Horse Of The Week – Percy.

percy-3Our Horse Of The Week is Percy. His owner, Dawn Taylor-Hawkins explains: “Witchcombe Purple Rain is now aged 10. Also known as Percy and at home, PP and “Perfect Percy” quite a lot of the time too! We have owned Percy for just over 2 years. I own Percy, but his Rider is my son Elliott Taylor-Hawkins aged 18 as of 17th September.”

“Percy is mostly Thoroughbred, a quarter American Paint percy-10Horse and a quarter Shire. We feel the Thoroughbred gives him his stamina and speed for a great Cross Country round within the optimum time. The American Paint Horse gives Percy the nobility and amazing presence he has. The Shire within him perhaps gives him the bone and percy-18sure footedness; continual soundness (touching Wood); possibly the marvellous “Teddy Bear” temperament; reliability; steadiness; and above all, the most incredible good attitude to work. Percy is black and a good 17 hands high. Lovely big fronted Event type.”

“An absolute Gentleman of a horse, his old owner contacted us just over 3 years ago, feeling percy-17that Percy would be the right horse for my son then aged 15 to start Eventing on, she felt the combination would be perfect. We turned her down at first as at 17hh, I personally felt he was too big for a teenage lad, we were looking for 16.2hh no bigger. A year later Elliott grew so much, it was clear at just over 6ft we would be needing a horse of Percy’s size after all! Elliott started riding at age 11, and he joined his local Pony Club, The Dartmoor Hunt. He did Triathlon, and all the usual wonderful Pony Club things including in the early days Mounted Games which was terrific fun on his little speedy pony. Percy was purchased with the view that he and Elliott would start off their percy-4Eventing career together, Percy had not competed significantly and was used as a Hunter before having a break when his Rider emigrated to New Zealand.”

“Percy has a natural air of nobility about him, the most beautiful black horse with just one tiny white sock. We really have found our very own Black Beauty! Percy loves everybody, he adores children and makes a big fuss of the Yard Cats. Mischievous in personality, playful Percy likes to make his presence known at all times, demanding attention and being so gentle and loving, he really is like a big, soppy, black percy-2Labrador!”

“After a bit of a settling in period, Elliott got to work on Percy, introducing him to flatwork, finding out very quickly that Percy’s least favourite discipline really is flatwork!

“We quickly found out that Percy has a really scopey jump as percy-6promised, but he lacked the basics, taking huge leaps and removing strides etc. So, Elliott and his instructor worked very hard taking things right back to the beginning. The dreaded trotting poles and grid work, including low poles to improve his basic technique. Cross Country is the real area Percy excels in, he is bold and fearless, he likes to get into a lovely natural rhythm, covering the ground easily with a super big stride. He is always focused, with an eye on the next viewable jump, helped no doubt by his early days Hunting on Dartmoor in all terrains and conditions. So, after percy-8months of preparation Elliott and Percy had their very first Event, a BE90 at Launceston in Cornwall. Being placed 6th gave them the encouragement to keep going, they were placed 3 times in 5 outings last season. Percy and Elliott also competed at the National Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle in August 2015, their Novice Eventing Team being placed 8th. What a wonderful, proud day for all, including the Mums!”

“This 2016 season, they have progressed within British Eventing to BE100 level. Five outings so far this season has seen them placed every time after consistent Double Clears! The highlight percy-15being 6th place at Bicton International. Whilst Percy still needs work on his Dressage, his Showjumping skills are very good and the hilly terrain, beautiful flowing course and technicality of the Cross Country at Bicton really suited him.”

“Elliott, Percy, and their team mates, Dizzy and Jas on their horses, came 2nd in the Pony Club Eventing Intermediate Areas 2016. Sadly, not quite high enough to get to Championships this year, but there is always next year! Elliott hopes by then he and Percy will be competing at Open Level. Elliott’s dream with Percy, is to compete at Badminton Grassroots 100 level, the Grassroots Regional Finals are late September 2016 in Dorset, just the week after Elliott turns 18 years of age. We have everything crossed for them that they will qualify, if not there is always next year!” percy-11

