Newsletter Feb 2018

Dear Members,

At last here is our first newsletter of 2018, apologies for it being delayed but lots has been happening in the club over the last three months we have barely had time to write it. Here’s a roundup of what’s being happening and what we have planned for the months ahead.


Thanks to everyone that attended the AGM, it seems a long time ago now. Two new members were voted on to the committee they are Sarah Ward and Sam Edwards. Sarah will be helping Toni on teams this year and Sam will be involved in the planning committee, she is interested in organising members to do some endurance rides too. Please get in contact with Sam if you’re interested in endurance riding. We are sad to say Amy has decided to step down from the committee but we thank her for all her hard work in organising the teams, which she has had to do alone for the last two years and if you ride on teams you’ll know there is a lot of organising that goes on behind the scenes. Going forward please contact Toni and Sarah for all team queries. The Hazel Towers lesson planning will now be organised by her mum Helen, so all lesson queries should go to Helen now, and she prefers phone contact. I have agreed to carry on as chair this year and everyone else has also agreed to continuing in their roles.


Regular Club lessons have included Jane Bartle Wilson up at YRC, Tracy Garside pole work at Jodhpurs, Peter DeCosemo at Jodhpurs and Hazel Towers Show jumping at HEC which remain to be well attended and popular. Hazel is currently running monthly Tuesday night jumping lessons at HEC with the club as well as her own private lessons on the weeks in between so please get on contact with her or text her mum Helen if you would like to book on.

We had a day of lessons with Tracey Newman at Ledston on the 13th January, I think everyone that came along will agree she provided an excellent exercise for everyone to do including novice baby horses to those out there jumping Newcomers. We plan to run another one in April so please get in contact if you would like to take part. We also had our first dressage training session with Katherine Heslop at Crosper Farm. These are 30-minute private sessions held at her yard, riders are welcome to arrive early and spend 10 minutes working in, we have some dates from her so they will be on the diary soon.

Chris McGrann has started his course of three lessons running on Thursday evenings and the next course will start in mid March. These lessons must be booked and paid for as a course.

Competitions and Results

Winter dressage

We sent two teams to the winter dressage competition in October including Phoebe Towers riding Arber B, Helen Towers riding Simply Clover, and Hannah Jolliff riding Grace. Unfortunately due to a last minute withdrawal they were down to three riders but still did brilliant job as a team of three.

We held our Christmas Show Jumping competition at Askham Bryan in the Christmas holidays and this was really well attended, the classes were full and we were impressed that so many turned out on such a cold snowy day. This year the show was run as a joint venture with the Bramham Moor Hunt Pony Club which halved the work but doubled the fun. We had a fantastic course designed by Carl Fuller and fences provided by the pony club, judges were Sally Wright and Hannah Jolliff, with Sue Emsley, myself, Anne and Mark Lande, Toni and Michael Tait all helping for the day and JJ did a fab job of the commentary. Thank you to the pony club DC Helen Hardwick and also Lila Robinson and all their helpers on the day too and especially Lilla’s mum for manning the tea stand all day in that freezing weather.

Last weekend we held our first arena show-cross at Ledston using their lovely indoor arena. Entries were slow but we got there in the end and ran a successful competition. Thank you to Alan and Tessa Downs for loaning us their XC jumps free of charge, we are extremely lucky to have had that, and couldn’t have offered the competition at such a low price per class if not for their generosity. Tessa and Alan also helped on Saturday to set up the course that they had designed for us, and Tessa also judged all day on the Sunday, and she helped clear away – while wearing a cast on her leg! Definitely above and beyond the call of riding club helper duties! So a big thanks to them and everyone that came and helped on Saturday and/or Sunday, including myself and Ferdi, Toni, Michael, Suzy Styles, Julie Curran, Angela Parkin, Sally-Anne Search, Sam Edwards, Lauren Lee and her friend, Fran Wilkinson, Julia Barnett, Heather Chadwick, Nicky Cottham and Charlotte Ward. We couldn’t run these types of events without our dedicated helpers.

