Starting the Young Horse Off – Getting the Basics Right!
The last in a series of three educational evenings with Eric Smiley, FBHS. Following on from previous highly successful years Eric presents another fascinating mix of three discussion topics. Not to be missed!
Time: 7.30 – 9.30pm.
Cost: £12 per person per evening.
Refreshments, chat and laughter provided also!
Born and educated in Ireland, the son of a Thoracic surgeon and a General Practitioner. With two brothers doctors and uncles and aunts in the medical profession, Eric decided that he would take a different route. Having spent nearly ten years in a Cavalry Regiment he decided, at the age of 28, to take up a professional career with horses. Whilst in the Army he trained with Ben Jones, who was Equitation Officer at Melton Mowbray. Ben Jonesrepresented G.B. in the Tokyo Olympics and won team gold medal at the Mexico Olympics. Of Eric, Ben was to comment, "He has a great natural flair for equitation. When jumping he has that gift of rhythm and timing, on any type of horse." He trained at the world famous Talland School of Equitation achieving his British Horse Society Instructor qualification before being asked to return to Ireland to start up an equestrian centre specialising in event horses. Shortly afterwards he and Sue decided to 'go it alone' and they set up and establishment at Fir Tree Farm, some 30 years ago.
In 1982 Eric became Irish Field Event Rider of the Year. For the next few years he built up a string of horses and gained his first team selection in 1985 for the European Championships at Burghley. Since then, he has represented Ireland at two European Championships, gaining team bronze medal on each occasion. Three World Equestrian Games and been on four Olympic Teams competing at Barcelona and Atlanta. A consistent and regular participant at Burghley and Badminton, he has also represented Ireland at all levels of International competitions throughout Europe.
A passionate and enthusiastic teacher, Eric has conducted clinics around the world from the continent of America to Dubai and South Africa to Denmark. In 1995 he took the Fellowship of the British Horse Society examination. The highest teaching qualification in the world with only 59 so qualified. He brings a unique blend of competition experience and education to an audience of all levels. He is an FEI International Judge who regularly acts as a Ground Jury member.
For 18 years Eric was Director of the Golden Saddle Scheme, identifying talented children in all equestrian disciplines and coordinating their training bursaries. He has been Chairman of Eventing Ireland (Northern Region) for a total of 5 years throughout the last 15 years. Eric is the author of the Pony Club publication “Look…no hands! Straightforward Cross-Country”. He now lives in Dorset with his wife Sue.
Please note that pre-booking is essential.
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