“There is loads of work to be done still with the Dressage, as Eventing success very much relies on a good Dressage score as well as a Double Clear of course. If Elliott and Percy are lucky enough to qualify for Badminton Grassroots they will then go right onto BE Novice level. Their next challenge. We are all so thrilled with Percy “a bit of low level Eventing” we thought! Whatever we ask of Percy he rises to the challenge and beyond. They really are on their way and it’s such early days too!”

percy-13Percy struggles at times with the necessary balance and flexibility at times within Dressage only, not at all visible within any other discipline. Our Physio who works with Percy regularly, recommended Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips. She has used it with her own horses and has been very pleased with the results. We tried it, and after just a few weeks our Dressage Instructor noticed a real improvement. When we explained that we had started using the supplement she was amazed! We are very percy-1pleased with the results, in fact at one stage we had a gap from using the ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips and we definitely noticed a difference. We wouldn’t use anything else now. Although several people have suggested different brands that they rely on, we like to use the one we have tried and tested for ourselves and have definitely seen results with! The proof is in the percy-7pudding so to speak, after all. Thank you Feedmark!”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Percy for being our Horse Of The Week!percy-9

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Beach Bum.

This is Beach Bum, who is owned by Ashleigh Jukes. Ashleigh told us: “His name is Beach Bum, beach-bum-2but we call him Val on the yard. He is now 15 years old and is a 17hh Sports Horse. We have mostly competed in local events and showing together, but the thing we enjoy the most is galloping on the beach!”

“Val has a past career of showing, but when he came to me three years ago he’d had a couple of years off and needed bringing back into work. He was underweight and seemed quite stressed when in the stable. Val was unresponsive to my leg aids and occasionally reared.”

“I tried Feedmark’s Gastric Comfort and within a few weeks you could see the results. Val is now pretty laid back most of the time (he still has his beach-bum-1moments but that’s the Thoroughbred in him!) and he is in perfect condition.”

“Val is currently having a year off to relax whilst I’m at university, as he has worked so hard the past few years. He really is my best friend and Gastric Comfort has helped to make him the gentle giant that he really is!”beach-bum-3

A FREE tub of Gastric Comfort is on its way to Beach Bum for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your
horse to feature
, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

What actually goes on at a racing yard? Find out from our undercover blogger!

1Alice has asked me to take over the Feedmark Blog this month, as I do have the rather more impressive literary skills, naturally. For those who don’t know me, I am Hi Dancer, and I am a VIR (Very Important Racehorse). An experienced age of 13, I am the heroic victor of 18 races, including a 9 length victory over hurdles this summer.

Anyway, it hasn’t been the easiest week for me. Now, I don’t like to brag, but I’m not stupid, so can only be aware of my rather ‘celebrity’ status on the yard. People know me, which tends to happen when you have been in the industry as long as I have. This also tends to lend me a certain standing here in the yard, and other yards are often heard admiring me, or asking after my well being – my Sedgefield performance this year was even known to have raised a few tears among the crowds. However, and much to my chagrin, I appear to have been rather overshadowed by the arrival of an extremely large animal, who goes by the rather incongruous name of Mr Mole (left) – I mean honestly! Yes, I know he’s won a Grade 2 (whatever!), run in the Champion Chase and had AP McCoy use his back to announce his retirement from – but really?! Does that even compare to 12 years of hard graft, combined with some rather impressive literary skills most equines do not possess?! The excitement buzzing around the yard when he arrived was frankly ridiculous, and I let Ben know my feelings when sulking heavily at Sedgefield on Thursday, certainly not putting my best foot forward in the hurdle race there – and I will proceed to do this until Ben recognizes who is still top dog around here!
Anyway, putting my own personal feelings on the subject aside, I do recognise (grudgingly) just how wonderful this is for the yard, and a huge thanks must go to JP McManus for allowing us this opportunity. He is clearly a very special horse (though from the way he is treated here you would think he is the Messiah!) and hopefully a change of scenery will do this very talented chap some good. We have also welcomed another very large chaser this week in the form of The Doorman, who is busy speaking in a strong Irish accent with Ever So Much. Lots to look forward to!
2Celebrities aside, the yard have been running well on the track, but sadly without quite winning – frustrating, but at least we are all in good form. Toby (Bourbonisto) (Right) found himself back in Scotland the week before last for the third time – he’s going to come back with an accent one of these days! – and ran a really good race under Dougie Costello to finish 3rd. The poor chap has had no luck in running this year, and got heavily boxed in at the wrong time before running on very well, and it is surely only a matter of time before he finds himself bringing home the spoils for owners Daniel and David!
3Bertie (Skellig Michael) and Percy (Prancing Oscar) (left) made the trip to Redcar for their respective debuts over 6 and 7 furlongs. The less said about Bertie the better – I have been berating him heavily since for being a complete embarrassment to the yard. Having never had a coltish thought in his life, he suddenly became excessively interested in fillies, losing the plot completely and failing to even try and come out of the stalls. He than proceeded to check out the entire of Redcar racecourse, before carting his jockey off into the distance once he got to the finishing line: too little too late! Needless to say, he has been put heavily to work at home since, and hopefully will be a little more streetwise next time – or else!
Percy rather redeemed the day in the Middleham Park colours, thank the lord. He looked as leggy as expected in the paddock – Supermodels watch out! – and nearly had Cam Hardie off over his head on the way to the start. However, he jumped the stalls nicely before going very green, and for a panicky moment I thought a repeat of Bert was about to happen – however he knuckled down beautifully in the final half furlong to run on very well into 5th in a decent looking race. He has been much more respectful at home since, and it has done him the world of good, but he is also going through yet another growth spurt. One to watch next year though methinks!

