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Fiona Bebb-Evans and Tudor Knight

Fiona Bebb-Evans and Tudor Knight winners of:

  • The BSHA Nupafeed Amateur Points Awards Champion Owner Breeder Award 2015
  • The BSHA Nupafeed Amateur Points Awards Champion In-Hand Award 2015
  • The BSHA Nupafeed Amateur Points Awards Reserve Champion Side Saddle 2015
  • and previous winners of The BSHA Nupafeed Amateur Points Awards Champion Side Saddle 2014

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Thank you for all our wonderful awards.

Fiona Bebb-Evans

Aintree Owners Experience Day

We woke up on Saturday morning to heavy rain and our spirits were dampened but, by the time we arrived at Aintree Racecourse and drove into the Owners and Trainers car park, the rain had stopped and the sun came out; we can’t tell you how excited we were!!!

We met Carly at Reception who gave us our passes, vouchers and race cards and gave us our instructions for the day. We had a coffee and a mince pie, then went back to the car to put our wellies on, and off we went to walk the Betfred Becher Handicap Steeple Chase - (The Grand National Course). After so many years of watching the thrills and spills of the Grand National on the TV, it was ore inspiring to actually be able to stand in front of the jumps, see the Canal Turn, Becher’s Brook and look at the landing side; to climb into the ditches of The Chair and to realise how big and wide these fences actually are. What courage it must take for the Horses, Jockeys, Owners and Trainers to compete in this race. Walking around the course on our own with no one else insight, one could imagine the screams and shouts, the galloping of hooves the brushing through the fences and feel the pain and exhilaration that has gone on over the years before. (If only I was Alistair Down)!!!

It took us an hour to walk the course, by then the horses in the first race had paraded and were on the way down to
start. So we dashed to the stands to watch. The second race we watched the horse’s parade before going to the Tote to put our bets on; I chose the Willie Mullins horse which duly won.

Then we went upstairs to the restaurant where we were treated to Roast Turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce. It was fantastic to sit and dine with the Trainers and Owners, who you feel as if you know as we see them being interviewed on the TV so often! We watched the 3rd and 4th race from the Balcony on the stand, and also got to watch races from other fixtures from around the Country on the many TV screens around the room.

undefinedWe studied the race card for the big race and then went outside to place our bets and watch the horse’s parade. As each horse went past me, I whispered Good Luck to them! We watched the race in anticipation, then dashed back to see the winners and placed horses return, to see them unsaddle in the Winners enclosure; the adrenaline rush was to be seen all around. We watched the final two races from the stand, and by 3.30pm the day was all over.

Robert & I had a great day out and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Thank you to Aintree and to the BSHA for giving us the opportunity.

Oh and by the way – we gave the bookies a good pasting!!!

Caroline Davies

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Anna Robinson & Costello

VERSATILE VERSATILE VERSATILE

Coloured Cob Costello, not only had a great BSHA National Championships again this year but showed his true versatility by competing in a range of classes and being placed in them all.

The weekend started off with the Pairs Class who we did with Avril Bartolomy and Bennetton II. All the pairs got through to the Evening Performance which is always a highlight for us!   The Best Trained Show Horse was next; we put as much in as possible including shoulder in, half pass, counter canter and walk pirouettes, we came fourth and also got the best trained cob award!! A very proud moment!!! Such a shame I got behind on my music this year but that's not something I intend to do again.

The Evening Performance Pairs final was great fun and made even more memorable as it was possibly our last one together. Elvis and Benny have won pairs classes with the BSHA and the BSPA over the last few years and been second twice as well so for them to give us such a fabulous ride in the evening this year was quite emotional-something unforgettable to be honest (although there may be a next year ......)

The Classical Side Saddle was first up on the Saturday and this was COSTELLO's first attempt in the ring. Expertly ridden by Jo Jacks, who is head girl for Katie Jerram, he went superbly-very Downton Abbey!!! He came second and I would love him to do more of this next year.

