Have you considered taking the Fellowship Assessment ?

The Fellowship assessment will be taking place on 6th and 7th April 2020 at Warwickshire College  

The BHS Fellowship is the highest professional standard across the equine industry and is internationally recognised.

Taking place across two days, candidates will be assessed on coaching skills, practical demonstrations, theoretical knowledge, stable management and the history of equitation.

Fewer than 80 people hold the FBHS qualification, which is recognised as the highest equestrian qualification in the world.

If you are a Stage 5 Performance Coach (formerly BHSI ) and think you have the skills, knowledge and passion to become a BHS Fellow then please forward a CV, covering letter and fee of £150 to the Education Department by 1st November 2019.

CV’s are assessed by a panel of Fellows against the following criteria:

*Competition experience

*Teaching/Coaching experience

*Presenting experience

*Previous and present occupations

*Equestrian qualifications

*Academic qualifications

*Experience developing/training horses

*Evidence developing riders

*Current training undertaken by candidate

CV’s can be emailed to Jenny Wall, jenny.wall@bhs.org.uk.   If your CV is accepted you will be invited to apply for the assessment.  The fee for the assessment is £925.  If you do not feel ready to apply this time, your CV may be held on file for up to 5 years.



Dear Member

What a fantastic start to 2019! Two fabulous days in the company of Corrine Bracken and Adam Kemp at the newly refurbished Addington Manor EC. What more could one ask for? Those who rode went from strength to strength and for those of us watching there just weren’t enough pages in the notebook nor enough time in each day to get from arena to arena. The reports have been written, posted out and read so here’s to next year with the same two Coaches. I must thank Ann (Bostock) it is she who pulls together this magnificent two days each year, we just bathe in the wonderment as pearls of wisdom drop into our laps. I should not, of course, forget the sumptuous dinner – four courses – and the community singing led by the ever-indefatigable Tim Downes.

Whilst the daffodils have taken a battering recently, I notice primroses and anemones peaking out along the banks and the wild garlic is springing up, so it must be Spring. March brings us to the National Equine Forum held as usual at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers 1 Birdcage Walk near to St James’ Park. Even the address is interesting as is this lovely building. I was lucky enough to be sponsored by the F&l Assoc this year along with Sam C W and there, for BHS, was Oonagh Meyer who wrote the most interesting report afterwards, thanks Oonagh. lt’s been years since l’ve been to the NEF and a fair time since l’ve battled on my own with London’s Underground, but I managed it and how glad am I that I did. As you’ll see in Oonagh’s report there were very interesting speakers throughout the day. With Ann’s blessing I have invited Dr Andrew Hemmings to come to the Annual Dinner next year as his research on Equine Stereotypic Behaviour certainly threw a different light on the subject, as you may have seen in the article in Horse & Hound (L4/O312O79) about this presentation.
You can’t get far into a new year without something happening at Wellington Riding and it did. True to form David (Sheerin) pulls out of his hat another day of pure enjoyment for both the riders and spectators under the tutelage of Caroline Moore FBHS. Caroline is such a dynamic Coach and appears with some of her own portable fences like a whirling dervish. lf you don’t have access to the F&l Facebook (FB) page then do try to find a member who has, the photographs and videos put up by David give a complete flavour of all that took place.

20th March 2019
Does it stop there? No, it does not! Take a look at the F&l web site and you’ll find more dates, here’s a few:
Course Walks Badminton & Burghley
The Judy Harvey Day in May
May. Amy Bannister Bell has something planned – sure to be to do with racing.
25th June Trip to lreland
Ladies Day at Hickstead in August.
The Pammy Hutton Day in September
September 2-3 day Camp at Wellington Riding
December – who would like to go to Olympia? Let me know.

All these dates will be re-advertised on a regular basis as Alison keeps you informed via emails, FB and the web page.
And there’s more? Yes, so please who can organise something in their area?

ls this the time to tell you we have a new Rep for Scotland Jen Burnett? There now Jen ye will be sure to have to organise something now!

At this time of the year the annual insurance rears it’s ugly head. I must ask all organisers to put past our Treasurer Debbie (Follett) their costings for the ‘events’ they intend to run prior to advertising. Whilst the Annual Course is sponsored by the Association it would be helpful if other days broke even or added just a little to the coffers, and that should come from the fees charged to non- members NOT to members. Debbie is in touch with the lnsurance Company as I type checking the number of days, we have cover for, and increasing that number and so the fee.

Once you’ve decided on your ‘day’ then our Secretary Alison (Craig) will send you the Organisers pack and Alison or myself are on hand to advise on any queries regarding this pack. lt has EVERYTHING you’ll need, (well l think so) from horse and rider registers to advice notes re photography to accident report forms etc. lt comes via email and you can reclaim f20 towards printing and paper from Debbie.

So, as my local farmer would say” Come on now Lads will ye ever be getting tings on fire in your yard”

My thanks to all report writers, if you would send them to Alison on a.d.craig99@me.com and myself on then between us we can ensure it goes to Sam CW for the FB page, Sally Newcomb for the web page and Ali will press the button and send it out to all members. I feel we should be aware not all members use the FB page but all members wish to read about what’s going on.

As a reminder the F&l Associations FB page is a closed page. Between Debbie and Sam members are added as they pay their membership fee and apply to join the page.
There is a committee meeting planned for May so please send any thoughts regarding F&l to Alison and myself so we can itemise them for that meeting.

Sadly, as so many of you are aware, Clarissa Dawson lost her battle with cancer on Saturday 9th March. Donn Collins has written a very special obituary for Clarissa, it can be seen on FB, the web page and should come to you by email, as will the information regarding her funeral.

