Equestrian Sports in the Olympic Games

Nick Skelton and Big Star jumping at the Olympics

With the eagerly anticipated Paris Olympic Games 2024 only weeks away, we delve into the rich history of equestrian sports at the Olympics. From the early 20th century to today, equestrian sports have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, celebrating the unique partnership between horse and rider. The Games are not just about competition but also about ensuring the safety and welfare of the horses. The Cross Country course, positioned alongside the grand canal at the Palace of Versailles, is designed with the utmost care to provide a challenging yet…

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Skydog Ranch: A sanctuary for West America’s wild horses

A Skydog Ranch Sanctuary and Rescue horse walking through long burnt grass

Discover the incredible work of Skydog Ranch & Sanctuary, a forever home for wild mustangs and burros in need. Learn how they provide a second chance at life for these wonderful animals. Witnessing a wild horse run free is an experience unlike any other, but these sights are becoming more infrequent as increasing numbers of horses are captured from their lives in the wild. As uncertain fates await those still roaming the American West, as well as the mustangs and burros already detained, some, like the hundreds who graze the…

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Quaker, one of the horses injured in London, is not doing well

The Army has released a statement advising that black horse, Quaker, one the Household Cavalry horses injured in London on Wednesday last is “not doing well”.  The other significantly injured horse, Vida, has now been returned to her stable after undergoing a surgical procedure.  The Army has confirmed that the remainder of the horses who did not sustain serious injury after they bolted through London are expected to return to normal duties in due course.   There are no further updates about the service personnel who were thrown in this terrible…

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Hobby Horse competition to be hosted by BSPS

Hobby Horse competition to get underway. Image of a hobby horse

On April 1st this year, the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) announced that it would ‘embrace’ the new hobby horse craze by the introduction of a competition where competitors could win prizes of up to £300! Initially considered by some to be an April Fools Day prank, which appeared on the pages of H&H website, this is actually a genuine, bona fide competition. After publishing the article, H&H had to release a separate statement confirming that this was not an April Fool’s day prank and clarifying that this was a…

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Haygain saved from administration 

HAYGAIN steamers

On 19 January 24, Haygain Ltd went into administration and at that point, there was no indication whether the brand would be offered for sale.  However, it now looks as if Haygain products could be back on the shelves, possibly by the end of this year, as the brand now has a new owner, who is reported to be “thrilled” by the procurement.   Farm & Stable (F&S) LLP has secured ownership of the Haygain brand name and the business intellectual property rights. The Group prides itself on having delivered “impeccable…

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Jockey, Stefano Cherchi dies after fall in Australia

Jockey Stefano Cherchi.

Jockey Stefano Cherchi has tragically died two weeks after falling from a horse at the Canberra Races in Australia, the NSW Jockeys Association said on Wednesday. 23-year-old Cherchi from Sardinia, who had ridden over 100 winners in the UK, fell during a meeting at Canberra. On 20 March 24, his mount Hasime fell in the Affinity Electrical Technologies Plate, and two other riders narrowly avoided serious injury when they became unseated during the incident. After receiving emergency medical treatment at the track, Cherchi was rushed to hospital, where it was discovered he had sustained a…

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Tributes pour in for Caroline March who passes aged 31

Social media tributes are pouring in for British Eventing star, Caroline March, who took to social media to announce the reasons around her heartbreaking decision to opt for assisted suicide. The letter, which is both frank and poignant, powerfully portrays Caroline’s strength of character and pragmatic approach to her situation.   Caroline emotionally wrote “I’d rather have a short life that’s full of what I love doing” in the letter.  “I’d rather have a short life that’s full of what I love doing”  31 year old Caroline from Colchester had sustained life changing spinal injuries after falling from a horse during a cross-country event…

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Self-proclaimed horse whisperer sentenced to life in prison

Christine Rawle. Image from Devon and Cornwall Police

Self-proclaimed horse whisperer Christine Rawle, 69, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years after she stabbed her 72-year-old husband, Ian Rawle, in the back at their £800k home in Braunton, Devon, in 2022.  It was heard that, on August 21st 2022, Mr Rawle had been cleaning out their horses at home when, during a heated argument. Christine then went on to stab him in the back with a knife, causing a 10cm wound and a punctured lung. The couple had been arguing over selling a…

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Top Scottish showjumper, James Smith, suspended from competition

Showjumper James Smith at Dumfries and Lockerbie Agricultural Show 2018

British Nations Cup showjumper 31-year-old Scottish James Smith has been suspended from competing as of March 16, 2024, at home or abroad due to concerns about the welfare of a horse. Smith is currently under investigation and barred from national and international competitions due to allegedly having used an outlawed training method during a European event.   Concerns relating to the horse’s welfare were raised after photographs circulated on social media appeared to evidence a cane being used to make the horse lift its hind legs higher over a practice jump…

