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

June 2021

We had hoped that, by now, we would be completely back to normal but obviously normality is going to take a little longer to return.   However a number of events, albeit restricted, have taken place and we hope that everyone who has participated, has enjoyed them.    Details of past and future events are as follows :


Dressage Competitions at Forest Gate

Our April and June competitions made a much-anticipated return though its disappointing that we can’t welcome family, friends, followers to come along to support and unfortunately refreshments have also disappeared.   However, its really good that members have supported the competitions and posted some excellent results.  Winners have included Pam McGuinness on Louie (I), Vicki Lowe on Holly’s lovely youngster Violet (P), Amanda Lyne on Cosmopolitan (N), Emma Billington on Bobby Robuck and Madelaine Davies with High Mac (M) in the April comp;  in June our stars were Rosie Ibbett on Libby (I), Leanne Friar with Johnny Town Mouse (P), Clare Aldridge with Robbie’s Boy (N), and Jessica Smith with Mo (E and M).   Congrats to all.

Combined Training at Cheshire Riding School on 3 May

Once again, Sue Griffiths organised the annual combined training competition at CRS with the weather trying its hardest to disrupt things, plus a last minute switch to the indoor school for dressage. Despite the incessant rain and wind, we had 24 entries on the day braving the elements and still smiling! A huge thanks to all our amazing helpers who all ended up looking like drowned rats, especially Bill Ince who again built a great course which jumped well, although we did have problems with wings blowing over! Winners on the day were Sam Sansom and Keela in Class 1; Clare Aldridge and Robbie’s Boy in Class 2; Virginia Hewitt and Paddy’s Last in Class 3; Jacqui Brown and More Gold in Class 4. Threre was a very good standard and as usual about half the entries were members. A big thanks to Sue for the hard work she put into organising this event for the 16th year! It started in 2005 at Weetwood Grange and only last year cancelled due to COVID. Many thanks also to Barnyard Pet and Equestrian Supplies at Anderton for more than generously donating £25 vouchers to the winning riders.

Arena Eventing on 28 May

It was with great reluctance that we had to cancel the proposed Arena Eventing competition that was scheduled to be held on 28 May.    Unfortunately the combined costs of arena hire and medical cover meant that we needed a minimum number of riders to even break even and, with about a week to go before the event, we had not met that figure.    We do realise that we are now very much in competition with all the events taking place at Kelsall Hill but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions as to what we should be offering / how we get numbers ,  that would be so useful.    Anonymous comments can also be accepted if you want to say anything rude about the committee and the activities on offer but would rather not be identified !!!    

Horse Camp at Somerford Park 4-6 June

With the biggest of thank you’s to Cathy for organising another superb camp weekend and to Cathy and Brent Sansom for their brilliance as Breakfast Chefs,  the annual DFRC Horse Camp was a resounding success.  Cathy has kindly written up the following report :

Every year I am amazed by how popular our annual camp at Somerford Park is. This year was no different with the members keen to attend and booked in from months before.

Unfortunately, due to lame/coughing horses and rider injuries there were several late withdrawals – I usually have a waiting list so I was able to draft in some replacements but it is always sad when there are a couple of spaces spare.

It was lovely to meet up safely and have time to catch up. All our club competitions continue to be Covid-safe – on a turn up, compete and go home basis, so it was something like the good old days to be able to linger and catch up with friends! The weather was fabulous (dare I say even a little too warm?) so we were able to spend most of the weekend sitting outside at the tables.

The 3 trainers were all brilliant and all enjoyed our camp for its friendly social atmosphere and the group support for all the lessons. They have all been booked again for next year.

On Saturday Equine Therapist, Danielle Mullen had a very busy day offering pre and post lesson treatments to our pampered horses at a very reasonable cost. She has offered to come back next year to do the same format.

Top Nosh caterers provided the evening hot meals – thanks to Sam Sansom for organising the meal choices and the fabulously huge lunch baguettes.  The Asda delivery van managed to turn up and deliver the breakfast ingredients this year; we were very relieved to see the green van arrive!

I was the breakfast Head Chef (obviously) with my very capable assistant Brent Sansom (who kept things organised in the kitchen: sausages must be served in rows however bacon is allowed to be random – and generally made sure the right food got cooked!) At least 2 Michelin Stars there then…………… worth getting up at 4.30am when everyone seems to enjoy the food!

