Category Archives: Horse Scout Ambassador

Horse Scout horses for sale from Mark Todd

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Mark Todd

Horse Scout welcomes an exceptional horse for sale.

Three star event gelding produced by Sir Mark Todd to their premium classified horses for sale this month. Kilturbrid Rhapsody recently 9th at Blenheim Palace ERM CIC*** This horse is a definite medal prospect for the World Games next year and beyond. Horse Scout has been developed to show case this caliber of competition horse, and looks forward to following his future. We wish Sir Mark Todd every luck with his sale.


Horse Scout catches up with showjumper Zoe Smith

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Horse Scout selected 19-year old Zoe Smith to become one of our sponsored riders, out of a huge number of talented young showjumpers on the AASE programme. Zoe is an International showjumper based in Lincolnshire and is certainly one to watch.

 

Hi Zoe, great to catch up with you since completing the AASE programme. How’s it all been going?
It has all been going really well, the horses are really benefiting from a much more structured yard and work scheme that was introduced to us at AASE.

How’s your season going so far?
The season has been going very well so far, both my young horse and top horse have come out of the winter premiers jumping very well. This lead nicely into our first international trip to Belgium where we picked up lots of placings in the U25 and 6yo tours.

It sounds like you’ve got off to a great start this Spring. Can you tell us a bit about the horses are you competing this season?
This season I have two main horses to compete;
The first is Que Sera III, 9yo gelding, by Caretino Glory out of a Goodtimes mare. He is quickly progressing up through the ranks, after starting at Newcomers level with us just over a year ago, he is now jumping 2* world ranking classes and double clears and placings at 1m40.

The second horse in my string is Garcia Lente a 6yo by Bodinus out of a Holland mare. He very quickly showed his class this year winning at the winter premiers, picking up numerous placings in Belgium and recently jumping double clear every day at Chepstow international. I’m very excited about this horse’s future, he could be very, very special!

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We noticed on social media that you were posting from Chepstow International recently, tell us about the show…
The show is the first international jumping competing of the year in the UK, it attracts many of Britain’s top riders such as Peter Charles, Keith Shore, Nigel Coupe, as well as American riders Julie Welles and Emma Heise.

The show ran over 5 days with three different heights at 2* level, two heights at 1* and then a 5yo and 6yo international tour with a Grand Prix for each respective tour. A 6yo class is typically around 1m25 and a 6yo Grand Prix is 1m30.
The competition is also used as a youth team trial so the selectors were also attending.

No pressure then! What did you get up to there, when you weren’t riding? If you’re staying over, are there parties or do you opt for an early night?
On the first night, there was a champagne reception to welcome everybody to the show and to give the sponsors and owners of the showground a chance to talk to the riders and their supporters. As this was the first international show of the year it was packed to the rafters! When not competing, most of the time was spent helping and supporting some of my friends with their horses and watching the other classes and riders.

We saw that you did brilliantly throughout the show; how did you choose which classes to enter and how did it go…
I was fortunate enough to jump the biggest of the 2* tours on Que Sera III picking up double clears and placings, leading on to our first world ranking class grand prix on the last day just picking up a couple of poles.

My super consistent 6yo picked up two equal firsts, a 4th in the accumulator and then 3rd in the Grand Prix.

For the international classes, you get to choose which height you would like to jump from the classes on offer the afternoon before, I really like this system as it gives you freedom to set your horse up for the grand prix in the best possible way that suits your horse. It also means that if a certain type of competition doesn’t suit a particular horse such as an accumulator/speed class, then you can jump a different height that day or give them a day off.

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OK so what next – more UK competitions to come or will you be overseas again?
I think we will be staying in the UK for a little while now to contend second round Newcomers and Foxhunter as well as talent seeker HOYS qualifiers. County shows are also starting up so there are more shows available to us these days. I’m also looking to take on a couple of young horses to bring on and build up my string. I am hoping to get back overseas again at the end of summer, as I feel both myself and the horses improved and benefited from the experience.

