Tag Archives: competition horses

c897f01e-630e-45a3-86f9-a46b06793439 (2)

Horse Scout Real: Shaun Mandy

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

With the summer season quickly approaching, we caught up with Horse Scout Advocate and Dressage rider Shaun Mandy to find out what his plans are for the year ahead. We found out why he says putting the work in at home is so vital to getting the results in the ring and received some useful tips to help you achieve your 2020 goals.

 

Shaun as a coach, offers his clients a bespoke and professional coaching system to work with horses and riders of any level to help them achieve their objectives across multi-disciplines. No two horses or riders are the same, so he works on a flexible approach, tailor-made to suit both horse and rider. He is doing his British Dressage Level 2 in coaching this year followed by Level 3.

 

 

What are your main goals and ambitions for 2020?

My ultimate goal for 2020 would be to get onto the Grand Prix circuit. However, I have yet to sit down with the calendar and plan shows for this year. I will be going to the premiere leagues and high profile shows, but I will be more focused on securing the work and getting the training time in at home. My horse will be stepping up a level this year, so it is important to concentrate on his way of going at home and executing the movements to the best of our ability. This way, we will be able to confidently progress to Grand Prix throughout the year, hopefully resulting in getting the judges scores in the ring. In order to achieve this, I will set lots of shorter term, more achievable goals throughout the year. I will be judging how my horse is coping with these goals, and once I am happy with how he is going, look towards the next.

 

 

Tell us a bit more about your top horse…

My top horse, Euphoria E, is a lovely gelding by Carl Hester’s Uthopia out of a Sandro Hit mare. I acquired the ride on him as a six year old competing at Elementary level before later buying him. I currently have a small syndicate of owners for him and would be looking for a couple of new owners this year. Over the past five years I have produced him through the levels, this year we will be competing at Inter II and hopefully Grand Prix. He is the first horse that I will have produced through the levels and I am so grateful for the experience I have gained through training the horse myself. Yes, it would have been lovely to have been given a ready-made Grand Prix horse to ride, but although it has been challenging, I have come to appreciate the journey for what it has taught me. Saying that, all progress has been solely thanks to the fantastic training I have received from my coaches. Euphoria has been a real learning curve to produce. He is a lovely gentle horse who you would never want to shout at due to his shy character. He is, however, a bit of a silent stressor so I have had to really focus on quietly and confidently bringing him on, knowing that his talent may not have always been reflected in his scores as a young horse. Over the past year or so as he has started to step up to a higher level and has really started to come into his own as if to say, ‘I have arrived, this is what I have been waiting for’.

 

image_6483441

 

 

What would you say your career highlight has been to date?

I’m sure so many riders would have highlights that are purely results based, but for me, my career highlight has to be getting into Carl Hester’s Diary to train! Learning from the best riders possible has always been so important to me and Carl is someone that I have always longed to train with. I am extremely lucky to be able to learn from a rider of his calibre, as I feel that studying other riders and absorbing their knowledge is the only way you can improve, and who better to learn from then Carl himself? I am also incredibly lucky to be based with Matt Hicks and also train with him on a weekly basis, he has been fantastic and has really helped me to get to the level I am at today.

 

 

Do you have any top tips for training your horse?

1 – Patience is key! Never lose your temper with your horse, if he doesn’t understand what you are asking of him, think to yourself ‘How can I re-word this to help him understand what I want.’ If you find yourself getting frustrated, just jump off and put your horse back in his stable, there is no harm in coming back with a fresh approach the following day.

 

2 – Education, find a good trainer and put the work in at home. There is no rush to get out to a show, get your foundations right and build on them.

 

3 – Stay humble. Never think you know it all, there is always something you can improve on or try to work on at home. I remember when I first left home to train in Denmark, I honestly thought I was a decent rider. I had a real shock when I got there and saw how talented the other riders were and thought I can’t ride at all! But I think it was at this point that I realised that these riders that I am looking up to, will have other riders that they aspire to ride as well as and so on. I learnt how important it is to get your head down and keep learning your craft. Training is still so vital to me now, but it’s not only at home you can pick new things up, sometimes I’m in the collecting ring and see another rider warming their horse in and think, I need to try that!

 

 

Is there any horse that you wish you had in your stable?

There are the obvious greats like Valegro, I doubt there is a dressage rider in the world who wouldn’t love to ride a horse like that. But I honestly feel that every horse comes to you exactly the right time for you. I don’t think I would trade my horse for another at all. The journey that we have been on and everything that he has taught me, this has made me the rider I am today.

