Breakspear News - Everything you need to know about where we have been and how we have done!






On the evening of Monday 15 April 2013 an intrepid group of Breakspear members went to Shardeloes Equestrian Centre to meet ‘Merlin’ (the riding simulator). You can read all about it here.






On the evening of Thursday 6 September the Club held a lecture/demonstration at Coltspring with Martin and Rosemary from Martin Wilkinson Saddlery on saddler and saddle fitting.  The talk was kept very informal which gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions as the evening progressed.

Rosemary explained the differences between the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) Master Saddlers qualification and that of the qualification for SMS Master Saddle Fitters and stressed the importance of using a qualified fitter when choosing a saddle for your horse.

Martin then described the process of manufacture and brought with him saddles in various stages of manufacture from the tree upwards. He explained the advantages and disadvantages of wood and polyurethane trees particularly when it was necessary to change the width fitting. He also spoke about the differing types of flocking that can be used (wool, latex and air) and the pros and cons of each type. He pointed out the differences between the seat shapes for the various types of saddles dependent on their use for jumping or dressage etc. It was interesting hear that an experienced saddler is unlikely to make more than10 saddles per week.

Judy Ross and Judy Firmston Williams had provided some horses to act as models and Martin demonstrated how he measures for the fittings and prepares the templates. Although he had brought along a number of different dressage, jumping and general purpose saddles it proved difficult to fit a couple of the horses, which showed why saddlers tend to have so many different saddles in their vans when they come to do fittings!

This was a very interesting and informative evening and it was a pity that only a few people attended.





Area 6 Team Dressage Qualifier

On Saturday 25 February 2012, 26 teams from Area 6 converged on Snowball Farm, Burnham Beeches to take part in the Area 6 Winter Team Dressage competition. The event was organised by High Wycombe Riding Club.
The competition involves a team of 4 riders, comprising 2 riders on horses with no BD points to ride a Preliminary Test; this year’s being Prelim 18 and a further 2 riders with horses with no more than 124 points to ride a Novice Test (Novice 24).  This year the Prelim Tests were held indoors and the Novice Tests on the outdoor arena. The 3 best place riders count towards the final score and team position.

Our team was Becky Pocock on Witness a Dream, Jane Emery on Glen Coe Ruby, Diane Hunt on Cotswold Odysean, and Barbara Angel on Name is Bond.

Becky was first to go for Breakspear in the Prelim and she scored 64.2% putting her in 12th place.  Diane then competed in the Novice scoring 63.8% for 6th place.  Jane competed in the afternoon Prelim for a score of 61.7% and Barbara in the afternoon Novice scored 65.8% for 10th place.

The team ended with a total of 28 which placed them 11th.

This was a very creditable effort as only 1 of the team had competed for the Club previously and both the horses in the Prelim worked in well, but having little experience, found the indoor school very spooky.

Well done to all.

High Wycombe took full advantage of being on home territory with teams coming 1st and 2nd.

We would like to enter teams for this competition again, but must point out that anyone interested in taking part needs to pay their subscription early, as only members who are paid up and on the list at Riding Clubs Head Office at the time of the Preliminary Entries are eligible to compete.









Breakspear Riding Club Questionnaire

The Committee is currently planning a programme of club events for the coming year. 
In order that we can try to include something of interest to as many members as possible, it would help to have your views on what you would like from your riding club.
The questionnaire can be downloaded here.

When you have completed it please send it to:
Chris Jensen, 3 Wards Cottages, Aldenham Road, Elstree, Herts WD6 3AH
email :










The Club held its long awaited Barbeque on Friday 5 August 2011 at Whelpley Hill Farm, by courtesy of Judy Ross.

We were blessed with fine weather and it was reasonably warm during the evening.

Unfortunately, not that many people came, but there was an excellent selection of food for both carnivores and vegetarians together with wine or soft drinks. The dogs all enjoyed themselves!!

We would love to see more members at future social events as it is an opportunity to meet and recognise other members without their hats on or their horses in tow. 

You also get the chance to either talk horses or other subjects!






One of our new committee members, Peter Oppenheimer took part in the 342nd running of the 3 mile 6 furlong Newmarket Town Plate on 27th August. This is the oldest race in the English racing calendar and has been run annually since the 17th century. It is open only to amateur riders.

