I have been riding since I was 2 years old. I started on a mischievous pony called Garnet on the lead rein on Rotten Row in London. I got up at 5am every Tuesday and Thursday to cycle the half a mile to the stables to muck out and go riding before school, as well as spending nearly every minute at the weekend there too. My family moved to Kent when I was 15 and I continued to ride on my own horses joining the local Pony Club, show jumping up to Foxhunter level and competing up to County level in Working Hunter and Show Pony classes until I got married and other priorities took over.
After a break I began riding again and discovered endurance riding through my sister-in-law Judith. I started by riding my niece’s horse whilst she was doing her GCSE’s and I bought my own endurance horse Tom in 2008. We have worked our way up from Novice to Advanced and completed our first 80km ER in May 2011, coming 2nd in the Lincoln Plate. This year my 9 year old Welsh x Arab mare Marley (Penhwnllys Samala De Mon) will continue to compete at both Advanced level and in FEI classes.
I am delighted to be on the South East committee and being able to give something back to the Endurance community. In my role as Chair, I am hoping to establish more rides in the Kent area. Please do get in touch if you can help with this aim.
Vice Chair Training, Teams, Child Protection and Pony Club
Horsham West Sussex
Tel 01403 822567
I started riding at a young age and got my own pony at eleven years old. I proceeded to Show, show jump, event, and hunt. Hacking anything up to twenty odd miles to compete. At seventeen I trained and past my BHSAI and continued competing and producing young horses. I show jumped internationally. Once married my own children competed on ponies either bred or produced by me. They were successful with the ponies at county and national level in working hunter ponies, show jumping and eventing. I also was competing having discovered endurance in the seventies and was in the first international British Endurance team in Moncuq where we won Gold. My eldest daughter was in the British junior and young rider three day event team on a horse on whom I was very successful in endurance first. They eventually were 3rd at Hickstead in the eventers special and finished Cerise’s career as the top British horse in Pau South of France. My younger daughter was short listed for the European Endurance team on a home produced Arab. In 1990 I was assistant chef d’equipe in the World championships in Stockholm where Britain won team gold and individual Silver. I became chef to both the intermediate and senior teams in 91 where we got all the team round in both teams. I then became a British team selector until the end of the nineties. Through the late nineties and until I became Chef of the young riders I trained, taught and coached very successfully many riders for show jumping, eventing and endurance including Fiona Hamilton and Alice Beet. In 2007 I became Chef d’equipe and trainer of the British young rider team where in 07 they won team silver in Kreuth. In 08 they 4th in the Europeans in Spain. In 2010 I past my level 3 UKCC coaching certificate and I continue to teach and coach all levels young and old. I now crew for my Grand-daughter who was selected to ride in the British Junior team on French horses in 2012 and was top national junior rider riding more than one horse in 2011 and 2012. I love to help all standards of riding young and old. All anyone has to do is email me for advice or help.
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Tel: 01444 244487
I have been a member of EGB for about 10 years and have undertaken various roles on the South East group committee including newsletter stuffer and trophy secretary. This year I have taken on the role of Treasurer & Membership Secretary. I am currently without my own horse to ride, but I do have my homebred Arab x Welsh two year old – A Dream of Gold – known to us all as Orlagh, waiting in the wings.
Rides Organiser, Health and Safety & Ride Equipment
Chelwood Gate, West Sussex
Tel: 01825 740347
I have been involved with endurance riding since 1986 when Leo entered her first ride, since then it has been central to our lives. I have crewed for Leo and my daughters on a wide variety of rides throughout the country (15,000+km of competitive rides to date and rising) and I enjoy every aspect of it, meeting so many great people and going to some fantastic places. I have done a number of Pleasure Rides however Leo thinks it is better for her nerves if I crew rather than ride. I have been involved in organising rides for about 15+ years starting with the Glassenbury Ride in Kent (now sadly lost to us) and including the 2-day Berkshire Downs Ride amongst others. When EGB started I joined the SE Committee and have served at various times as Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Chairman and am now settled as the Health and Safety representative and Ride Equipment Coordinator. Contact me if you want to know anything about how to run a ride, new organisers always welcome! I own and run, with Leo, a small electronics manufacturing company in Burgess Hill and I have lived my entire life in Chelwood Gate, East Sussex on the Ashdown Forest where we have a small farm.
Chelwood Gate, West Sussex
Tel: 01825 740347
I’ve ridden since about the same time as learning to walk and have never wanted to do much else than be on horseback. I discovered Endurance riding in 1986 and have been completely hooked ever since, competing first with Vesta Golden Vacquero, then the truly fabulous Saqi, and now his nephew CoCo; with another nephew Seavers waiting in the wings. It has been a family sport for us with Peter and both my daughters riding, crewing and helping at rides.
