Yorkshire children get taste of Iberian methods

A group of children from Portugal are spending this week at the Hebden Bridge Equestrian Centre on an exchange visit.

The children, who are accompanied by their instructor, are from a small town called Golega which is famous for its annual horse fair held in November, the largest of its kind in Portugal.

The children will be having showjumping lessons while at the centre as well as learning more about the horse world in this country.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We are planning to take them to experience all the Yorkshire equestrian world has to offer, with trips to competitions, shows and professional yards,” said Karen Clitheroe who runs the centre.

The visit came about when the Association of British Riding Schools was looking for a centre in organising an exchange visit. Karen applied to host a group of children and was selected.

Students from the Hebden Bridge centre will have the opportunity of travelling to Portugal next spring to learn about riding there and native horsemanship.

“The Portugese government, the town of Golega and we believe that starting this exchange programme will allow both nationalities of children to learn more about different cultures in an environment where there is a shared interested,” said Karen.

“This is in advance of any similar exchange programmes emanating from the Olympics next year. Sport is renowned as a means of bringing people from all backgrounds together in harmony.”

THE North Eastern Driving Trials Group held a two-day event at Newby Hall which attracted a strong field of entries.

The pre-novice class, designed to introduce newcomers to the sport, was particularly well supported.

Alwin Harrison, who organised the event, said: “It is really encouraging that we have a good number of people poised to move up through the sport and others who are coming in to fill the gap behind them.” Leslee Wilkinson from Halifax became the fourth member of her family to make her mark in the sport.

After acting as support crew for her husband, John, and children Ross and Tara, she took the reins herself this time and with some accurate driving won the pre-novice class ahead of Graham Clements from Girton Lindsey.

In the novice pony class Kim Usher from Richmond, who has had an excellent season with her new pony, Chapelhowe Firecracker, improved on her marathon times to triumph in the class.

In the marathon phase it was Lancashire’s Gary Browne who made the fastest time of the day which, added to his much-improved dressage score, gave him the class win by a comfortable margin.

The Open horse class went to the consistent Judy Hilditch from Wakefield.

Results – Pre-novice: Leslee Wilkinson, Halifax; Novice Pony: Kim Usher, Richmond; Novice Horse: Teresa McLeod, Leicestershire; Inter. Pony: Jeff Ormerod, Bury; Inter. Horse: John Wilkinson, Halifax; Open Pony: Gary Brown, Chorley; Open Horse: Judy Hilditch, Wakefield; Pairs: John Stafford, Newcastle; Tandems/Teams: Carol Boswell, Seacliff.

A team of eight vets who travelled around the country on their motorbikes this summer, stopping at different venues to give lectures for horse lovers, have raised more than £2,000 for the charity, World Horse Welfare, and a similar amount for the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad.

The “vets with horsepower team,” led by Prof Derek Knottenbelt, held a series of lectures at four locations, including Bishop Burton College near Beverley.

As well as raising money, the aim was also to improve horse owners’ knowledge on a number of topics, including worming, colic, weight gain and wounds.

The Pony Club has a new badge to add to its achievement badge scheme thanks to the National Farmers Union.

The five new NFU-sponsored badges will help Pony Club members learn more about farming, wildlife, bird watching, trees and wild flowers.

Identifying crops, telling the difference between breeds of cattle and finding out about different farming methods are among the subjects covered.