Chairman’s Newsletter – January 2013

Dear Member,

Once again we were privileged to enjoy two fantastic days at Addington Manor, whether as riders or spectators. The facilities were voted as top class and we will be returning there next year. However, the committee is still open to using different venues in the future if the membership decides to action this.

The trainers, Stephen Clarke and Yogi Briesner were a joy to listen to and watch and, as usual, it was difficult to decide where to place one’s self. Reports on both Trainers are being written by two of the riding participants, and we’ve managed to book Stephen and Yogi for next years Convention so diary date 8th & 9th January 2014 right now.

At the AGM we heard that some of the events organised by members were either poorly supported or cancelled through lack of support. This is a great shame as those people who work to put on training days/seminars/lectures soon become disheartened. To this effect there is enclosed a provisional programme so you will be able to diary date those events which most interest you, and where applicable encourage others to attend. These dates will also go onto the web page and the F&I Facebook page. Not only are there clinics and seminars being planned but for those social butterflies Ladies Day at Hickstead, Ladies Day at The Royal Dublin Horse Show (for which we have a limited number of guest badges) and the BBQ with Breeding/Youngstock evening with Mandy Luesley are also on the agenda.

In these days of social media, the F&I Association has taken another leap forward and thanks to the efforts made by Sam Champney-Warrener we have a Facebook page. This is only available to F&I members, Sam is monitoring it and only allowing fully paid up members to join. This will be helpful for advertising your own clinics, student training etc etc so PLEASE do use it. Photos much appreciated, maybe not what you’ve just prepared for dinner!!!

With regards to membership fees, our treasurer Judith Murphy is taking a stronger line! Up until now members who had not paid their yearly fee were still receiving information via email. This has now stopped. If you hear from anyone who feels they have missed out on information please ask them to contact Jude on If you know of any possible new members please ask them to contact Jude as above. Please check your D.D is for £20.00 as fees increased over two years ago

So, get those diaries out and fill them up with F&I days, keep your eye on the web site for further information on each event and check out the Facebook page for more information. I look forward to seeing many of you at Badminton on 3rd May.

Good Luck for a successful and profitable 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Jillie Rogers
Chairman F&I Association

Chairman’s Report, AGM 2013

Happy New Year to all!

Olympics etc.

  • What a year the sporting world has had in general but specifically the Equestrians! The highlight of course has to be the London 2012 Olympics.

Dressage – Team Gold and Individual Gold and Bronze

SJ – Team Gold

Eventing – Team Silver

Olympia 2012 – Charlotte won both the Reem Acra FEI World Cup GP (84.447%) and the Freestyle to Music (87.975%).

  • UK Sport has increased the funding allocation from now until Rio in 2016 from £13.4m to £17.9m. Good news. Still a way off Rowing’s allocation of £32.6m!! Still, we mustn’t complain!!

Many congratulations to all Fellows and I’s who were involved in some way with our successes.

The Association has had a busy and successful year. Currently there are 196 names on the database but Judith will give you more information with regard to this in her Treasurer’s report.

Courses and Training 2012:

  • 11/12 January 2012 – F&I Annual 2-day course taken by Judy Harvey and Kenneth Clawson  – very well received and participants and observers were rewarded with 2 days of excellent training tip and ideas.
  • In March – there were two reports – one on the day spent watching and learning from Mrs Robeson at her National Hunt Yard on Bucks. and the other from the National Equine Forum held at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in Westminster where Sue Pimbley reportedly delivered an excellent paper on the value of Equine Degrees. Both days sounded exceptionally informative and beneficial.
  • 16 July – Ernest Dillon was again busy giving jump training to members at Wellington Riding in Hampshire
  • 21 July – Ladies Day at Hickstead
  • 3 October – Marketing Yourself and your Business held at BHS HQ at Stoneleigh – a very interesting and informative day
  • 15 October – at Coleg Gwent, Gareth Hughes gave an excellent and well-attended clinic – the reports received on his training style and methods were glowing
  • 29 November – Carl Hester yard visit – this was of course very popular and extremely interesting

New Website

Many thanks must go to Sally Newcomb who developed the site and without whose expertise we would have been lost!

