Chairman’s Report – AGM – January 3rd, 2018

Ladies & Gentlemen,

As I prepared this report a few days ago, I said to myself: well, we have the FaceBook page up and running thanks to Sam Champney Warrener, the web page is kept ticking over by Sally Newcomb, and our F&I days keep getting better and better as well as more and more. So that’s it really, job done for the January 2018 AGM.

Then I had a rethink. So much has happened this year. The Banner! Much head scratching was done when it was first mooted, many photographs were looked at and Sally Newcomb was at the forefront of the team who put it together with a great deal of input from the “design department” in Co. Wexford. We became great friends with one of the BHS staff members, Alex Whitten in Marketing, who put the final touches to it, following all the time Sally had put into the design work. And it had its inaugural showing at the BHS Convention at Hartpury. It then went on its travels and I saw it at Badminton, Hickstead and Blenheim. It was an eye-opener speaking to local BHS volunteers who were most interested in an Association they knew little about, so it’s certainly doing a good job. At the end of last year, the Committee decided another banner would be useful, hence the purchase of a second one.

2017 saw the greater use of our Training/Study Days for BHS CPD points, where previously they had only been available here at the Annual Course for those F&I members present. Following further discussion with the Director of Education, Alex Copeland, we will be offering additional CPD days again in 2018, starting with the day at Talland on 22nd January for CPD for Fellows & BHSIs, and on February 14th at Wellington for BHSII /BHS Stage 4 Coaches & above. Other days will become available during the year – HOWEVER, each potential date must be run past the Committee first, to get approval that it can count. Anyone may run a day in their area for F&I – and it doesn’t have to be a riding day, as we have had some most rewarding non-riding days organised during 2017. There is now an ‘Organiser’s Pack’ which is available from Di Roberts, so, come on, let us know how we may help – we are available for email or phone call chats.

And then we have the wonderful Annual Course 2018 Booklet – another new innovation, put together by David Sheerin. It has certainly made me feel as if these two days are even more important to our Association than we all previously thought. The booklet was suggested by David following the Charity Day in Honour of the late Tom Searle, held on October 16th at Wellington Riding, where a commemorative and informative booklet was available for all who attended.

This year we welcome as new BHSIs (or Stage 5 Performance Coaches in Complete Horsemanship) the following people – Brendan Bergin (RoI), Dan Spencer, Wendy Suddes, Melissa Troup, Michael Whippy, Sonia Wilkes and Kirsty Fontaine-Henley. It was in fact Kirsty who wrote an interesting report on last year’s Annual Course headed ‘From a Future BHSI’ so well done to all of these people and Welcome. The Committee invited this year’s new BHSIs to a Bucks Fizz reception today here at the Course, and they all have their first year as members of the F&I Association free. A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THEM ALL PLEASE.

The person who didn’t get her free year although she is on the banner is of course Sam York FBHS our new Fellow and very busy F&I committee member. A BIG CHEER PLEASE.

I must mention here that one of our members has taken up a new sport. On December 14th Kylie Roddy boxed a semi-pro boxer who boxes for the Royal Navy. After some serious training Kylie won, raising £2000.00 for Cancer Research. She is now thinking of sticking to boxing following today’s unplanned dismount!

2017 – I’m going to take that look back at 2017 right now. The start of another full and awe-inspiring year was right here with Christoph Hess and Chris Bartle. Jeremy secured the services of these two eminent trainers and both days were spent with many jaws hitting the ground by those of us watching, whilst the riders rose to the occasions on each day with each Coach – and how lucky are we to repeat the same success story this year. Gentlemen, thank you so much.

During the year we walked XC courses, enjoyed training with yet more well-known and well-respected Coaches, attended study days which stretched our minds e.g. Sync Thermology and Research and Technology in Coaching, whilst in Ireland Faith Ponsonby called in many favours to get us a full morning with Top Trainer Willie Mullins and Top Rider Ruby Walsh and an afternoon with Sam Watson 4* event rider. The reports of each venture have been full and I’d like to thank all those people concerned with organizing all these different days for us. Once again, a plea from the Committee for more people to become involved in setting up a day out for us.

