SERC Home Page
15 August 2016
Extracts from the Branch Newsletters
Articles are re-printed from Grampian branch
newsletters and the editors of this website take no responsibility for their
2016 Grampian members' newsletters:
2016 Club members' Hoofprint newsletters:
- January issued 6th January
If you didn't receive any of the above or the periodic e-bulletins,
please contact Clubhouse.
Goodbye to MAC
Penny Howard writes
We lost our
wonderful horse and friend Mac last month at the age of 24. He went
suddenly in the
field, living a good life until very the end.
I bought Mac as a 5
year old, originally for my then 12-year-old daughter Emily. I spent his
hunting him on
Dartmoor; this stood him in good stead for his endurance career. He started
education at pony
club camp and my daughter did some eventing with him but he was too fast and
too strong so got
passed on to me, and then Clive.
Mac and Clive
completed many rides including the Golden Horseshoe and the first 100-mile
Scotland. He could
achieve anything as long as you continuously shovelled copious amounts of
Unfortunately he developed Spavin at 16, only in one hock, but this put an
though not his ridden career. His final long ride was in 2012 when my
niece flew over from
Australia to ride in the Silver Boot. Laura rode him from Mar Lodge to
which she calls “an
epic journey’. Since then he spent his time being ridden around the
mainly by his good
During his lifetime
he was ridden and competed by many people all I know will miss him. He has
big whole in our hearts but
fantastic memories and lots of laughter.
Cairngorm 100 -
Although this was
not a SERC ride it was run on our country and full credit must go to Clive
Joan Austin and
Penny Howard, amongst others, for all the effort they put in to achieve this
As expected, there
were not a huge number of riders, but they came from Ireland, England and
Scotland and all but two completed, and in
very good condition.
A massive part of the success of this
weekend was down to the many volunteers who generously
gave their time, their sleep, gallons of
diesel and their experience and enthusiasm to make this ride
happen and help the horses and riders
achieve this immense feat of endurance. Congratulations to all
Clive Pollitt writes :…
The idea of a long
distance ride across the Cairngorms had been a point of discussion between
Austin, Penny and
myself for a number of years. We never really got to grips with it as a real
until one day Colin
Sykes dropped me a mail on Facebook asking if I was the Pollitt that had
Tevis. When I
answered yes he asked would I be interested in helping organise a Tevis type
one horse, one
hundred miles in one day. It sounded right so I agreed to give it a go.
I had a good idea of
the possible routes from previous ventures while Silver booting, but needed
join together a 100
miles of doable mixed terrain riding with suitable vetting points along the
find a good start
and finish venue.
points at the right distance wasn’t easy, neither was the start and finish,
eventually a plumped
for Glenmore Lodge as a start point and the hotel at Glen Clova as the
Balmoral, Invercauld, Mar Lodge and Loch Muick as the vetting points along
Permissions to cross
the numerous estates was reasonably easy and the land owners, for the most
cooperative and interested in the challenge we were offering. It helped
being known by the
factors at Balmoral,
Invercauld and Mar Estates as we had used these routes on a couple of our
Camp rides in the
past and I was able to use them as referees with the other estate owners.
the ride on Facebook there was an obvious interest but quite how many that
an interest would
turn up on the day was always the unknown quantity and I thought that if we
10% of the noted
interests we would be lucky. For me double figures would be enough for this
ride and when we had
8 confirmed entries for the 100 mile ride, I was quite happy.
As there had been
interest for a shorter distance ride we decided to open the ride to some 50
and 25 mile riders,
that way we could have a reasonable size party at Glen Clover at the end of
ride, which is what we had on the
I won’t go into
detail about the ride other than to say that it would not have happened
without the help
of some real
stalwarts. We had many volunteers of help, enabling us to place very
people at key
positions at the various locations. Carola did a great job of coordinating
the helpers and
Penny made sure that
they had the paperwork and the logistics and timing were in place. We had
Simon Jacyna and his
gang at Tomintoul for Vet Gate 1, (With me on the Barbecue for breakfast).
Penny at Vet check
1, a vetting and hold point just before Balmoral, Leon, Mary and Carola and
team at Invercauld
for Vet Gate 2 and 3, Lorna Hogg and her team at Vet check 2 at Glen Derry.
the riders the most
welcome was Tony and Joe at Lock Muick, who were complemented on their
and help, (I was on the coffee) for riders that had already been in the
hours or so. At the
finish Marlene and Alison controlled the final vetting with the help of
Colin. It was
great to see the
riders come over the finish line cheered by so many of you who made it round
Clova. Five riders
and horses finished the 100 mile ride and were presented with their buckles.
There were many
helpers, too many to mention by name, particularly some who had travelled
miles to help. Thank
you to you all. Amongst them Joan Austin who helped me greatly with the
both walking and
later marking and demarking the first and most sensitive section between
Lodge and Tomintoul
and Barbara who stepped in as a vet at the last minute. Without all you
the ride would not
have been such a success.
SERC Championships –
Crewing at the
Champs by Ruth Riddell
At last year’s HI/CC
I was asked to crew for Fiona Kirk and her horse Mr Charles and I obviously
didn’t do too bad a
job as she asked me to crew again for her this year. With that in mind, we
again at Seacliff
where she had entered the 2-day 120 (80 km on Sat + 40 km on Sun). Malcolm
I tootled down to
East Lothian on the Thursday to the caravan site where we had left our
since the MarineCo
FEI ride at the beginning of July – a nice easy run down in the car and the
caravan was quickly
set up again. This would be my third trip to Seacliff and it was all fairly
dangerously so, as
it was easy to get confused as to which road led to which crew point.
on the Friday
morning, I met up with Yvonne Thomson and we reccied the routes (yellow &
the West of the
venue where I knew it was easy for both riders and crews to miss a turn.
Yvonne set off with
Alison, Arlene and Emma to do the Friday Pleasure route and won the Glasgow
Gambol – well done
Fiona arrived about
lunchtime with daughter Hazel and Charlie and Hazel’s horse Blue. She had
ridden the 80 km
route at the earlier ride at Seacliff and was happy that she knew the
routes, so once
the horses were
settled, we went over the maps and agreed the best crewing points. Vetting
bigger classes was
held on Friday evening, which makes it much more leisurely and then there
the rider briefing
which was “brief”!!
dawned bright and early. With the vetting done the night before, it was
stretches, tack up,
warm up, and go to the start. Although there were only 2 in Fiona’s class
other was Francis
Bakker who many of you would know was rides to win, they were joined by the
km ER class for the
mass start. As they had to negotiate the gate out of the venue field, riders
be sensible and
indeed they were. Then it’s off in the car to the first crew point on the
This loop takes the
riders to the East of the venue, down to the beach looking over to Bass
farmland, woods and endriggs with a few road crossings but very little
tarmac as there is
a maze of tracks
including the John Muir Way. At each crew point it’s a routine of park up /
buckets and sloshes /grab a drink
/ look for horses. As horses arrived, I noted who was in front of
Fiona and by how
much. This is very helpful as the day goes on as you get a good idea of how
are going. Just a
couple of crew points on the first loop, then back to the venue for the
first vet gate.
Fiona knows her
horse so well and everything is done calmly and efficiently. We presented in
minutes and passed
Loop 2 was the
orange route which I was very glad I had reccied the day before. I met Fiona
and Charlie Boy stopped and drank like the good boy that he is. Soon we were
back at the venue
for VG2. Quick cool down with the Nomad, check feet and once again sailed
through the vetting.
Loop 3 was the
yellow route, which was very similar to the orange one, so met Fiona at the
points on the
course, and back to the venue for the end of Day 1 vetting – which was a
trick for all those
doing 80 km classes. [For the three card trick, 3 vets watch the trot up and
“Pass” or “Fail” on
a card which are handed to the Vet Steward who says whether the horse has
passed or not. This
has been used in the past when a vet has wanted a second opinion but it is
normal practice for
bigger rides.] Both Charlie and Francis’ horse Zeus passed Day 1 with flying
colours and not much
between their times – everything would depend on Day 2.
On Sunday morning
Fiona was timed out 16 minutes ahead of Francis. By the first meeting point
Francis had already
made up a couple of minutes and I fully expected to see her catching up
the course of the
ride. Strangely tho’ I didn’t see her, or her crew, after that. It wasn’t
until the end
that I learned that
she had taken the wrong route. So Fiona and Charlie rode most of the ride by
themselves – at
their own pace – and passed all the vettings – to win their class and the
with Best Condition. They also won the Raddery Equine Trophy for best
horse, rider and
crew and the Druid’s Hill Trophy for the Native/TB cross horse – quite a
Since the Champs,
both Fiona and Hazel have been selected for the Scottish squad for the Home
International and Celtic
Challenge. Red Dragon – here we come.
SERC Championships –
Gemma & Morgan’s
journey to STF
Gemma Cooper tells
of her ambition to try for her first 80kms
My aim this year was
to try and get Overhall Sharpe Cooper, “Morgan”, my 8 year old Lipizzaner X
couple of 80
kilometer (80K) rides under his belt, I decided at the beginning of the
season that Brodie
Castle was to be our
first attempt, so set about training and building him up to it. We completed
at Roseisle with
Caroline and Merlin then a 60k at Clashindaroch with Alison and Cavatina,
Brodie Castle was
upon us and we were riding out in the company and experience once again of
Alison and Cavatina,
The ride was lovely
and Morgan went well however at the end of our 80k we were lamed out on his
right hind, the vet
gave him a thorough going over and Morgan was deemed safe to travel home.
Once I got home and
was done beating myself up and had got over the fact that Morgan's leg
going to fall off
and that I hadn’t broken my precious pony, I began to re-evaluate
everything! I think I
the jump from a 60k to an 80k and I realised that if I wanted to help take
and myself to the
next level of Endurance I needed to really start looking at Morgan as, and
him as, an athlete.
I picked Morgan and I apart and started to look at the possible cracks that
contributed to being
vetted out at the end of our 80k at Brodie Castle…
I get pain in my feet when doing the bigger distances - I booked Morgan and
myself in for a
rider balance riding
lesson and an 8 week block of Pilates for equestrians with the amazing
- I started asking around about
different hoof wear products and options that may work for
Morgan who was in
Renegades but was struggling with anything boot-wise that gave any skin
- I had Derelochy saddle fitters come out
and look over Morgan’s saddle and my riding. I
passed onto Amanda
mine and Pauline's findings from my balance lesson and Pilates.
- I had Physio, Anna Armstrong look over and
work on Morgan loosening off his shoulders
and hind. Anna
showed me some great techniques that I could use during vet gates.