Camp is booked for 3rd to 5th June 2022 so let me know if you want your name down already.

I think it was the most enjoyable weekend I have had for a long time and I am looking forward to next year!   If anyone has any suggestions or changes they would like, please get in touch.    Cathy


Dressage Competitions

11 July

8 August

As always, these will be held at Forest Gate Farm and full details (tests, entry arrangements etc) will be posted on the web site and facebook as soon as possible.   These will be the last of the summer competitions so points will be at a premium for anyone in contention for winners’ trophies.     We are now starting to cross fingers that an AGM and Prize Giving will be possible this year but we’ll obviously keep you up-dated on this.

One Day Event  at Smallwood on 5 September

Its always a sign of how quickly the year is passing  when we start planning the schedules and entry form for the One Day Event.    We are hoping to get all details finalised in the next 1-2 weeks and circulated as widely as possible.    Its rightly regarded as the pinnacle of the activities that we arrange but the on-going support we receive from competitors makes it worthwhile and, as always, our helpers are worth their weight in gold – we couldn’t do it without you.



It was brilliant that 9 of our members took part in the virtual dressage competition. It meant that a lot of time and effort went into producing an Oscar winning film and competition from other clubs is always of a very high standard. Consequently, we were really proud of our riders who did a great job representing DFRC. Tilly Nutkins did a brilliant test for 3rd place in the individual Junior Prelim; Kate Johnson with the so consistent Molly were 6th in the Novice (a superb result); Susanne Leece took part in the P18 Team with Roi and again posted an excellent score to finish 5th; Wendy Burgess & Top Hat N Tails also had a good score and were 7th; Carrie Childs with All On Deck were another good top ten finisher (8th); Leanne Friar with Johnny Town Mouse finished in 10th place; Emma Billington with Bobby Robuck, Katie Holden with Beseeka Sunnitas Lad & Georgie Critchley with Dassett Dakota all did lovely tests but just missed out on a top ten placing. Overall, the senior teams placed 9th & 12th. Very well done to all. Although the virtual qualifier was a unique it will be nice to get back to “live” competitions going forward.

Novice Winter Dressage Championships

The Winter 2020 Dressage Championship was sadly cancelled, days before the competition, back in March 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It took several attempts to re-organise the event, but 3rd time lucky BRC managed to run the Championships as a virtual event this time, alongside the Intermediate Dressage Qualifer in March 2021 so our DFRC qualifying team were finally able to compete at the Champs! Our qualifying team members were Georgie Critchley, Katie Holden, Amanda Lyne & Sam Sansom. Amanda did a fantastic test with 73.20% taking 3rd place in her arena (video available to watch online as top 3 placings were published!), & Georgie scored 71.13% taking 7th place in her arena.  Katie & Sam also submitted lovely tests, and the team came 14th overall. Very well done to all four riders.


Area Horse Trials

We have 6 riders due to represent the Club at the Area Horse Trials, July 4th at Somerford Park. Jo Bateson at 80cm, Steph Woodland, Alison Arden, Caroline Brammer and Nicola Mann at 90, and Carrie Childs at 100cm.  We wish them all good luck (enjoy your day) and say thank you to the members doing their Area help day, Amanda Lyne, Kate Johnson, Sam Sansom and Wendy Burgess.

Area Dressage

This will take place at Llanymynech on 11 July.   We just have one member representing the Club : Tilly Nutkin, who is a junior member,  is riding in the Junior Prelim and Riding Test.   We wish her the best of luck.

Area Show Jumping

This wlll take place at Llanymynech on 25 July.    There are opportunities for both individuals and teams to take part.   Heights go up in 10cm increments from 70cm to 110cm and there is a Style Jumping class at 85cm.   The date by which we have to get pre-entries in is pretty tight (2 July) so if you could like to take part and represent the club, please can you contact Sue Griffiths as soon as possible ?    Her email is    The full schedule is available on the web site.    This is a Qualifier competition.


We are optimistically hoping that we will run an AGM this year so please could any winners of trophies (awarded in Nov 2019), please return them.    They can be brought to the AGM, to a forthcoming dressage competition or given to a member of the committee.