Getting to Know Millie Lawson

Here we chat to young show jumper Millie Lawson about her fantastic relationship with Noah’s Lady her 138cm jumping pony.

Tell us about your background in Showjumping

I am 13-years old and based in Aberdeen so it is a lot of travelling to competitions. I started riding when I was five-years-old, and first went to Pony Club when I was eight.

My first foray into show jumping really started at the age of 10 and things hit the ground running and qualified for the Royal Highland Show 128cm Championship in my first season with my pony Dakota.

When I was 11-years-old, we found a pony called Priestwood Hardy who had been turned out in a field for seven years and had no British Showjumping points – within 10 months we had jumped at HOYS, won the 128cm Grand Prix at the English Home Pony International and then we won at the London Olympia International Horse Show!

How did you come to start riding Nora?

My parents bought Nora, known as Noah’s Lady when competing in August 2019, to give me a head start before I came off my 128cm ponies at the end of that season.

It was a rocky start, but once we developed an understanding of each other we were off! We qualified for Hickstead in 2020 and were fourth in the Winter 138cm Final, and also jumped at Aintree in the British Showjumping Championships that replaced HOYS that year.

Tell us about her character

Nora is a 14-year-old 138cm mare that came from Ireland as a three-year-old. She was originally purchased by Holly Smith for her sister Phoebe, then went to Alex Gill who produced her and jumped her at HOYS in the Newcomers final. She then went to Abbie Letham in Scotland for four years before we bought her.

What makes your relationship special?

I think we just ADORE each other, and Nora would do anything to help me out when I am in the ring. She is always looking for me on the yard.

What is Nora’s weekly routine?

When we are not away at shows, Nora spends plenty of time in the field with her best pal Toy Story (Toy). She hardly jumps at home, but we’ll often hire a course somewhere if we have a weekend off from shows. I ride her about four times a week and keep the work varied to keep her fresh, relaxed and fit.

What do you feed her?

We are very lucky to be supported by TopSpec and Nora’s feed regime consists of TopSpec Performance Lite Balancer, TopChop Grass and TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support. Nora LIVES for food and is a good-doer, she looks in great condition and as she is 14-years-old the 10:10 Joint Support helps maintenance of healthy joints.

What are your major wins together?

In the last year or so, we have been fourth at Hickstead, third in the Pony of the Year Show Grand Prix, and second in the English Home Pony International 138cm Grand Prix – we’re still waiting for the first BIG win!

What are your plans for the season?

We plan to compete at HOYS, have qualified for the Royal International Horse Show, attempt to win a Grand Prix and finish the season at the Liverpool International in December. HOYS is an 850 mile round trip and Hickstead is a 1200 mile round trip – but always worth it if we go well!

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Get Competition Ready

LOOKING for a low sugar, low starch diet as you get out and about competing again?

Whether heading to the white boards for a dressage competition, taking to the coloured poles for a show jumping round or heading out on the cross-country, a calm, focused ride will help achieve the best results.

After time away from the atmosphere of a show or event, with a quieter season last year, many horses and ponies can easily become excitable and anxious when in warm up arenas or feeling the tension of a competition.

In such cases a low sugar, low starch diet can help and throughout May there is £2.00 off a bag of TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes at participating retailers nationwide, whilst promotional stocks last.

TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes are very low starch and formulated to provide calories for condition (12MJ/kg) whilst being highly sympathetic to the digestive system, even when it is compromised by extreme acidity.

UlsaKind Cubes are ideal in those circumstances where the internal surface of the stomach has been eroded, because they contain very high levels of β-glucans which form a gel and coat the stomach lining with a protective film. The gel-like stomach contents are less likely to splash the upper squamous epithelium in the stomach.

These β-glucans also slow the rate of passage of feed through the stomach and intestines because of the sticky, gel-like consistency of the feed. In the stomach this means that the periods of time when the stomach is empty and therefore highly acidic, are reduced. Because the β-glucans in UlsaKind Cubes bind to sugars in the intestine, their absorption is slowed and the glycaemic index of the feed is lowered.

The TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes formula also contains 1% of a marine-derived ingredient with established buffering properties. This calcium and magnesium-rich substance has been scientifically proven to reduce environmental acidity in the equine stomach (in vitro) for up to six hours.

UlsaKind Cubes are designed to be added to a TopSpec Feed Balancer or supplement and therefore contain no added vitamins or trace-elements. They are however, enriched with the minerals calcium, sodium and magnesium. The calcium and magnesium sources have a mild, short-term, buffering effect against stomach acid.

For further information please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030.

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TopSpec Win Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award for a Record Twelfth Time

During a difficult year the team at leading horse feed company, TopSpec has been praised for their superb effort when winning the Stubbs England Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award at the BETA Business Awards for a record 12th time.

With the additional pressure of members of the nutrition team working from home, but keeping the helpline managed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been truly recognised for their hard work and commitment to provide the very best service possible.

The awards took on a virtual, filmed presentation which allowed TopSpec staff not normally at the event to also enjoy the occasion and share in the celebrations.

Said Nutrition Director, Nicola Tyler: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Stubbs England Nutritional Helpline of the Year for an unprecedented 12th time at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Virtual Business Awards 2021.

“Thankyou to all our clients who nominated us and also a big thank you to our wonderful team that kept this service going through the COVID pandemic.

“It really is a team effort and everyone involved has pulled together over the last year to maintain the high standards the TopSpec Helpline is known for.

“We are very grateful to everyone who nominated us and to the judges for choosing TopSpec again.

“The award is something we never take for granted and our aim is always to provide the very best advice and management from our experienced team of nutritionists and vets.”

The judges said: “TopSpec has won this award for an incredible 12th time by consistently showing professionalism, expertise and a caring attitude towards callers. It follows up enquiries and provides clear links to stockists.”

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TopSpec Sponsor Millbry Hill Stud

The Jones family – left to right – Liz, Serena, Emma, Charlotte and Nigel with Fountain of Youth.

Based in the stunning North Yorkshire hills, Millbry Hill Stud is home to some of the country’s leading stallions.

Recently purchased by the Jones family, the Great Ayton base is the former home of well-known and highly regarded producer Jerome Harforth and the Stanley Grange Stud.

Now with Charlotte and Emma Jones at the helm, with support from Stud Manager, David Dixon, the stud is sponsored by TopSpec, with a feed regime specifically tailored for all the stallions, youngstock, broodmares and thoroughbreds.

Said Emma: “We are delighted to be feeding all the horses and ponies on the yard with TopSpec’s range of feed balancers, blends, chops and supplements.

“This continues the close work established between Jerome and TopSpec over the last six years.

“The horses and ponies look in fantastic condition and it is brilliant to have support from the TopSpec nutrition team for help and advice.”

With 120 acres and 50 stables on site, the stud has excellent facilities that the Jones family plan to develop further.

Stallions standing for the 2021 season include the pure bred Irish Draught, Castlegar Cool Mist, by Castlegar Rebel out of Coolagh Mist, owned by Charles Upham and standing at the stud for the first time.

Another recent addition is the Thoroughbred Group 3 Winning Stallion Fountain of Youth – by Europe’s leading Group 1 sprint sire Oasis Dream out of 5 times Group 1 Winning Mare Attraction. This lovely young stallion will now also be available to non-Thoroughbred Mares for the first time.

The Australian Hack/Riding Pony, Whistlejacket’s Kings Tribute owned by Richard Bentley is also a new addition to the team and joins the piebald stallion, Lostock Candyman, owned by Caroline Hamilton and established names such as Up With The Lark, Turberry Top Cat, Anton Scandal, Nantcol Libretto and Willowcroft Regal Bronze.

