Hickstead, Coal Mining Ponies and Lotus Romeo – Daily Hoofbeat
What’s in the news today? Hickstead gears up for the return of 5* showjumping this July as organisers, spectators, and competitors get excited for the Longines Royal International Horse Show, Lotus Romeo celebrates its new partnership with the British Equestrian Team, while Northumberland celebrates the history of coal mining ponies. Intrigued? Read on to find out more.
Five-star showjumping returns to Hickstead this summer
Top class international showjumping returns to the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead this July when it plays host to the Longines Royal International Horse Show (26-31 July).
As a five-star international competition attracting some of the highest-ranked riders, the show is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. The feature competition is the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, which gives British fans the only chance each year to see their home nation jump as a team on home soil.
The British team will be hoping for their first Hickstead victory since 2010, especially with the FEI World Championships taking place the following month – a Nations Cup victory at home would be a huge confidence boost for the Brits. But they’ll face a strong line-up of international teams, including Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Ireland, France, and 2019 Hickstead victors Sweden.
With Wednesday showcasing the British Showjumping Winter Finals, the international showjumping gets underway from Thursday onwards. Friday is when the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ takes place, with the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday. Sunday’s Grand Prix finale is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, one of the most coveted showjumping classes of all.
Showing is a huge part of this fixture, with riders having to pick up a qualifying ticket in order to be able to compete at the show. The best of the week’s winners go through to Sunday’s overall championships, the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championships.
The event riders get their moment to shine in the Longines International Arena in Thursday’s Ashby Underwriting Eventers’ Challenge, where they must gallop round a twisting course of cross-country obstacles. Another highlight is the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry, where pairs of ponies race round the course at speed.
New display celebrating coal mining’s pit ponies opens at Woodhorn Museum
A new art installation and display celebrating the important role pit ponies played in the coal mining industry opens at Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland on Saturday 28 May.
Titled ‘Work, Rest and Play’, the exhibition features new work by visual artist Bethan Maddocks and historical items from the Museums Northumberland collection that paint a picture of what life was like for the hardworking pit ponies at Woodhorn Colliery and at other coal mining sites across the region.
Visitors to the new display will be able to see original harnesses and headgear used by pit ponies at Woodhorn, Ellington, and Lynemouth collieries; memorial plaques dedicated to ponies that lost their lives in mining disasters; farrier tools; and photographs and other ephemera depicting the much-loved animals and their lives both down the mines and on the surface.
A series of new works by Bethan Maddocks will also go on display as part of her countywide exhibition, A Northumberland Menagerie, which is currently on display across Museum Northumberland’s four sites until Sunday 30 October. Inspired by the story of local pit pony, Flax – the last working pit pony at Ellington Colliery in Northumberland – three paper-crafted installations explore different stages of the animals’ lives; from hard work down the pit, being brought to the surface for heydays and holidays, and being put to pasture at the end of their working life.
The first uses black diamonds – the regional nickname for coal – to represent the hard work ponies would endure in the mines. The second uses delicately spun paper candyfloss, and ice-creams and coconuts, to playfully imagine how the ponies would spend their holidays. And the final headgear uses flowers from Woodhorn and the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park to reference ponies being put to pasture for their retirement, and the retirement of the land, post industry.
Rowan Brown, Chief Executive of Museums Northumberland, said: “The last pit ponies to work in Britain retired from the Pant y Gaseg mine in Wales in 1999, marking the end of a mining tradition that dates back to the 1700s.
For more information about A Northumberland Menagerie and museum opening times and entry prices, visit www.museumsnorthumberland.org.uk.
Lotus Romeo named as Official Suppliers of Competition Jackets to the British Equestrian Team
Lotus Romeo UK, the prestigious European equestrian sports brand, have announced it will be the official supplier to the British Equestrian Team for tailcoats for dressage and eventing and riding jackets for para dressage. The contract was awarded just this week and the rush is on to measure and fit all the potential team members in dressage, eventing and para dressage before their first outings at the World Championships in Herning, Denmark and Pratoni, Italy this summer. Followed by the prestige of supplying the team jackets for the 2023 European Championships and on to the Paris Games in 2024.
The design is being kept under wraps, but the British patriotic colours of Red, White and Blue will be elegantly fused using their clever use of trims and linings.
Lotus Romeo has been chosen as they offer highly technical, soft, feather light fabrics that offer a full range of movement, breathability, and comfort. Already the choice of many international riders, including Carl Hester, their jackets stand out for their unique and elegant designs, skilled tailoring, and ability to keep riders cool in the saddle even in the hottest of countries.
British Equestrian Performance Director Helen Nicholls commented; “We’re very excited to be working with Lotus Romeo UK on the tailcoats and jackets for the next three championships. We look forward to sharing the new designs which will support the patriotic sense of pride in our athletes when representing Great Britain and further inspire crucial performances on the world stage.”
To find out more about the range visit www.lotusromeo.co.uk