Category Archives: horse

Is your horse care knowledge up to Pony Club standards? Take this quiz to find out…

pony club horse and pony care competition

The Blue Cross horse and pony care competition is an integral part of The Pony Club Championships, and features teams of three Pony Club members who demonstrate their knowledge and practical horsemanship skills.

Through training for the quiz, members learn about the care, management and welfare of horses and ponies, as well as having fun with their friends.

There are two championship levels; senior and junior, with a new mini level being introduced at area competitions for the first time this year .

Qualifying area competitions are currently underway and will run until June. Here, members will have the chance to qualify for The Pony Club Championships in August.

The mini competition is for those aged 10 years and under, the junior competition is for under 13s while the senior competition is for 14 to 25-year-olds.

Here we bring you a taster of what Pony Clubbers can expect when they take part in this competition. Questions one to five are for minis, six to 10 are for juniors and 11 to 15 are for seniors.

How did you get on? Don’t forget to share your result with your friends on social media.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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8 stallions who stole our hearts in the show ring last season

Just because Valentine’s has been and gone, doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate these gorgeous boys who took our breath away last year. Check out these 8 stunning stallions who graced the 2017 show circuit.

1. Gwerniago Gethin

The Welsh section D Gwerniago Gethin, ridden by Ashley Bird, repeated his 2016 successes last year, by standing 2nd at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) and winning his section of the Mountain and Moorland (M&M) working hunter at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

2. Billy King Of The North

King Of The North Handler & producer Megan Hewitt Horse No 189, Megan Hewitt & King of the North winner of Class 3 (CHAPS (UK) Open In-hand Qualifier) at The North Yorkshire Showcase of Champions held at the Harrogate Riding Centre, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire in the UK on 29th January 2017

The then six-year-old CHAPS-graded stallion King Of The North stood in-hand champion at the North Yorkshire Showcase of Champions with his producer Megan Hewitt. Later in the season he went on to win his in-hand class at the Royal Cheshire show and took first reserve supreme under saddle at the CHAPS championships.

3. Alonby Chardonnier

Cuddy Supreme In Hand Championship Champion 146 ALONBY CHARDONNIER Handler, lan Boylan Reserve 442 SKELLORN BRONZE SOLDIER

Shown as a three-year-old last term, the part-bred Arab colt Alonby Chardonnier snapped up his Cuddy ticket at Nottinghamshire County with co-owner Ian Boylan at his head.

4. Dunedin Duncan

Harriet Dennison riding DUNEDIN DUNCAN, during the BSPS Heritage M & M Ridden Championship at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the private grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor in Berkshire in the UK between 10th-14th May 2017

The charismatic Highland pony Dunedin Duncan owned by Dianne Brereton netted his Olympia ticket at the Royal Windsor Horse Show when he took the Heritage supreme ridden tricolour.

5. Moortown Crusader

Diane and John Jordan’s exquisite Dartmoor Moortown Crusader took the Cuddy championship at Devon County show, after standing reserve the previous year.

6. Marsevarno

Andrea Taylor’s home-bred five-year-old Arab stallion Marsevarno was crowned senior male gold champion at the Midland Arab show. Shown by Rod Jones, the chestnut scored nines all-round for type and movement on the victorious occasion.

7. Snelson Gatsby

Snelson Gatsby, owned by Alistair and Matthew King, claimed the coveted National supreme stallion at last year’s National Shire horse show. The then three-year-old won his age class before adding the junior and overall supreme championship to his tally.

8. Shanbo Rory

The mannerly Connemara Shanbo Rory and Sophie James headed the amateur ridden mountain and moorland championship at the Royal International and was also HOYS ridden champion at NPS Area 25.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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1 legend comes out of retirement and 9 other great bits of horsey social media this week

Enjoy some of our favourite updates from equestrian social media channels during the past week. From a sleepy youngster to some bad tacking up skills, it all happened on social media this week.

