Congratulations to Judith Murphy FBHS

The prestigious title of Fellow of The British Horse Society has been awarded to Judith Murphy, following two gruelling days of assessment at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell on 28 and 29 October.

Under the scrutiny of senior British Horse Society assessors, all Fellows in their own right, Judith managed to keep her nerve as she was assessed in a variety of tasks. These included a discussion on her training philosophy, her riding and assessment of horses and, of course, coaching a range of horse/rider combinations across the range of disciplines.

Judith had her first riding lesson when she was six years old. “I ran down the yard and jumped onto the first pony I saw”, she said.

“I developed my love of horses in the Beaufort Pony Club and decided at 16 to leave school and make horses into a career. That was the best decision I ever made. I’ve had a few different jobs during my 30 years in the industry, but mostly I’ve been teaching all aspects of equitation. I still love to teach grass roots riders and see them develop. I spent 21 years as yard manager at Huntley School of Equitation and now I’m a self-employed equestrian coach.

“I’ve always competed for pleasure. I get my competitive streak from my Father who was a very enthusiastic parent at gymkhanas. I used to event but this has been overtaken by a passion for dressage. I’m bringing my current horse up through the levels; I watched him being born and now I’m competing him at BD Medium.”

Judith joined the BHS in 1985 and gained her BHSAI in 1986, but says that at that stage she didn’t even know the Fellowship existed! “I have no idea how many BHS students I’ve trained over the years, but it still gives me a thrill when one passes another exam. I’ve been a BHS assessor for more than 10 years, which is another great way to help develop the next generation of horse lovers.”

Linda Haworth, Team Leader – BHS Education, said: “The Fellowship is the highest recognition of professional standing within the equestrian industry. It is particularly encouraging when someone such as Judith gains this prestigious award. It tells others that if they have a real work ethos and desire to keep learning and improving, as Judith does, the Fellowship is achievable.”

Jo Winfield FBHS, Director of Education at The British Horse Society said: “It is always such a pleasure to hold a BHS Fellowship exam when the calibre of candidates is so high. I am delighted that we are able to award the Fellowship to Judith and welcome her on board as a BHS Fellow.”

New BHSI’s

Congratulations to all the new BHSI’s who passed in 2014, Clare Chamberlayne, Sarah Fitton, Joanne Shields, Amy Bannister, Heidi Reed, Alice Bell and Ross O’Hare.  We look forward to seeing all of you at the Annual Couse where the BHSI certificates will be presented.

BHSI Coaches and Assessors day at Ingestre Stables Staffordshire 2nd October 2014

20 enthusiastic BHS instructors travelled to Ingestre Stables, Stafford from Ireland, Scotland and nearly every region of England. Linda De Matteo excelled in her organising of the day, her first go at a training day for the F&I Association. The team at Ingestre did a smashing job ensuring that the day ran smoothly from the yard staff to “Aunty LIZ” in the coffee shop. It was my first attendance at an F&I day and it was great to feel part of an organisation which is proactive and supportive with NO uncomfortable ego’s to negotiate.

This day with Tim Downes FBHS, Rob Lovatt FBHS and Carole Broad FBHS was amazing value at the £25 cost for the day with lunch included, throughout the day all the sections of the BHSI Equitation and Coaching were covered.

My overview of the day was the assessors feeling the need to try and find a way to pass the candidate on the day of the exam. It was stressed that due to the pressure of the day it was often the case for the assessors to put in place “signposts” for candidates who may be getting stuck in that familiar rut at different  points throughout the exam process. The value of the practical candidate was discussed and how everyone has their own pathway to negotiate on the way to the BHSI exam through experience, training and self help development. The candidates ability to impart knowledge to the assessor in the oral discussion after the relevant section was also stressed,  at this level the candidate should be delivering a critical evaluation not just a descriptive one.

Delegates were encouraged to get involved if they wished, to lunge, and ride on the flat and over fences. Ingestre supplied a superb selection of horses, some being young and green starting their career to older schoolmasters and current competition horses most of which were involved in the BHSI Equitation and Coaching exam on the previous day.

Organised discussion groups evaluated horsepower, riding ability and coaching to improve the BHSI candidate in their preparation for the BHSI exam.  The role of the BHSI in today’s market was discussed, the outcome was that a BHSI should be “a problem solver through being a reader of the horse and rider to ensure the ongoing welfare of the horse”; another point to come out was the BHSI is the link between “development and performance”.

The consensus of the day after speaking to a number of delegates was the value of spending time with a peer group and realising that everyone was on a similar page of the BHSI exam training book. Inspiration was clearly achieved over this enlightening day with one of the parting questions being “How do I prepare for the Fellowship?”

Erik MacKechnie BHSI

Autumn Newsletter 2014

Dear Member

Summer is but a memory and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is now past as we tread those long dark days to Christmas, so I felt a Newsletter was needed!

The F&I Association has had a busy year with a varied calendar, training days, study days, course walks, days for the social butterflies at Hickstead & The Royal Dublin Horse shows Ladies Days and the opportunity to see fantastic horses being worked by various maestros’. Once again my heartfelt thanks to all those hardworking people who’ve taken the time to organise these days for us. The Irish days were well supported with the exception of the Ballendenisk Course Walk which had to be pulled; however, Faith has a more varied programme planned for next year.

There are still areas of the countries where we’re not yet firmly established and I’d like to see the F&I Association’s flag flying in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Your committee has discussed this and whilst we can’t afford to run at a loss, maybe we could think along the lines of half days and/or ‘riding off the back’ of some of the other disciplines’ study days?

If anyone wishes to use either the website or the Facebook page to advertise courses or their own skills, please feel free to do so. There won’t be a charge, BUT this medium is not going to be opened up for the use of non-members.

I can’t conclude without mention of the new Fellow of the BHS, our own treasurer Judith Murphy and the six new BHSI’s of 2014, Clare Chamberlayne, Sarah Fitton, Joanne Shields, Amy Bannister, Heidi Reed, Alice Bell and Ross O’Hare. We look forward to seeing all of you at the Annual Couse where the BHSI certificates will be presented.

The Annual Course is on 7th & 8th January 2015 at Addington. Jennie Loriston-Clarke will be coaching the dressage riders and there is a wait list for places, whilst Nick Turner will coach the jumping riders and there are just a few slots left. However, even if you don’t intend to ride, do try and come along and spectate. It’s an opportunity to catch up with both new and old acquaintances, with first class coaches and study groups in each indoor school. You can air your views at the AGM followed by a good supper where the craic is mighty.


Best wishes