New BHSI’s

This year we had seven new BHSI’s – Gemma Barry, Tina Canton, Catherine Cundall, Melissa Garry, Benjamin Greenwood, Suzanna Seymour and Sarah Thorne. Congratulations and welcome to one and all.  Later in proceedings, Lynn Petersen will be awarding certificates.

Jo Winfield

In June 2012, Jo stepped down as Chairman and I was asked to stand in as Acting Chair until this meeting when we will formally vote in a new Chairman.

I just want to say a big thank you to Jo for her sterling work while she was in post and hope that she will continue to remain an active and supportive member of the Association.


On a very sad note, back in June 2012, Jane Goldsmith a dedicated and renowned trainer and coach died – her funeral was attended by many well-known equestrians – including most of the Para team members. It was also with great sadness that we heard that Kenneth Clawson died only very recently – his funeral was held last week; he was a lovely man and a brilliant trainer who helped so many riders to glory. Both friends will be sorely missed.

Wealth of Talent

What a wealth of talent we have amongst our members – just look round the room.

There is so much we can learn from each other and when we hold a training day, the atmosphere is one where we feel we can ask questions and discuss in a relaxed environment, which is conducive to learning. We need to keep each other informed of what is going on in our areas so that everyone can benefit. I know it has been said before but please be proactive in helping to organise training days/seminars etc. and also to support these days and to spread the word that they are happening. If it keeps boiling down to only a few members who are willing to actively put on such days, their enthusiasm will wane and ultimately you, the member will lose out. Any thoughts on what you would like the Association to organise, please let a committee member know.

An email came to Di within the past few days from Alex Robinson-Barr at Bicton College who asked for more training days in the SW – Bicton will offer facilities FoC; she cited Clare Sansom, Sue Petty and Peter Cook as potential trainers.

Pat Smallwood Award

The decision was a unanimous with regard to who should receive this prestigious and beautiful award this year – Kenneth Clawson – a well-respected coach and dear colleague to so many of us. He will be sorely missed by all who’s life he touched.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very fruitful and prosperous 2013 and to urge you all to support the Association even more than you do already!! Enjoy the dinner and second day of the course.

Minutes of the AGM 2013

Held on Wednesday 9th January 2013 at 7pm

at  Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, Bucks

1  Opening welcome address by Jeremy Michaels FBHS – Acting Chairman.

Those present:

Jeremy Michaels (Acting Chairman), Judith Murphy (Treasurer), Dianne Roberts (Secretary), Mandy Luesley, Lizzel Winter, Catherine Cawdron (Committee).

Islay Auty, Nicole Biggs, Ann Bostock, Biddy Brasted-Watts, Yogi Breisner, Sam Champney-Warrener, Sue Charters, Annette Christey, Helen Cole, Alison Craig, Sarah Dale, Maggie Doel, Cherry Elvin, Caro Haynes, Nikki Herbert, Fred Hodges, Eric Horgan, Micheline Horgan, Amanda Holloway, Sabrina Jones, Amanda Kruger, Becky Monk, Kylie Roddy, Jillie Rogers, Jayne Smart, Tom Searle, David Sheerin, Eric Smiley, Justine Sole, Simon Somers, Fiona Stewart, Sue Payne, Ann Peate, Annette Philpott, Sally Robinson, Victoria Thirlby, Jenny Ward, Hilary Westropp, Karen Whiston, Sam York ,

Welcome to Lynne Petersen – CEO from the British Horse Society.

2  Apologies for absence were received from the following: Read more Minutes of the AGM 2013

Posted in AGM

Jumping Training with Yogi Breisner – Annual F & I course 2013

This is the first time that I have ridden at an F&I Course and both myself and my horse thoroughly enjoyed it. The first day was all about the fundamentals, which after all are the base to everything. We worked in particular on straightness to create more power.

