Before going hunting, please make sure that you understand what is required of you and your horse when it comes to safety, behaviour, good manners and turnout. The Vale of Lune have an evening get together at the pub, generally near the start of the season, to ease in newcomers and explain the etiquette, ensuring that you get the most enjoyment out of your day and that you have a little more understanding of what it’s all about. Look out for hound ambles as they are always a good start if you haven’t been hunting before. These are meets for getting the young hounds used to being out and are a slower paced day, generally with little or no jumping.
Safety is by far the most important section, for yourself and that of your fellow hunters. Please make sure that your horse is not a “psycho” as not only will you attract the wrath of the hunt staff and followers, but you will not enjoy your day. Whilst out once, I followed a lady on a dark bay of thoroughbred ilk. It spent most of the time on its hind legs or going backwards and on the fifth time that she fell off, I thought to myself “surely you would take it back to the wagon for every ones sake ?, you really can’t be enjoying this!”. Firstly, make sure you know exactly where you are going. The Vale of Lune has a detailed map of each meet on their website . Allow yourself plenty of time and arrive preferably at least an hour before the meet commences. Time goes very quickly and although you think that an hour is more than enough , by the time you have got parked up and sorted out, you will be very surprised. Make sure that you do not park over gates, drives, lanes or any access, nor must you park on a mowed verge. Keep a shovel, brush and skip with you and make sure that you clear up after your horse. Also make a list at least the morning before, so that you can add to this as the day goes on, ensuring that you have everything required when you arrive. As obvious as this sounds, you will not be happy if you arrive on the morning of the meet to find that you have forgot your hat ! When you are getting ready, if you are a newcomer, tie a green ribbon to your horse’s tail and a red one if it kicks. If you have a horse that kicks, make sure you keep well away from everyone as you are not absolved, just because you have a red ribbon on. Familiarise yourself with the hunt staff, i.e Field Master, whom if shouts “Hold Hard” you must stop immediately and don’t move until you are told to, and non jumping Field Master, whom you must have your eyes on if you are not jumping, to ensure that you do not get in a situation where your horse wants to follow the jumpers and you don’t ! Also, make sure that you always face the hounds because if your horse kicks a hound, you will not be looked upon favourably. Basically, keep your wits about you watching what’s going on, giving others plenty of space to avoid accidents and hook up with someone who’s been before, until you “get to know the ropes”.
Good manners are essential and respect must be shown at all times. Upon encountering the Master, Huntsman or other Hunt Staff, Good Morning is how you greet and also say good morning to everyone else also. The ideal way to make new friends. You must offer your “cap” (money for hunting for the day) to the hunt secretary unprompted. Do not snub anyone, even if his trousers are held up with baling twine as he could well be the person who’s land you are riding over today. Keep your mobile phone on silent and chat politely. By all means partake in a drink, but don’t get drunk, even if you think you need some dutch courage for those big hedges ! This is all to easy when everyone is offering you a drink from their hipflask. Be vigilant to make way for Hunt Staff. I once witnessed a lady quite upset that the Huntsman had been quite sharp with her, when she was obstructing him with her horse tied to the trailer getting ready. What she failed to understand was the fact that the Huntsman had a pack of hounds making their way on their own off the car park towards the road, because he couldn’t get through with his horse ! As you would whilst hacking, make way for and be courteous to motorists , the majority of whom have no concept of what you are doing and a minority that despise hunting, so smile and politely acknowledge. Also be polite and kind to all in the field, remembering that maybe one day it may be you that has fallen off and needs a leg up or someone to hold your steed while remounting. Keep to the edge of a field, DO NOT ride across it unless you are following the Field Master. The Master will shout “Headland Please” which means keep to the sides to limit damage or “sides please” which means keep to the edge in single file. Remeber, “Hold Hard” means stop now and don,t move until I tell you. Keep behind the Field Master (in red) – do not pass, as you could be asked to go home if you cannot keep behind. Ensure that gates are closed behind you or pass back “gate please” (although too much noise can distract the hounds from the scent) or look for the raised hand signal behind to ensure that someone has got the gate. If you do not know if you are the last, shut the gate or wait. Also pass back to warn of any danger, shouting such as “ware wire/bog/hole” (ware being short for beware). Please report any damages to fences, gates etc. to Hunt Staff and offer to make good. Whilst stood with the field while the hounds are working, do not obstruct them and watch them closely – this is my favourite part. I once went with the Huntsman and Master the day before a meet to show the runner the route that he had to run to set the trail for the Bloodhounds. The Huntsman told the runner to run along the fence and through the wood on the day. When we followed those Bloodhounds on the day of the hunt, amazingly they took that route following the scent of the runner exactly. Line up and wait your turn to jump, letting the person in front clear it first. If you are upside another horse, ride in a straight line and if you are having trouble jumping the fence, clear out the way to let others jump and look for a gate to rejoin the field, making sure it is closed behind you. Upon your return, after an enjoyable days hunting, make sure that you say “Goodnight” to Hunt staff before going home, even if it is still light.
