The “Association of Fellows and Instructors of the BHS” is a peer group training and discussion body formed in 1986 to ensure that the highest professional standards are maintained.
We organise a wide variety of coach-the-coaches events of all types, designed to provide a revolving spectrum of relevant “continuing professional development”, specifically aimed at those at BHSI level and above.
The Association is currently chaired by Jillie Rogers BHSI, who is committed to steering it ever onwards and upwards and getting her committee into action, so that all BHSIs and Fellows are supported in their careers and development and the F&I Association is promoted throughout all parts of the UK.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objects of the F & I Association, as set down in our original Constitution and Bye-laws, are as follows:
The Association shall be known as “The Association of Fellows and Instructors of the British Horse Society”. It shall be open to all members of the British Horse Society who have passed the Society’s examinations or assessments at BHS Fellowship, BHSI, or Performance Coach BHSI.
To read the full constitution, please click here
The F&I Association was the brainwave of Pat Smallwood FBHS and Barbara Slane Fleming FBHS in 1986. At that time there were very few conferences, or study days for instructors of BHSI and FBHS level. The one that was an annual event in the Whitbread Room at Stoneleigh was the BHS Training & Examinations Study Day, which was “by invitation only”. It was valuable but only a limited number of Instructors were invited. The concept of the F&I Association was to run many excellent study days and training opportunities in the form of riding, observation and discussion, to all Fellows and Instructors of the BHS.
The first Chairman was Barbara Slane Fleming FBHS and Pat Smallwood FBHS was the first Secretary /Treasurer. The committee was formed of Marie Stokes FBHS, Pammy Sivewright (now Hutton) FBHS, Sue Payne FBHS, Islay Auty BHSI and Alec Lyall BHSI. At the first AGM on 8th December 1986, there were 36 Fellows and BHSI’s present, with apologies from 20 others.
From 1987, Jenny Ward BHSI took over as Secretary/Treasurer, and Pat Smallwood stayed on the committee.
A video library was set up in 1987 with videos given by members or purchased by the F & I Association. Members could borrow a video from the library from a meeting or they could be posted. The stock included videos such as the set by Reiner Klimke, two by Gill Watson on jump training, a set by Kyra Kyrkland, Maria Gunther’s Training the Dressage Horse, and many others. Paul Ingram BHSI and Sue Payne organised the library, which was very popular particularly in the winter months.
In January 1988 Pat Smallwood died. She left a legacy to be used as a Training Fund for “destitute young instructors” wanting to further their careers, and the Pat Smallwood Training Award was formed (see separate history of this Award).
At the December 1988 AGM, Barbara Slane Fleming retired as Chairman, as she was finding the journey from Northumberland increasingly difficult. A proposal was put forward to elect Barbara Slane Fleming FBHS as President of the F & I Association and the vote was unanimous.
The Chairman in her report congratulated two Fellows and one BHSI who represented G.B. in our Olympic teams: Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Tricia Gardiner, and Ian Stark. Trainers of members of our Olympic team who are also Fellows or BHSI’s were Bill Noble, Paul Fielder, Pat Manning, Jane Bartle-Wilson and Barbara Slane Fleming. The Chairman also congratulated Gill Watson FBHS on her continuing success with the GB Junior and Young Rider teams.
Sue Payne was made Chairman and Judy Cammaerts (now Harvey) FBHS was voted onto the Committee.
In 1989 Jo Knowles FBHS presented a beautiful bronze of a horse’s head that she had designed and made to be presented annually to the winner of the Pat Smallwood Award.
In 1990, 55 members were present at the AGM, and, amongst other suggestions, a foreign visit was suggested for a group of F & I members. This took several years to get off the ground but eventually a superb foreign trip was organized for 8 enthusiastic F&I members visited German studs, training yards and sales preparation venues, ably shepherded by Margot Tiffany. In addition, several members have regularly attended the Global Dressage Forum and Verden Sales over the years.
