Geoff Dorset BHSI, 1924-2017

Geoff DorsetWe were sad to hear the news that Geoff Dorset BHSI passed away on 7 May, aged 93 years.

Geoff was a BHS Assessor and Chief Examiner for many years. He was one of life’s gentlemen and would always ‘doff’ his cap when greeting you with a big beaming smile. He was respected by all who knew him and his quiet, gentle approach with horses won him many friends and admirers. Geoff was a remount trainer with the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch and his quiet leadership led to the worldwide reputation that Imber Court had as the ‘gold standard’ in mounted police training.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

 

Philippa Mary Francis BHSI

Members of the association will have been shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death from cancer on September 28 of Pippa Francis, aged 58.

Not only was Pippa a BHSI, but also a BHS examiner from 1989 to 2003,  BD dressage judge, Programme Area Manager at Warwickshire College for Equine and Farriery, Secretary/Treasurer of the F & I Association from 1995/2000 and from 2003 a schools and colleges inspector with OFSTED.

Pippa passed her BHSAI in 1976 – the same year as Patrick Print FBHS!!

Two years later she obtained her BHSII and in 1983 her BHSI.

Lorna Walters BHSI recalls that in 1983 she spent 11 months with Iris Kellett the legendary Irish international showjumper and her husband John Hall FBHS (both now deceased) at their celebrated equestrian centre near Dublin. It was here that Lorna met Pippa who was working there, preparing students for BHS exams and competing her own horse Felix and John Hall’s Rowanstown in dressage.

On return to the UK, Pippa started lecturing at Warwickshire College, becoming Programme Area Manager in charge of Equine and Farriery.

“She was an excellent manager,” Dr Richard Pearce, who worked with Pippa affirms. She was not afraid to make decisions, to stand by them and you knew where you stood with her.”

I first met Pippa when examining at a BHS Stage 2 exam. I wanted to pass a jumping candidate. Pippa didn’t and I lost the argument!!

As my manager at Warwickshire College, Pippa was perceptive and supportive, always approachable and any advice given helpful and valid.

One of the horses Pippa trained Minnow is still at Warwickshire College today. Many successful BHS Stage 3 and 4 show jumping candidates who sat their exams at Moreton Morrell probably owe their pass in this section to Minnow.

Bunkey Villa, the grey ex racehorse Pippa competed successfully at BD had established flying changes and the look of sheer joy on students’ faces as they felt their first flying change on Bunkey is lasting testament to Pippa’s training skill.

Carole Broad FBHS said:” She sat for a while on Q & T (BHS exams advisory group) and could always be relied on to see both sides of the coin. She was such a kind, gentle person who was also extremely professional.”

However Pippa had a marked career change in 2003 when she joined OFSTED as an inspector. The December 2014 Ofsted Chief Inspector’s Annual Report noted Pippa’s Doctorate in Education (gained while with Ofsted) with research interests in pedagogy in further education and noted that she “regularly leads college inspections and also inspects secondary schools.”

In 2013/14 Pippa led a national survey on teaching, learning and assessment across the further education and skills sector, published in September2014.

Thus Pippa’s contribution to the education sector was as significant as her contribution to the equine world. Both spheres have benefited from the influence of a dignified professional with integrity and strong moral values.

DONN COLLINS BHSI

PS Donations for Cancer Research UK and/or Macmillan Cancer Support can be sent to Peasgood & Skeates, Shire Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 3AQ

Jo Knowles FBHS

trophy-thumbnail_10872867_632409506864042_5913917136785480194_oI am sad to hear that Jo Knowles has passed away.  I first met Jo in the late 1980’s at a BHS Convention at Stoneleigh.  I was immediately taken with her gentle, kind and knowledgeable attitude to everything.

We talked about various things throughout the day and Jo was particularly interested in the Pat Smallwood award.  It then transpired that Jo was a very accomplished Sculptress.  I was one of the Trustees of the award.  Jo offered to design and make a trophy to be awarded to the winner each year.

