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National Championship 29 March 2020
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Stephen Clark Hangs up his Boots

Posted: November 2019

Stephen Clark, the popular captain of Team Ride Away announced his retirement at the Essex and Suffolk event.

He says that as he nears 66 years old it is time to hang up his boots.

Stephen came to our sport late in life after enjoying other equestrian pursuits including point to pointing and founded Team Ride Away in 2010 with his daughter Ruth, son Richard and niece Rachel.

He cheerfully admits it was a steep learning curve, especially as their mounts were ex-racehorses, many of which had come from the flat. He has enjoyed great support from and formed life-long friendships with team-mates Bryan Allen, Joe Stevenson and Sophie Candy.

They have enjoyed great success, winning the national championship in 2016 and 2019, the intermediate league in 2018 and the open league in 2016. Stephen and his wife Angela have welcomed countless new riders to the squad and shared with them the hospitality and fun that makes team chasing unique and Team Ride Away a very important part of the team chasing family. Ensuring that horses and riders had a good time and developed in confidence was always more important than the win.

However, there have been low points too – Stephen has suffered more than his fair share of injuries, resulting in worry for Angela and often confusion for paramedics who were left wondering where that person they were trying to put in the ambulance had disappeared to.

After an accident at home in 2017, Stephen lost most of his left thumb and has since perfected a one-handed style of riding that would make a cowboy proud.

Perhaps his greatest contribution has been the sense of fairness and the warmth and friendliness he has shown to other competitors, organisers and volunteers. No event has gone by without him thanking the organisers and praising their efforts with the course and the ground, and it has been widely appreciated.

As Stephen moves onto other projects and Angela breathes a sigh of relief, we hope they will be tempted to come and visit us often and enjoy the continuing legacy of Team Ride Away.

Stephen says:
“I never imagined when I founded The Ride-Away team in 2010 it would grow so much. I will miss the competitive spirit and adrenaline rush and the wonderful people all of which I compete against but are best friends who are always ready to help when you need it most - some great characters: Dickie, Will F.G, Burty, Belinda.”

“Some of our best moments have been our first open win at the Bicester, winning the Championship around the Heythrop, the open and Inter leagues a few times and the Silver Spur.”
“The worst - falls, traveling, and I once raised an objection to our time after a competition! Never again, all those people who give their spare time and then you object! Remember, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

“I owe a lot of thanks to Bryan Allen. I have had a lot of horses from him and he helped me when I was very green to team chasing, almost a mentor.  Sophie and Joe have become very good friends and I am sure will continue to keep the Ride-Away flag flying -  and Angela and I will miss them lots.”

“I may not be the winning-most jockey, leave that to Rowan, Yvonne, and Dickie, but would like to be remembered   for riding  many different  horses and not just a one horse wonder - Slim, Toss the Caber, Tyson, Gladstar, Coconut Beach, Big Pete, Cougar, all multiple winners.”

Stephen cites winning the championship at the Heythrop as one of his highlights.

Friends and family: Bryan Allen, niece Rachel, daughter Ruth and Stephen

Winning the bottle of champagne for the fastest individual performance at the Atherstone.

One handed riding.

At the Essex and Suffolk…a favourite track.

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Fox Grant Score League Double

Posted: November 2019

The Fox Grant squad scored a historic double in the 2019 British Team Chasing leagues, which culminated at the Essex and Suffolk event, Fox Grant Dot Com being crowned open champions while Fox Grant Thrusters I took the intermediate title.

Fox Grant Dot Com has dominated the open classes this year, winning six in a row and scoring points in every round of the league. They dominated the series, pulling clear by 35 points in the end.

The core team of William Grant, Yvonne Goss, Phil Nichols and Anna Stone have thrilled spectators with their swashbuckling style: Yvonne out front on the ebullient Jaffa, Anna and Phil ducking and diving on Boyce and Harry close behind, and William often acting as the sweeper if the speed and risk taking led to drama.

Team Ride Away I and Wishful Thinkers, 2019 and 2018 Skinners National Champions respectively, fought a valiant battle for the runner-up slot, Ride Away prevailing with some good results in the autumn.

Team Ride Away II also hit form in the autumn to climb the table to fourth slot, while Boring Gorings utter consistency, despite several rider injuries, saw them take 5th.

Fox Grant Thrusters I also proved that getting on the scoreboard every week pays dividends, second place at the Essex and Suffolk after a dramatic round being enough to secure the British Team Chasing Intermediate League.

Bringing some less experienced riders and horses to the fore as the intermediate classes were introduced to do, the Thrusters squad is made up of Pandora Lovett, Liffy Fowler, Anna Stone, Will Grant, Yvonne Goss, Bryan Allen and Phil Nichols.

Runners-up were last year’s victors Team Ride Away IV, who after a scratchy start to the season won seven rounds of the league, including the Essex and Suffolk intermediate.

The ultra-competitive Eternal Optimists gave them both a run for their money in third slot, with stablemates Hope Springs Eternal fourth, and More Boring Gorings fifth.

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A change of direction for The Warwickshire Hunt Team Chase

Posted: Oct 2019

It was a year of change for The Warwickshire Hunt Team Chase, with the committee unveiling a completely different layout and course at the event in September. The new course was well received by the team chasing community and complimented as being one of the best for viewing, which was one of the main intentions of the committee. The new direction of the event however, did not come without a lot of hard work.

The Warwickshire Hunt event has been held at the same venue since 2011 and until this year the course and layout of the event have remained largely unchanged. The idea for the change was the brainchild of Mark Warner and his partner Emily, the landowners of the venue. It came up for discussion after Mark had been along to a few competitions to watch Emily compete and realised that there were very few venues where he didn’t have to run around the course after her to see the action. With this in his mind, Mark felt that it was time to make better use of the landscape surrounding the very aptly named ‘Hill Farm’.

The committee unanimously voted in favour of the proposals in late 2018 and then plans were set into motion earlier this year. The first thing that had to be decided was exactly where the new course was going to go and how it was going to be split to accommodate three different height classes. “As the event hosts a hunter trial and both novice and intermediate team chase classes, essentially three new courses had to be designed in order to adhere to British Team Chasing height and distance regulations,” explained Hannah Mahon, the organiser of the event. “With the help of Google Maps and several late nights, the course plans were finalised and we got to work”.

Groundwork began in early spring and several new hedges were laid shortly after in order to give them time to establish before the event. The rest of the course was then built over several months by a small dedicated team including Keith Arnold MFH and Bob Pugh, a keen hunt supporter. Finally, as the weather warmed up and the fences were completed, there was plenty of creosoting done. The layout of trade stands, sponsors and most importantly the position of the bar were the final pieces that were placed in the large puzzle.

Hannah Mahon summed up the past year as being “A huge amount of work that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of everyone involved or without the support of Mark and Emily, our amazing landowners”. The Warwickshire Hunt team chase will return again to Hill Farm in September 2020.

Work in progress at the Warwickshire

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Guidance on vaccination of horses attending British Team Chasing events in the 2019-20 season

Posted: August 2019

British Team Chasing will continue with the same approach as that which was widely communicated throughout the Spring Team Chasing season whereby it was recommended to event organisers and competitors that they should follow the latest detailed recommendations of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) throughout the season in respect of the UK-wide outbreak of equine flu. The existing up-to-date and detailed advice and guidance can be found on the ‘Horse Health and Biosecurity’ pages of the BEF website (www.bef.co.uk/Detail.aspx?page=Horse-Health-Biosecurity).

As part of this advice, British Team Chasing continues to urge all horse owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date, and that their horse benefits from a current vaccination against equine flu. The Record of Vaccination(s) in the Horse’s passport should have been completed by the appropriate veterinary surgeon. This is vital to help prevent the spread of equine flu. Where it has been more than six months since the last vaccination of a horse, BTC strongly recommend that owners discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon. No relevant injection may have been given within seven days of the day of competition.

We recommend that a valid passport and vaccination record accompanies the Horse to all Events, and is made available for inspection where requested by a Team Chase event organiser (or other official). Each Team Chase event organiser will have the right to prevent a horse from competing in their Team Chase event where a valid passport and vaccination record is not available on request, providing that such organiser has made it clear prior to their event that passport and vaccination record checks may be being carried out at their event.