You and your horse should be turned out neatly, clean and tidy. This helps to make the land owner proud to see us on his land. Your horse should be plaited if not hogged and whilst it is your choice of what tack to use, a stronger bit than normal, martingale or neck strap is advisable for extra hold, as is a breastplate, ensuring that your saddle stays in place. Boots are also your choice but make sure that mud doesn’t get underneath as this can rub the horse raw. A good idea is to tape over the boots with insulation tape, ensuring that they are not too tight and this also minimises the risk of losing boots also. Always check beforehand to make sure that your tack is in good condition as you do not want it letting you down. Usual dress for the field is jodhpurs, long black boots, shirt, stock, generally a black jacket and a BS approved riding hat, with your hair in a hairnet and no dangly earrings or jewellery. Body protectors can be worn over your jackets. Gloves are also a good idea. For hound ambles, you may be more casual although neat and tidy go without saying. For lawn meets (when you are invited by the hosts), correct dress is expected meaning boots shinier than normal, horses plaited and black/navy jackets for seniors (hacking jackets for juniors acceptable). You are also expected to approach and thank the host for allowing you on their land. For autumn hunting, ‘Ratcatcher’ attire is appropriate, consisting of a bowler hat or velvet cap, buff breeches, a tweed jacket, black boots and a tie or stock. This can be worn until the Opening Meet. This is also appropriate at the end of the season, after the Cheltenham National Hunt meeting in March or April 1st. However, there is nothing to prevent this been worn throughout the season if you only hunt occasionally. (www.vlhunt.com) All Photos courtesy of John Vine.
Astrid has been riding and producing horses for over 35 years, having bought her first dealing horse aged 14. She still has a passion to find, breed, produce and sell young horses. Having completed at County Level, HOYS and Royal International Horse Show in both show-jumping and show/working hunters, she then sold the horses on and soon it became a full time operation that now includes buying and selling of sport horses worldwide. Having been one of the first producers to import Warmbloods over 20 years ago she has gone from show-jumpers and show horses to include top class eventers and dressage horses, many of which have been extremely successful. In 2010 alone Astrid had 6 young event horses at Badminton, including the winner ShadowBoxer, HOYS Foxhunter finalist Del Fuego, HOYS & RIHS workers winner Thor, 6 year old finalist Two Mills Valencia, top Heavy-Weight Hunter Avalanche, RIHS winner Lanson, riding horses Eclipse and champion 4 year old dressage in Florida USA Casu, Shearwater Young Dressage Finalist Furst Kiss and many ,many more ! Having recently moved to larger purpose built premises, Astrid continues to breed, source and produce top quality sport horses for all disciplines and for 2011 is very excited about young dressage prospects Zidaane and stallion Furst Kiss. Check out Astrid’s website www.astridbolton.com or call on 07966 443207.
