Heart of England Group EGB
Festive Fun in the Wyre Forest
On the 10th December a multitude of Santas and Snowmen descended upon the Wyre Forest for the annual Heart of England Group Festive Fun Ride. 40 riders got into the festive spirit and completed either the 8km or 16km route which both followed completely off road forest tracks around the stunning Wyre Forest. EGB members and non members alike got into theme with excellent fancy dress outfits for horses, riders and even the family dogs! Mince pies and festive rosettes were waiting for all finishing riders and everybody returned with a smile on their face and a little more festive cheer ready for the big day. Hope to see more of you there next year!
Photos below show Heart of England Group and Committee members Helen Blair and Steve Bates embracing the festive cheer.
More photos on our flickr page: flickr: Wyre Forest Festive Fun Ride 10/12/16
Photos page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hofe_egb/
Photos page: flickr - "Think Pink"
Being an 'old' member of BERA, I remember the days of riding over the 'local'
Clent hills and having a wonderful time with friends. Last Saturday brought
back such great memories and was a great day spent by me, Spola (my fantastic
Icelandic horse) and Nick my trusty crew (husband).
I would like to thank everyone who put time and effort into putting this ride on, the route was great, the views wonderful, the marking fantastic (I have been lost on Clent before now) It was a hilly ride but if I can do it so can you!
So mark it down for next year. We also met up with some new friends a Dale pony and a Spanish Mustang which really cheered up my little horse who has been riding on her own of late; so well done and thank you for providing a quality local ride for me - a challenge as I live in Birmingham!
Photos can be viewed on our new Group Flikr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hofe_egb/
See the Article below with a round up of Group Events so far this year:
Thank all those people who supported this clinic. We were up to capacity on the day, which was fantastic but it was hard work drumming up interest. We were so lucky with the weather, just fitting into the improved weather window on Saturday. It was cold and windy but no rain! So thank you to all those who came with their horses and those who joined us on foot.
A huge thank you to our instructors/coaches; Peta Roberts FBHS who needs no introduction to those of us who live in the Midlands; Mark Walters who has trained with some of the very best and has competed at advanced level endurance; Our own Beccy Broughton-Booker Level 2 UK Endurance Coach who runs her own Total Training and Therapy Business for horses and rider; Helen Blair, Proprietor of the North Worcestershire Equestrian Centre who mentors many aspiring endurance riders and also breeds Haflingers and Jackie Lockett of Equimaze Equine Thermography with her infrared imaging. We are so lucky that such busy people are prepared to give up their time to enable our members to learn and aspire to improve.
The riders were split into 3 groups of 6 and enjoyed a flat work lesson with Peta, jumping tuition with Mark and Endurance Quality Training (EQT) with Beccy, concentrating on speed in relation to pace and rhythm. The BBQ followed the morning sessions and the participants were split into two groups in the afternoon which included a classroom style coaching session with Beccy and a mounted lesson with Helen.
It was a full day with flexibility to meet individual needs and the feedback suggests that everyone had a great day of learning and fun. As you would expect, each of the riders enjoyed different aspects of the day and had their favourite instructors and their favourite session of the day, which is why clinics such as these are so useful. Everyone comes away with something positive.
Thank you so much to Ann and Richard for their generosity in providing, once again, their excellent facilities, including their lovely warm kitchen, and allowing us to trash parts of their land. Fortunately it will repair, but not without some farming expertise and hard work. They have invited us back again, so watch this space.
The BBQ was provided by Steve and Carolyn and was included in the substantially subsidised price for the day. Geoff and Ann were on hand to keep everyone hydrated. Thank you so much for adding the icing to the cake for the day.
See the Event Photos page for photos of the day.
