Equestrian

Equestrian

Over the stable door: The real reason for Felix’s birthday wish

It was my son Felix’s birthday last week. As is the norm for a 10-year-old boy, what present to ask for became a life-changing decision he deliberated over for months leading up to the big day.

Equestrian
Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: The joys of party time

My charity party a few weeks ago was a success. On the day, we worked under a cloudless sky to finish of last-minute jobs. Signs went up, tables laid, wine put on ice. The run up had been hard work. Everyone’s spirits were high if a little jaded after such a busy few weeks. I was glad when the night finally arrived.

Equestrian
The parade of hounds at the Great Yorkshire Show. Picture: Gary Longbottom

John Peel moment as hunt takes bow

FOR four decades, his voice has been one of the defining sounds of the Great Yorkshire Show.

Equestrian
Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Celebration so soon

I can’t believe my Summer Celebration Party has come around so fast, next Saturday all the hard work will come to a climax.

Equestrian
Matthew and Verity Bedford pictured with their son Reggie aged 15 weeks, at Thorpe Hill Farm, Whixley. Picture by Simon Hulme

The Bedfords ensure futures for horses of yesteryear

They are the darlings of the agricultural show world, the gentle giants that were the original workhorses before the farm machinery revolution made them virtually redundant in the 1950s. Heavy horses are no longer the force they were in the countryside and have now largely cast off their working class hero image in exchange for the glam and showbiz world of colour and splendour.

News
Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Return to childhood scene in Ilkley

Yorkshire Air Ambulance is set to benefit from the Nidderdale Harness Racing taking place at Pateley Bridge tomorrow. Held at Bewerley Park, the races have raised over £4,000 for the charity since they returned to Nidderdale in some form in 2013 after a 75-year absence.

Equestrian
Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Yorkshire riders to represent Britain

Massive celebrations are afoot in Yorkshire eventing circles this week following the announcement that two Northern lads have been selected to represent Britain at the FEI Nations Cup in the USA in July.

Equestrian
Pingu and Baffle keep Jo Foster busy whenever they are together. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Double trouble of dog tales

Pingu the Jack Russell has come to stay with us whilst my parents are away on holiday. Whenever the little bitch comes to visit Baffle (my Patterdale) gets incredibly excited. She loves to lead Pingu astray, which doesn’t take much. Once the kitchen door opens they are both through it and away.

Equestrian
Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Silent success for Middleham hostel

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be invited to a charity dinner at York racecourse in aid of The Jessica Bethell Foundation. Jessica, a trainer’s daughter from Middleham, sadly died of meningitis at the age of 24 in 2012. The event was held by her parents Sally and James Bethell who have worked tirelessly fundraising over the last two years, supporting local community projects and funding research into the disease.

Equestrian
Over the stable door: Internet dating for Baffle

Over the stable door: Internet dating for Baffle

Baffle, my two-year-old Patterdale bitch, has been dipping her paw into a bit of internet dating recently in the search to find a mate for her first litter of puppies. In the past finding my pooches a mate has meant a queue at the door but not this time.

Equestrian
Messing about on the river had been so much fun.

Over the stable door: Charity race fun and unwelcome destruction

The point to point proved a fun day out last Saturday. The charity race in aid of Candlelighters was thoroughly enjoyed by the 14 riders. They were aboard everything from Cobs to Clydesdales, most having their first taste of racing. The crowd ‘holloaed’ every one of them home, respectful at seeing true amateurs with the guts to have a go for a worthy cause. The day raised £8,000 for the charity.

Equestrian
Jo Foster and family are involved in today's Pendle point to point fixture. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Health and safety is stifling traditional events

Whoever said the most stressful thing in life was going through a divorce had obviously never tried to convert a relatively unstable barn into a live-able and saleable dwelling place without breaking the bank or upsetting the planners; being in a green belt area just adds to the tension.

Equestrian
Jo Foster has been in the wars during a rollercoaster week. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Rollercoaster week is a knock-out

My farrier Jack has many legendary stories to tell regarding his job. He must have spent a considerable amount of time reciting them to his mother as she has gone on to write a book, loosely based on her son’s experiences as an apprentice farrier.

Equestrian
Country Week columnist Jo Foster has paid tribute to her late friend and former teacher, Peggy Alpin.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Farewell to classy, charming Peggy

We are already flying through the pointing season and this weekend promises to be the busiest yet with two Yorkshire meetings scheduled. The Cleveland meeting is tomorrow at Witton Castle whilst on Easter Monday the Staintondale is to be held at Charm Park, Wykeham. Both meetings boast strong entries and promise some competitive races.

Equestrian
Jo Foster sorting out the tack at her stables at Menston near Leeds.

Over the stable door: Thefts an all-too common story in rural areas

Speak to any farmer at your local livestock market and few will have been spared a visit from thieves.

Equestrian
Kempton racecourse is to be sold for housing.

Over the stable door: Only luck prevents jockey mix up

We were asked for a day’s hunting with the Bedale a few weeks ago. It was lashing down with rain as we drove north up the A1, puddles were joining up along the roadside threatening to flood. I could sense Tris was about as excited as I was at the thought of spending hours in a soaking wet saddle but as we neared Masham the clouds hurried south taking the rain with them and the sun shone across James Herriot’s country.

Equestrian
Jo Foster sorting out the tack at her stables at Menston near Leeds.

Over the stable door: Uplifting show of resilience adds to bright mood

It was as if the birds knew January was over and spring was on its way when we rode across the fields earlier this week. As the heavy rain clouds rolled away there came a peep of blue sky accompanied by the hearty sound of Blackbirds and a Robin to cheer us on our ride.

Equestrian
Jo Foster sorting out the tack at her stables at Menston near Leeds.

Over the stable door: Point to point is underway

Today a new Yorkshire point to point season gets underway. A sociable and highly competitive days racing beckons at the Sheriff Hutton track for those willing to brave the elements and watch stars of the future in action. With the huge number of entries taken it promises to offer plenty of excitement.

Equestrian
Cherry Coward who is one of Point to Point's best known Yorkshire trainers, watches jockey Jack Andrews over one of the jumps on her farm at Scackleton, near York.  Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Coward family saddles up to host point to point opener

Excitement is building at Low Moor Farm near Scackleton in the Howardian Hills. This is where Cherry Coward and her daughters Sam and Jacqueline are preparing for the 2017 Yorkshire point to point racing season that is under starters orders at her father’s Newhouse Farm at Sheriff Hutton on Sunday, January 15 - but for one of the three it will be tinged with some sadness.

Equestrian
Jo Foster sorting out the tack at her stables at Menston near Leeds.

Over the stable door: Obsession reined in to enjoy what is important

The new year started with a bang for lady jockeys. On New Year’s Day, four lady riders totted up five winners between them. Lizzie Kelly from Devon won two big races at Cheltenham whilst Bridget Andrews, Lucy Gardner and Megan Carberry rode winners at Catterick, Exeter and Musselburgh respectably.

Equestrian
Load more