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Words: Bernard Bale
Featured in the November 2010 issue

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We are well into the winter season now even if it is still technically autumn. The indoor venues come into their own and there is quite a busy programme of events in the county (and elsewhere) throughout the winter. For many the highlight though is the annual Show Jumping spectacular at Olympia with many coach parties going from Lincolnshire to London to enjoy this fantastic show. There will never be a replacement for Olympia but what are the chances of a New Year spectacular here in our county? I can just picture a marvellous event with a New Year’s Day Strauss concert to play between equestrian attractions and competitions. Anyone interested?

NEWS ON THE HOOF
Well done Fern Pickard and her pony Romany Jane who competed in the Oakley Coachbuilders Winter Jumping Course final at the world famous Hickstead course. The fourteen-year-old from Manby is trained by Liz Pears and they were both thrilled when Fern and Romany Jane went clear to finish third overall in the competition.

“I was a bit nervous after walking the course, as the arena is huge, and you don’t always know how the ponies are going to react. There is not really anywhere else like it to prepare them, but Jane was a star and loved all the space and the big fences.” Next stop for this South Wold North Pony Club member was Birmingham’s Horse of the Year Show where she would be rubbing shoulders with many of the world’s top equestrian stars.

Talking of South Wold North Pony Club, what a great weekend they had at the Pony Club National summer championships held at different venues in Derbyshire and Cheshire. The dressage team of Amy and Holly Woodhead from Grimsby, Caistor’s Jess Griffiths and Libbie Norton from East Barkwith performed tremendously well to finish equal first. The club had successes at all levels in the various competitions and proved once again that we have some great young riders in the county as well as some excellent ponies. We had better also mention the fact that we have some of the best trainers in the land otherwise they might get sulky.

Despite the drizzle there was a very good turn out for the Hallington Ride Cross Country sponsored by Nunns Mitsubishi and held near Louth. The weather certainly did not dampen the spirits of the riders and there were many smiles for passing motorists, of which I was one.

EAST OF ENGLAND EQUINE FAIR
EAST OF ENGLAND SHOWGROUND, PETERBOROUGH, SATURDAY 20TH & SUNDAY 21ST NOVEMBER 2010 8.00AM – 5.00PM

International show jumper Tim Stockdale headlines new equestrian event

The East of England Showground, the region’s premier venue is the location for a new and exciting equestrian event being held on 20th and 21st November 2010.

The all indoor East of England Equine Fair, run by Contour Exhibitions and Events will provide horse enthusiasts of all ages, levels and disciplines with a full schedule of exciting entertainment over the 2 days.

Top international show jumper, Tim Stockdale, will provide two exciting and educational demonstrations on each day. Tim has won regular selections to Britain’s cup teams and represented Britain at the 2008 Olympics. His sights are now set on competing at the 2012 Olympics.

There will be a ‘Strictly Showing’ Competition and entries into two classes are currently being accepted. The competition incorporates Open ridden, any type or colour – Saturday 20th November 2010 not exceeding 153cm and Sunday 21st November 2010 exceeding 153cm. Full details and an entry form can be found on the show website www.contour.uk.net.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES’ MOUTH

Top Tip
Getting blankets out for the winter? Sometimes it is difficult to know whether or not you need a new one so here are a few tips for servicing:-
• Check all straps, buckles and other fastenings - is the stitching around them in good enough condition or are some repairs needed?
• If you are happy with the condition, make sure that all leather and metal fittings are oiled.
• Are you going to wash the blanket? Check the washing powder as some horses are sensitive to biological powders.
• Does your New Zealand rug need reproofing? 
• If it is in good condition don’t forget that you can hose down your New Zealand as well as giving it a good brush.
• Some rugs can be dry cleaned - check the label.
• Does the rug still fit? Better check it out - horses and ponies can put weight on too.
• If you have given your rugs a good clean make sure they are dry before you start to use them or fold them for storage until the weather demands you start to use them.
• One final tip, if you are not sure of anything your local tack shop will be only too pleased to advise you. Perhaps your rug is good enough for another year but it is only a matter of time before you will need another one. Your local stockists want to befriend you so don’t be afraid to ask them for help.

SPOTLIGHT ON… BRIDGE HOUSE FARM
Want to test your cross country capabilities? Why not try Bridge House Farm cross country course which is located at Gosberton near Spalding in the south of the county.

The cross country course of more than four miles has fifty optional fences ranging from 2ft to 3ft 6ins in height over 200 acres. The course features a good selection of cross country jumps such as logs, steps, trakehners, coffins, pallisades and water as well as some more advanced fences such as arrow heads, tables, bullfinches and corner fences.

There are also showjumps to hire as well as a floodlit sand school and the centre is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. The 24-hour or part livery facilities are excellent with post and rail paddocks and American barn style stabling.

All enquiries or bookings to Bridge House Farm, Gosberton Bank, Gosberton, Spalding, PE11 4PB or Tel: 01775 840428.

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