 

 

How important is training to you?

I can’t stress enough how quality coaching and training is key to progressing as a rider. The training that I have had along the way with Matt and now Carl has really developed and formed me not only into the rider that I am but also the trainer. It’s given me the tools in my kit to use and help others. The more that I can evolve as a rider and understand the sport, the more I can pass my knowledge on to those that I teach. My training hasn’t stopped just because I have got to Grand Prix level, if anything, I am now training harder than I ever have done before, it really is a never-ending cycle. Stay humble, stay focused on your goals and constantly learn from one another.

 

horses-1632745_960_720

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) – The Facts

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

A recent outbreak of Neurological EHV-1 in Hampshire resulting in four fatalities to date, has led to multiple temporary yard closures in the area. As this disease affects all areas throughout the year, it seemed important to share the facts surrounding the disease. We sought advice from veterinary professionals to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the virus, its symptoms and the precautionary measures to take should you be concerned that your horse may have come into contact with the virus. 

 

Equine Herpes Virus is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in horses worldwide. Almost every horse will have been in contact with the virus at some stage in its life with no serious side effects, it can lay dormant in carrier horses without causing any problems. It is not yet understood what causes some infected horses to develop neurological forms which can be fatal. It is a highly contagious disease particularly affecting younger horses and in-foal mares. It is spread through both direct (nose to nose) contact, indirectly through tack, rugs, feed buckets, owners’ hands, through sharing drinking water where it can survive for up to one month, and airborne through coughing and sneezing. It is therefore vital that the correct bio security procedures are followed to prevent further spread. 

 

The Equine Herpes Virus is a family of different viruses that are closely linked to the viruses that cause cold sores, chicken pox and shingles in humans. The two most common species in horses are EHV-1, which can cause sudden abortion in in-foal mares, respiratory disease and occasionally neurologic disease; and EHV-4, which will cause respiratory disease but only rarely cause abortion and neurological disease where the infection has damaged the spinal cord, in the event of this occurring, its is generally advised that the horse is euthanized on a welfare basis.

 

Clinical signs of the disease will depend on the form of the disease but can include:

  • Fever
  • Nasal Discharge 
  • Depression
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abortion
  • Loss of bladder and tail function
  • Hind limb paralysis

 

‘If you are concerned that your horse may have come in contact with herpes virus it is extremely important that you place your horse in isolation immediately for 14 days. Stringent bio-security measures are paramount. These include regular disinfection of the surrounding environment and equipment, hand washing, disinfection of boots, removal of outer clothing after seeing your horse and visiting no other horses to avoid direct and indirect contact with other horses. You should notify your vet, who will recommend collection of a blood sample for herpes serum antibody at the beginning and near the end of the isolation period. It can take up to 14 days for a horse to develop antibodies which is why two samples are required for comparison. A nasal swab should also be collected at the end of the isolation period to ensure your horse is not shedding virus. During the isolation period regular monitoring including twice daily rectal temperature recording is essential. A fever is often one of the first signs of herpes infection.’

Beth Robinson

New Forest Equine Vets

 

It is important to let others know that you have a suspected case of EHV, these people include, other horse owners, vets, farriers and anyone likely to have come into contact with the horse.  Only through open communication will we  break the stigma surrounding the virus and help prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Treatment for the virus once confirmed is predominantly supportive care as many antiviral drugs used in humans aren’t effective in horses. The virus is allowed to run its course whilst keeping the horse as comfortable as possible, anti-inflammatory drugs such as bute are often administered and some horses might require intravenous fluids.

 

The best methods of prevention are the EHV-1 vaccination which is effective against the Respiratory form of the disease which prevents abortion and correct bio-security. There are currently no vaccinations that can prevent the Neurological form of infection. The vaccination is considered ‘risk based’ so for more information on the vaccine, seek veterinary advice. It is most commonly used in breeding mares, but it begs the question, should we be vaccinating against this virus as religiously as we do with flu and tetanus?

 

stable-2020481_960_720

 

The British Equestrian Federation has issued the following statement regarding the recent outbreak 

‘The Federation supports the actions of the centre who have ceased all activity, including cancelling shows and hire bookings until further notice. The Animal Health Trust has issued advice stating that all horses who have recently visited the centre are immediately isolated for a period of 14 days and that owners seek veterinary advice regarding clinical monitoring and laboratory test clearance.’