BEF advice: Equine Flu is a highly contagious disease and there are two key steps that all horse owners can take to help prevent it spreading. Firstly, by ensuring that their horses are vaccinated and, secondly, by not allowing unvaccinated horses to mix with other horses. Where it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination of a horse, owners should discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon. Vaccinated horses are not only much better protected against equine flu, but they also recover more quickly if they do suffer from the disease and are much less likely to spread it to other horses. More detail to help prevent the spread of equine flu is available through the British Equestrian Federation website (www.bef.co.uk).

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Team Chasers Head For Championship Glory

Posted: June 2019

The National Team Chase Championship takes place at the Fernie, held at Tur Langton, Leicestershire on Sunday 29th March.

Held over one of the sport’s finest courses in a natural amphitheatre, the Championship brings together teams who have qualified in the 2019-20 season and once again promises to be a highly exciting competition with the leading teams vying for glory.

With a supporting cast of novice, intermediate and fun classes, trade stands, entertainment and local food, it’s the ideal day out for all the family.

After five years of exceptional support by Skinner’s Pet Foods, the National Team Chase Championship is looking for a sponsor – please contact Philip Cowen chairman@teamchasing.co.uk

The Championship is the centrepiece of British Team Chasing’s spring season which encompasses six events across the country, visit www.teamchasing.co.uk for further details.

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British Team Chasing  - 2019 National Conference

Posted: May 2019

Team Chasing’s National Conference will take place on Monday 10th June 2019 at Stratford Racecourse, Luddington Road, Stratford-upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9SE, commencing at 10.30 am.

Come and join us at Stratford Racecourse for a celebration of Team Chasing, and take in a sumptuous lunch with like-minded friends and colleagues, to be followed by an afternoon of Summer Jump racing with full use of a private viewing facility. Prior booking is essential, as spaces are limited.

The National Conference is a unique opportunity to hear the latest news and developments in the sport from your representatives on the National Committee, and then to take part in a wide-ranging discussion to explore the future of the sport. In particular we would encourage the organisers of all Team Chase event organisers to send at least one representative as the conference provides the opportunity for everyone with an interest in Team Chasing to meet up with the National Committee who oversee the sport and also to meet other event organisers, course designers, team mates and competitors and to exchange ideas.

There are two options for delegates:

  • Either, to attend the Conference alone (for which no charge will be made),
  • Or, to stay on conclusion of the Conference to enjoy the gathering of like-minded individuals – which will include a delicious buffet lunch and an afternoon of summer jump racing with access to our own private room throughout the race meeting, with a cash bar. (This option will cost £35 per head to include lunch and racing).

The organisers aim to provide the opportunity for team chasing enthusiasts to enjoy the day and plan for the new season ahead! However no admittance will be possible on the day (for either option) without prior booking in advance.

Costs for delegate’s attendance at the National Conference alone will be covered by the National Committee; costs for attending the Conference, with subsequent lunch and racing are being subsidised by the National Committee, and are priced at £35 per head.

Please make payments in advance to confirm your place - to the “MFHA Team Chase” account, No 30302414, Sort Code 20-84-58 reference ‘TC conference’ by not later than 8pm on Monday 3rd  June 2019.

Programme for the day:
10.30 am             All Delegates to arrive. Parking in normal racecourse car parks (free of charge). Gather in The Paddock Pavilion. Tea / Coffee and biscuits on arrival.  
10.45 am             Annual Conference
Presentation by National Chairman, Philip Cowen
1pm                       Conference concludes.
1.15pm                 Lunch, for those staying for the afternoon’s racing.
2.15 pm                First race. The private bay of The Paddock Pavilion will be available for our exclusive use throughout the afternoon’s racing, with a pay bar throughout lunch and the afternoon.
5.15pm                 Last race. Day concludes.         
                                

To secure your place at Team Chasing Annual Conference, prior bookings are mandatory. Please complete the Reply form below and return e-mail to secretary@teamchasing.co.uk  by not later than 8pm on Monday 3rd  June to reserve your place.

* Minutes of last year's Conference (Click Here)
* Conference Booking Form 2019 (Click Here)

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A tribute to Sally Main

Posted: May 2019
A tribute to Sally Main, former BTC course inspector and long term member of the team chasing family from Jo Manicom:

It is with great sadness that I post the sudden death of team chase stalwart Sally Main. Sally team chased for many years, notably with the Tiger Trappers who were very successful in the 1995 season, she also rode with the Marson Misfits and after Nettie's accident continued running the team and latterly with the Court Flyers. Under Nettie's guidance she also became a course inspector. A very talented rider on a variety of horses, Sally also evented and as a child hunted a donkey with the North Warwickshire. Our then pony club DC Captain Arkwright always told us "that if in doubt kick on" and I think Sally embraced this mantra throughout her life. A great friend to so many people she will be sadly missed.

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From Team Chasing to Badminton: Carryon Bobby Boy

Posted: April 2019

Team Chasing was a means to a beginning for Diana Wethered’s Carryon Bobby Boy, due to compete at Badminton next week. Started by Joe Stevenson  team chasing made him take on any obstacle without question and love it!  Joe felt his ability in the collecting ring when he first sat on him in 2011. When out of school, Theo Wethered would take the ride 'Bobby' ran with the open teams for Wishful Thinkers, Boring Gorings and Verdenas Angels.
Diana says: “Bobby is temporarily retired from TC to go round Badminton 5* with Julia Norman. Cheer him on!”

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For better or for worse – the Team Chasing family

Posted: April 2019

The outstanding team spirit and camaraderie of our sport is never more obvious than when the chips are down. Katie Richards, of the newly crowned Skinner’s National Champions Team Ride Away has certainly experienced the highs and lows, suffering a crashing fall just one week later. Here is her tribute to the medical professionals and her team mates who helped her afterwards.

From the highs to the lows, Katie Richards (yellow bib) has seen team chasing in all its facets this month.

 

From KATIE RICHARDS

Re. FALL AT THE WORCESTER- THANK YOU.
Please excuse this circular thank you note- I am so indebted to so many people for the help I received on Sunday at the Worcestershire Team Chase, this seemed the best way to do it. If you are not listed by name, apologies. My only excuse was I was a)unconscious b)semi-conscious c)usual scatty self. If you know anyone this may be aimed at, please pass it on as I am completely un-techy and computerphobic.
Despite being involved with horses my whole ancient life and team chasing the last 25, Sunday was my first experience of coming to, strapped to a board in an ambulance(normally I've managed to make my own way to A and E, by hook or crook). For those of you yet to experience this, let me tell you how grateful you must be that this service is waiting for you on all the courses you gallop over and on the take off's and landing's of all those hedges we love to jump. Our indulgent adrenalin rush on horse back has consequences. While we choose to have a blast with our weekend, a great bunch of medics are jammed into an ambulance on their weekend, picking up the pieces. Utterly professional, they'll make those immediate decisions that could see you walking again or not. I've always made an effort to thank volunteers, organisers, sponsors, donated to air ambulance etc...at events and only realised after this weekend how often I have overlooked the doctors and ambulance on course. Apologies- I will rectify this in future.

To those medics who saw me through the initial stages post my fall- thank you. I have little recollection of our conversations, a vague memory of a groovy guy in shades trying to keep me smiling, but when I put my boots, body protector and air jacket on again (which I'm afraid I do aim to do), it's thanks to you for making the effort to not cut them off! To the ambulance crew I got handed over to- thank you for allowing team mates to get phone numbers from me and a phone to me to take to hospital and keeping me together through the journey at the end of a long shift. No doubt during this process, the organisers and those on course whom you see with walkie-talkie in hand, were also super busy trying to cope with the logistics of this hand over and getting the course cleared ready for yet more riding antics. Thank you.