Four members of the riding club joined Peter whom took along around 35 supporters. What a great day! The weather was lovely and we all met in the car park for a glass of champagne beforehand. The race took place at 1pm and we all were allowed into the parade ring with the horse, jockeys, trainers etc beforehand. We had the opportunity to visit the weighing room and generally understand more about racing as Peter had 2 trainers with him.

His horse Cashmere Ted [ 7 years old ] had been plucked from the Point to Point field having finished 2nd in one of these. The trainer was Phil Middleton, a permit holder – the owner of Equine America which sells the Cortaflex brand. The field was made up of a number of really good horses including the Ascot Stakes winner of 2009 as well as jockeys including trainers. Peter is in his 60’s, the oldest rider with not too much race riding experience. He led for 3 miles eventually finishing sixth beaten by just over a furlong. This must have improved the horse as 1 week later he finished 4th in a 2 mile novice hurdle at Stratford [ rather more this horses distance ] under a real jockey. The Town Plate was won by a horse ridden by Alan Berry a leading Newmarket Trainer.

After the race we all enjoyed a top class days racing amongst the large Bank Holiday crowd intermingled with a few drinks and of course food. Some stayed to watch the Peter Andre concert.

Peter will be back next year and anticipates riding for a charity. Hopefully more of our club will join him













A small group of Club members and friends went to Windsor for an evening’s racing on Monday 11 July.
This was themed as an ‘Irish Night’, and in addition to the racing there were displays of Irish dancing, and The Saw Doctors played after the races had finished.
The weather was wonderfully warm and sunny, so ideal for the concert, and the venue was extremely busy.
One of the races was a ‘seller’ and it was interesting to watch the auction for the winner who was eventually bought in by his trainer.
We were invited into the paddock before the races by Linda Jewell a trainer who is a friend of our member, Peter Oppenheimer. The small amount of betting undertaken by our Group resulted in a limited profit, and no one went home destitute!







The Club held a lecture/demonstration on Objective Gait Analysis in Horses on 18 July 2011 at Green Street Farm, Sarratt by kind permission of Jonathan Chapman.
There was an audience of between 30 and 40. Dr Thilo Pfau, a lecturer in bio engineering at the Royal Veterinary College, Potters Bar, has developed this assessment tool and he lectured and demonstrated its use. There was also input from Peter Day who has been the farrier at the College for over 20 years.
Dr Pfau and his colleagues have developed a mobile gait analysis system which can detect subtle movement asymmetries of horses in realistic outdoor conditions without the need for an expensive gait laboratory. The system uses wireless connectivity, sensors being attached to the horse at the poll, withers, pelvis and left and right hip which measure vertical movement and produce a graph enabling the vet to obtain a ‘movement footprint’ of the horse.  This can be used as a tool in detecting subtle lameness and it can also be used to monitor the long term development of the horse’s movement; for example in conjunction with a particular training regime, to help prevent injury or after an injury.
The equipment can be used anywhere where there is a power supply and a flat surface for trotting the horse up and a lunge area to allow assessment in a straight line and on both reins. It can be used on different surfaces and under saddle.
Kylie Roddy kindly supplied two guinea pig horses neither of whom were concerned by the sensors or the audience.
This was a fascinating evening during which the audience were also shown videos of horses being trotted up and asked to decide which leg they were lame on.  This led to some interesting results!
If anyone is interested in having their horse assessed they should contact Dr Pfau, email  The cost is £69.00 at present; this includes data summary sheets and a brief written report (all electronically).  Ideally he would prefer a group of horses to be presented.











A Completely Wonderful Day at Royal Windsor

The class in the morning was competitors from all the different Areas of the country.  I was Area 6 and Breakspear Riding Club.

The first Test went very well even though trumpets were being blown in other arenas! We led the Class until the penultimate rider, who put us into 2nd place by 1 point; with a prize giving straight after.

The top three placing were then headed for an exciting dress ride off with a different Test in the main Castle arena!!.

When the time came we rode the Test in front of three judges and shortly after heard that we had won the ride off and were the 2011 Champions!!

So, so proud of my horse and his behaviour at such an exciting venue.

A day to remember . . . . . . MAGICAL.