 

British Show Jumping stated on 13th January 2020 

‘Following the recent outbreak of EHV-1 it is now a requirement that any horse or pony that has been on site at Crofton Manor, Hampshire since the 20th December 2019 is required to have a negative swab and blood test before competing at any British Showjumping show or organised event.’

 

British Dressage stated on 13th January 2020

In consultation with the Animal Health Trust and on the advice provided in today’s British Equestrian Federation updateBritish Dressage requires members with any horses or ponies who visited Crofton Manor EC between 20 December and 7 January for any reason (training or competition) have them tested by a veterinary surgeon for EHV-1. This is in addition to the originally recommended isolation period of 14 days and daily clinical monitoring. Owners of any horses or ponies who have been to Crofton EC in the specified should liaise directly with their veterinary surgeon on the testing process and advice.’

 

At this stage, there have been no confirmed cases in horses outside of Crofton Manor. It is only with complete transparency and strict bio security procedures that we can control the spread of this awful disease. 

Our thoughts go out to the Centre and the owners of the horses that were sadly euthanised. 

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-11 at 7.17.59 PM2

BADMINTON CROSS COUNTRY… REVISITING THE PAST

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

Welcome to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 

Wed 1st- Sun 5th May 2019

 

This week Horse Scout got a sneak peek at the cross-country course for the 70thedition of Badminton Horse Trials. “It feels like something we might have seen 25 years ago” was how Hugh Thomas described it. Big open ditches, making full use of the lips, dips, mounds, general topography and natural features of this beautiful park. This is a course that retains that “ride on your wits” cross-country feel which it has once again become famed for in recent years.

 

Eric Winter is now in his third year as course designer of Badminton and his philosophy in course design has remained the same throughout. “My aim is to put to the test, the relationship between horse and rider and the training of the horse.”

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-11 at 7.17.59 PM

The course runs clockwise around the park this year. As always, riders will start in the main arena before heading out to the Staircase fence- a sizeable log parallel down the two stone steps and a tight left turn to another log parallel. “It is an open start to the course to allow riders to get into a rhythm. Unlike last year where there were some early challenges, I didn’t want to break the rhythm early.”

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-11 at 7.18.39 PM5

Things start to get pretty serious by fence 10- The Shogun Sport Hollow. After a long gallop which could be influential before a particularly technical fence, there is a funneling pagoda to direct riders to a narrow coffin ditch which is eerily, even the shape of a coffin, and a left or right choice of chunky, narrow tree trunks out. This is where the new FEI red flag rule could come into play. Where riders will be penalized 15 penalties if the whole horse does not pass between red and white flags- so that is shoulders as well as hindquarters. A rule which has not been well received by leading riders, course designers and officials… who shall remain nameless!

 

Fence 11 and 12 is the massive KBIS Bridge over the infamous Vicarage Ditch. The double numbering allows for a two jump escape route. The next fence has been used in some form at Badminton since 1949 and this year involves the notorious bank followed by a narrow brush roll top.

 

The Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner follows. Whilst impressive to the spectator, it’s big log over gaping ditch should not cause too many problems at this level. Then on to the Hildon Water Pond at 15ab which is perhaps a little softer than previous years with a big drop in before turning to a log trough in the water. Eric describes this as a run and jump fence and a bit of a let up before another tricky part of the course. Possibly an opportunity to make up time, although Eric pointed out that in the last two years of running, not one combination of horse and rider had finished on their dressage score.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-11 at 7.17.59 PM3

The Vicarage Ditch to the Mirage Water at 17abc and 18 is possibly one of the greatest challenges on course. An enormous right-angled corner is proceeded by an open ditch situated on a dip in the bank which will definitely unsettle some horses. Then a level four strides to another fearsome corner fence. “This is the sort of fence you would see 40 years ago- we could see all sorts of jumps over the ditch which adds to the unpredictability of the course,” Eric says.

 

There is no let up just yet and 19ab, the Nyetimber Heights involves a steep slope to an airy brush on top of a mound. Before plummeting down into the dip and up for a choice of four narrow scrubbing brush skinnies.

 

Finally, there is a course let-up fence at 20 before rider head on to three asymmetric corners in a row at the YoungMinds Brushes. YoungMinds- who help young people with mental illness and struggles is the chosen charity at this year’s event.

