Posted on April 30th, 2020

Lowestoft Riding for the Disabled Group Receive £5,000 Donation

Lowestoft Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Group is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £5,000 in emergency funding by Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity for rugby.

The Wooden Spoon Emergency Funding Project will ensure that the RDA horses and ponies can be fed. Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Pakefield Riding School had to close to the public on 23rd March and stop all Riding for the Disabled activities. Under normal circumstances, 50 riders a week would benefit from riding and stable management sessions.

Tess Hardy M.B.E., owner of the riding school for over 70 years, said “We have 10 horses and ponies that are used for RDA activities. It costs in excess of £50 per horse, per week for feed including hay. We are currently using our savings to feed the horses and maintain their health”.

The Wooden Spoon Emergency Funding Project recognises that the riding school’s income stream has ceased completely. The £5,000 donation represents the cost of feeding the ten horses and ponies used for RDA work for 10 weeks.

Mrs Hardy further explains “It takes a very special animal to undertake RDA work, and a long time to train and accustom them to the role, they are precious assets to our organisation” and adds “This is the first time in our long history we have had to close and we cannot wait to see people’s smiling faces coming through our gates again”.

Posted on April 28th, 2020

Hickstead’s 2020 international season cancelled

The Directors of the All England Jumping Course have released an official statement regarding the cancellation of both of Hickstead’s international fixtures in 2020.

Following further government advice, it is with regret that we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel both of our international events for this year, the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting originally scheduled for 24th-28th June and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ at the Longines Royal International Horse Show from 21st-26th July.  At this time, the health of our staff, competitors, officials, sponsors, trade exhibitors and visiting public is our top priority.

We are currently working with the relevant showing societies to ensure that qualification where possible will be carried over to the 2021 Longines Royal International Horse Show.

The Hickstead office remains closed but all stakeholders will be contacted directly by email and will receive a refund as per our terms and conditions in due course. Competition prizes and gift vouchers will be valid for the corresponding day next year.

It is still our intention to run our four-day national show, the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships, from 3rd – 6th September.

We wish to thank all of our partners and stakeholders for their continued support during these unprecedented times.  We look forward to welcoming you back to Hickstead in the future.

Hickstead Directors

Posted on April 28th, 2020

BEF and MBs in consultation for financial stability and sporting resumption

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is working closely with its Olympic and Paralympic governing bodies British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, in conjunction with the British Horse Council, on planning for safeguarding the viability of the sport and a resumption of activity when the government is in a position to relax coronavirus restrictions.

Each of the organisations face tough economic challenges as their main income streams, membership revenue, competition levies and sponsorship, are decimated as a result of the pandemic. All three disciplines have made use of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by furloughing staff while a number of further cost savings and reductions have been made around operating costs and project deferment. The boards and management teams in each of the companies are fully committed to ensuring economic stability for their stakeholders to return to when conditions allow.

With lockdown restrictions in place until 7 May at the earliest, calls are being made for a return to competitive riding and all three organisations are working on plans for getting underway in line with any requirements set by the government. However, all are fully committed to supporting the government’s continued message of Stay at home, stay safe and support the NHS’ and will not action any return until it is safe to do so.

There will be a period of transition as those competitive members will need to get back riding and build their personal fitness levels, as well as training their horse to be ‘competition ready’. Organisers and venues will need to make adaptations in line with any restrictions imposed by government and the competitions themselves may have alternative formats, restricted numbers and different environments to operate within social distancing parameters. Each sport is formulating and developing what will be needed to meet these requirements, as well as closely monitoring what other sports are proposing, alongside any changes in government policy.

BEF Interim Chairman Malcolm Wharton commented; “There is a great deal of work going on in the background by the volunteer Boards and remaining staff in the sports of dressage, eventing and show jumping and those involved are to be commended on their efforts. Collectively, we want to ensure our sports are financially secure and that, when we get to a position where competition can resume, they’re ready to go with their organisers, officials, sponsors and venues. However, we must all appreciate that that is still some time away and our immediate focus remains to support the government and the NHS by holding firm and supporting the lockdown restrictions.”

The BEF are also in constant communication with the British Horse Society, British Riding Clubs, The Pony Club, Riding for the Disabled and other sporting member bodies on their approach to financial management and any plans for resumption.

Malcolm added; “These are tough times and every single one of us has felt the impact of this pandemic in some way. We must maintain focus and work together and support one another to get through to the other side so that equestrianism can continue to flourish. We need to get riders riding, coaches coaching, businesses trading, venues running and the industry moving but only when the time is right. We all still have a social responsibility to do all we can to stop the spread and minimise the impact of the coronavirus on our health and emergency services. The work and planning in place means that, when the day comes, the equestrian world will be open for business.”

