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Posted on May 28th, 2021


Popular equestrian YouTuber This Esme will be helping to judge entries in a fun online horse and pet show raising money for Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Unable to host its usual fundraising horse show this year, Redwings is once again challenging owners to showcase their beloved pets (of all kinds!) in a series of online classes after two successful virtual events in 2020.

Esme Higgs, the star behind the YouTube channel This Esme, will be judging the ‘Happiest Hacker’ class, which aims to highlight the joy of enjoying leisurely rides with your horse.

For the first time, the Redwings Show Online will also be offering virtual dressage classes, hosted by E-Riders.

These are just some of the many classes horse owners can enter in Redwings’ latest online event, which will also include classes for dogs and all other pets too – from donkeys to cats, from tortoises to chickens!

Entries to the Redwings Show Online 2021 are open now and will close on Sunday 20th June.

Redwings launched their first online show in May 2020 following the cancellation of their in-person event due to the pandemic. This and its follow-up – the Redwings Christmas Show Online – raised over £3,000 for the Sanctuary.

Due to ongoing coronavirus uncertainties, the charity has sadly decided to cancel their in-person event again this year, but hopes supporters will enjoy another fun online event.

Redwings Show organiser, Jude Palmer, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing back our popular online show and very grateful to This Esme for helping us with the unenviable task of choosing winners from gorgeous photos of happy hacking!

“Whilst we are disappointed to cancel our in-person show again this year, we hope our supporters and showing fans alike will still have fun preparing photo entries for the Redwings Show Online instead.

“For the first time we also have virtual dressage classes, hosted by E-Riders. The classes will allow horse owners to take part in dressage classes from the comfort of their yards whilst supporting our rescued horses, ponies and donkeys. Plus, in true Redwings Show Online fashion, dogs will be included in the fun too with a special ‘Doggy Dressage’ class – where owners and pooches can strut their stuff!”

Horse photo classes include ‘Heavenly Horses’, ‘Perfect Ponies’ and ‘Cracking Cobs’, while pet classes – open to all animals – include ‘Cutest Pet’, ‘Funniest Photo’ and ‘Best Fur Family’.

Entries to the Redwings Show Online will cost a donation of £3 each, and entries to the E-Riders Dressage classes will be £12 each. Entries will close at the end of Sunday 20th June, with results being announced on Redwings’ social media channels the following week.

For more information on how to enter and to see a full list of classes, visit www.redwings.org.uk.


Posted on May 26th, 2021

RDA Virtual National Championships Open to Accessibility Mark Riders

The 2021 RDA National Championships will welcome entries from Accessibility Mark riders for the first time, much to the delight of disabled riders that participate at accredited centres nationwide.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with riding centres with the aim of opening up more opportunities for disabled people to participate in riding.

This year’s championships will be held virtually on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September due to the on-going challenge of hosting an event during the pandemic.

Previously only participants from RDA Groups have been eligible to enter the charities flagship event which is not just about the competition but is also a chance to celebrate achievement.

A number of dressage classes will be open to Accessibility Mark riders with a qualifying competition also being held virtually and the winners going through to the Virtual Championship Finals.

With a slightly different feel to the normal party atmosphere at Hartpury College when participants and volunteers come together, the virtual competition with two days of live streaming offers riders, drivers and vaulters the opportunity to still compete

For anyone that would like to get involved and their coaches, RDA has produced a series of videos about how to record your entry which can be found along with the schedule on the RDA website. The closing date for entries for the qualifying competition is June 30th and Friday August 27th for the National Competition.

Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide you with a first class service and an experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

There are currently 51 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find out more about entering the RDA Virtual National Championships contact your Accessibility Mark Centre directly or to find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk/rda-groups/

Posted on May 17th, 2021

BEF update: further lockdown easing from 17th May across the UK

Today heralds a number of changes across the United Kingdom as lockdown continues to ease across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Vaccination rates continue at pace while case numbers are on the decline, but government leaders continue to urge caution as we begin to mix in greater numbers and in indoor spaces.