 

Fence 24 is an impressive affair to give riders their first taste of the infamous Badminton Lake. The jump is basically a large parallel but the design, with a pump station extending over the Lake to create a waterfall effect, which might unsettle some horses. Especially when added to the considerable crowd that always flock to the Lake. The brush fence in has been pulled back so riders land on grass before entering the Lake, then a step up and the iconic Mitsubishi pick-ups which this year have a trailer attached with dome-shaped spruce which is the part jumped by riders and horses.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-11 at 7.17.59 PM4

The Lakeside spectators get value for money as riders double back to the Wadworth Lower Lake at 26, a triple bar approached through the water.  After an inviting hedge comes the Voltaire Design Huntsmans Close which involves a birch parallel to a birch spread corner on a right turn.

 

To avoid a flat out gallop Eric has the Eclipse Cross Chicane (29 ab), two open ditch brushes on a U bend out and in of the deer park before the HorseQuest Quarry (30 ab) looms. This is less complicated than in recent years. In over the stone wall to a drop then up and out over a second wall.

 

Even though we are nearly home, Badminton is no place for complacency and we have seen many a rider tip up in the final few fences. The Hayracks at 31ab a roll top spread to a roll top skinny, then fence 32 the Rolex Trunk which is a sculpted log.

 

Back into the arena is the Mitsubishi Final Mount at 33, a fence designed by a member of the public for a competition a few years ago, where riders jump a pair of sculpted wooden saddles.

 

As ever a good completion will be an exhilarating experience for both the old pros and especially for those whose first experience of Badminton this will be.

 

 

Horses for sale are sold correctly with Horse Scout

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

toddy-sell

Making sure your horses for sale are sold correctly with Horse Scout

The majority of us who have ever sold a horse will have experienced tyre kickers, joy riders, greedy agents and trainers with their own agenda. Then there are the international scammers who want to buy the horse from a video without questions- just send all your bank details to that man in Nigeria. It is these individuals who make the selling process an unpleasant experience.

The Legal aspect

Unfortunately when you come to sell a horse, whether you have owned it for a decade or a week you do not have many legal rights and buyers know this. If you are a commercial set up, individual or professional rider who has put expenses for horses through the books, then that makes you a dealer.  It makes no difference if you have owned the horse for years and are selling at a loss.

From a legal point of view, horses are considered as goods. Therefore the jurisdiction relating to the sale of goods applies to them. The law provides people buying from a dealer, significantly more protection than it does as against a private seller.

When someone buys from a seller acting in the course of their business, section 14 of the Sales of Goods Act 1979 will impose terms into the agreement for sale, such as that the horse is of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose it is being bought for. What this means is that the purchaser has the right to annul the contract and return the horse if it is not in compliance with these terms. For example, if the horse has a behavioural problem that was present prior to the date of purchase, which the buyer only discover after the sale. The buyer is then entitled to a full refund and it is even up to the seller to pick the horse up at their own expense.

However, in the words of an world renowned and highly regarded horse dealer (who shall remain nameless) “you sell the horse not the rider”. Meaning that horses can be ruined very quickly by an unsuitable rider. The good news is that the seller does have some legal rights in this event.

The law regards the purchase of a horse as being the purchase of an unknown quantity. They call it “caveat emptor”, essentially meaning “buyer beware”. So the buyer is responsible for examining the horses thoroughly for suitability and quality before handing over any money. An agreement for the sale of a horse depends both on “express terms”- those specifically agreed between the parties and “implied terms”, which are the conditions implied by the law.

So if you are looking to sell a horse, we have come up with our tips on how to make the process as pain-free as possible. Some may seem obvious but we would hate to say “I told you so”.

  • Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. If you want to establish and keep a good reputation, it’s never worth deceiving people. We are probably all fools for buying a horse in the first place but not many of us are as ignorant as we may seem, we do our due diligence and insincerity will always come back to haunt you. The horse world is a bitchy place and a hive of gossip and slander- a bad horse is not worth a lifetime of abuse. Remember as a horse seller, many buyers think of you as about as trustworthy as a used car salesman. So surprise them by being totally upfront about a horse’s weaknesses, imperfections and history. It’s a win-win situation and reverse psychology can be an effective tool.
  • Sell quality, correctly produced horses. Quality always sells and usually quickly, meaning less overheads. If you limit yourself to more quality than quantity, you will secure a solid reputation in the industry and have people banging down the door trying to buy your horses. Something ridden with pleasure, is seldom made without effort. You cannot make a Grand Prix dressage horse in two months but train him to stand still when the rider mounts, to load easily and jump around a course without head-butting the rider.

