We send out a newsletter to all our members on a quarterly basis. The most recent one is below.

June 2022

Hi everyone.    The Club has certainly had an interesting few months since the last newsletter hit the stands …… Dressage,  Clear Round Jumping,  Combined Training,  and Camp were all thoroughly enjoyed by riders, horses and spectators.   More details are in the Letter but it was much appreciated by the committee that so many people came along to take part and support these events.


Dressage Competitions

Competitions have continue at Forest Gate Farm and members have, always, produced some good tests.   Numbers generally have been slightly lower than in previous years but its become apparent that a lot of younger horses are coming through the introductory classes and we look forward to watching their progress up the dressage ladder.   The new tea urn is now installed at Forest Gate which gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy a hot drink whilst also supporting our chosen charity.    More details of the latter to follow.

Clear Round Jumping at Forest Gate Farm on 20 March

This opportunity to jump a full course of fences, without the pressure of it being under competitive conditions, is now a very popular fixture in our early year calendar.   Fence started at a height which (hopefully) enabled riders to quickly build up confidence levels and horses to realise that coloured poles did not necessarily mean dragons in residence !!    It was very encouraging to see riders, having elected to try a low height, quickly paying an extra fee to go a little higher.  This is not to say that the course was entirely easy – for those in the know, that scenario would be extremely unlikely for a Richard built course.   A couple of “interesting” turns were included but, once confidence was up, these did not prove to be a problem.   Chocolate bars were in full evidence for clear rounds and a good day was had by all.

Combined Training – Sunday 22nd May 2020

For the past few years, the combined training has been held at Cheshire Riding School, however last year the terrible weather and limited parking forced us to review the facilities and we decided to seek a better venue. Sue Griffiths has run this event for many years but has sadly left the committee so we also had to find a new organiser.

Many thanks to Katie and Robert Holden for allowing us to use their yard at Little Leigh with the dressage on the 20x60m arena and the show jumping on grass. Gaining enough entries has been a major factor in running events for a lot of different disciplines this year, however we had members and a fair number of non-members entered which made the day a success. The weather was completely different to last year; warm and dry and the trusty tea urn was brought over from the dressage venue to provide hot drinks.

The day was very successful and enjoyed by all – Bill (show jumping judge) ensured that everyone completed the course and Mary Bradbury (ex-committee member) did an excellent job of judging the dressage.

Congratulations to Hanneke Nevitt and Prince who won the Intro/50cm class, with Madelaine & Magic 2nd and Mary & Yogi in 5th place.

In the Prelim/60cm class Nic Evans and Finn came 1st with Wendy & William 3rd.

Well done Emma Reading and Ellie who came 2nd in the Prelim/70cm class with Kay Sparkes & Tommy in 6th place. Unfortunately there were no members in the Novice/80cm and the decision was made not to run a 90cm class as there were no entries.

There were 5 dressage-only entries with Mel Stynes and Personal Choice winning the Prelim 7 and Stella Woodward winning the Novice 24 on Fizz with Chenade & Bounty coming 2nd.

Thanks again to Katie & Robert and to all the helpers who made the day a friendly successful competition.

Horse Camp 3rd – 5th June Somerford Park

Every year DFRC members gather to have the best weekend ever and this year was no exception. There was a full house (well – stable block of 26!) with 4 people opting to come for just 1 day meaning that 28 different riders were able to come and enjoy Somerford’s brilliant facilities. All horses and riders managed to stay sound and turn up – that’s a first!

Due to relaxation of the Covid restrictions which have been in place over the past 2 years, we were able to welcome extra guests to stay over for the weekend and visitors during the day who watched lessons and stayed to chat. It was a great time to catch up with everyone and relax (who actually wants lessons??)

The instructors Sarah Johnson, Katie Holden and Sarah Warner worked hard to ensure that everyone had great lessons and took something away with them. Thanks to Katie for teaching a total of 11 lessons over the weekend – we have never had a camp before where so many people wanted flat and pole lessons. This year there were a lot of young horses who were able to come and work at low levels including getting a taste of cross country.

