1. Tim Gredley’s Hickstead Derby return
British showjumper Tim Gredley (pictured, top) has set his sights on making his Hickstead Derby return for the first time since his debut as a teenager. The 36-year-old has taken the reins on the 16-year-old Gentlemen VH Veldhof, who was originally bought for Tim’s sister Polly to ride, and came from David Simpson, who rode the gelding to victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hickstead in 2019. Former British team rider Tim, who took a break from the sport but made his international return to showjumping in 2019, has been schooling round David Simpson’s Derby fences at home and says Gentleman has taken well to a return to the natural fences.
2. Blow for point-to-pointing
No more point-to-point fixtures will run at Barbury Castle – one of the UK’s leading courses, which hosts multiple meetings a season – as it is no longer financially viable. A statement from Barbury Castle Estate said that “no firm decision” has been taken on the long-term future of the course, but that racing will cease for the forthcoming season “and into the foreseeable future”. “The course has been operating at a loss for a number of years, which has been compounded by the cancellation of meetings during the Covid pandemic and a significant reduction in sponsorship revenues,” adds the statement. “Against this backdrop, surging inflation has also substantially raised the costs of maintaining the course and the required multi-year capital investment programme.”
3. The hardest decision
Work is under way on creating a model for shared decision-making on equine euthanasia, which, it is hoped, will help owners and benefit horse welfare. A review of end-of-life decision-making models used for dogs, cats and equids, conducted by PhD student Amelia Cameron of the University of Nottingham, found that although there has been work relating to domestic pets, there is very little concerning horses. Professor Sarah Freeman, who supervised the project, says that the next step is to develop a model that would enable all those involved in a horse’s care, including yard owners, farriers and sharers, for example, to discuss the issues affecting the decision “It will still be a difficult decision but if you’re going through it with others, it’s an easier process and if you’re supported afterwards, that’s much better,” she says. “And from the horse’s point of view, making the decision at the right time, and on the right evidence, will be very important for their welfare.”
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