Op (Operateur) (below) and Moonie (Moon Over Rio) also ran very gallant races last week, foiled by well handicapped three year olds with feather weights. Op went off to Newcastle, where he was trying the all-weather for the first time in a very long time, and he hugely enjoyed himself under Paul Mulrennan to come a good 4th of 14. He was very pleased with himself, and will either go to his favourite track Hamilton or a hurdle at Uttoxoter next (I know which one he would prefer!)

4Moonie went off to Carlisle, and ran another very brave race for Graham Lee, who was exceptionally complimentary of her and quickly recognised the largest part of her is most definitely her heart! She is saddled with an awful lot of weight at the moment, and after looking like she was going to win a furlong out, just faded under it in the last furlong to finish 3rd. She may also head back over hurdles next, where hopefully she will be able to show off her dynamite jumping skills to their best effect.
Dursey (Dursey Sound) and Wibble (Man Of La Mancha) also ran races that boded better fortune may well be on the horizon. Richie McLernon rode a waiting race in the 2 mile 5 furlong chase at Sedgefield on one of our newer arrivals, Dursey, but just when he was about to make his move he slipped a little around the final turn. However, Richie felt the race gave him loads of confidence, which he has been lacking recently, and he jumped very well, so fingers crossed he’ll be finishing closer soon. Wibble was again a little frustrating at Newcastle, over 7 furlongs on the all-weather, looking like he was going to win before electing to hold his breath the last half furlong (helpful!) but he is getting stronger slowly and will be a better horse next year.

Until next time,
Dance

Horse Of The Week – Felix.

Felix 1This is Follow The Stars, whose stable name is Felix. Felix is an Appaloosa X Cob and he stands at 16.1hh. He is 7 years old and Emily Catherall has owned Felix for just over a year and a half.

Emily explains: “We bought Felix straight from the breeder as Felix 8a 5-year-old, after he had been backed and turned away. He has been produced slowly by myself since then. So far, we have achieved the following: he has been placed in the top 3 at every Riding Club Felix 9class he has entered, with fantastic comments from judges on his fantastic temperament and looks! Felix has been out competing in Dressage, never scoring less than 65% for Prelim tests and has recently started learning a few Novice level moves! Alongside this, Felix has been to the beach, and has been around farm rides proving incredibly brave over any fence.  He also loves a good hack, but only if we meet an ice cream van that he can poke his head into!”Felix 7

“Our plans for the future are to compete in some one day events, the first of which we are doing at Bold EC on the 17th September. I would also love to take Felix to some county shows in the next year or two as a Working Hunter. He is a complete gentleman Felix 3in every way (some may say a princess) and he absolutely adores children! He will stop for any child, wherever we are and stick his head on the floor where they can reach to stroke his nose.”Felix 12

Steady-Up Advance has given us both so much help when we go out competing and when I school at home. Due to Felix’s naturally nosey personality he had a very small concentration span and I found it draining to keep his concentration!
Felix 14Though now we can happily go out to new places every month and he always knows he is there to work. Steady-Up Advance has been a godsend to us and I can’t see myself getting rid of it for a long time! So, a huge thank you to all of the Feedmark team!”Felix 13

A FREE tub of Steady-Up Advance is on its way to Felix for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like Felix 5your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .Felix 6

Our Euston Park Adventure – Katie Bedwin.

