Well the 1st August arrived with the sun high in the sky, so there were lots of dresses on show in the F&I Box at Hickstead! Numbers were up to 26 this year, and it was great to see so many of you there!
We had a super day thanks not only to the F&I Association, but also to great organising from Karen Irving, Senior Executive at the BHS and Alex Copeland the new Director of Education. Both were present to welcome and look after us. We were also honoured with the presence of our CEO Lynn Petersen who was, as always great company.
Our Chairman Jillie Rogers arrived fresh off the plane from Ireland with the lovely Fran, who took these super photos.
Alison Craig kindly picked up Sister Chiara, a lifelong BHS Member, and brought her along for an outing. She throughly enjoyed mixing with us all, old and new, and even participated in the annual course walk around the Queen Elizabeth II Cup course.
A small committee meeting was also held with Jillie, Ann Bostock and Alison Craig.
We had a lovely cold buffet lunch which included salmon, asparagus, new potatoes and various niceties, followed by a sumptuous creamy fruit pudding, strawberries and cream AND cheese and biscuits. Maybe we were meant to just choose one pudding??? All washed down with a nice glass of wine!
The course walk was this year given by 25 year old rider Harriet Nutall, who hails from Somerset. She was very generous with her time and tips. I didn’t actually manage the course walk this year, but everyone seemed to glean lots of information.
This brought us to the exciting competition and even more exciting sweep stake…which is always fiercely contested from our Box! 6 riders from 26 starters jumped clear round the 1.60m track. The winner was young rider Chloe Winchester who, at the age of just 21 was having her first ride in this class. Her 12 year old mare Avoca Valkyrie was drawn as penultimate horse and stormed home with 3.75 seconds to spare!
“My” rider was drawn last, Phillip Miller on the lovely grey Caritiar Z. I really thought I was finally going to win the sweepstake this year, but although he jumped an incredible round, he crossed the line just over 3 seconds slower.
The lucky winners of the sweepstake this year were Ann Bostock (fix!!!) and Bridget Radnedge. Well done Ladies!
Oonagh Meyer and myself managed to finish the day off with some retail therapy, and had a go at the “electric horse’s head” game in the BHS tent, which Oonagh can be seen successfully attempting in one of the photos! Great fun and not easy after a couple of glasses of wine I can assure you!!!
Report by Sam Champney-Warrener BHSI