Suregrow News

Carl Hester - One on one at fifty event

We were very proud to be sponsors of Carl Hesters One on One at Fifty event on 11th November 2017.

Please follow the link below to see more https://www.oneononeatfifty.com

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November 15, 2017  |   Share:

Latest news from Shoestring Events

A lot has happened since my last blog and generally things have been pretty positive. Firstly let me introduce you to the newest member of the Shoestring team – Fliss. Fliss is an Irish Sports horse by Royal Concorde from a Ricardo Z mare, she is 6 years old but currently green and quite immature so we are taking things really slowly and just letting her develop her strength and muscle.

Lots of hacking and a little schooling has been the order of the day and she probably won’t be doing much competition wise until next year. She has a great jump and can be very careful so may turn out to be more a show jumper than an eventer but Shoestring_Oct.jpgwe will see. She has the most lovable nature and is always looking to please. As the yard I rent involves hacking onto a busy road she is currently kept a few miles away with a friend who has lovely quiet hacking and a school, this is fab although having horses in two different yards does give some logistical challenged particularly with the light shortening. Ellie and Fliss are sharing a saddle and there is nothing worse than arriving at one yard and realising the saddle is at the other yard!

Ellie meanwhile has moved up to BE100 level fairly easily. It is strange but as a rider that has ridden at advanced level when you have been away from that level for a while 100 seems huge particularly on a 14.2 pony.  We chose our first event to be Treborough which is on the edge of Exmoor and one of the most picturesque events in the calendar albeit a slightly challenging drive. Treborough has a reputation for being straightforward which it is but by golly they certainly built to maximum dimensions over a long and hilly course. I will plead guilty to a slightly sleepless night. It wasn’t then helped when the competitor in front of me fell and we were held in the start box for 20 minutes.

Once underway Ellie flew round making nothing of the course and finished with an excellent clear. Frustratingly 2 poles show jumping when I rode a dodgy line to a double prevented any rosettes despite a good dressage. Our form was franked two weeks later at West Wilts a far smaller but technical track when she jumped another super clear but two rider errors show jumping as well as a dressage judge that was less keen on us kept us well out the placings.

The next event should have been Bricky. We had a good drive up, it is a favourite journey of Mum's not only is it less boring than the motorway routes but we pass some lovely farm shops that have access for the lorry to park. Luckily Ellie is chilled about any unscheduled stops!

We went straight to the event on Friday teatime and walked the course as Saturday was an early start. As always it was beautifully build and prepared although in a couple of places quite wet after the weeks rain. Luckily checking the phone no rain was forecast. We went back to the nearby stabling, plaited Ellie, cleaned stud holes and tack and set an early alarm. Worryingly there were a couple showers and checking Facebook prior to bed Bricky posted they couldn't cope with any more. When I woke up an hour later and could hear the rain pouring I knew what the outcome was going to be and indeed when the alarm went off at 5 the text was already in with the cancellation. The only good thing was the extra hour in bed!

Poor Ellie was unplaited and looked very non plussed. Nothing worse than being at the event and it cancelling, although the entry is refunded the fuel and time cannot be retrieved. Then again to be honest it is probably selfish to say this when the poor organisers have been spending months preparing the course and event only for the weather to wipe out the whole thing.

We did at least do some show jumping and headed to a favourite haunt at Chard to jump the British Novice and Discovery. Ellie pulled it out the bag for a 4th place and £17 in the first class but we had a couple of rails in the Discovery.

So two more events left for the year at Calmsden and Aldon providing the weather is kind.

Meanwhile the yearlings are rapidly growing and so pleased with their grazing this year. I applied Suregrow fertiliser and CSM in April and the field is still lush and green with grass coming through despite the two babies grazing it all year as well as using as a playground.

 

October 24, 2017  |   Share:

The Latest news from Emily Cariad-Nicol Eventing

At the end of August we took Lander to Millstreet as part of the GB development squad in the CIC*. He was fantastic all week and pulled out all of the stops, even with the 34 hour round journey! He started the event to be inside the top 20 out of 72 combinations after the dressage phase with a good test. After a fantastic clear showjumping over a big track of fences he moved up to be in 12th position overnight. The next day he gave me the most incredible ride x country to be clear inside the time, finishing in 8th place! I couldn’t fault him all week, he was just amazing! Meanwhile I opened my GCSE results in the morning of our first day competing, and I’m very glad to say that I was very pleased with them, as they could’ve played a huge part in how I rode at Millstreet.

Unfortunately, with the arrival of a new livery horse, a week before the BE100 RF at Firle International Simba caught an air bound hoof on his chest and it became a little swollen. Luckily they’re good friends now! Although he would probably have been absolutely fine we decided to miss out on the event, which was a great shame as he had an opportunity to qualify for Badminton grassroots. However he was due to go on a 3 month holiday after the event anyway, so now he has an extra week with no work! He’s currently very hairy and dirty and just enjoying life as a normal horse, and we will be bringing him back into work at the beginning of November. At this rate he may need a new saddle, as in just over a month with no riding he has already grown a huge amount!

We ended the season by moving up to Intermediate, which was both mine and Lander’s first time competing at this level. We competed in the OIu21 at Little Downham and had the most fantastic day. We started with a 33.2 dressage in a very harshly marked section to be inside the top 10 after this phase. He then jumped a fantastic clear round showjumping which made me even more nervous than I already was going into the x country phase! It was a huge track of fences and I'll admit that I wasn't sure if I was going to cope with it, but we came back having had the most fantastic clear round, he was so bold and so scopey over the biggest fences on the course! We did however get a fair amount of time penalties, as I took one alternate route just to be on the safe side, and made my life extremely difficult by accidentally going around one of the judging cars after the jump, so I had to do a very tight turn slowly, which wasted a huge amount of time!! We were dropped down just out of the placings because of this, but it doesn't matter at all – we had the best experience that we could’ve asked for with our first time at this level, and now I’m extremely excited for next season with this fantastic horse. Lander is now enjoying a very well deserved 12 week  holiday, and his Connemara side is starting to show as he’s already extremely hairy!

And I’m thrilled to say that 2 new 3yo’s arrived at home a few weeks ago! Both are completely untouched mares from the Netherlands, and I must say they are quite beautiful! They both come from showjumping lines but have more than enough blood and movement to event. They’re currently being backed at Jason Webb’s and I am so excited to go and see them being ridden. They’ll come for a break in a couple of weeks and then go back down to Jason’s, at which point he will show me how to ride them. Then at the end of November it’ll be all hands on deck – so I’m looking forward to a very busy winter!

October 18, 2017  |   Share:

Caroline Powell takes the CIC2* title at Waregem 2017!

Sponsored rider Caroline Powell and the smart Flipper K made the trip to Waregem worthwhile by taking the CIC2* title! The pair were lying 7th after the dressage phase which they then followed by a super clear in both the showjumping and the cross country phases with only 3.6 time penalties to add. This was just the performance to take the top spot in this class but Lizzie Baugh and Quarry Man were hot on their heels finishing in the runner up spot with only 0.1 penalties separating them. Dirk Shrade and Catelan finished 3rd to complete the top 3 in the CIC2* class.

September 25, 2017  |   Share:

Suregrow Fertiliser sponsors Allerton Park Horse Trials 2017

We are very proud to have sponsored Allerton Park Horse Trials for another year. It provided a great weekend of competition with some very testing conditions at times after a lot of surprise rain on the Saturday night!

The showjumping proved to be very influential across the whole competition and it definitely wasn't a dressage competition. We would like to say a big congratulations to all competitors and well done to the organisers of such a great event (and the tractor drivers for towing people on and off site on the Sunday!).

Suregrow Fertiliser sponsored the Novice U18 section on the Saturday and the Open Intermediate section on the Sunday. The top 3 for those sections are as follows:

Nu18
1. Brianna Tweddall with Lisboy Buachaill
2. Connie Warde-Aldam with Erco Polo B
3. Ellen Hobson with Fernhill Finnegan

OI
1. Angus Smales with A Bit Much
2. Emilie Chandler with Gortfadda Diamond
3. Jamie Atkinson with Salunette

September 18, 2017  |   Share:

Oliver Townend on the front cover of Horse & Hound following his win at Burghley 2017!

September 7, 2017  |   Share:

Class by name, Class by nature!

Sponsored rider Oliver Townend clung onto his lead at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to take the prestigious four star title with the 10 year old Ballaghmor Class, owned by Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan. The win made even more of an achievement by the fact it was the horses first attempt at this level!

Oliver had one fence down and a time-fault but it was enough to seal the win by 1.3 penalties on a horse Oliver has produced from the start of his education. Oliver last took the Bughley title in 2009 on board another grey, Carousel Quest.

Second place went to Piggy French who jumped a clear round to rise from fifth on Vanir Kamira. Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul had one fence down, dropping them from second to third. Tom McEwen jumped an immaculate clear round on Toledo De Kerser to take fourth place.

Huge congratulations to Oliver and his team, we are very proud to support such talented riders!

September 4, 2017  |   Share:

Oliver Townend and Caroline Powell has a successful trip to Blair!

It was a worthwhile trip up to Blair Atoll for sponsored rider Oliver Townend who took top 10 placings on 4 out of the 6 horses that made the trip to Scotland.