The changes in each country are as follows:


From Monday, the country will enter Step three of the government’s lockdown roadmap which will facilitate the following:

  • Gatherings permitted indoors of up to six people or two households – children of any age count in these numbers.
  • Organised sport and physical activity can take place indoors with no limit on numbers but within NGB guidance in place. Sport England recommends allowing 100sq ft per person (10ft x 10ft space) to provide a maximum capacity. In equestrian arena terms, this would permit up to 114 people in a 20 x 60 metre indoor school.
  • Up to 30 people can gather outdoors, while organised sport can take place in any numbers, subject to sport specific guidance.
  • Overnight stays are permitted, including hotels, hostels, B&Bs and private homes but must be used within the number limits of up to six people or two households. This includes horseboxes.
  • Indoor hospitality is now permitted so pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can provide table service to groups of up to six or two households.
  • Spectators permitted at sporting events but within social distancing and gathering limits – no one should gather in groups of  more than 30 outdoors/six people or two households indoors within any limits.  Indoors there’s no set limit on total numbers but restrictions must be aligned with ventilation rates as per venue – but no more than 1,000 indoors at any venue. Spectators at equestrian shows are down to organisers’ discretion in line with their member body, and a ticketing procedure and full covid protocols should be in place.
  • Travel abroad permitted under the traffic light system with green list countries not requiring quarantine on return.
  • Competitors at British Dressage and British Showjumping competitions in England will now be permitted to bring a group of six (including rider, groom, owner, family, etc.) to shows. They must stay in their ‘bubble’ and not mix with others. British Eventing competitions will be allowing a rider plus four supporters.

Posted on May 13th, 2021

Royal President visits World Horse Welfare in Norfolk

HRH The Princess Royal visited the Norfolk centre of Britain’s largest equine rescue and rehoming charity on 11th May. 

As president of the charity, The Princess Royal wanted to find out how the work of World Horse Welfare had continued throughout the pandemic, learn more about how the charity deals with the increasing number of cases involving large numbers of unhandled horses and meet some of the horses and ponies currently in the farm.

On a beautiful day, she saw how staff deal with animals that are unused to being around people, and how they help the ponies get used to being led and enjoy being handled.

The Princess Royal also met with staff and some of the members of the public who have rehomed horses and ponies and the vet and farrier teams who provide specialist care for the animals. She then met some of the other residents, including Rose the newest foal born just three weeks ago to her mother Violet, a starving mare rescued only just before giving birth. Both foal and mother are doing well.

Posted on May 7th, 2021

Horse of the Year Show 2021 To Go Ahead in October 2021

Organisers announce – Horse of the Year Show will take place at NEC Birmingham on 6th – 10th October 2021.

Ahead of tickets going on general sale at 10am on Friday 14th May, the timetable for Horse of the Year Show 2021 has been released allowing you to plan your visit in advance. With exciting display announcements still to come, you can view the timetable on the HOYS website: hoys.co.uk/timetable.

“Following the recent Government announcements, we have decided to go ahead with the planning of a fantastic HOYS 2021, and the event will return to the NEC Birmingham in October, with a ticketed audience.”

Along with exceptional competition and displays, the first part of the week is packed with all the fan favourites including the Mountain and Moorland classes on Wednesday through to Friday, National Showjumping championships on Thursday, and the prestigious Price Family Supreme In-Hand Championship showcasing on Friday.

Things hot up on the weekend, as the Saturday daytime showcases championships galore in both the TopSpec Arena and the Andrews Bowen International Arena. The evening performance is equally exhilarating with the final installment of the Osborne Refrigerators Scurry Driving Championship and the continuation of the international showjumping classes including the highly anticipated Ripon Select Foods Puissance.

Sunday remains the ‘day of champions’ as the show comes to a climax with the crowning of the Horse of the Year Show Supreme Horse and Pony of the Year and the Leading Showjumper of the Year. You will also get the chance to see the awarding of the much-coveted Prince Philip Cup to the Pony Club team who have raced their way to victory in the Mounted Games heats. Rounding off a fantastic programme of equestrian talent will be the finale celebrations on Sunday evening marking the end of another fabulous edition of Horse of the Year Show.


Photo: 1st Class Images