Well – Somerset has hit the headlines this winter for all the wrong reasons. The flooding has been catastrophic for villages in the middle of our area and we know our members have come to the aid of many horse owners during this difficult time. Those of us who only have mud are really lucky! We have only lost one competition to the weather – a dressage at King’s Sedgemoor – which considering the storms that have battered the region – is quite amazing.
The best news of the New Year was the news that Margaret Peverley had been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to equestrianism in the New Year’s Honours List. We were all delighted for her and at last her tireless efforts have been recognised and rewarded. Margaret would like to thank all those who sent her messages and cards – she was totally amazed by the volume of congratulations received!
The winter training has been well attended and enjoyed. The regular sessions with Nikki Stephens sorted out the really hardy types that braved flooded roads and high winds in the dark. At least for the Amanda Edmonds and Gaye Farquharson clinics it was daylight, but Amanda had one session when the wind was so strong and noisy in the indoor school that she almost had to teach on a 20 metre circle to be heard! We have also run day clinics with Jane Holderness-Roddam, Steve Hague and Sue Petty and the feedback from all of them has been really positive.
The Area 12 qualifiers for National Championships are in full swing now. Sara Bartlett has taken on the show jumping teams this year (07967 208 778) so do call her if you are interested in being on a team this summer. Alys Matravers will be looking for team members for the summer dressage qualifier ( 07512 239 303). Alys already has a team qualified for the Winter Dressage at Hartpury at the end of March. Mandie Bown completes the team manager line – up, – Mandie has hit a purple patch at the moment and has teams qualified for the Eventer’s Challenge and Combined Training at the Festival of the Horse and is now on the lookout for Horse Trials combinations and she would love to hear from you on (07968 146 209)
The Dressage to Music is at Kingston Maurward on May 26th. Mid Somerset are running this music qualifier again and Marian will be delighted to hear from you if you could help on this day, please. Some people have already volunteered but we do need more to lighten the load please – it is a very long day! There are open non music classes too so perhaps some of you will come and swell the numbers. If you want to have a go at the music – please contact Alys as soon as possible. There is also a non BRC qualifier PYO test freestyle class – a really good place to start!
Our Summer programme includes a SJ/XC arena competition for the first time and we hope will prove very popular.(May 18th). Otherwise we have our normal mix of jumping and dressage – and the Annual Show. For the Annual Show we are asking for members to donate a prize as sponsorship from companies is becoming ever more difficult ( a haynet, bucket, nylon headcollar etc) – we are also looking for Easter Eggs for the Mini Combined Training on April 19th. Please contact Margaret or Marian.
Our summer training will include Gill Longhurst at WHW, Kingsdon; Gaye Farquharson and Ed Hobbs at South Barrow and Amanda Edmonds at Kingfisher.
We start the new season with a Judge Training and Dressage Explained evening at Kingfisher Equestrian on April 3rd. Alicia Anderson will explain what the judge is looking for and our guinea pigs will demonstrate movements and also ride tests from Intro to Elementary for you to judge. There will also be some dressage to music demonstrations to whet your appetite for freestyle.
We will not be running the terrier racing evening this year but are planning an evening at South Barrow Equestrian – probably in July – with Hickstead Horse Feeds and we will run the tombola there and Ed is planning a barbecue. We will use this as our charity fundraiser for World Horse Welfare. If you have any unwanted Christmas presents – we are on the hunt for tombola prizes please.
We hope you find something to interest you in the Summer Programme ~ we look forward to seeing you out and about soon. Safe Riding!