Link to photos below:
Article from Northen Horse Magazine on the Cannock Chase ride:
This was to be my first attempt at this ride - we arrived at the venue just after 9am (having left home at 6.30) to find a lovely sheltered grassy site surrounded by woodland. Having checked in & collected our number, cleared the vet, etc we set off at 10am - just as the sun was coming out & it was starting to warm up. We set off, back though the venue, crossed over the access road & followed a track into the wood. One track led to another, through coniferous woodland, clearings & a ford - passed David, the photographer & one competitor whose horse was staging a temporary objection to getting his feet wet. Occasionally we crossed a minor road, at one stage I had to wait for a couple of cars to pass - where else can you ride for 3hr & count the cars you have seen on one hand? The tracks undulated through the forest, some were stoney & called for walk, others sandy & we could 'push on'. Raynet volunteers were regular sights - its always reassuring to see a friendly face! Crewing points were frequent for those who wanted them. We encountered ramblers, families & dog walkers, together with cyclists at regular intervals, young army cadets practising 'den building' & the 'art of marching' & a group of school children complete with rucksacks, practising their map reading skills. We slowed & exchanged cheery greetings - always aware that we were sharing their environment. Midway the woodland was exchanged for large areas of open heathland - my pony wanted to take a detour off the track at one point, for reasons unknown (I blame a scary birch tree trunk) but decided it was easier to stay on the track (fortunate really, not too sure that I could have stuck on for much longer!) At one point we emerged to find ourselves riding passed a war cemetery - it seemed disrespectful to 'rush' past - then back to woodland & yellow markers for the first time - we had been joined by the 16km loop. Finally we emerged to grassy areas - a chance to let off some steam secure in the knowledge that no one was ahead, all too soon we rounded a corner to find the venue. Time to walk, cool down, have a well earned drink or two, & something to eat. 30 min later we cleared the vet - a Grade 2 to end our first, novice, season. Last but by no means least I,on behalf of all the entiries would like to thank Robinsons Country Leisure for their continued support of this ride(especially the lovely rosettes!!) I know how difficult it is for sponsors and so it is very important for us to let them know how much we appreciate their support,so THANK YOU ROBINSONS!!!!
As one of the early rides in the endurance calendar, the organisers of Cannock Chase, Di Latham & Helen Watts must have again wondered what the weather would be like as many riders recall the year it snowed so much it was a white out!! Thankfully this year, the weather was kind to us and although not that warm, it stayed dry and was 'perfect riding weather'. This ride runs mostly along forestry tracks, it is undulating with lots of twists and turns, so is quite a technical course which needs a horse to be listening to it's rider. The venue is the perfect setting and once again I noticed that many stayed long after they had finished the ride to socialise. Me included! In fact we were some of the last to leave. I had entered the 64km ride with my mare Aberllwyds Another Rose, this was to be our last training ride before we compete in the FEI 1* at Kings Forest in two weeks time where we would be up for selection for part of the World Class Start Squad to compete in an FEI 2* ride in Belgium at the end of April. I was quite nervous about this ride as having come this far and trained all winter for our ultimate goal, I knew that if anything went wrong during this ride it could really mess things up and all my preparation could be in vain. I was riding with my friend Annie with her horse Alfie who was in exactly the same situation. After initial vetting we went out together with a plan to ride at around 14kmph. The first loop was a little too exiting with horses coming up behind and our two both being competitive, meant we had trouble keeping at a steady pace. However after a while we didn't see too many other horses and we managed to keep to our plan and did the ride at just under 14kmph. As usual the ride seemed to run like clockwork with the organisers and helpers all seeming very calm on the day. This was no doubt as a result of all the hard work put in beforehand. The route rode extremely well and the marking was excellent, however Annie & I did manage to miss one right turn on both loops! We couldn't understand how we could miss it a second time, especially when we were looking out for it. Once again the ride rosettes were sponsored by Robinsons, and very nice they were too. It seems like just a few years ago that I visited Robinsons to purchase everything I would need in terms of grooming equipment, headcollars, buckets etc., for my first pony Bracken. That was 37 years ago when Robinsons were situated next door to Wigan Railway Station in a large timber shed! They've come a long way since then! Also NOM Dairy of Shrophshire gave out yoghurt drinks to all riders and crew. So thank you to them, they were delicious.