Woodland Get Togethers
An AGM to remember - Jan 2016
When the Woodland Hunt Committee sat down to consider how to encourage more members to attend the AGM and prize giving, no one was expecting Posy to pull Clare Balding, OBE, as guest speaker out of the bag! It’s still a mystery how she managed it, but we’re very grateful that she did.
Speaking to a packed Nettlebed Village hall on the 24 January, Clare had everyone enthralled as she reminisced about her childhood growing up on a racing yard surrounded by dogs and horses. She fondly recalled one memorable occasion when her and her brother thought it would be great idea to bring their pony into the kitchen – only to be swiftly banished by her Mum, but not before it had deposited a steaming package on the floor!
Having reported at an incredible 5 Olympic Games, Clare remembered her immense pride in being anchorwoman for the 2012 GB Games and the inspirational sports personalities that she met along the way. She also couldn’t help but confide in the audience that she was in fact the “inventor” of Mo Farah’s celebratory trademark, the “Mobot”!
Following a question and answer session, where she was “tricked” into revealing her age (Maddy Dudley first asking at what age she started riding, followed by Max Dagg enquiring how long she had been riding!) Clare then stayed to help present the various awards and test certificates members had earnt during the previous year. Amongst the prizewinners were Emily Escourt who was awarded the “Wynmalen Spurs” for outstanding contribution to dressage at Area Level (an amazing achievment especially as she competed at the Championships only a few weeks after having had a pitchfork stuck throug her knee!), Cliona Muir and Eva Barnett were awarded the Special DC Award, Ella Bollon and Jessie Burrough-Haq both shared the “Spirit of Woodland” award. Tack and turnout prizes were also presented to Becky Lambton-Heys, Susannah Boddie, Maddy Dudley and Jessie Burrough-Haq.
For those that wanted a memento of the evening, Clare kindly agreed to stay on and sign copies of her best selling books – My Animals and Other Family and Walking Home - My Family and Other Rambles.
Following a summary of the Club's finances (which are looking very healthy following some successful fund-raising events last year) the evening was nicely rounded off by the Junior Committee's very amusing (if not sometimes a little embarrassing for recipients) Alternative Awards ceremony. Sadly, it was announced that the awesome Ollie Lund would be stepping down as Junior Committee Chair as he was leaving Pony Club. As one of Woodland's best loved characters (and let's face it the only boy over 10!) he will be sadly missed, but hopefully he will keep in touch. He leaves the Junior Committee stewardship in the capable hands of his sister Elspeth and Lara Sharrock.
Thanks are due to Posy and the other Committee members who helped put on such an entertaining AGM – not sure how it’s going to be topped next year (or indeed ever!)!
At the end of January we held our annual AGM and 'Get Together' There was a huge attendance and the hall was full to bursting point. Terry Pendry, LVO, BEM and Stud Groom and Manager to Her Majesty the Queen gave the most wonderful talk, slide show and film which was a great insight into the working of the horses.
Prizewinners for annual turnout were Ella Bollon, Maddie Dudley, Emelia Barber- Ellis and Jessie Burrough-Haq. Bunty Matheson and Nell Summerley were presented with DC's special awards and Louis Holland was presented with the 'Spirit of Woodland' award. Cliona Muir was the worthy winner of the Wynmalen Spurs for the best dressage performance at Area level. Badges were handed out for team representation and test certificates for those members passing throughout 2015. Many thanks to Kerry Bollon and her team for great organisation, to Mike and Jenny Artivich for the delicious mulled wine and members and parents who provided wonderful food!
PONY CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016
What a fantastic Championships for Woodland this year! Following our Area success, we took 3 teams and an individual up to Chomondely Castle in Cheshire for this 5 day event at the end of August.
Woodland pitched their own little 'village' complete with banners, kitchen, office, dining room and surrounding bedrooms (ok, tents and lorries) and there was the most amazing atmosphere, with Pony Clubs from all over the UK and Ireland doing the same. There was evening entertainment each night, talks with mentors and so much to explore.
Our Novice Showjumpers kicked off on the first day with Ellie Townend, Bunty Matheson, Cliona Muir and Charlotte Bagshaw jumping really well. Just a few poles kept them out of the final jump off, Bunty being awarded an individual prize for her creditable double clear.