Finally, it just remains for me to say have a good Spring and Summer, coaching and competing with our good friend The Horse.

Best wishes Jillie

Report from Wellington, 15th March

What a fantastic day we had at Wellington on Friday,  courtesy of David of course!  We were all very pleased to be using the fantastic indoor facilities on such a windy day!

All I can say is ‘wow’ – so many exercises and so much to take in.  The hour’s lessons were jam packed – each different to suit the different levels of horses.

Caroline brought a selection of ‘cavaletti’ jumps,  skinny brushes and shoulder brushes with her which were all used throughout the day.  Our group firstly rode the ‘square’ exercise with parallel poles on the sides of the square to really emphasise the straightness   ” look for the outside cheek piece ” and keeping the jump to the canter.

We then progressed to exercises incorporating the cavaletti style jumps as bounces. The bounces were used a lot throughout the day – encouraging the horses to stretch their backs and making them more athletic.  I would like to add that I think our group was the only one who had to jump these bounces without our stirrups – no one complained and no one fell off!

The bounce exercises were combined with dog legs to square parallels – aiming  to ride on a forward stride  ( moving away from the bounces  so the horse gets in deeper  to the  oxer)  then progressing  from the bounces  with a dog leg to a skinny brush and then the bounces to a corner on a tighter line. 

Another exercise we rode was an oxer to a skinny brush to another oxer  all on a related distance – straightness was the key again.  Emphasis was also  on riding straight after the fences for 3 strides and then working the horse for 20/30 seconds on the flat to finish.   ‘Always think there is another fence on landing,  even when there isn’t,  so you don’t collapse on landing.’

I was also in the last session of the day where we worked down a grid – built up of bounces  to an oxer to two skinny brushes to an oxer then bounces – this definitely took some concentration. 

The shoulder brushes and skinny brushes were used for the ‘big boys’.  All jumped on angles with a stride in between – how easy they all made it look!

Time and time again,  you heard Caroline say ‘look up’ and ‘ keep your outside rein so the horse stays straight’  .

To top it all Caroline  gave us an insight to the World Equestrian Games  with some great photos – not mentioning the one of Dickie Waygood  sitting on the toilet!  The weather was very challenging in Tyron and the timings of the warm ups etc were crucial with the high humidity levels out there .  This was followed by a lovely  hot lunch provided by Wellington.

What more could anyone ask for  ?!

Report by Nicole Biggs


DONN COLLINS pays tribute to CLARISSA DAWSON, BHSI, BHS Stage 5 Performance Coach in Complete Horsemanship, who sadly passed away on March 9 after a brave battle with cancer. 

As a newly appointed BHS Examiner (we were not called Assessors in those days!!) I first met Clarissa on an exam team in July 1985. Since then Clarissa has been a stalwart supporter of the BHS examination/assessment system through its different guises, serving on its exams sub-committee, working as a Chief/Lead Assessor at Level 4 and Senior Examiner/Assessor for the BHSI/Level 5 in places as diverse as Spain, Ireland and China.  On one occasion she even arrived back from Ireland at Birmingham Airport with security protection after a suspected IRA threat!! Clarissa’s loyalty to the cause was such that, even during her illness she insisted on sitting the EQL Standardisation Test, passing it with flying colours and chiding me for not telling her about it sooner!!

However it was during our FE and HE lecturing together at Warwickshire College where, previously, she had been an Equine Student, that I really came to respect Clarissa’s integrity, high standards and shrewd judgment.

I started doing one afternoon a week in Autumn 2000 and Clarissa was a welcoming and supportive mentor. If only subsequent mentors had been as good!! As my hours increased gradually, I hope that we were able to support one another juggling college commitments, freelance coaching, competing and looking after our own horses. Sharing an office for a time we exchanged training and teaching ideas and refused to drown in the ever deepening waters of electronic technology!!

On a visit to Deurne in Holland for a European Education Network Symposium, we were two of the few delegates who had not competed in European, World or Olympic championships. As our flight back was leaving earlier, it was announced that the British were to teach first to the distinguished group. Clarissa refused to teach but was invaluable hissing sharp reminders to me and delegates agreed we were much better than the Swedes who followed us!!   

Clarissa also had a distinguished competition career. Early days included childhood lessons with the late Molly Sivewright FIH, FBHS  and membership of the Warwickshire Hunt branch of the Pony Club, culminating in an A test award. Warwickshire branch members at the time included Carole Broad FBHS and Patrick Print FBHS. Clarissa was an elegant National Ladies Side Saddle Champion three times in 1992, 1994 & 1997 and twice winner of the Pas Seul with her creative costumes and routines, one being described as “raunchy” in a Horse and Hound report!!

Successful horses were her two greys Blue Button and Shadow of Doubt. Her side saddle expertise was keenly sought both in the UK and at clinics abroad. On Primiende, a mare who did so much to sustain her through gruelling bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy, she was placed at BD Regional Advanced Medium level, also gaining points at Advanced level. As recently as November 23 last year, Clarissa and Primiende were placed in an Advanced Medium music class. What better testament can there be to the fighting spirit of a lady who was committed to promoting better standards of riding and horse care during her all too brief life.

Clarissa Dawson BHSI

It was with the greatest sadness that we learned of the passing of Clarissa Dawson who lost her battle with cancer on 9th March 2019. She was a much loved member of the F & I Association and many tributes and fond memories are being shared on the F & I Association Facebook page.

Horse and Hound wrote an article about Clarissa’s determination during her treatment which can be read here: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/inspiring-cancer-sufferer-clarissa-dawson-psg-dressage-660090