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Don Pasco Dances to the Tune

Keen to keep her dressage horse Don Pasco in competition shape, owner Joanna McIntosh Sim was looking for a feed to keep his waistline in check.

Having fed products from the TopSpec range for more than 13 years, Joanna was keen to find out more about the Performance Lite Feed Balancer when it was launched last year as Don Pasco is a good-doer who keeps weight on easily.

Known as Percy at home, Joanna has owned the 11-year-old since he was 18-months-old and they are now competing at Inter I together.

A former event rider and show jumper, Joanna then turned to dressage and looked to buy youngsters with dressage breeding to produce and compete.

Explains Joanna: “I have three horses that are British Bred Warmbloods and all are very good-doers.

“I started them all on TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer as youngsters before moving them on to TopSpec Stud Lite Feed Balancer and finally TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer.

“When Performance Lite Feed Balancer was launched I spoke to one of the nutrition team and felt it would be the perfect choice. It is designed for horses that are good-doers in medium to hard work that do not require any extra muscle development or topline.

“Percy now gets a handful of chop and the balancer and looks in fantastic condition. He carries weight and can really live on fresh air but I know he is getting everything he needs with the balancer.

“My husband is a farrier and always comments how strong and healthy the horses’ hooves are too.

“I also find the feed to be very economic and their coats also look superb. We will soon be out and about competing again and I have kept Percy ticking over so he is ready to take to the dressage arena again.

“It is great to be looking forward to some competitions with a chilled and competition fit Percy.”

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Summer Offer – TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer – 25% OFF!

Is your horse or pony a good-doer or prone to carrying too much weight?

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer is ideal for horses that are overweight when fed as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

It is available from participating retailers throughout August, and whilst promotional stocks last – with 25% OFF providing a fantastic saving.

Lite Feed Balancer is a ‘Non-Heating’, cereal-grain-free formula; with low levels of starch and sugar, and a considered level of protein to help maintain muscle function but avoid promoting body condition.

It is very important that this group of horses and ponies receive their full requirement of vitamins and minerals. Lite Feed Balancer allows them to receive all the micronutrients required to balance the diet of horses in light to medium work in a small amount of exceptionally low-calorie feed.

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer will help maintain excellent health whilst greatly improving hoof quality and promoting a supple skin and an exceptionally shiny coat. It is so palatable that it can be fed on its own, or with a little TopChop Lite.

Long term trials have shown that horses and ponies on restricted/poor grazing do not gain any additional weight when fed Lite Feed Balancer. It can also be used very successfully as part of a calorie-controlled diet when weight loss is required.

Lite Feed Balancer is suitable for horses and ponies that have recovered from laminitis providing they are not obese. TopSpec nutritionists recommend TopSpec AntiLam is fed to horses and ponies at serious risk of laminitis, being treated for or recovering from laminitis, to provide a higher level of nutritional support.

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer – Normal RRP – 15kg £22.50, Offer price £16.85.

For further information please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit

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TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer Now Available in 15kg Size

TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer is now available in a 15kg sack – more convenient for most horse owners.

The easy to handle 15kg size is the same great price per kg as the original 20kg sack.

The new smaller bag provides a 30 day supply for a 500kg horse and works in well with the quantity lasting a month and the price being ‘wage-pattern-friendly’.

The same brilliant specification throughout both size sacks, TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer is a very palatable ‘Non-Heating’ pelleted feed that is formulated without cereal grains and is low in sugar and starch.

It contains many supplements combined with good quality protein to promote muscle development and topline. The supplements include a top-specification broad-spectrum supplement and specialised supplements including a superb hoof supplement, generous levels of anti-oxidants and sophisticated digestive aids.

This superb specification allows horses to utilise far more nutrients from the forage and straights in their diet, which usually means that their hard feed intake can be reduced with many resulting benefits. A complete specification is freely available.

