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.