You have a lot of time to reflect when you are immobilised, your head and upper body tightly strapped down with lots of tape and only a variety of ceilings to view as you are wheeled along at various speeds and held in random locations. Throughout all this, it felt like a well oiled machine, getting me to right destination. We are so, SO lucky to have the NHS. It may be crumbling under the pressure (please read 'This is Going to Hurt' by Adam Kay), but all the exhausted, over-worked staff just keep giving and somehow holding the place together. Utterly professional, how they move you, how they talk to you and explain your predicament. You are utterly reliant, on the group that lift and get you through the CT scans and in particular one incredible nurse, a Mum of 3 boys, at the end of a massive shift, holding on to sort out painkillers and see me stitched up. I had a gorgeous young Doctor that I can thoroughly recommend to any of you younger, single team chase girls out there(he said he'd always fancied riding a horse?!). Thank you for being so kind, speeding my way through and those extra stitches.

So- I got lucky. I got to walk out of A and E(albeit bare foot as I had no blooming boots!). As you walk out upright, you get to see all those beds queuing down the hall and out into the entrance, full of all those other predicaments that weren't self-inflicted. As you get to go home to repair, the hospital battles on as do all inside it. I got to walk out with my Mum and Peter, who, in their 70's had driven hours to the hospital to see me through and get me home. I got to go return home to be a Mummy myself to my little boy. Thank God.

Meanwhile at home, thanks to all my spectacular team mates back in Worcestershire(Rideaway clan) and friends in the village(Paula and Kate), my lorry had been delivered(no mean feat- it's more quirky than your worst team chaser(sorry James and Michelle??!!!)), horse who also didn't have the best time at the fence, checked over, back out in his field, rugged up, studs removed, hayed up. Dog, who I neglected to say was in season, dropped off hopefully not in pup (who even cares by this stage).

And even my dubious, "lucky" stock pin, has been held safely by the team captain, Sophie Supreme Candy. Think it's held hostage until I return? Can't wait. Hope to see you all at the Bicester, have a ball at the Avon Vale and go safe. Thank you for all your well wishing messages. Lucky to be involved in a sport with such great bunch of people. Also lucky to be. 

Katie Richards x

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Ride Away to Victory

Posted: April 2019

Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship, Tur Langton 31st March

Team Ride-Away 1 reclaimed their title at the Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship in a nail-biting battle with arch rivals Fox Grant Dot Com and multiple winners Relentless.

The beefed up and refreshed Fernie course at Tur Langton took plenty of prisoners, wth nine of the 15 starters completing.

However, Joe Stevenson, Charlotte Alexander, Katie Richards and Lisette Davies produced a copy book round, never looking flat out, but twisting and turning expertly through the Fernie’s switchback hedges and awe inspiring drops. They also made light work of the Valley Oak Frame pen and the increasingly technical complex of log, new trakehner and yet more switchbacks that followed.

Over the final section which features corners and some of the meatiest hedges on the course they were especially slick.

They were cheered on by team captain Stephen Clark, owner of lead horse Slim but out for the season after breaking ribs in a schooling fall, and chef d’equipe Sophie Candy who has the difficult job of matching horses and riders together in the squad’s multiple teams.

Fox Grant Dot Com left commentator Philip Cowen virtually speechless, with hunt race queen Yvonne Goss and Untilla Legend giving their team mates a superb lead.

Relentless also put in a highly impressive round for third, finishing just a further 4sec behind.

Fox Grant Dot Com 2 took an early lead, but were down to three early on and a sat nav failure at the top meant that they could be beaten into fourth.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR COMPETITORS ENTERING THE WORCS TEAM CHASE

Posted: April 2019

The Worcestershire Team Chase (Sunday 7th April) is following BEF guidelines on equine influenza, so please check your horses' passports are up to date. 
Competitors and spectators must not bring their dogs to the course at Abbeylands. It is a working sheep and beef farm and our hosts wish to try to reduce the risks of a bio security breach by keeping dogs off their land.

 

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Skinner's Pet Foods National Team Chase Championship

Posted: March 2019

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) has generously sponsored additional prizes at the Skinner's Pet Foods National Team Chase Championship on Sunday 31st March for ex-racehorses running under their former racing name, who are registered with RoR. The owner of the horse(s) who completes the course in the highest-placed team will receive £500; 2nd placed team - £250; 3rd placed team - £100. If there is more than one RoR registered horse within a team, each ex-racehorse with receive a similar prize. Riders must state their horse’s ‘Racing Name’ at point of entry. 
The schedule for the Fernie Team Chase, at which the Skinner's Pet Foods National Championship is the centrepiece, can be found here.

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Equine Influenza – information for competitors

Posted: Feb 2019

British Team Chasing events this spring will be run under BEF guidance on Equine Influenza ie that owners and riders should ensure that their horses' vaccination records are up to date.

For more detailed information on Equine Influenza, the BEF has issued a detailed Q&A: www.bef.co.uk

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Spring Dates Announced

Posted: Jan 2019

The Beaufort and Farmers Bloodhounds Team Chases will run novice and intermediate classes and all others also have Skinners’ Pet Foods open qualifiers (the winner of the 2019 Skinners’ Pet Foods National Championship receives automatic qualification for the 2020 final).

We welcome the Farmers Bloodhounds to the team chasing family with their first event, to be run at Plum Park, near Towcester, Northamptonshire. More details of these events will be available on this website and our social media channels shortly!

For more information, visit www.teamchasing.co.uk. Issued by Jane Carley press@teamchasing.co.uk

Team Chasing Spring Calendar Announced

Dates for the spring team chase season are as follows:
Sunday 17th March: Beaufort, Sherston, Wiltshire
Sunday 24th March: Farmers Bloodhounds, Towcester, Northants (NEW EVENT)
Sunday 31st March: Fernie, Tur Langton, Leics (Skinners' National Championship)
Sunday 7th April: Worcestershire, Bromsgrove
Sunday 14th April: Avon Vale, Bromham, Wiltshire
Saturday 20th April: Bicester, Newton Morrell (PROVISIONAL DATE)

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Teams chase Skinner's Pet Foods title

Posted: Jan 2019

Team chasing is gearing up for its big day out - the Skinner’s Pet Foods National Team Chase Championship 2019 to be held at the Fernie Team Chase at Tur Langton, Leicestershire on Sunday 31st March.

Regarded as the ultimate equestrian adrenalin sport, team chasing is also renowned for its exceptional camaraderie amongst competitors, and is ideal for all horses from newcomers to cross country to retrained racehorses enjoying a second career.

With teams of three or four horses competing together over natural fences, it offers a unique buzz for riders, and the speed and excitement makes for the perfect spectator sport.

At open level, there are thrills and spills as riders chance paying the price for a tight turn to a fence with a time-wasting run out; yet at every event also includes a novice optimum time class ideal for less experienced combinations.

Skinner’s Pet Foods is a manufacturer of premium quality dog food from their Suffolk mill using natural ingredients. Stocked in independent pet shops, country stores and agricultural merchants, rather than supermarkets, Skinner’s has a national platform with which to develop quality pet nutrition. It is the fourth season that the company has supported British Team Chasing.

The Fernie Team Chase is the perfect day out in the countryside with entertainment, food and drink and shopping, all as a backdrop to the excitement Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship. Who will be crowned Champions in 2019?

For more information, visit www.teamchasing.co.uk. Issued by Jane Carley press@teamchasing.co.uk

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Team Chasing Leagues Decided at The Essex And Suffolk

Posted: Oct 2018

Relentless were crowned the British Team Chasing Open League champions at the Essex and Suffolk team chase. Rowan Cope, Matt Mackley, Anne Mackley and Dickie Barrett are the core of the team together with owner Belinda Walkinshaw. Dickie was unfortunately injured at the Herefordshire Team Chase, so friends of the team have deputised on Belinda’s horse Murphy for the last two events.

Gradually regrouping through 2018 with some new horses, Relentless have been in the shake-up at six events this season, topped by a stunning victory at the Cotswold, where they made the new Mark Vestey Irish Bank look like a molehill.

At the Essex and Suffolk, they only needed to be in the placings to take the league title, and despite some of team chasing’s usual drama, they delivered.

Impressive considering that Thomas and Murphy (Rowan’s and Dickie’s rides respectively) only started team chasing this autumn. Matt’s horse Digger has returned to form after a few issues, and Anne has forged a great partnership with Mo, having taken on the ride this season.

“We’ve really struggled for horses over the last year or so,” commented Rowan. “My top horse Better Hand had a really busy year in 2017/18 with team chasing, hunt rides and even a point to point, so he’s had a break, but Thomas has come out of racing and taken to this job really well, while Anne can give a great lead on Mo.”

