Chair’s Report. AGM December 2018.

Well another year has passed by & both Trump & I are still here! I bet the odds of neither of us being shot by now weren’t that good!
I’ve not done any public speaking since the last AGM so I can’t promise this will be any better but I will try not to gallop flat out this time & may be even try to breath.
At our last AGM I cornered Emma Pearce to join the committee, & what a wonderful job she has done. And I think if you speak with Emma, or anyone else on the committee, they will all tell you that it really isn’t so bad, so watch out I’m head hunting once more.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of the committee for their time & commitment & smiling no matter what might be going on behind the scenes.
Last February saw the start of our Winter Dressage League & it was lovely to catch up with everyone & welcome new members. Next year we intend to change the format in favour of the Summer Dressage League – & in theory better weather! But we will still have a competition early in the season giving us all something to aim for during the long winter months.
The Spring Show had the best weather of the spring – Jill books it especially – & it was enjoyed by a good turnout.
This fine weather did not last as at the end of March – Good Friday to be exact – we had snow. Now this is not that remarkable to those living on the Blackdowns but that day I was collecting Trish’s horse, Gem, who is now living with me, Sauber & my donkeys. When I got down the hill to The Paddocks Trish told me Gem was now just wearing a summer sheet at night. I said she may need a little more than that tonight as it is snowing up on the hill. I don’t think Trish believed me. Anyway we loaded Gem & all her belongings & set off up the hill & as we climbed the rain turned to sleet & then to snow which was being blown horizontal. Gem & her belongings were unloaded & Trish made a rather rapid escape before her non 4×4 car disappeared under a snow drift. The moral of this story is, when Deana or I cancel lessons because of snow we are not joking.
Anyway the weather did improve, quite a bit & the riding club continued with its flat work training with Karen, jumping training with Nikki Lumb, clear round jumping evenings, which are very popular, the Summer Dressage League, which had a fantastic turnout, & then we get to Summer Camp.
Those of you that are seasoned Campers know what happens to the weather at camp – it isn’t going to last! There will be wind, rain, thunder & lightning. True to form the wind blew & the marquee was done for & that was just Saturday morning. It rained, like a monsoon on Sunday morning. However, not being one to be defeated Karen kept everyone entertained with lessons on plaiting & the weather improved for the dressage to go ahead in the afternoon. Trish is having therapy & plans are being made for next year.
At the end of August came the devastating news that no more could be done for Indi & once again Deana found herself saying goodbye to a beloved friend. They had a roller coaster of a time together but achieved far more than most would have due to Deana’s patience.
In September we were off to Conquest for Strictly – one of my favourite days & this year did not disappoint with a fantastic win for our very own Trish & Gem.
Once more Jill booked more good weather for the Autumn Show & there was another good turnout with lovely horses & ponies.
For the last couple of months the quadrille team have been running through their routine on a Monday evening whilst a very dedicated ground crew have stood in sub-zero temperatures hoping it would all come together at some point. Well, last Saturday the team of Emma Pearce & Teatime, Georgina Palfrey & Pushy, Dezi Nicholls & Minnie (thank you Samara for the loan of your wonderful pony) & myself on Sauber went to Westpoint. The rain held off, the nerves just about held together & our horses & ponies behaved beautifully. We may not have come away with a prize but I hope all my fellow competitors came away with a sense of achievement & they should be so proud of their horses. Plans are already being made for next year!
And as regards next year we hope to have a musical ride for our juniors. There has also been a request to have a dressage team. Don’t be put off by doing Area dressage – the whole point the Riding Club is it is there to support & help you. Remember to let us know what you want from your riding club & we will try our best for you.
Kate Hopper, Chair BHRC

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