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Heart of England Group MEET THE TEAM
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Heart of England Group EGB

Alan Brown - President

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Like many people Alan found his way into Endurance Riding by crewing for his 13 year old daughter in 1982/83. Working at, and helping to organise the Monks Kirby Ride soon followed, as did timekeeping at various events. Involvement in organising grew, leading ultimately to the first Cirencester Ride in 1988 followed shortly after by the Vyrnwy and White Rose Rides. Duties in this field have been many and varied, ranging from organising and managing the first Vet Gate at the European Championships at Southall and involvement in the inaugural Young Riders European Championship at Cirencester. In the days of BERA Alan served for many years on the committee of the Midland Region and was Chairman for several of these. He also served as Midland Region Director on the BERA Board of Directors, responsible for the Midlands and Wales. In this role he was a member of the Rides and Rules and International Committees. Since the creation of EGB Alan has continued to be very involved with the Cirencester Ride, the Heart of England committee and stewarding at various events.

Victoria Smith - Chair
Victoria Smith

Contact: vikki@heartofenglandegb.co.uk

Victoria started endurance riding in 1998 on Helen Blair's Haflingers and continued on her own part bred Arab Sasha. After a break in the mid 2000's due to university and entering the working world Victoria re-joined EGB in 2010 competing on her own Haflinger Chevin Wardour (Widget - pictured). Widget has completed many successful KMs with EGB particularly enjoying multi day rides. Unfortunately due to arthritis he now leads a quieter life but still loves a pleasure ride outing. Victoria is ride organiser for both the Cannock Chase and Clent Hills ride along with her duties as Chair for the Group.

Photo credit to Cordelia Noble (Noble Photos)

Sally Farrall - Vice Chair
Sally Farrall

Contact: sally.farrall@gowlingwlg.com

Sally was introduced to endurance in the mid 1990s by her mum-in-law, Helen Farrall, who gave her the ride on her gold-standard mare, Shiskine, and she quickly became addicted! She has been competing at advanced and FEI level on pure bred haflingers, Oxnead Wheatear and Silvretta Grand Marnier, for a number of years and has a pure bred arab mare, HS Wisteria, who has just completed her novice qualifications. Sally works as a solicitor in Birmingham, is married to Nick and has two children, Jamie aged 11 and Anna aged 8.

Marian Drew - Treasurer

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Marian became involved in Endurance twelve years ago on her chestnut part-bred Arab Whitford Golden Harvest(Tufty). Together they have enjoyed over 1000 successful miles including several team events, E.R's and the Golden Horseshoe Ride. Tufty is 25 years old now and although he is as keen as ever.
Marian no longer does competitive rides on him. She is very lucky to have Burnished Pearl, a chestnut Crabbet Arab mare and they have just completed their first competitive year together. Marian says that Pearl is a dream to ride and they plan to have a great future together.

Additionally, Marian has crewed for many friends over the years and has crewed abroad with the International teams on three occasions.

Steve Bates - Health & Safety and Groups Liaison Officer
Steve Bates

Contact: steveb@heartofenglandegb.co.uk

"I started in endurance in 1975 at a Golden Horseshoe qualifier held in the Chilterns and run by the BHS. In 1977 competed in the Golden Horseshoe final on Exmoor achieving a Gold award.

Since then I have been a ride organiser, transport manager and ride programme producer at The Young European Championships, BERA newsletter editor and helped at many events.

Currently I am the Health & Safety Officer for the Heart of England Group, route planner for Cannock, and ride secretary for the Cirencester event. With my partner Carolyn we have four horses - Carolyn's Billy (14yr Standard Bred), Sunni and Indi (9 and 8yr PBA) and their mother Kassie (29yr) who completed over 3000km and has now retired from competition (but is still ridden weekly)."

Photo by permission of Westend Photography.

Jacqui Brown - Child Liaison and Welfare Officer

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Helen Blair
Helen Blair

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Passionate about all aspects of the sport of Endurance, Helen was first bitten by the bug in the 1970's and took part in her first ride in 1977. Her riding achievements include successfully completing the 100 mile in a day Summer Solstice in 5th place in 1985 on part bred Arab Moondust. The combination also won Endurance Horse of the Year in 1985. A well known figure at the Golden Horseshoe, Helen gained gold awards a number of times. Helen turned her hand to ride organising too and was responsible for the Clent Hills ride over a number of years (resulting in a cameo appearance on Countryfile). A successful endurance trainer and coach Helen's achievements include training Pendavey Matra (Cassius) who was ridden to Silver in Holland and 7th in Switzerland by young riders Alex Nix and Christopher Pell respectively. With particular interest in training non-arab type horses and ponies Helen's horses have consistantly pushed the endurance boundaries - her Haflinger Solfried was responsible for the rule changes that allowed horses under 14'2 to compete in the sport. Numerous horse and rider combinations (including current GB Development Squad member Sally Farrall) continue to benefit from Helen's encouragement experience, horsemanship and the crewing skills of the three- time top crew award winner.

Kimberley Roulston-Bates - PR
Kimberley Roulston-Bates

Contact: kimrb@heartofenglandegb.co.uk

Mila and I are now in our 3rd year of competitive riding with EGB, successfully completing all rides thus far. I have been Chef and Assistant Chef for the Heart of England Inter Regional Team and I been a crew member for the England Home International Squad. I have also been lucky to crew at many FEI 2* and 3* rides, gaining a mass of experience along the way. My goals and aspirations are to compete at Advanced level with Mila.

Katherine Bertram - Young Rider Representative
Katherine Bertram

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Starting endurance at the age of 13, Katherine is an advanced young rider who has competed up to 80km race rides on her mother's Arabian stallion; Marcus Aurelius. Although her focus now centres on showjumping and eventing, she enjoys shorter distances on Marcus' pure bred daughter Annia Aurelia (Penny). Katherine also involves herself in endurance by crewing her sister Becky around longer rides and helping at rides when she is not competing.

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