Runners up were Fox Grant Dot Com who produced a late flourish, winning at the Essex and Suffolk, while Skinner’s Pet Foods National Champions Wishful Thinkers Too have proved highly consistent to take third place.

The Foxdenton Intermediate League was a two-horse race pretty much from the off, and Team Ride Away IV and Eternal Optimists both gave spectators plenty to watch, with exciting performances throughout the season. A win at the Essex and Suffolk secured the title for Team Ride Away by a decent margin, but they were hugely consistent, getting a placing in every qualifying round and also winning at the new Herefordshire event.
Joe Stevenson, Roddy Stanning, Amber Bradshaw and Lisette Davies put on a stunning display to win the Essex and Suffolk by 37sec.

Eternal Optimists provided some thrills and spills along the way, notably a ducking for one member when well in contention at the Herefordshire, but won three rounds including at the National Championship in appalling weather.

Team Ride Away IV captain Stephen Clark was injured at the Pytchley, but along with wife Angela has supported the squad all the way. “We’re lucky to have such an amazing group of horses and riders,” he commented. “Roddy got on my horse Tyson with five minutes notice for the Pytchley intermediate after I fell in the open and is a great addition to the team. But we couldn’t do any of it without Sophie Candy who manages the teams so well and organises multiple horse swaps for Joe. It’s been a tricky season with so many cancellations, but the camaraderie between all the teams makes it worthwhile.”

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Notes from the Saddle

Posted: October 2018

Team chasing is full of highs and lows, as this extract from Julie Slater's blog, Show Horse to Eventer reveals about South Pembrokeshire Massiv's experience in the Berkeley intermediate.

For the Berkeley team chase we had a slightly different line up as our regular and trusted leader, Gisella, had actually found something better to do than team chase that weekend can you believe.

As my preferred position was bringing up the rear, I certainly wasn’t keen to take on the much-coveted role of leader… far too much responsibility. Russell wasn’t keen on leading either as he was worried about tiger traps. Daisy, who is a brilliant rider on a really brave little mare had lost her nerve a bit and didn’t think Star would cope with the big hedges and Tim, Ges’s replacement, was, in our team captain’s own words ‘a bit wild but a good craic’.

First time I met him was at Worcester team chase, he was covered in mud after a fall … today he provided the port but was a bit non-committal on the leadership front. Basically, after having walked the course we were all secretly bricking it… but at least we had port.

 

Having stayed in Monmouth the night before I managed, for the first time ever to walk the course. To be honest, unless you have to lead, I can see distinct advantages in not walking the course…I can’t say it helped much and only seemed to wrack my nerves. From the ground the hedges looked MASSIVE, immovable and impossible to see over the other side. I’m guessing they were about 1 metre 40 and really wide, dense and full of black berries, sloes and thorns.

In the warm-up area, in the absence of anyone stepping up to position of leader, Russell and I tried to put together a rough plan for the whole course. We agreed that I would lead over the first fence… if I got there first… and we would jump the second fence, a sizeable hedge together. But we hardly stuck to one stick of this.

Suddenly, we were being ushered in. Dais suddenly realises there are no martingale stoppers on her reins…we could swap reins as I have two sets but then it’s too late…someone is telling us to go and in an instant we’re off. This is it, Frank. Please don’t let me down. Frank led over the first – and within seconds fence 2 looms into view. ‘Go on’ Frank I shout ‘go on’ but Frank is going anyway and pulls me into it. He sees the take off point, I shut my eyes and we’re airborne. Downhill then to the third, taking a pull on the steering strings and applying the brakes for the standalone palisade (fence 3). A curve to the left for the 4th, the second massive hedge, onto the road crossing.

Having been spurred on for these first few fences Frank is now galloping flat out. Quick flashback to last year when we competed here in the pairs in a snaffle. Thinking it was a good call to have chosen the American gag over the Cheltenham as I was already having a bit of brake failure.

I’m aware of Daisy now who is upsides on the wide open stretch to fence five, I have time to shorten the steering strings a bit but still going a bit too fast to look around to check on Russ and Tim. Although this is a team thing I’m afraid its everyman for himself most of the way round as survival is the real name of this game. By now Frank has come back to me and pops nicely over 5, which took us from one field to the next. Star is pulling now and Dais takes the lead in the approach to fence 6 – telegraph poles at the bottom of tricky hollow. Fence 7 was the third humongous hedge. Frank’s tucked in behind little Star. Aware of Daisy’s fears I prayed they wouldn’t stop as Frank is right up Star’s backside and hasn’t seen the fence. Well, what a gutsy mare and what a pair of stars these two are, as with huge effort Star lept over it and sped off up the hill to fence 9 – massive straw bales.

Russ and Tim have caught up now and being a bit late to the party show total disregard for course marker flags and cut me up to take up second and third places behind Dais. I’ve committed this sin myself, at Worcester, so i can understand how easily it is done. Russell, it seems, has had problems with the second hedge and fence 5 but is able to rejoin the team in the run up to the straw bales.

All of us managed to get over Fence 10 and 11 but Fox was foxed by the big hedge at 12 and Dais had tiger trap trouble at 13. I could see what was happening ahead and took evasive action which tested Frank’s agility. This kind of situation requires instant reactions and it’s not something you can plan or prepare for. Frank galloped then down to the island chaser hedge at 14. Onto fence 15, the 6th hedge, which has a bit of a ditch and I’m sure it was bigger and wider than all the rest. Trying to catch my breath now and feeling quite alone out there, Frank must sense this and he falters too. Clocking the ditch, he doesn’t quite get airborne enough to get over the hedge but jumps into it and somehow gets one of his lanky legs caught over the telegraph poles.

Anyway, Frank manages to pull himself out of the hedge and we try again. With all our effort combined we clear it and by now Tim is back. “What shall we do?” he asks wheeling round. “The others have pulled up… I think we’ve lost them.”

Knowing that there are more hedges ahead… bigger maybe even wider and one with a big drop. “Oh well, we may as well just carry on,” I said and so we did. The hedge at 16 was followed by a sharp hairpin turn over hedge 17 back into the field we had just left…oh, here comes another one, i thought and as we approach the ninth hedge (18) Tim screamed:  “You gotta kick on for this one…..there’s a big drop after.”.

Check out my face … Frank on the other hand is looking cool as a fairground horse on a carousel with camera face on and ears pricked.

Over a big tiger trap at 19 Tim and I then turned sharp left and managed to get eight legs in the pen which i think given the circumstances was pretty damn cool. We then raced over 22 and 23 into and out of a copse and straightened up for the homeward stretch. A neck and neck race to the final and 10th hedge and on to the uphill stretch to the finish. As Frank flies past the finish his bridle is in bits and my hat silk flies off. Well that was a bit woo flipping hoo. Phew.

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Grafton cancelled and Herfordshire moves to new date

Posted: Oct 2018

A Statement from the Grafton Team Chase:
The Grafton Hunt Team Chase committee have reluctantly, but unanimously, decided to cancel our Team Chase planned for Sunday 21st October. With the ground so hard, little rain in the forecast and the reduced grass cover this year we were concerned for the safety of horses and riders, always our paramount consideration. 

Those who have already entered will, of course, have their entry fees reimbursed.

We are very grateful to the landowners, sponsors and many helpers who had agreed to support us again this year and we will be in touch with them over the coming days. We would especially like to thank Skinners Pet Foods who sponsor the Open Qualifier Class for the 2019 National Team Chase Championship.

We have also spoken to British Team Chasing and looked at the possibility of postponing our event to either mid-November or the spring of next year. However, sadly, this has not proved possible. 

Thank you for your continued forbearance, and we can only assure you that we were as sad as you all to have to cancel such a popular and well supported event. We are still praying for rain, whenever it comes!

As a result of this cancellation, the Herefordshire team chase now moves to Sunday 21st October.

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Meynell Team Chase Cancelled

Posted: Sept 2018

A statement from Richard Parrott, chairman of the Meynell Team Chase committee:

Following a meeting this evening, we have with great reluctance decided to cancel the Meynell and South Staffordshire 2018 Team Chase.