Angela Coakley & Wexford Noble Hero












Area 6 held Winter Dressage Qualifiers at Bury Farm on 6 February 2011 both for the Team Championships and for the Amtrust Equine Competition that has a final at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May.

The Club were not able to send a team this year, but Angela Coakley and Wexford Noble Hero entered as an individual in the two Preliminary classes, one of which was the First Round qualifier for the Amtrust competition. They were highly successful winning the Preliminary No. 13 with a score of 71.3% and coming 3rd in the Preliminary No.  4 with 76.8%. The latter qualified them for the Second Round of the Amtrust that was held the following weekend at Berkshire College of Agriculture.

They did brilliantly at BCA, winning the Preliminary No. 4 Second Round competition in a large class with a score of 80.4% and achieving four 9’s in the process. This result qualifies them to represent Area 6 at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May this year.

We wish them every success and hope some members will be able to support them on the day.

In addition, a number of members competed successfully at the British Dressage Winter Regional Championships which were held at Patchetts from 5 - 9 February 2011.  Placings were as follows:

  • Georgia Dilley with Glanhirin Jaspers Jamboree 7th in Preliminary No. 19 with 68.33%
  • Tania Viol with Corrimbla Lad 10th in the Novice No. 37 Restricted with 63.93%
  • Sian Sheridan with Keystone Dimaggic 6th in the Open Novice Freestyle with 70.19% and 9th in the Novice No. 37 Open with 65.83%
  • Rebecca Hughes with Korenbloem Titaan W 4th in the Advanced Medium Freestyle with 69.78% and 7th in the Advanced Medium No. 98 Open with 65.26%. She was also 6th with Rubini Royale in the Medium No. 75 Open with 66.87%
  • Chris Jensen with Perfekt Mind was 6th in the Medium Freestyle with 69.11%
  • Jonathan Chapman with Affinity was 4th in the Elementary No. 59 Open and has qualified for the Winter Championships which are held at Hartpury in April





As reported by Sian Sheridan

The Dressage Home International was held at Keysoe, Bedfordshire on Friday 8 – Sunday 10 October 2010.

132 riders; 32 teams  from England, Wales  and Scotland  descended on the college for 3 days of serious competition and partying.

Each team of 4 had a rider at Novice Level,  one at Elementary, one at Medium and the 4th at either Advanced Medium or Preliminary.

Warm up tests were on Friday to get some of the spookiness out of the way and have a look at the well dressed arenas. The trot up followed in front of an international panel of vet trainer and judge.

On Saturday the real competition began. We were each helped in the warm up by the two trainers for Eastern Region : Paul Hayler and Mark Ruddock. At the end of day one Eastern Region London team was in pole position. I won my class riding KEYSTONE DIMAGGIC  scoring 70.77% (Novice 35). However there was no room for mistakes, it was tight at the top.


Sian & Keystone Dimaggic

Sunday arrived and there was everything to play for. Incredibly considering the pressure most of our riders did better than the day before. I won the 2nd day on 72.74% (Novice 38) thus securing the Individual Novice Championship.

The competition is primarily a team competition so we were delighted to then win the team prize also by a massive 13 points. This is the first Home International win for Eastern Region.

I also won the BDSC prize, a lovely embroidered black wool show rug for the highest score of the show.  Having climbed up on to the podium for the prize giving we were rewarded with armfuls of prizes and trophies.

It was a fantastic end to a fantastic weekend.                                                          



Easter Region Team




In June this year Amanda Bettle riding Ysgwyn Fawr Archie won the Area 6 Novice Dressage (Nil Points) qualifier and as a result qualified for the National Riding Clubs Dressage to Music Championships.

‘Archie’ is a 9 year old Welsh Section D x Thoroughbred Grade A show jumping mare who Amanda has owned since he was a youngster.

For the first time the Championships were held at Aintree on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 October. The tests were in a 20 x 60m arena. (Recent Championships have been held at Addington and tests were previously in a 20 x 40m arena). The competitions also include a qualifier for the Riding Clubs Quadrille which has its final at Olympia.

