Thursday, August 28, 2008

Firle Britsh Eventing 30th and 31st Aug 08

We are off to Firle this weekend; the team will be there with our stand. SO come and buy your copy of the September issue for only a £1! With competitions to enter too there’s no excuse to not stop by and say hello!

It is a lovely venue packed with things to see and do – Sunday August 31st: boasts a Country Fair including: fun fair, archery, lurcher show, longdog racing, terrier racing, terrier show, Companion dog show, food and trade stands, fully licenced Bar and a Pimms Bar by the water jump.

The line up of competitors is impressive with our Olympians Tina Cook & Sharon Hunt competing along side the likes of Pippa Funnel & Sacha Pemble. They all have at least 6 horses competing over the weekend! I intend to be hot on their heels for an interview to find out just how they cope!

Horsemart are sponsoring a fence in the Novice section of the cross coutry it is an open rail oxer so nice and inviting. Good luck to all of those competing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Horsemart attended Edenbridge and Oxted where we sponosored the Topscore and had a nice chat with William Funnel

This fabulous show began as the East Surrey Society Show, which was established in 1837, the year Queen Victoria came to the throne. Eventually, by 1947, the Edenbridge & Oxted Shows merged and held their August Bank Holiday Show in Edenbridge until 1987, when a new showground was purchased at Ardenrun, Lingfield

The Show has developed a unique friendly atmosphere and had a great turn out despite the weather! With a vast number of diverse country activities from Agriculture & Horticulture to Horses and Country Sports there was plenty to see and lots of shopping! The Horsemart stand was busy as usual and we had sponsored the Top Score Show jumping class so I went over to find William Funnell outside the collecting ring for a chat.

William, what brings you to the Edenbridge & Oxted show?
I have brought some younger horses with me today, it’s a good run out for them to get them used to the main ring and to the atmosphere.

Anything with good potential that we should be looking out for in the future?
The two 7 year olds I have today are both looking good for the future. Beowulf has already qualified for HOYS 7 year old class and Billy Congo won the British seven year old Championship last week.

Which classes are you doing?
Both the 7 year olds are going to do the Horsemart Top Score class, it’s good experience for them. Billy Congo was going to do the International tomorrow but as there has been a few show cancellations lately I probably won’t do that now, but he is nearly ready.
One of them will do the Speed class 1.30 later which I will decide on after the Top Score.

So what are you doing tomorrow?
Im going to bring some of the older horses tomorrow, Kepi D’Elle is a good mare that needs a leg stretch. She is 18 and has had some time off as we have taken embryos from her.

Is it difficult having so many horses at one show to organise?
This is a nice show for us as it is only 45 minutes from home it is easy to pop back and forth with the horses.

How long has it taken to produce Beowulf and Billy Congo?
We broke them both at 3 yrs old and it takes a long time to get to this stage, this is the important year for them as next year they will jump international tracks.

The class was really exciting with the maximum points to be had at 200 which was wiggly planks at maximum height. The arena was quite slippery and there was a couple of falls, we wish Giles Mooney all the best with is own horse that slipped into a fence and left the arena lame.
William took the lead on his second ride Beowulf with a great score of 1520 in a time of 62.59. He was piped to the post by Nicole Pavitt on Amarylliscvan De Heffink who put in an unbeatable performance that had us all holding our breath! Well done Nicole.

1st Nicole Pavitt on Amaryllisvan De Heffink
2nd William Funnel on Beawulf
3rd Louise Pravitt on Make Haste
4th Keith Doyle on Sassy
5th Keith Doyle on Landleibe
6th William Funnel on Billy Congo

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Horsemart catches up at OEC summer regionals with 2 of the judges

I popped my head into the VIP marquee where I found Judge and trainer Sue Rowlands who judged Prelim 17.

Sue says: The first two thirds were lucky to get the sunshine then the weather was unkind and became very windy.

I was sitting at E in the judges’ box which was very scary for the young horses! We had a lot of spooking which brought the percentages down, but there were plenty of quality horses and lots of potential for the future.

Sue added: Oldencraig is a lovely venue, it was well organised and the stewards did a great job with everyone on time!

