Congratulations to the 2018 BHS Isle of Wight Equestrian Hero, Robert Booth. Robert, an accredited Stage 5 Performance Coach, runs his training and livery business, Rodgebrook Horses, at Porchfield and has been a stalwart of the island’s equestrian community for many years. He was surprised and delighted to be presented with the award by the 2017 recipient, David Corney, at his yard on 25 February.
Robert Booth BHSI Accredited Professional Coach has competed and trained horses for over 40 years. Several articles already published over the years have given us an insight into Robert’s passion for training both horse and rider but, with help from reliable sources, we have unearthed a little of what makes this humble, quietly spoken, perfectionist tick and why his success and longevity endear him to his clients and equestrian colleagues alike.
Born in Portsmouth and having worked in Ireland after taking his first teaching exam, Robert then trained at the Catherston Stud under the legendary Jennie Loriston-Clarke, where he successfully gained his British Horse Society’s Instructors qualification. This in itself is no mean feat. These examinations require dedication and a huge amount of self discipline - both inner qualities Robert possesses in large amounts.
Having run a yard together with his wife Lyn in Reading, the couple then decided to make the short hop across The Solent along with Robert’s parents. This is when the family’s Island adventure began. Outgrowing their first yard, Robert and family then moved from Newport to Porchfield, where the successful ‘Rodgebrook Horses’ took shape... Of course, the horses’ needs took priority and the erecting of stabling came first and foremost, the Booth’s own house being constructed later.
Robert’s days at Rodgebrook are split between teaching his many varied clients (both on site and out and about Islandwide) and training and schooling the horses on his yard. He takes his profession incredibly seriously and enjoys all aspects of his work. Robert teaches riders of all abilities and especially those aspiring to compete at the highest levels in their chosen equestrian discipline. He is a stalwart of the Vectis Equestrian Club, training their riders on a regular basis. Whilst Robert is highly skilled in all equestrian pursuits, it would appear his first love is showjumping. He has regularly competed at Hickstead and many other large mainland events, along with local Island shows too. It is always a pleasure to see him competing at the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Show, where young riders can aspire to achieve Robert’s high standards in horsemanship.
So what is it that makes Robert our chosen Isle of Wight British Horse Society ‘Hero of the Year 2018’? In a nutshell, it’s that he remains a consummate professional in everything he undertakes. Quiet, calm, patient, supportive and highly knowledgeable, Robert can be relied upon to tease out the best from both horse and rider, no matter what their respective levels, or their combined abilities. Robert will make each and every rider he comes into contact with feel they can achieve anything they set their heart and mind on - the true strength of an inspirational teacher.
Robert Booth, the Island’s BHS branch thanks you for continuing to offer an outstanding level of tuition and service, available to all local horses and riders. We hope you continue to inspire the Island’s talented young (and not so young!) riders for many years to come.
Pssst!...We’ve also heard on the grapevine that you enjoy serenading the horses on your yard with little songs you compose while you work. Your secret is safe with us....and Simon Cowell!