We started in walk; weaving in and out of the jumps, and then proceeded in trot, working on transitions between walk, trot and halt, also rein back. This very simple exercise had many uses; helping the horses to settle, giving both horse and rider focus, improving softness and response to the riders hands legs. As well as helping the suppleness, also allowing Yogi to watch and assess us and the horses.

Focus was also given to our riding positions, Yogi made the point that it is very easy as riders and trainers to focus on the horse and what he is doing. He stressed that whatever level we ride or coach, in dressage or jumping, we need to give more focus to the rider, their position in the saddle and how they influence the horse, to allow the horse to achieve his best performance. We riders are a big part of how the horse performs.

The canter work started on a larger circle around the fences; asking the horses to stay on the circle line, with their legs as if on a railway track but able to turn their heads to the left or the right to gain suppleness. Then we cantered around the whole arena on a large rectangle with four corners and four straight lines, focusing on straightness within the horses’ body to counteract any crookedness within the canter.

With a full set of show jumps in the lovely large arena, Yogi sent us off to pop a few of the small fences from trot, cantering away from the fence, then coming back to trot and jumping another. This helped to encourage the horses to jump in a round manner right from the start.

We then proceeded to canter several lines of varying related distances, turning diagonally across the school, working on straightness around the corner from the approach, along the line of the related distances, to landing and riding away from the fences. Yogi kept the jumps quite small which allowed us to really focus on improving. This went well and we were all noticing how as we focused on our straightness the horses going better and better.

We finished the session as we started weaving in and out of the fences in trot, with a few transitions between walk and trot, to help cool the horses down.

On the second day, it was very noticeable how all the horses and riders came out and warmed up showing great improvement; my horse certainly felt much more uphill right from the moment I picked up the contact. As riders we had a better plan, with clearer intentions giving the horses a clearer understanding of what was required of them. As Yogi had pointed out, horses are creatures of habit and are very good at learning what is required of them, if we always ride them the way we want them to go, by remembering the fundamentals; always riding clear upward and downward transitions, good turns and straight lines they will always work well.

After working the horses in, similar to day one, we jumped a cross pole from a steady rhythmic canter, followed by an upright to get the horses coming up off the ground in a good round way. Then we started to work our way around the lovely flowing course that Yogi had built, a few jumps at a time, being sure to get the clear lines and straightness that we were focusing on the day before.

We then finished by jumping the whole 14 fence course, which flowed well. Yogi gave me some great tips to help my very novice horse to learn to pick his front feet up over the fences and make a better shape, which through time and practice will help us gain consistent clear rounds.

Having arrived at the course on a horse that was very green over poles, I felt that we made great headway; it was good to make the most of the lovely big arena and jumps at Addington. As a rider and a coach I came away with fresh ideas and inspiration. Both my horse and I are going to be practicing straightness and precision to help our continued improvement.

Thank you Yogi and a big thank you to Ann for organizing it all, I am looking forward to next year.

by Karen Whiston BHSI


Annual F and I Course, Addington 2013

We were very privileged this year having an opportunity to receive some training from Stephen Clarke FBHS. The course was well supported and there were horses from Novice to Grand Prix, so we all got the opportunity to see Stephen’s philosophy of training horses at all levels. For all riders and spectators Stephen provided great training. He worked well with all riders and horses and there was great improvement shown especially on the second day.
I spent most of the 2 days watching these sessions and I took away certain key words from Stephen’s training “reaction, elasticity, gear changes and no limits”. These words seemed to be key to Stephens’s training philosophy.Stephen wanted reaction to the leg from all of the horses at whatever level, especially in their basic way of going as well as in all of the lateral work. This then helped to develop the horse’s paces. He seemed to be very much of the opinion that all of the above could be achieved in any horse which is trained correctly. All riders should embark on their journey with their aim being Grand Prix.
It was a very inspiring 2 days and I believe all riders and spectators are very grateful to Stephen for his time and vast experience.
By Becky Monk BHSI