Spring Newsletter

Dear F&I Member

As I sit here in the grip of Storm Emma and De Beast from De East I decided I’ve done enough snow shovelling and I would set about the Spring Newsletter.

As usual I am overwhelmed by the continued enthusiasm of our members. After another fabulous two-day Annual Course at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre where the days flew by as we flitted from one arena to the next watching and listening to those two great gurus Christoph Hess and Christopher Bartle, I felt 2018 had certainly arrived. David Sheerin had organised some really useful booklets which have made a great keepsake/memory of those two days. As a slight sideways tilt Sam York gave a very good lecture/demo on the use of technology in equestrian coaching by taking us through the dynamics of the “Equla Vert”. Also on day one David Seamark and his seven sheepdogs demonstrated working with a group of geese to show the Trust between the dog his Master and the other dogs as they worked as a team around the jumps and people in the arena, gently pushing the geese into a horse shoe shape formed by members of the audience. The dinner was well up to its usual standard and the AGM saw the retirement of our long standing Treasurer Judith Murphy. Debbie Follett has taken up the reins and we all wish her luck – big boots to fill Debbie. There were more winners for our trophies – Andrew Bennie the Achievement Award, Ruth Baxter the new Tom Searle Award and posthumously Tom Searle for Pat Smallwood Award. Mr and Mrs Searle joined us for dinner and to accept this award on Tom’s behalf and for me this was an emotional few moments as we all looked to our own memories of this young man.

As a reminder the Pat Smallwood Award is now presented by the F&I Association to “an instructor who has put exceptional effort into the Equestrian Industry in a voluntary capacity” and for the committee this was Tom. The Achievement Award just had to be presented to Andrew Bennie for all the Eventing Judging he has recently done world-wide including a recent small 4* in Rio. Finally, a new award the Tom Searle Award presented to the Association by David Sheerin as a memorial to Tom for the person “who shows all the elements of being Supportive, Involved and Inspirational” The recipient had no idea and a very surprised Ruth Baxter stepped up to receive the trophy from the BHS CEO Lynn Petersen.

Following dinner, it was straight into the entertainment which was ably produced and monitored by Sam York and Lisa Morris. Certain of our members proved just why they are at the top of their profession and also have such a successful competitive life as they “fought” to put together a double bridle blindfolded and tie a hunting stock blindfolded in record time. It was quite hard work to get back to reality as Faith and I flew home to Ireland.

Extremely good reports were written regarding the dressage sessions – Faith Ponsonby – and the jumping – Joanna Shields – thank you to those kind souls.

Then the year commenced in earnest as in mid-January came the fascinating regular study day at Talland, a super report followed from Sam Goss, and everyone was once more into the swing of the F&I calendar. Thank goodness for our Face Book page as that is the place to go for the photos as you await the reports. The Richard Waygood day at Wellington was as inspiring as ever and at this moment I’ve had a sneak preview of Sarah Thorne’s report we await some photographs to go with it.

Unfortunately, the weather has caused a cancellation of the day with Nick Turner at Hunters Gate Eventing, Cheshire, but this is rescheduled for March 27th. Also, in March Sandra Morrison is starting a series of evening lectures at Northumberland College for those in that part of the country. Then there is training at Millfield with Danny Anholt whilst the National Equine Forum in London has two delegates namely Sarah MacDonald and Mandy Luesley.

Moving swiftly on to April Sarah Simpson has offered an insight into the Leahurst Equine Unit and Ruth Baxter has an evening with Yogi Briesner for her area of the BHS and we are able to join at a very reasonable rate.

May brings Badminton Horse Trials and the annual course walk organised by Ann Bostock, don’t be late at the meeting point or you’ll be “drummed out the Brownies”. Once Ann arrives home from Badminton there’s the Judy Harvey Training day on May 8th.