Last but not least was the Ridden Coloured class where despite being back on the grass ring and astride again with no dressage allowed he did a good job and came 3rd   He is currently being produced by Katie Jerram as after his place at the RIHS in the Coloured Class, he went on to qualify for HOYS as a Cob, so fingers crossed for his last outing this year although we will be returning to dressage again during the winter and moving into affiliated mode, hopefully getting some points.

Anna Robinson

Tracey Harris & Mister Munroe

I think I can blame Lynn Russell for my Show Cob addiction; coming from a show jumping background I decided to give the stress of that up and buy a nice Cob for hacking; I had no idea I was just about to buy a horse that was to make me obsessive about showing.

I bought a very handsome grey 4 yr old gelding from Lynn, took him home and started to enjoy what I thought was a nice all round horse until someone said "when are you going to start showing him"!! Well that was it, we had a go not really knowing what was expected of us but we watched and learned and slowly we got the hang of it. "William of Willoughby" went on to be a great Cob for me and we enjoyed every minute of it but then it was I became hooked. I bought a Lightweight Cob direct from Ireland called “Cosgrave". I broke him and schooled him on myself, he too was successful but he went lame in his second full season and I don't think he will show again.

A friend of mine, Jayne Hemmings then said come and have a look at a little black Cob I have "he's a smasher". I didn't really have time for another one but couldn't resist and yes we brought him home with us!

Mister Monroe was only 3 yrs old and looked like a lanky teenager but I broke him myself and schooled him on over the winter and did a few low key shows. He had a very good sense of humour, fly bucking in gallop and generally showing off but always had a smile on his face! It took a year for him to mature and get a sensible head on him and many times I have felt like selling him!

My aim for his Novice year was to win the amateur points award which we achieved last year, finished 2nd in the Amateur Heavyweight Cob at the BSHA National Championships and he also qualified for the RIHS; unfortunately my mother was terminally ill so we didn't go but I am hoping he will do it again this year!

I get great pleasure from finding, backing and bringing on my young Cobs. They are all Home Produced by me and my long suffering husband, who drives the lorry and generally helps with my hobby. We even find time to run a property developing business between us, so it's a full time job but I wouldn't change a thing.

My ambition for 2013 is to get Mister Monroe a HOYS Ticket; fingers crossed.

Tracey Harris

Kay Gillam and Hortons Maclaren

Kay is another very successful Amateur competitor who picked up lots of prizes at the AGM; here she tells us about her early days with Hortons MacLaren and their showing career together.

‘Mac arrived here a very nervous just backed 3 yr old from my friend Julie Marchant, who said I was better with the scared ones than her. I must admit I wasn’t so sure after he bronced me offthe first time I tried to trot him, I think it scared him as much as me as he has never bucked again. Still he was a real sweetie who fortunately has a passion for extra strong mints so he stayed. After a slow start we went to our first show and he loved it behaving impeccably. I took it slowly and he started winning. He is such a lovely polite horse to ride, as judges keep telling me.His first season he won the Novice Amateur Points Award, he also qualified for RIHS but we just did the Amateur HW class and came 4th. Last year he came 3rd in the Amateur HW at RIHS and also 5th at HOYS; boy did we enjoy that! That year Mac also won the Open Cob Amateur Points Award. Then Mac grew and so came out this year as a Maxi cob. This season he has won lots of Maxi classes and most of the Championships he has been allowed to enter as a maxi. We were 1 place off qualifying for HOYS until Great Yorkshire when he won and qualified; also taking the Amateur Championship trophy too!