– I spoke with people about how they
ride the bigger rides, any tips for vet gates, pacing,
what rides would
best suit Morgan, and asked about others’ endurance ride experiences.
I turned every stone
I could think of !
I then put all the
changes made into practice and Morgan felt on form, bigger more confident
had means of helping
myself if I got pain in my feet thus in turn helping Morgan, feed – sorted,
dancing shoes –
sorted, Saddle – all good, Morgan – all good, Technique... I had a plan!!!
And I felt
like we were ready.
I entered the 80
Kilometre Endurance Race Ride (80ker) at the Scottish Championships at
Morgan doesn’t like
travelling, and I now know not to underestimate travelling, the travelling
will take a
lot out of him. I
decided to do the steady 5 hour travel with Morgan on Thursday, giving him a
on Friday to recover
for the ride on the Saturday and come home on the Sunday. This plan worked
very well. With
Morgan's pal, Gemma Conroy's Robbie in the next corral from him he was
My Crew was all of a
sudden able to help out again last minute, though I had my mind set that I
Crewless/Not Clueless but taking up the very kind offers of some fellow
SERCies. Any way
of course the Crew
was very handy and much appreciated... we vetted Morgan on the Friday night
before the ride.
Morgan was super excited and when asked to trot up, gave an over
roll, canter up. But
once hastily reminded of his manners, he gave a lovely trot up and flew
the initial vetting
with a 42 Heart Rate (hr) and 1's and A's. It was then back to the corral
and James and I went
on to do some route reccying for possible crewing points.
Saturday came, and I
had decided not to pair up with anyone and see how things went, we were
going with the Mass
Start for experience and am glad that we did, Morgan did very well and
He was very strong
the first few kilometres resulting in blisters popping up on my fingers,
popped in the second
loop again due to being a little strong when he sighted horses ahead. The
rode flat and fast
with open views, at some points you could see horses a couple of fields away
for an (at some
points) mind blowing experience for the Grampian mountain goat, who’s
consists of playing
solo on the Coreen hills.
Morgan went all the
way round the first loop with Gemma Pearson and Cumbrian Kalila who was also
going for her Silver
Thistle Final, the two horses complemented each other nicely. At the first
quickly 55/58hr and he headed out after his wee break like an absolute
trooper, turbo trotting
out the field and
cantering when asked, we caught Kalila and Gemma about 10k into the second
loop and I
felt Morgan switch
off, which was a shame as he had been going brilliantly pacing himself well,
on Kalila the
remainder of the second loop.
Morgan vetted again
quickly in the second vetting 56/52hr, not nearly as fast though as Kalila
was breezing through
with 30/40ish heart rates all day! My focus however was on my main man
Morgan and what he
was doing and keeping him happy.
Morgan was not sure
about leaving the vet gate for the third loop, though I felt he was
capable, but he felt
confused and didn’t want to leave the other horses. I was unsure of the
whether you have to
ride out of a vet gate or can dismount. So I had a plan... though I
the done thing... As
Morgan was not for going forwards out the vet gate but was for going
I rode him backwards
out the vet gate/start, jumped off and ran with him in hand out of the venue
we were well out of
sight and got back on. Ta Da! Morgan then again paced well the third loop,
another horse caught
us nearing the end and we then caught up with another, the three horses
another into the field approaching the venue field, which by this time was
under foot from a
heavy shower we had been caught in, I held Morgan back, which did not amuse
him, but I was aware
that there was an open gate we had to go through. Cornering, and going
at speed, I was
scared may result in Morgan slipping and falling… I may have been over
thought so. I had decided firmly before going to Seacliff that we were going
the Silver Thistle
not to race, so while the other two went into gallop for a racing finish I
Morgan as much as I
could. I didn’t want to be knee-capped on a gate post, but once through the
and on the straight I had to let
him go, and we galloped over the finish line.
I took my time to
make sure Morgan was in good shape for the final vetting, my crew James
around letting him
graze and relax and Morgan's Heart rate gradually came down. When first
entering the vet
gate area after his
racing finish, I was pleasantly surprised that his HR was 74bpm.
He vetted at the end
with a 54/56hr, a handful of mints and a big hug from his proud Mum!
Morgan came 5th
out of 11 entrants and went round at an average speed of 13.42kph,
gaining his Silver Thistle
We are incredibly
lucky in Grampian Branch to have so many, very experienced endurance riders,
I’ve learnt a
lot from these
people, and have to say a massive thank you to all those who have supported
Morgan and I
‘Team Coop”, and to
those whom have been subjected to my brain picking, you know who you are!
is a wee message from our Ride Entry Fairies:
to Enter' by your Entry Fairies (Sarah Taylor and Angela Christie
entering via clubhouse, to save us from chasing you, can you please make
That you FILL IN YOUR RIDE ENTRY FORMS. Next to your entry you can see the
your ride entry form. If it is red then you have not filled it in click on
it and FILL IT IN, it only
a few seconds and then click the save button and you are done, easy peasy
PAYMENT- please make sure you have paid for your ride because if you don't
automatically be deleted when the closing date comes.
Another thing is - can everyone contact us through our email
especially if you are withdrawing from a ride, please don't use Facebook or
messenger as it gets
confusing as there are two of us trying to keep tabs on all the changes.
Also do not remove
yourself from a ride via clubhouse, give us a shout and we can do it for
Please keep us fairies happy we don't want to be wicked witches!'
(...as if they could!)
helpers or riders would like a breakdown of the different classes before the
event our Ride Entry
Fairies will gladly provide them with one.
Furthermore we will ask at the next Central meeting if it's possible for
Clubhouse to show the riders
their classes as there is a demand there from riders to know how many are in
their class etc. I will
you know what Central say. I hope this is a good solution for all.
while we are on the subject of ride entries …. a note from Ruth Riddell
There have been comments that some riders do not have the correct paperwork
with them when they
in at rides. I checked this at our last 3 rides and this applies to quite a
members. Please be aware that if you don’t have the correct paperwork,
you might not be
allowed to ride.
members should have the following for all rides:
Current membership card
medical information sheet (in a sealed envelope if you like, but with your
name and contact
number on the outside of the envelope)
Registration card, aka Accumulative Distance card, previously known as
Mileage card (*1)
competitive rides, you should also have:
Please do not hand in previous vet sheets as they may get misplaced when the
results are being
worked out. Previous vet sheets should be kept with your log book (if you
have one) and be with you
the venue and available to Admin should there be any queries.
For mileage cards, please fill in the Date and Venue. Please do not fill in
the distance before
day as there may be route changes.
For mastercards, please fill in the Bib No, Venue and Date.
queries, please ask – Thank you – Ruth
Training and Team Selection
Observations from Clive Pollitt, Grampian’s representative on the
the recent training meeting near Gleneagles there were two issues that stood
out for me more than anything else.
first was the number of riders who had not had their saddle checked by a
competent person at the start of this season. One rider had not
checked her saddle since buying the horse 5 years ago. The result was a
number of horses showing signs of pain and muscle wastage or damage. To
expect a saddle to fit a horse after coming out of the winter period of
inactivity, and before most of them have any fitness, is asking a lot, so
please check your horses for signs of tenderness and have your saddles
checked to see they fit comfortably. Your vet, equine physio, or body
worker can do this for you if you do not feel competent to do it yourself.
second point was the blind assumption that the farrier has shod the horse
well. There were a number of horses with heels considerably different
in length both on the rear and front. When the vet pointed this out to
the riders the difference was obvious to them, so check this yourself, and
question the farrier before he leaves if you believe there to be a problem.
If you get down on the floor and have a look you can easily see the
a point about safety
part of my crewing talk at the training meeting I went through the contents
of my saddle bags, which I always carry regardless.
the bag amongst other things is a waterproof jacket and trousers. On
Sunday last I was caught out at the far end of the Correen hills in a
dreadful snow storm whilst riding and leading Penny’s horse. Those of you
that have done the Clatt ride know the place as being very exposed with no
shelter. After realising the snow wasn't going to stop, I donned my
waterproof and made for the trailer. An hour and a half later I
reached the trailer frozen to the core and near exposure, and that was with
my additional spare
jacket and trousers. I dread to think what state I would have been in
without them. There must be a moral there somewhere but for me it
reinforced the need to be properly equipped and always carry spare clothing
when in the hills.
Looking after your horse at rides
Remember the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!”
of all, in a quiet moment (!) sit down at the kitchen table and study the
map, not only so that you are familiar with the ride you are doing, but also
to work out how long it is going to take you to get to the venue - and add
at least half an hour, preferably longer! Knowing you have this time
in hand makes for a much less stressful journey. Make sure you have
warm clothes for yourself and rugs for him (or her), as well as plenty of
food and water for both of you.
the day of the ride, your horse should have had his breakfast some time
before he is loaded, and a haynet for the journey (and the return).
the caravan is open then you can get your paperwork, vet sheet and your bib
before you unload your horse. You should have time to let him stretch
his legs, walk him round and loosen him up, maybe graze for a little while
and both of you relax before going to the vet. When you have passed
the vet take him back to the trailer and give him a small feed or his haynet
again and offer him water. Make sure he is fuelled up!
him up, check your map and prepare to set off by handing your vet sheet to
you have a vet gate during your ride, you are allowed to hop off and walk in
the last twenty yards or so, this is a signal to your horse to wind down.
Remove tack, offer him water, and wash down if necessary, take his HR and
when appropriate present to the vet. For this presentation the HR only
has to be below 65 BPM so when it is steady at that level, take him to the
vet. If you are having difficulty in getting his HR down, keep
sloshing and walk him around when he might perhaps have a pee! This
will lower his HR. Although it is not wise to feed before presenting
to the vet as this might actually raise the HR a few beats, a hungry,
irritable horse will also have a high HR so allowing him a snatch of hay or
a mouthful of grass may be sensible - use your judgement.
passing the vet, feed him again, and yourself. Keep him warm, tack up
and prepare to set off again. At the end of your ride you will repeat
this procedure, although you must be mounted to cross the finish line.
You can take longer at the end to reduce the HR but don’t allow the horse to
get cold and stiffen up or you may find he fails the vetting. Again,
allow him either a feed or grazing or a hay net and a little time to relax
before your journey home.
Thoughtful preparation, riding and care should help you to keep a sound,
happy horse for whole of the endurance season.
Issue of Vet sheets at rides
Marlene Arthur has taken on the somewhat arduous task of trying to keep
stocks of essential paperwork, rosettes and other equipment in the caravan.