Posted on April 28th, 2020

Remus Horse Sanctuary Responds to Urgent COVID19 Need with Virtual Event

Remus Horse Sanctuary is responding to meet the needs of its 200+ rescued animals by organising a virtual Open Day at its premises in Essex on Sunday 3rd May from 1pm until 5pm, to be shared across its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Ordinarily, the charity would be a hive of activity right now, getting ready to open its doors to the public to receive some 3000 visitors, for what would have been its first Open Day of the 2020 season. Instead a small skeleton staff are caring for the 200+ rescued animals at Remus Horse Sanctuary.

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the team at Remus Horse Sanctuary have decided to open its doors virtually for the first time.

“Instead of coming to us, we have decided to bring our first Open Day of the 2020 season to our supporters, by social media,” said Founder Sue Burton.

 Via video, the charity will be sharing messages from the humans that work at the Sanctuary and from its animals, with a little bit of history too. It will also have merchandise for sale, information on conservation, enrichment, a tour of the yard and much more!

The Virtual Open day coincides with #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of unity and generosity, taking place on 5th May 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Research by the Charities Aid Foundation who lead #GivingTuesday in the UK has found that many charities are struggling to survive due to COVID-19, with 37% saying they will not be able to last beyond 6 months. It also found that there are significant levels of generosity, with more than half of people saying they expect to help their neighbours or friends with shopping/errands or check on their vulnerable or elderly neighbours.

To shine a spotlight on this incredible generosity and to support charities at this difficult time, CAF has launched this special #GivingTuesdayNow as a chance for people to show their gratitude to all the people who have supported us through these difficult weeks – their friends, families and wider communities.

Charities of all sizes have been playing their part in this battle, harnessing the goodwill of so many to help meet vital needs which have not gone away in the face of coronavirus. With fundraising events cancelled and many volunteers self-isolating, charities are facing an uphill struggle to continue to be there for those in need.

This #GivingTuesdayNow is, above all else, a day to thank all essential workers from everyone in the NHS – medical staff, cleaners, porters, laundry staff and caterers – to the food chain staff, delivery drivers, bin collectors, public transport workers, teachers, milk and post men & women, emergency services, community volunteers, workers making PPE and tests, your neighbours and of course, charities.

We are encouraging everyone to share a message of thanks on social media and a heart in their front window (or a combination of both!) to demonstrate our collective gratitude to all the people who are helping us through these difficult times. And of course, for those who are able, to think about giving to a charity close to their heart.

The UK’s #GivingTuesdayNow lead, Grainne Mathews, said: “The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is proud to lead #GivingTuesdayNow here in the UK and to join wholeheartedly in this celebration of the people who are helping us through such dark days – charities have taken their place in helping to deliver for our communities and we could not be more inspired to support them in all that they do.”

Ms Burton went on to say: “This is not something that we’ve ever tried before, but we are having an extremely tough time at present – as are many small charities – with zero fundraising activity so, we hope, that by bringing our event to our supporters directly, we can achieve our target of raising £5000 during the day.”

Those interested in joining Remus’ virtual Open Day and #GivingTuesdayNow efforts can visit: and

For further information, visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

Posted on April 21st, 2020

Endurance GB launches first ‘virtual’ endurance ride

Endurance GB is to stage what is believed to be the first ‘virtual’ endurance ride with a Model Horse Marathon set to take place on Sunday 26th April providing an online competition for both members and supporters of the sport in a bid to beat ‘lockdown boredom’.

Endurance GB’s actual ride calendar is currently axed until mid-June but the board is monitoring the situation closely and asking all ride organisers to look at options until the end of the year, with contingency planning including a possible extension to the season and earlier start to 2021 with options for locally-based shorter distance pleasure rides which can be run safely in accordance with any social distancing measures in place at the time.

Esther Young, Operations Director who, with Dave Hull from the Endurance GB Nottinghamshire Group, came up with the plan for an online endurance competition said: “The endurance community is a close-knit one and we have all derived a great deal of support from each other via social media in recent weeks.  Several of our members are feeling very isolated and next weekend’s Model Horse Marathon gives us a chance to bring the sport online and have a bit of fun together. The model horses will be required to complete a series of tests as the competition unfolds on the day of the kind riders and crews might expect to encounter at an actual ride.”