Resist buying it in the first place, solely because it is cheap. Find something desirable that preferably ticks the three boxes- temperament, talent and conformation.

If you do end up with a bad one, consider whether it is worth the effort of trying to make it a good horse. There are other dealers out there who won’t ask the questions and care less about their own reputation.

 

  • Lame horses lose time and money. This goes hand in hand with honesty. If you know it is not 100% on a circle then the vet examining it, certainly will and that just makes you look a fool. There are buyers out there, brave enough to take a punt so if the horse cannot be given time to recover, drop the price and be upfront.

 

  • Market your product. Buyers are unlikely to be convinced to come and look at a horse with blurred iPhone photos and a video filmed from 200 metres away. It can take time to make a horse presentable and make him stand square but it is worth it in the end, whatever the value. So lose the shabby pink headcollar and the muddy legs. Stand him on level ground and throw a few carrots in the air to make him smile for the camera. It’s like internet dating- first impressions do matter!

 

  • The skill of advert descriptions. Make it comprehensive but concise. Imagine you are a journalist or marketeer and try and hook your audience with the opening paragraph. Height, age, sex, purpose and a few buzz words to sum up temperament, looks or ability eg unbelievable scope, wow paces, ultimate schoolmaster. It won’t work on everyone but it helps if you seem positive and excited about the horse you are selling.

 

  • Price appropriately. If you really want to sell, ask a fair price for what the horse is worth today, not what it will be worth in three months’ time after intensive schooling and three wins under it’s belt. When working out price, consider the obvious- the horse’s age, history of soundness, level of training, rideability but also the time of year and your location. It is no myth that the same sound competition horse will command a higher price in affluent part of the country which is easily accessible, than it would if it was based on the North coast of Scotland. Remember everyone likes to feel they are getting a bit of a deal, so be prepared to take something off the asking price. On the other side of the coin (excuse the pun), too cheap will sound alarm bells.

 

  • Realism saves time. Ask the buyer early on, what they are looking for and an honest appraisal of their riding ability. Take a written note of this, it may be useful if you ever get caught in a legal battle over the unsuitability of a horse. Evaluate from their description, their background and their riding as to whether this horse will cope with the partnership. Measure your horse’s height with a real stick rather than relying on what it says in the passport, estimated when it was a yearling.

 

  • Be courteous and prompt Even with suspected time wasters. Respond within 24 hours, even if you cut and paste a ready-made “template”, including video links. Serious buyers will usually pick up the phone first but the downside of living in a digital age is that many people are almost scared of picking up the phone. Keep all prospective buyers in the loop about a horse’s status eg just won a British Novice, still for sale etc. Even if they decide your horse is not for them, be polite and wish them the best of luck in their search. They may end up coming back another time if they enjoyed dealing with you. Or if you know someone selling a horse which may be more suitable, it is always worth sharing. They are more likely to return the favour.

 

Testimonials

“We’ve used Horse Scout for selling horses and I have also been to see horses to buy. There is always a huge selection and you can target exactly what you are looking for.” – Emily King FEI 4* Event Rider. 

“We have advertised multiple horses with Horse Scout and have sold horses quickly and efficiently. We find that responders to the Horse Scout advertisements are genuine and knowledgable horse people which makes advertising with Horse Scout very appealing because you know the horses are going to capable caring homes. The personalised service Hannah and her team provide makes advertising quality horses easy” Alex and Suze Peternell International Event Rider

“I have been using horse scout for the past 8 months. It is a fantastic contribution to the successful running of my business. Easy to use, great service from Hannah. I would recommend to anyone.” Dan Sibley International Event Rider 

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

Photography credits to Libby Law

Top quality Showjumpers for sale on Horse Scout

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Horse Scout  horses for sale classifieds are selling the best horses on the market.

£100,000
Jaffar is an extremely competitive winner at 1.40m and 1.45m level with an incredible list of results including winning every 7yo GP in MET 2 2016. if you like to win then this is the horse for you.
STATS – 16.2hh 8yo gelding, sire Lord Z and damsire Darco.

jaffar

 

POA

Very powerful and careful gelding with a great technique over the jump, competitive in 1.30m classes and placing in 1.40m. Never stops, no vices, with a proper training will progress to Grand Prix. Ranked 18th in the Gold League.

