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Emma Lavelle's first year training on the Marlborough Downs sees her nearly double her winners

Irish Prophecy - the horse they're talking about - with Emma Lavelle

It is less than a year since jumps trainer Emma Lavelle moved from Hampshire to the famous and now much renovated and enlarged Bonita Racing Stables near Marlborough.  And Emma Lavelle Racing's first season there has been a resounding success: her tally of wins stands at 35 - against a total of 19 wins over the previous season at her Hampshire yard.

She says - modestly: "It's been a building year for us" - as in building up the yard's complement of horses. She has seventy boxes and 64 horses in training.

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Newbury Racecourse's flat season gets off to a fine start with the Spring Trials Weekend

Waiting for the crowds

Waiting for the crowds

Newbury’s opening Flat meeting of 2017, the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend (April 21 and 22), features well supported Classic trials, a Group race for older horses over a mile and a half, competitive handicaps and maiden races suited to bringing forward stars of the future.

It is a combination aided by excellent prize money, with the Saturday card worth £260,000 and the Friday programme totalling £112,000.

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Retraining of Racehorses: the story of the stellar second career of Marlborough owned & trained racehorse Beware Chalk Pit

Beware Chalk Pit with Rebecca Court

Beware Chalk Pit was twelve years-old when he won the Supreme Champion showing title at the four-day Retraining of Racehorses National Championship Show at Aintree in August last year.  He is pictured here with his rider Rebecca Court and garlanded with his awards.

The former National Hunt chaser, a bay gelding by Anshan, came out of training in January 2015.  And has made a remarkable switch to the show ring - with Rebecca Court.  Marlborough resident Ann Leftley still has an interest in him.

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Tedworth Point-to-Point - sun, crowds, fun, firm going...and not many runners

The first race & all five runners in one frame - just

A huge crowd took advantage of a fabulous dry, sunny - if a trifle windy - day on the Marlborough Downs for the annual Tedworth Point-to-Point at the Barbury Racecourse.

There were more stands and food and drink stalls than ever - and for those not riding but of an adventurous spirit there was a 'Bucking Bronco' for the older 'children' and a 'Last Man Standing' for the younger 'children' - and for the even younger a bouncy castle of wondrous proportions.

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Andrew Nicholson set for another busy eventing season - as his horse Asis becomes As Is

Andrew Nicholson with As Is

Andrew Nicholson with As Is

The 2017 British eventing season has got underway and the competitions now come thick and fast.  In two competitions so far, leading New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson, who is based near Marlborough, has ridden in thirteen classes.

Nicholson came to England aged 18 and has been eventing here for thirty-plus years. The sport has, Nicholson says, 'changed an awful lot':  "It's much more commercial.  The positive side of that is that horses are much more valuable - buying and training them brings rewards. That's where the money is."

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Trainer George Baker to leave his Manton yard

George Baker with his racehorse named George Baker

George Baker with his racehorse named George Baker

Manton is losing one of its two well-known trainers. George Baker who has been leasing the Barton Yard from Paul Clarke, is buying the freehold of a training establishment in the Surrey Hills - very close to the Sussex-Surrey border.

George Baker - seen here with the racehorse he trains that is also named George Baker - has been training mainly for flat racing, but also for jumps, for nine years. In December 2013 he and his wife, Candida, and children and horses moved to Manton: "It is genuinely a privilege to add our name to the list of famous and successful trainers who have trained at Manton since the middle of the nineteenth century."

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Eventing: On the way to Badminton - Riddle Master gets some professional 'yoga'

Rebecca Howard holds Riddle Master as Megan King checks his back

Rebecca Howard holds Riddle Master as Megan King checks his back

Canadian eventer Rebecca Howard has been riding and competing around the world with Riddle Master - known to all as Rupert - for ten years. Now the sixteen year-old Canadian Sports Horse is getting regular physiotherapy sessions in preparation for their appearance at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials (3-7 May.)

The Canadian bred bay gelding looks smaller than his official 16.1 hands and certainly looks younger than his sixteen years. He was bred by Caroline Bazley and her mother Jean Watson in Orangeville, Ontario - and they still own him. Rebecca Howard was born and brought up in British Columbia - so it is a truly Canadian team.

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£90,000 raised at Newbury Racecourse's Greatwood charity raceday

Riders in the Bloor Homes Supporting Greatwood Charity Race: Lisa Kozak, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, David Dennis, Simon Cross, Hannah Bishop, Georgie Norton (winner), Richard Marks, Steph Cameron, Sarah Milsom & Polly-Anna Greco

Riders in the Bloor Homes Supporting Greatwood Charity Race: Lisa Kozak, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, David Dennis, Simon Cross, Hannah Bishop, Georgie Norton (winner), Richard Marks, Steph Cameron, Sarah Milsom & Polly-Anna Greco

The annual Greatwood race day at Newbury Racecourse was held last Saturday (March 4), raising in excess of £90,000 (net) for the charity which is based at Clench Common, just south of Marlborough.  In addition to a card of sponsored 'Supporting Greatwood' races, 360 guests attended a lunch at the racecourse.  There was a silent auction with a vast array of valuable lots.  

The last race on the card was a special charity race sponsored by Bloor Homes with ten amateur riders giving it their all. It was won by Georgie Norton riding Eddiemaurice - owned by Mel Mathias and trained by John Flint.

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