2018 – looking forward to this year, we’re back at Addington EC and our two Coaches have returned for the second round. Today has been totally captivating and we all look forward to tomorrow.

In the booklet you’ll find other dates for 2018 and these are still coming in, everyone please have a think and make your offers during AOB or over the next few weeks.

This year, Badminton Horse Trials’ Charity of the Year is the British Horse Society. The BHS will have extra tentage and, through the good efforts of our BHS Chairman, David Sheerin, the F&I Association will have a greater presence at the Horse Trials, hence the second banner. We need help from members for our space in the stand. This will be where members can meet for tea/coffee and a ‘catch up’. An hour per day will be a great help and we might, just might be able to get a little help towards your entry fee. Please advise Di Roberts if you are able to come along.

On our Face Book page you will find an exciting message from Lynn Peterson, our esteemed CEO of the BHS, which arrived with me on New Year’s Eve. This should also reach you all by email from Di Roberts. It gives us all a greater look at the wider influence of the work the BHS does and the continued progress made, including internationally.

2019 will mean a change of Annual Course Coaches and this time it has been the silver-tongued persuasions of David Sheerin to secure for us Adam Kemp FBHS (Dressage) and Corinne Bracken (Jumping). Another two years of exceptional coaching on offer. Please note the new dates 2019 – 8th & 9th January TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. 2020 will be 7th & 8th TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.

I can’t finish without thanking the Study Group Leaders – Fellows Sue Payne, Lizzel Winter, Islay Auty, Sam York, Danny Anholt, Tim Downes and Jeremy Michaels. And BHSI’s Jenny Ward, Carole Bennett, Ann Bostock, Kylie Roddy and David Sheerin. Gifts to all.

It just remains to say Thank You to everyone who has contributed in whatever way to another outstanding year for the F&I Association.

F&I Newsletter Summer 2017

Dear Member

I promised myself I wouldn’t say it but I have to “Where has this year gone? It’s now July!”
Following the agreement with the BHS to introduce Continual Professional Development (CPD) recognition to more of our days, this year seems to have opened up with an absolute blast of informative and innovative study days. Thank you, David, for hosting the first of those days with the visit to Wellington Training given by Dickie Waygood. Reading back through the report it was once again, a much appreciated start to the season for the riders and spectators. Then followed two days organised by Sue Ricketts – the day with Tim Downes at Ingestre and in March with Nick Turner at Myerscough College, between which was the National Equine Forum in London where we sent two delegates, and the Fellowship training day with Danny Anholt at Millfield. This last was followed up by another day for those wishing to aspire to the Senior Coach and Fellowship exams in June with Danny demystifying those examinations. A trip to Talland for a day with Pammy Hutton took place in April.

And then onto Badminton Horse Trials where the indomitable Eric Smiley marched a large group around the XC course. Eric asked us why we were there – were we there to win/be placed or just because we had qualified or because we wanted the experience and at each fence we rethought that gem of information. I ‘changed’ horses at least twice! Later in June Ian Stark was under the headlights as he walked the Bramham XC course – thanks Ruth Baxter for getting us to that part of England. This was followed by watching members being coached by Judy as she encouraged us to look and interact. Meanwhile Facebook was full of excited people who had made their way to Nottingham Trent University for the Research & Technology in Coaching day organised by Sam York. Hold onto your hats there’s a whisper this marvellous day may travel nationwide. The fabulous F&I Banner has been seen at the BHS Convention and Badminton Horse trials, to name but a few of its
outings.

We were invited to Ireland where Faith Ponsonby provided us with a feast of a day. Willie Mullins the maestro of National Hunt racing, allowed 30 of us visit his yard for a full morning and many managed “selfies” with Ruby Walsh! After lunch, off to Sam Watson 4* Irish event rider who also helps Willie’s staff with training the horses – he gave us his time and showed us round his yard and horses. Two very comprehensive reports have been written by Amy and Alice Bannister Bell.