Apatchy logo highest res may 1Don’t miss the exciting competition on this weekly page. Our favourite tweet each week will win either an Apatchy mini tablet case or an Apatchy cosmetic bag, personalised with your own initials. For more information about the competition and to find out who this week’s winner is, go to the bottom of this page.

Equestrian social media posts of the week

Duvet day

Jack Quinlan and Kalashnikov battled the elements to post a big win at Newbury

Always wondered what it was like to ride around the Golden Button? Let’s find out…

What a great partnership

This horse is ready for his close up

Chris wants the “wind machine” in place for his next photo shoot…. 💅

A post shared by Lauren Blades (@shannoneventing) on Feb 7, 2018 at 12:03pm PST

When your tacking up skills are lacking

He rode 470 winners during his jockey career, and at the age of 75, Richard Pitman proves he’s still got it

When things don’t go to plan…

And that is how you jump a Ledbury hedge

And congratulations to this week’s Social Media Post of the Week winner

What a sight!

If you like this, why not follow @horseandhound on twitter today?

Tweet of the week competition

Personalised Mini Tablet CaseThe winner of the Horse & Hound tweet of the week competition can also be found by searching Twitter for #HHTweetOfTheWeek. The winner will receive an Apatchy mini tablet case (pictured left) or an Apatchy cosmetic bag (pictured below right), personalised with their initials.

Apatchy are designers and makers of bespoke lifestyle gifts. Their ranges include wash, cosmetic, Cosmetic bag apatchytravel and sports bags, which can be instantly personalised or customised without the need for sewing, gluing or ironing. To find out more about Apatchy’s unique personalised products and their wonderful gift wrapping service, visit

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H&H question of the week: how do I teach my young horse to be a good jumper?

how to teach young horse to be a good jumper

Q: “How do I teach my young horse to be a good jumper? I’ve just had a horse dropped off for me to ride. He’s a five-year-old and I’ve been told he’s a good jumper with potential. On the flat he’s lovely, just what I’m looking for. We’ve had a go over some little (60/70cm) jumps and it’s hit and miss whether he clears or goes through it. What would you suggest I do for training with him? I have a plan I just maybe want some fresh ideas to consider. I really want this to work and for him to be what I want in a jumper. Ideally he’d get round a 90cm/1m course and around 1.25m single fences.”

A: I’d put a lot of time into pole work so that your horse develops his confidence and gets his timing right.

Working over poles will encourage your horse to use his back correctly, and also encourage greater flexibility in the joints. Poles will also help him develop confidence over distances and an awareness of his legs and feet as he will have to figure things out for himself.

As a rider, the ground poles will test your balance and independence of seat. Remain balanced while your horse navigates the poles, keeping a light seat and making sure your knees and ankles are free to absorb the extra bounce and movement. You don’t want to become stiff and rigid.

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Don’t be afraid to adjust the poles to your horse’s stride as you are working on building your horse’s confidence. Allowing him to feel comfortable going over the poles is key.

Start with five canter poles on the ground three paces or nine feet apart. Once your horse is cantering down the poles calmly and in a good rhythm on both reins, raise them; alternate ends first and then both ends. We use potties at home which are only a £1 each and really easy to move around!

As he is young, he’s bound to be weak so make sure you get that box ticked first doing plenty of work with poles. You can lunge him over poles too.

When you are ready to progress to jumps, use poles with your jumping. Put a placing pole three yards in front of a fence and a landing pole a good three and a half to four yards on the other side.

You can use this for a cross pole or an oxer. A cross pole is great for teaching your horse to jump and stay in the centre of the fence and encourage him to make a tidy shape.

By using canter poles before and after the fence, it will help your horse to jump in the right spot and will help with his timing, which could be why he is a bit might be a bit hit and miss at times.

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Don’t be afraid to ask a trainer for help too as having someone on the ground is invaluable.

I personally wouldn’t be worried about jumping too big too soon. Keep it small so that he develops his confidence and he gets his timing right.

