Autumn Newsletter October 2015

Dear Member,

In September 1819 John Keats wrote an Ode beginning ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and yes here we are again.  British Summertime will ended on October 25th and now the days will shorten on that run down, or is it up, to Christmas.

The British Horse magazine had articles on winter care for your horse and over the past weeks Horse and Hound has majored on feeding and caring for the horse in winter.  They (who ever they are) say this is to be a ‘hard’ winter so these last weeks of warmth have been very welcome.  Governments tell us to look out for the elderly during cold weather but I’ve been thinking about the three pony mares rescued by the BHS in 2014, Faith Hope and Charity.  Whilst BH magazine and H&H preach mostly to the converted who will look out for those ponies, cobs and horses who appear to be neglected and stranded as soon as the days shorten and no-one comes to check or feed them?  I’m hoping it might be some of us, brave enough to stand up and be counted and yet aware of the plight of the novice horse owner.  Meanwhile competing continues albeit indoors and those who hunt will be ready and anxious for the Opening Meets.

This has been another busy year for the F&I Association, oh to be able to attend every day that is available to us all, so many varied and informative days have been put into place.  Thinking all was nearly over I whizz off to HOYS,  courtesy of Simon Somers, and come back to a brilliant report from Sue Payne regarding the day Biddy Brasted Watts organised at Newmarket with Dr Rachel Murray and Simon Somers.   In March 1995 Dr Rachel Murray gave a lecture at Cambridge Veterinary College to a group from the F&I Association which was equally as informative.   Just now as I check Facebook there’s a report from Judith Murphy regarding Emile’s coaching day.  Thank you everyone who has gone to such lengths to organise such a varied programme for us all, and my thanks to all the report writers without whom those of us who weren’t present at the various days could not feel included  but did feel jealous!

At the moment I’m trying to fit in a few minutes per week to compile a list of Chairpersons and Secretaries from the inauguration of the F&I Association to the present time.  Going through the archival paperwork is indeed fascinating, hence the information regarding Dr. Murray.  I hope all this will be available to view at the AGM in January.  This brings me to the final part of the newsletter.


We “kick off” with the Annual Course, AGM and Dinner, you will have already had advance notice of this.  The riding places are now full but that doesn’t stop you coming to spectate and joining us for the Dinner on Wednesday 6th January at Addington Manor EC.  Other celebrations are planned throughout the year so I hope to see you at some of them.

It just remains for me to wish you a safe winter with our good friend and servant The Horse.

Yours Sincerely


PS, I know we’re all hoping William Fox Pitt will make a full recovery as soon as possible.

Spring Newsletter

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!!  The grass is looking greener, the clocks have changed, garden centres are in full swing telling us to plant the tubs and hanging baskets, and our horses/ponies are busy slipping their coats.

Members of The Fellows & Instructors Association who knew Margot Tiffany have been stunned and shocked by the sad news of her sudden death.  Her funeral took place on Monday 20th April.

Welcome to three new members: William Micklem FBHS, Co. Wicklow, Lucy Gavrilovic, Oxfordshire and Sarah Drewett, Buckinghamshire.

The Fellows & Instructors Association has also been in full swing since the very stimulating Annual Course in January.  I don’t think the organiser, Ann Bostock, could have fitted another session in with either Coach, AND Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Nick Turner have agreed to return next year.  So, diary date that now, 6th& 7th January 2016.  You will all have read the reports, however, suffice to say that Jennie ensured every rider thought and rode forward, and whilst watching Nick from the café with Jennie’s voice coming across via the microphone system Nick appeared to be saying exactly the same thing to the jump jockeys – fantastic.

The evening dinner saw everyone in their ‘glad rags’.  The meal was really good, Tim Downes FBHS gave us some of his brilliantly witty odes, whilst Eric Smiley FBHS was presented with the Pat Smallwood trophy, which had earlier in the day been reunited with its sculptor Jo Knowles FBHS.  Jo named her beautiful sculpture ‘Wistful’ after a mare she had at the time she sculpted it, so ‘Wistful’ she will be.