Cooley Master Class finished 3rd in the CIC3* ERM, Cooley Down Under finished 3rd in the CCI* and Khoi Traveler and Tregilder finished 7th and 3rd in the CCI2* respectively.

Another of our sponsored event riders, Caroline Powell, also had a very successful Blair with Up Up and Away finishing 4th and On The Brash finishing 6th, both in the CIC3*.

Successful weekend all round! Next stop for our three sponsored event riders, Nicola Wilson, Oliver Townend and Caroline Powell, is Burghley. We can't wait to cheer them on, good luck!!

August 29, 2017  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson is on the front cover of Horse and Hound!

Sponsored rider Nicola Wilson is on the front cover of Horse and Hound 24 August 2017! 

Nicola won an individual bronze medal and was part of gold medal winning Team GB at the European eventing Championships in Strzegom. Another of our sponsored riders, Oliver Townend, was also part of the team.

We are very proud to support both riders! 

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August 25, 2017  |   Share:

Team GBR take Gold and Nicola Wilson secures individual Bronze at the European Eventing Championships 2017!

Great Britain takes team gold and sponsored rider Nicola Wilson secured individual bronze during a tense final phase at the European Eventing Championships this weekend (19-20th August 2017).

Unfortunately sponsored rider Oliver Townend had to withdraw Cooley SRS before the final showjumping phase leaving the final 3 members of the team, Ros Canter (Allstar B), Tina Cook (Billy The Red) and Nicola Wilson (Bulana), to showjump clear and take the top spot.

They finished 9.1 penalties clear of Germany, the defending champions. Sweden took bronze.

In the individual competition Ingrid Klimke rode a beautiful clear aboard Horseware Hale Bob to seize gold. Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST were also clear and took individual silver with Nicola Wilson and Bulana taking bronze.

Massive congratulations to the whole of Team GB and to Nicola Wilson for taking the bronze medal!! 

August 21, 2017  |   Share:

The latest news from Emily Cariad-Nicol Eventing

So finally the event season is in full swing for us, although it is already nearly at an end! Over the past few months I have completed my GCSE's, whilst staying extremely busy with the horses.

Simba is now comfortably competing at BE100 level, and has been extremely successful: ending on his dressage score of 26.5 at his first ever BE100 at Tweseldown to place 3rd and subsequently qualifying for the regional finals at Firle in a few weeks. He also placed 3rd at his first 5yo class, just one placing away from qualifying for the Young Event Horse Championships at Osberton.

Lander is now sound (thankfully!) and has been competing at Novice level and above for the past few months. Just after my exams had ended he competed at Keysoe in late June in the Novice. A fantastic dressage score of 26.5 in a very harshly marked section meant that we even had a pole in hand going into the showjumping, which was handy – as he was slightly lazy over one of the fences! He then gave me the most fantastic feeling x country, and was easily inside the time. We led from start to finish, taking our first ever affiliated win! I was extremely pleased with our performance, and hopefully this win wil be the first of many more to come!

CX2_3106_354_ANNAGHMORE_BOOMLANDER_Nicol2c_Emily_C.JPGJust last weekend both horses competed at Chilham Castle in the international horse trials, this was my first ever time competing two horses in separate classes on the same day, and it was definitely hard work! Lander competed in the CIC*: we gained a good dressage score of 48.6 on the Saturday to put us just outside the top 10 overnight. We then returned on the Sunday with both horses to complete the CIC*, and for Simba to compete in the 5yo class. However, we took one horse in the trailer whilst the other travelled in the lorry! For anyone who know my two horses, they'll know that they are the best of friends; and although we have taken them both out in the lorry together many times without an issue, I did not want the added pressure of knowing that one of them may not have performed to their full potential because they knew that their brother was only 100m away - so we had to hide them from each other all day, just in case! Lander proceeded to have 4 faults in the showjumping (over the first fence as the jockey didn't get enough canter!), and then a fantastic clear x country over a technical course with just a few time penalties, eventually ending in 11th place!

Simba then gained a 31.3 dressage, and as all of the horses were within 3 penalties of one another all was to play for in the jumping phases. He then cruised around the show jumping and the x country effortlessly, ending on his dressage score to come 6th place. So overall we had a very good weekend!

Recently we have been taking the horses to an aqua treadmill for fitness work, as the ground has been far too hard for fast work, and we wanted to see if the treadmill could improve their overall way of going, and it certainly has! After only one session both horses' walks had so much more purpose, and they're both gaining plenty of muscle at the same time – which is always nice to see.

We now only have 3 events left in this season, and then both horses will be going on a holiday to have some down time and relax, Simba will have 3 months off whilst Lander is having 7 weeks off. Hopefully both of them will come back into work raring to go!

The fields are also looking in fantastic condition! Although there has not been much rain, they are still very green; and, as well as being grazed on by the horses, we are having to mow them every month due to the grass growth! I love the summer for the simple reason that everything is so green, and that there are no muddy gateways!

 

August 4, 2017  |   Share:

The latest news from Shoestring Eventing

It has been a good couple months although maybe not the most exciting blog wise. We have been active on all affiliated fronts and Ellie has been showing great progress, however, frilly wise there seem to have been a few too many just out the placings! For a very competitive person this has been a source of frustration but then again drives us to improve me.

DSC_0058XX.JPGSince our fall at Pontispool we have now established ourselves at BE90 level with some nice clear rounds, the odd pole show jumping has cost us dear though. As Ellie is ony 14.2 I find my position influences her far more than it would on a bigger horse so I have to be careful not to get in front of the movement. Equally I can struggle by overthinking her slightly shorter stride in related distances.

So we have completed West Wilts, Treborough, Bicton and Launcestion with finishing scores ranging from 33.7-43.7 which is pretty pleasing. Currently debating moving up to a 100 level at the end of August.

We have also had the chance to do some affiliated dressage at Tall Trees where working at Novice she produced the best tests to date with two scores of 66% winning her 8 BD points and a 3rd and 4th place. Dressage is certainly not my favourite phase but more a necessary evil that has to be endured! Competitions are only entered when all jumping options have been eliminated! Saying that we do work hard at home and have had some really good lessons with Stef Eardley to help improve things. With Ellie her main problem is that she will often curl behind the vertical particularly when she is tense, Stef gave us some really good tips to help this. I was trying to stop this by giving her the rein whereas a lot of the time she actually needed support from the hand.

Show jumping wise we have progressed to jumping British Novice and Discovery, I can assure you on a 14.2 pony a Discovery jump off 1.05 – 1.10 looks pretty big! She is very scopey though and I just need to learn to adapt to her size and stride.

This last week I organised a Biomechanics clinic with Russel Guire from Centaur Biomechanics who is one of the top people in his field working with the British Equestrian Teams. Considering my past injuries and wonkiness I have always been keen to have a session so the only way to do so was organise a clinic in Cornwall. I had no shortage of people keen to take part.

I watched a few sessions and couldn't help but be extremely impressed how Russel helped a wide variety of riders of different ages and abilities. He started by assessing each rider on a centre line from both directions and then riding a circle in each direction around him while recording the footage on a slow motion camera. When this was done riders came back to the 'office' as pictured to review the footage. Here he could point out any positional issues and discuss reasons it may be happening. He then asked riders to do a centre lie in walk with their eyes closed and it was amazing without the correction ability of the eyes the horses quickly veared in the direction their riders body was taking them.

What impressed me most was not only could he recognise the problems but he could put a plan in with the riders to help correct the issues, this was a variety of exercises or simple corrections that quickly made huge differences in the horses way of going. The feedback from all the riders was very positive.

Typically my session was not as straightforward he quickly identified from the video that one side of my pelvis / hip was doing more work than the other giving almost a rolling motion.

I told him about my old injuries and accidents that mean my hip and ankle are pinned and that also I ride in low grade pain most of the time. This also precludes we from riding some big moving horses. To compensate I ride with quite unlevel stirrups up to 3 holes different.

He also assessed me over a jump and although not as clear the tendency was the same.

In some ways he was complimentary that my riding ability made me cover up the problems very well but I should not be riding with such uneven stirrups and that in itself is causing me problems and is likely to cause more problems. If I had a significant leg length difference then I can ride slightly uneven but mine is not that significant therefore by doing so it may not be helping me physically. However at this time he was unwilling to give me exercises to correct until my physical disability and how much it can be corrected is understood. He has referred me to a physio near Taunton to assess this, the physio in question regularly works with all types of riders including para riders and can assess what can be improved so maybe working with them both we can improve things. It would need a lot of additional strength and conditioning work as well.

I went away feeling slightly deflated on one hand but very positive on another as the possibility is there that I can improve another level. However to do that it sounds like a lot of hard work ahead. My biggest regret is that I didn't meet Russel and the people he has access to 5 or 6 years ago.

Watch this space for progress!

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July 31, 2017  |   Share:

Nigel Coupe strikes again!

Nigel Coupe pipped Yorkshireman Robert Smith to win the 2017 Cock O'The North at The Great Yorkshire Show 2017.

Nigel and Glovers Hill were the last pair to tackle a seven-strong jump off and faced a good test after seven-time winner Robert Smith and Ilton posted what seemed to be an unbeatable time. Just three weeks after winning the Hickstead Derby, Coupe and Golvers Hill went at breakneck speed to seal a very well deserved victory by 1.36 seconds.