June is our inaugural F&I Summer Camp – bring yourself and your pony to Wellington for a taste of summer fun! Or just bring yourself and borrow one from Wellington. David Sheerin will be in charge – watch out folks…

June also sees the visit to Ireland when Faith has again called in favours and we’re off to visit Irish show jumper Greg Broderick. Not only will we get to see the fabulous training facilities but also Greg’s breeding section and follow this with a lunch at McCarthy’s pub renowned for its good grub and onto the Horse Museum in Fethard. Meanwhile at Bramham Horse Trials Friday 8th Ruth Baxter has organised a most interesting session to watch and evaluate the Burghley Young Event Horse 4 year olds & 5 year olds.

July is our Hickstead RIHS Ladies Day social, of course. The Fellowship takes place in October and there are several training days taking place for this renowned riding and training qualification. And yet more events are in the planning stages. More details of all events can be found on the F&I website and Facebook page so please do take a careful look.

As an Association we will all be coming under the GDPR European Data Protection 2018. You should all have received a consent form by now and I hope you’ve taken the time to fill it out and return to our new Treasurer Debbie Follett. This does raise some problems with all our training days, evening lectures and course walks as the organisers need to ensure all eventualities are covered regarding guests and then storage of those forms in a safe place. But we are getting there and are being guided by Julian Campbell who as well as being a member also works at the BHS offices Abbey Park.

The Annual Course next year will move its dates but not the venue – please note in your diaries the 8th & 9th January at Addington Manor. with Corinne Bracken Show Jump training and Adam Kemp FBHS for the Dressage training. Our page in the British Horse Magazine February issue showed our Course to be exactly as it is with the heading “Sharing Inspiration”

PLEASE do consider arranging a gathering in your area, it can open up to non-members and if you first just run it past myself there’s a chance the BHS will award the training days CPD points. Members of the committee will be happy to advise and help you and Di will send on the Organisers Pack. We would prefer if it covered all expenses but not everything needs to make money – it’s the satisfaction of seeing more F&I Days being put on across the country and the wide variety we can make available.
On a sad note, we have recently lost one of our stalwart FBHS colleagues, Helen Webber. F&I were well represented at her funeral, and she will be much missed.

It just remains for me to wish each and every member the very best for 2018 and I hope to see you at some of our ventures.
Best Wishes
Jillie Rogers

Chairman’s Report – AGM – January 3rd, 2018

Ladies & Gentlemen,

As I prepared this report a few days ago, I said to myself: well, we have the FaceBook page up and running thanks to Sam Champney Warrener, the web page is kept ticking over by Sally Newcomb, and our F&I days keep getting better and better as well as more and more. So that’s it really, job done for the January 2018 AGM.

Then I had a rethink. So much has happened this year. The Banner! Much head scratching was done when it was first mooted, many photographs were looked at and Sally Newcomb was at the forefront of the team who put it together with a great deal of input from the “design department” in Co. Wexford. We became great friends with one of the BHS staff members, Alex Whitten in Marketing, who put the final touches to it, following all the time Sally had put into the design work. And it had its inaugural showing at the BHS Convention at Hartpury. It then went on its travels and I saw it at Badminton, Hickstead and Blenheim. It was an eye-opener speaking to local BHS volunteers who were most interested in an Association they knew little about, so it’s certainly doing a good job. At the end of last year, the Committee decided another banner would be useful, hence the purchase of a second one.

2017 saw the greater use of our Training/Study Days for BHS CPD points, where previously they had only been available here at the Annual Course for those F&I members present. Following further discussion with the Director of Education, Alex Copeland, we will be offering additional CPD days again in 2018, starting with the day at Talland on 22nd January for CPD for Fellows & BHSIs, and on February 14th at Wellington for BHSII /BHS Stage 4 Coaches & above. Other days will become available during the year – HOWEVER, each potential date must be run past the Committee first, to get approval that it can count. Anyone may run a day in their area for F&I – and it doesn’t have to be a riding day, as we have had some most rewarding non-riding days organised during 2017. There is now an ‘Organiser’s Pack’ which is available from Di Roberts, so, come on, let us know how we may help – we are available for email or phone call chats.

