Honoured Guests 3 New Fellows of the BHS, Ladies & Gentlemen

Each year as I stand here to give this revue, I feel that the past 12 months cannot be improved on.  But each year they are!!!  From the first day of our Annual Course in 2018 with the fabulous Christoph Hess and Chris Bartle to the end of today with this year’s superb Coaches, Adam and Corrine the past 12 months have shown the diversity of this Association, and it’s all down to YOU the members.  YOU organise the training days, the course walks the visits to studs and yards, the ‘Ladies days’ and this year from David and Wellington the two-day Camp etc etc.  I just stand here each year in awe of this group of professional horsemen and women.

I’d also like to thank all those good souls who put pen to paper, fingers to keyboards to write the reports after each day.  This is so important for those of us unable to attend.  Yes, it’s a chore but please please may I make this plea again to organisers – find someone who will put pen to paper, fingers to keyboards NOW/IMMEDIATELY.  The Facebook page so superbly organised by Sam Champney-Warrener helps so many of us keep in touch and just keeps increasing in membership., whilst Sally Newcomb does wonders with what we send her for the web page.

We are very lucky in this Association to have so many talented people prepared to work hard for us. There have been dressage days, show jump training days, and simulated XC days all carefully noted and reported on and as follow ups excellent results from our members out competing and their students.  We now have a new ORGANISERS PACK and once the date for whatever you have offered to organise draws near then the Secretary will send this pack to you by email with explanatory notes.  Please do use the information available as we have worked hard and consulted in order to ensure everything is in line with GDPR.  It is also important that if there are any accidents or incidents you use the form in the pack, this has come via two solicitors.  Therefore, the organiser will need to do a certain amount of photocopying of forms etc, there is a fee available to recompense you for doing this task, contact our treasurer Debbie Follett.

This year saw a first, the F&I Summer Camp, organised by Mr BHS Himself – David at Wellington.  I went for one day to watch and yes it was just like a Pony Club or Riding Club Camp.  The same camaraderie, people rushing around to get to all the sections they had applied for and an atmosphere of fun and dare I say it excitement.  Fortunately, as most of the campers were fairly grown-up there was no need for the strict bedtime rules, I remember from my days in Pony Club camps. Later this year following an eight-hour open heart surgery operation in August Ann Bostock, our Vice Chair, was at Newbury races on 8th November to ride in the BHS Charity 1 mile Flat race.  She had to go through a rigorous fitness test and riding test in order to qualify and even employed a personal trainer to get her to peak fitness.  Ann raised the £2000 required to ride in the race for the BHS charity Changing Lives and a further £4000 for the British Heart Foundation.  Having been placed in the first 5 Ann then had more surgery just 3 weeks later!  WOW!  Meanwhile the rest of us enjoyed the BHS Stand with lunch and chat and much betting on the horses as we overlooked the racecourse, and both the silent and open auctions.  Having done ‘sober October’ I rather over-imbibed with the prosecco and was thrilled when Alex Copeland as auctioneer called my name and waved at me a few times.  However, I have ended up with a day on the set of Martin Clunes, Doc Martin for myself and Fran.  All to the good of the Changing Lives Charity.

The previous week it had been the Fellowship, where Ann sorts the horses and ‘gofers’, she took her horse so she could ride every day & not lose fitness.  From those 4 days of examinations we now have 3 new Fellows of the BHS, Mandy Luesley, Sarah MacDonald and Andrew Bennie – fantastic – the ultimate goal for any of us and one a lot of us may well not attempt.  So, I feel now is the time for another round of applause for these people.

British Horse Magazine, this year saw a change to the name of “our” page from the Fellows & Instructors page to Coach Thought.  This slight sideways move was strongly discussed within our committee meeting in October along with two representatives from British Horse magazine.  Since then there has been a change in that section of the BHS office and Ann Baylis has stepped up to the plate.  Ann is dynamic and enthusiastic and whilst I doubt if the page will ever regain its original name it is there to promote BHS Coaches.

On November 23rd I was lucky enough to be at Saddlers Hall, Gutter Lane, London for the presentation of the BHS awards by the BHS President Martin Clunes.  What a fabulous building tucked away amongst new tower blocks and yet dating back to 1395 and even more breath-taking once inside.   Oh, my Goodness the Great and the Good were there with members of this Association collecting awards.  Sarah Simpson received The Award of Merit for excellent service to the Society and her own students over a period of years. Jon Evans gained the Accredited Professional Coach Award for a freelance coach who has made the greatest difference to their students and in the field of equestrian training.  The reason I was at Saddlers Hall was to collect the Bodynfoel Award – for excellent service in promoting the work of the Society – I’m not sure why and I’m so grateful and thrilled to have collected a lovely bronze caste horse’s head and certificate, my thanks to those who sponsored me for the Award.

Finally, on December 8th a group of members and their friends savoured the delights of a day at Aintree racecourse, ably organised by Amy Bannister Bell who is a doyenne of the racing world.  And so, ended a thrilling 2018, whilst here we are at the end of our own year with these wonderful coaches dropping into our laps whether mounted or spectating large ‘dollops’ of magical information.

Our thanks to Chris Parker and his staff who have made us so welcome at the ‘New Addington’ with all the improvements.

Thank you, David for once again producing the fabulous brochure.  You’ll find dates on the back page and I have others to give you later.

Ann Bostock is my prop and my sounding board she also ensures you don’t get all of my rants!!

My present committee have all worked so hard over the past year, thank you.

Members this is your Association we are here to listen to you. So, here’s to another exciting year for the F&I Association with each other and our friend the horse, whether in your own competing or coaching, along with the various dates we have on offer from the F&I Association.

Jillie Rogers.

AGM 8 January 2019