Euston Park is well known in the endurance world, with a championship style venue and fast track. So I thought we could turn a few heads and take my pocket rocket, Burfield Goodie Two Shoes for her second CEI 2* JYR 120km. Now for those of you that don’t know, Shoes, as she’s known at home, is my homebred 13.2hh part bred Arab – so yes she did stick out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of the field!

The first challenge for little Shoes would be the pre-ride vetting, as I said the venue is set up like championship – flags everywhere, undercover vetting, white roped vetting lanes, viewing areas…enough to blow any horses brain! Amazingly, she took everything in her stride and she was an instant hit with the vets and ground jury! She received A’s and 1’s on her vet card, and we were given the all clear to start in the morning!

The next challenge was the introduction of temporary stabling, again no worries from Shoes. She was eating, and drinking well and I swear she was saying to me ‘stop stressing mum, I’ve got this!’.

The next morning the first task was to get the transponder to fit Shoes’ head – harder than you would think, as they are not made for ponies! Once fixed, we tacked up and were ready for off! There were only 16 starters in our class, but that was a lot more than Shoes was used to, in addition to this we were in a large open field, flags galore…and drones! I will admit, I was nervous, very nervous! But I put that to the back of my mind, as I knew Shoes would need me.

3-2-1, we were off! Shoes settled nicely in canter, and we did our best to keep out of the way of the larger horses. We were always going to be a lot slower than the other horses, and I didn’t want to go too fast at the start – much to a certain little pony’s disappointment! Shoes settled on her own, and we even negotiated the river crossings without me getting too damp!

Shoes August 2016 EDIT

We finished the first loop well, but the vet gate environment took its toll on Shoes and her recovery time was not as quick as I would have liked, but she passed with flying colours and we were soon off on the next loop of 30km. I was conscientious that Shoes wouldn’t cope with the 16.5kph we did on the first loop, so we dropped down to 15.3kph. Half way around this loop we met up with another rider in our class, and despite the size difference, Shoes was very happy with her new friend.

In to the second vet gate, and Shoes was still very alert, so her recovery time wasn’t as normal but I wasn’t worried, she was just ready to go. The vets were pleased with her, and we were ready to set off on the penultimate loop – another 30km. Unfortunately, our friend wasn’t able to continue on this loop, so we were out alone once again. Shoes did the first 15km of the third loop well, but then started to struggle. I got off and ran with her and she was much happier. We slowed down to 13kph, and I had decided to see how she went through the vetting and then make a decision about the last loop.

We were so far behind the rest of the field now, the speed did not bother me, all I wanted was a sound and happy pony. She again flew through the vetting, and then ate and drank well. There was a compulsory represent at this vet gate, which pleased me because it allowed me to see if the recovery had been enough for Shoes, and whether she was capable for the last 20km. She was given the all clear to head out on the last loop.

I felt sick, at this moment the end of this 120km seemed like a life time away but if Shoes was sound and capable, then I had to make that last 20km the easiest it could be for her. By now, all the other riders in the 120km were long gone and I was the last horse out of the vet gate accompanied by one 160km horse. We went out of the vet gate together, but that was it, he was long gone! So little Shoes and I were once again alone, it can feel very lonely, but we sang, well I say we… I sang, Shoes listened! The last loop was hard because the majority was two ways, so Shoes battled on until we met the first horse on its way home. She just didn’t understand, typical pony attitude, ‘excuse me mum but that horse is going towards home, we could do that too and it would be much easier’.  But we bumbled on, albeit slowly and we met our crew – she drank well and we carried on around a small loop that would eventually take us back to our crew and then we would be on the way home…but try telling that to a stubborn, chestnut mare, who was insistent that we were still going away from home!