When the Trophy arrived I was amazed by its beauty.  The bronze of the horse’s head and neck was stunning.  It is now presented by the F & I Association to a member at each AGM, for services to the BHS/F&I Association.

As the current holder of the trophy, I delight in seeing it every day.  At an AGM about 3 years ago, Jo was persuaded to come and present the trophy to the winner.  I asked Jo if she had named the trophy and she said “no”.  After considerable thought she said she would like it named after a favourite foal she had bred.  She said Wistful was a cheeky foal and had a mind to jump anything!  She would jump the show jumps alone when turned out in a paddock.  Jo evented her with great success in the show jumping and cross country, but Wistful was not compatible with dressage!

There is now a plaque on the trophy engraved – “Wistful.  Designed and sculpted by Jo Knowles FBHS”.  I sent Jo photos of the trophy and the new engraving last January.  She wrote to me showing great appreciation.

Another matter that Jo told me about at the Convention, was her trips to Iceland on behalf of the BHS. She loved the horses and people in Iceland and went there many times.

We have lost a very special Fellow.

Sue Payne

September 2016

Helen Barton-Smith BHSI

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Helen Barton-Smith BHSI passed away at 6.15am on Saturday 27 June following a brave fight against cancer. Many of you will have come into contact with Helen in her capacity as a BHS Instructor, Proprietor of BHS approved Pippin Equestrian Centre and BHS Assessor.
The initial information that we have is that on Thursday 9 July a private family cremation will take place and this will be followed by a church service for family, friends and colleagues. We do not yet have full confirmation of the date nor details of the time or venue of the service but if you would like to be kept informed, please contact Julie Garbutt 07808 141009

 

Helen’s funeral will be on Thursday 9 July, 12.30. St Mary’s Church, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4AW

Margot Tiffany BHSI

Margot Tiffany receiving the Bodynfoel Award from BHS President Martin Clunes in 2012
Margot Tiffany receiving the Bodynfoel Award from BHS President Martin Clunes in 2012

The BHS and F & I Association have been shocked and saddened by the unexpected death of former trustee Margot Tiffany BHSI at home on Thursday 9 April.

Based in Yorkshire, Margot began her equestrian career with the Staintondale Pony Club, passing her ‘A’ Test and never looking back.

Achievement of the BHSI qualification ultimately followed and few equestrian organisations have not benefited from Margot’s experience and expertise.  In particular, British Riding Clubs and British Dressage offer her an enormous debt of gratitude for her tireless work.

Margot was a passionate advocate of The British Horse Society qualification system and successfully trained innumerable candidates.  Her pioneering teaching efforts in China led to two individuals gaining the BHSAI qualification – a source of enormous pride for this dedicated lady.

Always able to bring people together in her true belief of the Society’s aims and objectives, Margot volunteered on several County Committees, taking the Chairman’s seat on no less than three occasions for BHS Merseyside, BHS Durham and BHS North East Yorkshire.

Margot also served as a BHS Trustee from 2008 to 2011 with particular interests in Qualifications and Training, Education and Welfare.

Year after year Margot rose to the challenges facing her, always cheerful, optimistic and skilfully able. One of Margot’s close friends described her as “Yorkshire through and through – like a stick of Scarborough rock”!

The horse world held Margot in high esteem, not least for her wisdom, sense and sensibility – qualities integral to her roles as an International Trainer, Judge and Chief Examiner. Her achievements were recognised in 2012 when she received the prestigious Bodynfoel Award for excellent service in promoting the work of the BHS (pictured). Margot promoted goodwill and collaboration across the equestrian community and her contribution to the continued success of the Society was without question.

BHS Chief Executive Lynn Petersen said:

“We are all shocked by the sudden loss of our lovely friend. Margot was one of a kind, beloved by everyone who knew her.

Countless horses and riders around the world owe their very existence to her talent for developing potential. Margot Tiffany was an ambassador for all that is best about horses and riders and the BHS…and we will miss her.”