After that brief run through of what we have done in this first half of a superb year, there’s more to come – but first we have a new Fellow of the British Horse Society. Our own committee member Sam York FBHS, we are so proud. Do read what Sam has to say on the F&I page of the latest British Horse magazine. From all F&I members once again Sam WELL DONE.

So what now? Well we are all hectic – whether with ourselves or our clients competing, students re exams (should I say awards)? The Launch of the new Award Structure takes place at Wellington Riding on Monday 17th July, I personally feel we must ‘grasp the metal’ and promote these new Awards and so support the British Horse Society. So, this is that ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’ time of the year. But there’s more – Hickstead Ladies Day is on Saturday 29th July. You’ve still time
to book tickets from Karen Irving at BHS offices, these are heavily subsidised by the BHS who are organising a prize for the Best Dressed Lady in the box. On 10th August some intrepid folk will be making their way across to Dublin Horse Show to see some fabulous horse and possibly buy – take care who you chat to if you’re flying home Ryanair with only a 10kg hand baggage allowance! September sees another course walk at Blenheim organised by Ann Bostock and at the last enquiry
hopefully with Chris Bartle. October Andrew Fletcher has arranged a Yard Visit to Carl Hester – and already we’re looking forward to a fantastic course again at Addington in January, get that in your diaries now.

However, there has been a very sad occurrence this summer, as our Tom Searle tragically took his own life. So much has been posted on our Facebook page about Tom, a very charming young man and a great competitor and coach. Those of you who knew him well will join me for a moment as we think about Tom and what he meant to each of us. David Sheerin is organising a very special training extravaganza at Wellington on October 16th in order to raise money for the charity Heads Together,
please put that date in your diary and look out for further information.

If anyone feels there is a lack of F&I presence in their area then PLEASE PLEASE organise something for us all to attend. Without these stalwart volunteers, nothing would happen anywhere. Di Roberts has an organisers pack which she will email across to you, you then print off the various forms and our present Treasurer Jude will also support you. Jude Di & I are here to help with any queries you may have, whether it’s classroom based with horse or on another route march round XC fences.
THIS IS YOUR ASSOCIATION – HELP US TO HELP YOU!

Jillie Rogers

13th July 2017

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2017

Having re read my Report for 2016 I noted the last paragraph stated that the 30th Anniversary Year had started with a ‘BANG’ and so it progressed throughout the year with a plethora of days offered across the UK and Ireland. Even though all did not take place the list of those which were held are around for you to review at your leisure. My apologies to Sue Ricketts for leaving off her two days of Jump/XC training given by Richard Carruthers BHSI.

Once again, this Association continues to offer training and social gatherings to the members and guests. The Survey Monkey put into place by Jo Winfield in association with the Education and Membership departments of the BHS makes very interesting reading. However, I feel we do need to take on board some of the comments regarding membership of the F&I Association in order to continue the development of this elite professional group of people. Approximately 300 people were invited to do the survey and 21% (63) responded, which I understand is a good ratio. As an example of the replies: “There’s nothing in my area. I didn’t know it still existed. It’s cliquey and unfriendly. There should be more days dedicated to CPD updating”, gives an initial negative feeling. But whilst of the 63 replies there were these negative ones there were even more who feel comfortable and positive about how their £20 membership fee is spent and about the events which are organised. There are 74 of us here at dinner this evening the highest number ever, so now is our chance to embrace new members and go back to those who have lapsed to encourage them to re-join. May I make a plea at this point to ask all of you to pay through your bank on an annual SO.

Whilst we do have Reps in certain areas ANYONE may run a day for the Association. Jude, Ann and I are here to help you with the organisation, Di will then send it out to members whilst Sam C W will Facebook the information & Sally Newcomb will put it onto the web site. Days planned for BHS CPD days do need to be run past the Committee first so we can contact BHS these days will then be open to all BHS members requiring to update their CPD status.

