Reports

Annual General Meeting 2016

Thank you to everyone who came to our AGM on the 30th November, once again hosted by Sally Browne at Ludwell Farm. We enjoyed Jonty Evans and Fiona Elliott talking to us about riding and owning Cooley Rorkes Drift, from Fiona first seeing him in Ireland as a youngster to representing Ireland at the Rio Olympics through to their hopes for the season ahead. Many thanks to them for giving up their evening to speak to us. Supper as always was plentiful and delicious.

ORC had a busy 2016 starting with our New Year Social hosted by Jane Collier, a new addition to our calendar of events and hopefully a permanent one, followed by our annual supper at The Masons Arms in early March.

Our regular social rides took place in February, May and early September. Thanks to June, Beverley and Katy who led the way each time respectively.

Matt and Simon clinics have run throughout the year, although Simon did have some time off over the summer with a nasty shoulder injury, which I am pleased to say he has recovered from. Our thanks as always to Pauline and Tamsin without whom the clinics couldn’t run. Pauline, as some people may have noticed, will be sending out details of these clinics directly rather than through Felicity, which we hope will cut out any delays in messages getting to and from members. Anyone who doesn’t want to receive these or thinks they’ve been missed off please contact Felicity or Pauline and let them know so she can amend the list.

New to this year was our Dressage Test Clinic that was very well attended. Unfortunately plans to hold more of these were thwarted for one reason or another but we hope to have a series of them again this spring ahead of our Dressage Show. Our Dressage Show was also well attended and thanks to everyone who helped out on the day or took part.

ORC was represented in the majority of Area 5 qualifiers with a special mention to Anna Reynolds and Jamie who qualified for the Novice Dressage Championships and Junior Member Emma Stringer and Crystal who qualified for the Horse Trials Championships and came 4th. As a small club it is lovely to be punching above our weight and hopefully 2017 will see more success.

We sent a team to Blenheim for the Eventer Challenge, but as we could only find three members to represent us in the 100 cm we have decided for 2017 to enter the 90 cm class with the hope that more members will put themselves forward. So our challenge to our members is to have a go. To support that we are going to be running extra weekend group clinics for those who would like to take part in teams or can’t make it to our Matt and Simon Clinics. We have a list of dates already set for 2017 so members can plan ahead. We will be targeting qualifiers such as the Novice Winter Show Jumping, Eventer Challenge and Summer Show Jumping to use as stepping stones to Blenheim. Anyone who would like to take part in any of the qualifiers or would like more information please contact Felicity.

Stepping down from the committee this year are Nicki Averill, Sally Browne and Hilary Stratton. We would like to thank them for all the time and effort they have given to ORC over the years. Hilary and Sally have been longstanding members of the committee and as a small token of our appreciation were presented with roses to plant in their gardens and a card of thanks.

Elected to the committee are Beryl Stringer and Sophie Tompkins. Beryl has been elected to take over as Chair and Diana Meadowcroft as Treasurer.

Hilary was unable to attend the meeting to give the financial report, but in her absence we can report that the club’s balance continues to be healthy. With us no longer holding the hunter trials the committee will look to ensure the club covers its running costs through the events we organise while still being great value to members.

Annual General Meeting 2015

Thank you to everyone who came to the ORC AGM held at Ludwell Farm on 1st December kindly hosted by Sally Browne. A lovely evening was had by all with a very informative talk on Horse First Aid from Sally of Hook Norton Vets followed by a fantastic supper and a chance to catch up with each other.

As our email prior to the meeting had said the committee wanted to discuss the decision to scale back on competitions run by the club i.e. the spring show and hunter trials and to concentrate on more training and social events. It was expressed by a number of members that it would be a shame not to run the hunter trials which is enjoyed by so many and June Collier and Pauline Parker stepped forward offering to set up a sub-committee to run the hunter trials. Obviously it takes more than two people to organise an event of this scale, therefore we are looking for volunteers to assist them — anyone who would like to do so please contact either myself or June directly.

Organising teams for Area Qualifiers has become increasingly difficult over the last few years and as such the committee has decided that we will be less proactive in organising teams. We will of course make sure everyone is kept up to date with when they take place but the onus will be on members to let us know if they would like to arrange a team or represent the club as individuals. If anyone would like to take on the mantle of team captain for either the dressage or jumping teams the position is up for grabs.

Our regular clinics with Matt Jenkins and Simon Nichols will continue to run as usual. We are continually grateful to Tamsin Mill and Pauline Parker for giving up their time to organise and run the clinics. It was raised that some members find the timing of clinics difficult to attend; if you can let me know days and times that best suit you we can look to arrange some weekend/evening clinics to suit.

