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Badminton 2015 Blog

Here’s the first of our blogs from one of the several shows we attend over the season. Written by Rachel Hornby, from our Equine sales team. Rachel is based at our Head Office – Mark Westaway & Son, down in Devon.

stand1

“I can never quite understand how the Badminton Horse Trials seems to come round so quickly. It is the first show of the season which we attend with our full trade stand so it is always one we look forward to and I always feel it hails the start of summer. The empty spaceTuesday is set up day which always flies by in a hive of excitement and activity. Kate, the rep from the South East and I arrived at lunch time after a brief supermarket stop to stock up on yummy goodies for the week ahead. I always get a slight feeling of panic when we arrive at the trade stand site and it is completely empty. The forthcoming task of filling the vast space seems almost impossible but we haven’t failed yet and despite the wind’s best efforts to whisk away various parts of the stand we didn’t fail this time. The stand was soon up and ready for the following morning.”

stand2Wednesday sadly started very wet and our thoughts turned to the poor riders competing in the Grassroots competition. Kate and I were very impressed at the Great British public’s resilience as they still turned out in their thousands to support the competitors and enjoy the great variety of trade stands and shopping available. The rain did subside but was replaced by incredible gusts of winds. We were very grateful for the lovely people who came to ask a variety of feeding enquiries and patiently listened to our advice as we clung on to various parts of the trade stand.”

“Thursday and Friday, thankfully, were much improved and we were kept very busy with lots people, interesting enquiries and some fascinating stories. We were also treated to visits for some gorgeous dogs who left the stand sporting one of our Mollichaff or HorseHage bandanas!”

“The beginning of Badminton also marked the launch of our new competition to win a Mollichaff Sponsorship Package which is proving to be very popular with lots of very worthwhile entries being received in just the first 24 hours! Friday also saw the arrival of Debbie, the National Sales Manager, and Karen, the sales representative from the North, or as we had fondly named them ‘The Cavalry’.”

 

Dogs

“Cross country day on the Saturday was an early start as we all met for breakfast at our lovely B&B, slightly blurry-eyed at 6.45am. All full up with a good hearty breakfast of bacon and sausages we were on the stand by 7.45am with the kettle boiling whilst we busied ourselves with hoovering and filling the samples ready for the very busy day ahead. The day passed so quickly we barely had chance to catch our breath between speaking to people. It is such a privilege to attend an event like Badminton and speak to so many lovely people. We were very thankful for Penny who had joined us for the day to fill samples and she also did an amazing job of supplying us with endless cups of tea, coffee and biscuits also known as the ‘fuel’ of sales reps! It was with great delight, having popped off the stand for a quick dash to the ladies, that I bumped into the beautiful police horses. Contrary to what many people think it is not often that we get chance to see a horse at events so it was a treat to see the two big beautiful bays.”

cake“Saturday is a late finish so we always book a table at the local pub for a much needed hot meal and a glass of wine. I often think that anyone else in the pub may find us a peculiar bunch as we are so tired that we barely hold a conversation during our meal. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the dessert menus appeared for us to muse over. Debbie was so tired that she ordered her Turkish Delight Cheesecake to go!”

“Sunday started a little more sedately than Saturday. We checked out of our B&B, thanking Laura, the owner, for another lovely stay and booking our rooms for next year which will come round so quickly. The full quota of staff on a Sunday gives us a chance to have a break and enjoy some of the show ourselves. We each popped off for a short break and inevitably returned with a shopping bag or two! Some with gifts for family, friends or ‘thank- yous’ for the fantastic people who had looked after horses in our absence and others with gifts for themselves. We also had a lovely surprise visit from Cassie James who regularly writes a column for our website and her partner Simon. The almighty roar coming from the grandstand direction indicated the show jumping had come to an end and the 4pm finish of the show soon came round. We started the task of breaking down the trade stand as the last few members of the public headed to their cars with arms full of shopping bags. There is something a little sad about the end of a show as the bustle of the many people dies down and the colourful trade stands slowly get packed away but it is always lovely to head home to long-suffering partners and muddy ponies. Thank you to all the lovely people we met, stockists and friends who came on the stand to say hi and to the organisers of Badminton Horse Trials for another great show. Roll on next year!”