We have stood to remember Jo Knowles and Pippa Francis. Obituaries were written for both these ladies by Sue Payne and Donn Collins respectively. As a reminder, Jo Knowles was in Sue Payne’s words ‘A very special Fellow of the BHS’, in her 80’s she died in September of last year. Jo passed the Fellowship examination in November 1954 she was in a group of three successful candidates that year putting her in the first 6 people to gain this great qualification. She then rode at the first Fellows’ Riding Course at Stoneleigh in 1973. A respected author and sculptress she was thrilled to be invited here in 2015 to present Wistful her sculptor of her own horse to Eric Smiley, this has been awarded to recipients of the Pat Smallwood Award over the years.

Pippa Francis, it was a great shock to many of us to learn that Pippa had been taken by that cruel illness, cancer, at only 58 years old. Secretary of this Association from 1995-2000. Pippa’s career spanned from working for the Kelletts’ in Ireland to becoming a lecturer at Warwickshire College alongside her BHS assessing work. She then joined OFSTED as an inspector, a complete career change but as in everything she did Pippa won the hearts of all around her and made as significant a contribution to the education sector has she had to the equestrian world.

Now is the time for me to congratulate various people for their successes this year. Welcome to the new BHSI’s, Carrie Byrom, Ruth Baxter, Katy Partrick, Tessa Ryley, Sally Poppe, Charlotte Tarrant, Michelle Williamson, Debbie Morgan, David Llewellyn, Steve Pryde, and Darah Duggan. These people will have received their invitation from BHS giving them their free year’s membership of the F&I Association. Having spoken to Charlie Pardon from BHS membership, on the 3rd January, we have discussed a more prominent leaflet to go out to each new BHSI in the future telling them of the benefits of membership of this Association and their first free year.

Congratulations to our own Islay Auty FBHS on gaining the Medal of Honour presented by the BEF for her work with young Dressage competitors. Thanks for sharing this lovely medal with us all Islay, please now give us a little more insight into your presentation. Finally, a mention for Carl Hester as the new Honorary Fellow of the BHS.

There is a card circulating, courtesy of Sue Payne, for Helen Webber FBHS, those of you who know and worked with Helen do add a note as Helen is now housebound but sends us her best wishes, anyone else who wishes to sign it then please do.

I now need to thank those people who have been and will be tomorrow busy organising the Study Periods: Sue Payne, Sam York, Carol Bennitt Jenny Ward Lizzel Winter, David Sheerin, Danny Anholt and Nick Turner.
AND NOW!! I don’t think anyone other than possibly her darling husband, Ian, and myself have any idea of the hours spent by Ann in organising these two days for us. In most recent days the emails have been flinging back and forth as horses went lame so spaces became available and then people wanted to swop their times. In the end we resorted to phone calls having bypassed texts and my partner, a Dublin man well able for blasphemy & swearing, was astounded at the language which passed across the Irish Sea. However, I do believe Ann has managed to please everyone.

We have Jeremy to thank for inviting our two Trainers/Coaches for these two days and for the repeat performance next year. Each year I am totally in awe of our Presenters and none more so than this year. It has been wonderful to watch you the riders enjoying what has been on offer today from these talented gentlemen, and tomorrow promises even more delights.

Chairman’s Report 6th January 2016

Good evening ladies & gentlemen and honoured guests, Mrs. Jennie Loriston Clarke, Mr Nick Turner and Mrs Lynn Petersen.  This AGM & Dinner is a milestone for the F&I Association as the 30th Anniversary.  In my loft I have paperwork going back to the first year I’ve made a start to prepare it for archiving at the BHS Offices, Abbey Park and would happily have any members as guests at Malsbury Cottage, Co. Wexford if they would help me to finish the task.  The wine and Guinness will flow and there will be ample good food.  Having made a small start there is a wallet going around with some past details in it.

