Equestrian Life – March 2012

Words by:
Bernard Bale
Featured in:
March 2012

So, here we are at the dawn of spring and even though there is still a nip in the air on some mornings, and perhaps a little steam rising from the muck pile, there is definitely the feel of a new beginning, as the daffs start waving at us and horses and ponies kick their heels a little more when they are let out into the paddock.
Overnight frost led to an hour’s delay to the start of the Midlands Area Club Point-to-Point races at Thorpe Lodge. 240 entries resulted in 111 runners contesting ten races on the day.

The opening Castle Rock Mark Ashton Memorial Midlands Area Club Members race resulted in a win for Helen Connor’s Quorn qualified Django, who was confidently ridden by Harriet Bethell. The thirteen-year-old was in the lead with a circuit to run and put up such a good display of jumping that he was greeted with a round of applause from the crowd as he passed the line ten lengths clear of Hardwick Wood and Henry Gurney.

The NFU Maiden race was split into three divisions on the day and with the daylight fading organisers acted promptly to fit these races in. Howareyougoingon and The Wychough won Division Two and Three respectively. The Holly Campbell trained Popaway provided thirty-four-year-old Joe Docker with his 100th winner in Division One. Docker’s riding career has spanned eighteen seasons with his first winner coming on board Raise An Argument when he was sixteen years old.

See photographs of Brocklesby Point-to-Point in the April issue.
Emma Forman, (Midlands Area Press Officer)
Tel: 07922 119407 forman_emma@yahoo.co.uk

At this time of the year our horses and ponies start to spend more time out in the fields and paddocks and, sadly, we live in a time when almost anything can be stolen, even when we think there is no risk. That is why we are so pleased to have Lincolnshire Horsewatch.

Lincolnshire Horsewatch is supported by Lincolnshire Police with the main aim being to provide a scheme where the eyes and ears of the equestrian community work together with Lincolnshire Police to gather and share information to protect all horses, ponies and property.

The aim is to reduce rural and equine crime and much can be achieved through general awareness and a little effort from each individual.

Lincolnshire Horsewatch is part of the National Horsewatch Alliance supported by most police forces.

The Lincolnshire area is covered by a number of local groups, each run by a co-ordinator who acts as your first point of contact. To become a member of Horsewatch, you can find more information at www.ukhorsewatch.org.uk or visit the Lincolnshire Police website at www.lincs.police.uk where application forms and other information can be downloaded.

Lincolnshire Horsewatch operates through a network of co-ordinators based locally and each has two main strands to their work –

• Prevention: Horsewatch offers members advice on various crime prevention measures, such as equipment marking, yard security, freeze marking and microchipping and co-ordinators and volunteers can often arrange these sessions locally.

• Alerts: Any member of a group can notify their Horsewatch co-ordinator of suspicious activity. A message will then be dispersed to all other members via their local police contacts and where relevant to other local police forces. As part of the UK Horsewatch Alliance this allows the exchange of information quickly throughout other Horsewatch Groups.

The police have given the following advice on crime prevention measures we could take ourselves.

Unless your horse can be easily identified he will be nearly impossible to tell apart from thousands of others. Make sure you have a good selection of summer and winter photographs from all angles and a correctly completed passport drawing. You should also ensure your horse can be positively identified by anyone. Even if he only escapes from the field there must be a way to trace him back to you.

Passports are a legal requirement for all horses, ponies and donkeys. They must accompany the animal on all road journeys and be on hand for Defra inspection.

Any equine offered for sale that does not have an accurate passport should be regarded as suspicious and avoided.

Freeze branding is a visible mark that allows easy identification and can quickly be linked to the registered owner, usually by phone. Equestrian crime can be limited if we all work together.


This year’s Belton International sees the continued development of this wonderfully popular event, set in the picturesque grounds of Belton Estate, with Sir John Brownlow’s exquisite seventeenth-century house as the central backdrop to the events proceedings.

In this Olympic year all eyes are turning to London and in particular Greenwich, for the equestrian disciplines. As the major pre-Badminton event, and one of the early international dates in the calendar, Belton will be hosting many of the UK’s, and international, top riders, all looking to gain qualifications and impress the selection committees for the coming Games.

Friday is Lincolnshire and Ladies that Lunch day, with a Charity Luncheon taking place, tickets priced £30. This will be in association with Grantham Aga and supporting St Barnabas Hospice, Grantham. Celebrity Chef demonstrations coupled with late night shopping with over 100 trade stands (free entry after 4pm). Lincolnshire County Council will again be using the event to showcase all the wonderful elements that Lincolnshire has to offer.

Saturday is Countryside Day, with gun dog and dog agility demonstrations, ferret racing and activities for children around our new Park Arena. The Hospitality Marquee becomes the central focus for a Countryside Lunch and we see the return of the hugely popular trailblazing Inter-Hunt Relay.

Sunday is Family Day where we see the international competition draw to its fever pitch conclusion. In addition to the equestrian competitions and Tower Equine Stallion Parade, we have a host of arena entertainments, Grantham Classic Car Club display, and a 10km run through the beautiful parkland. ‘Have a go’ dog agility, pottery painting, face painting and the fast and furious Pony Club Games and an unaffiliated dressage competition are also not to be missed.

Three days, tailored to make each visit a veritable feast of excitement, action, fun and enjoyment for young and old alike.

Advance tickets and all the lunch packages are now available to purchase online at www.granthamcup.co.uk giving you a significant saving on gate prices as well as avoiding some of the traffic congestion on the day. Don’t forget that children under 14 are free!

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