That sounds like a good plan and you’ve got loads to aim for. Finally, what are your goals for this season and are your horses currently on track?
After the year started a lot better than I ever anticipated, I think it’s time for me to create some new goals as a few of them have already been achieved! But the horses are definitely on track to achieve their individual goals for the season, including the upcoming second rounds and international shows, as well as my top horse almost having enough points to make him Grade B so he can contend for the bigger titles next year and this coming winter season.

Great job Zoe, we are proud to be supporting you and look forward to hearing how the rest of your season goes!


Oliver Townend for Horse Scout

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Eleanore Kelly catches up with Horse Scout Ambassador Oliver Townend, about his journey so far, finding good horses, paying the bills and his computer illiteracy.

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Oliver has had another momentous year. The Shropshire-based rider claimed the Number One spot in the British Eventing rankings for the third year running. He finished a staggering 1000 points ahead of any other rider on a total of 2,341 points. There were numerous top ten finishes at International events for Oliver this year, including becoming the first British rider to win Adelaide CIC3* on a horse he had only ridden a few times before competing! The icing on the cake for Oliver was winning the very first Event Rider Masters Series, pocketing £74,000 in the process.

“It was a huge relief to win it” explained Oliver, who has prepared and campaigned several horses with this series in mind. “To me the ERM is a huge step forward in the sport- it’s a concept that works and for the riders and owners the prize money is seriously attractive. It has certainly made a massive difference in terms of my income this year. I didn’t run the horses I knew would be competitive in this class and people expected me to win it from when it was announced. So it was a relief when I did.”

Oliver has always been famed for his grit and determination. Renowned for his ability to get the best out of notoriously difficult horses. In recent years with such success behind him, he has had the luxury of being able to buy and compete better quality horses but he still relishes the challenge of a difficult one. “I love what I do and always have but riding nice horses is the answer to everything for me now. If I am going to event, I want to be on good horses” he says. “It’s difficult to find them and we have to be open minded- new rides come from all angles. I buy quite a lot from Ireland of all ages but I still have room for more owners. I am still sent horses that are talented but perhaps don’t suit other riders and I make the best of those.”

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There are a number of stars in the Townend stable. “Too many to list but I really rate Cooley SRS, who is only 9 and finished third at Boekelo” he says. He also cites Cooley Masterclass and King Joules as “exceptionally talented”, the latter has been passed from Mary King and Andrew Nicholson with a reputation for being a tricky ride.

I remember interviewing Oliver for an article some years ago. He was still renting a yard and having to sell anything that was any good and ride all sorts, just to make ends meet. Whilst he may be riding a better string of horses, his attitude to the sport has remained unchanged. What seems to motivate Oliver is an insatiable hunger to win but he still relishes riding talented but often challenging horses. With such success behind him, a string of good horses and a beautiful farm in Shropshire he could be forgiven for resting on his laurels but he has lost none of the grit and determination over the years.

Oliver won Burghley and Badminton back in 2009 and can now add the ERM Series to his list of achievements. Yet two goals remain on the agenda- “I need to get to an Olympics” he says firmly, “and I hope to God that happens soon.”

Then there’s the Rolex Grand Slam, which was won for only the second time by German’s Michael Jung this year. Eventing’s most lucrative prize is awarded to the rider who can achieve the near impossible feat of winning Badminton, Burghley and Lexington consecutively. Oliver was on course in 2010 after winning Badminton and Burghley the previous year. Yet in the cruel nature of the sport, a death-defying fall at Lexington put paid to his chances. It was a fall so dramatic that the photos made the front pages of national newspapers.

“A chance at the Grand Slam and the Olympics are the long-term goals but it all comes down to life in the end.” He says. “For me, this is a business and I need to keep doing what I am doing to survive in the sport. That means I need to sell horses, sometimes good ones.”

As well as selling good horses to keep the wheels turning, Oliver is always on the lookout for new blood and finding the good ones is never easy. “That being said, we are in a really good place in the market right now and if you’ve got a good one it can be worth a fortune” he explains. “There sport is growing in popularity- there are lots of new nations competing and more money coming into, it all helps. I was really encouraged by the prices paid at the recent Go for Gold Sale”, which took place last month in Ireland offered a collection of Irish sport horses selected especially for eventing and ranging from three year olds to established eventers, including Euro Prince who represented Ireland in Rio 2016. Record prices were paid, including €160,000 given for a talented six year old, Cornascriebe Glenpatrick who was bought for Millie Dumas.