On the flat, make sure you have good gears in your canter. Not only will this help your horse develop strength and balance but it will also help you with your distances when you are jumping courses.

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Polo on snow, plenty of glamour and 1,400 bottles of champagne: behind the scenes in St Moritz

Ponies are walked back after the match

If you’re after glamour on the snow, mixed with fun-filled equestrian sport, there is no place better than the Snow Polo World Cup in St Moritz, Switzerland.

With a record 18,500 spectators over three days watching a total of six matches, plus a whopping 1,400 bottles of Perrier-Jouët champagne, the world’s only high-goal polo tournament on snow lived up to its reputation as the social and sporting highlight of the polo winter season.

Horse & Hound takes a sneak peek behind the scenes during the winter spectacle.

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Prepare to be amazed — meet the 18hh giant with a unique jumping style

07/02/2018 ; Wellington FL ; Winter Equestrian Festival – Week 5 ; 242, CLENUR, CIAN O’CONNOR ; grand prix ; Sportfot

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Cian O’Connor’s new flying horse Clenur! This 18hh gelding, by Carinue, only joined the Irishman’s stable in December, but the combination has been causing quite a stir at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit in Florida — not least for 12-year-old Clenur’s extravagant front-leg action over the fences.

“He’s 18hh and I have to keep his body closed,” says Cian. “When I’m coming down to big oxers, I’m telling myself, ‘Don’t put leg on’ because if you get too close he goes too high. So I have to be disciplined that I leave it late to ask him to jump the back pole. But he’s starting to give fewer awkward jumps and more classical ones.”

The Oldenburg gelding was brought up to the top level by Germany’s Marco Kutscher, having been produced in his early days by owner Armin Himmelreich, before Cian took over the reins at the end of last year. The pair finished third in WEF’s five-star grand prix on Saturday (10 February), with just a time-fault in round one keeping them out of a two-way jump-off for the top honours.

“He’s a very big horse to manoeuvre around,” says Cian. “The big ring suits him. It’s only the fourth or fifth class that I’ve done with him here. He took a little bit of a wobble down the last line to the water tray vertical. I was clear then, and I just cantered down. Maybe I could have been a little quicker coming to the third last. But I’m very happy with my cheque.”

Cian and Clenur now look set to be a very strong addition to Ireland’s squad for the five-star Nations Cup at Ocala, Florida, this Sunday (18 February), where the team will be hoping to defend the title won at the venue last year. Cian will be joined by Daniel Coyle (Cita or Grafton), Darragh Kenny (Go Easy De Muze), Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) and Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z or Main Road).

*Photos courtesy of Sportfot*

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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‘She has everything I’ve been looking for’: para champion unveils exciting new ride

Para multi medallist Natasha Baker has found a new ride that she will aim for the World Equestrian Games (WEG), after 10 months of searching.

The nine-year-old Don Schufro mare Mount St John Diva Dannebrog arrived at Natasha’s base two weeks ago, and Natasha plans to begin their international campaign at the Roosendaal CPEDI3* in May.

She’s just an absolute dream horse, and takes everything in her stride,” enthused Natasha, whose London and Rio Olympic gold medallist Cabral (JP) was put to sleep suddenly in February 2017 after contracting a bacterial infection.

I’ve been looking for a new horse since April, and I was pulling my hair out as I couldn’t find anything,” explained Natasha. “Between Christmas and New Year I was desperately sending messages to all my Facebook contacts thinking there just had to be a horse out there. Emma Blundell said she couldn’t sell Diva as she is Mount St John’s top broodmare, but asked whether I had considered a lease.

“The first time I went up to the stud to see Diva it felt like I’d been riding her for months. Mum and I whispered, “She’s perfect” to each other. We had wanted a gelding, certainly not a chestnut mare, but she’s so sweet and relaxed — really cuddly.”