Jayne is a showing producer from Out Rawcliffe. She has produced ponies from being a young child, qualifying many for “Wembley” as it was then and then selling them with the rides. She has also ridden for Hollings, Templetons,Temples and Don Barton (JCB). Her achievements to date are too numerous to mention but include Champion Pony Great Yorkshire and Royal Highland, 4th 12.2 Pony of the Year HOYS, Reserve Champion 13.2 HOYS as well as many other top placings at HOYS with 12.2, 13.2, heavyweight cob and lightweight show hunter classes. Jayne has been Side Saddle Rider of the Year for 3 years and has also given a side saddle display at the Royal Mews. She has sold horses that she has produced and their titles include Intermediate Riding Type Champion HOYS, Small Hack Champion HOYS 2 yearson the trot(!), Small Hunter of the Year HOYS,1st ridden Pony of the Year HOYS, 2nd Lead Rein Pony Royal International to name but a few. Her most recent achievements include buying a thoroughbred straight out of racing and winning the Royal International Hickstead Derby Meeting (ROR) and then standing 4th at HOYS with him in the ROR class and 2014 being an amazing year when she won Ladies Hunter of the Year at HOYS. Jayne has a selection of quality horses and ponies for sale, so give her a call on 07979 190906 and visit her website at www.jaynepimbley.uk.
Mr John C Gilliver
Being the son of a Dairy Farmer, I have been exposed to livestock from an early age. I started riding at the age of 6 & started breeding ponies at the age of 14. I was focused on a Veterinary Career from an early age & was fortunate to graduate from The University of Liverpool with honours in 1980.
My first Veterinary employment was in North Yorkshire in a mainly large animal practice & whilst there developed a keen interest in equine stud work. I established Garwood Veterinary Practice in April 1989 as an equine facility to deal with all aspects of equine work & historically some agricultural clients.
This subsequently has developed into Gillivervet. Outside Veterinary work I am actively involved with horses, riding, breeding, showing, hunting and judging (SHBGB & CHAPS panel judge) I have served as a Council Member of the BEVA for 6 years being responsible for AI & Riding Establishments. I am also a committee member of the local SHBGB N.W. Group.
In this first episode of the Horsebrain podcast, my co-host Astrid Bolton and myself Elaine Park, introduce ourselves. My interest is marketing and Astrid has been a horse dealer for over 35 years. She sells top class sport horses and explains how she got started. Getting on a plane to go abroad and import horses in a time when there was no internet or mobile phones, let alone many other people in the UK doing it. Hence, this episode is called ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’. You can find more about Astrid on her website and you can find our podcast episodes listed on the Horsebrain website HERE.
Check out this episode!
Bolesworth CSI**** International is on 16th-19th June 2016 and is held at Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall, Cheshire, giving the show a stunning backdrop. This show gets better and better every year, with something for the whole family. There is top international showjumping every day, fantastic displays, shopping, live music and much more, all included in your daily ticket.
Bolesworth, the ultimate show for Equestrians!
For equestrians, the line up will not disappoint. Express eventing, Dressage, and top level Showjumping are all in the mix along with great shopping. Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin have confirmed that they will be competing on Thursday 16th June in the evening, for the Grand Prix Freestyle. Other dressage riders including Laura Tomlinson, Richard Davison and Michael Eilberg will also be there. More information is available here.
Scott Brash has confirmed that he will be there for the show jumping on all 4 days and there will be an Elite Sport Horse auction on Friday 17th June, as well as 5ive in concert.
Saturday’s entertainment includes a dog show, more great show jumping and Atomic Kitten in a feature concert!
Sunday 19th June is the highlight of the show, the Bolesworth International CSI 4* Grand Prix where the top riders will be competing for a record prize fund of €75,000. The Fancy Dress Mini Major Challenge will provide plenty of entertainment during the day as well as racing camels, to give a fun filled day. Take a look here for daily visitor information.
With over 130 exclusive and unusual trade stands in the shopping village, fine food and dining with lots of choice including a vintage tea room, your day will packed full of fun and entertainment. A great way to spend time with family and friends!
Camping, which is a short walk from the show ground, is available or click here for a nearby hotel or B&B.