Keith Shore and Mystic Hurricane finished third in the class, six seconds behing Smith.

We love this picture of Nigel giving Glovers Hill a hug after winning the class. I wonder if he knows just how special he is! 

Photos courtesy of K2 Photographic.

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July 14, 2017  |   Share:

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby 2017

After an exciting Hickstead (isn't it always?!) Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill claimed the 2017 Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby.

Nigel and Sue Simmons' 14-year-old Irish gelding produced only one of two clears to give the first Derby jump off since 2014. They were joined by Harriet Nuttall and A Touch Imperious.

Completing the jump off course with one pole down, Nigel Coupe set a target of 90.73sec.

Harriet and "Henry" finished on a time of 91.06sec with two poles down to put them into the runner up spot.
Three riders tied on four faults, first-timer Holly Smith with her Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard winner Quality Old Joker, Ireland's Billy Twomey with Diaghilev and another Irishman Dermott Lennon with Gelvins Touch.

William Funnell's Billy Buckingham impressed on his first trip round Hickstead, finishing on a round with no jumping penalties but a step back on the bank and a time fault left the pair to collect sixth place.

It had been an exciting previous day too with Matthew Sampson winning the British Speed Derby on catch ride Topflight True Carlo.

A "change in circumstances" meant Matt only found out on Friday that he would be taking over the ride from Christy Kemp. Matt set an unbeatable target when he jumped clear in 92.73sec.

Congratulations to all competitors at the Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meet, from showing to scurry driving to showjumping. Take a look at some of the brilliant shots taken by K2 Photographic in our gallery.

June 27, 2017  |   Share:

The latest news from Nicola Wilson Eventing

We continue to enjoy a great season here at Nicola Wilson Eventing.

Last weekend at Luhmuhlen was so exciting and I was absolutely delighted with Bulana competing in her 1ST CCI4. She produced a beautiful test scoring 38.70 within a whisker of the Germans and gave me a superb ride cross country clear inside the time to move us to 4th place going into the show jumping. The show jumping track was probably the biggest I have seen at a Horse Trials and she jumped beautifully to produce one of the very few clears picking up just a few time faults to leave us in the runner up position. I was a bit frustrated to miss the victory as I felt she deserved the win but I am delighted with how far she has come, we are an established partnership now – she is such a competitor.

Berry had given me a great ride around Chatsworth CIC3* ERM just a month earlier where she finished 4th with a 39.9 dressage and double clear that I went to Luhmuhlen hopefully well prepared.

One Two Many showed his experience in the CCI3* at Bramham. He was the only horse clear inside the time cross country and this helped to secure him 8th place in our 'home' event. He will run next at Barbury in the CIC3* ERM.

Meanwhile we are pretty busy with the younger horses on the yard who are all continuing to make great progress racking up 8 wins and 9 top 10 placings between them since my last newsletter in April. Three have stepped up to Novice, JL Dublin has won his Novice Regional Final and was 8th in his first 1* at Chatsworth.

We will have a couple of weeks near home now before setting off for Barbury in July.

Fingers and toes crossed that we can continue the season in such good form.

June 27, 2017  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson takes the runners up spot at Luhmuhlen CCI****

Suregrow Fertiliser sponsored rider Nicola Wilson finished second in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen!

Nicola rode Jo and James Lambert's Bulana to a clear jumping round on the final day with 3 time penalties to complete on a score of 41.7.

German rider Julia Krajewski and Samourai Du Thot finished on 41.1 to take the top spot, just 0.6 of a penalty ahead of Nicola.

Overnight leader Bettina Hoy and Designer 10 had a fence in hand going into the final phase. The pair hit fence six and despite finishing the course with no further jumping penalties, 3 time faults dropped Bettina to third position.

We would like to pass on huge congratulations to Nicola and her team!

June 19, 2017  |   Share:

2017 Bramham Horse Trials

Yoshie_Oiwa_EBHT_-14.jpgSenior CCI***

Yoshiaki Oiwa made history as the first Japanese rider to seal victory at Bramham with a clear showjumping round. On board 10-year-old gelding Calle 44, Yoshi rose from third place after the cross-country to take the title.

Cross-country leader, Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V, had the back rail of the triple bar down, plus one time-fault which dropped them to second place.

Australian rider Sammi Birch who was third going into the final phase, also had a fence down on Hunter Valley II, but they maintained their overall position.

Toshiyuki Tanaka rose from 35th after the dressage thanks to a speedy clear across country on Talma D Allou, to eventual fourth, incurring just one time-fault around a tough showjumping track.
Sponsored rider Nicola Wilson, who was fifth going into the final phase riding One Two Many had two fences down, resulting in an overall 8th position.

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Under 25's CCI***

22 year old Will Furlong held onto his cross-country lead to take the Bishop Burton College CCI3* under-25 title after a dramatic showjumping phase. Even more impressive, this was Will's first CCI3*!

The pair won by 2.6 penalties over Gina Ruck and Rehy Too who jumped a beautiful clear round to hold second place. Alicia Hawker and Charles RR finished a very credible 3rd.




CIC***

A speedy cross country round by Izzy Taylor and Dr Patricia Turner's 12 year old, Trevidden, paid off in the CIC3* enabling them to finish on a score of 47.4 and take top of the podium.

Second went to Paul Tapner and the three-star specialist Yogi Bear VIII, who jumped a double clear, to finish on a score of 51.2.

Third went to New Zealand's Tim Price, who produced a very classy double clear on Cekatinka. Tim has recently taken on the ride of this mare when his wife Jonelle fell pregnant. Something says he may be a little reluctant to give Jonelle the horse back when she returns to competition!

We would like to say a very well deserved well done to all competitors at the 2017 Equi Trek Bramham Horse Trials. Take a look at some of the super action shots taken by K2 Photographic plus some videos of the Suregrow Kidney Ponds on our galley page.

June 12, 2017  |   Share:

It been a rollercoaster ride but we're back on track...

Since my last blog we have very much had the rollercoaster ride typical to the amateur eventer, or maybe just typical to anyone with horses. Ellie has returned to full work fit and well and we have progressed back to eventing fitness. Our first event was Millfield I knew that with the dry weather there was a risk that conditions may not be to my liking but I was hoping the ground was acceptable. The team were working hard on the course and although it was firm with the continued work I felt at 90 level it was acceptable to run.

sj.jpgHowever I was swayed when I walked the show jumping, the ring was on what they use as a rounders pitch and the grass cut very short, they had spiked but the ground here was pretty firm and you would need studs to stop slipping adding concussion. The warm up (although seen before they had worked on it) was a bit rough and very hard. Sadly there was no significant rain forecast that night and I decided for Ellie having had time off and being her first run we would save her for another day. Really disappointing and must emphasis this is no reflection on the event who worked very hard or anybody that did run. In fact with a lot of rain Saturday night I understand the going on Sunday was pretty near perfect. For once the blow was softened by finding something else to do nearby. So we headed off to Chard Equestrian for their BS show. This was Ellie's first competitive jumping show since last October and it was great to be out again. In the British Novice we just had a pole in the jump off section and in the 95cm open she jumped a super double clear to win her first BS points. Was so pleased with this result don't get me wrong it is still a bit all or nothing i.e. long strides or bounce up and down then pop but we are moving in the right direction.

xc.jpgI am aware that I am very risk adverse and sometimes a bit too much maybe but when you only have one or two horses you can get over protective. Luckily 2 weeks later we made it to our first event at Pontispool. In the dressage we had one of our best ever marks of 24.3 in a generously marked section, we then proceeded to be clear showjumping leaving us comfortably in the top 10 before cross country. Ellie gave me a super round cross country over a testing track albeit a little green at times. I am not sure exactly what happened but at 3/4 way round we approached the hay cart, we just lost our stride and she chipped in and left a leg meaning she landed on her nose and only just stayed upright catapulting me out the saddle. There are some spectacular pro pictures of the sequence if you want to look them up on Jayphotos site by my name in the BE90 section of Pontispool.

ellie.jpgEllie rather than waiting to see if mother was ok disappeared back to the lorries so we had no alternative but to retire. Luckily I was able to get a lift back from the organiser to find Ellie. I am sore but my Kan Teq back protector is invaluable at times like this it offers superb protection. Ellie has a slightly bruised knee but is trotting up sound, we are sharing the Arc Equine to help our respective aches and pains.

So some cross country schooling is planned this weekend before we head to West Wilts for our next event.

Hoping I will have some more positive news to share next time. However talking of good news I have sold Posy which I had been hoping to do for a few months now. This means it is horse hunting time where I spend hours pouring over adverts, pictures and videos and when I do go and see something usually find I missed that it only had 3 legs or I wasn't told some vital bit of information or sometimes however nice a horse is it just isn't my cup of tea - I can be fussy!

babies.jpgI do have a smart one growing up in the field and Kensa is a year old this week, in the last few months she has changed from a foal to looking like a little horse. She still has plenty of character and cheek though and poor Tommy doesn't get much peace and quiet. Seems a long time to wait though! The two yearlings are really appreciating grazing the field that I fertilised in early April. Have to say the grass seems very good and thick which is ideal for the youngsters. I managed to finish the other fields only last weekend, must admit doing by hand I was aching a bit the next day!