The same team took part in the following days eventing, and they rose to the challenge and finished in an astonishing 10th place out of approximately 82 teams - well done girls! Cliona Muir was placed 5th individually and we attended the podium prize giving in the worst electrical storm ever.
Clashing with the Novice XC, Maddie Dudley was progressing through the rounds of the Intermediate Individual SJ Champs and found herself in the third and final round with just seven others out of nearly 80 starters. She had the penultimate draw and FLEW against the clock with Maggie May, shaving seconds off the leading time. When the final competitor knocked a pole we knew that she was the 2015 Champion! An exciting prize giving followed with Maddie being awarded a huge trophy, bridle sash and attending a press conference.
Our Intermediste Eventing Team of Alexandra Dunn, Rowena Orr, Elspeth Lund and Maddie Dudley started with great promise but unfortunately things did not quite go to plan and 2 technical eliminations before XC meant we could not post a team score. The XC was big nd technical and all of our starters managed to complete and gain experience from the day to fight back next year.
Well done to the members who took part and a big thank you to parents and supporters who held the 'fort' and provided transport, food, moral support and made the whole event a most pleasurable experience for Woodland. We will be back!
Championship news - Cholmondeley Castle August 2015
We are all very proud of our members who rode so well at the Championships at Cholmondeley Castle. The Novice SJ team (Charlotte Bagshawe, Bunty Matheson, Cliona Muir and Ellie Townend) had a few poles and finished just out of the placings, but Bunty gained a rosette for her double clear! The same team represented Woodland in the Novice Eventering with both Cliona and Charlotte achieving fantastic double clears, with Cliona going on to finish an impressive 5th in her arena. The final scores saw the team end up in the ribbons with 10th place.
Maddy Dudley had a fabulous day becoming Individual Intermediate SJ CHAMPION following 3 rounds including a tense jumpoff between 7 riders.
Things didn't quite go to plan for the Intermediate Eventers team (Maddy Dudley, Alexandra Dunn, Elspeth Lund and Rowena Orr) but the Woodland spirit shone through their dissapointment.
Well done to Posy Knapp, our DC, for recently receiving the prestigious Cubitt award for longstanding services (over 20 years) to the Pony Club. An awards ceremony and luncheon was held at Stratford Manor in June. Here's to many more years Posy!
Woodland is deeply sadden to announce that it's long standing Vice-President Josephine Pullein-Thompson, died on June 19 aged 90. Joesphine was a prolific author of popular pony novels, much loved by pony-mad girls in the 1950's through to the 1980's. Many of her stories were inspired by the antics of our very own Pony Club!
Joesphine played a key role in helping Mr and Mrs Henry Wynmalen start Woodland Hunt as a Pony Club branch in its own right in 1950. She was the first Pony Club Branch Secretary and went on to become District Commissioner of Woodland in the mid 1970’s. She was made MBE in 1984.
Peter Scott-Dunn -RIP
It is with great sadness that Woodland announces the passing of Peter Scott-Dunn CVO, MRCVS, who recently died following a stroke at the age of 90. Peter was not only a Vice-President and long-standing supporter of Woodland Hunt, but one of its founder members.
Peter led a full and extraordinary life. His veterinary career began in 1947 with the LMS Railways where he was responsible for over 5000 working horses! Amongst his many achievements, he was appointed veterinary surgeon to the Royal Household and was awarded the title of Lieutenant and then Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for his services to the Royal Mews. Peter was also the longest serving Team Veterinary Surgeon to the British Olympic Equestrian Team - attending an incredible seven Olympic games! He may be best remembered, however, for establishing Scott Dunn's the reknowned Equine Clinic, at who's helm he remained until 2006. Peter will be sadly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. A full obitary can be read here.
Joesphine (far left) with her sisters.
Young equestrian Leaders Award Scheme (YELA)
Good news! Woodland Hunt PC is now registered with the Young Equestrian Leaders Award scheme (YELA). This scheme is for young volunteers between 13 and 25 years of age that regularly help their pony club, local riding for the disabled centre or help at equestrian events. It is designed to encourage and reward young people for getting involved and giving up their time to help equestrian organisations. For more information about the scheme, FAQs and an application form please click here. Why not sign up? It's fun, worthwhile and looks pretty good on your college application form too!