From small beginnings and guided by two very astute Fellows of the BHS Mrs Barbara Slane Fleming and Miss Pat Smallwood the F&I Association was born in 1986 and in that first year there were three discussion days.  As an Association we are always evolving, each Chairman and Secretary has made their mark over the years.  Inside the wallet you’ll find a list of those good people, the history of the F&I Association and of the Pat Smallwood Award and other snippets of information.

In 2013 insurance was put into place as up until then it had been a case of fingers crossed and depending on the good nature of humankind!  The same year our Facebook page was instigated by Sam Champney Warrener and goes from strength to strength keeping us all informed.  Also in 2013 we were allocated a page in the British Horse Magazine, this page is now back in the safe hands of Jo Winfield who will be asking for future articles from any of us and proof reading them prior to publication.

2014 the updating of the website by Sally Newcomb means we can now market ourselves more efficiently to the public. As the Association progressed from those three discussion days in 1986 we expanded in to Ireland under the care of Faith Ponsonby and grew evermore across the UK thanks in part to social media helping to keep members informed and members own input and enthusiasm. Scotland came under the care of Erik Mackechnie and our days became much more diverse as the reports show.

2015 saw a change of rep for Northern England to Sue Ricketts.

However, last year we lost three dear friends and colleagues.  It came as a great shock when in April Margot Tiffany collapsed and died at her home.  To many of us Margot was not just a colleague but a friend – an icon to emulate and look up to when working alongside her.  She had a talent for ensuring an exam day ran smoothly whilst the candidates, venue manager and staff and the assessors left the day feeling positive with a smile on their faces.  Margot was BHS through and through and worked tirelessly for the Society in many different facets.

Helen Barton Smith was known for her commitment towards all her pupils and especially young riders and their ponies.  Pippen EC was a family run concern and when it was closed in 2014 Helen went to work with Darrel Scaife as the Assistant Director of Riding at Stonar School. Having settled into her new job and having made “a huge impact” to quote Darrel, Helen was awarded the Silver Stirrup Award. This award is now known as the Helen Barton Smith Silver Stirrup Award recognising an affinity for coaching young riders/children with their horses/ponies. Helen was diagnosed with cancer and sadly died in June aged only 49.

Gill Drew died in December aged 76.  Many will remember that quiet, wise BHS examiner who guided candidates and, at the time, young examiners like myself through the exam day with empathy and sympathy.  Gill was also a retired BD List 1 judge and her horse Gazel was successfully competed after Gill’s retirement at prix st georges and with para dressage riders.

Alison Craig has been instrumental in speaking with Alec Copeland BHS Director of Education (who will be with us as a guest tomorrow) to acquire the name tags and pin badges, these have come as part of the BHS present to the Association for our 30th Anniversary along with the cheese and biscuits and port at the end of the evening.  I feel this now calls for a show of hands to Lynn (BHS CEO) and the BHS.  Alison has also taken a very careful look at the Constitution and will be addressing this more fully in item 1 of AOB.  Whilst following our last committee meeting there is a new Award to be presented later this evening.

There is a card being circulated which I intend to send to our president Barbara Slane Fleming please do sign it, I did write to Barbara inviting her to attend this evening but in the knowledge that it would be a very long journey for her.

Congratulations are due to two gentlemen who’ve faced the challenges of the Fellowship examination and been successful our own Danny Anholt General Fellowship and Nick Gauntlet Eventing.  Very Well Done.  Congratulations are due to Mark Cunliffe and Shota Niikura on passing their BHSI both have joined the Association for their first free year and Mark is riding here with Jennie.

I must thank Sam York for the preparation this evening to the tables for the entertainment later and for getting us all “in the pink”. You’ll see there is a ‘photo booth’ and you can all get your mug shots done later!!   Thank you to Ann for co-ordinating the two days I don’t think any of us have any real idea just how much work Ann puts into this Course for us.  I just see emails regarding when she’ll arrive today to put up jumps and how many to dinner, which I know is very minimal compared to what is done behind the scenes. Nick has provided ‘observation’ sheets for the audience watching the jumping sessions.