 

 

On the Shoestring front my website and social media have just had some great stats for May.

Website Page views: 125,000
Unique visitors: 12,100
Course Pictures
24 Venues covered
80 sets of pictures
1935 photos uploaded
Facebook 8,370 likes with post reach of 30,000

Very excited that an amateur website and associated social media is pulling in so many people.

June 2, 2017  |   Share:

Why use CSM?

Majority of grazed grassland in the UK is mineral deficient. CSM contains over 70 minerals and trace elements to inject lost nutrition back into your soil, creating the optimum conditions for quality, healthy grassland. 

Make the most of your grassland and apply CSM now! 

May 24, 2017  |   Share:

Withdrawals, withdrawals, withdrawals!

The event season is here, but sadly for us out of the five events that we've been entered into I've only competed in two! Lander competed in our first event of the season in the BE Novice at Tweseldown, but since then we've struggled to get out!

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Four days before 5yo Simba's BE90 class at Munstead he hit his leg on the corner of the arena during a fantastic dressage session; three stitches later we were advised to put him onto 2 weeks of box rest – meaning our first withdrawal.

Five days before Lander's second event at South of England I very stupidly and randomly fell over in the stables, giving myself a terrible black eye and cut which meant that I couldn't see for four days! Meaning our second withdrawal.

Finally Simba had his first outing of the season, and only his third ever event, in the BE90 at Horseheath. A fantastic dressage test in a harshly marked section for 30.3 put us into 3rd place after this phase; he then jumped a beautiful clear showjumping to move us up to 2nd place. As the ground was extremely hard and he's still only young I took it easy x country, gaining many time penalties. But he gave me a super confident clear; so I'm now extremely excited for his first BE 100 class in a few weeks' time at Tweseldown!

We then took Lander to GB junior training, and he was an absolute star! He really impressed the trainers all day in both the dressage and the track jumping, and consequently we've been put forward for the trip to Millstreet Horse trails in Ireland to compete in the CCI J* later on in the season, the objective being to give international experience to 16 year olds. And he wore his SureGrow sponsored numnahs all day!

17796510_1460432337340114_434658196613631813_n.jpgBut disaster strikes again! Just over a week before Lander's second event of the season at Chilham he walked out of his stable lame. The next day when our physio came out for her monthly visit to see all of the horses he was sound again; but a few days before the event he went hopping lame. Meaning our third withdrawal! Our vets and farrier thought that he may have an abscess, but they're back out on Monday for further investigation.

On a better note, the fields our starting to look fantastic! A couple of months ago all of the gateways were muddy, with absolutely no grass; and the fields themselves were looking rather bare and the grass was very sparse. But now thanks to SureGrow Fast Grass and Paddock Grass Seed Mix the fields are looking brilliant and positively green; and even though there has been hardly any rain in our area the grass growth has been fantastic! We are hoping to extend our land and grazing into another field which lies alongside our own, which would complete the square of land that our house and stables are built on, so this is also extremely exciting. All of us at home find the field maintenance quite therapeutic, and with the arrival of a new sit-on mower it's easier than ever! We have set up a time lapse camera in one of our fields to watch the grass growth over a period of a few months, and soon that video will be ready to view.

May 10, 2017  |   Share:

Badminton Horse Trials 2017

It was definitely an emotional one with Andrew Nicholson taking his first Badminton victory on board the 17 year old Nereo, having completed the event a record breaking 37 times.

The pair were sitting in third position going into the final phase but when Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam FBW knocked a pole and leaders Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob OLD had three poles down the victory went to Andrew.

Suregrow sponsored riders were also out in force at Badminton Horse Trials. Nicola Wilson and Annie Clover unfortunately retired around a very tough x-country track. Oliver Towned completed on both his horses ODT Ghareeb and Samuel Thomas II to finish in the top 25 (16th and 25th respectively).

May 9, 2017  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson gets off to a flying start

The season is well underway now and what a fantastic start Nicola has had, especially with the young horses which is so encouraging for the future. There's also been a new addition to the yard, Tipple! 

The team have had 6 wins and 10 top 10 placings from five events with these exciting young horses.

The advanced horses Annie Clover and Bulana should have made their first CIC3* outing at Burgham International but unfortunately the weather played its part and the event was cancelled which was so disappointing as both horses produced fantastic dressage tests and were in strong positions.

Burnham Market International CIC3* was the next stop for both Annie and Bulana and they both gave Nicola great rides. 3rd and 6th respectively after dressage and two clear show jumping rounds put them in a great position going into the cross country phase. Annie went clear with just a few time penalties to finish 4th overall.

Preparations are now in full swing with Annie for Badminton in two weeks time. The team at home are fully focused on getting her ready for this fabulous event, fingers and toes crossed that preparations pay off.

We would like to wish Nicola and Annie good luck at Badminton Horse Trials, exciting times!

April 20, 2017  |   Share:

Positive vet reports, mixed up diaries and a spot of volunteering...

Sorry my blog is a little late this month but I wanted to let you know the good news regarding Ellie. As you may have read in November she was diagnosed with a neurological problem and the prognosis was guarded. She was treated by B&W vets, who mylogrammed her and then treated a compression in the neck with injections. We followed the rehab to the letter and last week she was examined again and presented no symptoms and was perfect on all the neurological tests. The vet could therefore confidently say that this would not affect her or limit her competitive career and we can crack on. Therefore hopefully future blogs may be filled with some competition action.

On the negative Posy who I am trying to sell has still not found the right home and I'm rather pulling my hair out. It is the first time I have sent a horse away to be sold (people don't like travelling to Cornwall) and although the yard are doing a great job the costs are mounting. Maybe good news on my next blog.

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So what now for Ellie? She is in full work and just before this problem raised its head I had registered her for British Dressage so last Sunday we did our first BD competition together.Maybe we were a tad ambitious trying our first novices! It seems a travesty that I'm not eligible for any qualification classes at Prelim because of the level I reached with Sarnie who was the most uncooperative dressage horse ever!

We went to St Leonards which is a lovely friendly well organised yet low-key venue. We were entered in novice 24 and 34 quite similar short arena tests. I knew we would struggle a little and we did. At the moment she can get very tight in her frame and draw her head behind the verticle, whilst we had some nice work we also had elements spoilt by this, With time and strength this will improve dramatically I'm sure. Even then we scored 64% and 65% meaning she gained 5 dressage points and some mid class placings (4th and 5th)

This weekend we are off to Bicton International Horse Trials where I am volunteering for 3 days. Should be a great competition as some top riders entered and the parkland, facilities and organisation is second to none. Ellie is coming too which means I can work her in the warm up arenas before or after competition. My role for the weekend will be updating the live scoring which should be great fun, hope I can keep up!

I am aiming for Ellie's first BE to be mid May at Millfield, we didn't have a great time there with Posy last year, I came off after catching my foot in some brush at the edge of a fence. As lovely as Millfield is it doesn't have the happiest memories, better make some good ones this year. I will certainly be appreciating getting Ellie out and about again.

In March we also had the Shoestring holiday when horses are abandoned and we explore a different part of the country. This time it was Shropshire which was lovely. We couldn't though make it totally non horsey and on the way back I arranged a yard visit at National hunt trainer Oliver Sherwood.

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We arrived the night before in Lambourn with accommodation booked we first sussed out where his yard was as the visit involved a 7.15 start. As I was checking the paperwork I suddenly realised that I had booked the Friday not the Saturday as I had thought and hence missed the tour. I was fairly upset at the wasted money and spoilt present! I posted on Facebook regarding my stupidity and as well as sympathy a couple of friends tagged and contacted Oliver and he rang me saying that we could join a tour the next day.

The whole experience was fascinating and certainly a few interesting observations. The horses were a lot more lightweight than I was expecting very few looking liked the old-fashioned chaser that I would describe as rangey but with a bit of substance. Interestingly Oliver agreed that the horses have changed and with it they seem to be more prone to injury. All the horses are stabled on straw (good quality) but he feels that lessens the liklihood of ulcers and that is key to their well being. I was also surprised to see after exercise the horses turned out in groups of 5 or 6, I have to admit with animals of that value I would worry regarding injury but again as herd animals he very much wants them to be happy.

image1.jpgWe watched two lots on the gallops on what was a work day. At this time of the season the horses are all fit so ticking over with two 5 furlong work sessions up a steep all weather gallop. Interestingly I asked what different levels of work he would give a horse aimed at the Grand National (a 4 mile race) in comparison to a much shorter race, evidently the work is pretty similar and they don't work them differently. I was surprised to learn that Lambourn as what I thought was the home of jump racing now trains probably more flat race horses.
Back at home the great British weather is playing havoc with my plans again. I had intended to fertilise my fields by now but much of March was just too wet, we then had a week off and on my return I managed to do an acre (by hand) and we had a nice amount of rain to wash it in. Since then it has been bone dry so waiting for a little rain in the forecast before I finish the job.

April 20, 2017  |   Share:

Exclusive interview with Martin and Michaela Wood featuring Suregrow Fertiliser!

