1. The drawn order for Maryland 5*
Excitement is building for Maryland, the brand new US five-star, and the order was released yesterday, with competitors doing the “jog”, or trot-up, today. There are 48 riders contesting the five-star – there is a three-star happening at Maryland as well this week – including Brit Oliver Townend, who has a middle of the field draw on Cooley Master Class. We wait to find out whether Oliver will do his dressage on Thursday or Friday, which depends on final withdrawals. Zara Tindall (Class Affair) will wear number 137, while Harry Meade (Superstition) sports number 140, meaning they will both ride their dressage tests on Friday. US-based Brit Leslie Law (Voltaire De Tre) will start just two riders before Oliver.
2. This talented 12-year-old
For most riders one victory at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is enough, but this year a super competitive 12-year-old took two classes across different sports within an hour of each other. After winning the 128cm children’s riding pony of the year accolade on Lisha Leeman’s home-bred Kellythorpe Tiny Dancer (Gillie), Cate Kerr dashed to the International Arena to ride three ponies in the 128cm showjumping championship. Cate promptly won the class on her 10-year-old dun gelding Dunbarover IV (Yogi), and made showjumping history by becoming the first rider to win the 128cm championship on the same pony for two years in a row. Quite the achievement.
3. The sad passing of Trevor Hemmings
Trevor Hemmings, three-time Grand National-winning owner and one of racing’s most ardent and popular supporters, has died aged 86. Tributes have poured in from across the sporting world for the philanthropist and businessman. Brought up in Woolwich Arsenal, where his father worked at the munitions factory, Trevor was sent to Lancashire as a five-year-old during World War II. He left school at 15 to become a bricklayer’s apprentice, going on to set up his own housebuilding company with £12 capital. Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) were the three horses to carry his colours to the winners enclosure in the Aintree showpiece. Many enjoyed seeing how much he loved his horses and the attention he lavished on them in their retirement. He will be greatly missed.
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Hedgehunter, winner of the 2005 Grand National and runner-up the following year, has been retired from the racetrack
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