Oliver argues that such prices area a real step forward for the industry. “It costs a lot of money to produce horses for eventing, people forget that. Good horses should be making these prices for riders to get a return. It’s also great to see owners paying these prices for their riders, it shows a lot of commitment to the sport, which is what we need to win medals.”

Oliver has been impressed by the service provided by Horse Scout. “It’s an interesting concept for the equestrian community and definitely something our industry needs. Anything to help connect the equestrian industry is a welcome addition. Particularly for professional riders but also breeders and trainers who don’t have time to spend on social media all day. For up and coming young riders, it is a good way of getting their profile out there.”

“The site looks impressive and most importantly, it is easy to use- important for me as I’m computer illiterate! I can ride a difficult horse but I can hardly work out an ipad!” he laughs.


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Horse Scout Ambassador Charlotte Dicker

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Horse Scout is proud to have some of the UK’s most talented riders as its Ambassadors.  In the build up to Rio, we’ll bring you the latest news about what they’re up to, how they got to the top, plus their top tips and advice.  

Interview with Horse Scout Ambassador 17 year old Charlotte Dicker

Junior International Team GB Dressage rider Charlotte Dicker

Counting days before she heads to the Europeans, Horse Scout chats to junior International Team GB Dressage rider Charlotte Dicker, currently at the top of the British riders on the FEI ranking list, about growing up, her tips on producing youngsters and her horses — including Tilly, a yearling of Timolin, sired by Totilas.

Horse Scout Interviewer asks: Where do you live and train?

At Catherston Stud under my mum Anne Dicker and grandmother the Jenny Lorriston Clarke (MBE).

That’s some equestrian bloodlines! Did you always want to be a dressage rider?

As a kid I was really crazy on my jumping — and I guess a bit of a daredevil, bombing around fields. Then I started vaulted training under Julie Newell and was a member of the English squad.

Looking back it really helped by seat and core and you have to be physically and mentally fit — mounting a horse on the lunge whilst it’s cantering isn’t easy!

So when did you get into dressage?

At around 13 — on my mum’s 17.2hh horse! Edgehill Drumroll taught me the ropes, although could be a stroppy ginger male at times! He was great at teaching me, if I didn’t ask correctly, he wouldn’t do it — mum trained him so well and I couldn’t have asked for a better horse to learn on. He owes me nothing, and I owe him a hell of a lot!

Who will you be riding at the Europeans?

Soli (Sabatini), an 11-year-old mare owned by Ian McRobbie.

What’s her character like?

She’s been difficult and tricky throughout her entire ridden career. I started riding her about two years ago when she was, quite frankly, a bit of a right off…

She’d had two foals and was so naughty that no one could get on with her and as a result, she had spent the majority of time in the field — basically the less you interacted with her the better she was!

To cut a long story short, Ian had been told that the best thing was to either put her into foal again or sell her as a brood mare, but when I rode her for a week I fell in love with her (even though she tried to get me off every day!).  I asked mum if she thought Ian would mind if I tried to get her going (which he didn’t!) and set myself a goal of Junior selection, which we achieved. I now have the highest score in the squad and I’m proud that I’ve produced her.

Last year you made history by becoming the third generation of one family to represent their country at the European Dressage Championships.What’s your goal now?

I’m aiming for medals — both team and individual — at the Europeans, but in the top 10 – 15 would be great.

Longterm, I’ve a lot to live up to: placing at the Europeans, Worlds and the Olympics on a horse that we’ve bred would be amazing.

What other horses do you ride at Catherston?

I’ve a soft spot for mares…

Ulyssa (Sasha), again owned by Ian McRobbie, is a five-year old mare by my Soli (Sabatini) by Uthopia. She’s very much one for the future and we’d like to save her. Thankfully she has a better mindset than Soli!

Then there’s four-year old Catherston Osiana who is by my stallion Opposition Bombshell. Bred to event, she has three nice paces and a really lovely jump on her. As a late foal, we’re taking it slowly with her letting her enjoy lots of hacking and a bit of unaffiliated dressage with no stress. I’ve got high hopes that she’ll be my next top horse.