Ground conditions at Booth Hay have not improved, even after the recent rainfall and with little rain in prospect over the next fourteen days; we have decided that it would be unsafe to both horses and riders to run the event.
This decision was not taken lightly, especially after so much hard work had already been undertaken in preparing the course and we had attracted a record sponsorship figure.

On a more positive note, we already have plans to continue to develop the course for the 2019 Team Chase, when we hope conditions will prove more favourable.

Finally may I take this opportunity of thanking all those that have put in such a large amount of preparation work and also the Landowners at Booth Hay who have been most understanding of this very difficult decision.

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Skinners Pet Foods Teams up for 2019

Posted: August 2018

British Team Chasing is delighted to confirm that Skinners Pet Foods is the sponsor of the 2019 National Team Chase Championship, to be held at the Fernie Team Chase in the spring, as well as all 12 Open Qualifiers in the 2018-19 season.

Skinner’s Pet Foods is a manufacturer of premium quality dog food from their Suffolk mill using natural ingredients. Stocked in independent pet shops, country stores and agricultural merchants, rather than supermarkets, Skinner’s has a national platform with which to develop quality pet nutrition. It is the fourth season that the company has supported British Team Chasing.

After competitors enjoy a welcome warm-up in novice and intermediate classes at the Belvoir Team Chase on 9th September, Open Qualifiers begin at the Atherstone Team Chase on 16th September and then continue across the country until the Essex and Suffolk event on 4th November. The spring season begins in March 2019, with the finals at the Fernie in Leicestershire, provisionally set for Sunday 31st March.

Team chasing is regarded as the ultimate equestrian adrenalin sport, but is also renowned for its exceptional camaraderie amongst competitors, and is ideal for all horses from newcomers to cross country to retrained racehorses enjoying a second career.

For more information, event dates and schedules visit www.teamchasing.co.uk

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Warwickshire Team Chase Cancelled

Posted: August 2018

The Warwickshire Team Chase, due to be held on Sunday 2nd September, has sadly been cancelled. 

Statement from the organisers:
As a result of the extremes of weather that we suffered last winter and have endured this summer, the ground has taken an absolute battering. Despite being really good reliable old turf, the drought has really sapped all life out of the course and caused large holes and cracks to appear in front of the hedges and sporadically around the whole track.

The safety of the competitors and their horses as well as our established reputation was all considered during our committee meeting and we discussed at length the different options we had. It was decided unanimously that it would just not be safe to run the event this year. The committee members at the meeting all agreed to cancel the event rather than postpone it as there is not another suitable date in the autumn team chasing calendar for us to move to this year and the course at Watergall is not available during spring due to lambing and calving. 

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British Team Chasings 2018 Conference

Posted: July 2018

Team Chasing’s National Conference will take place on Thursday 2nd August at Stratford Racecourse, Luddington Road, Stratford-upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9SE, commencing at 11am.

Come and join us at Stratford Racecourse for a celebration of Team Chasing, and take in a sumptuous lunch with like-minded friends and colleagues, to be followed by an afternoon of Summer Jump racing with full use of a private viewing facility. Prior booking is essential, as spaces are limited.

The National Conference is a unique opportunity to hear the latest news and developments in the sport from your representatives on the National Committee, and then to take part in a wide-ranging discussion to explore the future of the sport. The conference provides the opportunity for everyone with an interest in Team Chasing to meet up with the National Committee who oversee the sport and also to meet other event organisers, course designers, team mates and competitors.

There are two options for delegates:

  • Either, to attend the Conference alone (for which no charge will be made),
  • Or, to stay on conclusion of the Conference to enjoy the gathering of like-minded individuals – which will include a delicious buffet lunch and an afternoon of summer jump racing with access to our own private room throughout the race meeting, with a cash bar. (This option will cost £35 per head to include lunch and racing).

The organisers aim to provide the opportunity for team chasing enthusiasts to enjoy the day and plan for the new season ahead! However no admittance will be possible on the day (for either option) without prior booking in advance.

Costs for delegates’ attendance at the National Conference alone will be covered by the National Committee; costs for attending the Conference, with subsequent lunch and racing are being subsidised by the National Committee.

Please make payments in advance to confirm your place - to the “MFHA Team Chase” account, No 30302414, Sort Code 20-84-58 reference ‘TC conference’ by not later than 9pm on Saturday 28th July.

Programme for the day:
11am                     All Delegates to arrive. Parking in normal racecourse car parks (free of charge). Gather in The Paddock Pavilion. Tea / Coffee and biscuits on arrival.  
11.15am               Annual Conference
Presentation by National Chairman, Philip Cowen
followed by open discussion forum focussing on pre-determined topics.
1pm                       Conference concludes.
1.15pm                 Lunch, for those staying for the afternoon’s racing.
1.30pm                 First race. The private bay of The Paddock Pavilion will be available for our exclusive use throughout the afternoon’s racing, with a pay bar throughout lunch and the afternoon.
4.55pm                 Last race. Day concludes.         
                                
In order to provide some structure to the Open Forum discussion, the organising team are inviting questions in advance which will form the basis of the subsequent discussion. Please include any questions that you may have when replying on the attached form. For anyone who is not able to attend the day, but wishes to raise a specific query, please also use the attached form to submit your queries or discussion points, and feedback will follow after the event.

To secure your place at Team Chasing Annual Conference, prior bookings are mandatory. Please complete the Reply form below and return e-mail to secretary@teamchasing.co.uk  by not later than 9pm on Saturday 28th July 2018 along with any questions you wish to raise to reserve your place.

DOWNLOAD BOOK FORM HERE

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Retrained Racehorses Top Performers at Team Chase Finals

Posted: April 2018

Wishful Thinkers Too were crowned the 2018 Skinner’s Pet Foods National Champions at the Fernie team chase, with retrained racehorses featuring strongly in the leading teams.

A thrilling round by Wishful Thinkers Too Simon Coady, Maurice Lenahan, Larry Brown and Anne Mackley snatched victory from defending champions Relentless by just 4sec.

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) registered horses in the top three teams received generous cash prizes. Wishful Thinkers’ Larry Brown collected a £500 cheque for Musical Wedge, his 14 year-old chestnut gelding by Sir Harry Lewis which ran 49 times under rules. Since taking over the ride, Larry has been successful in hunt races, winning the intermediate section at the Heythrop’s Daylesford event and the military prize at the Yeomanry Ride before being placed in the Golden Button and Wynnstay rides. Musical Wedge also rose quickly through the team chasing ranks, completing his first open in October 2017.

In the second placed Relentless squad, Belinda Walkinshaw’s Chalford and Ollie Finnegan’s Rivage d’Or each received £250.

Chalford, a 13 year-old gelding by Compton Place ran in point-to-points and on the all-weather. He too, started team chasing this season and has been successfully partnered by former jockeys Dickie Barrett, Matt Mackley and young point to point rider Joe Hill.

Rivage D’or, a 13 year-old gelding by Visionary won the cross country race at the Cheltenham Festival in 2015 when owned by Gigginstown House Stud. He and Ollie were part of the winning team in 2017 and have also successfully competed in hunt races.

Third placed Fox Grant Dot Com also featured two ROR registered horses winning £100 each.

Yvonne Goss’s Unitlla Legend continues to live up to his name, having won the Golden Button this year and also competes in hunt relays and show jumping. The home bred 10 year-old by Midnight Legend ran once under rules, but didn’t take to racing, clearly much preferring his more varied workload these days.

Will Grant’s Skipper Robin, a 12 year-old gelding by Loup Solitaire ran nine times, and also enjoys a highly varied career competing in disciplines from RoR showing to relays and hunt rides.

RoR was also the title sponsor of the competitive intermediate class, in which Eternal Optimists triumphed, with Lizelle Terblanche Brown receiving a logo jacket for the leading RoR horse in the team, Enlightenment.

 

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Wishful Thinking wins the Skinner's spoils

Posted: April 2018

Wishful Thinkers Too are the 2018 Skinner’s Pet Foods National Champions.

A thrilling round by Simon Coady, Maurice Lenahan, Larry Brown and Anne Mackley snatched victory from defending champions Relentless by just 4sec.