The only show I have never been very lucky at (maybe next year) is the National Championships, this year was no exception as he tripped in the indoor warm up on Sat morning and stood on his front tendon with his back hoof. A very worried mum took him home and called the vet fearing the worst. They thought he had damaged the tendon, and then ensued a terrible 3 weeks of waiting and hoping that it was just bruising and he would be ok for HOYS. Mac doesn’t cope with holidays well and soon reverts to the worried / nervous horse he is inside. Everybody who knows me well knows I suffer badly with a lack of self confidence in my ability to ride properly and this was just not what we needed in run up to HOYS. I started working him the week before HOYS and he was sound. Phew!my nerves were shot and off to NEC we went in a state of panic; I even had a cigarette for the 1st time in 30 years before we went in, a friend offered to get me a drink and apparently my answer was yes please, no thanks, I don’t know!! I think he coped better than me and got a fantastic 7th place.

Mac has only ever been ridden / trained by me with a few lessons and is totally home produced so it was great to win the Home Produced section as well as the Maxi cob, then to top it all the Reserve Supreme as well at this years’ Amateur Points Awards. It is a privilege to own and ride such a fab cob as Mac who is so trusting despite my hindrances as a jockey and we have now started jumping, he again is far better than me, with the aim of doing workers.

I am also very lucky to have Hortons Groovey as well who is LW novice who has been a challenge to settle to life and showing and I think we are now more of a partnership than opposites so hope the promise, at times, he has shown this year will continue.undefined

They are the sweetest easiest boys to live with and take out together to shows, often on my own. I am lucky to have them. All this would not be possible without help from friends and an understanding boss, I work 5 nights one week 6 the next as a lorry driver to fund my showing and my cob addiction. All started by my husband who told me to go and get a sensible cob when my last TB bolted once too often. Imagine my delight when I discovered sensible and cob does not really go together. My first cob MG took me to HOYS and won Search for a Star for me in 2005 before I sadly lost him with a tumour in his hoof. Then came Just Timmy who loved showing after a sticky start at 12yrs old of hating being indoors, he also got to HOYS as a 15 yr old and when I was told by the confirmation judge that I had the fittest looking cob in the class it was a very proud moment. He retired after that and hated every minute of it until he became a collage pony and was admired all day long by students!! I lost him a year ago to colic.

I really enjoy my showing and think the Amateur Points awards are a fantastic way of rewarding us true amateurs for our hard work and I really enjoyed coming to the AGM, even though it may not have looked so as I shook my way up to collect my awards. I am very proud of my boys and hope to carry on next year as we left off this.’

Kay Gillam, Mac and Groovey

Sophie and Hannah Carter

Sophie and Hannah show from home and both sisters won prizes at this years’ Nupafeed Amateur Points Awards here is Sophie’s story of their 2012 showing campaign.

Hannah is 19 and I am 21. I am currently at University in Brighton and have just started a years’ work placement in London for my 3rd year. Hannah is a qualified Make-Up Artist and works full time at the moment whilst building her portfolio. Hannah and I take care of all the schooling and ride during the week around our work schedules. We school them in the field; grabbing as much time as we can.

Photo: Hannah with Daldorn Legacy at Windsor

We went straight into riding in adult classes when we were 15; before we started in the ISRT. Right from the start we have been encouraged immensely by BSHA and Katie Jerram who has taught us since we were 14 and this is only our first season of contesting the Intermediates seriously.

Between us we have 3 horses which we show. Quocosidor who is my Small RH and Large ISRT, and Hannah shows Daldorn Legacy in Small Hacks and Small ISRT and Barrdene Night Fever in Large Hack and Large ISRT. We are extremely lucky to have such a supportive mother who takes care of all the feeding and care of them, as well as show organising and the driving. She keeps us motivated and tempers at bay and without her we would not be able to do it; she also cries a lot!

We didn’t have the best starts as we were unsure if Quocosidor would show again after injuring himself last year, resulting in him being on box rest for 6 months. But we had the all clear from the vet in January and were able to start work on him.              Photo: Sophie with Quocosidor

The highlights of the year had to be qualifying all three horses for RIHS in their BSHA classes as well as Daldorn Legacy and Quocosidor for the SRT. We also qualified Daldorn Legacy for HOYS which was a magical moment.