Next on the calendar was 26th January – aday at Talland with Pammy Hutton FBHS.  Reading those reports the attendees were kept warm by listening to Pammy’s pearls of wisdom as some very smart horses were worked and discussed.

The National Equine Forum in London in early March always offers the Association two tickets.  Our representatives this year were Ann Bostock and Margie Craib, and a full report gave us an insight into the always-topical day.

10th March at Wellington was organised by David Sherrin BHSI,where Judith Murphy FBHS and Captain Richard Waygood kept everyone on their toes with a variety of work from flat and jump lessons, lungeing practice over fences, and a lecture demo on free schooling/jumping. The photos and videos on Facebook made me very green as I couldn’t be there…

A very different experience was arranged by Pippa Hatton BHSI at Moulton College on 31st March.  Attendees looked at the importance of understanding how and why the horse needs to be fit for purpose as well as ways to achieve this with modern techniques.  Again some good photos on the F&I Facebook page.


My thanks go to all those very good and enthusiastic members who organise these days for the rest of us to attend.

HOWEVER, PLEASE PLEASE can those asked to do a report on the day do it as quickly as possible.  Also, Facebook is a brilliant tool BUT not every member uses it.  So, I take a look and see what a brilliant day has been put on by ….. at ……. with great pictures of happy smiling horses & people, but this has not gone forward to our web page or to our secretary Di Roberts.  Sally Newcomb runs the web page, and she will put up adverts for the events, and she will then put up the reports, and would like pictures. Sally is on– go and look at the web page as it’s had a face lift and is our main advertising space and shop window to the public.

Di Roberts is on– she will forward your report on to all the membership.  Di is such a gem, she also sends snail mail to a few of our more mature members who don’t use the internet.


Other things have been on the agenda since the Annual Course.  Alison Craig and I have taken it upon ourselves to catch up with some of our “golden” Fellows, for an occasional series in British Horse Magazine.  We visited Helen Webber and Sister Chiara and had great fun listening to them reminiscing about past students and their own horses.  Wealso sent Jo Knowles our questionnaire and received a very full reply.  We’ve a number of others listed for visiting but if anyone can suggest a Fellow who “needs” a visit from the two of us then please give me a shout.

Our F&I page in British Horse Magazine continues to be available and is in the capable hands of Jo Winfield.  I asked for help earlier this year and have over a year’s worth of response, and so the next issues will have articles written by members that will show to the public the Association’s diversity and wealth of knowledge across many subjects.



April 8th an evening presentation by William Micklem FBHS at Ballylanigan House by kind invitation of our IrishRepresentative Faith Ponsonby: CROSS COUNTRY MATTERS.The reporthas now been posted.

April 28th PUNCHESTOWN Races please contact Faith on

August  6th Royal Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day, contact Jillie on Once again tickets for the day have been sponsored by a client of mine for F&I members, and these will include entry to the Stewards and Judges box for the morning to watch all the Young Event Horse classes. Names ASAP.


Erik Mackechnie has taken on the role of Scottish Representative, Erik is on

May 11th Patrick Print will facilitate a day watching advanced flatwork riders. Contact Erik as above for further details.

The Longine FEI Europeans September 10th-13th at Blair Castle sees a Course Walk with Yogi Breisner on the Friday and Russel Guire will discuss biomechanics and research development in the equine world on the Thursday afternoon, in the BHS tent.


8th May Badminton Horse Trials Course Walk with Nick Turner FBHS, Irish Team Trainer, contact Ann Bostock on 07889648478

18th MayTraining Day with Judy Harvey FBHS, Riding and Spectating day, contact Ann as above.

1st August Hickstead Ladies Day, details will be available very soon through Karin Irvin,  Lynn Petersen’s PA.  “Posh Frock” day!