STATS – 17hh 8yo Westphalian gelding, Sire Stedinger, grandsire Sandro Hit

anfisa

 

£35,000
This quality homebred is a fantastic model of a horse with a fabulous technique over his fences. He has a great amount of scope and is a prolific winner in his class. He has won a 6 bar contest, won 1.30m and qualified Blue chip B&C final. Grade A with wins too numerous to mention. A horse for the future with a great amount of talent.
STATS – 16.3hh 8yo Warmblood gelding by Darius

euro

 

£16,000
Fabulous opportunity for ambitious rider looking to gain more experience at the higher levels. Scooby has jumped up to 1.40m level – jumping at the big UK arenas including Hickstead (Derby Stakes) and Royal Windsor and out in Vilamoura Portugal in 2016. Good on the flat with 3 good paces, good flying changes and a great working attitude. Ridden and jumped in a snaffle mouth, This experienced horse really knows his job.
STATS – 16.3hh 11yo bay Selle Francais gelding, sire Iolisco De Quinhon

jnb

 

 Are you looking to sell you horse, or have a horse for sale? Sign up to Horse Scout today or call the team freephone on 03339 398353 for assistance.

Horse Scout catches up with showjumper Zoe Smith

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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!

zoe

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.

zoe 2

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!

Chilli Morning – highest ranked competing stallion ever!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Horse Scout is pleased to present a world class stallion that needs very little introduction.

Chilli Morning is fast becoming an icon and a legend in the sport of eventing. Partnered by three greats of the sport – Nick Gauntlett, Mary King and most famously William Fox-Pitt, this stunning chestnut by Phantomic rose to the higher echelons of the eventing world to become the first stallion in history to win the prestigious Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials back in 2015, following his World Equestrian Games Bronze in 2014. Chilli Morning finished his illustrious eventing career at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as the highest placed British combination in 12th place.

chilli

Owned by Mr & Mrs Christopher Stone and bred by Rainer Schicketanz from Neustadt in Germany and sired by Phantomic and out of a Kolibri called Koralle. ‘Chilli’ has always been the most exceptional stallion and competition horse, with striking looks, scope and paces that were the envy of the eventing world.

Chilli started his career with a win as a 6-year old, in 2006 with Nick Gauntlett in what was then called Pre Novice, before finishing his first season with a 2nd place at The Pavo British Eventing Breeding Championships at Tweseldown. From thereon, as they say, the rest is history. A career spanning 10 years with numerous National and International victories including Badminton CCI****, Bramham CIC*** & CCI*** twice, The Festival of British Eventing and Houghton CIC***. Chilli Morning will forever be remembered as an eventing great, as we now look to the future to the progeny that are set to follow in his hoof prints.

chilli2

Already proving very fertile, a string of Chilli offspring are already starting to make their mark on the world with Chillis Gem, ridden by Gemma Tattersall, representing GB at the 2016 Le Lion d’Angers Seven Year Old World Championships.

“Although Chilli needs no introduction and his results and reputation speak for themselves, it is still really important to let people know that he is standing at stud and that this year for the first time he is available for fresh/chilled AI. Horse Scout is a good way for us to get the word out and a great platform for people to get more information,” added Elodie Frost, agent for Chilli Morning.

Chilli now stands at the West Kington Stud, owned by Tim & Jane Holderness-Roddam and managed by Tessa Clarke, a yard steeped in as much eventing history and glory as Chilli himself.

chilli5

What can we expect from Chilli in the future?

“Chilli is now 17 so we will have to see how he enjoys his first season at stud and then make a decision about the coming years. I think it is very likely that there will be performance related selection criteria moving forwards. We already have some very exciting Chilli progeny and are looking forwards to seeing if they can follow in Dad’s footsteps!” added Elodie. 

All enquiries regarding Chilli Morning should be directed through Elodie Frost.

PREPARING FOR BADMINTON: EXCLUSIVE INSIGHT

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Horse Scout catches up with two of their sponsored riders, Joseph Murphy and Gubby Leech, to find out what the month prior to riding at Badminton involves.

 

Most event riders grow up dreaming of riding at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials, based in the heart of the Cotswolds. It takes years, sometimes decades of training and hard graft to reach the required 4* level and earn those elusive FEI points to be applicable to enter.

Horse Scout asks two of their sponsored riders, Joseph Murphy and Gubby Leech to provide insight into the one month leading up to the big event.

 

The horse’s training

Joseph Murphy, Irish Olympic event rider, is entered to ride Sportsfield Othello, a 16 year old gelding by Ricardo Z and out of Moyview Lady and co-owned with the brilliantly supportive Alison Schmutz.