This coming season we are looking to teach Quocosidor and Daldorn Legacy Side saddle, with the hope of riding at Windsor. We are also spending this winter teaching them to jump to add some variety to their work. The ultimate aim for us is to qualify them all for HOYS, but to just have great results and know that the horses are going well means just as much to us.

When we start the 2013 season we aim to be successful in the amateur classes and qualifying for RIHS and HOYS is always a bonus. This was achieved this year by both of us being 5th and 6th in the Fieldmaster, both winning the Home Produced classes at the BSHA National Championships and both being placed in the Amateur classes at RIHS. 2012 was a season we could only dream of and to do even half as well next season will be amazing.’

Sophie Carter                                                                                                         

Lizzie Oseman and Ballyell Turbo

In her own words the 2012 Amateur Points Champion tells of her transformation from nervous postnatal mum to confident Owner/Rider of multiple Champion, Ballyell Turbo on the flat, over the fences and sideways too!

“I am so pleased I kept Turbo as an amateur horse this season, there were many times I wanted to wimp out and ask Jayne (Webber) to ride him, but winning the BSHA Overall points award was definitely worth it”!

I was very nervous at the start of the season, partly because I'd had a baby and not ridden for ages and partly because Turbo had had a very successful season under Claire Oliver, with Robert standing 2nd at HOYS on him. I really didn't want to be a wimp in a new yard and didn't want to hold Turbo back as I knew he was capable of a great season.

Photo: Lizzie and Turbo at the National Championships 

Before the season started, I had loads of lessons with Nicholas & Ros Collins - Nick on the jumping & Ros on the flat and soon got the feel of Turbo again. We had a great start to the season winning BSHA Southern Spring Show & at Keysoe Spring, going champion cob & champion worker; just what the doctor ordered to get my confidence back! I was really disappointed when both BSPS Area 8 & Royal Windsor were cancelled & so decided to enter as many shows as possible in case more were cancelled. As anyone with a baby knows it IS really hard to bring a little one to the shows with dreadful weather, horrifically early starts & often very long journeys, so I was thrilled when ever I could leave Toby with various family members & head off to meet Turbo at the shows. To my amazement our good run continued with wins at Heathfield, Surrey County, Three Counties, East of England, Wincanton & Bucks County - many shows winning both the workers & the open HW cobs. I was so thrilled with each win as I very much considered myself a postnatal nervous amateur, luckily for me, Turbo is the ultimate professional and just got on with his job!

As the season came to an end and with a two week gap before my penultimate show, the National Championships, I decided to ask Ros to help me try side saddle. Ros is a perfectionist and after 5 gruelling sessions she finally declared that she felt I was ready for my side saddle debut at the Addington. We finished second in both Classical & Ladies classes and went champion amateur cob & reserve supreme amateur, what an all rounder he is! A Fourth at HOYS was a respectable finish to a great season thanks to Jayne & her very hard working team.’ Lizzie Oseman 

Dreams come true for Anna

Anna’s dreams came true after she and Costello appeared on the front cover of local horse magazine Hooked on Horses. This was the icing on the cake following a wonderful season with many placings culminating in not one but two Championships at Tendring Show.  At the National Championship Show Anna is planning to compete in the Best Trained Class using music provided by a friend who composes for dressage rider Paul Hayler so an exciting routine can be expected! Here’s to Anna wishing you a successful National Championship Show.

Talking of which.....

National Championship Show

Only a few short days to go now to the Party of the Season! Entries have been flying in but there are still places in most classes for more entries; late entries are being accepted and you can also enter on the day. This is a show which offers so many opportunities to compete and for those of you who have yet to visit Addington you will find a wonderful showground with plenty of room for working young or inexperienced horses whilst seasoned competitors will relish the ‘big occasion’ atmosphere to be enjoyed in the main arena especially during the thrilling evening performances. One of the highlights of the show is the Best Trained Show Horse class – rather like dressage to music – last year we even had the thrill of a competitor dressed in South Sea Island costume performing her routine especially for charity, I know one competitor so keen she has two horses and two separate routines planned. Whatever you decide to do we wish you every success but most of all have fun! Finally sponsorship we have had a fantastic response and members and their families have been incredibly generous in supporting the show, there are still a few classes to be covered so if you know of anyone able to do so please get in touch with Charles at the office or Sue Phillips. We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

Back in Action!