4th September Burghley Horse Trials Course Walk, contact Ann as above.

Further Dates to be confirmed: Carl Hester Morning – spectate only

Emile Faurie Morning – spectate only


2016 is our 30th Anniversary Year so thinking caps on to make this a year for celebration.  There are already plans afoot to jazz up the Annual Dinner and organise a trip abroad, so ‘Come one and all, let’s celebrate’!

Jillie Rogers, Chairman.

Chairman’s Report, AGM 2015

Jo Knowles FBHS presents the trophy she sculpted to Eric Smiley FBHS. Chairman Jillie Rogers (standing) and Sam Champney Warrener look on
Jo Knowles FBHS presents the trophy she sculpted to Eric Smiley FBHS. Chairman Jillie Rogers (standing) and Sam Champney Warrener look on. Photo by Fran Russell

Good evening members and honoured guests, Mrs Jo Knowles FBHS, Mrs Jennie Loriston-Clarke FBHS, Mrs Lyn Petersen BHS CEO and Mr Nick Turner FBHS.  Welcome to the 29th AGM of the BHS F&I Association.  Looking back at the proposed dates for 2014 from the minutes I noted that, with very few exceptions,  every day was acted upon whilst other events materialised during the year.  I’d like to thank all the organisers, all the presenters/coaches, all the participants and all the report writers who gave us the opportunity to enjoy those days.

I’m delighted to be able to state that our exact membership stands at 203.  This is 140 fully paid up, our 7 new BHSI’s, 36 not re-joined in 2013/14 and there are still 20 members who’ve not yet updated their banking details to the membership fee of £20.00.  Your Committee has asked Judith Murphy (treasurer and membership secretary) to send a letter by post this year – rather than an email- as each of those memberships  become due to remind them that in future they will NOT be sent any further correspondence by our secretary Di Roberts.  This may seem very harsh however as the membership rate increased approximately 9 years ago it is entirely fair to all the full fee payers.

Under the direction of Jo Winfield, our contributions continue to be published in British Horse magazine under the heading Fellows & Instructors Association.  Jo is keen that that our offerings should not always be in the form of this is what the F&I Association ‘did’ but more towards this is what the F&I Association will be doing/is doing for our members and prospective new members as well as the ‘horsey’ public who will read that column.  Sue Payne has told the public about the history of this Association and the Pat Smallwood Award, however, the magazine now tends to have a theme for each edition and we need more volunteers to write some copy for Jo to print so please contact Jo and offer to help with one of the publications for 2015 I have further information here.

Left to right, Sam Champney Warrener, David Sheerin and Sabrina Jones
Left to right, Sam Champney Warrener, David Sheerin and Sabrina Jones. Photo by Fran Russell

Sam Champney Warrener is the Facebook techno and as this is a closed page just for members then please do use it. If you’re not yet a signed up member of the page (there are 69 at present) then contact Sam or Judith Murphy and they will accept you.  Then use it for advertising or just to tell others what is happening to you and your horses or clients. Take a leaf out of Tim’s book and use Facebook as Ingestre does.  Meanwhile towards the end of 2014 Alison Craig, Judith and I took another look at the F&I website.  Sally Newcomb, who set up the site originally, has been a tower of strength and has spent a lot of time updating the site to bring it into the 21st Century.  This is a public site so if you have anything (legal) you wish to sell, organise or advertise then the MEMBERS AREA will be helpful to you AND it’s free.  Just send the details to Sally and she can post it for you.  Go and take a look I think you’ll agree this will be helpful to all of us.  May I make a plea here from Sally & Sam when you do your reports as most of us now have phones with cameras please could you take some photos and send across a good one for use on both sites, and so organisers could you pick your report writing victim early and forewarn them.