She has written the following plea.
that most riders enter via Clubhouse and print off their own maps, talk
rounds and ride info sheets from the web, the only remaining paperwork
required on the day is your vet sheet.
Collecting and completing your vet sheet on the morning of the ride is a
nuisance of course, so we'd like to suggest the following procedure.
the recent Forest of Deer ride, riders were issued with TWO vet sheets, one
for use that day, the second one as your "spare".
way, you will have a vet sheet at home for completing prior to your next
Thereafter, at each ride, please collect a vet sheet for your "next" ride.
This ensures you'll always have a spare sheet at home.
Please do not ask the Admin volunteers for a bundle; allowing Admin to
control them is necessary in order for us to maintain accurate numbers of
Drug Testing Reminder
of our rides and any horse in any class (including Pleasure classes) may be
subject to drug testing. So please inform yourself what substances are
allowed and which are not. The consequences of getting it wrong
are quite serious. Please be aware that feed supplements or natural
substances, e.g. willow leaves, might contravene the rules.
season the Best Condition awards for Taster and Pleasure Classes were
changed to 'Best
Presentation' awards. A clever new points based system was developed by
our top Competent
Persons: Marlene Arthur, Mary Stelmach and Dawn Saunders which has worked
encouraging our Taster and Pleasure riders to improve their presentation and
trot up techniques.
Thursday 20th we had our Branch Christmas Dinner at Jaff's in
Dunecht. Just under 30 of our members enjoyed Jaff's great hospitality and
food, and our 'SERC Grampian Quiz Master' trophy was hotly contested in an
excellent quiz run by Frauke Jurgensen. The trophy was won by 'The Cheetahs'
consisting of Barbara Peterse, Charlotte James, Gemma Cooper and Ruth
Riddell. They won by an impressive margin but I guess it did help that they
had our Archivist and a vet on their team. Well done the team and all the
other teams and a big thank you to Frauke!
Regardless of the weather we started our winter programme at the beginning
of November with a Drill Riding to Music session led by Dressage
trainer Pam Millar. Two groups of six and five riders were taught a routine
which they then performed at the end of the session. Pam was very impressed
with how quickly we learned the routine and how our horses and riders 'just
go on with it'. Here is the link to one of the groups 'The Uni(que)corns':
replacement for our Mackie's Ride we put on a DIY Ride Training day
at Southside Ride, near Inverurie, where members could practice their ride
skills: map reading, taking their horse's heart rates, watch them being
trotted up, timing their ride and calculating their speed. We even did a vet
gate 'pit stop' where the rider could see how quickly her horse's heart rate
went to below 64 after coming in from a brisk ride - useful but academic as
the horse came IN with a hr of 44 - super fit racing pony :-), the 12km loop
round the Southside grass tracks was clearly not challenging enough. It was
also Morgan, the Magnificent, who won the "Best Turned Out - Endurance
Style" prize as everything was colour co-ordinated even down to his rider
Gemma Cooper's fingernails. Well deserved! Big Thank you to Liz at Southside
for hosting us, to Carol Potter for making up the route and the great maps,
to Marlene Arthur for teaching our rides how to take heart rates, Dot Ralli
for teaching map reading, to Carol Henderson for her help with working out
times and to Fiona Thomson and Alan who helped crewing.
"new look" Bennachie ride in mid-September with a fantastic new venue
and new tracks was a great success and a real team effort. Big thanks to
Penny, Clive, Joan, Barbara and Matthew who reccied and resurrected the
"old" round-the-hill route and thus offered the 30km and above riders a
fantastically varied route all around Bennachie and Millstone hill: long
grass canters, moorland tracks, forestry and farm tracks with only a wee bit
of road work. Having the venue at the other side of the hill also meant the
shorter distances could be re-routed and avoid the stony tracks on the North
side. Ride Organisers Ruth McMinn and I are very grateful to our great team
of helpers: Matthew Walker, Clive Pollitt, Penny Howard, Joan Austen,
Barbara Peterse, Yvonne Thomson, Peter and Solveig MacCallum, Frauke
Jurgensen, Judith Barker, Johan Peterse, Viv Law, Marlene Arthur, Helen
Galley, Maureen Walker, Mollie, Jasmin and Emma Peterse and Steve McMinn and
to Lorna Hogg for her help in de-marking the Bennachie Ride.
BTF..... At long last
tale of persistence from Angi Long
it’s taken me a few years (my first endurance pleasure ride was in 1999) but
I have finally achieved my first ever BTF in 2014! ....
Feed & Drink - A few notes
I was the competent person at Clashindarroch ride, I noticed some horses
were very hungry and asked a number of riders, experienced and otherwise,
when they had fed their horses. The answers were astonishing!
Several people said 'at breakfast' - which meant that, counting the hour or
two travelling to the venue, preparing and doing the ride, the animal had
not eaten for several hours. Horses are designed to graze for several
hours a day and therefore produce acid in their stomach continuously,
whether or not they have eaten - during exercise and particularly without
food, this acid will attack the lining of the gut, ultimately leading to
ulcers. Apart from that, with no fuel for energy, the horse is running
know that feeding puts the heart rate up slightly, so either either arrive
at the venue in plenty of time and feed your horse, then give it time before
the vetting, or get the horse vetted and then feed before tacking up.
At the end of a ride, it really isn't going to make a lot of difference to
allow your horse a bite or two of hay or grass whilst cooling off before
vetting as long as you stop this a few minutes before going to the vet.
Hungry horses can be irritable which may raise their heart rates anyway.
Ride Organising – The dark art…...Philorth, October 2013. The ride of
have nicknamed this 'the ride of virgins' simply because of the following
Virgin Organisers (virtually, I helped organise one ride over 13years ago)
Virgin Chief Steward
Virgin Admin helper
Virgin Vet Writer
Virgin Check Point Marshalls
Virgin Road Crossing Marshall
Learning the sport from all angles….A story from Gemma Conroy
until early 2012 I had no idea what Endurance Riding was. I was struggling
through a very difficult
with my rescue horse Robbie and had been forced to give up our eventing
career due to a
nervous breakdown (his not mine!).
Robbie had continually struggled with his "head demons" from previous abuse
and was becoming
uncontrollable and dangerous and so a serious decision was made to give up
competing and just hack
year. If there was no improvement then he would have to be PTS, it sounds
harsh but it really did
to be the kindest option for him. I was devastated but vowed not to give up
on him without giving
every chance possible. My mum saw a poster in a local feed shop for a
charity ride and persuaded
go along on my own. Well... It could have gone one of two ways... Bolting to
a sticky end in the
wilderness somewhere or some serious fun times... As it turns out it was
BOTH!! I met a solo SERC
who offered to buddy me and during the ride (in between bolting sessions and
screams of terror)
told me all about SERC.... more
Report from Ride Organiser Lynda Keeler
problems of snow and rain eroding tracks, and new routes being put together
at the last minute
Drumtochty finally went ahead on 6th May with 41 riders out on the course.
This was a demanding and
endurance route with climbs of over 400 meters on heather hills and forestry
tracks, including a
way and riding through a hamlet.
riders completed the 60km course - Sheila Bruce with Al Baraque at a speed
of 10.4kph and final
rate of 48 bpm and Nicola Price with Fifi Le Bon at 12kph and heart rate of
52 – a great
accomplishment by both on this tough course. They were awarded a joint Best
Condition as both horses
riders did the 40km class with Pat Dorward (Dhabi) and Gayle Marr ( Selim el
Sabok) having the
fastest time of 11.65 Kph and both horses achieving a 41 heart rate – no
mean feat on this hilly course.
being awarded the Best Condition in his class.
Angela Long on Danny Boy and Brian Inkster on Ricks Rebellion gained their
BTQ in the 40km class
well done both of you.
30km class had 6 riders with Michael Lomax gaining the Best Condition with
his horse Zorro who
came in on
a 44 heart rate in a time of 10.65kph.
faces of the 19 Pleasure Riders and 6 riders doing the Taster made the
Organiser’s day as their
was not the easiest but they came back smiling. Sarah Taylor and Red Cloud
Jacob getting the Best
Condition with a 42 heartrate and time of 9.16kph.
the riders and horses had to share the venue field with wedding guests
enjoying a BBQ and
participating in some Highland Games along with some Disco music through a
sound system – well, if the
horses weren’t accustomed to this “dancing” music before they sure are now….
I really didn’t know that
was to be disco music until that morning so apologies to you all and in the
circumstances you and
horses did extremely well on a really hot day, with a tough route and disco
dancing in the equation.
huge thank you to all the Helpers who made this ride possible: Pat Dorward
and Alison Saunders for
checking out routes with me and helping in numerous ways, our superb vet,
Austen Marr, Jeremy Hopkins
being competent person, Leon Stelmach who did a grand job as Chief Steward,
Ruth Riddell, for all
hard work in Admin, Lucia Anderson for being Vet Writer, Charlotte Taylor
our second vet writer,
Margaret Gammie as Vet Steward and keeping the vetting area running
smoothly, our long standing Time
Keeper, Rob Winmill, who as always did a valiant job. Katie Keith for
providing lunches to keep us all
going, Helen Hogben and Lesley Foreman as Road Stewards, Chloe Christie our
Runner, Sarah Taylor and
Angela Christie and families for helping mark and demark, Raynet for manning
CPs and keeping us up to
with riders on the course, and last but not least Freya van Midden who did a
fantastic job with
arranging parking. This ride couldn’t have run without your help so big
thanks to you all for giving up your time.
Report from Ride Organiser Janet Inkster
Grampian Branch held their first ride of the season at Kirkhill Forest on
the outskirts of Aberdeen on
April 2013. What a relief to get this ride under our girths after the long
winter and two
postponements due to snow and ice. Both the Forestry
Commission and Craibstone College (who provided
venue) were very helpful with the date changes for which we are extremely
grateful. The weather
the day was cool and overcast, just right for working horses, and then
pleasantly sunny for the riders
relax in later.
riders took part. Everyone was still smiling after the jigsaw puzzle of
fitting trailers into a rather
carpark was complete. I was smiling when I saw how miraculously folk
extricated themselves after
distances were on offer. Both the 25km and 16km were entered by 13 riders,
and 8 riders chose the
‘taster’ distance. Recent Forestry Commission activity had left just the
right amount of mud on most
the tracks and conditions underfoot were good for both shod and unshod
horses. The terrain is quite
varied and hilly with parts suitable for all paces.
Kirkhill is a busy multi user forest. Tape markers had been moved at one
junction but no other problem
reported, and friendly comments were received from other forest users.
