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JohnSmithTo promote John Smith’s renewed sponsorship of the Grand National, punters will have the chance to register for a share in a racehorse with their next pint.

The scheme, called “Smithy, The People’s Racehorse” will mean the horse will be owned by the bitter company’s customers.

There won’t be any financial commitment apart from buying a pint, as customers will be able to register for one of 250,000 shares with the company.

“Smithy”, a four-year-old gelding will be trained by Donald McCain junior at Bankhouse Stables in Cheshire. His owners will get updates on his progress and be able to vote online about his training and the races he’ll be entered for.

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Glamour girl Katie Price recently spoke to Horse and Hound about her equestrian life.

What was your first… word?

I don’t have a clue, but it certainly wasn’t horse! I know with all my children it was the usual “mama” or “dada”.

When did you first… ride?

When I was seven, on a 12.2hh grey pony called Echo. He kept bombing off with me every time we hit open grass, so I’ve had my fair share of falling off.

What was your first… job?

I left school at 16 and began training as a nurse, which I did for a few months before getting into modelling.

When did you first… own a horse?

I had a 14hh bay New Forest pony called Star on loan when I was nine or 10. He was 18 years old and we used to hack out and go to local shows.

I then had a 16.2hh ex-racehorse called Rosie on loan when I was 15, who was great fun, before my mum bought me my own – another ex-racehorse who was also a bay called Star!

The first horse I bought for myself was a 17.3hh Irish thoroughbred called Tyke – I like my big horses.

When did you first… choose dressage?

Last year. I still get a buzz from jumping, but I just love the look of dressage – the way the horses go and the elegance of it all. It’s a real discipline. Plus, I feel safer on the ground.

When was the first time… one of your children rode?

Harvey rode when he was pretty young as I bought him a Shetland. Then Princess got on the horse I rode at the Horse of the Year Show, Glamour Girl, when she was just 14-months-old and Junior rides her too. I’m actually getting them a pony called Harvey on loan.

What were your first… resolutions for 2009?

To compete as much as I can and learn to ride the new horse I’ve bought from a sale in Holland, Jordan’s Pretty Boy. He knows all the moves and is a real challenge for me.

Who was your first… hero rider?

John Whitaker on Milton – I used to have posters of him all over my bedroom walls. Of Milton I mean, not John!

What is first… on your list of ambitions?

To conquer the world.

When did you last… get something for free?

Prestige want to give me saddles and bridles for all of my horses – even though they usually only do it for professional riders. So that’s very generous of them.

When did you last… laugh so much it hurt?

I’m not a big laugher – I have quite a dry sense of humour.

When did you last… do a good deed?

When I went into a shop to get my computer fixed and ended up buying loads of stuff for Pete’s [Peter Andre, Katie’s husband] studio. I’m terrible with computers – I had to buy a new Mac recently because I’d forgotten the password and lost all the software, so apparently there was nothing else I could do.

When did you last… fall off?

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I can’t remember. That’s not good is it? It must mean I’m due for one.

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jacket_chesapeakeAs the weather has finally started to warm, the team at The Riding Company are finally beginning to think about spring.

And this equestrian jacket is the perfect compliment to warmer weather, with its tailored look but is still fully lined for extra warmth.

Made from wool, it has three buttons in matching material with a trim in red cord. There is even a matching skirt, called the ‘flirt’ skirt in a range of sizes. Visit Ohalloranco for more details.

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The box office for the Horse of the Year Show opened this week.

This October from the 7th to 11th at the NEC in Birmingham, there will be a host of old favourites such as the Puissance on the Saturday evening and the HOYS leading show jumper of the year grand prix competition on Sunday.

There will be a musical display and a Phantom of the Opera-themed performance run by Cheshire North Hunt Pony Club.

For more information go to Hoys or call the box office on 0844 581 8282.

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brooke-logoThe Riding Company have teamed up with horse charity The Brooke, to organise a sponsored ride in Egypt this November to help badly treated horses. In fact, it was in Egypt that The Brooke’s founder, Dorothy Brooke, started the charity in 1930. She was horrified to see hundreds of emaciated horses on its streets, so she set up a committee and bought 5,000 ex-cavalry horses.
And in 1934, Dorothy Brooke founded the ‘Old War Horse Memorial Hospital’ in Cairo, with the promise of free veterinary care for all the city’s working horses and donkeys…the Brooke Hospital for Animals was born.
We will be visiting some Brooke projects around Cairo to see first hand how the charity is helping the sick and poorly-treated horses. Everyone involved can enjoy a fun, but worthwhile holiday, with a great bunch of people, while they take part in the sponsored ride.

Visit The Riding Company for more information.

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brooke-logoToday The Riding Company made a donation to the Brooke horse charity to train two animal workers as part of their ‘Give a gift for Christmas’ campaign.
Visit http://www.thebrookeshop.org and choose your gift – a lifesaving present for a working horse which can be ‘A month of healthy eating’ (£18.86), ‘a painkiller kit’ (£10), ‘a shade shelter’ (£36.45), a ‘fantastic fly fringe’ (£10) or even a ‘vet for the day’ (£39.31).
What a perfect Christmas present – the horse (or donkey) gets your help and you get a gorgeous gift pack to give your loved one. Each pack contains a fun card and a special gift certificate showing exactly how their present will give working animals and their poor owners a better life. Each gift also comes with two fantastic window stickers. Orders must be received by 15th December for Christmas delivery.

Visit http://www.thebrooke.org for more information.

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