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Woodland Hunt Coaches

When you first join (and for some time afterwards!) it can be hard to know who everyone that runs the club is, what they do and how to get hold of them. This page should help solve that little problem. If you fancy taking a more active role in the club and might be interested in joining the Committeee - please do get on touch we would love to hear from you! You don't need to be 'horsey', just an interest in the club is all you need - oh, and a good sense of humour!

Meet your coaches

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POSY KNAPP - Chef d’Equipe

Former Woodland member Posy Knapp is a UKCC and BHSI (Stage 5) Performance Coach and British Dressage Youth Assessor.


In 2019, she was selected by the British Equestrian Federation to represent The Pony Club and The British Horse Society on the National Development Programme for Coaching Excellence. Posy is a lead assessor for the British Horse Society Pathways Programme, a Pony Club 'A' Test Assessor, an Internal Verifier (working on a quality assurance panel through PC Assessments) and a PC(UK) Recommended Coach.


She has worked with many top international coaches and leading sports and performance psychologists. As a coach, educator and mentor, she has delivered coaching and assessment workshops and CPD days for both PC(UK) and the BHS. Posy has done two former terms as WPC Chief Instructor as well as 3 years as Woodland's DC! She has supported many area and championship teams to success in her role as Chef d'Equipe Team Trainer.


An experienced former competitor, she has competed up to 130cm level show jumping, Advanced Medium dressage and produced many successful event horses. She and her eldest son Charlie (also a former Woodland member and coach) both hold their Pony Club 'A' Test. When away from Woodland, Posy enjoys racing and helping in the family equine veterinary business.


Harriet Kitching - Coach and Rally Lead

Harriet is Woodland’s Lead Coach organising training topics, groups and timetables for rallies and camps working closely with the DC, Training Advisor and other coaches. Harriet was a member of Woodland herself. 


Harriet enjoys teaching technical & challenging but fun exercises to test the partnership of horse & rider. Harriet is a BHS Senior Coach & works as a lecturer at BCA, teaching a mixture of classroom, practical & ridden sessions. 


Prior to working at BCA, Harriet trained & coached at Wellington Riding, where she gained extensive experience training youngsters & schooling competition horses. 


Harriet has evented successfully at BE Novice level with her very special horse Toddy & evented at BE100 level & at the first Grassroots Championships at Badminton with her legend of a horse Picnic who was also her Pony Club horse. 


Both horses are now enjoying well earned retirements - Harriet never had any cross country jumping faults with either horse. Harriet also has a rescue pony called Spud.

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Liz Properjohn

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Liz started riding aged 7 – Silver Jubilee year (extra points if anyone knows the year!!), as she was one of those girls who was obsessed with ponies & volunteered as a Saturdays helper at Suzanne’s Junior Riding School in the early 80’s. This involved leading young riders around the 100 acres in return for a helper's lesson fortnightly riding a naughty pony... All the while Liz dreamed of one day having a pony of her own. This dream did come true & Liz joined the South Hertfordshire Pony Club in 1982.

Later, Liz went back to Suzanne’s & trained with Sue Payne as a Working Pupil for £20 a week, achieving her BHSAI. In search of a different experience, Liz then went to work a 6-month seasonal Polo Groom job in Henley-on-Thames. Liz has remained local ever since & has built her own yard just outside Henley.


Liz is an extremely accomplished dressage rider & has gained lots of experience & points within British Dressage up to PSG. Liz says that she has many memorable highlights over the past 10 years including, but not limited to - Hartpury Winter Championships, Petplan Finals PSG & Regionals at Advanced Medium / music. Liz has also trained with some very well-known coaches, including Adam Kemp FBHS, Anna Ross Davis & Matt Hicks. Liz is a List 6 dressage judge herself & she is hoping to upgrade this year. Liz team trains our Regional & Area Dressage teams.


25 years after achieving her BHSAI, Liz wanted to return to some education & became a BHS Stage 4 Senior Coach & a PC B Test Assessor. From here, Liz took the next step towards BHS Stage 5, as she frequently trains Stage 4 students & then decided go for the ultimate goal, especially as the BHS allowed discipline specific qualifications at this level too, therefore, Liz could take the Stage 5 Coaching Exam. This involved coaching two separate sessions - an Advanced Medium dressage lesson & a show jumping lesson up to 1.20m tracks. Liz really enjoyed taking this assessment & successfully became an accredited BHS Performance Coach.


Liz holds many combo clinics, day camps & some pony days at her coaching base throughout the year alongside freelance teaching & all the teaching, training & judging she does for Pony Club. Alongside all this, Liz is also a Pony Club mum. You may also catch Liz out competing on her sassy homebred, Harper.

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Steph Read

Steph has been lucky enough to be around horses all her life thanks to her mum, another one of our fabulous instructors - Julie! Steph got her first pony when she was 18months old and has been riding ever since.


Steph started pony club life in OBHSouth (another branch in area 12) taking part in all disciplines up to area level. Steph says that the highlight of her PC days then was camp & this is still her favourite thing - so much fun to be had!! 


Steph has competed at some big venues over the years including Badminton Grassroots BE100 Championships back in 2010, 6 weeks after giving birth to her son Lucas and she is keen to get back there! 


Steph runs a busy livery yard alongside her mum who also helps her with the training of her horses who are currently out competing at BE Novice and up to advanced medium dressage.