And then we have the wonderful Annual Course 2018 Booklet – another new innovation, put together by David Sheerin. It has certainly made me feel as if these two days are even more important to our Association than we all previously thought. The booklet was suggested by David following the Charity Day in Honour of the late Tom Searle, held on October 16th at Wellington Riding, where a commemorative and informative booklet was available for all who attended.

This year we welcome as new BHSIs (or Stage 5 Performance Coaches in Complete Horsemanship) the following people – Brendan Bergin (RoI), Dan Spencer, Wendy Suddes, Melissa Troup, Michael Whippy, Sonia Wilkes and Kirsty Fontaine-Henley. It was in fact Kirsty who wrote an interesting report on last year’s Annual Course headed ‘From a Future BHSI’ so well done to all of these people and Welcome. The Committee invited this year’s new BHSIs to a Bucks Fizz reception today here at the Course, and they all have their first year as members of the F&I Association free. A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THEM ALL PLEASE.

The person who didn’t get her free year although she is on the banner is of course Sam York FBHS our new Fellow and very busy F&I committee member. A BIG CHEER PLEASE.

I must mention here that one of our members has taken up a new sport. On December 14th Kylie Roddy boxed a semi-pro boxer who boxes for the Royal Navy. After some serious training Kylie won, raising £2000.00 for Cancer Research. She is now thinking of sticking to boxing following today’s unplanned dismount!

2017 – I’m going to take that look back at 2017 right now. The start of another full and awe-inspiring year was right here with Christoph Hess and Chris Bartle. Jeremy secured the services of these two eminent trainers and both days were spent with many jaws hitting the ground by those of us watching, whilst the riders rose to the occasions on each day with each Coach – and how lucky are we to repeat the same success story this year. Gentlemen, thank you so much.

During the year we walked XC courses, enjoyed training with yet more well-known and well-respected Coaches, attended study days which stretched our minds e.g. Sync Thermology and Research and Technology in Coaching, whilst in Ireland Faith Ponsonby called in many favours to get us a full morning with Top Trainer Willie Mullins and Top Rider Ruby Walsh and an afternoon with Sam Watson 4* event rider. The reports of each venture have been full and I’d like to thank all those people concerned with organizing all these different days for us. Once again, a plea from the Committee for more people to become involved in setting up a day out for us.

2018 – looking forward to this year, we’re back at Addington EC and our two Coaches have returned for the second round. Today has been totally captivating and we all look forward to tomorrow.

In the booklet you’ll find other dates for 2018 and these are still coming in, everyone please have a think and make your offers during AOB or over the next few weeks.

This year, Badminton Horse Trials’ Charity of the Year is the British Horse Society. The BHS will have extra tentage and, through the good efforts of our BHS Chairman, David Sheerin, the F&I Association will have a greater presence at the Horse Trials, hence the second banner. We need help from members for our space in the stand. This will be where members can meet for tea/coffee and a ‘catch up’. An hour per day will be a great help and we might, just might be able to get a little help towards your entry fee. Please advise Di Roberts if you are able to come along.

On our Face Book page you will find an exciting message from Lynn Peterson, our esteemed CEO of the BHS, which arrived with me on New Year’s Eve. This should also reach you all by email from Di Roberts. It gives us all a greater look at the wider influence of the work the BHS does and the continued progress made, including internationally.

2019 will mean a change of Annual Course Coaches and this time it has been the silver-tongued persuasions of David Sheerin to secure for us Adam Kemp FBHS (Dressage) and Corinne Bracken (Jumping). Another two years of exceptional coaching on offer. Please note the new dates 2019 – 8th & 9th January TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. 2020 will be 7th & 8th TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.

I can’t finish without thanking the Study Group Leaders – Fellows Sue Payne, Lizzel Winter, Islay Auty, Sam York, Danny Anholt, Tim Downes and Jeremy Michaels. And BHSI’s Jenny Ward, Carole Bennett, Ann Bostock, Kylie Roddy and David Sheerin. Gifts to all.

It just remains to say Thank You to everyone who has contributed in whatever way to another outstanding year for the F&I Association.