Comprehensive Feed Balancer is a very flexible, nutrient-rich feed designed to balance the rations of most horses and ponies simply by adjusting the rate at which it is fed and the products it is fed with.

When Comprehensive Feed Balancer is fed there is therefore often no need to add any further supplements, other than salt and/or electrolytes for sweating horses. The addition of a broad-spectrum supplement, blood tonics, yeast supplements, vitamin E and selenium anti-oxidants, a hoof supplement, immune support, a bone supplement and metabolic support, is a totally unnecessary expense, ineffective and potentially harmful.

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William Reaches for the Top

Based in Northumberland, 10 miles south of Corbridge, 20-year-old William is a man on a mission, determined to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport.

He takes up the story:

“I come from a three generation family who have all shown. My grandparents on my mother’s side used to show in hand, and my mother competed successfully in Small Hunter classes.

“On my father’s side, his parents produced show horses and dad competed at HOYS in both flat classes and workers so I’ve followed on from that! 

“I’ve already been lucky to have some great horses and for this year I have two main workers to ride and compete in Silver Lough and Kildalton Heiress. Both are 15.2hh, pure Irish Draught and eight-years-old.

“Silver Lough has achieved just about everything, he has been champion at the Royal International Horse Show, won the Intermediate Workers at Royal Windsor two years in a row as well as winning the Lightweight Horse workers there last year.

“He has also been on the BSPS England team three times and last year competed on the international team in Wales. He was fifth at the Horse of the Year Show in the Cuddy sponsored  Working Hunter of the Year and Intermediate Gold Cup winner at the BSPS Championships.  We are a great partnership and he has really helped me make a name for myself in the sport.

“Kildalton Heiress competed successfully in Novice Horse Working Hunter and Intermediate classes last year and she is also a brilliant hunter. She is a beautiful mare with one hell of a jump so I’m very excited to be getting her out this year! 

“I also have my faithful coloured horse Constellation who I have owned for nine years. He used to be my Intermediate Worker until he injured himself in a HOYS qualifier. He had qualified for the Royal International Horse Show as a horse worker and Intermediate beforehand but after his injury, I decided to hog him and 12 months on we stood Amateur Coloured Champion at the RIHS when I was 18 and before I became a professional.

“Keeping the horses in the very best condition is so important in the showing world and I like them to be in good shape but also fit and ready to compete.  I have been very lucky to be sponsored by TopSpec since 2016 and the feed really makes a difference.  The range really provides everything I need and I am a huge fan of TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer, TopChop Grass and TopSpec Turbo.

“Silver Lough looks great for this time of the year and has already had a win taking the Working Hunter Championship at BSPS Area 3B at Bishop Burton – he’s just a star!

“Finally, there is Sligo Better Value. He used to compete in horse workers but the judges thought he was too much like an event horse so after jumping 11 HOYS qualifiers clear in one year, I decided to event him instead.  So far, he has a clean record of double clears and we have been competing at BE Novice level. He also took me round the Ledbury Hunt Golden Button Challenge last year which was massive! I’m 6ft 1in and there wasn’t one hedge smaller than me!

“I really enjoy being out on the show circuit and have a couple of favourites being the Royal Highland and the Great Yorkshire Show. My father used to be a farmer so I love the agricultural side of the shows and there is always such a huge crowd around the rings at both of them. 

“When I’m not out competing I hunt regularly with the Tynedale and try to get out twice a week if possible. I like to get my show horses hunting to let them have some fun after the showing season and they really do love it. However this season I’ve barely been out due to the weather. 

“In my spare time I like to for the gym as I think being fit for riding is very important and I don’t know why but for some strange reason I’d love to get into pottery and ice skating but sadly there isn’t anything local. 

“I try to keep a real life balance between horses and other activities and one of my biggest achievement in life so far is raising over £3,600 for cancer charities. I first raised over £2,200 when I hunted side saddle on Constellation – I know, bonkers! I then grew my hair for two years donating over 12inches of hair as well as more than £1,400 too for the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. 