Dressage continues monthly on Tuesdays and Saturdays thanks to the brilliant Sue Emsley and Ruth Lofts, we’re very lucky to have such well run shows with low cost entry fees with qualified judges and in great facilities. The next one is on the 18th February.

Socials and Demonstrations

In early December we had a Riding Test and Style Jumping Demo at Ledston given by Chris McGrann our long term club trainer and BRC Championships judge for both these classes. Year on year we have fewer riders coming forward to compete in these classes, and largely this seems to be because many people don’t really know what it entails. As a club we have previously done well in this competition and our former chair Judith is a former Style and Riding Test champion. Therefore we felt it was time to inject some enthusiasm for these classes, especially as they represent the training ethos of our club that always has the welfare of horses at the fore, and is applicable to all our riding disciplines. Test riders Kath Inman, Toni Tait, Zoe Laver and Trish Heaps showed us how is was done (or not done at times!) by riding through the current riding tests and an example style jumping course and Chris provided a really inspiring commentary for us all, with lots of food for thought For anyone interested in learning more about these disciplines we will be running Riding Test and Style Jumping training throughout the next 6 months. This will be open to anyone at all, both budding team members and non-team riders alike. More news about this will be emailed next month.

Thanks to all of you that came to the Xmas Strictly Dancing party. We had 32 people and although many were not club members it was an excellent evening even better than last year. Shirley, myself, Garry, Tricia and Toni and Michael ran the evening and provided the buffet, beverages and music along with our former dance champion running a really fun lesson. Judith and Steve took the strictly trophy this year with our local farrier Gary Harland and his wife Mandy a close second. The lesson was great fun and we showed that us riders can dance! We raised £80 for the Brook equine charity by raffling off Wendy Wilds wonderful prizes, which we have added with the money we made from Chris’s Style and Riding Test demo, so we will be adding it all up and sending them £200 from the club which I’m sure they will be more than happy to receive! If you want to know more about this charity look them up on and learn more about the great work they do for working equines in the developing world. Charlotte Dujardin is their ambassador and last year they ran a hackathon that anyone could get involved with to help raise money.

On May 10th Peter DeCosemo will be doing a demonstration evening at Jodhpurs with the theme Lateral Work he will be presenting his logical system from step one to zig zag in half pass. If you want to know what that even means then be there! Please contact Andy for more info


Team competitions for 2018 are coming up fast starting with the Winter Showjumping on the 25th February. Our first team training will took place on the 11th with Hazel, thanks to Hazel, Toni and all the team members to making this happen after lots of last minute changes due to weather. Toni ran the teams info night at the Scotts Arms last month. It was a really informative and friendly evening with lots of information provided, and some great additions to team training and teams ethos by Chris McGrann. If you weren’t able to attend this evening but would like to be involved in teams either as a rider or a helper then just get in touch with Toni, we don’t turn anyone away! All we ask is that if you ride on teams that you participate in the club by helping and having lessons, and we are delighted to say that the majority of our team members this year fulfil both of those requirements, or are well on their way to doing so. If you haven’t helped you may still get a chance to be on the reserves list and we will find things for you to help at later in the year so don’t let this put you off.

Toni will be selecting riders for Show Cross, Combined Training, Horse Trials, Dressage, Show Jumping, Style Jumping, Riding Test, Team of Four (dressage) and Dressage to Music.

Diary Dates coming up

Show Jump lessons with Hazel Towers 10th and 13th February , 6th March (contact Helen Towers)

Polework Training with Tracy Garside 10th February and 3rd March (contact Sophie by email please)

Chris McGrann Course of 3, 8th and 22nd February, 1st March (contact Sophie)

Jane Bartle Wilson 7th March (contact Helen)

Katherine Heslop Dressage lessons, 10th and 31st March (contact tbc)

Peter de Cosemo 22nd February, 26th April, 10th May (contact Andy)

Andrea Smith Test Riding Day at Ledston 14th February (contact Sue Emsley)

Camp at Summerford (currently full) 22nd – 25th March (contact Toni/Bobby)

Club Dressage 18th and 20th February (contact Sue / Ruth)

That’s all our news for now.

All the best , from your HCTG committee.