Condition in Class rosettes were awarded to Alison Saunders and Cavatina for
the 25km, Nicola
and Massalah Aziz for the 16km, and Valerie Riach and Bailey for the 11km.
the 11km and 3 of the 16km entrants were enjoying their forest hack so much
that they took some
tracks and failed to reach their target speed. Fortunately all remained
happy and intend to enter
another ride having caught the endurance bug.
was a marvellous band of helpers who coped wonderfully despite relative
inexperience and made
admin on the day a pleasure.
you to everyone involved, riders and non-riders.
SERC App for smartphones
now have an "app" which gives quick access to – Club website, Ride Calendar,
Facebook page and the Forum. More quick links will be added. The "app" can
be downloaded via the Google Play Store or at
www.appcatch.com –search for Scottish
Endurance. It’s free.
Form filling –
don’t know why but some people are under the impression that by entering by
email and just signing a
entry form, they are entitled to ride.
is not the case. If you have put in your entry within the correct
period, then the signed ride entry
may be sent on afterwards or presented at the caravan on the day but all the
contact details and the
entered must also be completed. If you can be bothered to prepare
yourself and your horse for the
then you MUST be bothered to fully complete you entry form.
2013 FEI Equine
Prohibited Substances List in effect from 1 January
FEI Equine Prohibited Substance List for 2013, which has now been approved
by the FEI
Bureau, will come into force on 1 January 2013.
Following a period of consultation with the National Federations, the FEI
List Group held its most
recent meeting during the London 2012 Paralympics and signed off changes to
the List for 2013.
changes include the addition of five new substances and other amendments.
changes, which will be included in the 2013 List and will come into effect
on 1 January of
year, are summarised here and below:
Five new substances have been added to the List for 2013. These are the
Medication substances Cyclosporin, a systemic immunosuppressant;
affects the central nervous system and has a potential for abuse; Pitcher
preparation (Sarapin), which is reputed to have analgesic properties, a
affect performance and its use is considered to be a welfare concern;
acetate and Chlormadinone acetate, synthetic steroidal progestins
testosterone concentration and have the potential to affect performance;
Fentanyl and Morphine (analgesics), both of which are currently
classified as Banned
Substances, will be moved to the Controlled Medication section of the List
in 2013 due to
increasingly common legitimate use in equine medicine;
Suxibuzone, which converts to Phenylbutazone in the body and is
currently listed as
Phenylbutazone, will be listed separately under Controlled Medications;
Deslorelin, which was categorised as a Controlled Medication substance
in the 2012 List,
be removed from the 2013 List.
“The FEI List Group seeks to use the most up-to-date scientific research and
part of its ongoing review of the Prohibited Substances List,” said Graeme
“The National Federations and all the Veterinarians involved in our sport
are very much a
of the consultation process and all comments received on the initial
changes, which were first proposed in April of this year, were discussed by
the List Group
to the changes being finalised.
“Publishing the changes to the List 90 days in advance, in accordance with
that the National Federations and their athletes will have plenty of time to
familiarise themselves with the changes well ahead of the 2013 Equine
Substances List coming into force on 1 January next year.”
2013 Equine Prohibited Substance List will be accessible prior to 1 January
FEI Clean Sport website. Additionally, information is now available on the
searchable FEI Equine Prohibited Substances Database, which is free to
Reporting Website -
data collected is important to help bring changes in the law in areas such
as The Highway Code.
of the types of accidents are:
Hopefully these will soon also include metal drains, which leads me to this
really serious matter and the
subject of the attached BHS cross drains statement. Please, please, please
avoid going over these drains
wherever possible – your horse may well be good at stepping over them, but
if it does drop a foot into one,
outcome can be disastrous.
will be aware that there have been a small number of serious accidents due
to horses hooves
becoming stuck in metal drains. Ruth has been chasing up on this and the
BHSS statement about cross
drains is attached. Ed)
by Ruth Riddell
recently went to the BHS Scotland Equestrian Safety Conference 2012, so
perhaps it’s a good time to
remind members to stay safe out there. Here are some pointers:
carry ID on yourself
carry contract details on your horse (dog tag or luggage/key fob attached to
display emergency contract details on your trailer or lorry
carry insurance details in your vehicle
Please also check your hat for wear and tear and remember “the best make of
hat is the one that fits your
Advice from the
BHS on the subject of Harvest Time Highway Etiquette
actually applies to all road riding and is only common sense but perhaps
worth reminding folk.
riders encounter farmers and enormous tractors throughout the year. However,
this risk is
heightened during harvest time when large combines, trailers and balers are
moving from field to field at
busiest, possible most stressful, time of year. BHS has received several
reports of horses unseating
riders as a result of heavy machinery being driven in a business like
fashion down narrow country roads
The sheer size of the vehicles can be frightening for horses, and the
combination of additional machinery exacerbates this....
Access issues -
Horse Dung on Tracks & Access to Balmedie Beach
Ruth Riddell, who
represents our interests on access in Aberdeen writes:
complaint had been raised with the local councillor that horses were fouling
the path between Westhill
Kirkton of Skene (multi-user path which runs parallel to the country road).
I walked the path and
is virtually no mess, and most walkers and cyclists saw no problem. I spoke
with the nearest livery
owners and they will remind their liveries that it is courtesy to remove or
kick to the side any muck on
which are so heavily used by other members of the public. Matter closed.
Access to the beach at Balmedie. The main horse access is now unpassable due
to large stones at the side
the boardwalk. This looks like a combination of more stones and also the
rain washing away the sand
around them. We believe the stones were put there in the first place to stop
vehicle access. As the
boardwalk itself is not safe for horses, this means the only access is up
and through the dunes - which is
an ideal solution. I have contacted Aberdeenshire Council but not been able
to speak to someone (due
their jury service). Ongoing.
contributions from Nicola Price
rain and yet more rain since our beautiful ride in Drumtochty in the
middle of May. I’m sure this will sound
familiar to many along with the cancellation of many rides and events. For
us this included Clatt, one of
our ‘flagship rides’ at the end of June which threw many people’s plans into
disarray. Sadly, after a
stalwart attempt to reschedule this ride, it has again become the victim of
the weather and dangerous
of you who ride, or plan to ride at Newburgh Beach should be aware of the
new arrangements for
gaining access to the car park with your lorry or trailer. Only two horse
vehicles will be allowed in at any
and the keys must be obtained from Newburgh Golf Club on the day. A
preliminary phone call may be
worthwhile; Tel 01358 789058.
change is due to irresponsible use of the car park key by a group of riders
and it is up to SERC
members riding from the car park to respect the privilege this access
Horse Riding on
Headlands and Field Margins
Guidance from the
British Horse Society (Scotland) is concerned that some horse riders are
behaving irresponsibly by
damaging crops as they ride through or around cropped fields, and have
issued a plea to all riders to
familiarise themselves with their access rights and responsibilities....
Lodge, part of the National Trust for Scotland is now offering holidays for
find out more about the Horses Welcome package and introductory offer,
contact Fiona McCulloch at
Lodge Estate by calling 01339 720163 or emailing her at
follow the links to the Horses Welcome website at
enquiries about any other National Trust for Scotland holiday property, go
to www.nts.org.uk or call the
Holidays Team on 0844 493 2108.
Ruth Riddell, Clash
is one of my favourite rides. Having been part of the team that put on the
first ride here many moons
I love coming back and reccying the tracks - just as well as its 40 miles
from home – but to spend a
hours walking, cycling or driving (we get permission) around the forest
enjoying the wildlife and a
picnic with a great view - it makes a grand day out....
From Nicky Price
Just to let everyone
know that the Grampian SERC Facebook page has been updated. There are
about rides and
threads about everything from 'the best riding tip', advice about 'the best
towing cars' to
'everyone's aims for
the season'... along with a regular caption competition!
non-members are encouraged to view our page which can be found by searching
'Grampian Scottish Endurance Riding Club' in facebook where you can also
request to become a member.
are working dogs too - please sign the petition
plea from Mary Rasmussen – a courageous blind member – and her wonderful
guide dog Campbell
you can help us achieve a debate on this in the House of Commons! Please do
if you can. This saving
VAT can go a long way to achieving a partnership like mine with Campbell.
Please pass to those who
help who are on your contacts list.
wishes to all!
Scottish Government has pledged to support Linda Fabiani MSP’s motion to
have assistance dogs
reclassified as working dogs so that they can benefit from their food being
exempt from VAT. For Guide
this would mean a saving of around £40,000 a year in Scotland and a total of
UK. The HMRC’s definition of a working dog is based on the food they eat not
the work that they do
‘Working dog food’ is high in protein.
Minister for Enterprise , Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP said he
intended to respond to requests
members from various parties to write to the UK Treasury and invite it to
consider the case and to
explain why it cannot act to zero rate. He will also invite the Treasury to
act as quickly as possible,
preferably in the budget that is forthcoming in a couple of months’ time.
Conservative MSP Jamie
McGrigor is also going to write to Treasury ministers to make a case for a
derogation for assistance dogs.
You can help by
signing an e-petition that has been launched at
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27195 to lobby the UK Parliament
as HM Treasury is the
responsible for VAT. Please get your family and friends to sign this because
if we get 100,000
signatories, it is
eligible for debate in the House of Commons.
(0845) 37 27 436
(0845) 37 27 437
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
years of extraordinary partnerships
Congratulations to Donna Hemming and Cumbria Sameh on winning the
Distance Rider Trophy with 270
points. This is the horse and rider combination with the most points,
the best 4 results from any
competitive or gated rides to count. Donna also won the Trooper Trophy
with 140 points. This trophy is
the combination who achieve the most points from the “Gold Series” rides
declared at the start of each
season by the Club
Committee. Yvonne Thomson was awarded her 5000km engraved
SERC Grampian AGM
(Press and Publicity Committee member SERC Grampian)
Grampian branch of SERC (in the frozen north) held their AGM on 5th February
2012. Last year I think
had barely started thawing out and this year couldn’t be more different and
yet it was still a bright
frosty day. This year our format had been changed from a traditional evening
after work to a
Sunday affair, starting at 11.30hrs and finishing at approximately 14.00hrs
or whenever we had
finished eating all the delicious home bakes on offer! ....
Caledonian Challenge Account was created from money received as compensation
to cancel a planned FEI ride when an alternative ride was set up in England
on the same date.