Amanda was keen to compete in spite of the distance involved and she, Archie and some friends travelled to Aintree on the Saturday prior to her class on the Sunday. The facilities at Aintree are excellent, but there was only a small area for working in, although competitors were allowed to do slow work on the all weather track. Amanda and her party saw the Quadrille selection and attended the Saturday evening gala dinner; the latter proved disappointing!

It had been intended to prepare some new music for Archie, but it was not organised in time so they competed to music by Queen, including ‘Save Me’ and ‘We Will Rock You’. Amanda and Archie scored 70.83% to come 3rd less than 3% behind the winner.



Winter Indoor Dressage 21st February 2010

A Breakspear team competed recently at the Area 6 dressage qualifier, for the British Riding Clubs National Winter Dressage Championships. The competition was held at Bury Farm Slapton on 21st February having been postponed from the 17th January following snow and ice problems. Ironically on the day of the re-scheduled show it was also snowing.

Two members of the team were required to ride a BRC Horse Trials test equivalent to a preliminary and 2 rode a Novice test. The team comprised Rachel Fairhead on Victor, Georgia Dilley on Glanhirin Jasper's Jamboree, Sian Sheridan on Keystone Dimaggic and Victoria Leisk on Cloonbarry Clover.They did exceptionally well (although they were not able to emulate last year's result which say a win) by coming third. Sian was 2nd in her arena with 68.8%, Georgia was 3rd in hers with 67.2% (both rode the Novice test) Victoria was 6th in hers with 65.8%. It was a pity Victor, who was so good last year, was tense having had no turn out for many weeks and lacking 'match practice' and the judge only had them 11th.

Well done to them all for making the effort to get there in spite of the awful recent weather.


Table Top Sale 14th November 2009

Breakspear RC and Chesham High School Pony Club held their first table top sale on Saturay 14th November.

Tables were much in demand and during the previous week we had to move the sale to a larger hall at Chesham High School. Tables were sold out with 38 vendors!

Sadly buyers were not so proliferous although most of the tables did report sales - saddles and rugs were good sellers. The weather was terrible and although we were indoors it is more than possible that it affected the numbers through the doors. I guess that from choice most of us would have done our horses and retired indoors!

Thanks to all club members who supported the event and to Chesham High School Pony Club members who helped set the hall up and clear away afterwards


Club Members Success

CONGRAULATIONS AND REALLY WELL DONE to SIAN SHERIDAN and KEYSTONE DIMAGGIC who were chosen to represent England (Eastern Region) at the British Dressage 2009 Home International in Rowallan, Scotland on Saturday 17 October 2009. Sian rode Novice Test 35 and WON with a total points score of 355 – 68.27%

Congratulations also to Georgia Dilley and Jasper who won their arena in the preliminary class at the Chiltern Rider Blaze Summer Dressage Championship which was held at Patchetts. In the rider off there were narrowly beaten into 2nd place, making them Reserve Preliminary Champion



We would like to congratulate the following people who have been appointed MBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List Richard Waygood and former very active Breakspear member, Antonia Thoday.


Area 6 Open Horse Trials Qualifier at Larkhill (Amesbury, Wilts) on Sunday 5 July 2009

I was entered as an individual at the Area 6 Open Horse Trials Qualifier at Larkhill (Amesbury, Wilts) on Sunday 5 July 2009. This is a BE venue, although being used by the Riding Club's as the Area course.

It was a little further to travel than I had anticipated. As Stonehenge signs became more frequent I realised I was well on the way to my parents in the West Country!

On arriving at Larkhill the car park appeared packed, overgrown and with no attendant; I thought I was going scrambling on 6 wheels instead of 2! I parked eventually quite impressed with my off road driving ability!

After declaring, the cross country course was my first agenda.... No tannoys, no running commentary and what appeared to be a little low key in activity? I have to say my first impressions of the open course (1m 10 apparently) was, that there was no way I was riding my precious Toby round here. The grass had not been topped, was near on knee high (yes my knees are not the highest!) plus none of the take offs or landings had been prepared other than literally a circle mowed around the fence, only noticed once you arrived in the circle!! This is not what I am used to now?? Certainly 6 yr old Toby only knows BE prepared courses! (And how appreciative am I now to the work that clearly goes into them.)
However, I decided to compete and was in the lead after the dressage on 29, and going clear show jumping and cross country. Sadly, I picked up a few 'time' penalties cross country as I rode according to the land, which I felt a little dangerous. I only have 1 horse to event and at 6 years old he has a big future ahead hopefully, and galloping through long grass and uneven ground was not an option.