The chestnut Hanoverian mare has been one of the Mount St John’s top broodmares in recent years, with a 2015 colt by the Furstenball son Finest sold to Charlotte Dujardin at just one week old. Diva has produced several embryo transfer (ET) foals since, and is in foal via ET to Vitalis and Charmeur this year.

In between breeding, she has competed successfully up to medium level, including finishing second under Lucinda Elliott at the 2017 winter championships at elementary.

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Diva has the most incredible trot and a really good walk, which reminds me a lot of JP and the way he used to flick his toes in walk,” says Natasha, a grade III rider who has no use of her legs while riding.

“We’re working on getting her voice activated — it takes a while but she’s getting better every time. We’re doing lots of work on the lunge using voice, and we’ve ridden through our para tests now.

“I hope to get out competing at the start of March and target a place on the team for WEG. I’m so excited as I had almost resigned myself to another year of missing out — I missed competing so much last year, and just being with the team.

It takes a long time to build a partnership, but she has every quality I’ve been looking for. And as she’s a gold colour, I’m just hoping she likes gold medals!”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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Family’s trauma after dog attack leaves horses ‘covered in blood’

A rider whose horse was badly bitten and her children terrified in a dog attack wants to raise awareness of similar situations.

Sarah Casavieille-Iacaze’s nine-year-old gelding was put down just before Christmas, six months after the dog attacked her family as they hacked out in woods near their home in Devon last Father’s Day.

Sarah told H&H she, her husband and their two daughters are still living with the after-effects of the incident.

“I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since,” she said.

“The girls are absolutely terrified of dogs now, I am having flashbacks, I’ve had endless treatment for whiplash and internal bruising. My horse has been gone six weeks now and I’m still crying; it’s a huge loss to us all as he was such a special horse.”

Sarah said she was riding her horse Jack, with her then-six-year-old daughter alongside on her own pony, while her husband was riding his bike, with their then-four-year-old daughter on the back.

“We met this woman with a dog, not on the lead, and it looked lively,” Sarah said. “She said it didn’t like horses so we said we’d take the track to the left.

“Later, the track forks; we went on one and my husband the other so he could video my daughter cantering. The next thing, I heard my four-year-old absolutely screaming. I shouted back and heard my husband say: ‘The dog’s loose, and it’s coming to get you’.”

Sarah said the dog plunged down the bank separating the two tracks and “went straight for my daughter’s pony”.

“I couldn’t get to her so I just said: ‘Drop the reins and hold on to the front of the saddle’,” Sarah said. “Luckily, Bluey was amazing.”

But the pony reared several times to avoid the dog, Sarah’s daughter fell and the pony ran off, followed by the dog.

“Then the dog came back,” Sarah said. “I shouted to my daughter to get behind a tree, out of the way, as the dog was determined to attack my horse.

“Jack was bucking and rearing, the bites were horrific, then the dog went for me. He grabbed my leg and was hanging off my ankle while I was still on the horse. My daughter was in hysterics as her pony and my horse were covered in blood and I couldn’t do anything.

“I shouted to my husband for help so he left our other daughter on the bike and ran straight down the bank to us.

“Jack was amazing. The dog eventually pulled me off and I was underneath him, with the dog still attached, but he stayed by my side and didn’t trample me.”

Sarah said eventually, her husband was able to force the dog to let go and its owner took it away. The family led the horses home, where they received veterinary attention and the police were called.

After extensive treatment and rehabilitation, it appeared Jack was “slowly starting to recover”, but Sarah said he started napping when he returned to work. He was diagnosed with gastric ulcers, believed to be caused by the stress of the attack.

“And he never came right,” she added. “He had so much treatment, but he just wasn’t coming right and he started having wobbles.

“Then they found he had a neck lesion sitting on his spinal cord and he had to be put down two days before Christmas — I couldn’t even keep him as a companion.

“I’d only owned him three months before the attack; I’d had him vetted and I’d been eventing and hunting him; he was absolutely fine. And everyone – the healer, the vet, the acupuncturist – all said Jack was suffering delayed-onset post-traumatic stress.”