Joseph explained that the first two weeks of April are focused on reaching the horse’s fitness goals with a mixture of galloping and swimming to build cardiovascular fitness and stamina. He gallops ‘Frankie’ every 3rd and 5th day followed by a swim and always icing the legs afterwards to reduce inflammation and prevent injury. In fact, Joseph ices the legs of all his horses after they are ridden each day. This fortnight is a ‘scary time for injuries’ said Joseph, and when you would look to do any necessary veterinary work to ensure the horse is in optimal condition.

This intense fitness work will then taper right down and the last two weeks of April focus on technical training, practising dressage movements from the test, agility jumping and specific exercises to fine tune the horse.

jm2

Gubby Leech, British 4* event rider, is entered on Antoinette Denham-Harding’s 12 year old ISH gelding Xavier, by Clover Echo and out of Knightfield Sally.

Gubby is based at the quiet and beautiful Clarendon Park Estate in Wiltshire. He does all his fitness training on the forgiving old turf in the grounds of the estate. There is a perfectly steep hill that Gubby does repetitions galloping up and letting Xavier rest on the way down. They do fitness work every four days and will have their last gallop on the Saturday before Badminton week, with a ‘pipe opener’ after dressage on the Friday afternoon. Gubby said ‘Xavier is a strong and electric horse’ so he puts a lot of work into him to keep the extra fizz to a minimum! The technical training involves weekly dressage training with Lizzie Murray throughout April and showjumping training with William Fox-Pitt. Xavier is a keen horse in the ring, sometimes making up too much ground in combinations. Practising grid exercises at home helps him to shorten his stride in doubles and trebles, especially if the course builder likes to use short distances.

gubby2

The horse’s well-being

Joseph will turn ‘Frankie’ out every day on his own so he can have a pick of grass, relax and feel the sun on his back. Joseph chooses not to put protective boots on when turning Frankie out because he tends to be sensible in the field and he would rather keep the legs cool. Regular massages and some physiotherapy throughout April also help get Frankie in the best physical condition possible.

Gubby entrusts the multi-skilled Sue Devereux to keep Xavier in good condition. Sue is an equine vet, chiropractor and acupuncturist who will treat Xavier 2-3 times this April using a variety of techniques. In the stable, Xavier wears a magnetic rug and magnetic boots to optimise blood flow and recovery. He is turned out ‘bootless’ from the time he is ridden in the morning until 8pm when the horses get late feeds. This turnout time helps Xavier chill out and unwind.

Feeding

Joseph is very intuitive and he judges visually and by the feel of the horses on whether their feed needs increasing or decreasing. He monitors each horse closely to ensure it is fed the right mix of hard feed, haylage and supplements. Joseph slightly increases the feed on Frankie’s hardest days of work. Two weeks before Badminton Frankie’s feed regime will be set and won’t change leading up to the event. Joseph uses top quality feeds, Mervue supplements and he brings his own haylage over to Badminton from his base in Northern Ireland.

Like Joseph, Gubby also uses quality supplements to support the nutritional requirements of his horses.  Gubby uses an organic lucerne which is soaked first and helps keep Xavier hydrated, in addition to using high quality linseed, a balancer and electrolytes. Xavier receives 3 feeds a day whilst having his weight, condition and energy closely monitored. He can very quickly go off his food at competitions so it is a fine art making sure he gets what he needs!

jm3

Rider Fitness

Joseph rides all day long from the moment he wakes to the end of the day. He regularly competes 5 horses a day, even at Intermediate and Advanced level, meaning he is extremely fit from his time in the saddle. However, Joseph does extra core stability exercises to help improve his position, balance, core and overall fitness. He is following a 6 week core stability programme and he does the exercises before bed. Did you ever wonder what gives Andrew Nicholson, otherwise known as ‘Mr Stickability’ his amazingly secure seat? The answer is having a rock solid core.

Gubby is in the saddle riding horses back to back all day until the moment he gets home. Having two young children means most of his evening is spent overseeing bath-time and coaxing them to go to sleep! Gubby focuses on eating as healthy as possible, cutting out sugar and only has the occasional drink at special occasions, in order to maintain his perfect competition weight. His wife Sarah is an organic girl so the family gets fed very well!