Steph is a Pony Club Accredited Coach and has her PC AH test. Steph loves teaching the slightly younger members where it’s still all about fun and building that confidence and partnerships up between pony and rider, and then pushing the more established combinations onto more challenging lines and exercises! 


Steph is our very dedicated Regional Team Trainer & is always on hand to support on the day. Alongside all of this, Steph is also a member of the Woodland Committee so is heavily involved in the decision making regarding various club events & fixtures.


Julie Rainer

Julie describes herself as one of those children who hung around at the local riding school helping on a Sunday and in the holidays with her reward being to ride the ponies bareback back to their field at the end of the day. Leaving school at 16, Julie then went to work at the riding school where she achieved her BHSAI qualification and her BHS Stage 4 riding. Julie began teaching for Pony Club as a teenager whilst at the riding school and this continued when she moved on to her own freelance teaching business. 


Julie has trained with Peter Storr, Dane Rawlings and Dawn Britnell amongst others. She show jumped and evented her first horse and then developed an interest in dressage - Julie explains that this was because the horse she had at the time was useless at jumping but was rather good on the dressage moves! Her next few horses were all dressage horses and Julie has competed to Advanced Medium.


Julie brings a wealth of experience in all disciplines to her work of which she takes seriously and gets immense pleasure from seeing people achieve.


Julie has run her own busy livery yard for over 40 years and is a fully accredited PC instructor. Julie is also a B Test Assessor and is extremely experienced training and assessing at this level. Julie still owns one horse, a 15.2 Irish Draught grey gelding, who she enjoys having fun with. You can often find Julie out and about on the eventing circuit supporting her daughter, Steph, and her horses.


Emily Bilton Sanderson

Emily is our super organised, no-nonsense coach who still manages to always keep things fun. Emily is a fully accredited BHS Stage 3 Coach & holds a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Equine Management.

Emily likes teaching cool exercises on the flat & over jumps to see the horse & rider develop as a combination. Emily also particularly enjoys taking the little ones cross country - Emily is renowned for her excellent catching skills as the little ones manage to keep up with the older groups! Emily also does a lot of pony schooling for clients understanding how to make ponies easier to ride & is also incredibly sticky when it comes to riding more spritely ones.


As well as teaching for Woodland, Emily works as Events & Yard Technician at BCA where she cares for the large number horses at BCA & teaches the students practical skills alongside this. Emily schools the college horses, often builds the course hires & is heavily involved in the preparation of the BCA Horse Trials where she is in charge of going round and doing the BE fences with the course builder, painting and ensuring they ready for the day.

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Lucy Gavrilovic

Lucy is BHSI (reg) BHS and R&RS Assessor Experienced trainer/coach for all levels.  She is an experienced Riding and Road Safety Trainer and Examiner and a BHS and UKCC Assessor.  She competes her three dressage horses to BD Medium Level and her nieces are Woodland members.

Lydia Hannon

Lydia is a  BHSAI Coach and
5* eventer

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David Britnell

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David is a professional rider and trainer – he is a BHS Senior Coach and is currently studying for his BHS coach and stable managers and BE UKCC L2/3 – he has a long-term ambition to achieve the BHS Fellowship. 

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Ellie Toms

Ellie has been a member of Woodland Hunt for a number of years so knows how much fun being part of this pony club can be. Ellie qualified as a BHS stage 3 instructor in 2021 whilst riding her own horses and has been to the Pony Club Championships twice.

She is currently studying Physiotherapy at university and teaches in her holidays. Ellie is a  competitive eventer although has also competed in showjumping and dressage

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Helen Cranfield

Helen is the Head of Equine Department at BCA and was originally a student there having completed her BA (Hons) Equine Sports Performance. Helen lectures on a variety of equine subjects, teaches ridden flat and jump sessions. Helen is a BHS Senior Coach, teaching many Riding Club and Pony Club clinics and camps over the last twenty years. Helen is now enjoying be a pony club Mum herself!

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Emma Brinkworth

Growing up on a farm and livery stables in South Devon, Emma has been riding for as long as she could walk.  She spent her early years with the South Devon Moorland Pony Club and represented them numerous times in Showjumping, Eventing and Tetrathlon, successfully competing at the Pony Club Championships on 6 occasions. Emma is a BHS Accredited Professional Coach and has a 1st Class Hons Degree in Animal Science from the University of Reading. Emma has two daughters who are members of WHPC.

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Sofia Forino

Sofia is a BHS Performance Coach (BHSI) & works as a lecturer at Sparsholt College teaching both degree & college modules. Sofia has also recently completed a Masters Degree in Equestrian Performance, Behaviour & Training. Sofia achieved her BHS Stage 5 at the age of 25 which is a really amazing accomplishment.

Sofia is originally from Guernsey but at the age of 16, she left home to move to Wellington Riding as a working pupil. Over a 9 year period Sofia worked her way up from a working pupil to a groom to Yard Head & then to a Coach. As well as coaching & training, Sofia also has extensive first hand experience backing & breaking youngsters - particularly ponies. We were often tasked with getting semi wild ponies that had never been handled, backed & trained up ready to join the riding school.


Sofia has her own horse that she events at BE100 & also has horse on loan who she is competing in Elementary dressage. Sofia really enjoys teaching for Woodland & always comments on how well organised we are & how lovely the members are to teach


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