It was a dramatic championship, with the event itself at the Fernie Team Chase salvaged from the atrocious spring weather by a superhuman effort from the organisers.

Relentless looked to have it in the bag with a textbook round until Ollie Finnegan tipped off close to home and Simon Coady had to ride hard to make up ground on Rowan Cope and Matt Mackley.

The new champions also had their moments, losing Anne Mackley early on after her stirrup broke and then requiring some serious teamwork to ensure they had ’12 hooves in the pen’. But their exceptional lines to the fences and unwavering pace in deteriorating conditions secured victory.

There was bad luck along the way for Fox Grant Dot Com after a duck out before the water scuppered their chances, while Team Rideaway also suffered some interference from their loose horse after an unseating.

Along with the generous prize fund from Skinner’s Pet Foods (plus goodie bags of delicious treats for competitors’ dogs) there were aslo cash prizes for the highest placed Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) registered horses. Wishful Thinkers’ Larry Brown collected a £500 cheque for Musical Wedge, while prizes also went to Chalford and Rivage d’Or from Relentless and Untilla Legend and Skipper Robin from Fox Grant Dot Com.

The Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship class attracted 16 starters, and perhaps the biggest success of the day was the unique spirit of team chasing which prevailed against all the odds to provide a fantastic day’s sport.

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REARRANGED DATE OF SUNDAY 8TH APRIL

Posted: April 2018

UPDATE AS AT 8AM ON FRIDAY 6TH APRIL
The 3 courses have all stood up to the excessive quantities of rain which fell last weekend and in the early part of this week. The vehicle parks remain very wet in places and should the event proceed, they will carry a reduced capacity for horseboxes, trailers and cars. Furthermore following a further dry day on Friday, the weather forecast for South Leicestershire during Saturday and Sunday is both variable and unpredictable, particularly during Saturday morning when heavy but intermittent ‘April Showers’ are currently predicted for the region.
Whilst the ground can take a small amount of additional rain, persistent or excessive further quantities of rain will result in a late cancellation. We very much regret that this could happen at any time on either Saturday or early on Sunday morning. In effect we are in the lap of the Gods on that particular but key point.
In the light of this situation, and given the many other factors which are relevant to the current circumstances, the organising committee have concluded that at this stage we will continue with preparations to run the event on Sunday 8th April, but on the basis whereby:

  • With much regret we have decided to cancel the UK Hunt Team Chase class altogether. Therefore this class will not go ahead even if the event does proceed, and entry fees for those teams that remain on the entry sheets as of this morning will be refunded in full.
  • Separately, where any team wishes to withdraw their entry from any of the other 3 classes (Novice, Intermediate and Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship), they may do so prior to 8pm this evening (Friday 6th April). Such team withdrawal will be accepted on the same basis as detailed earlier in the week whereby entry fees will be refunded less a 20% deduction. To withdraw a team, the team captain must send a confirmatory email to fernieteamchase@gmail.com to arrive before the deadline.
  • No further team withdrawal’s will be accepted after a strict deadline of 8pm on Friday 6th April.
  • The running times for all remaining teams will be posted in the usual place on www.teamchasing.co.uk by 11am on Saturday 7th April. The teams will remain in a similar running order to that envisaged for Sunday 1st April and the classes will commence at about:

Welland Valley Feeds Novice                                      9.15am
Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship        12 noon
RoR Fernie Intermediate                                              2.40pm

It will be important for all teams to allow plenty of extra time ahead of their published start time, not least as a detailed traffic management plan will be put in place to gain access to and egress from the course and car parks.

  • In the event that there is considerable rain on Saturday, or through a combination of Saturday and that forecast for Sunday, it remains possible that the event will not be able to proceed at a late stage either for reasons of safety or due to ground conditions – and consequently we will have no option but to cancel at a late stage.

Whilst the organisers will endeavour to take final decisions at the earliest opportunity, we have to remain flexible to the highly unpredictable conditions which are currently being experienced. We hope to be in a position to make a final decision where significant rain does occur in the meantime by not later than 5pm on Saturday 7th April, but would urge all competitors and spectators to keep a close eye on relevant social media accounts. Any alterations to the details set out herein will be posted as widely as possible at the time.

For clarity, should the Team Chase ultimately have to be cancelled despite all of our best efforts, the same conditions will be adhered to as were published to Team Captains at the point when the postponement was announced. Therefore those teams that remain entered in all classes after friday evening’s 8pm deadline will be refunded their entry fee less a 35% deduction to assist with abandonment costs. Such payments will be made within 14 days of Sunday 8th April.

  • The courses will be available to be walked from 9am on Saturday morning, 7th April – on the assumption that no further announcements have been made by then. Please park on the roadside and walk over the hill to get to the courses.

The organisers are immensely grateful for everyone’s understanding and goodwill in all the circumstances. The conditions which have been encountered in the last 7 to 10 day’s are unprecedented, and remain highly unpredictable even at this late stage. We are particularly grateful to the many volunteers and services who have committed extra time in all the circumstances.
To run an event such as this properly and efficiently, significant costs have to be incurred up-front to ensure that the event is run safely and satisfactorily. Those costs far outweigh the total income which is received from team entries. Consequently our plans and preparations have to take account of the potential financial burden which could otherwise be incurred should matters ultimately run against us despite our best endeavours, sound judgement and hopefully a degree of luck.
We trust that this clearly sets out our approach to the administrative processes which will be followed over the next few days.
However where there are any specific queries, please:

  • Email fernieteamchase@gmail.com for matters relating to team entries
  • Call either 07887 838231 or 07802 814670 for all other matters.

FINALLY IN THE EVENT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GO AHEAD AS PLANNED, PLEASE ALLOW PLENTY OF EXTRA TIME ON SUNDAY PRIOR TO YOUR TEAM TIME – AND PLEASE BEAR WITH, HELP AND BE COURTEOUS TO OUR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TEAM AS THEY HELP US ALL TO COORDINATE THE EVENT. IN PARTICULAR PLEASE LOCATE YOUR TOWING EYES BEFORE SETTING OFF, AND HAVE THEM READY FOR USE ON ARRIVAL AT THE COURSE.
Thank you for your support and understanding.

The Fernie Team Chase Committee
Friday 6th April 2018

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Spring Update

Posted: April 2018
Due to the inclement weather this spring, the team chase programme has been amended.
The Fernie Team Chase and Skinner's Pet Foods National Championship has been rescheduled for Sunday 8th April.
The Worcestershire Team Chase, originally due to be held on 8th April has a new date of Sunday 29th April.
Sadly, the Avon Vale Team Chase, due to be held on Sunday 15th April has been abandoned as organisers have been unable to get onto the land to prepare the course.
Along with the Beaufort Team Chase, due to have been held in March, it will run in spring 2019.

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Fernie Cancelled

Posted: March 2018
Following more than an inch of further rain overnight, sadly the Fernie Team Chase and Skinner's Pet Foods National Team Championship WILL NOT GO AHEAD on Easter Sunday. The ground has become waterlogged overnight, as shown in the attached photos, and despite better conditions today it will not recover in time for the event to be run this weekend. However we are investigating the considerable possibility of re-arranging the day to next Sunday, 8th April, and hope to be able to do so. However it is unlikely to be possible to provide a final confirmation on that possibility until early next week and we will remain subject to the current vagaries of the British weather. A further detailed statement in respect of event postponement and cancellation arrangements will be issued to all Team Captains by email. The Worcestershire Team Chase has now also been postponed from Sunday 8th April (due to wet ground as well) and the organisers of that event are looking at options for staging their day later in April. Further information will follow. The organising team at the Fernie are immensely grateful to our landowner and farmers, all officials, helpers, and their sponsors, traders and other commercial supporters of the event for the goodwill and encouragement which has been passed on this morning. In all other respects we are ready to run the day – let us hope that we have a good deal more luck this week.

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Retraining of Racehorses renews Team Chasing support

Posted: March 2018

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) has renewed its commitment to team chasing with generous sponsorship at national level and of spring events.

Retrained racehorses are well suited to team chasing and have been highly successful in the sport, regularly featuring in the roll of honour at the National Championship.