I’m also riding Laura and Erin Clothier’s Calva La Cornilliere when Laura is not at university. A nine-year-old gelding (Flemming out of Negro mare).

Training at Inter I at home I’d like to think he could go GP at end of year but we won’t rush him.

Is it harder training with family?

When I was younger I used to struggle a little. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure why. I suppose I took what I had a little for granted, but now we all get on really well, and I train regularly with mum and granny. It’s nice being at home, a real family affair. Having my aunt Lizzie also based at home has given me some great opportunities, including breaking in and producing her horse, Catherston Specific, a mare she bred by Catherston Springsteen to the dressage ring.

Do you train with anyone other than your family?

David Hunt is our team trainer and a big support — he’ll be travelling to the Europeans. Last year I had an apprentice role at Natalie Allen which was really inspiring and a good learning curve. During my time there I was lucky enough to have lessons with Charlotte and Carl. Both were intense lessons — but very different! I only had 20 minutes with Carl warming a young horse up and he gave me lots of tips — he’s got a really sympathetic approach. Interestingly, Charlotte was critical on things like turning one hand over by 20 degrees.

Tell us a bit about what’s going on at Catherston.

My mum, Anne, runs the business and stud now. We have a great team which includes farriers Nathan Appleton and Daniel Dicker (my Brother); vets McGonnell and Gillatt;  and family friends Sarah Marks and Lynne Moles who come to the majority of my shows to support mum and I. Catherston is more livery/competition livery and stud now with quite a few foals. Granny formed a syndicate to buy Timolin and we now have four of his foals with us here now.

That’s Timolin, sired by Totilas?

Yes, I’m really lucky that one of the owners, Sarah Marks, has secured one of the yearlings, Catherston Timeless, out of a Breitling mare, for me. I intend ‘Tilly’ to be our homebred Olympic horse, but that will be in quite a few years to come! We have shown her in hand, and had great success. Tilly won the Sport Horse Yearling class, and then went Champion, and then Supreme Champion, and qualified to the Cuddy class! We are really excited about her and I’m so thankful to have a fabulous team of owners and supporters behind me.

And what do you think of British breeding currently?

We’ve got a strong breeding network and we’d like to think the Timolin foals will add to that… Mt St.John are also doing a lot but their market is mainly abroad.

There’s quite a few studs breeding some very nice horses for all disciplines but it’s a shame that many people still buy from abroad rather than looking over here for horses.

Your family have trained some amazing young horses. What are your tips?

Give as much time as they need — don’t rush or you will jeopardise your future with them. Babies need to be babies. I believe competing them in hand helps them when we come to compete them under saddle, as it gives them experience travelling and going to busy shows. It’s a lot for them to take in, but in the long run spreads out the ‘stresses’ they may face.

And what’s your weekly schedule — and tips — with more established horses?

2-3 days in the school, 2-3 days a week hacking (anywhere from 40-60 minutes to up to 2 hours). One day off and plenty of daily turn out.

We tend to jump a lot of our horses (even Soli jumps when we can), and we try to involve this in their training a lot as it helps their flexibility in their body, and minds.

All of our horses lunge (the young ones more than the older ones) and we use a lot of pole work in their training, we find this really benefits all of the horses.

And what do you like about Horse Scout?

I really like the profiles and twitter feed — it’s great to find out what people in the industry are doing.

You can find a full Horse Scout profile for Charlotte Dicker on her professional rider page through this link.  To read more about the Catherston Stud stallions or Timeline himself use these links.

 


Horse Scout Ambassador Nicola Buchanan

Interview with Nicola Buchanan (nee Jourdain)

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Horse Scout is proud to have some of the UK’s most talented riders as its Ambassadors.

In the build up to Rio, we’ll bring you the latest news about what they’re up to, how they got to the top, plus their top tips and advice.

 Horse Scout Interviews Nicola Buchanan (nee Jourdain)

International Grand Prix Dressage Rider & Trainer, Dorset

 

How did you get into dressage?