2016 the 30th Anniversary has started with a BANG!  So now I may take this opportunity to thank our Coaches Jennie and Nick for their inspirational work here today, as ever so generous with their time and wealth of knowledge.  We all look forward to more of the same tomorrow.

Chairman’s Report, AGM 2015

Jo Knowles FBHS presents the trophy she sculpted to Eric Smiley FBHS. Chairman Jillie Rogers (standing) and Sam Champney Warrener look on
Jo Knowles FBHS presents the trophy she sculpted to Eric Smiley FBHS. Chairman Jillie Rogers (standing) and Sam Champney Warrener look on. Photo by Fran Russell

Good evening members and honoured guests, Mrs Jo Knowles FBHS, Mrs Jennie Loriston-Clarke FBHS, Mrs Lyn Petersen BHS CEO and Mr Nick Turner FBHS.  Welcome to the 29th AGM of the BHS F&I Association.  Looking back at the proposed dates for 2014 from the minutes I noted that, with very few exceptions,  every day was acted upon whilst other events materialised during the year.  I’d like to thank all the organisers, all the presenters/coaches, all the participants and all the report writers who gave us the opportunity to enjoy those days.

I’m delighted to be able to state that our exact membership stands at 203.  This is 140 fully paid up, our 7 new BHSI’s, 36 not re-joined in 2013/14 and there are still 20 members who’ve not yet updated their banking details to the membership fee of £20.00.  Your Committee has asked Judith Murphy (treasurer and membership secretary) to send a letter by post this year – rather than an email- as each of those memberships  become due to remind them that in future they will NOT be sent any further correspondence by our secretary Di Roberts.  This may seem very harsh however as the membership rate increased approximately 9 years ago it is entirely fair to all the full fee payers.

Under the direction of Jo Winfield, our contributions continue to be published in British Horse magazine under the heading Fellows & Instructors Association.  Jo is keen that that our offerings should not always be in the form of this is what the F&I Association ‘did’ but more towards this is what the F&I Association will be doing/is doing for our members and prospective new members as well as the ‘horsey’ public who will read that column.  Sue Payne has told the public about the history of this Association and the Pat Smallwood Award, however, the magazine now tends to have a theme for each edition and we need more volunteers to write some copy for Jo to print so please contact Jo and offer to help with one of the publications for 2015 I have further information here.

Left to right, Sam Champney Warrener, David Sheerin and Sabrina Jones
Left to right, Sam Champney Warrener, David Sheerin and Sabrina Jones. Photo by Fran Russell

Sam Champney Warrener is the Facebook techno and as this is a closed page just for members then please do use it. If you’re not yet a signed up member of the page (there are 69 at present) then contact Sam or Judith Murphy and they will accept you.  Then use it for advertising or just to tell others what is happening to you and your horses or clients. Take a leaf out of Tim’s book and use Facebook as Ingestre does.  Meanwhile towards the end of 2014 Alison Craig, Judith and I took another look at the F&I website.  Sally Newcomb, who set up the site originally, has been a tower of strength and has spent a lot of time updating the site to bring it into the 21st Century.  This is a public site so if you have anything (legal) you wish to sell, organise or advertise then the MEMBERS AREA will be helpful to you AND it’s free.  Just send the details to Sally and she can post it for you.  Go and take a look I think you’ll agree this will be helpful to all of us.  May I make a plea here from Sally & Sam when you do your reports as most of us now have phones with cameras please could you take some photos and send across a good one for use on both sites, and so organisers could you pick your report writing victim early and forewarn them.