Within hours of being launched, entries for the Model Horse Marathon flooded in. The competition is open to both Endurance GB members and non-members and £5 from the entry fee of £12 will go to the NHS Charities Together Urgent Covid-19 appeal. All that is needed to enter is a model horse and rider, the ‘whackier’ the better according to the organisers. Full details of the competition and how to enter are posted on the home page of the Endurance GB website. West End Photography, who are longstanding supporters of Endurance GB, have donated a canvas print of a photo of the winner’s choice as a prize.

Esther Young said that there had been a surge of interest in the competition when it was launched on Endurance GB’s Facebook page and that members had got behind the idea of the virtual competition with the ‘pioneering spirit’ typical of the sport: “By its very nature endurance riding attracts riders with a good sense of humour and adventure as on an actual ride much of the appeal is that you, your horse and your crew are heading off into the unknown. We will be looking to replicate that spirit during the Model Horse Marathon, which is a chance for riders to show their creative and fun sides. Some of the entrants have already been sharing photographs of their pre ‘ride’ preparation, which is brilliant.

“So far the feedback has been that people want to share in the amusement and take part in something that even in a small way celebrates the sport they love and the fact that they are doing so to raise funds for NHS Charities Together is a bonus.”

Commenting on prospects for an ‘actual’ season, Endurance GB Chair Phil Nunnerley said: “We have cancelled all rides until the middle of June, which is when the original twelve-week quarantine period for the ‘extremely vulnerable’ ends. The Government are currently reviewing the lockdown criteria but the fact is that we just don’t know what restrictions will continue to be in place and for how long when lockdown starts to ease. It is likely that some form of restrictions (such as social distancing and travel restrictions) will continue to be in place for the medium term, potentially on a fluctuating basis depending on further disease spikes until such a time as a vaccine becomes available. This of course makes it very difficult to plan and we will need to be very flexible and reactive. Endurance GB’s Finance Director Chris Wray has drawn up a very robust business interruption contingency plan together with the Board and we are confident that with some prudent financial decisions Endurance GB is resilient enough to weather the storm even in the worst case scenario model.

“In the meantime we are working on a programme of fun and more serious activities to keep everyone in touch with each other during these difficult times.”

Posted on April 14th, 2020

Don’t give your vet coronavirus: BEVA publishes horse health guidance videos to help owners during COVID-19 lockdown

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has produced a series of healthcare guidance videos for horse owners during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Aimed at helping horse owners to obtain the key information they may need to convey to their vet during a telephone consultation, the advice includes what information an owner should provide, how to check vital signs and how to spot early warning signs.

“We need to do our utmost for equine health and welfare while protecting veterinary practitioners, horse owners and handler,” said David Mountford, Chief Executive of BEVA.

“Lockdown restrictions mean that horse owners will have telephone-based consultations with their vet to help minimise face to face contact. “These short, informative videos, made by equine vets, should help owners be able to answer some of the questions their vet may ask over the phone and enable the horse to be triaged promptly and efficiently during this challenging time.”


The videos cover: ·
How to help your vet triage your case ·
How to take a horse’s pulse ·
How to take a horse’s temperature ·
Checking your horse’s gums ·
How to measure breathing rate ·
Laminitis ·
Wounds and lameness ·
Eyes and breathing problems ·
The videos can be found here:

Posted on April 6th, 2020

Hartpury involved in investigating impact of coronavirus pandemic on horse owners

Hartpury University is supporting research looking at the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on horses and horse owners. The study aims to mitigate any potential long-term negative impact.

Dr Jane Williams – Associate Professor and Head of Research at Hartpury – has joined scientific and equine consultant Dr David Marlin and Louisa Taylor MRCVS, veterinary surgeon with equine nutrition specialists Science Supplements, in carrying out the new study.

They are inviting horse owners from across the UK, the United States and Australia to provide personal feedback via a short online survey to help assess the implications of the global pandemic on equine care and welfare.

To complete the survey, visit

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF), British Horse Society, British Grooms Association, Equestrian Employers Association, National Trainers Federation (NTF), and National Association of Stable Staff have all urged their members to follow government advice amid the current pandemic.

The BEF has said the maintaining the welfare of horses was still essential, making travel by owners to attend to them valid under the current government guidance, but it encouraged owners to keep visits to a minimum and to observe social distancing.