Eli and Stan winning the RIHS qualifier at Midlands County ShowEli Clarke

I purchased Stan from Ireland in April last year and we had a great first season together which was topped off by finishing 3rd at HOYS in the SFAS cobs. I was very much looking forward to the 2012 season but the year didn’t get off to a good start.

In January things started going downhill, after much investigation, worry and stress, the chiropractor, vet and I worked out that a new saddle; the first bought specifically for Stan and professionally fitted, didn’t in fact fit him and he had become very sore. A long time off ridden work followed and then the purchase of another new saddle, this time fitted by someone else!

I’d entered a few shows with early closing dates in the hope we could make them, some passed us by, but as Midland Counties was approaching Stan was improving, we had the new saddle and had started ridden work again, albeit just hacking in walk and trot. The week of the show I thought we’d try canter on the Friday night and if all was well go to the show, just as an outing really, I’d paid the entry and it was local so I thought “what the heck”, we were both itching to get out and do things again.

Friday came and some renovation work to the sand school which was scheduled to finish on Thursday had over-run, we couldn’t attempt canter, this was not good! I had no idea whether Stan would be able to canter ok at the show. I decided we’d go anyway and if we cantered in the warm up and things went terribly wrong we’d just come home.


First thing in the morning was the Coloured HOYS qualifier which I’d entered so off we went to warm up, feeling somewhat hesitant. It seemed to go ok so I decided we’d do the class. I think both of us were tip-toeing around a little, feeling somewhat unsure of whether he’d be ok, I definitely wasn’t riding as I would normally and just let him pootle about! He went ok but no placing, unsurprisingly. I had some things to do so put him away after the class; I had decided not to do any more with him as I still wasn’t sure if all was well.

Time flew and it was getting close to the start of the cob classes, I’d paid the entry, we were both there, we couldn’t school at home and I, I’m not sure why really, suddenly had a change of heart. I thought another canter on a nice surface might help us both to change our mind-sets and be positive that Stan was on the mend. So tack back on and off we went.  

I had had a few words with myself to ride “normally”, try to put the past months behind us and see what happened. Stan definitely felt better on the go round than he had that morning so I was pleased but still somewhat unsure if he was yet back to the Stan I know and love.

The judges started to pull us into the line-up and I was completely and utterly gobsmacked to be pulled in second to PJ Tip. The biggest lump formed in my throat and I could feel myself welling up, I had to take a few deep breaths. The months of worry, stress and concern over what was wrong with Stan were coming to an end, he was getting better and the fact the judges liked him over and above a number of other well-known and successful cobs in the ring with us, was almost too much for me!

I told my friend and groom for the day, Lucy, that I didn’t care what happened after the pull in, the fact we were there to begin with was enough for me and as Stan had hardly been ridden, never mind shown for months I had no idea what sort of ride he would give the judge so thought it was likely that we would be dropped a few places in the final line up. I gathered myself and just about managed to say good afternoon to the judges without crying.

The ride appeared to go ok, although I was a little critical and knew he could go better. The confirmation judge appeared to look carefully at him and discussed him with the probationer, I couldn’t tell if it was a positive discussion or not! So it came to the final line up, the judges had walked around the horses again in order to make their final decisions, I was sure we were bring dropped to at least 3rd if not lower. Then they pointed at us, oh my God, were they sure? This time I had words with myself not to even get a lump; I wanted a photo and promised myself I could cry once I was out of the ring! I was well and truly lost for words; my friends will confirm this doesn’t happen very often. I managed to smile for the photos and the lap of honour and just as I was going out of the gate I could feel my control on my emotions slipping and the tears and lump in my throat returning.