Club Committee decided to ring fence this money for possible future FEI
rides. Since then, the
Committee decided to use some of these funds to support our members as
Coaching & FEI Officials and Riders Grant Scheme
Club Committee are keen to support the development of our members by making
available to assist in the following areas:
and existing UKCC coaches
and existing FEI officials
SERC horse and rider combinations entering FEI classes
Application forms are available on
From Lynda Keeler
– our international selection committee representative.
you are looking to be selected for the Novice position on the team you
should not go above
at any of our SERC rides until further notice. The AGM rule change for the
(age 5 and age 6) which states that you can do speed category 2 does not
Novice position on the Home International or Celtic Challenge team so if you
want to be
considered for the team please bear this in mind and keep your speed under
our Chef d'Equipe says: "Slow and steady wins the race, hurry scurry spoils
Riding but please all prospective Novice Team members remember to keep speed
to under 11kph and do not do any classes over 50km - that means NO 51KM OR
- it has to be 50km and under.
you are thinking of putting your name forward for the Novice position please
give me a call to discuss any queries.
a reminder that the Northern Assessment day takes place on:
Saturday 31 March at Dores, Inverness and the Viewing ride (North): Sunday 1
can still attend the Training weekend even if you don't want to put your
the team. It's a great chance to learn more about your sport - we are hoping
someone talking about fitness and nutrition (tbc) so do get in touch with
Nancy and put your
down for this interesting and informative weekend. Contact details for Nancy
Telephone: 01236 766702Mobile: 0797 427 0050 Email: email@example.com
Group Arabian Horse Supporters (SRGAHS)
looking to promote links with ourselves through a variety of methods. The
following were agreed:
Reciprocal links on both websites.
They will promote SERC rides in their newsletter.
SRGAHS shows will include classes for In Hand and Ridden Endurance Horses at
their 3 events:
- 5th May Spring Show, Fountain Equestrian, Goval, Dyce
- 2nd June Group Show, Ingliston
- 18th August Northern Show, Fountain Equestrian, Goval, Dyce.
September Versatile Arabian Event, Fountain Equestrian, Goval, Dyce.
They will give discounted membership to members of SERC.
Further information is available on their website
Forestry Work –
Extract from FC Newsletter
time to time we have to close woods and trails due to tree felling and other
can be dangerous if you get too close. Here is a list of our current
Culbin, near Forres - tree felling work at
Wellhill/Buckie Loch/Findhorn Bay areas of the forest
March. Diversions will be in place. Please obey all signage.
Ordiequish Moray Monster Trails, near Fochabers -
Gulley Monster/Soup Dragon/Dragons Tail.
felling work will result in weekday closures of the trails from now till end
January. They will
reopen at weekends. Please obey all signage.
Kirkhill, near Aberdeen - part of the red trail is
closed to horses for the foreseeable future, till
remedial path work is carried out. To avoid the small section that is
affected, continue on the forest
and rejoin the route after 800m.
Advance warning - part of Countesswells (Kingshill section only), near
Aberdeen - tree thinning
will be carried out, probably in the new year. This will affect some of the
trails in this section
Advance warning - Scolty, near Banchory - tree
felling work on part of the red trail.
Diversions will be required from mid to late December to end of March.
Forestry Work –
Extract from FC Newsletter
New Car Park
Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is in the process of increasing the
number of car parks at which
apply charges for car parking. Over the next few months you will see new
meters at nine of our
around Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.
car parks will be Kirkhill, Foggieton, Countesswells, Scolty, Bennachie
Centre, Back of Bennachie,
Culbin (Wellhill), Whiteash (Winding Walks) and Roseisle....
Club Ride Omnibus is published on
http://sites.google.com/site/sercrideomnibus/ This is a “live”
calendar and you can get updates on the “Ride changes” page. Detailed
information on each ride will be
posted nearer the ride date.
hard copy may be produced by Borders Branch in the New Year which will be
available to buy.
members should have received a copy of the EGB magazine.
If you did not see this please let Ruth know.
is already in our rule book, but the FEI are encouraging random drug-testing
to take place next year
all levels of our sport.
Trophies for 2011 Freya van Midden has kindly donated
these two new trophies
which will be awarded at our AGM in February 2012
Barefoot Horse (wearing of boots allowed) with the most gold awards over the
season from any
competitive classes ridden in any branches in Scotland, irrespective of
the event of a tie, the trophy will be shared.
Barefoot Pleasure Trophy:
Barefoot (wearing of boots allowed) horse/rider combination, with the most
completed pleasure rides over
season ridden in any branch in Scotland.
the event of a tie, the higher pleasure mileage wins.
Forest of Deer
was a weekend of two halves. On the Saturday we had all the classes up to
the 80 kms ER and what an exciting finish that was. The crews said that the
first 3 were vying for the win, and it was close. The three horses came over
the open field and round the corner into the finish straight at full belt
with Iain Paterson and Donna Hemmings neck and neck and Francis Bakker in
hot pursuit. They thundered up past the finish and did a wide loop of the
parking area. Iain got Primo's head across the line first but unfortunately
got spun on high HR as Primo got chilled in the nippy wind (otherwise OK).
Full results are listed elsewhere, so Donna duly took the win.
the rain and wind intensified and I spent most of the night listening to the
torrential rain and 50+ mph wind. I went to check the horses a couple
of times and they were stoically standing quietly in their corrals. Then it
was back to the live weather and hoping the weather would move just a few
miles North or ease sufficiently to let us have our ride on Sunday. However,
it wasn’t to be and I had to make the decision to cancel the Sunday classes.
I’m afraid it took some time to text or phone everyone, so I apologise to
anyone who didn’t get the message soon enough to save the drive to the
before I close, I have to say a huge thank you to all the helpers who did
such a brilliant job over the weekend. We could have done with a few more,
especially beforehand as I ended up having to mark the route back into the
venue on the Saturday morning and I was then late opening the barriers on
the Longside section of the railway – apologies to everyone affected. But
back to the helpers, I’d especially like to thank Donna who checked every
inch of the tracks (with the exception of the new route back into the
venue), marked the forestry and Longside loops and demarked the forestry;
Arlene and Carola worked especially hard to co-ordinate the entries and
helpers for this weekend; Angi and Karl made the bridge over the cattle grid
and helped mark and demark; Lorna did us proud with the helpers buffet; and
each and every person on the list below. Thanks a million.
photos from Forest of Deer are on
Nine Stanes – notes
- I don't know about Kirkton Manor but Nine Stanes was wet enough. Many
thanks to Katie Keith who organised the route along with Alison Carrington
who sorted me out stabling and marked a lot of the route. Also to stalwart
Ruth (CS) and to all the helpers in the caravan who stayed cheerful despite
the weather. Katie had found some new, lovely grassy tracks for the ride and
even though I had to repeat the 30 km route with Obi to gain his STQ it was
certainly not a chore, despite the rain showers. Total of three wet coats
during the ride though.
you have all dried out now.
was a great ride. Loved it. Boysie and I had such fun. And all the more
special for Boysie getting his first BTQ with hr 46 at 10.6kph. Although
12yrs, in his novice year and not a natural athlete like Maisie (at
Clashindarroch) who is only 6 and novice but now has her BTF comfortably. He
definitely liked all the splashing and almost dived into the second ford -
bit like one of those Water World theme parks for horses at times! But
what makes the Grampian rides so much fun is they are very well organised,
well marked and folk are just so helpful and friendly. And great to see all
the pleasure riders out there.
special thanks to Allison (Lady Vice C) who made Candy and me so welcome at
the stables and gave me lots of support. Also to Arlene for her patience
with my registrations. Sorry I did not have time to stop and chat at
the end. Keen to get home. A96 was closed with flooding at Keith just as we
arrived back home! Lucky. See you again. Maybe make it to Mintlaw.
Thanks for the email and the link to Toria's photographs.
was a great ride and so pleased that we got to do the canter track at Nine
Stanes woods - always wondered what it was like. Saddles all cleaned and
polished and raring to go for the next one.
& Ryan, Tricky & I all had a great time on Sunday. An excellent ride, lovely
venue, good tracks with a nice mix of off/on road. Really enjoyed the track
thru the trees up Knock Hill, made the horses think! We will definitely be
going back to Nine Stanes again. Thanks to all involved
A “SURVIVOR’S” VIEW
OF THE ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS OR HOW TO GET YOUR HORSE USED TO WATER! by
almost 2 years of non-competitive rides due to injuries I was so looking
forward to taking La Rouge [Ria] to the Scottish Endurance Championships
being held at Perth Race Course at Scone. This time she would be travelling
with Judals Just Dreamin [Pharoah] her field companion. We set off at Lunch
time from Netherley in the glorious sunshine and on arriving at the venue
set up our corral where the two horses had plenty of company.
doing 31km on the Saturday and Sarah (Pharoah’s owner) was attempting her
first 50km as a Bronze Thistle Final grading. Sadly we wouldn’t be able to
ride together as these were different classes and the route was not the
Last Day of the
2011 Scottish Championships washed out – literally!
showers on Friday and Saturday, riders enjoyed 2 days of excellent, if a tad
slippy, riding, with excellent marking, and great views (when the weather
finishing off our excellent supper on Saturday, the heavens opened again and
unknown to us, the local stream that runs along the side of the venue, burst
its banks and started pouring through the venue field itself. Tents, cars
and caravans were engulfed in water within 20 minutes and it was a case of
all hands on deck to extricate any dry clothes/bedding from tents and move
them above the high water mark.... more
account of the Perth floods may well be only one of many but it seems to
catch the mood exactly.
don't really know where to start ... but I was getting truly frightened when
I realised that we were in the middle of a flash flood.
had rained constantly from the moment we all arrived at the venue in Perth
Racecourse on Friday lunchtime. We had thunder and lightning Friday and
Saturday but we all just got on with the Champs as planned. As Molly
Atkinson once said, we knew it would be "wet, very wet or very wet indeed".
It turned out to be the latter.... more
Sunday 5th of June 2011. Report from Joan Austen
year the weather was in our favour and the ground the best that could be
hoped for. The Chairman of the Hall committee kindly supplied a tank of
water in case of a heat wave(!!) and thanks to the last minute loss of the
‘away’ vet gate (due to withdrawal of the 80km distance), and Carola’s
enthusiasm, there were lots of helpers.
ride route covers forest, moor and field, the road work is at the beginning
and end and is overall a relatively small proportion. There is plenty of
different going, and for some their first experience of wide open spaces and
long hills, so is truly a fittening ride as well as a chance to see some
Thankfully our two bits of excitement were resolved happily – Marion and
Blue were reunited (after several hours apart), and Lucy’s horse loaded –
the ground was cleared and the landowners, professionals and helpers thanked
in appropriate ways (sorry if anyone was missed, you were all appreciated).