Dr Williams said: “The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact have developed rapidly. There is a lot of speculation and discussion ongoing and many horse owners and yard owners are concerned.“

Dr Marlin added: “We believe in order to try and understand the current influence of the present situation and to potentially help with the management of the impact on owners and horse welfare, it is important to understand what is actually happening right now. We are inviting horse owners to complete a short survey, which should take no more than five minutes with no personal data collected. The results will be made public as soon as possible and the survey will then be run again in one month’s time to help gauge the progression of the situation.

“With this information we will be able to develop a better understanding of the effects of the current situation, with the aim of being able to produce more targeted advice for horse owners, yard managers/owners and equestrian professionals.”

Louisa Taylor MRCVS said: “Our end goal is to support horse owners by offering guidance during this difficult time which will help them improve the health and welfare of their horses and ponies, while adhering to the constraints which have been put upon us.

“To do this effectively, we need to develop a better understanding of how the equine industry is dealing with the current situation.”

Posted on April 4th, 2020

Holland Cooper Support NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal

We are all being urged to take our one hour of exercise a day, and if you are a horse rider then you can do it in style in Holland Cooper knowing that at the same time you are helping to raise money for the NHS.

Holland Cooper have pledged that 10% of online sales will go towards the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

Posted on April 4th, 2020

Over £50K up for grabs from the SEIB Giving Virtual Awards and voting tied!

Two charities shared the top spot in the SEIB Insurance Brokers Giving Virtual Awards held from the 30th March to 3rd April. It is hard to believe that following over 36,000 nominations for 1,300 charities, two remained neck and neck and ended on exactly the same number of votes.

The front runners in the 2020 SEIB Giving awards and were each granted £15,000. Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare and Redwings Horse Sanctuary were announced as the leaders in the SEIB Giving Virtual Awards ceremony. During the virtual awards, two charities had their placings – and grant amounts – announced each day through video posts on SEIB’s social media.

Eight other charities reached the final voting stage of the SEIB Charity Awards and shared a further £20,500 from SEIB bet. All had their prizes announced and a video celebrating their brilliant work in the virtual awards.

The SEIB Giving Awards were due to be held in London on the 20th March 2020. When the awards were cancelled due to Covid-19 a quick decision was made by SEIB to go ahead and move them online. SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fehler said: “I am immensely proud of my company and our team have seamlessly ensured that each of the 10 shortlisted charities got their moment in the spotlight. Helping others is what SEIB is all about and I am delighted that we have been able to grant this money to such wonderful causes at this moment in time when it is so desperately needed.”

The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible. In previous years the criteria required that the grants should be used for a specific capital project. However, in light of Covid-19 SEIB realised how difficult it will be for charities to operate this year and on this occasion the money may be used for running costs to help keep the charities afloat.

Doris Banham Dog Rescue took best small charity in the 2020 SEIB Giving awards with a grant of £7,000. Trustee and Founder of the charity, Trudie James said: “This money is a real Godsend to us.  I would have loved to buy some kennels but I will have to use it for running costs to keep our dogs safe during this virus period.  I have worked out that this money will pay three months kennel, care and retraining for 21 of our dogs during our survival period.”

Hertfordshire based, Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled (RDA) received a grant of £5,000. Trustee and volunteer Karen Gosen said: “We are delighted with the money and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the SEIB awards. The nomination stage in particular was very engaging for our riders and volunteers. It was one of our volunteers – who is an SEIB customer – that let us know about the awards.”

The UK’s oldest horse charity, The Horse Trust – founded in 1886 – earned a grant of £4,000. Once Upon A Smile, a Manchester based bereavement charity received a £2,000 grant from SEIB and Hope Pastures and the Flicka Foundation were granted £1,000 apiece. Claire Turnbull from the Flicka Foundation said: “We really truly appreciate this support – now more than ever. Our rescued donkeys are blissfully unaware of the current global crisis, but they deserve only the very best second chance at life and we must find ways to continue to be here for them.” The South Essex Wildlife Hospital and Hope Rescue each received a grant of £250.

SEIB’s Marketing Manager Nicolina MacKenzie said: “Charities are facing some tough times ahead and we have been determined to not only make sure that our finalists receive their SEIB grants, but that they also have the opportunity for some publicity through our virtual awards. I am very grateful for the magnificent support we have received with staging these awards.   In particular to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the Horse of the Year Show for the efforts they have made to promote the SEIB Giving virtual awards.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded £15,000 in the SEIB Giving Awards. As a charity 100% funded by donations from the public, this generous grant will go a long way towards caring for our 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. This news is also a very welcome boost for our teams right now who are working hard in challenging times to ensure our rescued residents still receive all the specialist care they need, so thank you to everyone who supported our application.”