The H&H reporter grabbed me as I exited the ring; god knows what I looked like as her first words were that she wouldn’t bite! I tried to explain everything we’d been through, not sure how much sense it made so Lucy started to fill in the gaps and as she was doing so I lost control of my emotions completely and had to go back to my lorry to gather myself. I’m not really sure what happened next, auto pilot kicked in, I untacked and got changed whilst wiping away tears and proceeded to put Stan away. Those that were at the show know what happened next and I’m sure the rest of you have an inkling… The Championship!

Well I’d well and truly lost the plot hadn’t I? The Championship didn’t even cross my mind and by the time Lucy shouted at me about it they were doing the final call and there wasn’t enough time to get us both dressed and back to the ring, big whoops and something I don’t think I’ll ever live down!

I found the judges later and apologised for my complete oversight and uselessness. So that was our first outing following all the problems we’ve had this year and first RIHS cob ticket for both of us, completely unexpected, but made for the most amazing day that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Eli Clarke

Columbard

 
New Member, Zoe Kings’ Maxi Cob Colombard, won his first 'proper' Show at the South Suffolk Show on Sunday 13th May. Colombard was bought from Irish dealer Reid Finlay as an unbroken 3 yr old.

It gave Zoe a real boost after an unfortunate turn of events. She recently broke both of her legs from a fall from her eventer and is currently undergoing extensive surgeries which involve pioneering bone transplants in order to save her leg; it is thought that she will not ride for at least another year.

 

 

Hooked on Showing - How did that Happen!?

Nikki Reader

Nikki's smile says it all! To be honest, when trying to explain to a non-horsey work colleague what I do each weekend he found it hard to understand why my week, leading up to the aforementioned weekend, has to be planned like a military operation – after all, as long as my horse “looks nice” and can trot round an arena a few times, how can it possibly be so all consuming?

As a totally Home Produced Amateur who works full time and has no help with the horses at all, every minute of every day has to be accounted for in order to get two horses into the ring each weekend – yes, maybe I am mad (but there are many more like me!)

Up until about five years ago I really didn’t “get it” myself either! Ironically I spent more than 10 years keeping horses with my very good friend Pat Thorne and during this time, she went off doing her showing thing very successfully and I went off doing dressage, show jumping and eventing. I was always very impressed when she came home and told me that she’d qualified for RIHS or HOYS etc but that was as far as my involvement went.


It was only several years after leaving Pat’s yard that I fell into showing almost by accident. I was secretary of our local riding club and we had nobody to represent us at the annual “Festival of the Hunter” so I decided to have a go – after all, I had a horse that I thought looked quite nice!

We did the Novice Hunter and, to cut a long story short, won the class and the judge, Zara Pawley, suggested that we “get her measured” and try a few Small Hunter classes with her. We did as we were told and amazingly qualified for RIHS at our first attempt – the seed was sown (or should I say, the addiction started) – and the journey began. I was soon to realise it was actually not that easy at all, my initial qualification had been beginners luck!

Unfortunately Indy, the Small Hunter, turned out not to have the temperament for the job (another thing I did not realise was so crucial in the beginning) so we decided that, if this was what I wanted to do we had to look for another horse.

I had always loved Pat’s cobs so the decision was made, a cob it would be, enter Collier! Collier arrived from Reid Finlay unbroken in February 2007 – he was broken later that year and was anything but straightforward - after lots of tears and wondering if we’d ever make it he made his showing debut in 2008.

                  Since then he has become my horse of a lifetime and achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of – he took me to HOYS coming 2nd in Search for a Star in 2008, he has qualified for RI as a HW each year since and he also won the Restricted HW at the Nat Champs taking me through to my first evening performance which was an amazing experience. In 2010 I was left some money by my auntie who sadly passed away and we thought she would appreciate it being spent on something we enjoyed so, what better way to spend it than on another cob!