“Looking to the future I would love to win the Intermediate and Working Hunter of the Year at HOYS. I’ve always dreamed about galloping down the centre line under the spotlight and this season I aim to qualify both of my working hunters for HOYS and RIHS in both classes.

“On the eventing front I am aiming for 2* level with my eventer Sligo Better Value and I would love to do some plaited coloured and possibly some side-saddle classes with my coloured horse Constellation. I am also hoping to event Silver Lough a bit too which is exciting for the future.”

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Van Olst Horses Join Team TopSpec

Anne and Gertjan Van Olst are now feeding their competition horses on TopSpec. Lottie Fry who is based with Van Olst Horses has been feeding TopSpec for more than six years including her 2019 U25 champion ride Dark Legend.

Following outstanding results in the FEI World Cup Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music qualifiers with the 11-year-old stallion Everdale, Lottie is hoping for a place in the GB team for this year.

TopSpec is well known for its range of top specification feed balancers and quality horse feeds and is delighted to continue its commitment in the world of dressage.

Said TopSpec Managing Director, Katy Mickle: “We are excited to be working closely with Van Olst Horses, as we continue to develop our export business.

“It has been exciting to watch Lottie grow and develop into the rider she is today, and it has been fantastic to work closely with the whole team at Van Olst Horses developing individual feed plans for all of their competition horses.”

Anne competed at five Olympic Games and has been a huge support to Lottie as her trainer and mentor.

Said Anne: “At Van Olst Horses we aim for the best. In TopSpec we have a top partner. Their quality food and expertise is a great help in getting our horses in top shape to achieve our targets.” And did you know that you can put a photo of your pet on personalised items like apparel or accessories which just looks amazing!

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TopSpec Support Bransby Horses with Weighbridge

AN appeal by the team at Bransby Horses, following a difficult year which saw nearly half of their land under water, has led to TopSpec donating a brand new weighbridge to the charity.

In January the rescue and welfare team had to move 42 horses and ponies to the new Barlings site at Langworth as part of the crisis management plan in response to the flooding. Another 16 horses and ponies followed in February. This was made possible because of the fast and reliable work made by a Horse arena construction services company.

Barlings, which was acquired by the charity in 2018, was still under development which meant the pressure was on to quickly prepare for the arrival of the horses and ponies that urgently needed transferring.

Portable weighbridges allow for accurate weight monitoring which is essential for planning feed regimes, monitoring health and also to ensure correct dosage of medication.

The team were delighted when TopSpec stepped in and offered to provide this vital piece of equipment for the new site.

Stef Leversedge, Assistant Farm Manager at the Bransby Horses’ Barlings site said: “After the flooding in November 2019, we urgently needed to use this additional site we purchased in 2018, as a temporary home for some of our horses and ponies.

“At the moment, we have about 60 at Barlings and whilst we have some of what we need to offer the same quality of care we do at our main Bransby Horses site, there are still a few things which we are looking for.

“When TopSpec donated a weighbridge to us, we were blown away by this generous gift. We would have had to have paid thousands of pounds for this, but they were so kind to offer it to us without cost, saving the charity a significant amount of money.

“This weighbridge means we can effectively monitor the weight of our horses, manage diets correctly, ensure medication dosage is correct and that wormers are being administered right. A huge thank you to TopSpec for this gift; it means the world to us!”

Added TopSpec Nutrition Director, Nicola Tyler: “When we heard about the difficult time Bransby Horses had faced due to the adverse weather we were happy to step in and provide the weighbridge.

“The information gained for each horse and pony when they are weighed is vital for working out a correct feed regime for them to keep them in the best of health whatever their age or condition.”

Bransby Horses has been using TopSpec feed for a number of years and work closely with the company’s team of vets and nutritionists, especially when a rescued horse has challenging dietary needs. The correct nutrition is crucial for recovery.

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