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.

2016       30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FELLOWS AND INSTRUCTORS ASSOCIATION 

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

Jillie.

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