Hopefully everyone had a good day.
Fleeces and Rugby Shirts, and SERC Trailer Stickers
have a number of good quality fleeces in black or navy with the Club logo
embroidered in gold. They are front opening with a full-length zip.
There are also rugby shirts, also with the Club logo, and SERC trailer
stickers. These are usually in the caravan, if not, please ask.
navy fleece (medium) .................................£20 each
fleece (M, L, XL) ........................................£20 each
Yellow and black rugby shirts (S, L, XL) .........£5 each
fleece sizes are ‘neat’, so you may wish to buy one larger than your normal
rugby shirt sizes are generous.
trailer stickers are A4 or 210x297 mm.
Cheques should be made payable to “SERC Grampian”.
CHARITY RIDE ON THURSDAY 30 JUNE AT 6 P.M.
There will be a
charity ride at FINZEAN estate by kind permission of the Farquharson family
and organised by the Aberdeen Supporters Group of the Brooke Hospital for
Animals. The ride will start at 6 p.m. followed by a BBQ.
Sponsor forms will be available - the cost of the ride is £25 but if you can
raise more than this the Brooke will be highly delighted. Please
contact Linda Moncur Anderson at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Fogg at
for Entry Forms.
The Clash – Inside Looking Out
Not the Clash but
our Clashindarroch, the first ride of this season. Blessed by the
weather which was both sunny but with a gentle cooling breeze at least at
the venue, it was a perfect day for ride in the forest. It was a
pleasure to be there even as a humble helper in the caravan.
However, back at
the venue and interned in the caravan, it was a typical first ride.
Which bits of tack or crewing items were left hanging in the tack room is
unrecorded although on this occasion everyone had brought their horses,
saddles and hats. Don’t laugh, over the years, on previous first
rides, all of these vital objects have been forgotten by someone.
When it comes to
paperwork it was another story. We don’t expect non-members to have
medical cards but Marlene Ralley, my competent and trusty assistant, handed
out many of these to members too. Vet writers were handed blank vet
sheets and a very significant number of white Mileage cards and Competitive
Master Cards were also not filled in. Whilst Marlene and I were glad
to do these additional clerical jobs, if you had to wait a little longer
than usual for your rosette, this could just have been the reason.
However all is
forgiven since I too have sinned in the past but please do remember these
simple things and make the next caravan prisoner’s life a little easier.
Aberdeenshire Sports Council
Roger and Brenda
Searle went to the dinner on 11/3/11. He was awarded runner up for
said they thoroughly enjoyed the evening. He also picked up a Certificate of
Nomination for the Club of the Year.
Growing with the Miles by
Article originally written for
the Arab Society newsletter.
I have shared my
life with Stazi (Sandy to his friends) for two and a half years now....
The Ragwort plant (Senecio jacobaea) is a
pretty yellow flowering plant that is absolutely deadly to livestock but
especially to horses because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. The
one saving grace is that it doesn’t taste good but once cut and dried is
edible and still retains its toxicity. These toxic compounds
principally cause damage to the liver that can lead to death. It is
most important, therefore, that humans take precautions when handling the
plant i.e. wear gloves and face mask....
“No man is an Island….”
Roger Searle sets
an example in perseverance in pursuit of the elusive Gold Thistle.
On 19th September,
at the Highland Fling, Forest Hunter completed his Gold Thistle: I had the
great good fortune to be his rider. We had been together at SERC events for
nine years; this was our last ride....
Best Conditions at 2010 Grampian rides
Woodstock Friday Man
Forest of Deer
Forest of Deer
Hringur fra Skaroi
Learning to Crew
or Being thrown into the deep end
By Carola MacCallum
Someone once told me that the great thing
about working with horses is that you never stop learning. ......more
Tahuna – Typhoona
do you do when the rain is sheeting down, the wind is blowing a gale and
sand is flying enough to strip the paint off an oil-rig? ....
Thanks To ...
Dorward and Marlene Arthur who put in a lot of work into trying to arrange
season ride for us at Loanhead- weather conditions in the lead up, work in
forestry and on the tracks and a lack of entries unfortunately their hard
work is not
resulting in a ride- but there work is not unnoticed!
Thanks also to Carola McCallum who has arranged fellow member and Instructor
Law to come along to Loanhead and let a few of us have a leg stretch with
horses to some music in the indoor school- hopefully letting us learn how to
schooling a bit more fun and working on the horses rhythm with the music.
to Clive Pollitt who has been accepted as a 3* FEI Judge and Chief
Steward. We are aware of how much time and effort this training
Helping Hands -
an open letter from Jenny Milne ...
Hydration, it’s more than a drop in the bucket
by Lucinda Stapleton
Hydration is very easy to balance in humans but is not that
easy to balance in horses. .... more
Katie Keith writes a
Farewell to Prince of Copperview, Arlene Parvin’s brave and fun-loving
Hogmanay 2009 Arlene had to make the awful decision to have Prince put to
sleep. He was very ill with an infection which had led to internal damage
and despite Arlene’s loving care and the hard work of the vets at Ardene
Veterinary Hospital he would not have recovered and so wee Prince has
crossed the Rainbow Bridge…
lucky to get to know Prince this year and got really attached to the hairy
grey Highland pony who became a wee project to keep me busy after Jack’s
injury at Ludlow and this year’s chaos in my personal life. Thanks for that
Arlene; it’s amazing how your friends know what the best therapy for you
Prince was only 4 years old and he was a cracking pony with so much promise.
In the summer we had fun hacking out, fittening him and bringing him on. He
had a great character, cheeky and stubborn but also intelligent and
affectionate. His first outing was to my Drumtochty ride in August. Poor
Prince got the shock of his life at his first endurance ride and the
stubborn streak came out in full force! When faced with the hilly course he
planted his feet and said NO WAY! I had to get off and pull him up all the
hills and we were hopelessly out of time. When I got back I announced that
riding Price for 10 miles was more exhausting than riding Jack for 50!
However, with his first Pleasure ride under his belt he began to blossom,
going beautifully round Forest of Deer and Blairgowrie, his determined wee
legs going 19 to the dozen! Arlene and I were very proud of him as he began
to show his potential. In October we had a lovely day out in Blackhall
forest with Arlene riding Nicky and wee Prince going along behind him in his
own sweet time! He came with me to Riding Club training with Hamish Cameron,
who was very admiring of him. It was his first lesson and his first time in
an indoor school, he was understandably a bit puzzled, but we laughed and
enjoyed ourselves loads!
last few rides I took him on were round the stubble fields as the evenings
grew shorter. He was a forward going Highland and liked to canter through
the stubble, putting in the odd cheeky buck out of sheer joie de vivre!
made plans to take him to Intro dressage at Riding Club and to take him and
Jack to pop some cross country jumps in the New Year. Arlene rode him three
days before he died and said he was his usual cheery self, slithering a bit
in the snow but happy to be out.
Prince, you gave us happy times in your short life and you were very, very
loved. Sleep tight wee man, we will all miss you.
‘TIS THE SEASON TO DRINK MERRILY BUT DOES YOUR HORSE?
A well-written and informative article from Lucinda Stapleton
(Horse Quencher UK)
Holidays on Horseback
Carola & Judith spent some fun days at Mar Lodge
My new year's resolution, amongst many other more boring ones,
was to have as much fun with my new horse, Stazi, as possible. ....
It has been agreed
to introduce a 40km class to give those that need to prepare for that
distance as part of the Scottish Team and to put proposal to AGM to change
distance points accordingly.
• Ride entry fees 2009 – no change. Fee for 40km class = £18.00 for members.
Update on Endurance & the Pony
Pony Club UK has recently announced that it is launching
endurance as one of its official disciplines in 2009. Work is currently
ongoing on this proposal, which includes Pony Club having its own UK
committee, established rules, distances and end-of-season national
championships in the future, in conjunction with the national governing body
Endurance GB (EGB).
It is, as yet, not
clear how the roles of EGB and SERC will relate to Pony Club in Scotland.
Meantime, Pony Club in Scotland is happy to continue with the support it has
received from members of SERC at local levels on the introduction of
endurance at grass roots level through local branch rallies, camps and
training events. There are several proposed rule changes being put forward
for the Club AGM in the light of this, to bring SERC into line with EGB.
Health Exemption Certificate
It has been agreed to introduce Health Exemption Certificates
as we have members and ride participants who have a health problem of a
chronic or long-term nature (e.g. MS), which make it difficult for them to
know until close to the ride whether or not they will be fit to participate.
Equally the Committee know that to continue to participate in physical and
social activity is beneficial for some of these conditions in so far as it
is possible. The Club has a clear ‘equal opportunities’ policy which
encourages us not to discriminate against participants on grounds of health
Therefore the Medical Exemption Certificate will be issued based on
self-certification that the member has a chronic or long-standing condition
which makes their health unpredictable, production of a medical certificate
is not required.
Once issued, the certificate will enable a rider to routinely request refund
if their health condition at any point in the 14 days prior to the ride
prevents participation. The ride entry form has been adapted to
include the provision of a tick box so that holders of a MEC can make the
ride secretary aware at the time of entry and should the rider have to
withdraw, their entry will be refunded.
To apply for a Medical Exemption Certificate [MEC], members should write
with their details to the Club General Secretary. All applications
will be dealt with in total confidence.
Membership renewals run from 1st
Membership forms were sent out with the Club
newsletter – please pay up! They should be returned to our Membership
Secretary, Katie Keith. Your membership should have been renewed by 1st
January and this is the last newsletter you will receive if you have not
If you are wondering “Why join?” and what do
you get for your money, we offer the opportunity to ride in many diverse
places. Members get a discount on entries, third party insurance, friendly
advice and the opportunity to have your horse assessed by an experienced
vet, who often will take a great deal of time to talk to you after the ride
if you have a problem.
If you have a friend who is dithering about
the discipline, then “Starting Endurance Riding” by Claire Wilde is an
excellent little book published by Threshold Picture Guides No 41.
Brenda Searle, who donated the Birnham
Trophy, has been in touch concerning the qualifications for this award
which, you will remember, is currently for the most senior member with the
highest points for the year. She feels that with the experience of the past
two years this is too restrictive and perhaps militates against older riders
who do shorter distances of pleasure rides.
She has asked that the conditions of
qualification change to "The senior rider 60 years or over having
ridden the greatest accumulated distance in the season"
Those wishing to be considered for this
award would need to have had their sixtieth birthday on or before the 1st
January in the year in which they qualify, and to notify the archivist.