Sally Crawford, Bransby Horses Executive Director of Engagement and Income Generation, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the incredible £15,000 awarded to us by SEIB Insurance Brokers. Working since the November 2019 floods has been tougher than usual and though the waters have finally subsided, the fallout from this devastation continues. The money we’ve been so kindly awarded will go towards purchasing a Kabota vehicle which we can use at our Barlings site where over 50 horses and ponies have been moved as a result of our Bransby land being ravaged by the floods. Thank you so much SEIB from us all here at Bransby Horses.

The Charities Trust provided SEIB with their help to carry out due diligence ensuring that each of the finalists met all criteria of the grant and are above board.

SEIB works closely with the charitable sector and insure many charities and non-for-profit organisations. Whilst SEIB is an independent broker, the company is owned by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group that is in turn owned by the charity Allchurches Trust.

Giving is embedded in the culture of SEIB. From supporting grass roots competition that gives opportunities to amateur riders that they could only otherwise dream about, right through to the company’s unwavering loyalty to promoting nationwide equine welfare.

The SEIB team does a huge amount for local charities and SEIB has proudly supported the Burghley Sponsored Ride for the past six-years by covering expenses so all proceeds go to charity, it has raised over £250,000 during its history.

Photo: Redwings Lynn Cutress holding Apricot, Lucy Bent and Gemma Walpole

Posted on April 3rd, 2020


LEADING Olympic riders from across the disciplines, as well as horse racing jockeys and celebrities have shown their support for a major fundraising initiative launched by the team behind Bolesworth and Liverpool International Horse Shows. 

‘Equestrian Relief’ is an urgent fundraising campaign to raise money and change lives, with donations going directly to support the efforts of the wonderful work being carried out by the NHS.

Leading names are all showing their support including two Eventing World Champions Ros Canter and Zara Tindall, Olympic Gold Medallists Carl Hester & Scott Brash and racing legends AP McCoy and Frankie Dettori.

Each day two members of each team will take part in a daily challenge. The five challenges, which are; On the Gallops, Plankety Plank, Horse Drawn, Showstopper and Dark Horse will test our riders skills physically, creatively and artistically. Much more will be revealed over the coming days so make sure you join in the fun at 7pm each evening from Monday 6th April – Monday 13th April where our daily highlights will be broadcast across all the Liverpool International Horse Show channels and all info can be found at

Said Nina Barbour, Bolesworth Managing Director:

“Our priority is to unite the horse world to support our health workers and our goal is to raise a sum of money that will make a real difference. All donations will go directly to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Crisis Fund – supporting NHS staff and volunteers on the frontline as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.

“We’ve already got some fabulous sponsors on-board – including long standing Bolesworth supporters Equerry, Equitop and Horse Scout – who have all made generous contributions to get us started.

The campaign will also be launching a charity auction on Monday 6th April with a host of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences up for grabs! Bid for the chance to get one on one with some of our equestrian celebrities for an exclusive Q&A session online, go behind the scenes with ITV racing, or even bid for a round of golf with AP McCoy and Oli Bell.  The paintings produced by the teams in the Horse Drawn challenge will also be included in the auction lots!

Zara Tindall said: “It’s a very challenging time for the equestrian community right now with so many people affected in so many ways. Being a high-risk activity, we also have a responsibility to minimise the impact on the NHS who are valiantly working to support the nation and save lives. Taking part in Equestrian Relief and knowing that donations are going directly to help NHS workers on the frontline makes it a no-brainer for me.  I am happy to be part of this campaign and look forward to seeing just how much we can raise”.

Frankie Dettori said: “I am super excited to announce that I will be taking part in Plankety Plank and Bake Off Easter Showstopper all in aid of Equestrian Relief. It’s going to be great fun, however we are all very competitive so I can’t wait to get started – so please make sure you support us!”

Scott Brash said: “All over the country we are coming together to support the phenomenal NHS staff during these very challenging times. As a strong equestrian community we must stay united in the battle against Covid19 and we are hopeful that Equestrian Relief can make a huge impact in raising funds directly to support those who are putting their own lives at risk to help others. Let the challenges commence and please make sure you support us and give what you can to this incredible cause.”

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together said: “Every person on our team and NHS teams throughout the country, are playing a vital role in being there for others during this emergency. Please join in with the Equestrian Relief team effort by showing your appreciation, gratitude and solidarity for our NHS workers who are responding heroically to the biggest challenge the NHS has ever faced’.

To donate and for details of the Equestrian Relief campaign visit