really looking forward to competing in the second rounds and am hoping to get to Horse of the Year Show. I have also started working through the NAF Pony Five Star Awards and am enjoying that too.”

As a result of winning the NAF Shining Star Award, Gaby will kindly receive some NAF equine products to use and Melissa Newman, NAF Brand Manager, added “It is lovely to hear that Gaby has made new friends at the academy and has displayed such admirable characteristics. Being committed and a good team player is vital for a successful sporting career and Gaby is undoubtedly a dedicated young lady and very deserving of the NAF Shining Star Award. Good luck with your campaign and well done Gaby!”

The NAF Shining Star Award was introduced when NAF became a British Showjumping Business Partner. The award is for members of a Junior Academy who have shown a great deal of commitment, progression and outstanding behaviour along with their riding ability and much more. Riders are nominated by their lead coach, and then judged and awarded by NAF to one person each month.

FEB16 NAF Star

Posted on February 4th, 2016

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is providing love and care for an injured foal named Violet

Little cob Violet is just a few months old and was rescued from Tilbury in Essex on Wednesday 27th January by Redwings Horse Sanctuary, together with House and Jackson veterinary centre and the RSPCA.

The weanling was found with her mother and a young sibling, and she was suffering from a nasty, untreated wound on her left hind leg. Redwings’ Senior Field Officer Jo Franklin received a request for help from the attending RSPCA inspector and House and Jackson veterinary surgeon Ana Pereira to round up all three horses as they were suspected of being fly-grazed (grazed on land without the landowner’s permission).

“It was evident that the foal’s injury needed urgent veterinary attention, so ensuring her safety and causing as little distress as possible to all three while they were being rounded up was paramount,” reflected Jo. “Ana managed to catch the mare, and then her foals happily followed into the trailer, ready to be examined”.

An owner was identified for the three horses but agreed to relinquish ownership of Violet as her injury was such that it required ongoing veterinary treatment, which they sadly could not afford to provide. At approximately six months old Violet was old enough to be weaned from her mother, and so was taken to House and Jackson’s equine clinic for immediate veterinary care.

“We’re very pleased that the prognosis for Violet’s recovery is good and we’re hopeful she’ll make a full recovery with no permanent damage caused to her leg,” commented Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress. “Violet has received wonderful care from the team at House and Jackson and we are delighted to have today (Thursday 04 February) welcomed her permanently into the Redwings family at our Ada Cole Visitor Centre near Harlow in Essex”.

Violet’s initial veterinary treatment and rescue has already equated to more than £1,000 – including emergency treatment, X-rays, antibiotics and nursing – and she will continue to receive ongoing care from Redwings’ in-house veterinary team. However, as Lynn explains, “The rescue of this beautiful foal, her recovery and her bright future, reminds us all at Redwings exactly why we exist as a charity. But, of course, we can only exist and be there to help horses in need like Violet thanks to our fantastic supporters.

“We’ve all fallen in love with Violet and we’re looking forward to seeing her enjoy a happy life with fellow youngsters at the Sanctuary – and with the hope she may be able to have a second chance at a happy family home outside Redwings through our rehoming programme”.

If you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow and touched by Violet’s story, you can donate towards her ongoing care. Just £6 could fund a vet nurse to change the dressings on her injured leg. Simply text “HORS30 £6” to 70070 or visit Redwings’ website to help Violet today.

FEB16 News Violet


Posted on February 2nd, 2016

Win the ultimate trip to the FEI World Cup Finals!

The FEI World Cup Finals offers the chance to see the best in top-class equestrian performances from both dressage and showjumping, with riders from around the world competing for a coveted place. It is the event to attend and Ariat are offering one lucky winner and a friend the chance to experience all the excitement of the show.

 Held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the winner of Ariat’s competition will gain themselves a pair of tickets to both the Longines FEI World Cup Showjumping Finals and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Finals, taking place on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th March respectively. Alongside this, flights and accommodation for two nights (Saturday and Sunday) are also included in this amazing prize package.

 As the official footwear and apparel supplier of the FEI and a sponsor of the Longines World Cup Showjumping Finals, Ariat are thrilled to be offering this opportunity for one lucky person and a friend to experience equestrian competition at its very best.

 All details for the competition and how to enter can be found at

 The competition runs from 1st February to 22nd February 2016 and is only open to entrants from Europe. Full T&C’s are available on the website.

FEB16 FEI World Cup


Posted on February 1st, 2016

Musketeer Event Management and BEDE Events launch the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam

Alec Lochore of Musketeer Event Management and Stuart Buntine of BEDE Events have joined forces to launch an exciting new CIC3* Grand Slam, thanks to generous sponsorship from Shearwater Insurance.

The Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam has a refreshingly tempting £50,000, ‘winner-takes-all’ prize for any rider who can win three of the five CIC3* events; Burnham Market International, Belton International, Houghton International, Hopetoun International and Burgham International in 2016.

Jeremy Lawton, Managing Director of Shearwater Insurance, is a long-standing supporter of eventing, Shearwater Insurance famously owning 2004 individual Olympic gold medal winning Shear l’Eau as well as his 2000 Olympic team silver medal winning brother Shear H2O. Jeremy’s in-depth knowledge of the sport ranges from horses starting out at their first events to those tackling the biggest competitions on the circuit.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam. Being experienced event horse owners ourselves we have supported the sport for many years and recognise the importance of offering good prize money across all levels of competition.

“The costs involved in owning, training and entering horses have only increased and we want to ensure that all riders have the potential to cover these costs. The hope is that by creating a prize pot of £50,000 we can not only support dedicated owners and riders but also raise the profile of the sport. By pitching the prize fund at the 3* level we believe that we have created a real opportunity for aspiring and amateur riders to win a significant amount of money,” explained Jeremy.

“As multiple event organisers and past competitors, Stuart and I are only too aware of the costs involved, both in competing and in ‘running the show’, said Alec Lochore. “Facilitating opportunities like this, I hope, show competitors that we are responding to their concerns regarding the level of prize money available in the sport and rewarding them for their skill and dedication.”

“To have such enthusiastic support from Shearwater Insurance is fantastic,” added Stuart. “Its generous prize fund is a real ‘golden goose’ that we hope will bring out the competitive nature of all riders competing at 3* level, and reward any rider who can achieve what is anything but an easy task.”

Martyn Johnson, organiser of Burgham Horse Trials, expressed his enthusiasm for the Grand Slam. “I am delighted Burgham is a part of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam. It is a great concept which I think will really help to promote the sport and is a giant step in progressing the issues surrounding prize money for riders. A huge thanks should go to Jeremy Lawton and Shearwater as well for joining Stuart and Alec in his support of this progressive initiative.”

Early rider feedback has been positive. Australian Badminton winner Paul Tapner commented: “Eventing is a hugely popular, exciting and extreme equestrian sport. It is long overdue a prize fund to match its exhilarating nature and reward the expertise and dedication of the participants, both human and equine.

“International Event Riders on the world’s most competitive competition circuit here in the UK will all be hugely excited and motivated by the Tri-Star Grand Slam innovation. We are massively grateful to Shearwater Insurance for their longstanding, and now substantially increased, support of our sport.”

David Holmes, British Eventing Chief Executive, added; “British Eventing are delighted to be a part of this exciting new Grand Slam initiative; delivering riders, owners, sponsors and spectators with a thrilling competition to follow throughout the season. It is great to see the support of Shearwater Insurance who are able to help provide riders and their connections with a generous prize pot to aim for through some of the most prestigious three star events in the country.”