1. Highway Code changes coming into play
Depending on where you’ve looked on social media in recent days, either you’ll have found people delighted with the changes to the hierarchy of road users and the specific recommendations for drivers to slow to a maximum of 10mph and give two metres’ clearance when passing horses – and saying they’ve seen a real change in drivers’ behaviour already… Or, more likely, you’ll find people confused about whether cyclists and horse riders/carriage drivers are considered more vulnerable than each other and complaining that equestrians are not being given as much airtime as pedestrians and cyclists in the press. Here at H&H we have sourced some further clarification on the hierarchy of road users from the Department for Transport, which we will be sharing with you shortly and we hope will help to clear this up.
In the meantime, we encourage all equestrians to make themselves as visible as possible to all other road users by donning high-vis rider clothing for themselves and high-vis for their horses too. Whatever the Highway Code says, “be safe, be seen” is as true now as it ever was.
2. An exciting new ride – with a new name
Piggy March has added a new name to her string for the 2022 eventing season, and he’s a stallion to boot. Formerly competed by Australia’s Kevin McNab under the name of Scuderia 1918 Humphreys, the grey nine-year-old three-star winner is now called Halo. He’s been bought by Jayne McGivern, whose previous horses with Piggy include the 2018 world team gold medallist and 2o19 European team silver medallist Quarrycrest Echo. As yet Halo hasn’t covered any mares and Piggy intends to keep it that way until she’s established a relationship with him in competition. But in the longer term it’s hoped he will also become an asset for Piggy’s husband Tom’s March Stud. We’re looking forward to seeing this exciting pair make their competitive debut.
3. Why you should never give up
When Paisley Park gave the field in the Welsh Marches Stallions at Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle on Cheltenham Trials Day a dozen lengths or more advantage at the start, few gave him any chance of being at the sharp end when it mattered. Ruby Walsh commented on ITV Racing that they might as well head straight back to the paddock as all hopes had gone. But the legendary Irish jockey turned TV pundit was forced to eat his words when the mighty warrior belied his 10 years of age when storming home to win under Aidan Coleman. The crowd gave the Emma Lavella-trained hurdler a welcome back into the winner’s enclosure that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Cheltenham Festival to show their appreciation. The only thing that could made made this incredible and emotional performance more wonderful would have been if his owner Andrew Gemmell had been able to attend, instead of following the action from his hospital bed. We hope to see him back in the paddock alongside his brilliant horse very soon.
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.