January 5th 2021

Dear Members

Welcome to our first Virtual AGM.

As the year 2020 drew to a close suffice to say for us all it was a challenging one and a time we won’t forget.  The COVID-19 pandemic threw all our lives into disarray, it limited our social lives, work, travel and so many sporting events.  It has impacted on each one of us, psychologically, physically and financially.  I wish to offer my sincere condolences to those of you who have lost loved ones or been touched in any way by coronavirus in 2020.

Amongst the many Training Days, Course walks and other F&I days lost has been our own Annual Course our ‘crème de la crème’ and so I welcome you here this evening to this virtual AGM, another first for the F&I Association.  For so many of us the Annual Course at Addington is two days of magic as we catch up with friends, meet new members, watch top Coaches train members, lunch in the canteen, and take dinner in the restaurant, after the yearly stimulating AGM.

However, we have embraced technology, my heartfelt thanks to all those who have, and all those who will organise the fantastic webinars for us all to attend.  AND the committee meetings have gone on line. Here I quote, even ‘The legend known as Ann Bostock’ who is totally anti-tech, attends online!

Instead of the Course, Ann has organised our Trainers Discussion Evening tomorrow 6th January 7pm – a discussion evening with our two Trainers from this Annual Course, Caroline Moore & Richard Davison, with CPD points awarded.  More information later this evening on this great opportunity for discussion with Caroline & Richard.

You will by now have seen some of the dates for this year. Here are some more dates planned by members for members, and with many of those days for guests, where possible CPD points have or will be applied for.

Jen Burnet from her farrier Jason Sim a webinar entitled “Therapeutic farriery – what it is, and what it can and can’t do” January 20th. All bookings for this webinar to Jen.

February 3rd Eric Smiley will help us with our ‘course walking and training’ via a webinar, details from Jude Murphy. There will be CPD points for F&I & BHS members here.

12th February from Erik Mackechnie-Guire webinar “Taking the step from the BHSI to the Fellowship”  organised by Amy Bannister Bell

1st March a return to Charlie Unwin, online, organiser Mandy Holloway

And I’m aware there will be other webinars later in the year.

With our first ‘in person’ meet up on 24th March at Newton Stud/Baronswood, Devon – ‘foal from conception to maturity’, organiser Mandy Luesely. David S if I possibly can, I’ll be there!!   

Our regular sortie to Talland is 20th April, details from Jude Murphy

The Judy Harvey Day is 4th May, details from Ann Bostock

A Northern Camp has been mentioned and Sue Ricketts plus ‘gang’ are busy researching venues and dates, so more to come from that region.

Here I would like to welcome the new members to the F&I Association, Ann Dicker, Shena Kozuba-Kozbska, Kate Hamilton FBHS, and newly qualified Emily Farleigh, in her first free year.  With returns to the fold from Ireland Jessica Soley, Grainne Sugars and Rosemary Gaffney.  Members please, where possible, send to Jude, our membership secretary a personal email address if you have one, as she has difficulties contacting people with their College/work emails during holiday /lockdown periods.

We have a new Fellow of the BHS the indomitable Erik M-G, fantastic well-done Erik, huge accolades from all of us.  Erik is planning an online session “From BHSI to the Fellowship” 12th February.  Not to be missed – details from Amy Bannister-Bell.

THE BHS NAME FOR OUR BHSI MEMBERS:

It is my understanding from BHS Education, that we may now drop the words Stage 5 from our letter headings and compliment slips.  Those of us who achieved the qualification prior to 2018 may retain BHSI.  Those people who gained the BHSI since then are referred to as Performance Coach BHSI.  So far there have not been any Pathway Specific assessments.  F&I Association will be guided by the BHS Education following any successful candidates as to those qualification names.    Let me say here, that in order to belong to the F&I Association then the full qualifications will be required i.e. Care and Management, Riding through the chosen Pathway and Coaching at the chosen Pathway.  We wish the BHS well in getting this message out clearly to all its members.

We will miss the BHS stand in the canteen at Addington, where we can go and chat to BHS Education staff.

A mention here for Carrie Byrom and all the work she does through Stable Lives helping Armed Forces veterans and Emergency Services staff and children to overcome health difficulties.   Carrie received the Points of Light Award and in a letter from the PM Boris Johnson he wrote ”Thank you for the way you are helping our brave veterans and emergency service workers overcome mental health difficulties with your wonderful therapy horses. By bringing together men and women who have experienced trauma, with horses who have suffered neglect, you are allowing both sides to care for each other and forge new bonds of trust”.  Carrie wrote a children’s book based on a horse she has “The horse with No Name”.  A brief synopsis: “Can this horse with no name turn his life around, free from naughtiness and hijinks, to calm and peace?   Possibly, with a little help from his human and pony friends”.  Carrie, my granddaughter Arabella adores the story.

Our F&I Association page in the British Horse magazine is still there and will now be ‘managed’ from our end by Amy Bannister- Bell.  A great insight into the lives of our members, thank you to past authors and to future ones.

Another exciting first in 2020 is a clothing range which is now ’up and running’ thanks to the wonderful Sam York.  We should have had a stand at the Annual Course, however, you can go to the following link to look at the items which will have the F&I Association logo embroidered in and you may add your own name/qualification. LINK:

https://www.jsteamwear.co.uk    Take a look at these lovely items, thanks Sam.

It is time to mention that, as you will hear from our Treasurer Jude, this Association has funds in the bank.  Whilst we have been unable to hold our Annual Course at a discounted rate for members, we will keep the promise to offer a Training Day to each and every member at a 50% reduced fee during this year.  So, you decide which one you would like to attend and make sure you clearly ask the organiser so we may log it. The Annual Course 2022 riding/spectating fees will also be 50% off to all F&I members.  Meanwhile, as usual the membership fee will remain at £20 till after the 2022 AGM at least, that’s how much longer you have to put up with myself and Ann!!

Now I must tell you that this Association will gift to the BHS Riding Schools Hardship fund £1000.00. Oonagh Meyer, BHS Head of Approvals will now give us further insight into the many problems during this pandemic for our BHS Riding Centres small and large.

Many of us pay our subs by cash at the Annual Course, a plea from Jude “please would you set up standing orders through your bank or send her a cheque ASAP”.  I’ll now hand over to Jude, Treasurer and Membership Secretary, for the Treasurer’s Report.