When I was 18, I wanted to do three-day eventing as I found dressage a bit dull. Then it all changed…

To become a more competitive eventer, I went to train with international Grand Prix (GP) dressage rider Gerda Smelt, with the hope of improving my dressage scores whilst eventing. Gerda owned a private yard in Haaksbergen in the Netherlands, I ended up staying for 4 years — and never jumped again.

And you went on to train some great horses, accumulating wins at international level, competing at Olympia and being long-listed for the Beijing Olympics… Please tell us the secret she taught you!

Gerda gave me the drive and ambition to reach my goals. She instilled in me the 3 Ds: Dedication, Determination and Discipline (with yourself).

So what have you been up to this year?

As I sold my GP horse, Don Corleone VH Scheefkastee, at the end of 2015, this year I’ve been concentrating on training three youngsters, two of which are owned by the Countess of Shaftesbury from her St Giles Stud, while the third is from the Half Moon stud.

Tell us a bit about them…

  • St Giles Cosmopolitan is a 4-year-old gelding by Conen x Conteur x Welt Hit.
  • St Giles Fairytale is a 5-year old Premium State mare by Furst Romancier x Donnerhall x Pik Bube. She is currently in embryo transfer to Dream Boy (Vivaldi’s son) and has now qualified at novice for the Nationals coming second at the Regionals in July.
  • Half Moon Dark Magic is a 7-year-old gelding bought bred by Julie Deverill’s Half Moon Stud. Bred by Dimaggio. He is currently competing advanced medium and qualified for medium and advanced medium at the Regionals with the aim of going to the Nationals (if all goes to plan). He is working on Prix St Georges and Inter I at home. Next year I will be competing at small tour at home, with the goal of some internationals towards the end of 2017.

Were you at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage with them this year — we know you’ve placed at previous years?

I didn’t compete this year, but I was there to help one of my students, Gemma Maddocks, who was competing in her first International Small Tour. Currently my focus is with young horses so it will was very interesting to watch the semi finals of the young horse classes. The extra bonus was watching the Olympic Team riders compete in their last Grand Prix before Rio.

So you train others, but who trains you?

I try to train with Carl Hester as often as possible. It’s important to have eyes on the ground and his, of course, are so experienced. Carl’s training is very matter of fact, alway upbeat and looking to achieve the best possible performance with the horse you are training. He is a true inspiration and whilst maintaining his down-to-earth approach.

So three youngsters! That’s a lot of work. Any tips for others with a young horse?

Consistency — make a plan and maintain a good level of discipline with your training programme — youngsters can be naughty, fresh and exuberant so a good routine helps build their confidence.

So what’s your average day and ultimate goal for these youngsters?

I train my horses in the morning and teach my clients in afternoon — it can get a bit hectic sometimes. I have always enjoyed the training part of dressage, with my end goal being reaching Grand Prix with a fit and happy horse.

And the weekly schedule for your horses?

I school them Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays and Saturdays they enjoy a good hack. Sunday is a rest day. Every day of the week they are turned out to grass for most of the day.

So do you get any downtime?

At the moment I am extremely busy, however Sundays are my day off from the yard, unless competing, a Sunday lie in is always welcome, followed by a full English!

And holidays… Ski or beach?

I love both, but skiing has the edge if it’s a bluebird* day with deep powder!

Looking at the horses you’re riding, they’ve got serious pedigree, but for others buying young horses, what would your advice be?

It’s not always about the pedigree, first you look at the conformation, then I always look for three good paces, ride-ability is very important, that you can only gauge when sitting on the horse. The temperament of the horse is also vital — his (or her) willingness to work and learn is paramount.

Why an Ambassador of Horse Scout?

I see it as the linkedIn of the equestrian industry, connecting you to some of the top people in the equine world, plus it’s also an incredible place go to if you want to see the pedigree and history of a horses. It’s alway fascinating to trace the pedigree of horses, Horse Scout connects bloodlines of the horses profile automatically — it’s clever!

 *A bright clear sunny day after a night of snowfall.

Exclusive interview with Horse Scout, June 2016

You can visit Nicola Buchanan‘s Horse Scout profile by clicking  the link on her name.

Nicola Buchanan’s lovely horse Half Moon Dark Magic is related to a Stallion with DiMaggio breeding profiled on our Horse Scout Horses For Sale Pages here