This is a handsome trophy and well worth winning!
SERC on Facebook!
now have a facebook group called grampian scottish endurance club – so if
you are on facebook – join in!.
No Passport, No Rescue!
Should you have the misfortune to be stranded
by breakdown or accident - professional transporters may refuse to carry
your horse if you cannot produce the passport. So it is wise to carry the
correct documentation, even if you are just taking your horse out for a few
miles for a lesson or hack in the forest!
BHS GRAMPIAN Presents
Graeme Hunter MCVRS With a talk on
WORMS AND WORMING
on Tuesday 9TH December at 7.30 at
the Torryburn Hotel, Kintore. Price £5. Everyone welcome.
Our next practice day is on Saturday 13th Dec at Cobblehouse
Stables near Turriff, starting at 11am. Please let me know how many of you
are coming as we may have to split into groups if there are too many for the
school. Cost is £10 per head. We will be doing bending, ridden "S" bends,
ridden corridors (they are as narrow as the led ones) and control of paces.
Bring your own snacks etc
Liz Watts. 07800 608385
Scotland warning - please pass on - Helicopters!
Riders be warned - Low flying helicopters in all areas of Scotland over next
fortnight. The RAF has 4 Puma Helicopters based at Leuchars in Fife
for the next 2 weeks on exercise, they will be flying in all areas, both day
The BHS advises in order to give the pilots a chance to avoid flying
directly over you while out hacking please wear HI-Viz gear at all times, as
usual on the public highway but also while hacking off road and even
Any Queries ring Helene in 01764 656334
BHS Scotland, Woodburn, Crieff, Perthshire, PH7 3RG
The Scottish Equestrian Association is conducting research into equestrian
participation in Scotland and equestrian associated activities. This will
help improve understanding of participation levels and aid support and
funding across the equestrian sector in Scotland.
Please spare a few minutes to fill in the short survey. All input is
important in order to appreciate the breadth and depth of equestrian
activity in Scotland. Please also pass this around to as many people as
possible in order that we can get as many responses as possible. The link to
the online questionnaire is:
Endurance Festival, 9-10 August 2008
Forest Park, County Antrim, Ireland
A Scottish flying finish was the triumphant end to a weekend that saw
Scotland sweep the board at the Glenariff endurance festival in Northern
For anyone who hasn't heard, Katy Hazel Parvin was born on the 11th July
2008. Arlene and her husband Kevin are having lots of sleepless nights and
yes the horses are not getting exercised as much as they should be!
Grampian has 3 members selected to go to Ireland next week for the Home
International and Celtic Challenge. Congratulations go to Lisa Maitland and
Aztec, Lorna Hogg with De Marco, and our chairman Jane Hollstein, with
Polmailys Lord Abu.
We wish them a
safe journey and a successful event. You will be able to follow team updates
and progress on the forum.
Capercaille Interbranch Challenge and Perth Weekend
A team of four Grampian riders took part in the Capercaille Interbranch
Challenge at Perth on Saturday 28th of June. They were:-
Morven Lawson - Pleasure
Lisa Maitland - 30km
Lynda Keeler - 50km
Kate Robertson - 60km
Everyone of the team performed exceptionally well and as a team finished a
close 2nd just pipped at the post by Dumfries branch.
Some of the other branch achievements during the weekend were:
80K ER - 1st - Katie Keith
4th - Jane Hollstein (GTF)
80km CTR - Tony Comerford (STF)
60km CTR - Fiona Munro (STQ)
racecourse is the front runner for next years championships, this event was
a great warm-up and the venue, routes and organisation were all of a very
We have the new
club merchandise which is be available to purchase. Jenny Milne has
attached a link to show the style of fleece. The colours available are
either dark navy size medium & large, or black in XL with the Club logo.
There is limited stock available and they are sold at £20 per garment.
The fleeces will be available at the caravan along with the rugby shirts
(black and yellow) of a few years ago which are at a knock down price of
around £5-10 each.
Sickness Sponsored Ride, Run, Cycle or Walk
Just a final reminder that we have re-scheduled the Equine Grass Sickness
Fund Fundraiser to Sunday September the 28th when it will take the form of a
Fun day at Traquair Village Hall as well as offering a variety of lengths of
horse ride, cycle, run and walk (with or without dog)!
The schedules will be out shortly!
Anyone who wishes to donate a prize or sponsor the event is welcome to get
Any ideas or offers off live music, street theatre, stalls, clowns or face
painting gratefully received!
Please circulate this early 'heads up' around any of your friends or clubs
that may be interested.
We want this event to be a 20th anniversary celebration of the work of the
Equine Grass Sickness Fund as well as a very full day of fund raising
Helene Mauchlen, Scottish Development Officer for British Horse Society,
Woodburn, Crieff, Perthshire, PH7 3RG
01764 656334 or 07808141077
Story by Jane Hollstein
The day after Grampian Castles ride I spoke to Fiona
McLeod who was riding with her wee lad, Hadyn, and Bridie Davis and daughter
Hannah, to say a big "well done" for completing one of the most challenging
Pleasure rides in the whole Club!......
Congratulations to our Branch members who took part in
Lothian’s Hillhead ride:
Kate Robertson with Lady Bathsheba won the 120
km ER, in a phenomenal 9 hours 46 minutes, at a speed of 12.90 km/ph with an
amazing Heart rate of 52 bpm!!!!!!!
Lorna Hogg and De Marco came 5th in
the 120 km ER in 10 hours 16 minutes at 12.27 km/ph with a fantastic Heart
Rate of 60 bpm! after only a few minutes.
Katie Keith and Jakhiri achieved their Gold
Thistle Final in one attempt, a distance of 85km, at 13.53 km/ph with a Gold
Heart Rate of 48 bpm!!!
Well done to you all - incredible achievements which
take years of dedication, enthusiasm and commitment.
Sad news from Ruth
There’s no easy way
to say this. Samee died suddenly last month. She was found dead
in the field in the morning with no visible injuries or evidence of trouble
in the field. This was a huge shock as she was looking great the last
time I saw her and she was only 22 (her mother lived to 42, not that I
expected Samee to reach that age, but I did think she would make around the
30 mark). This happened while Malcolm and I were away on holiday and I
couldn’t get back to be there so it’s been hard to come to terms with it.
I bred her from Hameda who I had bought after knowing her since the '70's
(before some of you were born!), so it's a huge chunk of my life. Ruth
The Committee and members offer their condolences to Ruth
at this sad time.
Those of you who were unable to come to the “Drop in to Endurance” morning
on Saturday missed an enjoyable and informative time. This was a very
friendly and informal gathering and those who did turn up, ranging from
newcomers to very experienced riders, all chatted freely and went away
better informed. We can all learn from each other’s experience, and there
was a great deal of swapping boots (horses), trying saddles, discussing the
merits of massage therapy, heart monitors, how the new rules might affect
you, etc. all on a one to one basis.
Our grateful thanks to Lorna who made it clear that the rules are not that
difficult, Katie Keith who showed individuals how to use heart monitors,
Arlene and Emma Parvin who brought (and sold) some lovely tack, Janice
Thomson, who brought her car loaded with half her tack room and gave lots of
advice; Kate Robertson who discussed the training of horses up to the
highest levels, Leon who showed most of the stuff you may need in your crew
car or back at the venue to get your horse ready for the vet; and Clive
Pollitt who had a great deal of interesting (and often home-made) kit and
gave advice on getting through vettings. Jane and Douglas were on hand
to answer and ask any questions and Douglas performed the essential office
of catering with tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits.
news ..Argent of Ballydougan announces his retirement from Grampian Branch
rides - at age 15 and a half.
Thornton sent this piece last November,
Archie is sure there will be a few sighs of relief from various Officials
and Clipboard Ladies as he was notorious for breaking loose, scattering all
and sundry persons/equipment/articles in his wake. His usual excuse was to
see what other equines had in their buckets......
The Versatile Quarter Horse By Susan Jacyna
Simon and I live in Keith and are lucky to have really
beautiful riding country on our doorstep. Orinoco (sire Venture Max,
dam Waccabuc Jr) is now ten and I bought him from Joan Cadzow when he was a
just-backed and very green 3 yr old.......
Katie & Jack’s view of the SRGAHS Versatile
The summer of 2007 has been memorable for most people as
incredibly wet, and for me, as one of many some amazing highs and crashing
lows. The week of National Arabian week I should have been travelling down
to Swindon to compete on the Scottish team at Barbury Castle.......
report from Highland branch member Fiona Monro
Fiona & Nico
– intro to Grampian
Well our first Grampian ride has come and gone. We were fortunate that
the venue field was nice, big and flat and Nico found the grass very tasty!!
The usual nerves kicked in with me, from the moment I awoke that morning and
by the time I reached the yard I had probably double dosed on Rescue Remedy
as did Nico before loading. Lorna came with me to support our first
ride back to SERC after being off since July last year. Nico’s
pre-ride heart rate was 48 and I (or rather Lorna) found us fabulous riding
duo in Donna and Sameh. Their paces were very similar as were their
spooky moments!! Would have enjoyed the ride even more if there were
more canter opportunities, but the ground was hard and very stony in part.
We managed a couple of canters passing by the river though. Nico and
Sameh found the ascending hills quite a chore towards the end, but soon
perked back up when we were descending down the final section to the venue
which was a particularly fine moment, given that Donna & I were both soaked
through by this point. Always nice to see a photographer on route and
Nico suitably posed for her, so dying to see how that looks. We came
through the finish and averaged 10.7km/hr. No need for cooling down as
the dreach day managed to do that for us. Post ride heart rate was
52/50 and if it hadn’t been for him straining himself to look at something
else, we may very well have been down to 48!! My horse was a little
star given that he did the ride carrying more weight than he should be (he,
not me, I was referring to his tum). But I am just glad that the two
of us enjoyed being back at SERC and it wouldn’t have been possible without
Lorna, (not forgetting Monty), Donna & Sameh. Topping off my day was
Nico loading in his new trailer without too much hassle. Big smiles
all round. Thanks very much Grampian Branch for making my first ride
back an enjoyable one without the threat of getting lost on route due to
A wonderful Surprise at
A report from Yvonne Thomson
Diamond Jubilee Ride at Balmoral this year turned out to be a real surprise.......
For photos of the event, click here
For further information, contact www.bhsscotland.org.uk
Drummuir is always a popular early season ride offering distances from 80k
downwards. It attracts riders from our neighbouring branches who are ready
to try an early 80k or wish to use it as a training ride for the Golden
Afforsk, Blairdaff (alias The Easter-Egg Hunt Ride!)