I finished 3rd, being pipped at the post. I was a little disappointed having travelled over 2 hours there and longer back thanks to the Sunday M25 Carnage, be in the lead - yet not to qualify for the Riding Club Championships. But, at the end of the day -Toby is well and we will contest again in the future!! We will only get better and have learnt from our long day in windy Larkhill.

Tanya Viol

HOWEVER . . . . . almost a week later Tanya has just learnt that although having finished 3rd, she and Toby have in fact qualified for the Riding Club National Championships at Offchurchbury!! Well done!!



The Breakspear Dressage Team of Kylie Roddy on Wapiti owned by Hilary Sampson-Barry, Rachel Fairhead on Victor, Sian Sheridan on Keystone Dimaggic and Barbara Angel on Name is Bond (which qualified from the Area 6 competition held at Bury Farm in January) went to Hartpury on Saturday 28 March for the championships.

Sian and Barbara were booked for stabling on Friday night, which was fortunate, as Sians time was 9.25 am and the journey to the centre takes 2½ - 3 hours.

Kylie and Rachel, together with Hilary and Tim Bateman elected to travel on the day which meant a crack of dawn start. Each competing Club has to provide helpers and Hilary and Tim acted as the Clubs volunteers.

The day was cold and extremely windy so it was a test of character for both riders and horses! The arena and flower decorations were blown everywhere but everyone survived.

Kylie and Rachel performed the Preliminary Test with Kylie and Wapiti winning with 72%. Sian and Barbara did the Novice and Sian was 3rd, in a very closely scored class, also with 72%.

Congratulations to the entire team which came 3rd in the Team Competition; receiving rosettes and NAF vouchers.

Everyone enjoyed their day and are hopeful for inclusion in future teams. It would be great to have a team at the Championship again next year.


BRC Riding Test Qualifier at Hill Farm Witney on 7 March 2009

Is anyone interested in the BRC Riding Test Qualifier at Hill Farm Witney on 7 March 2009, which qualifies for the Royal Windsor Horse Show? The test is Riding Test 6. Riders must not hold an AI qualification or Pony Club A (if within the last 10 years) but can be BD Groups 1 - 6. Horses 0 - 60 points. Individual entries. Entries close 2nd March 2009. If interested contact to me by phone or e mail. Chris Jensen : 01923 856779 :


Members who qualified for the BD Winter National Championships at Hartpury in April 2009

News of members who qualified for the BD Winter National Championships at Hartpury in April 2009 from the BD Southern Regional Championships held recently at Patchetts.
Rebecca Hughes on Korenbloem Titaan W won the Elementary Open.
Chris Jensen on Perfekt Mind 2nd in Novice Open Freestyle.
2 horses belonging to Judy Firmston-Williams (who is now also BD Chief Selector for the Junior and Young Riders) qualified.
Diesel D ridden by Alison Berman was 2nd in the Elementary Open Freestyle and Aramis T ridden by Anna Ross Davies won the Medium Freestyle.


The Winter Dressage is a Team Competition. It is open to both Junior and Senior. Two members of the team must ride Preliminary No. 12 and two members must ride Novice No. 27.

Arena 1 – Class 1 – Prelim No. 10 2002
2nd Kylie Roddy Golden Spur 72.20%
3rd Rachel Fairhead Victor 71.36%

Arena 2 – Class 2 – Novice No. 20 2007
1st Sian Sheridan Keystone Dimaggic 71.60%

Arena 1 – Class 4 – Prelim No. 12
1st Kylie Roddy Wapiti 72.0%

Arena 2 – Class 4 – Prelim No. 12
1st Rachel Fairhead Victor 73.60%

Arena 1 – Class 5 – Novice No. 27
1st Sian Sheridan Keystone Dimaggic 72.86%

Arena 2 – Class 5 - Novice No. 27
4th Barbara Angel Name Is Bond 66.07%


We now wait for confirmation from BRC, Stoneleigh that we have qualified for the NAF Novice Indoor Winter Dressage on 28 and 29 March 2009 at Hartpury College, Gloucester.








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