Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI
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“After London my main aim was to try and become world number one. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, to be honest”
All about Scott Age 28 BirthplAce Peebles, Scotland top horses hello sanctos (left) 12-year-old gelding, Scott’s London 2012 medal-winning mount. Sharp, quick and fast – always a contender in a Grand Prix. Ursula Xii 13-year-old mare, previously ridden by Tina Fletcher. Good performances in 2013 Nations Cup and international Grand Prix. Bon Ami 13-year-old gelding, produced by Scott. Very fast speed horse with many big wins.
Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos - bronze medallists at the 2013 European Championships in Denmark
Photos: PC Images
Team chasing is not only great fun, but a wonderful way to build your confidence and make new friends, too
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In the saddle
Team spirit Looking for something new and exciting to do with your weekends? Jane Carley from British Team Chasing explains how this fun sport could be just the ticket
ould team chasing be your next big challenge? Looks fun, but a bit scary, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that this adrenalin-filled sport actually gives horses and riders bags of confidence, and to top it off, it’s the friendliest, most fun way to spend a Sunday! Team chasing does have a reputation for being a fast and furious activity that appeals to speed demons on bold horses, and it’s fair to say that at championship level it isn’t for the faint-hearted, with riders often choosing to ride Thoroughbreds for their speed. However, team chasing at the lower levels is a great sport for the average horse and rider, too.
What is team chasing? Teams of three or four horses and riders take on a course of cross-country fences, mainly derived from natural obstacles – hedges, timber or ditches and water. In speed classes, the fastest team to get three members home wins, with the team time calculated as the third crosses the finish line. But every event also includes at least one ‘optimum (bogey) time’ class over a smaller track, ideal for new combinations, green horses or those who just want to enjoy the fences without going too fast. Several events are also adding intermediate bogey-time classes to allow more experienced horses and riders the chance to jump a bigger track. One of the attractions of team chasing is that it has few complicated rules. Those that are in place are designed to keep horses and riders safe, and ensure fair competition. And with no membership fees or complicated grades, anyone can dip in to team chasing at whatever level suits their horse and fits in with their other activities. However, before you try team chasing for the first time, it is useful to have an idea of what to expect and a certain amount of forward planning will make your first outing more enjoyable.
Choosing the right class There are three main classes in team chasing. Here’s what to expect in each of them...
Fixed obstacles that are not to exceed 3ft 3in (1m) – most are actually around 2ft 9in (85 cm) and very inviting. The length of the course will be approximately 1½ miles.
The majority of fixed obstacles to be approximately 3ft 6in (1.07m), but not to exceed 3ft 9in (1.14m). The length of the course will be approximately 1¾ miles.
The majority of fixed obstacles to be not less than 3ft 6in (1.07m). The length of course will be approximately two miles and not less than 1½ miles.
Part FOUr In this feature. . . ➤ Lungeing over poles and cavaletti
As told to Kelly McCarthy-Maine. Photos: Bob Atkins. Claire teaches from The Claire Lilley Training Centre in Wiltshire and also travels for lessons, clinics and demos, clairelilley.com
Our trainer Claire Lilley has been teaching in the UK and abroad for more than 30 years. Claire has trained in Germany as Bereiter, ridden at top level in showjumping and dressage, and worked with many young horses, where she learnt the importance of lungeing and in-hand work. For details, see clairelilley.com
Our models Although quiet at home, 14-year-old Trakehner Heinrich gladly takes the role of feature attraction once he has an audience. He competes up to Advanced Medium level dressage, has starred in a Michael Jackson-themed double act and takes part in live dressage-to-music performances with his very own singer, Lorraine Mahoney. Claire has owned three-yearold KWPN x TB stallion Mr Foley since he was a colt. “everything is a continuation with young horses – I love seeing them all develop.”
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In the final instalment of this four-part series, discover how lungeing over poles and cavaletti can transform how your horse moves, and encourages him to think on his feet – with expert, Claire Lilley
In the saddle
➤ Exercise session ideas ➤ Single poles and grids ➤ Solving problems
Lungeing your horse over a pole on the ground can transform his state of mind and greatly improve his way of going
ven just stepping over a single pole asks your horse to pay attention, consider where he is placing his feet and use his whole body to elevate his paces. Lungeing over poles can help young horses learn body awareness, nervy horses settle and older or more laid-back horses become supple and athletic. Although I may warm the horse up with a lungeing aid like a chambon or side-reins (see
‘Love your lungeing’, February, H&R), I prefer to start polework without any lungeing aids attached. Even experienced horses can take a look at, leap over or otherwise make dramatic movements when first faced with a pole on the floor. You must take care not to punish them for being careful or exuberant with a bang in the mouth. If straightness, steering or control is an issue, I will often choose to double-lunge over the poles (see ‘Love your lungeing’, March H&R). Doublelungeing gives me a greater degree of control, while still allowing the horse the widest range of movement and ultimate flexibility.
Leg protection for your horse ➤ Brushing boots can help protect your horse’s legs as he works on the circle and over poles. ➤ Over-reach boots can help keep shoes on and protect the horse from overreach injuries.
For the arena ➤ Three or more poles. ➤ Cavaletti. ➤ Extra poles or plastic corner siding to ‘ramp’ the sides of the cavaletti and prevent the lunge line from catching on the sides.
Lungeing over cavaletti is an exercise that can benefit horses of all ages and stages in their training.
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Our trainers When Sharon Tolley decided to set up an equestrian centre, she ended up with a yard full of cobs. She has found them truly versatile, catering for a variety of abilities. Lauren Preskey, BSc equine Management, is the yardâ€™s instructor and helps Sharon choose new horses. There are also two BHS-qualified instructors who teach at the centre.
As told to Soraya Abdel-Hadi. Photos: Bob Atkins
Paddy is a nine-yearold, 13hh coloured cob, who Sharon Tolley bought two years ago. Charlie is a sevenyear-old coloured cob. He is used in the riding school for everyone, from autistic riders to a nine-year-old boy who jumps him. Instructor Lauren Preskey schools all the riding school horses, including Charlie. She is hoping to take him showing this year.
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For the love of
cobs Sharon Tolley explains why sheâ€™s based her riding school business around coloured cobs
In the saddle
ccording to Sharon Tolley, owner of the Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre: “There is no such thing as a ploddy cob. On the contrary – I find that they can cleverly gauge the ability of the rider and adapt accordingly. For example, our horses can have a severely disabled rider or autistic child on their backs in the morning, then transform into absolute machines when we take them out into the forest in the afternoon. They know when they can play!” Sharon smiles as she talks affectionately about the 16 coloured cobs who make up the majority of mounts at her three-year-old centre. The business might be relatively new, but Sharon’s affection for cobs came long before. “When I was a little girl, we had a coloured cob in the field next door to me,” she says. “I was about three and I became fascinated. Later, in my teens, I would go to the sales. Coloured cobs were so cheap, no-one wanted them. Travellers would buy them for £50. I remember thinking that they were deemed worthless, but their temperaments were so marvellous. I think my soft spot for them came from there.”
Building a business
On a tour of the yard, Sharon explains how her interest in cobs turned into a business plan. “I’m from a corporate background and have had to work hard to get the horses I wanted. But about three years ago, I decided I wanted to set up an ➤
From trekking to schooling and jumping. . . you name it, Sharon’s cobs can do it!
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In the fantastic Spring issue of Horse&Rider we tell you how to love your lungeing, create a more confident horse and understand the true ro...