My name is Angie and I’d like to introduce myself as your local Chair of The British Horse Society’s Isle of Man team. I’m writing to you to involve you in the work we are doing for equestrians on the island, to introduce you to the team, giving you a snapshot of the work we have been undertaking and letting you know of our plans for the coming months. After the challenging year we have all had, I’d also like to invite you to celebrate our wonderful equestrian community with a get together at Old Lonan Church Farm Ballakilley on Thursday 22nd July 2021, 5pm - 7pm.
A little more about me….
Some of you might already know me but for those who don’t, I moved to the Isle of Man 20 years ago and have farmed Ballakilley in Lonan. I’ve been riding for over 40 years and currently compete my wonderful maxi cob Coleman alongside running my Livery Yard. I became more aware of the work of the BHS on the Isle of Man when Alan Hiscox the BHS Director of Safety attended with a stand at 2019 TT, promoting equestrians as vulnerable road users and educating motorists on how to safely share the roads with horses. I was elected to head up the BHS IOM team in September 2020 which has been a huge privilege to support the charitable objectives of the BHS locally.
So what have the BHS IOM team been up to lately?
Jill, our Equestrian Safety Advisor, has been reaching out to cycling shops and local cycling groups, including the Manx Sports and Recreation “Bike 4 Life” scheme to spread our “Be Nice, Say Hi” message and leaflets to help keep cyclists and horse riders safe when sharing mutual spaces. Jill has also been keeping a close eye on local routes where there are potential for equine safety concerns and notifying and collaborating with the Department of Infrastructure (DoI) to improve these, most recently on the Heritage Trail and the 7 Gates routes. Jill has also contacted the Roads Policing Unit and reached out to local equestrian safety advocates and is working to facilitate trailer safety education events a carriage driving ‘close pass’ police patrol to promote the BHS ‘Dead Slow’ campaign to educate motorists on passing horses safely on the roads.
Remembrance Day 2020:
Here are Jill and I with Jess and her beautiful Clydesdale Tuula. We laid a wreath on behalf of the BHS IOM to remember the equines from the island who lost their lives.
Erica and Helen are our Equestrian Access Officers who have been working closely to improve equestrian access with the DoI, who have been very receptive to understanding the needs of equestrians on the island. Their discussions have focused particularly on the 7 Gates Track ahead of our planned pleasure ride there on 24th July which we hope you will join us for. Improvements already made include, cutting back overhanging vegetation, widening the track and improving the drainage and surface. Further planned improvements include fencing alongside a section with a steep drop off and replacing gates with equestrian-friendly alternatives. More broadly, we have been encouraged to feedback to the DoI on routes which could be made accessible to equestrians with some relatively minor adjustments which is encouraging. Erica and the team have held multiple ‘Map Your Ride’ events to speak to lots of the islands equestrians to look at viable routes.
Abigail Burns led our first online event in April this year with a fantastic talk on ‘Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Cushings and Laminitis’ thanks to guest speakers; Vet, Francesca Marriot (VM, MRCV) Physio and Nutritionist, Jo Howie and Farrier, John Tildsley. These events are vital to furthering our charitable objective of improving equine welfare through educating horse owners and riders. Abigail is full of great ideas for more talks for the future, both online and in person. If you have any great ideas yourself, we’d love to hear them too.
Abigail together with Gemma are our Equestrian Welfare Advisors who have joined us to help support and advise on horse health and welfare where needed. I myself, also support the team as an events officer and Jessica, Jorel and Jill help to keep us organised and connected as our Secretary, Communication Officer and Treasurer.
So as you can see we are a small but passionate group who have come together on the island to do our best to encouraging people and horses to enjoy life together to the fullest. We are always looking for new people to join our amazing team, so if you feel you have some skills you could share with us, or even just have a spare few hours to help out at our events then please get in touch with Lyndsay, our Regional Manager on 07720404398 or email Lyndsay
If you’d like the opportunity to meet the team in person, have a chat and a cake (cake is optional but advised) come along on Thursday 22nnd July from 5pm - 7pm at Old Lonan Church Farm, Ballakilley, Ballamenaugh Road, Baldrine, IM4 6AH.
Refreshments will be provided and to assist with catering please RSVP by 20th July either by phone/text on 07624 481786 or email
If you can't make it we would love to meet you at any of our future events later this year. Here’s where we will be:
- Saturday 3rd July – Peel Equine Day
- Saturday 24th July – BHS IOM Ride Out UK Pleasure Ride (starting from Kennaa Equestrian Centre)
- Saturday 31st July & Sunday 1st August – Southern Show (in the light horse section)
- Friday 3rd December – BHS IOM Annual Quiz night (Venue to be confirmed)
If you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact the BHS IOM. You can also find more information on the BHS IOM Facebook page
I look forward to hopefully meeting you soon!