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Olympian Shane Rose in ICU following severe fall

Shane Rose riding VIRGIL Photo Copyright © FEI/Christophe Taniére

Australian Olympic medalist Shane Rose risks losing his place at the 2024 Paris Games due to a severe accident which has left him in ICU following a heavy fall from his horse, Virgil, during a cross-country session on Thursday, 15 March 24. The horse was not injured; however, the fall saw Shane rushed to intensive care, where he remains with serious injuries. It has been reported that Shane has fractured his femur as well as pelvis and ribs. Having already undergone urgent surgery to stabilize his pelvis and femur, the question…

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Ellen Whitaker and Korlenski celebrate success in Spain

Ellen Whitaker riding Andalusia Sunshine Tour 2024

Ellen Whitaker has been hitting form once again during the 5th week of the Andalucia Sunshine Tour in Vejer De La Frontera, Spain on 8th March. Ellen secured the impressive win in the CSI5* 1.50m Ashford Farm Trophy, Longines Ranging speed class riding Korlenski. Out of sixty nine entering combinations, only eighteen completed the course without fault. Ellen rode to triumph on the nine-year-old KWPN mare Korlenski (out of legendary stallion Coronet Oblensky) stopping the clock over a second faster than second-placed Turkish rider, Derin Demorsoy on the BWP gelding…

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LeMieux to go up for sale for £150M

LeMieux for Sale

Equestrian product specialist, LeMieux, is to be put up for sale with a price tag of £150m, however, founder members British former Olympic eventer Robert Lemieux and his wife Lisa intend to continue to play ‘an active role’ in the brand they started almost 20 years ago. Since its inception, the brand has impressively increased its annual revenue from £10m in 2018 to £50m.   Robert and Lisa started Horse Health in 2003, expanding upon the business until they were able to launch the celebrated LeMieux brand in 2006, beginning with…

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World-class line-up for Longines League of Nations™ second leg in Ocala

Aaron Vale will be lining out again once again for Team USA at the second leg of the Longines League of Nations™ on home turf in Ocala (USA) in just over two weeks’ time. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

A star-studded cast of athletes will line up for round 2 of the inaugural Longines League of Nations ™ in Ocala, USA in two weeks. This will include 8 of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 riders in the latest world ranking. With the 2024 Paris looming, this leg will provide the teams with extreme testing of their horse and rider combinations whilst seriously competing for selection. The field will comprise top-class, world-ranking victors and promises to provide a spectacular celebration of equestrian sport. This brand new,…

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Lameness Assessment and Investigation

Lameness with no heat or swelling

Lameness assessment and investigation for the horse Following our first article looking at how to spot lameness in the horse, we delve further into Lameness assessment and investigation with the Animal Health Trust. About the AHT Equine Clinic The Animal Health Trust (AHT) Equine Clinic is made up of world specialists that treat a variety of injuries or conditions, but their greatest area of expertise lies in orthopaedics and, in particular, lameness. No horse or injury is ever the same and it’s up to their Clinicians to solve these mysteries…...

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Unravelling The Excitement: Horse Racing Events Around The Globe

horses racing on grass to represent horse racing events worldwide

The thunder of hooves on the tracks, the roaring crowd and the thrill of victory. Horse racing stirs something primal in many of us, calling us to gather trackside and witness the speed and power of these equine athletes. From the small country tracks to the grand stadiums, horse racing events continue to draw massive interest and attendance. According to estimates, 584 million households worldwide participate in horse racing, including about 14 million individuals from the UK. Whether watching from the screens or cheering your favourite runners on the tracks,…

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Careless Driver Causes Devastating Loss of Much Loved Pony

Careless Driver Causes Devastating Loss of Much Loved Pony

This heartbreaking story is one that all riders of Great Britain will no doubt admit is their greatest fear when they take to the roads on their treasured horses. It is the story of Katie, a beloved Welsh pony owned by Laura Grant, a resident of Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and the terrible accident that could have been avoided but instead led to Katie’s untimely death. On 2nd April 2023, Laura and her young friend, Ellie, decided to take a carriage ride with Katie the Welsh Pony and her good companion,…

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Fake pick up after your horse signs to be removed

Pick up after your horse fake signs

Pick up after your horse signs to be removed as local councillor declares them fake! Sophisticated signs bearing Edinburgh’s local authority logo have been screwed to trees along the Water of Leith walkway which clearly display the wording “Please pick up after your horse”. Locals believed that the signs had been attached to the trees by Edinburgh City Council, however, it has been confirmed by a local councillor that it appears to be the work of a local individual(s) trying to take matters into their own hands. Councillor Scott Arthur,…