Newsletter Editor and PR
tel 07966 136 560
From the age of 7 I shared a pony with my sister and then when I was 10 I got my first arab - a 14.1 chestnut called Shamaal aka Sham - no brakes and a massive jump. We did everything from pony club to gymkhanas to one day events to hunting. Hunting was his first love and he flew over gates, ditches and hedges and even beat the point to pointers over short distances. In the heatwave that was the summer of 1976, when I was 11, my mother, sister and I rode right along the South Downs Way and back doing 155 miles in one week b&b’ing with the horses and my grandparents ‘crewing’ all the way from their camper van - our first taste of endurance without even knowing such a sport existed!
In 2000 Sham had to be put to sleep after 25 wonderful years together. After a break from horses I got back into it riding my Mother’s endurance horse Harlequin whilst teaching my own children to ride on their ponies. I then did the odd Pleasure Ride during 2007-08 and got the bug. In 2009 I was lucky enough to be able to have Shiram (Charlie) on loan, a 15.1 grey arab who I adored. We both learnt the ropes of endurance together (both starting out as totally clueless numpties as all Charlie had ever done before was dressage) and after five wonderful years with our fair share of success at both Novice and Open level he had to retire with ligament issues. Enter my second chestnut arab called Sham - Red House Shamil. Bought Sham from Northumberland in January 2014 and had a fantastic first season together last year. Turned him to Open at the beginning of the year and we ended up doing 760km together and finishing 23rd in the National Senior Rankings - which I still can’t quite believe. Sham is an exceedingly cute, quite adorable but alarmingly whippy little 15.1 and has severely tested (and occasionally broken) my nerve with his sharpness and spookiness. He definitely loves his endurance and is a joy to ride in competition when he’s concentrating on the job in hand and gives me a glimpse of what hopefully he’ll be like all the time when and if he decides to ever grow up!
I cannot claim to be an endurance expert, but after 5 years and with 1600 competitive kilometres behind me I have a acquired a certain level of knowledge and am more than happy to help out newcomers to the sport with hints and tips, help or advice, so feel free to contact me.
Secretary and New Members
Tel: 01372 377722
Email : email@example.com
A pony ride on a blustery Cornish beach (at the age of 3) confirmed my life-long passion for ponies! The single item birthday and Christmas lists from then on were met by my father with, “She’ll ride for 6 months at most and that will be it!” Well, aged eight, I had my first half-hour lesson and fifty years later I’m still in the saddle!
I mucked out, groomed (well, the bits I could reach!) and cleaned tack at the local riding school for two years, until one day I was allowed to ride a field pony in bareback the half mile to the yard … I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! After that I gravitated to being a ‘supply jockey’ for Donkey Derbies …SO exciting! Wearing silks and trying to gallop bucking donkeys was hilarious. Teaching toddlers to ride the smallest ponies and seeing their joy match mine was another formative step. I rode for the one legged ex-shepherd who owned the riding school for 25 years; he was a terrific horseman, mentor and friend – always telling me that the horse I’d just begun to master was ‘too quiet’ for me and putting me on a more challenging ride. It was character building if bruising!!
At sixteen I spent my third summer at a 60 acre riding centre in Wiltshire, this time as a working pupil aiming for my BHSAI. However, I’d just met Vincent and, having decided that we would be married, came back to Surrey to continue at a riding centre on the edge of Richmond Park.
I was married, just qualified as a teacher & aged 21 when I bought my beloved Sovereign, a 4 year old, bright chestnut TB x Connemara who taught me to jump things that were taller than me. We won loads, both affiliated and unaffiliated, hunted and then, thanks to Maggie Parker, ‘tasted’ endurance; he was still successfully completing 42k rides when he was 28years old. Fortunately I had decided to ‘buy another 4year old before I hit 50’ and had just acquired Tully before Sovereign was put down aged 30. He’s completed 2,300 competitive km and raced 80km for the SE Team, gone hunting and a done a bit of show jumping. Wee Jez followed (yes, ‘the LAST 4 year old before I hit 60’!!) and has so far done a bit of dressage & cross country, 22 endurance rides, representing the South East three times and last season dabbling in our first FEI 80k 1 Star.
I have met such great people doing endurance, made some very special friends & shared more fun, encouragement and camaraderie than in any other equestrian discipline. I hope to be able to introduce others to the joys of our sport and offer the same encouragement and help that I have enjoyed.