Great read in the Horse and Hound published on 16th March 2017. Exclusive interview with top showing team Martin and Michaela Wood looking super smart in their Suregrow Fertiliser jackets. Only the best for the best!   MMW.PNGMW.PNG

March 21, 2017  |   Share:

Triumphs, Storms & Blow Outs!

The horses and I have been extremely busy this February preparing for the eventing season ahead, we started the month off at Bury Farm at the BE JAS qualifiers with both Simba and Lander. To be honest I hoped that Lander would qualify but he literally did it in style, coming 2nd in BE Novice and then taking the win in the BE Novice Open! He is just feeling fantastic at the moment, and I am really looking forward to his first event at Tweseldown (1). We took rising 5-year-old Simba along to just gain a different experience for him, and bless him he also went and qualified in one of his classes, and had a fantastic round in his first ever BE 100! Which really wasn’t expected!

As my half term loomed both boys had their first XC training session of the year: Adam and I took Lander to Ely Eventing Centre and you wouldn’t have thought that it had been six months since this little horse saw a XC jump! We then threw Simba totally in at the deep end and he took part in his first ever SE u18 XC clinic with other horses (yes Simba other horses!) and jumping 1 meter fences. Apart from deciding he had a new best friend and being completely over excited by the group of youngsters going bananas in the field next to us he was a totally cool dude. It occurred to me that he hadn't seen a XC jump since his 4yo class August last year but far from being spooky he just didn't look at a thing and the confidence this baby has gained over winter is incredible. I am seriously excited about his future in the sport.

Lander was up next at SE u18 training for the potential CCIJ* squad for Frickley; run as combined training event. Lander was just a star as usual, gaining 74% in the dressage test. My de-brief with the judge after was very encouraging giving me tips to further improve on his score, as she was very happy with how he was going, and had no real complaints! He then jumped a really smooth clear round showjumping. We had to run as we were due at Hartpury for the JAS Championships the next day and wanted to get home as quickly as possible to give Lander the maximum rest possible.

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BLOW OUT

Unbelievably, half way round the M25, and in the middle lane, we had a blow out! I have never heard anything like it. Although I am sure that mum never wants to experience this again, Surrey Police, the Highways Authority, Call Assist Recovery were all brilliant and after 4 hours we finally got to move on again after the tyre was replaced and before the M25 could have been closed to take a slightly agitated Lander off of the lorry.

We got home at 10.30pm and Lander was rudely awoken at 6.30 the next morning to go back out, this time with Simba on board too, to Hartpury for the JAS Championships. Neither of them let me down, they didn't touch a pole all day and both boys gained 12th places in their first classes with a few time faults in each case. Lander then upped his game and flew around the Novice course inside the, taking 7th place in a hotly contested class. I was so happy with both of my boys, they never let me down and always give me their all. It’s safe to say that all of us had a very well deserved rest the next couple of days.

Unfortunately, storm Doris got the better of my first Junior Training day, which consequently had to be abandoned. But it’s not much time to go now, the season’s nearly underway.. and we are all very excited!

March 8, 2017  |   Share:

A Mare and two foals, let me explain...

The first month has flown by and the support I am receiving from SureGrow is so appreciated when I look at the state my fields are getting in. In particular the paddock that I have Sarnie and the two foals in is looking poached, needing a rest, a harrow and roll as well as some Suregrow to support the grass.

A mare and 2 foals let me explain - Sarnie my horse of a lifetime retired a couple of years ago having taken me as an amateur to advanced level and placings at Intermediate and 2*. She is KWPN with great dutch bloodlines and her mother was recognised as one of the top broodmares in Holland after breeding 5 international horses. A Sarnie baby was always on the cards yet despite multiple attempts in 2014 we could not get her in foal, in 2015 we tried again naturally but she wouldn't let the stallion near her. 

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Our last throw of the dice was to send her to a local stud that stood MY ECLIPSE (TB) (son of SHAAB). There Sarnie was turned out with another eventing broodmare Batty, they alternately bullied each other and fell out before becoming inseparable mates. Sarnie learnt to chill and it was this change in her that finally on the last try meant Sarnie was expecting. I credit Batty with settling her down resulting in her getting in foal.

Batty and Sarnie were just the best mates, Sarnie was 9 months pregnant when Batty had a bad abscess and had to be kept in. Although we felt that she would be better off out she came in uphill over a 5 bar gate to get back to her mate. After this we let her stay in with her. Batty foaled a month ahead of Sarnie yet they stayed together and Sarnie was allowed to look after the foal. One day we even thought Sarnie had foaled early as Batty's foal was settled beside Sarnie.

Sarnie had a good foaling and we hit a slight hitch when she went back out with Batty, she decided Batty could look after her foal too!! They then lived in adjacent fields, always beside each other with the hedge separating them while Sarnie got the hang of her responsibilities. After a month they were put back together and resumed the same close relationship.

Very sadly with Batty's foal 3 months old Batty died suddenly in the field leaving Tommy orphaned. Both for a foal losing his mother and Sarnie losing her soul mate times were tough. At least they all knew what had happened, she died overnight so they spent some time understanding the situation.

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Tommy was too young ideally to be weaned but thankfully Sarnie stepped up to the plate and looked after Batty's foal. Whilst she never fed him (he was old enough to eat solids) she adopted him in all other ways ensuring he was with her and shouting for him if he strayed too far or they were moving fields. I think the two foals test Sarnie's patience on many occasions and she certainly gets a headache keeping them both in order. However she owes Batty so much for her gorgeous foal (Kensa the chestnut), I am so proud of her that she has adopted Tommy and ensuring he gets the best start in life. In the next week we will be weaning so I will update you next time.

Ellie is progressing well in her return to work plan and so far the vets are happy. She has had a neurological problem but we are hoping the treatment has been effective. Maybe in the next blog there may even be a low key competition report. She is certainly feeling very well to the extent we parted company this week when a cat spooked her.

Very excited to have received my delivery so Suregrow fertiliser and CSM ready to spread in March, the fields certainly need a little support after taking rather a hammering from baby feet.

If you want to keep regularly up to date with our activates check out my website at www.shoestringeventing.co.uk

 

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March 2, 2017  |   Share:

Suregrow Eventing Bursary 2017 - Introduction to Emily Cariad Nicol Eventing

As promised, here's an introduction to Emily Cariad Nicol Eventing, one of two lucky recipients of the Suregrow Fertiliser Eventing Bursary for 2017. 

My name is Emily Cariad Nicol and I am a 15 year old event rider based at home in Kent.

I have been riding since I was just 4 years old and very quickly I became obsessed with the late great eventing mare Headley Britannia. By the time she had won her third 4* at Rolex Kentucky I was 8 years old and had made the decision that I wanted to be an event rider. I never waivered from this goal and everything I have done since that age was with one aim in mind – to affiliate with British Eventing the moment I was allowed to, start my eventing career properly and to get a place on a GB team.

Originally my aim was to gain a place on the Pony Team however a growth spurt quickly put paid to that and I found myself having to start again in my second season with a new bigger partner. He hasn't let me down, we have represented the South East for the last two years running, once at 100u18 level and last year at CCIJ* level. I am hoping that this year I can once again represent the South East and I am also looking to compete in a CCI* abroad this season in order to gain the relevant experience I will need for GB squading by 2019.

I am very very lucky. I had an amazing opportunity to buy a Headley Britannia foal early in 2013 and surpassing all my dreams her twin brother arrived with us later the same year. Little did I know all those years ago I would become part of the Headley Britannia story. In 2014 my parents re-located to the countryside in order to buy a property that dad could build me my own yard on to house the horses I was collecting!  Even better my trainer of 7 years and my absolute partner in crime, Adam Heitman, has also been based with us now for over a year and I train alongside him every day. As I am sitting my GCSE's this year Adam is invaluable, I just couldn’t do it without him.

As dad takes the paddock maintenance very seriously and has been using Suregrow Fertiliser products for the last two years to ensure my horses have the best grazing. At least I can finally pay him back a little with my association with Suregrow Fertiliser this year.

PS__3742.JPGAnnaghmore Boomlander (Lander), age 9 – When it became obvious that I was rapidly outgrowing my brave little pony we went over to Ireland to find a horse that I could hopefully aim for Juniors. Our remit was to find a 'been there done that school master'. Instead we found Lander – a rather green 5 year old – but the minute we saw him we knew we wanted him. He has been an absolute pleasure to train, he is a true gentleman and every time you think you have reached his limit he digs in further and offers me more. He has taken me from BE90 to Novice in just 3 seasons, and in spectacular fashion. Last season at only his second ever Novice we gained 2nd place! We were offered a provisional place on the CCIJ* squad for South East England and then had to gain the relevant FEI qualification to compete at this level. We dashed around the countryside trying to cope with the weather and all the cancellations but we did it with just days to spare. And so at 15 years old I was the youngest member (and Lander the youngest horse) on the CCIJ* team last year. This year we have been accepted onto the GB junior training programme and I now have 3 years to achieve my ambition of GB Junior squading with this rather special little horse. 