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Posted in HorseHage by admin.

Competition Convenience with HorseHage!

Spencer with Wonder Why

HorseHage makes the perfect partner when it comes to making your choice of forage to take to competitions.

It is very convenient for travelling as it’s highly compressed into half its original size and packed into handy sized bales which are heat-sealed and double-skinned to avoid puncturing. They can be stored outside or on a roof rack if necessary.

It splits very easily into wedges for netting up and because most horses and ponies truly relish the taste, there is rarely any wasted.

HorseHage is a dust-free, pure product and contains no artificial additives and comes with a 100% quality guarantee. It is the only haylage-type product to have FEMAS NOPS certification which means it is produced following the current best practice to minimise risk of contamination from naturally occurring prohibited substances (NOPS) and is made from specially grown leys with a high regard for feed safety, consistent quality and full product traceability.

It is available in four varieties – Ryegrass, High Fibre, Timothy and Alfalfa, offering an option for all types of horses and ponies with varying energy requirements. It is a consistent product and has a good level of moisture that will help reduce the risk of colic and dehydration during longer journeys.

Feeding a dust-free forage such as HorseHage is extremely important to reduce respiratory problems, especially in a tightly confined environment such as a horsebox, and to enable a horse or pony to perform at his best.

It can be fed in a HorseHage Net which is specially designed with a smaller mesh than a typical hay net, to prolong eating time and prevent your horse from becoming bored whilst travelling or standing in the box at shows. Always make sure it is tied high enough to avoid the horse’s legs becoming caught in it.

Said show-jumper, Spencer Roe: “The fact that HorseHage is dust-free and sealed is great for the health of my horses and especially useful as I’m constantly on the road. I also like the fact that there are four varieties to suit different horses’ requirements, so HorseHage is a must for my team now.”

HorseHage is the official forage supplier for the British Equestrian Team as well as The Horse of The Year Show (HOYS) and also the British Showjumping National Championships & Stoneleigh Horse Show.

Posted in HorseHage Team HorseHage by admin.

Mollichaff Sponsorship On Offer For Amateur Rider!

MolliChaff Sponsorship Competition

The Mollichaff brand is looking for its first ever sponsored rider We would like to offer one amateur rider, of any age and competing at any level, in any discipline, the opportunity to be supported by Mollichaff.

The winner of this competition will receive a training bursary of £1000 which can be used towards competition and training expenses such as lessons, show entry fees, registration fees and fuel costs for the 2016 season. He or she will also receive a fabulous Mollichaff-branded equestrian wardrobe which will include a show jacket, jodhpurs, competition shirt, training jacket, polo shirt, plus a branded saddlecloth, rug and 20 bags of Mollichaff for their horse or pony!

In addition, two runners-up will each receive 10 bags of Mollichaff and a Mollichaff-branded saddlecloth.

The winner will also have a monthly ‘blog-spot’ on the HorseHage website so they can share their experiences and progress throughout the following year.

Said Chris Tar of HorseHage: ‘Due to rising costs over the past few years, we realise many riders are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Perhaps you are thinking about having to give up competing in order to keep costs down, or possibly competing is something you have always wanted to have a go at but were put off by the expense. We hope that by offering this support we can help one amateur rider to carry on, or even start competing this year.”

To enter please send us information about you and your horse or pony and what discipline and level you compete at (if you are currently competing). We get many letters and emails asking for sponsorship so please highlight what makes you special and why you would like to be considered. Also please include a colour photo of you and your horse or pony and your full name, address, telephone number, email and age.

Entries can be emailed to  feedroomfocus@horsehage.co.uk  (Please put ‘Mollichaff Sponsorship Competition’ in the subject line)

 

or

 

Post to the address below:

Mollichaff Sponsorship Competition
FAO: Debbie Harris
Mark Westaway & Son
Love Lane Farm
Marldon
Paignton
Devon
TQ3 1SP

The competition is open to riders of any age, based in the UK. Closing date: 31/12/15. Full terms and conditions can be found at Terms and Conditions

Posted in Competitions MolliChaff by admin.

