Equestrian

Equestrian

Over the stable door: Case of the disappearing tup

I purchased a new tup some weeks ago. Tris had to borrow a trailer and collect him for me two days after my accident whilst I was laid up in hospital. The tup was turned out to run with my ewes.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Out of hospital but long road ahead

A long road of recuperation stretches rather bleakly ahead. I was finally released from hospital last weekend. Part of me was sad to leave behind the security of my room where staff could not do enough to make me comfortable, regular meals brought to my bedside and everything on hand at the press of a button.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Cutting it fine

Our airport shuttle chugged along and eventually pulled up outside the terminal. “Oh, terminal one,” I said to my perspiring Irish friend, “and we’ve got 34 minutes before our flight leaves – terminal two.”

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Fulfilling promising plans

When I have time on my hands I start planning new ventures. Ideas which germinate in the dark cupboards of my scatterbrain mind suddenly flourish in the sunlight that is spare time and I throw any spare energy into making them happen.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Approval of Wetherby’s upgrade

Having a runner at Wetherby races last week gave us a chance to inspect the newly opened Millennium West stand which has taken a year to build at a cost of £3.5m.

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Youngest showjumper rides to success in Countryside Live debut

She has already proved to be a convincing Wonder Woman but Lilly Aspell demonstrated her considerable talent in the saddle by being named as the show’s most Talented Showjumper.

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Action from the Northern Show Cross Finals on day one of Countryside Live in Harrogate.

Rain sees equine contest cancelled at Countryside Live

The Northern Show Cross Finals at the Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live this weekend has been cancelled ahead of the autumn show’s second day.

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Lilly Aspell, pictured alongside her parents, Donna Aspell and Paddy Aspell, will compete in the Talented Showjumper Competition at this weekend's Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live in Harrogate. Picture by Richard Walker.

Tiny film star heads to Harrogate for showjumping contest

She has starred in a Hollywood blockbuster and recently finished filming in Serbia for her next big screen role, but for tiny North Yorkshire schoolgirl Lilly Aspell, competing at this weekend’s Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live is perhaps even more important.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Frankie goes hunting

Last week we took a couple of the racehorses out hunting for the first time. Hunting provides invaluable experience for unraced youngsters with crowds of energetic horses they have to react quickly to the new challenges they encounter.

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The Princess Royal watching a horse dental examination by vet Dr James Roxburgh and nursing assistant Francesca Ware during her visit to Hambleton Equine Clinic. Picture by James Hardisty.

Princess takes tour of North Yorkshire horse hospital

Staff at a purpose-built hospital for horses have finally received the royal approval they had hoped for.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: A life spent breathing and dreaming of the outdoors

My friend sent me a copy of his new book recently. It is called True to the Line by Adrian Dangar, and I am proud to say it is a highly entertaining read based on his memoirs as a huntsman and countryman – a life spent breathing and dreaming of foxes, hounds, wildlife and the countryside. I met Adrian years ago when he was hunting the Sinnington hounds. He was an old classmate of my boyfriend at the time and we have remained friends ever since so I awaited his first book with keen interest. Last week it arrived and I began reading, keen to fill in the gaps he had often hinted at but rarely divulged to us in much detail. Adrian has written many articles for The Field, Horse and Hound and Country Life in his articulate and witty manner.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Horse encounter with a roaming bullock

The parentals went away on holiday last week and it was as though a whisper had spread through the pastures announcing the news. Barely had their feet walked up the airplane steps when the first in a number of agricultural related incidents occurred.

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

Over the stable door: Digger duty

Life is never dull at Brookleigh and bank holiday was no exception. We spent it re-surfacing my schooling pen. It seemed like one of the more straightforward jobs on the ‘to do’ list (which includes building a house, an outdoor school and draining ‘the bog’– a vast peat swamp which could swallow up a JCB overnight).

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Country Week columnist Jo Foster.  Picture by Tony Johnson.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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