IMG_9866.JPGBritannia's Pride (Simba) rising 5 – Everybody absolutely loves Simba and doesn't he just know it. At still not even 5 years of age he is the most trainable obedient horse I think I have ever come across, it helps that he really is gorgeous to look at as well! We bought Simba as a yearling as we already had his twin sister. What a massive opportunity that was for me, I rode them as 3 year olds at Your Horse Live alongside Jason Webb who started them both. Simba was impeccably behaved and has been ever since. He is the most laid back youngster ever! Last year I competed him in two BE 4yo classes and he went easily clear cross country in both. I have taken him to JAS classes this year so he can just gain experience prior to the season and bless him he has already qualified for the championships in one of his classes! I am so excited about Simba's future, he will compete in BE 5yo classes this year and I have no doubt he will do really well in these.

 

14067552_1216187715097912_2693463933128549475_n.jpgBritannia's Jubilee (Nala), rising 5 – Simba's rather naughty biological twin sister, she is smaller than her brother and apparently a lot like her mum 'Brit'. We have owned her since she was a foal and were really excited about her future eventing prospects as she has always been so incredibly brave and inquisitive. Unfortunately after she was started it slowly became clear that Nala had some health issues that have kept us from progressing any further with her. She is now at home being expertly looked after by our farrier and physio every month. This year we will put her into foal and carry on the Headley Britannia line, hopefully next year we may be able to bring her slowly back into work.

We will be keeping you updated with Emily and Sarah's equestrian activities throughout the year, as well as their 'paddock progress'.

February 3, 2017  |   Share:

Suregrow Eventing Bursary 2017- Introduction to Shoestring Eventing

2017 promises to be an exciting year for Suregrow Fertiliser. Not only are we celebrating our 10th anniversary, but we are also delighted to officially announce the Suregrow Fertiliser Eventing Bursary!

The lucky recipients of the bursary are Sarah-Jane Brown of Shoestring eventing and Emily Cariad Nicol Eventing.

We are very excited to be working with two very dedicated members of the sport and can’t wait to share their ‘paddock progress’ and various other equestrian activities throughout 2017!

To kick things off we would like to formally introduce Sarah-Jane.

As the delighted recipient of Suregrow’s 2017 Bursary I am excited to introduce myself to you. Those of you familiar with social media or eventing may have come across me via my Shoestring Eventing Website and social media. As well as regular blogs, a host of information the website holds the largest database of British Eventing course pictures.

I don’t like to admit I’m 42, according to recent media reports this is referred to as middle aged which rather terrifies me. I work full time for Cornwall Council in the Environmental Health Service. Currently and typically of the ups and downs of many amateur riders things are a little in the doldrums with one of my rides for sale and 

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the other unwell.  I am based in the far South West a mere 30 miles from Lands End which does make travelling both time consuming and expensive. I don’t have any of my own facilities but rent a lovely yard although it lacks a school hence maintaining my fields is very important.

Let me tell you a little bit about the horses.

Sarnita – Age 18 (my horse of a lifetime)

Sarnie came to me as a uncompeted 5 year old she is KWPN and together we reached Advanced level eventing (clear round Gatcombe championships) and were placed at 2*. Together we competed at a number events abroad and she helped me achieve many ambitions. She had a fabulous jump and always tried her heart out, she suited an amateur as liked to do things her way, sadly we never dulled her sense of humour in the dressage but won many prizes for most improved after dressage! She has been retired a couple of years and last year gave birth to her first foal Kensa.


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Kensa (Cornish word for first) was born in June last year, her sire is the fabulous TB My Eclipse who himself had a successful eventing career. Kensa is already showing real presence and certainly has inherited her mother character and sense of humour.

 

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Posy – 7 years Irish

Posy has been very successful with me she is very athletic and has a great jump.  We have been well placed to BE100 eventing and numerous wins show jumping. However I have had to accept that however talented she is we don’t really click, also she needs more work than my current facilities can give her. Hence with a heavy heart she is on the market.

 

 

 

Ellie.jpgEllie – 7 years Connie x TB

Ellie was a short term project who stayed a lot longer as her easy ways and attitude to work made her a pleasure to produce. Whilst I like my horses on the smaller side she was only 14.2 and I had high hopes she could be a serious event pony. We finished the season last year with two very promising runs BE.  Sadly during the winter it has become apparent she has a neurological problem which is currently being treated but the prognosis is currently uncertain.

Hopefully once Posy is sold I will be able to find myself a ride for the forthcoming year and if I am very fortunate Ellie may recover to compete later in the year. I certainly won’t be idle.

I am very excited to be working with Suregrow this year and learn how I can manage the pasture properly. I can already see huge advantages in working with a product that is designed for horses, the slow release formula that avoids that dangerous flush of lush grass. Also I have been used to having to keep horses off the grass for many weeks after fertilising which can be difficult with limited grazing, it is great that if necessary I don’t need to take the horses off.

I am looking forward to keeping everyone up to date with our activities over the next year.

Keep your eyes peeled to read more about Emily and her wonderful team of horses soon.

February 1, 2017  |   Share:

Valegro's emotional retirement at Olympia 2016

'Truly one in a million', 'He has it all' and 'Genius in an athlete's body' are just a few of the comments describing the one and only Valegro. 

With three gold medals under his belt partnered by Charlotte Dujardin, he has now been officially retired from competition. The sport's most successfull partnership performed at Olympia last night, 14th December 2016.

To see his routine please click here. 

Although Valegro will no longer compete, he will continue to give celebrity appearances and demonstrations. Charlotte is currently campaigning several potential successors for Tokyo 2020, including Mount St John Freestyle. 

To add to an already emotional evening, sponsored rider Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin's team-mate, metor and co-owner of Valegro, danced to victory for the second night running in the freestyle aboard Nip Tuck with a score of 84.669%. 

December 15, 2016  |   Share:

The late ‘Opposition Buzz’ inducted into Equestrian Hall of Fame

The late 'Opposition Buzz' (Dodi) has been inducted into the British Horse Society's Equestrian Hall of Fame that celebrates the heroes and heroines – human and equine – of the equestrian world.

His breeder and owner, Rosemary Search and his rider, Nicola Wilson were invited to the Household Cavalry's barracks in South Carriage Drive, Knightsbridge, West London, to commemorate this legendary event horse where an engraved plaque with his name is now displayed on the barracks wall.

Afterwards Nicola said, "Both Rosemary and myself are very grateful to the British Horse Society for including Dodi in it's Equestrian Hall of Fame and we had the most lovely day at the Household Cavalry – he certainly was a 'horse of a lifetime' for both of us"

November 25, 2016  |   Share:

CIC3* Master Oliver Townend triumphs at Adelaide

Oliver Townend triumphs the CIC3* at the Australian International Three-Day Event at Adelaide.

Oliver rode Napoloen to victory, a catch ride offered by Tim Boland, having just ridden him three times before arriving on site at the event. The pair were competitive from the beginning, posting an impressive dressage score of 44.9 to sit them in second place.

With no showjumping penalties to add and a clear cross-country round with 13.2 time faults the pair clinched victory at the unique event, being situated right in Adelaide's city centre.

Huge congratulations to Oliver Townend, what a way to finish the event season!

November 7, 2016  |   Share:

Oliver Townend tops the British eventing rankings for the third year

Sponsored rider Oliver Townend has earnt a staggering 2,341 British Eventing points this season, over 1,000 more than any other rider, to keep his place at the top of the rankings for the third consecutive year.

ODT Ghareeb won him the most points, 251, to lie in 6th place in the horse rankings, with Cillnabradden Evo 9th on 233 and Samuel Thomas 11th on 218.

October 17, 2016  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson finishes best of the Brits at Pau CCI4*

Nicola Wilson finished her 2016 eventing season in style by being the highest placed British rider at the CCI**** Pau International Horse Trials, where riding One Two Many (owned by Mr Gerry Kemp, Mrs Mary Kemp and Mrs Janine Shewan) Nicola finished in 4th place and with Annie Clover (owned by her parents Barry & Mary Tweddle) she finished in 8th place.

One Two Many produced a superb dressage test to lie in 3rd place, while Annie Clover, who unfortunately on her toes in this phase was further down the field, however, the little mare showed true class in the cross-country phase by jumping clear with only 2 time penalties. One Two Many powered his way over the Pierre Michelet cross country course and showed he was no slouch either by coming home with just 2.8 time penalties, leaving them 12th and 3rd respectively going into the show jumping phase.
Annie Clover showed a clean pair of heels to jump a superb clear round that finally moved her up to 8th position, while One Two Many moved down one place to finish in 4th place – his best result to date at CCI**** level.

"I am absolutely thrilled with both my horses said Nicola, it has been a superb week of competition and what a great finish to the 2016 season",

"A massive thank you to all my owners, sponsors, the girls on the yard and everyone who makes up Team Wilson".

French rider Maxime Livio claimed the victory, his first CCI4* win.

We would like to wish all those that took part a very well done, but especially huge congratulations to Nicola for not one, but two top 10 results!!!

October 17, 2016  |   Share:

** NEW ** Equine Gastric Ulcer Factsheet

Equine Gastric Ulcers are a common problem that can be found in horses of all ages. As horses have evolved to graze, it's important that you make the most of your grassland so you can encourage your horses natural behaviour in your quest to avoid ulcers. 

We have created a handy fact sheet all about Equine Gastric Ulcers to help answer some of the questions you may have. Please feel free to take a look and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like some advice on how to make the most of your grassland.