Book online to avoid disappointment because with so much going on at Bolesworth CSI**** International, you won’t want to miss a thing! To purchase your tickets, click here.
Day Son & Hewitt
Check out Day, Son & Hewitt’s range of products. They are beautifully packaged and they have had excellent feedback from those who have used them. View the testimonials on their site and take a look at the before and after pictures at www.astridbolton.com.
Their range consists of :-
PLATFORM (Hoof Supplement)
MAXIMISE (To support the horses digestive tract)
FOUNDATION (multi vitamin and mineral supplement to balance diet)
ELIVIAT (Electrolytes to help maintain body fluid balance)
RELAXIN (To reduce anxiety and promote calmness, relaxation and concentration)
RESPYT (To help support a healthy respiratory system)
SYNOFLEX (Support and maintenance of healthy joints and cartilage)
Check out the full range on their website http://www.daysonhewitt.co.uk.
In next month’s magazine, we shall be reporting on the Horse of the Year Show, “The World’s Most Famous Horse Show” as it returns to Birmingham’s NEC from Wednesday 7th October to Sunday 11th October 2015.
We shall be covering showing, dressage and jumping classes although this is by no means the full extent of the show. For further information, click here for full daily timetable information.
We shall watch with interest the new Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year class, which replaces the Ladies Hunter of the Year Championship for the first time in 2015, won by our own resident showing writer Jayne Pimbley in 2014.
We would like to wish all of our readers who are competing at the Horse of the Year Show, the very best of luck!
For further information about the Horse of the Year Show, click here and you can purchase your tickets by clicking on this link.
Global Champion Tour
The Longines Global Champions Tour is a premier show jumping event staged in some of the world’s most prestigious locations with 15 events held in 13 countries during the series. The top 30 ranked riders come together to bring exciting competition for unprecedented prize money. The overall season Champion title is hotly contested by the biggest stars in the sport for the Bonus Prize fund and the Longines Ranking Title.
High profile equestrian enthusiasts also frequent the tour making the series glamorous as well as providing elite-level show jumping. With destinations as stunning as Miami Beach, Rome and Paris, this puts the series up there at the top of the sporting and social event calendar.
Jan Tops, an Olympic Gold medalist Show Jumper himself, is Founder and President of the Longines Global Champions Tour. He has fulfilled his vision of raising standards across the sport and since he launched the tour in 2006, has provided world class sport and entertainment.
The tour is available to watch live online via GCT TV and on Eurosport and results can be found here.
The Longines Global Champions Tour web side holds a huge amount of information on each rider providing a biography and interesting facts as well as results, rankings and prize money. You can also view a full profile of all the horses as well as view amazing pictures. Take a look here at full rider and horse info.
So, just pick your favourite destination from these amazing choices and click on your favourite to book your ticket.
Calendar of County Shows in the UK
Whether you are a competitor or spectator interested in showing or show jumping, our county shows are always a great day out. Often with lots more to see beyond equestrian related activities, this also makes it great entertainment for the rest of the family. What’s more interesting is that approximately 6 million people visit agricultural shows a year, approximately 10% of the population!
Click here for a full calendar of events listed across the UK.
Great reviews from last year make this a ‘must see’ show, with 2015 being the first year to run at four-star level. The show is set in the grounds of Bolesworth Castle, 10 miles south of Chester providing visitors with easy access from anywhere in the country. First class Show Jumping along with Dressage and Express Eventing will make interesting viewing for any equestrian along with a packed schedule of great family entertainment, all in a spectacular setting.
Over the four days, visitors to Bolesworth can expect to witness world-class showjumping at the sport’s elite level , with more than £250,000 in prize money on offer. There is a Puissance class on Friday night and a Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon , both to be held in the International Arena and a number of two-star classes also feature in the exciting Bolesworth schedule, together with national and amateur competitions. With top names such as Scott Brash and John Whittaker, the show is sure to be an epic four-day production providing top sport entertainment.