Tim Downes FBHS amuses everyone after dinner with one of his odes
Tim Downes FBHS amuses everyone after dinner with one of his odes. Photo by Fran Russell

We have already stood to remember Lady Audrey Townley and Danny Pevsner please allow me a moment to record a little more about each person.  Both Fellows of the BHS although not members of this Association Lady Audrey Townley nee Hone died aged 96 on 30th September. One of the BHS’s earliest members and a published author she gained her Fellowship in 1954 one of only 20 at the time. Lady Townley had the successful Borwick Riding School, she retired to Dalbeattie in Scotland in her late 60’s, a popular person who left a legacy of dedication and enthusiasm amongst her students.  Whilst more of us will remember that enigmatic figure Danny Pevsner who passed away in his native Israel aged 73 in the summer of 2014.  He was a former pupil of The Spanish School of Riding Vienna going on to become a Fellow in 1971. To quote the obituary penned by William Micklem FBHS ‘ Danny was an incisive, precise thinker and a man who cared deeply about both doing things well and doing things humanely’

We now have the Republic of Ireland covered by Faith Ponsonby who’s here tonight and Erik MacKechnie has offered to organise a day at Gleneagles and help those of us who wish to go to the Europeans in September to take a course walk.  I’d love to find more volunteers to take up the offers of the use of Bicton College in the West and in the East, Newton Hall to organise a gathering of like- minded people in those areas.  These do not need to be a full day and as long as they revolve around the horse they can be any subject.  However, they must be self -funding and may be opened up to non -members of the Association.  May I refer to the BRILLIANT day organised by Linda De Matteo at Ingestre where Tim, Rob and Carole kindly gave of their time as we delved into the BHSI examination.

Jennie Loriston-Clarke FBHS and Nick Turner FBHS presenting BHSI certificates to (top to bottom, left to right) Clare Chamberlayne , Alice Bell, Joanna Shields, Amy Bannister and Ross O’Hare. Photos by Fran Russell

This brings me to our new BHSI’s, here with us Clare Chamberlayne, Sarah Fitton, Joanne Shields, Heidi Reed, Amy Bannister, Alice Bell and earlier today, Ross O’Hare.  Congratulations to you all enjoy your first free year of the F&I Association and return next year. Our very own Treasurer/Membership Secretary is the new Fellow of the BHS. Well done Jude now I shall take a moment to ask you all to cheer like mad as Jude is one busy special person working her socks off for this Association. Meanwhile two more of our members Sue Pimbley and Fred Hodges became Trustees of the BHS during the elections in 2014. Tonight we are lucky to have Jo Knowles FBHS with us to present the beautiful trophy she sculpted for the winner of the Pat Smallwood Award. First presented in 1989 Jo has not seen the trophy since then. Tonight our worthy winner voted by members as a person who does a lot for this Association is Eric Smiley FBHS.

I want you all to give serious thought to 2016 as that will be the 30th anniversary of the Association and I feel we must celebrate.  We will be able to start with a BANG in January as long as our two fabulous Coaches from this year promise to return.  So let’s all practise ‘opening up more country’ ready for 2016. May I ask you to join me in thanking Jennie and Nick for an enjoyable day, educational, with just that smattering of humour to keep us all warm!! My thanks also to Sue Payne & Judith for the Fellowship discussions today, and to those stalwarts who’ve given of their time in the study groups.

Finally, I’m going to ask you to indulge me for a moment longer.  There will be no after dinner entertainment this year as there is so much chatting and catching up to do.  I was going through my Father’s quotes and snippets from his After Dinner Speech Box and found this small piece and I feel now might be an appropriate time to read it as it refers to our great friend and servant The Horse. Written by Anne Bullen who will be known to you either as an illustrator of pony books or as the co-founder of the Catherston Stud with her husband Lt.Col. Jack Bullen

“My life and health I give to your safe keeping
And when I am old
And have served you well,
Pray, Oh my master,
Do not sell me to slavery and to a cruel end.
But send me to my rest with tenderness and kindness
And my gratitude will be your reward.”

 

Jillie Rogers