Many F&I events became established annual events, and several became fundraisers for the Pat Smallwood Award. Talland have been very generous in running an Annual Study Day where members ride the Advanced horses under the beady eyes of Pammy Hutton (and in earlier days also Molly Sivewright FBHS), which was followed by discussion. The takings from these days were donated to the Pat Smallwood Fund. Kenneth Clawson also donated money from his training days to the fund. Malcolm Brown ran the London marathon one year with sponsorship to the Pat Smallwood fund, along with many others who have contributed over the years.
A competition was run to design a logo for the F&I Association in the late 90’s. Sally Newcomb BHSI won, and this excellent logo is still being used on all official paperwork. Sally also runs the F&I website for us all.
The Annual Course, nowadays usually held in January at Addington, Bucks, has become the highlight of many F&I members’ annual calendar, with top trainers taking both Dressage and Jumping for 2 days in the adjacent indoor schools. At the annual AGM and Members-only Dinner on the first evening, there is always a great atmosphere at the dinner with lots of “catching up” by members and some form of entertainment or an after-dinner speaker. Ann Bostock BHSI has been responsible for running the successful Annual Courses for many years – a single-handed tour-de-force.
Another tour-de force is Faith Ponsonby, who organises an annual trip for F&I members to visit Ireland’s most prestigious studs and training yards.
At the Annual Course and AGM/ dinner in January 2013 we were pleased to welcome the new BHS Chief Executive of the British Horse Society, Lynn Petersen, who asked about the F&I Association and its aims and discussed many issues with members. Lynn presented certificates to newly qualified BHSI’s. The Association tries to maintain these close links with the British Horse Society Chief Executive and with their Education and Training department team, and we all really appreciate the ongoing support from the BHS.
In 2014, the Chairman of the BHS Trustees, Patrick Print FBHS, arranged for the F&I Association to be invited to the BHS stand for Ladies Day Saturday at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. This has now become an annual event and is a great summer catch-up opportunity for members.
More recently we have been able to enjoy the enhanced facilities at Wellington, courtesy of David Sheerin BHSI. Events have included a Summer Camp as well as several training and study days throughout the year.
Any members can arrange suitable Study Days on any subject, including visits to studs, tutored course-walks at 5* events, and discussion sessions at training yards. Some events are listed as open, which means that a Member may take a guest(s) with them; other events are members-only. The Annual Course and usually a couple of other courses each year will count as official CPD for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches and other trainers. The program of events is always available on the Association of Fellows and Instructors website, and on the F&I Association closed Facebook page.
We are very grateful to Pat Smallwood and Barbara Slane Fleming for their brainwave. The Association has gone on to have an illustrious and eventful first 30+ years – and the hard work that has been put into the success of the F&I Association by the Chairmen, Secretaries, Treasurers and Committee members has been immense. All have contributed hugely to the success of the Association.
The Pat Smallwood Award
Pat Smallwood FBHS
by Sue Payne FBHS
A truly exceptional lady, Pat Smallwood FBHS, who died in 1998 left a legacy to many current instructors and trainers within the BHS and the equestrian industry.
Pat, or Miss Smallwood as she was usually called, owned Radnage House Riding School. This was run as a successful commercial family business, but there was much more to Pat Smallwood and Radnage than met the eye. She was very interested and involved in all sections of the equestrian world and once Pat became interested in something she became involved in it. There are two examples which I can remember clearly.
The first occasion involved the Pony Club when Pat asked my opinion of the PC ‘A’ test. At that time I was a Pony Club branch Chief Instructor and trained and examined candidates for the ‘A’ test. The exam format included an initial assessment of riding the horses outside. Should a candidate fail this section, then they were not permitted to ride in the Dressage section in the afternoon.
Pat was against this and wanted to change the approach and allow the candidates to sit the Dressage section regardless of the outcome of riding outside. I was in total agreement with this as well, in order that the candidates would know where they were in their overall competence at this level. Historically, this subject had been taken off the PC Conference when Pat brought it up again. The Chairman said she would consider the point . . . when Pat said very politely, but very determinedly, that it had been under consideration for five years and needed changing now – and the chairman agreed! From that point on, the PC ‘A’ test ran as Pat Smallwood had suggested.
