Ev­ery­thing eques­trian brings best of the West to­gether at week­end’s fair

Western Morning News - - Horses -

Join the West­coun­try’s equine com­mu­nity for a week­end of shop­ping and amaz­ing dis­plays.

Cel­e­brat­ing ev­ery­thing eques­trian since 1996, the West­coun­try Equine Fair has ex­cel­lent mas­ter classes in the in­door arena – from event­ing to dres­sage; driv­ing tri­als to side sad­dle plus some amaz­ing com­pet­i­tive events.

The event is be­ing held at West­point, Ex­eter, on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1 and Sun­day, De­cem­ber 2 and prom­ises to show­case some of the best in the West.

Tim Ch­eff­ings will be pro­vid­ing event­ing mas­ter classes on Satur­day. Tim started rid­ing as a young child, with a love of cross-coun­try blos­som­ing out of reg­u­lar hunt­ing trips. Af­ter that, he took part in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties with the Pony Club and then Rid­ing Club where he found his pas­sion for event­ing – com­pet­ing at af­fil­i­ated level from the age of 16.

When asked to name his proud­est mo­ment, Tim said: “Qual­i­fy­ing and com­pet­ing at Burgh­ley in 2014 on my home-pro­duced horse, Nero.”

In­spired by event­ing leg­ends An­drew Ni­chol­son and Sir Mark Todd, Tim said he aims to be “con­sis­tently com­pet­i­tive at the high­est level” and to be a mem­ber of the Bri­tish team.

He added: “I’m in great ad­mi­ra­tion of the way th­ese rid­ers [An­drew Ni­chol­son and Sir Mark Todd] have pro­duced so many horses up through the grades and have gone on to great ca­reers.”

And his ad­vice to young rid­ers? “Be 100% ded­i­cated. Be pre­pared to start at the bot­tom, to work hard and to con­tinue to work hard even when suc­cess starts to come your way.

“Also to ac­cept and learn from the bad days and to make the ab­so­lute most of the good ones!”

Mov­ing onto Sun­day, Holswor­thy­based dres­sage rider and trainer, John Chubb, will pro­vide what is promised to be two in­sight­ful mas­ter classes. The first, ti­tled Dres­sage up to Medium Level, will fea­ture John’s stu­dent and lo­cal Euro­pean pony team rider, Holly Ker­slake.

John’s sec­ond dis­play will fo­cus on the topic of Ad­vanced Dres­sage – Show­cas­ing Move­ments up to Grand Prix.

Hav­ing en­joyed school­ing and dres­sage at Pony Club, John started com­pet­ing in af­fil­i­ated-level dres­sage at 16 years old, tak­ing the reins on a va­ri­ety of horses.

John started his ca­reer fo­cus­ing on event­ing but it soon be­came ap­par­ent that he much pre­ferred the dres­sage el­e­ment. “Aged 16, I was com­pet­ing at a low level at the Cor­nish Dres­sage Fes­ti­val and re­mem­ber watch­ing Adam Kemp in his top hat and tails com­pet­ing in a Grand Prix, and thought how much I wanted to be in that po­si­tion one day.”

Also asked to share his ad­vice to young rid­ers start­ing out in dres­sage, John said: “Hav­ing a trainer that trains and rides dif­fer­ent horses and un­der­stands the rid­ers’ is­sues to be able to give spe­cific help where you need it. Ev­ery­one has a dif­fer­ent way of learn­ing so don’t be afraid to try dif­fer­ent in­struc­tors.

“One of my favourite quotes is ‘in life you just need to keep turn­ing up’. This is some­thing I firmly be­lieve in. You have to just keep turn­ing up and com­pet­ing – one day your time will come.”

As a show­case of a range of eques- trian dis­ci­plines, this year’s West­coun­try Equine Fair will on Satur­day host in­door car­riage driv­ing tri­als.

In­door car­riage driv­ing com­bines the grace and har­mony of dres­sage, the speed and ac­cu­racy through the cones, with the thrills and ex­cite­ment of the ob­sta­cles. Rachel Moast and her team of vol­un­teers will give a short dis­play of each phase, show­cas­ing the sport with a se­lec­tion of the South West’s equine su­per­stars.

An­other side of eques­tri­an­ism set to be high­lighted is side sad­dle, when the Side Sad­dle As­so­ci­a­tion (Ar­eas 14, 16 and 8) join forces with the South­ern Cleve­land Bay Club to pro­vide an el­e­gant dis­play.

Ladies tra­di­tion­ally rode aside to pro­tect their mod­esty, but as time pro­gressed the sad­dles and at­tire evolved to be­come much more prac­ti­cal and safe, with two pom­mels to hold rid­ers se­curely.

Jo Strange, Ce­cilia Delville-Lind­say, Su­san Lo­max and Sue Gray have many years of side sad­dle ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween them, in­clud­ing amongst them panel judges for side sad­dle and Cleve­land Bays and side sad­dle in­struc­tors. They will demon­strate the ver­sa­til­ity of the breed and its var­i­ous types and the el­e­gance of the art of side sad­dle.

Com­pet­i­tive events will once again fea­ture on this year’s pro­gramme, in­clud­ing the ever-pop­u­lar Pony Club Horse and Hound show jump­ing com­pe­ti­tion. In this fast-paced com­pe­ti­tion, rid­ers will jump a course fol­lowed by run­ners and their dogs.

The Pony Club teams con­firmed to take part in the event, spon­sored by Stags, are the Cot­ley Hunt; Egges­ford, Taun­ton Vale Har­ri­ers and Tiver­ton Hunt on Satur­day, with Four Bur­row Hunt, Sil­ver­ton Hunt, South Devon West and South Pool Pony Club tak­ing to the arena on Sun­day.

The un­af­fil­i­ated quadrille com­pe­ti­tion will take place on Satur­day with Black­down Hills Rid­ing Club, Brent Knoll Rid­ing Club, Can­ning­ton Eques­trian Cen­tre, Corn­wall Trec

‘In life you just need to keep turn­ing up. I firmly be­lieve in this’

John Chubb

Group, Dart­moor Hill Pony Dis­play Team and East Devon Pony Club all set to put on colour­ful and en­ter­tain­ing dis­plays to mu­sic.

In ad­di­tion, a group of 15 young rid­ers aged un­der 14 years old will take part in the ju­nior showjump­ing com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day, spon­sored by Red­post Eques­trian.

The much-loved Breed and Heavy

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