I will be honest; I have never cried so much whilst riding a horse! I ran with Shoes for someway and she was quite happy to canter alongside me – so I knew she was not done just yet, a little bit of taking the mickey I think! We made it back to our crew, and from there had 8km home. Let’s just say that 8km was done on Shoes’ terms, she was quite happy to trot, but at her speed. Well that said, her terms changed when we got within a 1km of the venue and she could see home! Well then she put herself into canter and pulled her way over the line!

We came back to a deserted vet gate, but the ground jury and vets were waiting for us. We cooled Shoes off and then just let her stand until we were happy. I was worried about her getting stiff, so we took her in to vet. I couldn’t watch. All our time and effort had gone into today, could she do it…we were so close and yet so far?

When the vet and ground jury said we had past I couldn’t believe it, it was all worth it! My little pony was qualified for the World Young Rider Championships 2017 – who’d have thought it!

Horse Of The Week – Tornado Tilly.

Tornado Tilly 3Meet Tornado Tilly, a 9-year-old Dartmoor Hill Pony. She is 11.3hh and has been owned by Kelly Faulkner and her family for six years. Kelly explains: “Tilly was bought for us by the in-Tornado Tilly 10laws as a project, and she was only semi-backed.”

 

“Tilly is mainly our Show Jumping Pony, but this year my youngest daughter Caitlin has had a lot of success in
Dressage which has won her the points league at Codham Park Equestrian Centre. Tilly and Caitlin have also Tornado Tilly 7had a win in their first ever workers class, and they do well in Young Handler as they are both so cheeky. Tilly has also competed in Jumpcross, and is generally an all-round superstar!”

Tornado Tilly 2

“We were recently at the Equine Sports UK Championships, as Tilly and Caitlin had qualified to do the 60cm and 65cm Championship Showjumping. They jumped on the Saturday and qualified for Grand Prix on the Sunday, where they came 3rd and 5th overall. Whilst we were there, Caitlin and Tilly competed in Tornado Tilly 1the Young Handler and came 2nd, qualifying for the Championship where they placed 3rd overall.”

 

“Our future plans are to continue enjoying Tilly as Tornado Tilly 8much as we do now, and getting out to a variety of competitions as often as we can.”

 

“Tilly’s only problem was her disgusting habit of
eating her boyfriend’s poo when out in the field with him. Her Tornado Tilly 17boyfriend is Fudge (aka Jammy Dodger 2), an 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross Trotter. We discussed this with Feedmark, and they suggested that we feed BioPro to Tilly, to help support the bacteria in the hind gut.”Tornado Tilly 16

 

“Tilly has now stopped picking at Fudge’s poo, and is Tornado Tilly 5generally much happier and more settled.”

Tornado Tilly 12

A FREE tub of BioPro is on its way to Tornado Tilly for being our Horse Of The Week!

 

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please Tornado Tilly 18send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Ben Haslam Racing Update.

August 1Things have started getting a bit busier again here at Castle Hill Stables, though we have had the normal frustrations of horses running well, but not quite hitting the top spot.

Moon Over Rio (left) probably produced the best performance of the last couple of weeks, when finishing a good 3rd in a competitive race at Thirsk over 1 mile 4 furlongs, despite being drawn on the wide outside and the ground being firmer than ideal for her. She will hopefully head to Carlisle next week, where with any luck her good form will continue!

We have a few 2 year olds out and about at the end of this week, including Bourbonisto at Hamilton, who is looking very well at home, and Skellig Micheal and Prancing Oscar (right) at August 2Redcar, who will both be making their racecourse debuts. This is always a nerve wracking time for all involved, as one is never quite sure how they are going to behave: luckily, they often surprise us and rise to the occasion well. Fingers crossed these two will make a good first impression on the racing public!

Unbelievably, we seem to have somehow got back to the time of year when we are frantically running around the yearling sales, looking for next year’s stars (we hope!) Sales season kicked off for us yesterday at Doncaster, where Goffs put on a heavenly display of horses, and one feels a bit like a kid in a candy shop: sadly, they cost a little more than your average sweet!

We were delighted to come back with two good looking colts, striking early on by buying Lot 4, a August 3lovely looking son of Camacho (left). A half -brother to a Group 1 winner, he looks a good buy and looks sure to grow plenty  over the next couple of months. We had to wait until Lot 92 for the next one to catch our eye, and we were very pleased to secure an extremely strong, good looking son of Dandy Man (below, right). He looks ready to rock and roll now!

