Tag Archives: equestrian

Professional Profile – Matt Hicks


Well done to Matt Hicks on his victory at Merristwood on Jackie Vaughn’s ElZorro with a fantastic score of 70.76% in the 10 years olds first prix St Georges for two years.  This powerful horse could hardly contain the excitement in the canter changes but Judge Debbie Wardle said “he had so many marks in the bank at the end of the trot that Matt held on to 1st place”

ElZorro came back to the circuit only five odd months ago having been found to have several minor things that had been affecting his way of going in 2012.  Matt was quick to acknowledge the effort of his vet Janette Palliser and farrier Bonny Morgan who have been seminal in getting ElZorro back on the road.

Hicks Equestrian is a BD Acredited Coach, professional trainer and an International Dressage Rider on Horse Scouts’ list and operates out of Whitchurch in Hampshire from a friendly 5* competition yard Hurstbourne Equestrian Centre on a large private estate. Livery & training for all levels is catered for. There is also the opportunity to understand how a movement should feel with School Master Lessons on an Advance dressage horse.

Matt is offering the chance to win two free tickets to Mary Kings Lecture at Hurstbourne EC on Thursday 26 February on his Facebook page.

Cool Competition centres – Crofton Manor


Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre-Fareham, Hampshire

Crofton manor is a fantastic competition centre and with up to three competition or event days a week there is something for every one.

With competitions such as the

BS Junior Blue Chip Qualifier,

HorseQuest UK Sapphire Championship Qualifier

Animo Pony Novice Championship Qualifier

UK Coral Championship Qualifier

Blue Chip Pro Sparkle JC/JA Championship Qualifier – 31st January 2015 BS Senior Blue Chip Qualifier Dates Blue Chip Joint RLF Power Championship

…and that’s just (some of) the show jumping.

Crofton regularly holds affiliated and un affiliated dressage events and acts as a showing venue

The facilities at Crofton are certainly well thought out with everything for the competition rider and their teams

The brand new olympic sized arena is 67 Metres x 67 Metres.

Livery Outdoor Arena area

This has a rubber and sand surface and is 60 Metres x 30 Metres.


Post & Rail Fencing

Rubber & Sand Surface

Public Address System

Timing Equipment with Wirefree Radio Controls

BSJA Show Jumps, all colour co-ordinated

Car Parking

There is a large car/lorry park for competitors plus car parking facilities for Livery customers.

Be on the door step and look at Crofton Manors’ Do-It-Yourself Livery

We provide good quality indoor and outdoor stabling for the equestrian enthusiast. A secured tack room and hay/straw storage are all included in the monthly rent.

Hay, shavings and straw are purchased on site and delivered to your storage bay.

Hacking Out

The hacking out is excellent, with bridleways and quick routes to the beach at Hillhead.

Mares and geldings are kept in separate fields to avoid the usual problems with mixed sexed groups.

Clients use the vet and farrier of their choice, but we have a monthly vet’sclinic and a horse dentist visits the yard on a regular basis.



World Equestrian Games – Another Gold for Charlotte and Valegro


Double Olympic Champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro added a World Champion title to their collection by taking Gold in the Dressage Grand Prix Special Individual competition with an outstanding performance on a score of 86.120%, the highest ever score recorded by a horse and rider at the World Equestrian Games.

In a closely fought contest, Charlotte held on to Gold after a superb test from Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg riding Damon Hill NRW, who finished in Silver on her score of 84.468%.

Charlotte spoke afterwards “It was a great ride and I was very happy with my test. I had no team members to worry about so I thought I’d just go for everything. Valegro was just fantastic – he is a like Ferrari with all that power. The crowd were very hard to deal with, all I could hear were gasps, whether I did a good or a bad thing.

Helen Langehanenberg was equally thrilled at her own resultThe test felt very good. He always goes forward and listens very well. He is keen on working with me and knows what to do. I did not know Charlotte’s score before I went into the stadium – I was just concentrating on my preparation and test. I am really looking forward to Friday now – he is a very happy horse!

Kristina Sprehe at just 27 years of age is another one of Germany’s bright prospects in the world of dressage. Having won a team Olympic Silver and team Golds at the European’s and the World Games respectively she added her first individual medal to the collection. “I am really happy. Coming in to these Games I was only focused on Team Gold. I had no thoughts for the Individual at all. This is just fantastic, completely fantastic! My horse was perfect in the test, even if during the passages he lost some rhythm and he has to be more energetic. I had a really fantastic feeling during the whole test.”

Tomorrow  Eleanore Kelly, Horse Scouts roving reporter will be heading down to Haras La Pin for the first day of Eventing Dressage.

World Equestrian Games – Day Two – Dressage Grand Prix


We’re going to Rio! Great Britain secure Team Silver and Rio Qualification

A momentous day for Britain as Charlotte Dujardin, Michael Eilberg, Carl Hester and Gareth Hughes walked away with the team silver and a ticket to the Olympics after  a sterling performance on day two of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

After Gareth Hughes and Carl Hester’s tests yesterday, which the team in the bronze medal position overnight, the pressure was on for Michael Eilberg and Charlotte Dujardin to come up trumps.

Entering the arena for his world championship debut, Michael produced a vital test for the team, marred only by a couple of expensive mistakes aboard a slightly unsettled Half Moon Delphi to post 71.886%, which sees him through to tomorrow’s Grand Prix Special.

Afterwards Michael said; “I’m a bit disappointed really today with the test that I had. Obviously quite a few mistakes crept in; we’ve had some really good recent form, so the test today was a little bit below par. I’m a bit gutted because I wanted to get a good score for the team but that’s the way it goes. She warmed up really well – that can be a negative because she felt too good! Even round the outside of the arena she felt really good but on the first diagonal she was a bit looky at the camera and it made her hide just a bit. The piaffe came off well today I thought and I collected a few marks there as the test went on.”

The afternoon’s competition saw Olympic and European champion Charlotte Dujardin take to the floor. With Roly Luard and Carl Hester’s Valegro the popular duo impressed the judges to take the top spot. Their test, which included some impressive piaffe and pirouettes, posted a stunning 85.271% to stand nearly four percent ahead of their nearest rivals, Germany’s Isabell Werth and the exciting ten year old Bella Rose.

Charlotte said; “I went out there to do my very best and wanted to try to get the team into a medal position. He did his best and I’m so lucky, as he has just felt fantastic all week. He did try to stop on the centre line but apart from that I was really, really happy. To go out there and get the welcome I got was fantastic. It’s such a great feeling to have that many people behind you.”

Will Connell, Chef de Mission out at WEG summed up today’s performance; “As a team they only have two occasions to qualify for the Rio Olympics. This is absolutely what we wanted and means that they have a two year run in to the Olympics, during which time they can bring on young horses and don’t have to worry about qualification. What Charlotte did today was truly outstanding, and along with her team mates, they have made the paving stones for the road to Rio.”

Carl commented on the result; “As a team we’re really delighted; no one feels left out, we’re so lucky to have Charlotte who can take the pressure off to get the scores and win medals.”

Germany finished in the gold medal position with an all female team and three riders inside the top five.The Netherlands taking the bronze. Charlotte, Carl and Michael will go on to compete in tomorrow’s Grand Prix Special.