Top horses renamed, plus a new deal for Charlotte Dujardin

  • Top showjumpers William Funnell and Joe Stockdale have signed major sponsorship deals with Equine America that involve renaming a number of their leading horses.

    Four of William’s horses will now carry the Equine America prefix under the new sponsorship agreement: Billy Diamo, Billy Take That, Billy McCain and Billy Marmite.

    “It goes right back to the days of Cortaflex Mondriaan so it’s been quite a long association with the company,” he said, adding it’s an “old association, but a new sponsorship”.

    “In this environment it’s a bit of positive news.”

    Equine America will prefix the names of Joe’s top string and the 21-year-old will also ride in the company’s logo and colours.

    “I’m thrilled that they have the confidence to support me in the early stages of my career,” said Joe.

    Equine America managing director Lee Middleton added that supporting Joe “with his talent and large online following” puts the brand in touch with the worldwide younger generation of equestrians.

    “Joe has a very strong string of horses and I will be proud to hear Equine America, announced in front of the horse’s name, every time he is jumping in the ring, watched online or at shows,” added Mr Middleton.


    The equine supplements and products brand has signed a new partnership with Charlotte Dujardin.

    The multiple gold medallist said she has already been using the products for several months and it has been “a real joy seeing the results with the horses”.

    “It has been quite a journey already with NAF, as I’ve really valued taking my time to get to know the products in more detail, the team behind the name, and all the capabilities of the supplements, in helping my horses become the best they can be,” she said.

    “Sponsorship has always been such a privilege to have and I never take it for granted, but know that for me, my horses and their wellbeing will always come first. If I don’t truly believe in the products that I support, or see the effects I am looking for, I won’t put my name behind the brand.”

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    Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable

    The RSA Novices’ Chase is to be renamed as part of a new sponsorship deal involving the Cheltenham Festival, Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable.

    The Grade One, which was won last year by the Nicky Henderson-trained Champ, has been backed by the RSA Insurance Group and its predecessors, Sun Alliance and Royal & Sun Alliance, since 1974.

    It will now be known as the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, held this year on day two of the Festival (17 March), in a new three-year deal with the companies.

    Brown Advisory, an independent investment firm, and breeding and racing operation Merriebelle Stable, have sponsored the Grade Three Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase since 2015.

    Mike Hankin, president and chief executive of Brown Advisory, said the companies are “thrilled and honoured” to assume sponsorship of the historic Grade One race.

    “In these challenging and uncertain times, we believe it’s important to reaffirm our support for an industry upon which many livelihoods and communities depend,” said Mr Hankin.

    “We see no better place to do this than in this race, home to many storied horses — Arkle, Denman, Champ, and what looks to be another star in the making, Monkfish. We look forward to watching the action remotely this year, and in person next.”

    Ian Renton, regional managing director for the Jockey Club, thanked Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable for their “continued and generous support”.

    The Worshipful Company of Loriners

    Racing Welfare has announced a new partnership with the Worshipful Company of Loriners, which will supporting the charity’s “life skills” programme.

    The programme, delivered by the British Racing School (BRS) and National Horseracing College, helps students learn skills to prepare them for future careers in the racing industry.

    “In these difficult times, helping young people fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions has never been more important,” said master loriner Mary-Jane Atkinson.

    “The outcomes of the life skills programme closely align with our charitable objectives and we are delighted to support this thoroughly worthwhile cause.”

    Racing Welfare chief executive Dawn Goodfellow said it is “wonderful” to have the organisation’s support for the “indispensable” training provided through the life skills programme.

    BRS chief executive Grant Harris added: “The life skills programme is an absolutely essential part of the training we provide as it prepares our trainees for independent living by giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to avoid many of the problems they would otherwise encounter as they move from education to employment.

    “We are very grateful to Racing Welfare for their continued support of such a vital programme.”

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