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October 12, 2016  |   Share:

Britain wins final leg of 2016 eventing Nations Cup with Oliver Townend taking an individual podium finish

Britain won the final eventing Nations Cup of the series at Boekelo this weekend. Team GBR entered the final showjumping phase nearly 30 penalties ahead of the field, and some class rounds only widened the lead.

Laura Collett was the first British team rider to jump and went clear on Mr Bass to finish fifth individually. Izzy Taylor was next in the ring and had just one fence down riding Trevidden to finish seventh.

Sponsored rider Oliver Townend topped off the British team effort with a faultless performance onboard Cooley SRS, confirming Britain's team victory and leaving the duo with a podium finish in third place.

Britain were truly on flying form and had a fourth top-10 individual finisher, Sarah Bullimore and Lilly Corinne, who had just one pole down in the final phase.

October 10, 2016  |   Share:

Allerton Park Horse Trials 2016

We were proud to be a sponsor at Allerton Park Horse Trials 2016 for another year. A fantastic weekend for all topped off by some glorious September sunshine! Well done to all competitiors, the winners of each section are as follows:

Section A 100
SHANNONVIEW GLORY – Nicola Wilson

Section B 100
CHAMPIONS FIRECRACKER – Willa Newton

Section C 100
CARRICK ADALTO GIRL – Alex Postolowsky

Section D 100
QUITE SOMETHING – Rosalind Canter

Section E 100 open
PRINCE ROCKRIMMON - James Sommerville

Section F 100
GRAPPA NERA – Alex Postolowsky

Section G Novice
REBELLIOUS II - Sarah Wright

Section H Novice
CARPE DIEM V - Helen Bates

Section I Intermediate
UFONZO - Steve Garrod

Section J Intermediate
SPRING AMBITION - Rosalind Canter

Section K Open Intermediate
CADILLAC - James Avery (NZL)

Section L Intermediate-Novice
CRUISINGS SLAINTE MHATH - Alexandra Farrar-Fry

Section M Advanced
TREVIDDEN - Izzy Taylor

Section N Open Novice U18
DISCOVERY V - Alice Davies-Cooke

Section O Novice
ORLANDA BLOOM - Jeanette Brakewell

Section P Novice
MARTEL - Rachel Holden

Photographs thanks to K2Photographic.

Allerton Park Horse Trials

September 19, 2016  |   Share:

Oliver Townend crowned Event Rider Master 2016

Though Oliver was denied a third successive victory in the sixth and final stage of the Event Rider Masters (ERM), he was the runner-up and claimed victory of the overall series, taking home an extra £30,000.

Partnering Cillnabradden Evo, the horse he's won the past two legs on at Blair and Gatcombe, Oliver climbed from equal 10th after dressage to runner-up by jumping a wonderful clear showjumping and fast cross-country, just two seconds over the optimum time.

Victory went to the last to go across country, Frenchman Thomas Carlile on the stallion Upsilon, who'd been lying equal second after dressage.

Oliver also finished in the top 10 in both the CCI*** (9th onboard Dunbeau) and the CIC*** 8/9YO class (5th onboard Cooley SRS).

Nicola Wilson also had a fantastic time at Blenheim finishing 4th in both the CCI***, with the classy mare Bulana, and in the CIC*** ERM riding One Two Many.

September 12, 2016  |   Share:

Top 10 results for Suregrow riders at Burghley Horse Trials 2016

Australia's Chris Burton won his first British four-star at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2016 with a nail biting finish. He entered the showjumping arena with four fences in hand, but Nobilis 18 started to drop the poles from the double at fence four and finished having used up his buffer penalties. They finished on 49.4 to claim the Burghley 2016 title, but the final showjumping phase was an influential one.

One of only two double clear rounds was produced by Oliver Townend and Samuel Thomas II resulting in seventh place and best Brit. Caroline Powell and Onwards and Upwards completed the showjumping with one pole down and one time penalty which slotted them into eighth place.

Massive congratulations to Chris Burton but also to our two sponsored riders, Oliver and Caroline, for completing with such fantastic results! Top ten results are below.

Photo of Caroline Powell courtesy of Will Baxter.

Burghley Horse Trials Top 10 results 2016

September 5, 2016  |   Share:

Want your own wild flower area?

When BBC's Countryfile featured wild flower meadows earlier in the year, we came away inspired. Wild flowers and plants are not only beautiful but also an essential part of our lives. They provide food for humans and animals.

We are proud to introduce our new Traditional Wild Flower Meadow Mix so you can create your own beautiful and natural ecosystem.
 
  • Contains a wide selection of reliable species together with fine leaved grasses
  • Produces a colourful ground cover and canopy
  • Can be spread by hand
  • Available in 3kg bags

Click here to find out more about our new product.

August 31, 2016  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson and Oliver Townend victorious at Blair Castle International Horse Trials 2016

Nicola Wilson was victorious in the CCI3* at the Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials when she and Annie Clover (Owned by her parents Barry and Mary Tweddle) retained the lead they had held from day one.

Despite heading into the final showjumping phase with a three-fence cushion, it was a nail biting finish as the pair knocked one pole down and racked up seven time penalties to reduce their winning margin to just 1.3 penalties.

It was girl power all the way for Team Wilson as Bulana (owned by James and Jo Lambert) came 5th in the CIC*** Event Rider Masters series, giving Nicola a fabulous ride throughout and proving how consistent this lovely young mare is now becoming at this level.

Oliver Townend became the first rider to win back-to-back Event Rider Master (ERM) legs when he and Cilnabradden Evo triumphed in the penultimate CRM contest of 2016.

The podium positions changed as frequently as the weather, but in the end Oliver was in a class of his own, giving the talented but sometimes unpredictable 10-year-old a masterful ride to finish on a score of 45.2 – nearly 10 penalties ahead of his nearest rival. This gave Oliver his 53rd international win. Oliver also finished second and third in the CCI3*, second and sixth in the CIC3*, and fourth and sixth in the CCI* making the journey up to Scotland very worthwhile!

Congratulations to our sponsored riders on another successful weekend!

August 30, 2016  |   Share:

Suregrow Fertiliser sponsored riders dominate at Somerford Park International Horse Trials 2016

Our sponsored riders were out in force at this weekend's Somerford Park International Horse Trials.

It was a worthwhile trip for Oliver Townend who finished first, second, fourth and sixth in the CIC** class on Note Worthy, MHS King Joules, Ulises and Ballaghmor Class respectively. Not only did he dominate the CIC**, Oliver also finished second and third in the Open Intermediate (on board Cooley SRS and Dromgurrihy Blue) and second and fourth in his Novice section (riding Speculate and Gatestown Master).

Caroline Powell also had a successful outing, winning the CIC* class on board Flipper K. The duo was in the lead from the beginning with an enviable 33.8 dressage score.

Well done to our sponsored riders once again, we look forward to Burghley news from both Oliver and Caroline!

August 22, 2016  |   Share:

Nicola Wilson wins Superflex CIC*** at Hartpury International Horse Trials 2016

Nicola Wilson and One Two Many, owned by Mr Gerry Kemp, Mrs Mary Kemp and Mrs Janine Shewan, proved untouchable as they came from behind to claim the Superflex CIC*** title at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials 2016.

Nicola and One Two Many were second after the dressage phase behind Izzy Taylor, however, they surged into the lead following a superb clear round in the show jumping phase after Izzy Taylor picked up four faults. Despite collecting 2.8 cross-country time penalties, Nicola set the standard for the remaining competitors and her score of 39.9 was unmatched throughout the CIC*** competition.

"I am so thrilled with how One Two Many went at Hartpury, he gave me a great ride in all three phases" said Nicola, with this being his second CIC*** win this year, I would like to thank my team at home, owners and sponsors for their unwavering support and hope that this success for Team Wilson carries through to the Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials, where Annie Clover runs in the CCI*** and Bulana in the CIC***".

August 22, 2016  |   Share:

Rio 2016 Olympics - Grand Prix dressage round-up

An exciting two days of dressage in Rio leaves the British dressage team in silver medal position after the grand prix. Charlotte Dujardin put in a stunning test with Valegro to score 85.071%, leaving them in the lead individually. Her score lifts Britain to the silver medal position at the half-way point of the team competition, which will be decided after the grand prix special today (12th August).

The top six teams are all through to today's grand prix special plus the top eight riders not qualified through team participation.

Team standings Individual standings
1. Germany (81.295% average)          1. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (GBR) 85.071%
2. Great Britain (79.252% average)                   2. Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH (GER) 82.257%
3. USA (76.971% average) 2. Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH (GER) 80.986%

 

The British times for the Grand Prix Special today are:

• Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II – 2.20pm (6.20pm British time)
• Fiona Bigwood and Orthilia – 3.02pm (7.02pm British time)
• Carl Hester and Nip Tuck – 3.29pm (7.29pm British time)
• Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro – 3.56pm (7.56pm British time)

The combined scores from the grand prix and the grand prix special give the result of the team competition.

August 12, 2016  |   Share:

Rio eventing concludes and dressage begins

A faultless showjumping round from Michael Jung ensured that he retained the individual gold medal that he won at the London 2012 Olympics, one of only two clears from those in the top 10. The young French rider Astier Nicolas took individual silver on board Piaf De Benville, finishing with one pole down, and the USA's Phillip Dutton moved up from fourth position to take bronze on Mighty Nice, another to finish with one pole down.