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Epworth Confirm Abandonment

FEI Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors Segerjö (SWE) Segersjö Nane Nikolaus Dehn, GER Photo Copyright © FEI/Roland Thunholm

Due to the intense and persistent rainfall experienced over recent weeks, the Epworth Equestrian event planned for 2nd March 2024 has had to be abandoned. British Eventing (BE) officials made the tough decision following site inspection on 23rd February. The excessive waterlogging deemed that there was no other option but to abandon.  This, the first BE event cancellation of 2024 will invoke the use of the newly launched British Eventing Abandonment Support fund (ASF) for the first time. This fund aims to help out in the event of cancellation/abandonment of equestrian eventing fixtures due to extreme and/or weather conditions and will reimburse members who had already entered the…

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William Fox-Pitt announces shock passing of Oratorio

Miracle man: William Fox-Pitt bounced back from a serious head injury to take the lead as Eventing got underway at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) today. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

William Fox-Pitt has announced the death of his top five-star event horse, Oratorio II, stable name Rio, who collapsed and died during the cross country at Lincolnshire Horse Trials on Sunday, 19th March 2023. It is suspected that the 2009 gelding died of a heart attack during what was his first event of the season. The following statement was released on Fox-Pitt’s website, and on social media via head groom and yard manager, Jackie Potts: “Oratorio got the day off to a brilliant start in the dressage with a score…

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Pippa Funnell’s Rolex Ride, Primmore’s Pride, Crosses Rainbow Bridge

Pippa Funnell and Primmore's Pride

Pippa Funnell has announced her Rolex ride, and long term eventing partner, Primmore’s Pride, was put to sleep on Monday 20th March at the age of 30, along with his 29-year-old best buddy. Pippa Woodall, who cared for Primmore’s Pride at Park Farm Stud during his retirement, made the tough but most humane decision for them to go together. On social media, Funnell described the two as “joined at the hip”. Primmore’s Pride, stable name Kiri, was rode by Pippa Funnell in two of the three legs of her famous…

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Royal Windsor Welcomes First Ever Ambassadors

British Show Jumpers Joseph Stockdale and Jack Whitaker become the Royal Windosr Horse Show’s first ever official ambassadors.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show organisers have unveiled two official Show ambassadors for 2023. The Show, running from 11-14 May, will see British Show Jumpers Joseph Stockdale and Jack Whitaker become the Show’s first ever official ambassadors. Whitaker, who hails from the legendary Whitaker dynasty and Stockdale, son of the Olympic showjumper Tim Stockdale, are two of Great Britain’s most exciting up-and-coming Show Jumpers.  Stockdale experienced success at Royal Windsor, winning the Puissance at the Show in 2021, as well as the prestigious Under-25 class in 2019. His team bronze…

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Charlotte Dujardin gives birth to baby Isabella Rose

Charlotte DUJARDIN (GBR) & Imhotep - Grand Prix - Dressage - FEI World Championships Herning 2022. Image credit British Equestrian / Jon Stroud

British Dressage Legend Charlotte Dujardin gives birth to baby Isabella Rose Double Olympic champion, Charlotte Dujardin and her long term partner, Dean Golding, have joyously welcomed the safe arrival of their daughter, Isabella Rose on 6th March 2023. Dujardin’s PR agent has said “On behalf of Charlotte Dujardin, we are delighted to say that Isabella Rose has entered the world safely and to the delight and joy of both Charlotte and Dean,” “Isabella was born yesterday, 6th March, at 9.48am and is already surrounded by immense love and excitement from Charlotte, Dean and…

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Young talented equine artist hopes to inspire others with her life-changing story

Rachael

Rachael Robinson is quite an amazing young woman. She discovered her talent for drawing animals after the birth of her baby girl, Juliana (now a busy 3 year old) when she developed mental health issues at the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Now, with experience under her belt, Rachael gives back to help other realise their dream with art classes, and plans to run the London Marathon in 2023, and donate the sponsored funds to charity. Rachael didn’t realise that she had post natal depression and post natal anxiety and…...

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Update on confirmed EHV-1 in Europe

BEF EHV-1 update

Measures have been taken by the FEI, in consultation with respective National Federations and Organising Committees, following the confirmed cases of EHV-1 in Mainland Europe in the latter part of February in respect of the confirmed outbreak currently affecting mainland Europe.  Presently there are nine horses at the University Equine Hospital in Valencia (CEU) for close monitoring, eight of which have, unfortunately, displayed neurological signs. As a preventive measure and to ensure enough treating space, the FEI has ordered 12 temporary boxes to be set up at the hospital grounds…

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