Tim Downes FBHS amuses everyone after dinner with one of his odes
Tim Downes FBHS amuses everyone after dinner with one of his odes. Photo by Fran Russell

We have already stood to remember Lady Audrey Townley and Danny Pevsner please allow me a moment to record a little more about each person.  Both Fellows of the BHS although not members of this Association Lady Audrey Townley nee Hone died aged 96 on 30th September. One of the BHS’s earliest members and a published author she gained her Fellowship in 1954 one of only 20 at the time. Lady Townley had the successful Borwick Riding School, she retired to Dalbeattie in Scotland in her late 60’s, a popular person who left a legacy of dedication and enthusiasm amongst her students.  Whilst more of us will remember that enigmatic figure Danny Pevsner who passed away in his native Israel aged 73 in the summer of 2014.  He was a former pupil of The Spanish School of Riding Vienna going on to become a Fellow in 1971. To quote the obituary penned by William Micklem FBHS ‘ Danny was an incisive, precise thinker and a man who cared deeply about both doing things well and doing things humanely’

We now have the Republic of Ireland covered by Faith Ponsonby who’s here tonight and Erik MacKechnie has offered to organise a day at Gleneagles and help those of us who wish to go to the Europeans in September to take a course walk.  I’d love to find more volunteers to take up the offers of the use of Bicton College in the West and in the East, Newton Hall to organise a gathering of like- minded people in those areas.  These do not need to be a full day and as long as they revolve around the horse they can be any subject.  However, they must be self -funding and may be opened up to non -members of the Association.  May I refer to the BRILLIANT day organised by Linda De Matteo at Ingestre where Tim, Rob and Carole kindly gave of their time as we delved into the BHSI examination.

Jennie Loriston-Clarke FBHS and Nick Turner FBHS presenting BHSI certificates to (top to bottom, left to right) Clare Chamberlayne , Alice Bell, Joanna Shields, Amy Bannister and Ross O’Hare. Photos by Fran Russell

This brings me to our new BHSI’s, here with us Clare Chamberlayne, Sarah Fitton, Joanne Shields, Heidi Reed, Amy Bannister, Alice Bell and earlier today, Ross O’Hare.  Congratulations to you all enjoy your first free year of the F&I Association and return next year. Our very own Treasurer/Membership Secretary is the new Fellow of the BHS. Well done Jude now I shall take a moment to ask you all to cheer like mad as Jude is one busy special person working her socks off for this Association. Meanwhile two more of our members Sue Pimbley and Fred Hodges became Trustees of the BHS during the elections in 2014. Tonight we are lucky to have Jo Knowles FBHS with us to present the beautiful trophy she sculpted for the winner of the Pat Smallwood Award. First presented in 1989 Jo has not seen the trophy since then. Tonight our worthy winner voted by members as a person who does a lot for this Association is Eric Smiley FBHS.

I want you all to give serious thought to 2016 as that will be the 30th anniversary of the Association and I feel we must celebrate.  We will be able to start with a BANG in January as long as our two fabulous Coaches from this year promise to return.  So let’s all practise ‘opening up more country’ ready for 2016. May I ask you to join me in thanking Jennie and Nick for an enjoyable day, educational, with just that smattering of humour to keep us all warm!! My thanks also to Sue Payne & Judith for the Fellowship discussions today, and to those stalwarts who’ve given of their time in the study groups.

Finally, I’m going to ask you to indulge me for a moment longer.  There will be no after dinner entertainment this year as there is so much chatting and catching up to do.  I was going through my Father’s quotes and snippets from his After Dinner Speech Box and found this small piece and I feel now might be an appropriate time to read it as it refers to our great friend and servant The Horse. Written by Anne Bullen who will be known to you either as an illustrator of pony books or as the co-founder of the Catherston Stud with her husband Lt.Col. Jack Bullen

“My life and health I give to your safe keeping
And when I am old
And have served you well,
Pray, Oh my master,
Do not sell me to slavery and to a cruel end.
But send me to my rest with tenderness and kindness
And my gratitude will be your reward.”


Jillie Rogers