Australia's Chris Burton and Santano II were in the individual bronze position before the last round, but when the final two fences dropped, he also dropped down to fifth place behind Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh who produced a beautiful clear round. William Fox-Pitt was the only Brit to qualify for the final round and he produced another classy clear round to finish in 12th place with Chilli Morning.

Final eventing results are as follows:

Team      Individual
Gold - France      Gold - Michael Jung and Sam FBW
Silver - Germany      Silver - Astier Nicolas and Piaf De Benville
Bronze - Australia      Bronze - Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice

 

The eventing competition may be complete, but we will still be able to get our fix of Olympic Equestrian action with the dressage which starts today at 2pm UK time. British rider's times are as follows:

Wednesday        Thursday
Spencer Wilton: 11.18am (3:18pm UK time)        Carl Hester 11:27am (3:27pm UK time)
Fiona Bigwood: 3.06pm (7.06pm UK time)        Charlotte Dujardin 2.24pm (6:18pm UK time)

 

August 10, 2016  |   Share:

Final day of eventing competition at Rio Olympics 2016

Today, 9 August, is the final day of competition for the event riders at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Starting order will only be finalised after the trot-up, which takes place this morning at 8am Rio time, 12pm UK time.

For the Brits, Gemma Tattersall will be the first to jump. She completed the cross-country phase yesterday with a total of 49.6 time and 40 jump penalties to add to a 47.20 dressage score with Quicklook V for 44th place going into the showjumping.

Despite picking up 20 jumping penalties on the cross-country course, William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning are the best of the Brits going into the showjumping, 22nd with 67.4 penalties.

Pippa Funnell and Billy The Biz are in 28th and Kitty King and Ceylor LAN are in 34th.

The Australians are in team and individual gold positions, led by Chris Burton on the nine-year-old Santano II who had a foot perfect cross country round to finish exactly on the optimum time.

4.5 penalties behind is the New Zealand team in silver position while France lie 6.2 penalties behind them in the bronze medal position.

The showjumping will start at 10am Rio time, 2pm in the UK.

August 9, 2016  |   Share:

Cross-country timetable for Olympic eventing in Rio

The time table has been released for the second phase of the Olympic Eventing in Rio. The times for the British riders are as follows:

  • 10.23am (14.23 UK time) Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V
  • 11.39am (15.39 UK time) William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning
  • 13.05 pm (17.05 UK time) Pippa Funnell and Billy The Biz
  • 14.21pm (18.21 UK time) Kitty King and Ceylor LAN

After a weekend of dressage, Great Britain is lying in fourth position in the team standings.

British rider William Fox-Pitt is in gold medal position individually, with Australia’s Chris Burton just behind.

Only 5.7 penalties separate the top four teams going into the cross country phase (Germany, France, Australia and Great Britain), and given that riders have reported that the cross-country track is one of the hardest seen at the Olympics since the Sydney Games in 2000, the cross country phase will be very infuential.

Click here to download the full list of riders and their times for the cross-country phase.

August 8, 2016  |   Share:

Oliver Townend takes the British Open Title at Gatcombe

Oliver Townend became the first British rider for five years to be crowned the British Open champion at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe this weekend. Oliver partnered Cillnabradden Evo, the horse that also took the CIC** title at Burgham International last weekend, and triumphed by 6.3 penalties. This CIC*** class also incorporated the fourth leg of the Event Rider Masters (ERM).

The pair were in second position after dressage and jumped a double clear, but Cillnabradden Evo tired towards the end of the undulating cross-country track and picked up 10.4 time faults.

"Coming home I thought the win had gone; I was just trying to look after him," said Oliver, "Cillnabradden Evo has got a bit of a chequered cross-country history, but he's a great jumper and I enjoy riding him. It feels great to win."

Not only did Oliver take the CIC*** title, he also finished first, second and fourth in the Advanced class on board Dunbeau, Samuel Thomas II and Dromgurrihy Blue respectively.

Nicola Wilson also finished in the top 10 in the CIC*** ERM on board the classy mare Bulana.

Another successful weekend for our sponsored riders, well done!

 

August 8, 2016  |   Share:

Rio Olympics 2016

Make sure you don's miss any of the equestrian action in Rio. All times shown are UK times, Rio times are in the brackets.
All the equestrian action will be shown on the BBC red button and on the BBC sport website. Cross-country, eventing showjumping, showjumping team round two (team final) and individual final, dressage grand prix special (team final) and grand prix freestyle (individual final) may also be shown on the main BBC TV channels.

Friday 5 August

•Eventing first horse inspection: 12.30-1.55pm (8.30-9.55am)

•Opening ceremony: 11.30pm (7.30pm)

Saturday 6 August

 •Eventing dressage: 2-8pm (10am-4pm)

Sunday 7 August

 •Eventing dressage: 2-8pm (10am-4pm)

Monday 8 August

•Eventing cross-country: 2-7pm (10am-3pm)

•Dressage horse inspection: 7.45-8.55pm (3.45-4.55pm)

Tuesday 9 August

•Eventing second horse inspection: Noon-1pm ((8-9am)

•Eventing team showjumping, eventing individual showumping, eventing team and individual medal ceremonies: 2-7.30pm (10am-3.30pm)

Wednesday 10 August

•Dressage grand prix: 2-8pm (10am-4pm)

Thursday 11 August

•Dressage grand prix: 2-8pm (10am-4pm)

Friday 12 August

•Showjumping horse inspection: 11.30am-1pm (7.30-9am)

•Dressage grand prix special team final and team medal ceremony: 2-8.30pm (10am-4.30pm)

Saturday 13 August

•Showjumping training session: 2-6.50pm (10am-2.50pm)

Sunday 14 August

•Showjumping first qualifier (team and individual): 2-5.45pm (10am-1.45pm)

Monday 15 August

•Dressage grand prix freestyle and individual medal ceremony: 2-6pm (10am-2pm)

Tuesday 16 August

•Showjumping team round one: 2-5.30pm (10am-1.30pm)

Wednesday 17 August

•Showjumping team round two and team medal ceremony: 2-4.45pm (10am-12.45pm)

Thursday 18 August

•Showjumping horse inspection: 8-8.30pm (4-4.30pm)

Friday 19 August

•Showjumping individual final and individual medal ceremony: 2-6.45pm (10am-2.45pm)

Sunday 21 August

•Closing ceremony: 11.30pm (7.30pm) 

 

August 4, 2016  |   Share:

Successful trip to Burgham International for our sponsored riders

Our three sponsored event riders have had a very successful trip to Burgham Horse Trials (29-31 July) in Northumberland.

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules finished on their dressage score of 43.3 to win the CIC***. Oliver also finished third in the CIC*** on ODT Ghareeb with a 42.6 dressage score and double clear with just a few time penalties cross country. Not only did Oliver win the CIC***, but he also took the CIC** title on board Cillnabradden Evo, again finishing on their dressage score of 37.0.

Nicola Wilson finished second and fifth in the CIC***, with Annie Clover and One Two Many respectively, both completing the event double clear with just a few time penalties.

Caroline Powell had three rides in the CIC*** class finishing eighth, ninth and twelfth overall, riding Onwards and Upwards, Flying Finish and Sinatra Frank Baby.

Not a bad feat to have seven horses in the top 12 in the CIC*** powered by Suregrow Fertilised grass! Proud to sponsor such dedicated and talented riders. Massive well done from us!

Photograph of our sponsored riders at Bramham Horse Trials 2016 thanks to K2 Photographic.

Our sponsored riders Oliver Townend, Nicola Wilson and Caroline Powell at Bramham International Horse Trials.

August 3, 2016  |   Share:

Hickstead RIHS 2016

Yet again the hallowed turf at Hickstead was fertilised with Suregrow Fertiliser, and boy did it look good!

The Royal International Horse Show is in its 109th year and is one of the most prestigious outdoor shows in the country. 2016 did not disappoint and was packed full of action from scurry ponies to the eventers' challenge, there was something for everyone.

Ireland's Billy Twomey had a particularly great show, having bagged four international wins across the week. This included the Bunn Leisure Salver, the British Speed Classic, the Bunn Leisure Vase and the biggest class of the week, the King George V cup.

Other winners included:

  • Jayne Ross riding the profilic hunter mare Time 2 Reflect took the British Horse Society Supreme Ridden Horse Championship for the second year in a row
  • Olivia Bowen and Golden Tasset won the Underwood Supreme Ridden Pony Championship
  • Ireland's David Simpson claimed the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup onboard Chessy 17
  • The british leg of the Nation Cup was taken by the German team consising of Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Fibonacci 17), Janne Friederike Meyer (Goja 27), Patrick Stühlmeyer (Lacan 2) and Ludger Beerbaum (Chiara 222) who finished on a score of just four faults.
  • Another win for the Irish in the Amlin Eventers' Challenge where Elizabeth Power and Doonaveerage O One claimed the £3,000 first prize

We are proud to supply Suregrow Fertiliser to Hickstead and look forward to 2017.

Photograph thanks to K2 Photographic.

Hickstead grass arena fertilised with Suregrow Fertiliser

August 3, 2016  |   Share:

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