Our fun rides are always a good chance to enjoy the countryside and each other's company although the weather was not always kind to us this year. We plan to run our snowdrop, bluebell and summer rides as usual but are open to suggestions for any new routes or volunteers to lead the rides.

The financial report provided by Hilary and presented by Nicki in her absence reported a healthy bank balance which as a club we would like to use to help subsidise activities for our members, so we are looking for ideas from members about anything they would like us to arrange. In the December newsletter (PDF) is a short questionnaire we would love all members to fill in and return to us so that as a committee we better understand what our members want.

Annual General Meeting 2014

Our AGM on December 3rd was a real success and once again we were wonderfully hosted by Sally Browne. Our speakers, Sally Hodgson from Hook Norton Veterinary Practice and Anthony Bysouth from the Household Cavalry gave an entertaining and fascinating talk on the centenary ride they did retracing the route taken by the British Army in their retreat from Mons in 1914. They took 30 horses and the original six horse-drawn gun carriage for nearly 100 miles using equipment and clothing of the time. Anthony came in full military apparel and the talk was beautifully illustrated.

At the business part of the meeting Anna reported back on the activities of the club and said how much she had enjoyed being chairman for the last 4 years. Sally Browne presented her with a magnificent present and bouquet to mark the end of her tenure. Nicki Averill will replace Anna as the new chair and we wish her all the very best and can guarantee her of all our support. Sarah Taylor was also voted onto the committee.

Two photos from the Halloween Hunter Trials

Halloween Hunter Trials
26th October 2014

These took place at the end of October at Swalcliffe Park Equestrian where again we were provided with three fantastic courses over their magnificent land. We had an excellent number of entries and are very grateful to all the helpers who gave up so much time to be there on the day. I’d also like to thank the Taylors for helping us to make this event such an important part of our calendar — we are fortunate to be able to run it in such a wonderful setting.

Five photos from the BRC National Championships

Lincoln September 2014

After the team’s success at Princethorpe College, they headed off to Lincoln for the BRC National Championships in September. This was a weekend of dressage and show jumping with riders coming from all over the country; we parked next to a team who had travelled 11 hours down from Scotland.

Sue Ruddock, Natalie Warren, Anna Reynolds and Louise Way went up the day before and enjoyed being part of the party atmosphere in the evening at Lincolnshire Show Ground.

Everyone camped or stayed in their lorry and with stabling for over 500 horses it was a very sociable event!

Despite a foggy start when initially we couldn’t see the opposite side of the dressage arenas, the sun beamed for our tests and we were delighted with the result. Anna came 4th individually; Sue was 5th and Louise 9th resulting in the team finishing a highly creditable 8th in a very strong and competitive field.

Seven photos from the Dressage and Show Jumping Competition

Dressage and Show Jumping Competition 26th April 2014

Heavy rain the day before the show led to some difficulties entering and leaving the field but the going for the dressage and show jumping was fine and all competitors enjoyed a good day.

The dressage classes were well subscribed and for the first time we included a ‘puissance’ class in the show jumping ring. We had enough blocks to go to 8ft 6in but Honor Barker did a very creditable 4ft 7in (for members under 50 that’s 1.4m!).

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this such a successful and enjoyable day. Particular thanks to Felicity on her tractor and Beverley for being our secretary.

Annual General Meeting 2013

We had a really interesting and informative talk at the AGM from lawyer Esther Stirling on the pitfalls of buying, selling and loaning horses. There was a very helpful message to all of us that getting a simple but clear contract at the outset can save many problems. We really enjoyed her talk and are very grateful she was able to come. Sally Browne provided us with a wonderful venue for the evening and was a marvellous hostess as always!

This year we’ve not sent as many riders to the area qualifiers, for one reason or another, but we did have two very good results with Sarah Beveridge winning the Intermediate Eventer Challenge at Milton Keynes in April and Lex Merrick winning the Open Horse Trials at Solihull in June. Well done to both of you!

Our five fun rides have all been well supported and June is planning more in 2014 with some different routes. We often call at a pub on the way or enjoy a bite to eat back at the boxes. These rides are always very enjoyable and it’s lovely to be out in company in a new area.

ORC has continued to hold clinics throughout the year. Simon Nicholson teaches over a grid and SJ course weekly or fortnightly at Duns Tew. He is hugely experienced and always gives confidence whilst working on rhythm and position to ensure best results. Owen Cooper teaches XC technique at his base Swalcliffe Park Equestrian either in an arena or over the XC course. The facilities are very good and he is a popular trainer with lots of empathy. Also, Matt Jenkins, professional dressage rider, teaches weekly at Great Tew. He’s a gentle, encouraging trainer and will bring out the best in you and your horse. Details of clinics and prices are on the events page and sent out to members regularly. I do hope you can come and that we have something for everyone.