Spencer Roe’s Latest Blog

It’s nice to be back in the UK now after spending the last seven weeks at the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. With a bit of down time before I head abroad again, I now find the time to write an update for you all. So here’s what I’ve been up to since my last blog…

The London International Horse Show – Olympia

Getting into the Christmas spirit at OlympiaIt was my first time at Olympia competing in the international classes; I’ve only ever done the Under 23 Young Rider Competition there, so I was really looking forward to experiencing the whole show. On the Thursday afternoon of the show I was invited to the British Equestrian Writer’s Association luncheon to receive an award from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. The award was for ‘The best rider, 25 years or under, judged to have made a successful transition from Young Rider level to Senior competition, during which time they conducted themselves with maturity and dignity and presented their sport well to the media’. I gave them one of my classic ‘er’ and ‘um’ speeches; I think I’m getting rather good at public speaking now.

Later on that evening I got to meet the Duchess of Cornwall when she presented me with the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy as the ‘young rider to have shown the greatest potential for success in any FEI discipline’. It was a great honour to receive the award and I only hope I can live up to the expectation.

It was the first time at Olympia for Ballando II, he has never jumped in such a tight arena with a crowd so close, I think he coped very well and was pleased that he only had a fence down in both classes. So although the show didn’t go well for my horses in general, it was a very good experience for both them and me.

The Spanish Sunshine Tour – Vejer de la Frontera

Sunshine Tour

Because of the bad weather at the end of January, we decided to head out to Spain early this year. I felt my horses would benefit from working with the sun on their backs as oppose to the sleet and rain. On the 6th February we started out on our four day journey to Spain, which sounds like a long time to get there, but I like to make sure my horses all get there in good health. So we make three stops along the way, stabling the horses at different yards each night.

I usually use the tour as a training and warm up show for the start of the year, as most of my horses have been on rest during the winter. We didn’t go to win a lot of prizes, we went to gain experience. I feel that we achieved that on the whole and my horses are now ready for the outdoor season ahead.

I’m really pleased with my stallion, Chaccomo Agostini, who I took out there to gain experience. He only started competing in July last year, and although he is a 9-year-old and is a little bit behind where he should be at this stage in his life, he is coming on leaps and bounds. At the start of the show he was jumping 1.30m classes, by the end he was jumping 1.45m classes, I think he will be a promising star for the future.

Next Time…

This week I am heading out to Hardelot in France for their CSI *** show, where I’ll be taking Wonder Why, Chaccomo Agostini and Ballando II, before heading back for my sister’s wedding.

Spencer

Mark Farmer presenting Spencer with the award

Posted in HorseHage by admin.

Complete Condition from Mollichaff

MolliChaff ConditionHas your horse or pony lost a bit of condition over the colder winter months?

This can be due to several factors but the most common are a lack of good forage when grazing is poor and no increase in calories. Horses need to burn more calories during winter in order to keep warm.

Making a decision on which feeds and supplements you need to keep your horse healthy can be a challenge so why not forget the shopping list and opt for a complete feed such as Mollichaff Condition which contains everything your horse or pony needs in one bag? This can save you time as well as money.

Mollichaff Condition is a highly digestible, high fibre, high oil and low starch mix which can be fed as a complete concentrate feed alongside good quality forage.

It contains a balanced blend of alfalfa, dried grass, oat straw, fibre pellets, barley, soya flakes, soya oil and mint as well as Yea-sacc® and a prebiotic, plus vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Soya oil provides essential fatty acids to help improve skin condition and encourage a healthy, glossy coat. Yea-sacc® and a prebiotic help maintain a healthy digestive system, along with mint, which is particularly palatable to horses.

Mollichaff Condition is suitable for encouraging weight gain in all horses and ponies, especially those that struggle to maintain their condition.

It can be used as the sole concentrate feed as it contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement.

Posted in MolliChaff MolliChaff Condition by admin.