Another phone call to Reid Finlay (with some encouragement from my friend Lucy Carvall!) and a week later Cobson’s Choice (aka The Maxster) walked into our yard! He has been an absolute delight since day one and I am excited to see what his future might bring! He had a couple of outings in 2011 but our season was cut short by Chris (my husband) being involved in a serious motor cycle accident – fortunately he made an amazing recovery and, looking on the bright-side (!!), another summer in the field did Max no harm at all, it allowed him to grow up and mature.

He has had three outings so far this season, 3rd in the Novice at Keysoe, 2nd in an RI qualifier a couple of weeks later and then winning at Grass Roots (seriously hoping we haven’t peaked too soon!) I really wish I had caught the bug sooner!! I have realised a childhood ambition and ridden at HOYS, I have ridden as some of the best county shows in the country, have made some amazing friends and for the most part, had fun. The pros I have met along the way have all been friendly and welcoming and freely offered advice - I have competed in dressage, eventing and show-jumping for many years and whatever anyone says, the people doing that for a living are nowhere near as approachable as “show people!"

There is so much to learn and what I think a lot of people outside of showing do not realise is that is a discipline in its own right – if you want to compete at top level dressage you do not go to a show jumping trainer and, by the same token, to do the showing job well you need a trainer who is an expert in that discipline. I am fortunate to be able to have regular lessons with Rory Gilsenan who has taught me so much about the correct way of going and I am indebted to Jo Jenkins for her advice on ring craft and how to present the horses.

What are my ambitions for the future? Of course, I think it has to be to ride at HOYS in an open class but, until we can achieve that I am happy to keep learning and improving and hopefully have some success along the way.

Nikki Reeder 

The Philanderer

Sara and Phil bonding!When I recently commented on a Facebook photo of The Philanderer and Comberton Clancy out in the field together little did I know how prophetic it was to be! My comment was 'which one would you choose' as a joke because very seldom (if ever) do you end up with a HOYS champion looking at you over your stable door!

 

I knew 'Phil' was back in work because I help Carol out a couple of mornings a week during the season as a change from my desk job at home. When Jayne Webber said to me would I like to ride Phil that day I think the smile on my face said it all! As I put my foot in the stirrup and hopped on board I had to pinch myself that I'd been asked to ride Phil, and I took him into the school with a tiny bit of trepidation. I was aware of his tricky reputation so I was waiting for the fireworks but they didn't come and he was the perfect gent.

 

When you get on Phil you are struck by how much there is in front of you which makes you feel very secure. When you ask him for trot he virtually floats and makes you feel like an amazing rider! Canter is just how you want it to be with no effort and I was quite hoping someone would walk by and admire me but everyone was busy so I had to admire myself in the lorry windows instead! After we'd finished working in the school I didn't actually want to get off but I did and the first thing I did was text Carol and tell her that that was the best thing that had happened to me on a horse!


When you get on Phil you are struck by how much there is in front of you which makes you feel very secure. When you ask him for trot he virtually floats and makes you feel like an amazing rider! Canter is just how you want it to be with no effort and I was quite hoping someone would walk by and admire me but everyone was busy so I had to admire myself in the lorry windows instead!

After we'd finished working in the school I didn't actually want to get off but I did and the first thing I did was text Carol and tell her that that was the best thing that had happened to me on a horse! I had already bonded with him when he was on box rest, walking him in hand around Carols huge yard and getting used to the fact that if he spooked at something on the first circuit you could bet he would spook at it on every circuit from then on! I always loved doing anything with Phil because he has that aura about him that you get from a great actor or model who turns heads wherever they go.

Sara out with the SC After a while I heard it had been decided that Phil was to retire from the ring as his rehab from his injured tendon would mean the season would be pretty much over by the time he was right again. I do find it pays to be cheeky because I said to Carol could he 'retire' with me and she said yes as he wouldn't want to be watching the others go off to parties and be left at home! I text my partner Andrew immediately and his reply was 'do you want him'? which I thought was a daft question so I soon found myself driving home one day with Phil in our lorry!