Four photos from the Halloween Hunter Trials, including horses jumping and running through water

Halloween Hunter Trials 27th October 2013

We held our Halloween Hunter Trials once again at Swalcliffe Park Equestrian in the beautiful countryside of West Oxfordshire. Barbara Taylor and Sarah Beveridge produced three fabulous courses giving a great variety of obstacles and challenges. Competitors really entered into the spirit of things and there were some stunning Halloween outfits.

Despite the alarming forecast everyone enjoyed the day and we were home and dry before the storm set in.

Photo of Lex Merrick jumping on Too Much Buzz

June 2013

Congratulations to Lex Merrick and Too Much Buzz who won the 100plus horse trials qualifier at Solihull recently. They had a fabulous day, Buzz was on top form and they will now go to the championships at Swalcliffe Park Equestrian in early August. This will be a three-day event complete with roads and tracks and steeplechase. Good luck Lex!

Well done also to our team, Claire Ford, Louise Way and Sue Ruddock who came 2nd in the 100cm class. Claire finished 5>th individually and Louise 6th.

Four photos from the Eventer Challenge Qualifier: Alice, Louise, Jo and Sarah

Eventer Challenge Qualifier 2013

This was very well organised by Buckingham Riding Club and took place at Milton Keynes Eventing Centre at the end of April.

We sent a team of three for the 100cm class and two individuals for the 90cm class. All the riders had good rounds with Sarah Beveridge judging the optimum time for the cross country perfectly to win the 100cm class. The team was placed 2nd with Louise Way coming 5th individually, Jo Poultney 7th and Alice Reynolds 8th in the 90cm section.

Unfortunately despite having qualified, Sarah cannot go to the Championships so Louise was delighted to be invited to take her place.

Spring Show at Little Tew 2013

Three photos from the Spring Show: Shannon Hawkins and Cello, Sue Ruddock and Pinky, and Annabel Hucker and Zoe

We were really lucky to have a sunny day for our annual Dressage and Show Jumping Show after all the cancellations this spring. The new venue at Little Tew provided perfect going and fantastic views. We had a number of first timers and young horses as well as our faithful competitors. Sue Ruddock had a successful day on Pinky, winning two Prelim tests and a show jumping class. Sam Hughes and Izzy won Prelim 18 and Carly Fenwick and SC Bay Bar River Raider Novice 24. Annabel Hucker won the 100cm show jumping and Daisy Corbett on Topsy won the 90cm class. Very many thanks to all of our helpers and supporters and to Straight Approach for such a good set of show jumps and most of all to Mandy Wilson for so generously hosting us.

Annual General Meeting 2012

Two photos of Aoife Clark

We had a great turnout for our AGM at the end of November and were most fortunate to have Irish olympian Aoife Clark give a wonderful talk on her experience competing with Master Crusoe at Greenwich. She described the excitement at receiving her call to represent Ireland to being placed 5th as a team and 7th individually. She was enthusiastic and entertaining and answered all our questions, she had clearly had an amazing time. Very many thanks to Sally for hosting us once again and providing such fantastic food.

Four photos of jumping horses at the Halloween Hunter Trials, courtesy of Action Shots

Halloween Hunter Trials 27th October 2012

With so many events cancelled we were fortunate to be able to hold our autumn hunter trials at Swalcliffe and have so many competitors. There was a good mix of people from 4-star eventers to youngsters on their first outing and one young lady completed the course side saddle. Once again we really appreciate all the help that was so freely given to make this a successful day.

Tribute to Jean Ballard

Download (PDF)

Lincoln 2012

Three photos from the British Riding Clubs National Championships: Sue on horse Dennis, Louise on horse Mrs Doyle, and Alice on horse Jamie

It was a beautiful sunrise over the showground at Lincoln on the morning of the British Riding Clubs National Championships 15th Sept 2012. Early competitors, still in their pyjamas ran around with feed buckets and wheelbarrows. It was a busy scene with over 550 stabled horses and an extremely well organised event that we were fortunate to be part of.

Sue was due to do her first round in the Intermediate show jumping in the morning but was bucked off by an excited Malty in the warm up and unfortunately broke three ribs. Despite considerable discomfort she carried on and produced a good dressage test later in the day. Alice too rode a solid test but Louise pulled off the best one for ORC, obedient and balanced to come 6th out of a large number of competitors. Very well done indeed!

I’d like to thank the team for giving up their weekend and making the long journey.

Blenheim 2012

Two photos from the Eventer Challenge at Blenheim Palace

We had a wonderfully warm day for the Eventer Challenge at Blenheim on 6th September 2012. The going was perfect and the team – Sue Ruddock, Louise Way, Lex Merrick and Anna Reynolds – all jumped very good rounds. We were extremely excited to finish 7th out of 43 teams and enjoyed the rest of the day celebrating and shopping!