We were promised good weather for the Jubilee Weekend – but no, this is England, Saturday was perfect but there was heavy rain early on Sunday. Luckily this cleared a little, leaving the arenas a bit waterlogged but usable. Some riders were concerned that the cross country might be slippery but those who braved it were fine and enjoyed their lessons. We will try again next year!

Camp is tentatively booked again for 2023 – we are awaiting confirmation of the dates from Somerford so that everyone can get it into the diary.

Thanks to Cathy for organising the Combined Training and Camp as well as writing the reports for both.    I have heard, from a number of sources, that this year’s camp was one of the best ever so, on behalf of all who attended, can I send thanks to Cathy and her teams of helpers for running two excellent events.

Jump Training with Richard Carruthers

As you will all probably have known, we had arranged for Richard Carruthers to do one of his Jump Training sessions.   For those who have not been on one of these, the format is for riders to jump a round of sj fences.   Richard then gives a critique on how the round could have been improved, his thoughts on lines taken to fences, etc.   The rider then has the opportunity to re-ride the round, taking into account all the hints and advice given.   In the past, this session has always proved very popular and there was usually a waiting list.   Unfortunately, on this occasion, we did not get sufficient interest to run a half day event so it had to be cancelled.   The Committee would be more than appreciative if anyone felt able to give us some guidance as to whether or not this type of lesson is still of interest to Club members.   Even anonymous feed back would be helpful.   Thanks in advance.



Dressage Championships : Clare Whitfield

We are very delighted (and proud by association) to advise that Clare Whitfield and Cipollino came an absolutely brilliant 2nd at the Championships with a score of 70.65%.  This was in an exceptionally large class of 37.   Clare took a secret weapon of Team Zippy and the combined efforts of all concerned ensured this excellent result.   Well done Clare and Zippy.


Forthcoming Area Competitions

We still looking for riders to represent the Club at the following Area event:

Show Jumping – 10 July    – entries are now closed

Horse Trials – 17 Julyentries are  now closed

Dressage – 24 July – entries are now closed

Dressage to Music – 6 August : the opportunity to compete at the DtM is still available so if you are interested in taking part, please contact :

Area Arena Eventing Qualifier at Kelsall on Saturday 1 October

Although this is a while off, the Arena Eventing is a confirmed date for the diary.  Please note it has changed from Sunday 2nd (as in the previous newsletter) to Saturday1st October.


One Day Event  –  Smallwood on Sunday, 4 September

The big highlight of the Club competition year.    Always popular and well supported.   Further details will be released a little nearer the time but, in the meantime, if anyone has any friends or family who would be prepared to come along and help, they would be welcomed with open arms and a bacon buttie.   If anyone can help, please could you give name and contact details to Cathy. 

Cross Country Training

Tempted to have a go at the ODE but a bit daunted about tackling the cross country course?   We are hoping to give DFRC members a real confidence boost by offering a training session around the Smallwood fences with Sarah Johnson prior to the event.    Steph Woodland is trying to organise a training day and, if a suitable date (prior to the ODE) can be agreed, full details will appear on the web page (and possibly by a group email ) well in time for entries to then be made for the competition.


This Year’s Charity

Now that we have started again with events at Forest Gate Farm,   we are able to resume the supply of  hot drinks (and we have bought a new water urn to celebrate !!),    We normally raise about £100 in contributions over the year and this is sent to charity.   It has been suggested we send the money to Park Palace in Liverpool.  Sue has left a voicemail with them to make our offer and, as soon as they respond, we will hopefully be able to send a cheque to them.    More news will follow when we have it.  


Early notification of 2023 hat standard change

From 1 January 2023, BRC will no longer be accepting two hat standards and will therefore need to re-tag hats. In order to ensure riders are wearing the most up-to-date riding hats, please note that from the 1 January 2023, the following hat standards will no longer be accepted, due to the age of hats made to these standards:

          1.       PAS  O15 1998

          2.       SNELL 2001

A new colour of hat tag will be required for BE, PC and BRC from 1 January 2023.

Super early notification of 2025 Body Protector standard change

It is envisaged that the 2009 Purple Label Level 3 body protectors will be accepted until 1 January 2025 after this time they will not be accepted in BRC XC competitions where they are a mandatory requirement.