Website and Facebook
Uckfield, East Sussex
Tel: 07563 351724
I’ve been hooked on horses all my life, and until recently indulged my passion for all things equine alongside with a busy full-time career. I’ve dabbled in most things equine – eventing, hunting, dressage, show jumping, Pony Club mum and eventing groom for my daughter. I’ve ridden all sorts of horses in far flung places: an Australian Waler for a week on a sheep station in New South Wales, and galloping across a moonlit Spanish plain on an Andalucian stallion. I discovered endurance in 2010 and I can’t think why I never tried it before. I started with a local training ride and then thought I’d do a full on competitive 32km around the cliffs at Beachy Head. Having ridden on the Downs many times, I thought it would be a breeze. Instead it was a gale, with torrential rain thrown in. I got lost for an hour and a half, but I was hooked, and my Irish Sports Horse Derry loved it too.
I think it is a natural sport for any horse, and a wonderful way for both horse and rider to keep fit. Since then Derry and I have progressed to Open level, and had a wonderful time on and off for the last 7 years. Now I am retired from full time employment, and my retirement project is my 5 year old Crabbet Arab Dash, whom I am bringing on from scratch for endurance, alongside Derry, who is showing him the ropes. I am thrilled to be helping out on the committee and giving something back to the sport that has given me so much.
Image courtesy of AGC Photography
Outreach and liaison
Itchingfield , West Sussex
Tel 01403 790385
After a long-term interest breeding and showing Irish draught horses and the demise of my last home bred mare, I decided my ‘final’ horse would a 15.2 Irish grey, a type I originally started off with at the age of 16, bought 6 weeks into my first job as a veterinary nurse using a loan of £ 250.00 (inc tack) from my mum.
In 2008 I bought Kilbeg Flash aka Flynn, who is predominately Connemara, as a just backed 4 year old from a dealer friend of mine. Our jumping career got off to a bad start & went progressively downhill as Flynn preferred to go around jumps at lightning speed resulting in us regularly parting company. As we lost confidence with each other and I am of an age where I don’t bounce anymore, I finally realized we needed to find another avenue for his energy. As I love to explore the countryside it led me to try my hand at endurance riding. Flynn is a go anywhere and past anything sort of guy and I was surprised he not only relished but excelled at it. We both particularly enjoy the more challenging moorland rides, this is more than likely due to him coming off the Galway hills in Ireland as a wild uncut 2 year old.
In his first year as an endurance horse in 2014, Flynn did me proud, and among many wins the standouts for me include third place nationally in the Novice Mira Trophy, becoming SE Novice Champion, and being part of the Gold Winning Team at the Home Internationals. I have singlehandedly produced Flynn and more often than not crew myself. Flynn's success proves that you can come a long way in endurance by yourself, and you don't need an Arab! Following retirement in 2017, I now have time to give back to the sport I've enjoyed over the past several years. In the main, I prefer shorter distances up to 40 km, as I am usually crewing myself. In my new role I would welcome the opportunity to help riders who are interested in competing, but maybe hesitant about doing so unaided. Following hip replacements in 2016 and 2017, we hope to have a full season in 2018.
Website and Facebook Assistant
I started to take part in endurance rides about 12 years ago. At the time I rode with my daughter Charlotte. We had a wonderful relaxed time with tea, cake and sandwiches at every checkpoint, lots of laughs and lots of fun.
When Charlotte did not ride during her GCSEs my sister-in-law Mandy rode Charlotte's horse. We were delighted to introduce her to endurance......and look where she is now!
A few years ago I had some time out during chemotherapy, radiotherapy and massive surgery. 2018 will mark my return to Graded Rides (with my homebred youngster Polly) and my return to the SE Committee.
I am delighted to see, and support, the recent initiatives introduced by the SE group , the pleasure ride trophy and awards for Novice riders. As a group we celebrate the successes of all of our members at all levels. This is important to me.
I hope to meet you during the 2018 season
Tel: 07540 256726
I started Endurance riding 20 years ago when a friend introduced me and my Arab gelding to the sport and I’ve had the best of times ever since. Now competing on my lovely Arab mare Chlione who I’ve been competing on for the last 7 years and joins me this year in Veteran status! I’ve been very lucky to compete at rides across many other regions of the country and meet some fantastic people who I can truly call my friends. Over the years I’ve also helped at rides in various capacities which is a great way of not only meeting people, but you can also learn a lot. I’m always keen to encourage people who enjoy spending time with their horse, to give Endurance a go and get the bug like I did. More than happy to offer any help and guidance I can, so feel free to contact me. I’m really pleased to re-join the SE Group Committee and looking forward to making a contribution to the Group.