1. A commemorative coin for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
News that an iconic image of The Queen riding side saddle is to feature on a commemorative coin to mark her Platinum Jubilee has been widely welcomed. The design, by John Bergdahl and personally approved by Her Majesty, is a nod to those created in honour of the 1953 coronation and 2002 Golden Jubilee. Reactions from H&H readers include “I think that’s very fitting”, “How lovely, she rode side-saddle beautifully” and “The perfect image of our Queen!” The H&H team have to agree.
2. Probably the most laid-back racehorse we’ve ever seen
Racing fans were blown away by the performance of five-year-old Constitution Hill, who powered clear of his rivals in bottomless ground at Sandown on Saturday (8 January) to win the Unibet Tolworth Hurdle by an impressive 12 lengths and jump right into contention for the Cheltenham Festival. Those who didn’t fall in love with the horse there and then, couldn’t fail to do so when a video then emerged of the horse being ridden as a three-year-old by Barry Geraghty’s six-year-old daughter. We can’t think of many three-year-olds that you’d trust to put a small child on for a quick trot around, let alone one that is turning out to be as successful as this one.
3. How a quirky competition horse was turned around
Owners of quirky horses have been inspired by the story of British grand prix dressage rider Sadie Smith and Keystone Dynamite, a somewhat untrainable little horse who went to grand prix, finishing fourth at the nationals with 71%. Sadie puts their success down to being based at Carl Hester’s yard where the horse was exposed to so much. She says: “At Carl’s he had to cope with everything – we all rode together so he had to get used to horses coming towards him, which he never liked. And I had never hacked him before because he was so sharp, but they all have to hack at Carl’s so I had to take him and it helped him to see traffic. Carl has loads of birds, too, so if one shot out the bush he had to cope. Being there made him a much better horse.”
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