Death of a dressage star, fireworks and other things the horseworld is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Swedish superstar dies aged 31

    “Björsells Briar is a legend and for that he will always be remembered,” said the charismatic and distinctive stallion’s rider, Jan Brink – a key member of the Swedish dressage team for nine consecutive championships riding this wonderful stallion. The pair were the perfect match, always a joy to watch, and contested an incredible 250 grands prix. The horse retired fit and well to owner Hans-Yngve Göransson 11 years ago, living out his days in the stables where he grew up. Jan kept him happy and healthy through his long and esteemed career by barely schooling him once he had reached grands prix, preferring to take him for long hacks in the forest and leg stretches up the gallops. He leaves a strong legacy as a breeding sire, too.

    Read Jan’s tribute to Briar

    2. Fireworks – time for change

    A petition calling for a review of firework rules is edging closer to a million signatures. The change.org petition, launched by Julie Doorne of the Firework Campaign, calls for an urgent review of firework regulations to “further restrict their use, as a step to preventing needless animal suffering”. The petition had been signed by 995,547 signatures by yesterday (21 January). Sign the petition here.

    Find out more about the need for change

    3. Width of working hunter fences

    Concerns over the increase in spread widths in mountain and moorland (M&M) Heritage working hunter pony classes was a hot topic at the BSPS members’ conference held virtually on 19 January. Championship show vice-chairman Philip Hilton confirmed that the change has come on account of “pleading course-builders, judges and competitors” who had made note of the lack of challenge in Heritage working hunter classes at championship shows. But several members questioned the rule amendment, including Christine Pearsall who voiced concerns that the exceeding 143cm section was rapidly becoming a “Connemara class” and that the increase would only discourage entries from owners of other breeds.

    Read the full story

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