The hunters are at grass at our summer yard now so Phil was introduced to the family cob, known as The Cob, and our show pony Charlie who was mesmerised by Phil and grazed as close to the fence as he could possibly get to him. Phil of course took everything in his stride and was grazing within minutes of being turned out.

We are really lucky to have amazing hacking through a friends farm and into the forest which Phil loves, he wasn't certain about puddles to begin with but soon got over that and Andrew told me I wasn't to tell Carol he'd got mud on his toes in case she sent someone over with some shampoo and a hairdryer... very funny!

He wasn't sure about negotiating a narrow gate with a puddle in front of it until I assured him he wasn't going to dissappear up to his middle like Dawn French in the Vicar of Dibley puddle sketch and trusted me that it was safe.

Of course The Cob had to shut the gate while Phil stood looking beautiful. I think I've got over checking him in the field every five minutesjust to make sure he's real, and I'm determined he's going to be a horse instead of a show horse, but I have given in and he's got a blue water bucket as yes they were right, he won't drink out of anything else!

As to the question everyone asks, what will he do now, he's loving chilling out at the moment and I really think he's enjoying the one to one attention. He's so laid back it's like having James Bond about the place and if he were a man he would be the sort to have a chilled glass of champagne waiting for you when you got in!

He may find himself doing the odd star appearance at the Royal Military Academy accompanying the SC & RMA hounds parading at various polo matches and military days there, as Andrew is senior master in his spare time. We've also been invited to mounted hound exercise around the Academy in the summer which will be nice, and will also get him used to hounds as Andrew is determined he will come hunting in the autumn!  

Carol needn't worry as Andrew's idea of hunting and mine are quite different, he's at the front hedge hopping and I'm near the back with the girls comparing hip flask recipes dodging the mud. And, I don't go if it's raining!  With two daughters in the family it won't be long before he is teaching them the ropes of how a proper horse should feel either!

His good looks won’t go to waste as he is about to embark on his modelling career, being a test pilot for all our showing products before they go on sale on our showing website! The main thing is that he's going to be adored and enjoy his life with us as a member of the family and I have to thank Carol and Jayne so much for entrusting their much loved boy to us.

Sara Egan

Danny the Hedge Hopping Cob

Wendy Good purchased her cracking little cob Danny from Lynn Russell in 2003 aged 4. Danny at barely 15hh was considered too small to be a show cob but Wendy thought he would make a great all-rounder.

 

Danny is a proper cob type, short of leg and butty with real personality and he also exhibits all the qualities a cob should have do a real job; he is athletic and brave. I first saw him out hunting , whilst having a day out with fellow judge Wendy Phipps MFH, Master of the Old Surrey and Burstow and West Kent Hunt, and I chatted to his rider Wendy Good about showing him. Wendy from Hartfield in East Sussex, who breeds Miniature Horses and events, had not thought of Danny as a show cob and has hunted him to date. He is also often seen on the OSB&WK Hunt Inter Hunt relay teams, most recently at Royal Windsor where, against hot competition from across the country, the team was 3rd out of 24 teams and in 2008 he completed the notorious East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt Scurry coming 12 out of 22 with winning hunter chasers in the field too!

 

  

 

A couple of weeks ago Wendy rang and asked to come out with the Mid Surrey Farmers' Drag Hounds, now they do jump some very big lines and knowing she has a show jumper at home it was assumed that this was the horse she intended to bring. But no Wendy came out on Danny and my goodness he certainly showed us that cobs really can gallop and they most certainly can jump! Danny has springs in his heels, he covers the ground with a great gallop epitomising the gutsy qualities that made these short legged little chaps so popular on the hunting field.

 

I hope to see Wendy and Danny in the ring this year as heexhibits the athleticism and scope that we must not lose in either the flat or the working classes and I hope his example galvanises many more cob owners to compete in our Working Show Horse classes.

Further details of the new Working Show Horse qualifiers with the final at the National Championship Show are to be found in 2012 Rule Book.

 

Sue Kenny