Jane Kendall Judge, was writing for Novice Restricted and commentated that the weather certainly effected the horses performance – they have seen these horses many times before on the circuit and can go better.
Jane also heads up the British Dressage Supporters Club (BDSC).

What does the BDSC do?
Encourage young riders by supporting the Pony Club Area Dressage Competitions and awarding training grants and rosettes at The Pony Club Championships. We support and sponsor the Talent Spotting Scheme to find and encourage talented young riders. We also sponsor the Development Day for assessors of the scheme.

With membership fees of only £20 per annum there’s no excuses – so come on dressage fans contact Jane and join this worthy cause!

For further information please contact
Jane will be at the Nationals and will be happy to see you on their stand situated opposite the main arena.

Horsemart interviews Dorothy Taylor at OEC Southern Regionals

Oldencraig Equestrian Centre again hosted the British Dressage Summer Regionals on 9th & 10th August.

I went along to see how the weekend went and to meet some of the competitors, judges and of course winners!

The location is fabulous with the International arena and a new indoor and outdoor school the atmosphere is spot on for an event of this calibre, just a real shame about the weather!

The first person I bumped into was Dorothy Taylor riding her own Floriston. She truly is an inspiration to us all, still competing and still determined to get to PSG. Dot was competing elementary and finished a very respectable 7th on 65.73. Dot was also very close to qualifying at Medium with being placed 2nd fives times!!! Got the high scores but just piped at the post! That’s dressage!

I asked Dot a few more questions

So Dot, how long have you been riding.
With a slight blush and a big smile she replies 50 plus years!

How did you start?
I pestered my poor father for 4 years until he gave in and let me start having lessons and finally went and bought me a pony from the market.
Dot continues….
I started with the Pony Club and went on to hunting, show jumping and eventing, I got to intermediate.

When did you focus on Dressage?
After taking a few nasty falls and breaking a few bones I decided to focus on dressage which I have been doing to 25 years now.

Who do you train with?
I train with Paul fielder who is based in Norwich. He comes down to me every 6 – 8 weeks.

Where did you qualify?
I qualified may and June at Hickstead

Tell us a bit about Floriton?
I knew of him and when I heard he was up for sale I had to go. I have had hm for one & half years, he cost me a lot of money but has been worth every penny. He is the perfect horse to finish riding career.

So Dot what’s your goal? When are you going to stop?
I am aiming for PSG and determined to get there!

Good luck Dot – we will keep an eye on you and come and report on your first ride at PSG!

horsemart interviews Simon Laurens

I was just about to go home as by now I was quite wet, I went to the lovely new cafĂ© at Oldencraig and was queuing for a cup of tea when I noticed the two gentlemen in front of me were wearing Team GB jackets. I had just run into Simon Laurens our Para Olympian and self confessed ‘Oldest Olympic Virgin’
We are going to follow Simon over the next few months and keep you informed of the highs and lows of this amazing man and his team.

Major Achievements:
Having become a Grade III para rider in November 2005, he won all four para trials he contested with his partner John Gamlin’s former show horse, Ocean Dream, and qualified for the Winter Para Regional Championships. Ocean Dream was retired after going lame the day before the regionals.
Simon has competed Ocean Diamond since, winning all the competitions he has entered on British soil, three para trials as well as the final selection trial and the BD Winter Paratrial Championships. He competed at his first international in Germany in 2006, finishing second in his first test and third in the freestyle. At the 2006 Hartpury International he won the grade III individual championship test and the grade III team test and was a member of the winning British team. That same year, Simon won the Grade III Disabled Dressage Rider Championship at the National Dressage Championships. In 2007 Simon won a team gold and individual freestyle gold (III) at the World Championships, Hartpury.

When are you off to Hong Kong?
Going to Hong Kong on the 22nd August

How excited are you?
Relaxed at the moment & excited but nervous & I feel cautious about what it will be like.

How did your life change when you were diagnosed?
It wasn’t just me, my partner John Gamlin was diagnosed with parkinsons the same year ! What a tough year that was! Everything changed, Simon laughs ‘what a bloody year that was!!’ But, we just stuck together and said sod it – I’m not going to let some disease beat me and here we are. I always say, I’m not ill just ‘ slightly impaired’ I wont be beaten by the bugger!

