LET­TER OF THE WEEK

Horse & Hound - - Letters -

Sir — Read­ing Saman­tha Thur­man-Baker’s “Fix it” (8 Novem­ber) brought back mem­o­ries of the hal­cyon days in the 1970s, learn­ing to ride at the Thur­man fam­ily’s Turville Val­ley Stud.

My sis­ter, Nic, and I spent ev­ery Satur­day help­ing out from dawn ’til dusk in the ea­ger hope of a free ride as well as our £3 les­son. But the high­light of our year was the sum­mer camp when we could im­merse our­selves in every­thing equine.

The week cul­mi­nated in a hotly con­tested gymkhana which fea­tured a par­ents’ race, one year star­ring my un­horsey mother climb­ing aboard poor “Checka” and look­ing for a place to put her hand­bag.

It was be­fore the days of health and safety, and I’m sure our seats were vastly im­proved by rid­ing the ponies bare­back in a head­col­lar, through Turville vil­lage up to the fields below the fa­mous Cob­stone Wind­mill, which ap­peared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The won­der­ful, in­domitable Nan Thur­man in­stilled in us a sense of good stable man­age­ment, com­mon sense and horse­man­ship that I hope I have passed on to my daugh­ters (and oc­ca­sional bare­back rid­ing). Rachel Fisher Hasle­mere, Sur­rey

The writer of let­ter of the week wins a bot­tle of Cham­pagne Tait­tinger

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