Dressage to Music – Inter 1 features on Thursday evening dressage and Express Eventing one-day event will be held throughout the day on Friday eventing as well as an Elite Sport Horse Auction in the evening. A British Horse Ball demonstration and high jump races hosted by ‘the Horse Man Team’ from France is also on offer so there will be no shortage of equestrian entertainment.
For the rest of the family there is Camel Racing, Jet Ski displays, Parrot Shows, Birds of Prey, Kennel Club Dog Show to name but a few and with headline acts for Saturday evening being a Gladiator Knock-Out competition, followed by outdoor concert Scouting For Girls, you would be mad to miss it! see here for more info.
A full view of the fun-packed daily event schedule is available at daily schedule of events.
The new Shopping Village with 130 trade stands showcases a fantastic range of products of high-end equestrian outlets, exclusive fashion retailers, unusual giftware and beautiful things for the home. There is also a huge selection of fantastic food and drink exhibitors to ensure that you will you will be able to enjoy a really unique shopping experience.
Also new to this event this year is the offer of Bolesworth’s own camping facilities. Take the opportunity to enjoy all four days of this unique event while camping in the grounds of this beautiful Cheshire estate. The campsite is ideal for tents (£15 per night), touring caravans (£20 per night) and motorhomes(£20 per night) more camping information here.
To purchase tickets for the show go to ticket info here.
NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2013 are to be held at Hartpury Arena, Gloucestershire 15-19th April. There are 33 titles on offer from preliminary through to Intermediaite 1. Talented riders have worked hard to qualify for this championship, bringing together some of the best horses and riders in the country. Top class dressage entertainment will be shown at the “not to be missed” Gala Evening Performances, Friday and Saturday night, which both include a masterclass presented by Richard Davison. There are also various trade stands, providing shopping opportunities over the 5 days of the show. It remains to be seen who will attend, after Carl Hester’s yard have stated that they will not be competing Uthopia and the fact that other competitors have been posting on social network sites that they too will not be attending. British Dressage has been working closely with the organisers to put the necessary precautionary measures in place to minimise the risk of EHV-1. For timetable of the championships go to http://www.bdchampionships.com/winter/timetable.php
Auroras Encore Grand National winner 2013
Auroras Encore was the winner of the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, on Saturday 6th April. The 66-1 long shot, ridden by jockey Ryan Mania and trained by Sue Smith (wife of the legendary showjumper Harvey Smith) won by 9 lengths. Sue is only the third woman to have trained a Grand National winner, following Jenny Pitman (1983 and 1995) and Venetia Williams (2009). Katie Walsh was doing her best to make history as the first female jockey to win the National but sadly her ride, Seabass, “ran out of petrol” to finish in 13th place. Cappa Bleu, ridden by Paul Moloney, came 2nd and Teaforthree, ridden by Nick Scholfield came in 3rd. The race started with 40 runners, competing for a share of the £975,000 prize fund.
Astrid Bolton Sport Horses
Day, Son and Hewitt held a masterclass with Astrid Bolton and Geoff Billington at Myerscough College, Friday 2nd November. It was an informative evening to explain the importance of using quality supplements to promote the well being of your horse (go to www.daysonhewitt.co.uk for the full range available). The evening started off with Astrid explaining the foundations of starting a young horse and a long-reining demonstration with their fantastic young stallion, Euphoria. Hayley then came into the arena and rode him, showing his amazing paces, whilst Astrid explained the importance of using Day, Son and Hewitts product SYNOFLEX, to ensure that your horses maintain their natural mobility. Next, Hayley brought in Cassius, a 17.3hh, young dressage talent, showing us various different paces and his extravagant movement and ability. Go to www.astridbolton.com to look for your next superstar. The second half consisted of Geoff and his two horses, starting with a youngster, only broken five months ago. He then rode a more experienced horse, explaining his training methods and exercises, with humour along the way. The evening was well attended and the audience participated by asking questions as well as one lady having a go at long-reigning Astrid’s young stallion, Euphoria. Day, Son and Hewitt had a well stocked stand, with Sue advising on all aspects of their beautifully packaged, high quality products.