I’m now totally focused on the Games and cant wait.

Ocean Don Jon has just won the Novice today and third in the Elementary with Ulrick Molgaard with just under 70% you must be thrilled? Tell us some more about him

My trainer Henrietta Anderson found Don Jon in Denmark chosen for temperament, he really is MR unflappability. He is by Donahaul and has a lovely laid back brain. He will be my reserve horse and is off to quarantine on th 18th August.

Ocean Diamond is your main horse, tell us some more about him?
Ocean diamond is by Rubenstein, we have had him two & half years, he is a tiny little horse with big personality and attitude who has never let me down, I adore him. He is quirky and suits the para games. He was an advanced horse and went Grand Prix in Holland but found the pressure hard to cope with. The owner thankfully recognised this and decided to sell.

John & I started to look and we advertised on the internet. I wrote up a list of wants and needs, John then said ‘seeing as I am paying I want one thing, I want a black one!!!!’
I laughed and added it in but that’s exactly what we got!
It was obviously meant to be.

Tell us some more about your Trainer?
The horses are based at Henreitta’s yard so I practically train every day! Henrietta is always around and keeps an eye on me – she is really strict but I love it, I can’t bare trainers that say ‘that’s nice’ or ‘that’s good’ when it isn’t really! She says ‘Again, again not good enough!’ she is a good hearted bully and gets the very best out of me!!

Where’s home for you?
Home in Jersey, it’s just a livery yard, we have lovely facilities there but I can’t run it anymore, due to my condition some days it can take me hours to get out of bed and I’m just not reliable. The main boys are with Henrietta and Ulrik permanently which just takes the worry out. I love it there, I get in everyone’s way and make the tea and have a lovely time!

Will Quarantine be a problem for you?
Quarantine is the last week in Aug and the base which is really close to the yard makes it all very simple. I will stay at home as we still have dogs and cats to look after.

When do you fly out?
We fly out on 26th and will meet up with the horses there.

What are you expecting?
I am going completely open minded with the objection of winning!
Horses are not machines, you have to stay open minded when competing, anything can happen, they are living breathing thinking things – the conditions apparently are tough and will take time to adjust.

What are your chances?
On paper really good, but the other factors are there. It’s going to be the one that survives on the day and produces the best four & half minutes!

Do you have a groom going?
Michelle Tipper is my Groom – she is freelance now but was with Nikki Barrett – I was asked and I choose Michelle & Jenny Ellis is head girl – grooms are so important and must not be forgotten.
Richard Davison, Nick Skelton and I nominated Jenny for Groom of the year and she won. Well deserved. They really are the unsung heroes, so much work goes on in the background. I have lots of little quirks – He must have sugar lumps, 4 before bridle, 3 after the bridle goes on, girth must be on one hole then four, and so on and so on… The girls know all these and just get the job done I don’t have to worry about anything except my performance.

How long will you be out there?
3 weeks out there – The horses come home on the 14th, then going to Beijing for the closing ceremony which I am really excited about.

Will you bring us some photos back?
Of course I will!

Who’s in charge of the team?
Mr Hunter is our leader, he is charm personified! – His military style sometimes causes a stir, we have to remind him we have bits missing and spend most of time on wheels! Sometimes our bodies let us down, so when we need to pee we have to stop! It’s hilarious sometimes.

We have an amazing team, Lee, Debbie, Ann, Sophie, and the three new people, myself Rikki Balshaw Felicity Coultard. I am honoured to be with them.

Good luck Simon – I look forward to following you over the next few months.

Follow Simons Blog and don’t forget to purchase the Ocotber issue to read the full report.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Edenbridge and Oxted show 24th and 25th August

Come and meet the lovely ladies from at Edenbridge and Oxted for our great show offers.
  1. Copy of September National horsemart magazine for only £1
  2. Exclusive online discounts for any adverts placed
  3. 30% off all subscriptions taken out at the show
  4. Free entry into our show prize draw to win - field shelter, Aquamax bedding and £250 of Tayberry clothing.

We look forward to meeting you there. Remember if you are competing then post your results/ pics on horsemart forum

The horsemart team