The late Queen’s ponies to move, a new job for William Funnell, and more things the horse world is talking about

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  • The late Queen’s ponies to move

    The late Queen’s Highland pony breeding programme is to be moved from Balmoral Castle to England. A spokesman for Balmoral said the stud would return to Hampton Court Palace near London rather than continuing at the Scottish castle in which Her Majesty spent her last days. “Historically the royal Highland pony breeding programme has been based at Hampton Court Palace,” said a Balmoral spokesman. “In 2007 a small programme was opened on the Balmoral Estate. Breeding will now be consolidated back to Hampton Court Palace; during this period of transition the Royal Household is in consultation with staff who will be affected by the change.”

    Find out more about the move

    William Funnell’s new role

    As team trainer for the UAE riders (pictured winning individual silver and bronze at the Asian Games), William Funnell is setting his sights on a medal at next year’s Olympic Games. Credit: FEI/Yong Teck Lim

    Top British showjumper William Funnell is taking a step back from the sport to take on a new role as chef d’equipe for the United Arab Emirates showjumping team. The four-time Hickstead Derby winner and European team gold medallist will be training the UAE riders ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics, for which the nation qualified in Doha at the start of this year. “It’s a nice focus and something I’m going to be committed to fully for the next seven or eight months. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think we could go to Paris with a really good chance of winning a medal. We have a lot of work to do, but that’s the goal,” said William. “It came at the right time, because I don’t think I have a horse for Paris.”

    Read more about William’s new job

    Ban on live export for slaughter

    transport to slaughter

    Welfare charities have welcomed the Government’s commitment to ban live export for slaughter, as a “historic day for animal welfare”. The news was outlined in The King’s speech (7 November), which set out the Government’s agenda for the next year. A Defra spokesman told H&H: “We recognise the long-standing public concern with livestock and horses being exported for slaughter and fattening. We are introducing the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill to deliver our manifesto commitment to end this trade.”

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