Rocky and Helen Endurance Stars – Sponsored by Forageplus

Golden Horse Shoe Gold Award

Photo by David Saunders Photography

Rider: Helen Newton

Horse: El Borann (known as ‘Rocky’)

Breed: 16 hands grey pure bred Arab

Age: 7 years old

Helen and Rocky live on Dartmoor, Devon in the United Kingdom

Rocky came to me long-reined, lunged and sat on 3 years ago and has been on Forageplus minerals all the time he has been with me. He is large for an Arab, 16 hands and well built with it.  A friendly cheeky chap who loves everyone and has no reason to believe that this affection will not be returned.

Rocky shares me with 2 other Arabs, 21 year old Carly and 15 year old Rooster, plus Kavi, my husband’s 15 year old ex-steeplechaser. All our horses are long term barefooters (Kavi won 6 races barefoot) and all are on Forageplus. 2015 is Rocky’s first year of competitive  rides with Endurance GB after a season of pleasure rides in 2014.

Watch the FP Riders space for more news of Helen and Rocky.  You can also follow them on Rocky Da Horse on Twitter.

Rocky at the Golden Horseshoe Ride Powered by Forageplus


Barefoot at the Golden Horseshoe Endurance RideThe Golden Horseshoe ride on Exmoor has always been my goal. The ultimate endurance ride in England. Sadly, after 50 years, it’s future is in the balance due to the organiser and the whole of the organising committee retiring with no one as yet coming forward to take over the job. Consequently it was very important to me to get Rocky to Exmoor so we could enjoy this ride one last time. Rocky had a lot to live up to as Rooster had achieved a Gold Award in the 50 miles over 2 days in 2012. Rocky had however had a taste of Exmoor at last year’s GHS when he participated in the 25k pleasure ride which he completed with ease.

So far this season he has achieved grade one awards with 32k at Hardy’s ride and 41k at The Cerne Giant ride (both in Dorset). His training takes place on Dartmoor so we felt well prepared for anything that Exmoor could throw at us.

The day of the ride was cool, breezy and, thank-fully, dry. Our first official check-up was with the farrier, who only wanted a quick look at Rocky’s front hooves before signing our vet check form, then on to the vet.

Heart rate 36 followed by a powerful trot up that I struggled to keep up with prompting the vet to comment to her colleague ‘that’s some unit’! Back at the trailer we tacked up, then down to the start setting off at our allotted time of 10.44.

Forageplus Golden Horseshoe Endurance Ride 2015

The terrain was a mixture of open moorland and stoney tracks through woods with a occasional short stretches of tarmac. The views were fabulous. Rocky took everything in his stride, rivers to ford and steep hills to climb, with plenty of opportunities to show off his superior gate opening and shutting skills.

My husband, Steve, crewed us 3 times along the route, refreshing us both with water to drink and to slosh over Rocky.

Throughout the whole 41k Rocky felt fit, fresh yet perfectly under control (most of the time!). We came into the finish at 2.27, just within our aimed for maximum time.Click To Tweet

Throughout the whole 41k Rocky felt fit, fresh yet perfectly under control (most of the time!). We came into the finish at 2.27, just within our aimed for maximum time.

Back at trailer, there wasn’t too much cooling required due to the breezy weather conditions. I checked Rocky’s heart rate with my monitor and it had already dropped way below the required 55 bpm to qualify for a Gold Award.

Off to the vet. Heart rate 46 and trotted up sound…hurrah a Gold Award for Rocky! Back to the trailer for an ‘oaty lunch’ a good drink and a snooze.

I am thrilled to bits with this lovely boy. Our next ride is on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, 32k at Minions Moorland ride.

Helen and Rocky

Forageplus Gold Award Horse at Golden Horseshoe Ride 2015

Photo by David Saunders Photography

Rocky and Helen Summer 2015 Endurance Update

Well we are now over half way through the endurance season and Rocky has already completed 7 of his 10 novice level rides.

I have been extremely pleased with my boy Rocky, he is showing a very good attitude, the ability to switch on and off when needed (not always at the right time but we are working on it!).

He drinks well at the crew points, also when the opportunity arises en-route and has never minded being ‘sloshed’, this coupled with his effortless ground covering stride and excellent recovery rates shows that he has plenty of potential for a future endurance career if we should so choose.

On Forageplus minerals he is showing excellent recovery rates showing that he has plenty of potential for a future endurance career.Click To Tweet

It was pointed out to me by a friend, via a Facebook posting on my timeline, that Rocky was lying in 4th place in the EGB Novice Championships!

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Rocky and Helen at the Piddle Ride: Photo courtesy of AGC Photography

Sadly I fear that we may be heading our way back down the table though as after consistent grade ones in 5 rides and one grade 2 in another, an unusually, for Rocky, high heart rate at our most recent ride (33k at Penpont, across Bodmin Moor) resulted in a grade 4.

Not a disaster by any means, the horse flies were out in force at the vetting plus he needed a pee (which he had once we were back at the trailer), both these factors can make a difference to a heart rate reading.

Moving on, our next competition is 42k at The Phoenix ride in Somerset at the beginning of August, so fingers crossed for this one.

Go Rocky!

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