 

Rider Mindset

Gubby has previously entered Badminton twice but sadly had to withdraw the horses before the event on both occasions. Combining this with a good Burghley experience in 2016 for this duo, Gubby feels ready. He is ‘in a good space, riding well and has a good partnership’ with his ride, Xavier.

gubby

Increasingly, top athletes are using Sports Psychologists to help give them the competitive edge. People talk about ‘marginal gains’ and this simply means that if you have a group of athletes, in this case riders, who are all equally talented on paper with equally talented horses, the rider who wins is the person who performs best on the day. Good sleep and being well rested, thriving under pressure, feeling confident, and focusing only on your performance and not worrying about those around you, are all factors that determine a rider’s overall performance. Doing these things well can make all the difference.

Joseph works with Charlie Unwin, Olympic Performance Psychologist across five sports. Since working with Charlie at the start of 2017, Joseph has been out winning most weekends this season and has never looked better! The work with Charlie helps Joseph to focus on what matters most when it comes to performance and to successfully block out all other distractions.

Horse Scout would like to thank Joseph and Gubby for sharing some of their practises and we wish them the best of luck for May! We look forward to an exciting four days of competition and wait in anticipation to see the new cross country course designed by Eric Winter. Only one question remains- who will be holding the famous Badminton trophy come Sunday afternoon?

 

Are you a member of Horse Scout yet? Sign up now for FREE www.horsescout.com

 

 

Oliver Townend for Horse Scout

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

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.

oli2

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.”

oli

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.

Why You Should Consider Horse Shopping in Ireland

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

Contrary to belief, a day out horse shopping in Ireland can be a fun and highly cost-effective way to view a multitude of extremely well bred, potential and proven, Irish competition horses in a short space of time.

Within an hour of Dublin airport, you will find several highly reputable breeders, producers and competition yards with quality stock for sale at sensible prices.  Ireland is renowned for many things but breeding great horses and making Guinness easily come top of the list.

Next time you are looking for your next competition horse, consider a quick day trip to Ireland instead of planning several long drives around England and Scotland to view individual horses. Why not view 6-8 horses in one day to find the horse of your dreams?

Equally, if you’re looking to buy more than one horse, you could plan a weekend trip in order to visit a few big yards. Some breeders and producers will offer overnight hospitality so you’ll leave Ireland having made new friends as well as buying new horses to add to your current string.

If you want to set your pulse racing then you should visit one of the many esteemed sports horse sales in Ireland. The atmosphere was electric at Goresbridge Go For Gold and the Supreme Sale of Showjumpers in November, and I have no doubt the horses they sold will be gracing the top of the leader boards in the very near future.

 

How To Get There

The cheapest and quickest way of getting to Ireland is typically by aeroplane; flights from most regional airports start from just £18! No need to pack a good book as you’ll be landing before you know it; the flight takes approximately one hour. Most Irish breeders help arrange pick up from the airport or will collect you in person.

Ferry is another option and costs range from £50-£180 depending on how far in advance you book and what date you travel on. The ferry isn’t the quickest or cheapest means of getting to Ireland but having your own car does mean you can drive around Ireland at your own leisure and travel further afield to view horses.

Travelling by train is the third option with return tickets from your own local train station starting at approximately £78.

 

Three Quality Irish-Based Horses For Sale on Horse Scout

stafford

1.35m Perfect Young Rider HorseISH Bay Mare rising 8 years 16.1 hands.  Grade A mare with 375 points. She has multiple wins and placings at 1.30m – 1.35m level. She jumped clear in the Hankook 6/7 year old Grand final at Cavan Indoor Championships September 2016. She is a serious speed horse and tries her heart out in the ring. Would be a top horse for a competitive young rider or experienced amateur.

 

kaynolan

Super Rising 7YO CIC* Event HorseBeautiful grey ISH mare 17hh rising 7 years old by Carrick Diamond Lad. Placed 2nd as Reserve Champion at Dressage Ireland 4yr old Championships 2014.  Won at BE100, placed 2nd at Tullymurray CNC* – only her second ever 1* event.  6 Eventing Ireland points, 32 Dressage points. She would suit a competitive amateur rider or a professional to realise her full potential as she has been bred and produced to go all the way.

 

cat

Excellent 1.40m showjumper: Talented and experienced mare that has competed up to 1.40m level successfully in Ireland as an 8 yo. This big scopey mare has a good canter and a brilliant attitude in front of her fences. Proven to be brave and careful over her fences and should go on to jump even bigger tracks. Suitable ride for either amateur or professional rider.