Ride report by Lynda Keeler
Little did I realise when Lorna said there would be a surprise for us at the
Greens of Afforsk ride that it would be a hunt for Easter Eggs!
Australian Physiotherapy Pilates
Kate Robertson is restarting classes on
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at Kemnay, Alford and Huntly
respectively, commencing 16th April.
Pilates can improve your core
stability, fitness, flexibility, improve posture and help you feel
invigorated. Do you think a fitter rider would benefit your
horse? If so contact Kate on 019755 62436 for details.
Eight lucky horses and their riders attended
Pauline Kidd’s Therapeutic grooming session at Drumnagesk. Lucky, firstly
because the weather was kind enough to allow it to happen, and secondly
because it was such a unique and beneficial experience. Pauline began by
observing each horse in walk and trot to assess its general well-being, i.e.
stiffness or lameness, and then embarked on a process of all-over touch and
light massage. Her infectious enthusiasm and practical hands-on approach,
using a very laid-back demonstrator horse (unlike our jumpy Arabians) was a
memorable way of getting to grips with each individual horse’s sensitivities
and thus its aches and pains. As a point of interest I think all the horses
exhibited at least one sore bit. Likewise most of the riders admitted to
sore bits, often a mirror image of the horses’ problems. Therefore surely
our individual imbalances greatly affect our faithful mounts – a point to
consider and work to eliminate, maybe using this technique.
Therapeutic grooming is an all-over
assessment and gentle massage of every muscle in a horse’s body – I would
recommend it for every horse.
Of particular interest to endurance riders,
this technique could be used during and post ride, at vet gates and pre-ride
vetting as a way to identify any tightness in muscles, sensitivity or
Our thanks to Tony for organising this
interesting and useful event.
Glen Tanar Ride Report 2006
From Yvonne Thomson, Ride Organiser, writes
an interesting story on organising a new ride........
Kirkhill – A Great Success
Ride report from Ruth Riddell
Congratulations to Gundula and Lorna for a
great success with the Kirkhill ride on Sunday. We were very lucky
with the weather, not only the wet weather beforehand to soften some of the
hard tracks, but the wind during the previous week to dry off the surface to
provide some of the best going we have had at Kirkhill for some time.
Then on the day, we had a nice cool wind which was excellent for everyone
except the vetting team – I hope they have all thawed out now.
The new tracks seemed to ride well – no
compulsory walk or industrial estate, less tarmac and in their place a few
new “less well known” connecting tracks to give a bit of variety.
Added to that, one or two planes coming in to land and the occasional train
going under the bridge all added to make the route a nice outing after what
seems like a long winter.
We had lots of new faces (and some old – or
should I say well-known – faces too) and lots of smiling faces at the end of
the day which makes it all worthwhile.
But the main reason for the success of the
day was the time and effort put in by both Gundula and Lorna beforehand and
the attention to everything to ensure that the ride ran smoothly. Well
done to you both.
Grampian Branch would like to give a warm welcome to the following new
members: Donna Hemmings, Angus Nesbit, Mark Nesbit, Iona McDonald, Arlene
Killoh, Judith Barker, Claire Wallace, Freya van Midden, Christina van
Midden, Katharina van Midden, Jenny Milne, Morven Lawson, Jacqueline
Christie, Susan Duncan, and Mr & Mrs Duncan Hynd
And welcome back to Linda Taylor, Yvonne Monro, Kathy Meyer, Michael Lomax,
Willie and Janet Keith and Angela Horrod who have all rejoined us after
having had a break.
Please be assured that most members enjoy sharing experiences and advice
relating to endurance so don't be afraid to ask- although preferably not if
we're standing waiting to vet our own horse!
Christmas Fun Day on 28th December
Our thanks to Tony and Karen Comerford who ran this enjoyable
day. A number of riders expressed regret at not being able to attend
as it was a very icy morning. Tony and Karen wrote the following
This new trophy is called the Schadow Trophy. No, my wonderful
Haflinger Schadow is not dead or sold on; she is still very much with me and
still enjoying her endurance.
I decided to give this trophy to Grampian SERC to encourage and
reward the riders that for reasons of their own do not do big miles or very
long distances and have the pleasure of achieving a reward for their efforts
and enjoyment. Riders going the longer distances already have many
trophies to aim for.
This trophy is for the most Golds for 30 miles (48 km) and under.
The Golds can be from other SERC branches as well as Grampian.
It is surprising how many miles you can ride in a year just doing twenties
( I hope to win it myself some day!)
You may say that we already have a Gold trophy. Yes, I gave that one
too; the Cresta Lee Trophy, for the most Golds in a year for all
Report from ride organisers, Karen and Tony Comerford.
From the organisers’ point of view, the ride on 15th October was
a breeze! A small entry, all of the riding variations on a 36km loop, and we
had lots of helpers. .......
day for Whitehaugh 2006
Ride Report from Kate Robertson (with a sigh of relief)
Happy – because we had strong,
knowledgeable people in charge – including Dawn Saunders as first-time Chief
Steward, Janice Thomson as Vet Writer, and my husband Hugh as essential
background support. These three were the back-bone of the organisation on
the day and proved a formidable team. The warm glow came from
Mandy Craik’s Mum’s gorgeous chocolate cake, sampled by the majority!
Huge thanks go to Yvonne and Dawn for marking the pleasure ride, Robert
Keeler for sense of humour and start/finish timekeeping; Kathleen Howie and
Pat Williams for Caravan/results, sign-maker Anna Craik; typing expert Leona
Whiteoak; Forest Enterprise for lovely riding tracks; and Hugh for all his
hard work cutting back broom and gorse. Apart from the memorable chocolate
cake, Mandy found helpers, made all the packed lunches, and most important
of all – boosted the morale of the fraught ride organiser – what a friend!
Hugh and I demarked all the routes ourselves – no offer of help with that
task. Thanks also go to Raynet, vet Heather Simpson and Farrier – the
special Ken Playle.
Perhaps new members and those who do not help with rides might realise just
how many people we need to put on even a small ride – just 16k and 33k –
making together a 49k. Even though it is hard work, you make new
friends and have good fun.
Jack in the Box
Have you ever watched someone trying to load a
difficult horse? Wanted to help? Felt sorry for them? Shaken your head in
disbelief? Like many problems, it looks less complex from the outside
looking in. .........
Coloured Tail Ribbons - by
I've always assumed most equine
owners are aware of the "colour coding" of horses tail ribbons:
Blue for stallions ie. if you
have a mare in season, you'd better steer clear of him.
Green for novices and youngsters
ie. please pass wide and slow and at a reasonable speed.
Red for kickers ie. please look out and
stand well back (my horse falls into this category).......
Finnish Horse's First Year in Endurance - by Lynsey Gordon
The best thing I ever did was to buy
Valittu, otherwise known as Dino, a 14.3hh palomino Finnish horse which I
bought from Kirsi and Mika Malaska when they came over to Hayfield Riding
Centre. He had spent his first years competing in trotting races ......
at Rides - by Tracey Banks
Yes, these 3 horrible words that everyone
loves to hear – helping at rides. Our rides can only take place if we
have enough volunteers to run them. There are a number of jobs you can
do so I’ve decided to give a brief description ...........
20 Mule Team 100
by Clive Pollitt
In 1880 a team was established to haul borax from the Harmony Borax Works in
Death Valley and the Amargosa works near Shoshone to the railhead at Mojave.
These 20 Mule Teams soon became a legend, .................(more)
SICKNESS – my part in its downfall – by Dawn Saunders
Like Tony and Karen (Comerford), I too lost a pony to grass sickness.
Within 24 hours of being diagnosed he was gone. So five years down the
line I was devastated to come home from holiday and find our little black
Shetland, Magic, obviously in the throws of it too......
Mud Fever: Getting It Right by Kieran O’Brien MA MVB PhD MRCVS
EqWest Equine Veterinary Clinic, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8QA
Mud fever is very common in the Arabian breed, due at least
in part to the high prevalence of white legs.....(more)
Equine Grass Sickness
Just over a year ago I
lost my horse to Grass Sickness. It has taken that year and a new
horse before I felt able to write about it....(more)
Wall and Electrolytes by Clive Pollitt
In a recent ride at St Fort, I had the pleasure of riding with a group of 40
milers, one of which was using the ride as a Silver qualifier. This
was to be her first 40 miler and she was full of confidence that,
based on previous rides, both rider and the horse were well prepared and
would have no problem doing a 40.....(more)
Drumtochty 2004 Ride Report
(This was sent to your
editor from a member of Tayside Branch)....(more)
Grampian Rider To
“Go The Distance” For Scotland
The profile of Endurance Riding has been raised considerably
recently as a local member of Grampian Branch of the Scottish Endurance
Riding Club has succeeded in being selected to represent Scotland in October
75 Miles at Cirencester (76
Cirencester Park, is part of the 14,000 acre Gloucestershire
estate owned by Lord Bathurst. It is home to the Cirencester Park Polo Club
but on the 18th of June it hosted a 75mile and 100mile FEI ride
run under the auspices of Endurance GB....(more)
Ride in the Hills by Simon Jacyna
The West Highland
Pony Camp is an innocuous title for one of the most unusual and demanding
challenges in Scottish riding. Started in the 70s by Teddy Gray of the Garry
Gualach Outdoor Centre the challenge is simple – organise a horseback
expedition in the Scottish Highlands covering at least 35 miles with one
night away to finish at a given destination on the first Friday in June.
And Finally, Some Thoughts From Rob Winmill
The US standard railway gauge is 4 ft 8.5 ins , a very odd number : why was
that used ? -- Because they built them that way in England and English
expats built US railways.....(more)
A Small Drama Turns Up Some Interesting Information By Elaine Wafer
If you are thinking of starting the 2004 ride season with a
new riding hat you may find the following story of interest.
My preferred model of hat is the Advanced Tech Helmet made by
International Riding Helmets who are an American company.....(more)
Afraid! Be Very Afraid (Riding
on the roads)
For once the sun was
shining and there was just a gentle breeze as I got ready to ride, the usual
saga of white hat and fluorescent tabard and almost white horse surely I was
visible. So off we went hoping for a pleasurable couple of hours.....(more)
"No Shoes, No
Clothes, No Hoose!" A poem
Here is a Little Poem which Angi Long
wrote. (It was inspired by a comment from Morag
(Nickki Groat’s sister) when she found out that Angi and Karl Leye’s horses
are wintered out and barefoot)....(more)