RoR has a retraining centre and major exhibition at the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket and team chasing is very proud to be included in this with photographs of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman, ridden by Team Ride-Away’s Charlotte Alexander, and of Yvonne Goss’s Haxton as part of the display.

RoR to award cash prizes to competitors on RoR qualified horses in the Skinners Pet Foods National Championship class to be held at the Fernie Team Chase on Sunday 1st April. This will comprise of £500 to each RoR Competition-registered horse in the winning team; £250 for the second placed team and £100 to the third placed team.

RoR is also the sponsor of the Intermediate Class at the Fernie event.

In addition, competitors with RoR-registered horses can also win RoR embossed jackets in both the Fernie Intermediate and the Worcestershire Intermediate classes this year. Vouchers for these sought-after jackets are being awarded to the riders of RoR Competition-registered horses in the highest placed team in the intermediate at both events.  

For more information about RoR, to register your horse or check registration details visit www.ror.org.uk

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Cancelled

Posted: March 2018
The Beaufort Team Chase, rescheduled for today has unfortunately been cancelled as heavy rain on Friday night meant that course conditions deteriorated and emergency vehicles are unable to gain access.

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THE SKINNER'S PET FOODS NATIONAL TEAM CHASE CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

Posted: March 2018

The Skinner’s Pet Foods National Team Chase Championship 2018 will be held at the Fernie Team Chase at Tur Langton, near Market Harborough in Leicestershire on Easter Sunday 1st April commencing at about 12 noon.
With only 14 teams having qualified for the Championship in the relevant period since April 2017 the governing body of the sport, British Team Chasing, has concluded that it is appropriate to award up to 5 additional qualification Wild Cards to teams who wish to take part in the 2018 Championship. The lower than usual number of qualified teams is at least in part due to the National Championship taking place earlier in the Spring calendar of events than has been the case in the last few seasons – thereby effectively meaning that Open teams were only able to qualify at Autumn 2017 events. It was not possible for sufficient numbers of teams to achieve that qualification mark in the time that was available.

The National Committee of the sport has concluded that any team who wishes to secure one of the 5 available qualification Wild Cards should submit full details of their team and its recent record to a sub-panel for consideration. Applications must be received by not later than 12 noon on Tuesday 20th March, and should be sent to chairman@teamchasing.co.uk. All applications will be acknowledged by 7pm on that day and the sub-panel’s decision as to the recipients of the qualification Wild Card will be confirmed by the end of Thursday 22nd March.
To be eligible for consideration by the panel, a team captain’s submission should contain the following information about his team:

  1. Confirmation of the names of the 4 proposed individuals and their horses for the suggested team, together with the team name.
  2. Confirmation of the team’s record at Intermediate and Open level in the last 2 seasons (since 1st September 2016).
  3. Confirmation as to when the relevant group of riders have ridden with the team in the past 2 seasons, at either Intermediate or Open level.
  4. Confirmation as to the extent of all relevant fitness work which a team and its component members may have undertaken prior to the application being submitted.
  5. Any other relevant information for the purposes of the assessment criteria detailed below.

In assessing the eligibility of teams for the Wild Cards, the panel will take into account all relevant factors which are known to it including the team’s record at Team Chases in recent seasons, together with the component member’s record at Team Chases and their eligibility to ride with that team. Consideration will also be given to special circumstances, including any benefits which may accrue from the inclusion of any particular team in the competition on the day. The panel will need to be fully satisfied that all members of the proposed team are fully competent and capable of competing in the National Championship and that sufficient fitness work has been undertaken in advance of the application being submitted.

The sub-panel who are to consider any applications which are received has been confirmed as Philip Cowen (Chairman, British Team Chasing), Reg Hopkins, Paul Scott and Rosie Vestey (all BTC Committee members).

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First Arena Team Chase

Posted: March 2018

LandS Eventing hosted a fantastic warm up event for the spring season at Dallas Burston's Super Arena in Warwickshire on 11th March. A massive 38 teams that took part, including lots of new faces and some of the leading teams who travelled from as far away as Yorkshire, Wales and Somerset. Congratulations to winners Barford Bubble Bunch, including nine year-old Harry Dawes. As it was Mothers' Day, we couldn't forget the mums of the winning team, so they were awarded with Foxdenton Dutch Courage gin - the official tipple of team chasing! Official photographer was First Class Images, and this is a video taken by MyRobotCam using a Soloshot camera. Thanks to all the riders who agreed to be guinea pigs for this new technology!

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Team Chasers Dominate Cross Country Challenge

Posted: Feb 2018

Team chasers performed spectacularly at the Golden Button Challenge, a traditional steeplechase over more than three miles run in the Ledbury country on 10th February, filling most of the top 20 places.
Yvonne Goss, of 2014 national champions Fox Grant Thrusters had a ding-dong battle with Rowan Cope of current title holders Relentless from the start, eventually prevailing over the final two fences. Both were on their team chasers, Untilla Legend (Jaffa) and Better Hand (Arthur) respectively.
In third was Peter Bull who had travelled up from the Mid Surrey Draghounds and is a member of the Boring Gorings.

Also prominent in the challenge, for which there were 45 starters, were Berkeley Balls' Hector Baker in 5th, Larry Brown (Hair Raisers, 7th), Lucas Lingham (Berkeley Balls, 9th), Nim Spalding (Team Ride Away,10th), Nelson Rowe (Berkeley R Us,12th) Sammy Ward (Worcestershire Awesome Foursome, 13th) and Harry Hutton (Cunning Stunts,18th). 

Yvonne commented: “Rowan was with me all the way and we had the most amazing ride, but when his horse got his head in front, Jaffa was not having it! He is an amazing horse and finished so well.”

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Lycetts announced as Beaufort Team Chase sponsor

Posted: Feb 2018

February 5 2018 – Leading equine and bloodstock insurance broker Lycetts has agreed to become a key sponsor of the Beaufort Hunt Supporters Club Team Chase which is returning to the spring calendar in Sherston after a 35-year absence.

The three-year deal will see Lycetts sponsor the Intermediate Class, the feature event of the day.

“Team chasing is the most wonderful and exhilarating of sports and we’re thrilled to be supporting Beaufort Hunt Supporters Club in bringing this fixture back to the spectacular Beaufort Saturday country,” said Lycetts Equine Insurance specialist Charlotte Alexander.

“Adding this exciting event to Lycetts’ extensive sponsorship portfolio presents further opportunities to reach new customers and to meet with existing clients.”

Alexander, herself a Lycetts-sponsored jockey, will have three rides in the Intermediate Class – one being the legendary seven-time Grade 1 winner and former Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti.

Lottie Bostock, event organiser at Beaufort Hunt Supporters Club, added: “We’re delighted to have Lycetts on board. Team chasing is in the ascendency and I’m sure this sponsorship will prove mutually rewarding.”

The Beaufort Team Chase, which will also run a Novice Speed and Bogey Class as well as a Hunter Trial, will take place in Sherston, Wiltshire, on Sunday March 18.

ENDS

For media information, please contact Anthony Andrew or Connor Murphy at Cameron Wells Communications on 0161 973 4158 or email anthony.andrew@cameronwells.co.uk.

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Get your eye in with a new take on team chasing

Posted: Jan 2018

Get set to go team chasing with a brand new, unique warm-up class to be held on Sunday 11th March at LandS Eventing, Dallas Burston Polo Club, near Southam, Warwickshire.

We are inviting teams of three to take part in an optimum time arena team chase, giving you the chance to perfect team tactics, jump a course as a team and best of all, have some pre-season fun with your team mates.

The event will take place in the unique Super Arena at Dallas Burston, which at 2.4 acres is the size of a polo pitch, giving plenty of room for teams to tackle the 1000m course of inviting cross-country style fences. There will be accuracy questions plus a pen, so it’s a great opportunity to practice techniques and school young horses. The fibresand surface provides perfect going in all weathers for moving and turning at speed, proven in the arena’s ‘day job’ of polo!
This class is being hosted by LandS Eventing which has pioneered a hugely popular series of arena eventing and arena cross-country events, and also builds the course at the Warwickshire team chase. There will also be opportunities to take part in pairs and individual arena cross country classes on the day.