Secondly, Radnage was an excellent centre for Riding for the Disabled (RDA). Many of the established BHS Instructors (Gill Watson FBHS, myself and many others) taught in the groups throughout the country, although many of the group instructors held no formal qualifications. At this time the RDA Association was expanding rapidly. Several of us (Jane Wykeham Musgrave, myself and Pat among them) formulated the RDA Group Instructor qualification and later, the RDA Instructor Qualification. These embedded part of the BHS Intermediate Instructor exam into the standard. Through the development and instigation of these training qualifications the RDA would probably not be where it is now without Pat Smallwood’s foresight.
She was also interested in developing and supporting her staff and pupils. She wanted from them the best they could give and achieve. She would help anyone, but woe betide those who thought they were better than they were! Taking an exam without Pat saying that you were good enough was unwise. When Pat asked “When are you going to take the BHSI” (or any other exam), meant that only then were you considered to be ready.
Gill Watson (team trainer for the Junior and Young Rider British Eventing Teams) was Chief Instructor at Radnage. Pat never bragged about the Eventing successes of Gill, but she was so proud. I’m sure she looks down on us and cherishes the continued successes of Gill as coach, particularly for her amazing successes with the GBR Junior and Young Rider teams over many years.
Unfortunately, Pat didn’t have a long and happy retirement. She moved to Gloucestershire with her family, and soon after contracted cancer. She died in January 1998 but left money to be given as an annual award to a hard working, destitute Instructor really keen to progress.
You can probably guess the type of person she would want the award to go to. Not those with support and backing from family or sponsors; not to those having great success in the competition world; but to those working their socks off in the industry that are poor but enthusiastic and keen to gain experience and qualifications in order to help their pupils achieve. In 1988 The Pat Smallwood Award was set up and administered by six trustees.
The money would have run out years ago, but additional funding was donated from Pat’s clients who donated more, boosting the initial amount. Pat’s generosity was contagious as other Instructors delivered their own training days donated their fees to the fund. One person ran the London marathon to raise funding, while the Fellows and Instructors Association (F&I) added to the pot for many years, and so kept the award alive.
In 2008 the Trustees agreed to wind up the Pat Smallwood Award and in 2009 six recipients received an equal share of the remaining money. The award had been running for more than 22 years (there were two years when no suitable nominations were received, so the Award was not given). In addition to the financial benefits that the Award brought to a recipient, was a beautiful horse’s head sculpture designed by Jo Knowles FBHS. This is still awarded annually through the F&I Association and is presented to an Instructor who has put exceptional effort into the Equestrian Industry in a voluntary capacity.
List of the 35 past winners of the Pat Smallwood Award:
1988 Malcolm Brown
1989 Sally Newcomb
1990 Juliet Snelson
1991 Adam Kemp
1992 Barry Iedema
1993 Lizzel Winter
1994 Mandy Luesley
1995 Amanda Wood
1996 Mark Townsend
1997 Karen Eacock
1998 Anna Ross
1999 Jill Grant
2000 Jane Adderley
2001 Kate Brown and Jonathon Willis
2002 Sarah Bassett
2003 Rebecca Monk
2004 not awarded
2005 Andrew Fletcher
2006 Sophie Cox
2007 Rachel Tilson
2008 not awarded
2009 Joanna Barry, Ian Cast, Carol Haines, Helen Hawkins, Amy Knight, Rosie Thomas
2010 Ann Bostock
2011 not awarded
2012 Kenneth Clawson
2013 not awarded
2014 Susie Pilbeam
2015 Eric Smiley
2016 Sue Payne
2017 Jenny Ward
2018 Tom Searle
2019 Jeremy Michaels
2020 David Sheerin
Now that you have read the background of this amazing lady and the Pat Smallwood Award, please consider if you know of a worthy future recipient and contact Jillie Rogers (current Chairman of the F&I Association) using the website contact form.