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15 September 2014

Helen Hogben and Earl of Allachoy


Helen was a founder member of the Grampian Branch and was our Branch Secretary and Central Committee representative for many years.  She was also fundamental in finding many of our ride venues.  The branch owes a great deal to her knowledge, expertise and dedication.


The following has been extracted from a report in a 1997 endurance magazine.


Helen Hogben and Earl of Allachoy won the Trooper Series Trophy in 1997, the final leg of which was held at Whitehaugh, in Grampian.  Helen was a really worthy winner of the series as she had been the most consistent, and had brought her horse on steadily to compete at the longer distances.


Helen wrote:


“Earl of Allachoy is a 15 hh Polish Arab – purebred by Leonidas out of Mycha.  He was bought originally at the mart as a yearling.


Earl and I have had some memorable rides, mainly as an ongoing target on the beach, in Wales and at the 1997 Huntly ride where on each occasion we have been shot at.  The one time I was on the beach with a friend when we passed an unexplored magnetic mine, which was later on the news and blown up.  I can honestly say my horse is “bomb proof”.


Earl is affectionately known as “Jaws” or “The Great White” because of his unfortunate habit of nipping you at the most inconvenient times (i.e. having heart rates taken).  Guaranteed, if he doesn’t, he is not in a good mood and won’t give you a good ride.


We started our endurance career in 1991, when he was 5 years old, with pleasure rides.  Prior to meeting Earl, I was secretary of the newly formed Grampian Branch of SERC and occupied with finding venues for our existing rides.


Earl was keen and consistent and in 1992 we were picked as novice team member for the Home International hosted by the Red Dragon Ride, where the team won Gold that year.  We also won the branch trophy for the most improved horse.


1994 – Gold Thistle Final and branch highest points trophy.  Placed 1st in a race ride.


1995 – Bought Earl and took a year off after he fell out hacking.  He gained a considerable amount of weight and was nicknamed “Yasser Arab fat”.


Brought him back into fitness and in 1996 competed in the first 75 mile competition for the Home International Team in Ireland over very tough terrain.


1997 – 11 Golds and 1800 miles accumulated since beginning endurance, as well as winning a very handsome silver buckle for western riding.  Highlight was finishing 3rd in the 100 mile class at Huntly – and on the winning team again!


Having sworn I would never own an Arab, I have totally changed my views.  Earl and I totally trust each other.  He is affectionate and very intelligent.  I only have his welfare at heart and worry if I’m asking too much, but we always finish.


Finally, I couldn’t have done it all without the support of my husband and daughter – the crew.  All this is fitted in around running my own business, Rughogs.”


Helen Hogben



Post Script:


Earl of Allachoy  1986-2014


Helen Hogben's Earl was PTS on 6th February having enjoyed a happy and active retirement until a couple of weeks ago.


Helen said


"Just wanted to send a farewell to Earl who passed away on Thursday aged 28.  He was well loved and retired at Sunnyside where he was loved by all.


He started his first pleasure ride with Grampian in 1997 and went on to complete all distances and won most of the trophy's during his endurance career.  He was on the Scottish Team 4 times - first as the Novice Horse, then he did 75 miles in Ireland he also did 100 miles over 2 days twice for the team."