Judged on an optimum time, teams will be scored on the time of the second rider to get home and rules will be similar to team chasing. The aim is to get horses round and have an enjoyable experience which sets us up for the season ahead!

Dallas Burston is a fantastic venue for spectators with a snack bar and ringside pub, so we also hope this will be a great get together for team chasers. Schedules will be published soon at www.landseventing.co.uk and www.teamchasing.co.uk and entries will be via Horse Events., limited to 20 teams in this first year, so don’t miss out!

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Spring Team Chasing Dates 2018

Posted: Jan 2018

The dates for the spring 2018 team chasing season have now been finalised. We kick off with a new event organised by the Duke of Beaufort’s, which will run with novice and intermediate classes in the first year.

18th March: Beaufort, Sherston, Wilts
1st April: Fernie, Tur Langton, Leicestershire (Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship)
8th April: Worcestershire, Bromsgrove, West Midlands
15th April: Avon Vale, Bromham, Wilts

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The Skinners Pet Foods National Team Chasing Championship

Posted: Dec 2017

The Skinners Pet Foods National Team Chasing Championship will be held at the Fernie Team Chase on Sunday 1st April 2018. The full spring calendar will be published shortly.

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Relentless & Eternal Optimists head league tables

Posted: Oct 2017

Relentless were crowned British Team Chasing Open League Champions at the Cotswold Team Chase. They won on five of their starts, including at the Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship, and were able to clinch the title despite not running at the Cotswold due to a lack of horsepower.

Rowan Cope who along with Simon Coady provided the strong lead needed to conquer some of the most awesome tracks on the circuit commented:
“We’ve got some very good horses that are absolutely flying but it is difficult when you get injuries or riders have other commitments.”

Runners-up Team Rideaway 1 challenged them all season, despite also being beset by injuries, including captain Stephen Clark who lost part of his thumb in a pre-season schooling fall, but finished the season with great rounds at the Grafton and Cotswold, as well as a win at the Atherstone.

The Foxdenton Intermediate League was dominated by teams from the Wishful Thinkers stable, with the Eternal Optimists winning no less than six events, and Hope Springs Eternal making a late flourish with wins at the Grafton and Cotswold for the runner-up slot.

“We kept a team of reserves, in Hope and Glory (joint fifth in the league) which allowed horses and riders to develop in confidence ready to upgrade to the faster teams,” commented captain Simon Coady. “Partnerships like Sara Cork and King Koda who started out in intermediates have proved themselves and gone on to success in the open classes.”

The first four teams in the Foxdenton Intermediate League were rewarded with bottles of the coveted Dutch Courage sloe gin.

Relentless: l-r Victoria Ricketts and Belinda Walkinshaw (representing Rowan Cope and Dickie Barrett), Matt Mackley and Simon Coady.

Eternal Optimists: Foxdenton Estate Company's Nick Radclyffe, Simon Coady, Sharon Robbins, Anne Mackley, Ed Chamberlain

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Galloping into the opens

Posted: Sept 2017

Team Rideaway’s Lindsay Harrison gives a rider’s eye view of the Belvoir team chase

Although lots of lucky people enjoyed a spin at the Warwickshire a fortnight ago, for a fair few of us the Belvoir was the first run of the season. You can always rely on Garthorpe for lovely hedges to ease you back into the swing of it. Nice and big, but not quite full-up meaty open big. The course was the same as the last few years – which was a definite bonus for those of us trying to walk and memorise several courses at once – and with a decent drop of rain having fallen over the previous week the ground was pretty much perfect. The stage was set for some pretty serious competition!

But first the 'Fun' novice class. I use the word 'fun' advisedly. As a seasoned open competitor I really can't remember the last time I even looked at a novice course, let alone jumped one, but after a last minute appeal from HQ I agreed to bring a very green TB mare to fill an empty slot on Team Rideaway 2. For someone who can walk open tracks and barely blink, frankly the fun class looked terrifying! We have a team of very green horses, but luckily we had two of the best jockeys in the business, Joe Stephenson and Simon Coady up front and all four jumped round confidently to secure second place and some very nice prizes.

On to the main event and our team, Team Rideaway 4, were drawn second to go. After the first team out came to grief at the switchback hedges at the top of the course we were soon being counted down and galloping to the first. Joe Stephenson, riding team-boss Stephen Clark's Slim, set a blistering pace in front, matched by Helen Day and Nim Spalding on their experienced horses. I took my usual spot in fourth, and all went pretty much perfectly until I met the second switchback hedge at too ambitious an angle and had to take a turn to make it to the next. The three in front continued at the same scorching pace, while I did my best to stay in touch. That mistake aside, it was a fast, slick round, especially from the three up front, and having set the bar we could do nothing more but sit back and watch the other teams take up the gauntlet.

After nervously watching some impressive rounds from Relentless, Team Rideaway 3, The Eternal Optimists and Fox Grant Dot Com, amongst others, we were all in the dark as to the outcome. In the end it was almost too tight to call, with our team, Team Rideaway 4, taking the win over Relentless by 0.8 of a second. Only 5 seconds separated first place and fourth!

After a celebratory drink the weather turned decidedly autumnal, and with the wind starting to whip up some pretty sharp showers, we decided to make a run for home. Although not before watching my old team the Dapper Dobbins Hedge Hoppers deny Team Rideaway 1 a win in the Novice Speed class by a whopping 25 second margin.

A huge thanks again to the Belvoir Hunt, the generous sponsors, and all the volunteers who make our fun possible. It is always a real treat coming to Garthorpe. Roll on next week, and the first of the open qualifiers – I can't wait to attack those big bold Atherstone hedges!

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ROR Continues Team Chasing Support

Posted: March 2017

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is once again generously supporting team chasing this spring.

Retrained racehorses are well suited to team chasing and have been highly successful in the sport; at the Skinner’s Pet Foods National Team Chase Championship 2016, all four horses in the winning Team Ride-Away were retrained racehorses.

RoR has a retraining centre and major exhibition at the new National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket and team chasing is very proud to be included in this with photographs of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman, ridden by Team Ride-Away’s Charlotte Alexander, and of Yvonne Goss’s Haxton as part of the display.

At the Fernie team chase on 2nd April, RoR donates Voucher Prizes in kind, to all competitors in the RoR intermediate class riding a RoR registered horse running under its former racing name, subject to the team successfully registering a time in the competition.

And at the Skinner’s Pet Foods National Championship at the Heythrop on Saturday 15th April, RoR offers cash prizes to the highest placed RoR registered horses in the championship class.

These are: £500 and a rug to horses in the winning team, £250 in the second placed team and £100 in the third placed team.

To be eligible for the special prizes at both events, horses must be registered with RoR on its new database, including those that have been previously registered.

Visit http://www.ror.org.uk/team-chasing/ for details

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FOXDENTON GIN EXPANDS SUPPORT FOR TEAM CHASING BY ADOPTING THE INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE

Posted: March 2017

foxden

Foxdenton Gin is to extend its support of British Team Chasing with the acquisition of the Intermediate League, the sport’s premier points-based performance league for rising stars. The brand will add this to its popular “Ride of the Week” award, which has rewarded the outstanding riding performance of the day.

“This is an entertaining way for us to reach country folk who enjoy our unique flavoured gins in an engaging way,” commented Nick Radclyffe, Managing Director of the Foxdenton Estate, which manufactures the gins. “Our market is hunting and shooting folk, and we meet plenty of our existing customers and as many new ones through events of this nature. The team chasing crowd is very enthusiastic, and our Dutch Courage own label for them has gone down a storm!”

The League rewards the winning team with a prize of £400, with prize money down to 5th place.

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British Team Chasing Back to Top

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Autumn 2019 Season....

DATE EVENT
1st Sept Warwickshire
15th Sept Belvoir
22nd Sept Atherstone
29th Sept Berkeley
6th Oct Pytchley
13th Oct Meynell & S.Staffs
19th Oct Clifton-on-Teme
20th Oct Grafton
27th Oct Cotswold
3rd Nov Essex & Suffolk

Spring 2020 Season....

DATE EVENT
15th March Beaufort, Wilts
23rd March Farmers Bloodhounds
29th March Fernie
5th April Worcestershire
11th April Avon Vale Hunt
19th April Bicester, Newton Morrell


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