Equestrian Life – March 2014

Words by:
Felix Bartlett, Libby Elles
Featured in:
March 2014

The best platform for equestrian events, news and services.
Belton looks set to stage the biggest and best Horse Trials in the event’s thirty-two-year history, thanks to a new partnership between the event organisers and the National Trust.

For the first time visitors to the spring event can enjoy the thrill of the Horse Trials competition and the beauty of Belton all under one ticket.

“We are delighted to welcome the National Trust as partners in running this exciting weekend,” said event director, Stuart Buntine, of Bede Ltd. “This new partnership means we can offer a real action-packed family day out under the banner One Ticket, One Belton.”

Whether you buy a ticket for the Horse Trials or the House, you can enjoy complimentary access to all the attractions, he explained.

Set in the heart of Lincolnshire, the delightful surroundings of Belton provide a fabulous backdrop for a fun-filled family weekend. Quite apart from the packed equestrian programme, the event includes a wide range of activities from a Classic Car display to a Dog Show and from long distance running to style and fashion advisory sessions. With the same ticket you can also enjoy access to the National Trust mansion, the gardens and the adventure playground, as well as a variety of activities put on by the Trust during the weekend.

National Trust general manager (Lincolnshire), Alec Gordon is looking forward to the best Belton Horse Trials yet and said there would be something for everybody to enjoy during the weekend.

“The Belton Horse Trials has, over the years, built a reputation, not just for the challenge of the course, the quality of the entry and its international reach, but as an event which has something to appeal to everyone, whether from town or country. The National Trust is proud to have hosted the trials over many years and we are excited at the developments that will make the 2014 trials the best yet,” he said.

If it is the Horse Trials you have come for, expect to see the crème de la crème. Top Event riders from all over the UK and Europe will be dusting off their boots for Belton Horse Trials, the first major international competition of the 2014 season.

“Any competitor who has entered Badminton Horse Trials in May heads to Belton for a warm up,” said Mr Buntine. “We normally expect ninety per cent of top riders to come and compete for the Lycetts Grantham Cup.”

As well as the exciting three-phase dressage, cross-country and showjumping competition, equine enthusiasts can look forward to an Inter-Hunt Relay, Unaffiliated Dressage and Pony Club Mounted Games as well as the showcase Stallion Parade.

For those who prefer four wheels to four legs, come on Sunday (6th April) when the Grantham Classic Car Club is bringing a huge selection of vehicles, from Veterans to Cars of the Eighties and Motor Bikes to VW Camper Vans.

Ladies who like to lunch, your day is definitely Friday (4th April) when Stick and Ribbon of Nottingham will be putting on a style and fashion presentation at the Ladies’ Charity Luncheon. This is in aid of the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Air Ambulance, the event’s chosen charity for 2014.

Whether you are in need of a little retail therapy or you want to shop till you drop, there are up to 100 trade stands set around the three event arenas to help make your day.

A new attraction for this year is the Lincs FM and Rutland Radio ‘Trot Along Family Day’ on Saturday (5th April). Presenters and their street team will be at Belton to entertain the crowds with fun games, music and live entertainment.

Tickets and full details of the three-day programme are now available via the website at www.belton-horse.co.uk. Special early bird rates are available for those who buy tickets online.

The Shire Horse Society is encouraging Lincolnshire locals to support its National Show at Arena UK in Allington, near Grantham on 22nd-23rd March. This is the first year the show will take place at this purpose-built equestrian centre.

This popular two-day event is the largest gathering of the breed in the world and spectators will be able to see hundreds of magnificent Shire Horses from all over Europe on show. As well as the competitions there will be a range of demonstrations and trade stands for visitors to explore.

David Ralley-Davies, secretary of the Shire Horse Society, said: “We’re very excited about moving to Arena UK in Lincolnshire, which is a purpose-built equestrian centre that can accommodate a growing show such as ours. We believe that visitors, owners and the horses of course, will very much enjoy the show’s new setting. We do hope Lincolnshire people will support it.”

The National Shire Horse Show provides an insight into this endangered breed and raises awareness of the Society’s important work. “This event really is the best display of Shire Horses in the country and an opportunity for people to see the breed in all its glory,” added David.

Tickets in advance of the event cost £8 for adults, £6 for children and £6 for senior citizens. To pre-order your tickets now call 01536 771611 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or online at www.shirehorseshow.co.uk/visitor-info.

For more details about the society go to www.shire-horse.org.uk or visit the National Shire Horse Show’s dedicated website at www.shirehorseshow.co.uk

Giles Academy is the only school in the Boston area to have a Value Added score above 1000, at 1020.2.

On 23rd January School Performance tables were issued. Following Government changes to grade boundaries and reporting of information, many schools would have appeared to fall below government floor standards. Increased rigour combined with the rise in grade boundaries has resulted in the same teachers, the same resources and the same pupil attitudes recording a lower achievement.

In addition the combined tables do not allow for the variation in pupil ability across the schools, e.g. Secondary Modern schools being compared with Comprehensive Schools and Grammar Schools rather than like for like.

With this in mind the best measurement of a school’s performance is Value Added. This shows whether the school has managed to help pupils to reach or exceed their potential. For example if all pupils are on target the Value Added score would be 1000.

Giles Academy is also above the Government floor standards, which is increasingly difficult given the increased rigour at GCSE. However, nobody at Giles Academy is complacent and there is a constant drive to improve and enhance performance and the learning environment as a whole.

Following consultation with Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils, the Sixth Form Options have been geared to offer an excellent range of options for pupils, including the three-year Foundation route and the two-year Advanced route.

In addition to studying this course students can take one or two additional subjects, such as English, Business, Science, Sport Science and Maths, giving them more options for future careers.

New subjects are still being considered for inclusion in response to pupil demand and the Academy is very pleased to introduce the new Horse Management course. This is a Level 3 course equivalent to one A-level course, which is half practical and half theory. During the practical aspects students will improve their riding skills, learn presentation skills (such as plaiting and clipping) along with participating in stable management. The theory side will look at the anatomy of the horse (muscles, bones, organ systems etc) horse behaviour, welfare practices and feeding practices.

So often I have clients who walk through my studio door and they’ve had a busy, stressful day with the weight of the world on their shoulders. They walk out after a ‘Pilates with Sarah Payne’ session feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and so often I hear, ‘I really needed that, thank you!’

‘The integration of the mind and the body during Pilates practice really can focus the mind to challenge the body,’ a quote used by ‘Modern Pilates’ whose methods I have been following since I started Pilates. So often the focus is on the exercises we use but the involvement of the focus of the mind is so important.

Pilates helps you to develop balance through your body and tone your muscles to be flexible and better aligned. The power of Pilates is at your disposal; you can reap the rewards of your practice in a very short space of time – incorporating Pilates into your everyday activities is very easy.

The first step is to learn how to relax. I know this is easier said than done, but during times of stress and tension you need to take control and give yourself time to relax. When things are going wrong for whatever reason, they won’t suddenly go ‘right’ unless you take action to make this happen. Stop what you are doing, take yourself away from the cause of stress and tension and breathe, in through your nose and blow out through your mouth. Close your eyes if it helps you to switch off from the cause of your tension. A few moments to allow you the time to relax like this can make all the difference. It’s simple; you can do it at any time and anywhere.

Some simple relaxation practice at the start of the day can really help you to gain the most from your day. Your horse will thank you for this and you will very soon be feeling the difference.

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