After a long process, the owner of the dog has now been given a conditional caution, for being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury, and has to pay £400 to Sarah. She said she was also told by police that the dog died last autumn in a “freak accident”.

“The whole thing was horrendous,” Sarah said. “And this – £400 doesn’t even cover the cost of putting my horse down.

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“This has been really, really sad; it’s taken such a toll on my family. We’ve lost a wonderful horse, had a huge financial loss and had to go through such trauma for months.

“People need to be aware of what can happen, what dogs can do if they’re not under their owners’ control, and the aftermath, because it was horrendous.

“In this situation, people do need to go to the police but owners must keep their dogs under control in public. I want my family, friends and the public to be able to enjoy the area we live in, free from the fear of this happening again, and move on with our lives. I could not bear it if another person, animal or, in particular, a child got hurt.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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‘A graveyard of the walking dead’: looking back at Amersham crisis 10 years on

Esther was so weak she had to be carried off the lorry when she arrived at Redwings in 2008

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A moving film showing the story of the equine survivors of the Spindles Farm crisis has been released to mark 10 years since the rescue.

In January 2008, Redwings worked with a number of other welfare organisations, including the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, to rescue more than 100 equines.

“Probably the most shocking thing is it was like a graveyard with the walking dead,” said one of the rescuers on the film.

The horses, ponies and donkeys were found living in horrific conditions at the farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

They were in varying states of emaciation, covered in lice and suffering from overgrown feet.

The carcases of more than 30 horses and donkeys were strewn around the farm.

The film looks back at the horrors faced by rescuers on their arrival, to how they went about rehabilitating the equines and finally visits some of the happily rehomed survivors.

“It was very moving to think back to the rescue,” said Redwings chief executive, Lynn Cutress.

“[It was also moving] to recall the sight of these terribly ill and sad animals arriving at Redwings, and then to reflect on today when so many of them are enjoying wonderfully happy and healthy lives here at the sanctuary or in guardian homes.”

Redwings offered homes to 60 horses and donkeys, as well as six foals born to rescued mares.

A total of 58 of these are still living at the sanctuary or in guardian homes.

“I’m always amazed by the efforts Redwings staff put into caring for our residents every day,” added Ms Cutress.

“They deserve special thanks for how they managed to turn around the lives of our Amersham survivors and I hope this short film goes some way to show the incredible care and love they’ve given these horses and donkeys over the last decade.”

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Sudden death of star stallion leaves team ‘heartbroken’

Showjumper Chloe Reid has paid tribute to her “partner of a lifetime”.

The 22-year-old rider from the United States announced the sad news that Codarco (Cody) had died on Tuesday (2 February).

An autopsy revealed that he had been suffering from cancer of the abdomen. He had only shown signs of ilness for less than a week.

Cody, an 11-year-old stallion by Darco, finished third in last July’s five-star grand prix in Falsterbo and achieved a double clear for Team USA in the Nations Cup at the same event.

Chloe and Cody also jumped clears in the Nations Cup in Sopot and Wellington in March.

Chloe released an emotive tribute to her star partner and explained that their relationship hadn’t always been plain sailing.

“The day I first sat on you was the worst trial I have ever had,” she said.

“I was so incredibly nervous and intimidated by your power that I couldn’t find a distance. I will never forget how we trotted into the combination and crashed out through the oxer, yet you continued to keep jumping and safely carry me round.

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“While I’ve had numerous riders tell me over the years that they tried and passed on the opportunity to purchase you, I will feel for ever fortunate that you choose me to be your rider. Even though you could have had way more success with any of the more experienced riders, I was the lucky one who got to take you home.

“Thank you for being my partner of a lifetime. You are leaving so many people heartbroken and one little girl who will never forget you.”

Chloe thanked Palm Beach Equine Clinic for the care they gave Cody in his final days, her vet Jack Snyder, her groom, Sigrun Land, and trainer, Markus Berrbaum.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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