It is always nice to be able to get a couple of the young ones in early, as it means we can start them off whilst the weather is nice and warm, rather than in gale force winds and snow! We spend a couple of August 4months lunging and long reining them, and introducing them to a rider, before they have a little break to consolidate what they have learned and allow them to grow further. It is quite extraordinary to stand a racehorse yearling next to another breed of the same age and see how much physically stronger they are! Anyway, the riders will start taking there brave pills now, as breaking season always has its fair share of entertainment watching the babies bunny hopping their way around the gallops!

Annie Joppe – All About Dilmun.

Well this time it’s all about Dilmun. Well, almost!

Fantom is supposed to be on holiday to recover from all the little stresses his legs must have received after his 160kms race.  Nobody told him he was on holiday!  Big mistake I have a lunatic on my hands.  He has at present his own paddock area next to Dilmun, both of which are extended on a daily basis to allow the boys to receive a measured amount of fresh grass each day.  Dilmun’s paddock is slightly closer to the stables to it seemed obvious to move his fence first – NO, WRONG DECISION!  As soon as Fantom saw this all hell broke loose and to avoid the kicking, snorting and galloping I had to flee.  He is sooooo precocious.

Focus turned to Dilmun with his imminent second 1* coming up; this time at the College Equestrian Centre at Keysoe.  Dilmun had been here once before for the final selection for the World Equestrian Games whilst Fantom had been here twice before, both times winning the 2* – a lucky venue for me.

I have to say that Dil didn’t relish his training so much for this 1* and it all seemed rather hard work.  Not so much fitness-building was required this time as he still had a good fitness base from the race at Euston Park at the end of May.  Instead I concentrated more on schooling and interval training which seemed to go down a lot better than prolonged canter sessions.

Filming with Spotlight AUGUST 2016 1A couple of weeks before we were due to go to Keysoe we were contacted by BBC Spotlight South West to arrange some filming.  This duly took place on Perranporth Beach with me accompanied, of course, by Dilmun.  We had good weather, arranged the time to coincide with low tide and it was all systems go.  As usual I rode Dilmun down to the beach taking about an hour this time as we walked all the way to preserve his ‘hairstyle’.  We met a very impressive Janine Jansen who lugged all her equipment onto the beach on her own, interviewed us, filmed us cantering on the beach and then took her equipment almost vertically up the dunes to film us doing our interval training.  I must admit I think we both (Dilmun and I) felt more tired after this than after a full workout!

After Dilmun had his special shoes with pads fitted and a luxurious massage from Kate McCarthy, we were on our way to Keysoe.  I had chosen not to stable there but, as it was forecast to be very hot, to corral instead.  This time it was just one crew; my wonderful husband Robert, so everything had to be organised like a military operation:  corral set up, check in, set up vet gate, attend briefing, recce of crew points around the course.  Pre-ride vetting was in the morning from 6:00 am but the start wasn’t until 8:45 am so there was a lot of time to fill to good use.  Lots of walking followed, grazing in hand, breakfast for humans, last minute things put in the vetgate and the crew car and careful tacking up and warming up in all three paces.

Well there was a good-sized International field and the weather was fantastic (at least if you wanted to lie on a beach).  We rode out with the leaders and maintained a good pace around the first loop of 40kms.  However, coming into the vetting area it was apparent that Dilmun was so hot even with iced water poured over him.  As soon as you present to the vets the clock stops and no more crewing is allowed.  The vet area was over 30 degrees and we had a pulse of 66 bpm which meant we had to represent costing us at least another 6 minutes.

On the second loop we had to start well behind the leaders which was a little demoralising, but Dilmun soon picked up again when we had company and we passed a fairly uneventful loop.  Dilmun at Keysoe AUGUST 2016 2Again, though, our presentation was slow, partly I think due to the heat and partly because we needed another pair of hands.  This meant that we had to start the last loop all on our own in the hottest part of the day.

By now Dil was really feeling the heat and we were passed by a couple of riders, eventually coming home in 12th place.  Lessons have been learned – Dilmun is not a hot weather horse, you need more than one crew on a race ride however well-behaved the horse is and, in retrospect, with the forecast being so hot, it might have been better to have withdrawn and saved our efforts for another day.  However, no harm done and a solid completion gained.

