The prestigious title of Fellow of The British Horse Society has been awarded to Darrell Scaife, following two gruelling days of assessment at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell on 19 and 20 February.
Under the scrutiny of four senior British Horse Society assessors, all Fellows in their own right, Darrell managed to keep his nerve as he was assessed in a variety of tasks, including those of demonstrating training philosophies with a young horse, riding and assessing dressage horses and, of course, coaching a range of horse/rider combinations in the disciplines of dressage, showjumping and cross-country.
Coaching horse and rider combinations is close to Darrell’s heart, with particular focus toward young rider development. In addition to his role as Director of Riding at Stonar School, Melksham, in Wiltshire, which is a BHS Approved Training and Exam Centre, Darrell’s other roles currently include British Eventing Under-18 Regional Coach and Eventing Coach to Area 14 Pony Clubs. He also works as a freelance coach and rider and has produced horses from novice to international level in the sport of eventing. His work has taken him further afield, including South Africa, Namibia, Singapore and Ireland, where he has delivered clinics and workshops.
Carole Broad FBHS, BHS Vice-Chairman and Chief Assessor at this year’s Fellowship Exam, identified Darrell’s distinguishing qualities as “having empathy and harmony with the horse and a real desire to make the horse’s job easier”. She continued: “The role of the Fellow is to be a good ambassador for The British Horse Society. Darrell’s approachable manner and willingness to offer advice, captures this ethos.”
Darrell described his experience of the exam by saying: “It was a positive experience; gruelling, but a fair test and affirmation of my own training techniques and coaching philosophy. I feel so strongly about supporting The British Horse Society and I’m keen to lend support.
“The reason I coach is because I want the horse to have a positive experience of being ridden and the BHS holds close to its heart the welfare and correct training of the horse, providing the rider with the education to do this.”
Linda Haworth, Senior Executive (Examinations), at the Society said: “The Fellowship is the highest recognition of professional standing within the equestrian industry. It is particularly enlightening when someone as humble as Darrell gains this prestigious award. It tells others that if they have a real work ethos and desire to keep learning and improving, as Darrell does, the Fellowship is achievable.”
Lynn Petersen, Chief Executive of The British Horse Society, added: “We are very proud to welcome Darrell as a Fellow of The British Horse Society. As a Fellow, he has joined an illustrious corps of equestrians with a distinguished history. We are looking forward to more BHS Instructors joining the Fellowship.”