Looking back on 2018, we had a great year for our Region! We’ve created a run-down of some of our highlights over the last 12 months and we’ve included some exciting events we are looking forward to in the coming year.
72 drivers passing plain clothed mounted police officers too close or too fast were pulled over and educated by BHS NW with the help of Merseyside Police and Greater Manchester Police in 2018 during 3 ‘Safe Pass’ operations. We are hoping to plan more in 2019 If you have a problem with motorists in your area and you would benefit from a safe pass operation, please report any incidents or near misses.
The importance of riders taking responsibility for their own safety was highlighted when Greater Manchester and Lancashire Mounted Police Officers took our Ride Safe Award helping riders to be safe not just on the roads but riding in all environments. Chief Inspector Tariq Butt from GMP’s Roads Policing & Mounted Unit Said, “GMP is proud and delighted to be the first force in the country to participate in The British Horse Society’s ‘Ride Safe’ Award. Animal and rider welfare and safety is paramount and we encourage all road users across Greater Manchester to share the road responsibly and to be considerate of others.” Read more here.
BHS Lancashire offered a Ride Safe bursary for the training and assessment of the Ride Safe Award. We were delighted that all seven riders passed which highlights the quality of our ride safe trainers! BHS Manchester are offering a Ride Safe Bursary for eight lucky riders with training and assessment taking place in April/May 2019. Applications close at midnight on 28 Feb so be quick!
Thanks to the work of our wonderful team of Access Volunteers we have saved lots bridleways from the 2026 deadline in the North West! Our BHS Volunteer Graeme Bruce recorded 70 routes onto BHS Ride Maps for the North West for our 70th Birthday last year. Each month we are sharing a ‘Featured Ride’ from one of our local areas on our NW Facebook Page to help local riders access these fantastic routes, like and follow our page to see more in 2019.
2018 was a great year for BHS NW pleasure rides, 260 riders took part in 8 organised riders thought the year raising a total of £2,237.80 which supports our local access work such as preserving existing routes or clearing them from overgrowth. We are planning more rides for Ride Out UK 2019 so keep an eye on our events page for more info. Here’s what some of our riders had to say about last years Platinum ride…despite the rain! “Thank you all for a very enjoyable day!! Loved it”… “Thank you to everyone who made this happen. Great time and looking forward to next year’s rides.”… “Thanks so much for today, thoroughly enjoyed it despite the rain. [We] can’t wait until next year’s rides start up again.”
Last year our wonderful Welfare Advisers helped to resolve 29 welfare concerns reported to us in the NW. If you have any concerns about equestrians in your area we have lots of advice and support on our website, along with a dedicated team you can report a concern to. So we can help improve welfare even more in 2019 we have welcomed Cathy Hyde our BHS Welfare Field Officer into the fold. With over 18 years’ experience working as Chief Inspector for the RSPCA Cathy has joined us to focus more on her Equine welfare passion. As such Cathy would love to hear from you if you have an interest in volunteering your time to improving welfare in your area, drop her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education and Training
We want to thank our amazing Accredited Professional Coaches in the Region who are dedicated to improving themselves so they can help riders and horses to also learn and improve. We were lucky enough to have one of two International Conventions at Myerscough College last year. Due to its success, we are delighted that it will be back in the North West for 2019 this time at Aintree Racecourse on the 15 – 17 September 2019. Previously targeted at the Society’s Accredited Coaches these events have been expanded to include a new day dedicated to any equestrian wishing to improve their knowledge and skills. A few gems of information we learnt from last year: “Remember a horse doesn’t make mistakes. We have to explain better.” Christoph Hess “Don’t get fixated by strides. Ride the line and keep the balance. Put your hands to bed and say yes I can” Chris Bartle “Your perception of the challenge in front of you and your perception of your own abilities is key” Charlie Unwin.
A favourite event on the BHS NW calendar was the annual BHS Camp, which returned to Aintree Racecourse & International Arena. This year riders had a jam packed and exciting weekend of fun and training which was encapsulated in the Saturday night ‘Pimm’s & Polework’ demo… don’t worry riders dismounted before getting their share of the Pimm’s! We are thrilled that the Camp will return to Aintree once again in 2019, we are crossing the t’s and dotting the I’s as we speak so the dates for August will be announced very soon. If you thought about coming to camp last year and you weren’t sure it was right for you, here’s some helpful advice from one of our lovely campers last year; “After never attending a camp I didn't know what to expect and was slightly apprehensive. However I can honestly say I loved every minute of the weekend and had a great time. Alfie and I thoroughly enjoyed the varied activities, our favourite being a whizz round the gallops. Everyone was friendly and put you at ease. We had a good laugh, learnt new techniques and skills and made new friends. Loved it”
2018 saw our first North West Dressage Championship to celebrate the BHS’s 70th Birthday. Qualifiers were held in each county with seniors and Juniors competing in Intro, Prelim and Novice which saw 70 riders take to the Championships at Bold Heath Equestrian Centre. Our competitions aspired to be a fun and friendly environment and judging by the smiling faces and great comments from our riders we think we succeeded! “Thank you so much to all the people who helped [at the NW Dressage Championships] I have real problems with nerves in competition and everyone was so kind which really helped and really highlighted the fact that it’s supposed to be fun! I’m so lucky to have a lovely horse that I just want to ride properly so he will have a long and healthy life. Thank you for all that you [BHS] do!”
“A wonderful event very well run thank you so much for your hard work. Please let it continue!”… Okay, you asked and we delivered, it’s back for 2019! More information is coming soon, like and follow our NW Facebook Page or check out our events page and keep your eyes peeled.
Well that’s a whistle stop tour, and of course we have achieved so much more locally. If you want to know more about what’s been happening in your area contact your local BHS. We couldn’t have been able to do all of this without your support, as a charity your membership funds the work we do. We wanted to say hello to our 336 new and re-joining members in 2018! We now have 7,209 BHS members in the NW which is fantastic. If you have some ideas of what you would like to see the BHS working on in your area, get in touch. If you want to help us out or join a BHS team in your area, get involved. Why not ask a friend to join so they too receive the benefits of being a BHS member while helping all of the valuable work we do.