Dilmun’s piece on the beach aired on television, facebook and twitter, and had almost 20,000 views and nearly 100 shares on facebook alone; such is the power of television.  Good for raising endurance’s profile.  This is a sport just begging to be an Olympic discipline with over 30 different countries participating and events taking place all over the World. It is inclusive and open to all and embraces the Olympic ethos.  Unfortunately horse sports are not popular in the Olympics and there currently is no question of a 4th equestrian sport being added; indeed it is debatable how long equestrian sport as a whole will remain part of the Olympics. Equestrians, we need to promote our wonderful sports far more effectively!

Horse Of The Week – Jez.

Jez 2Our Horse Of The Week is owned by Jemma Snow, who explains: “This is my flea-bitten grey ex racer, called Slow To Part (aka Jez). Jez is 19 years old and stands at 16.2hh. He ran 47 races under rules, then went in to Point-to-Point, before ‘retiring’ to aJez 1 field for a year. At the time I wasn’t actively looking for a horse, but I was gifted Jez, by a friend, on Valentine’s day four years ago. What better gift could a woman want!”

“At first, Jez was very regimented, only having been on race yards previously. I’ll never forget the first time he spotted a Shetland. Having never seen one before he had no idea what it was! He soon stole my heart and that’s when our story began.”

Jez 6“He is now my best friend and 99% of the time he gives back 100%. Although, being a seasoned ex racer he knows all the tricks in the book, which accounts for the other 1%! He has really helped my confidence and he always makes me laugh with his cheeky ways!”Jez 3

“I started him on ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips a couple of months ago to help with his stiffness, and it has helped tremendously. I would highly recommend this fabulous supplement! It has enabled us to continue to go out competing and attending clinics most weekends.”

“Jez has even been mistaken for a 4-year-old with his new bouncy ways. We look forward to continuing to enjoy our time together! Thanks Jez 4again for making such a fabulous product.”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Jez for being our Horse Of The Week.

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE Jez 5WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Bas.

Mr Basil B 122-year-old Bas is our new Horse Of The Week, and has been owned by Angie Jones-Moore for the past five and a half years. Angie explains: “My horse Mr Basil B is a 15.3hh, veteran thoroughbred, and a very lively one at that. We primarily hack and take part in low level dressage, and we often have lessons with a local trainer to keep us both switched on.

I took Bas to the beach before he was unwell and it was fabulous. Galloping with no restrictions was the most exhilarating experience, no need to pull up quickly because of gates either! Bas has taken part in eventing in the past, his previous owner took part in an awful lot of dressage when he was younger, he has won all manner of competitions and was supreme champion on one occasion.

Last year Bas had a problem that lead him to be put on box rest.  Unfortunately, after this Mr Basil B 4period his legs would get very fat when kept in; and as he is a very good do-er, I keep him stabled at night all-year-round, to restrict him from feeding his face non-stop!

I took it upon myself to have a look on the internet and I found No Fill, being completely natural I felt confident that I could try Bas with it and even if it didn’t do any good the supplement certainly wouldn’t do any harm. I am always nervous to try new supplements because he is so sensitive, I don’t like to upset his well-balanced gut.

The tub was a lot bigger than I thought and I soon realised why when I opened it, the herbs smell great and are not mashed into powder or granules, they look like dried herbs should. Bas ate the No Fill with ease and I increased the quantity to the recommended amount over a number of days.

Mr Basil B 3After feeding for a month, I have to say I have noticed that Bas’ legs have seemed normal for a while now. I will continue to feed No Fill and I am going to try Bas for a short period in the stable with no leg wraps, to see how his progression goes.

Bas is well loved and part of our family, we became ‘Team Bas’ when he was poorly, my husband and two children are all very good at bandages and leg wrapping now! I see Bas twice a day, every day and we have a very close bond, we ride anywhere and everywhere with no trouble at all. I trust him and he trusts me too.

I am really pleased with the results so far; they can only keep getting better! I am building Bas’ fitness at the moment, we have been restricted to walk for almost a year! I hope to enter some local dressage competitions before summer is over, and with the help of No Fill his legs will be more than up to the job!”

A FREE tub of No Fill is on its way to Bas for being our Horse Of The Week!Mr Basil B 2
COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .