34th Anniversary as The premier WESTERN RIDING CLUB

It seems like yesterday, the Western Equestrian Society (WES) were celebrating their very first year as the premier Western Riding Club here in the UK, and here they are, many years later, planning a huge celebration for the 34th anniversary. WES members participate with a vast variety of breeds such as Highland ponies, Welsh ponies, traditional cobs, cobs, Haflingers, Arabians and not to mention various western breeds. Looking at it realistically you name breed, and WES probably have a member out there riding in a western saddle.

 

Every year WES hosts a national show at the Moreton Morrel College in Warwickshire which over the years has been the one show to have exceeded all expectation, showcasing some of the best photographic material captured to date. This is all thanks to the Charity Pleasure Class where Members dress themselves and their steeds up in some of the most Incredible costumes, and all in the name of raising money for nominated charity’s, including Macmillan, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and many others.

 

This year WES have decided to nominate a charity close to their hearts. This being said, the Horseback UK charity has been chosen. They are a very deserving charity, dedicated to supporting Mentally and Physically disabled Ex-service Men and Women by introducing them to the beauty and physicality of horses.

And of course, one of the highlights of the event is the announcement of this year’s fancy dress theme. Officially confirmed that this year WES will be celebrating Military through the Ages, so far entries include a Viking, a Musketeer and I did hear some mention of a Tank so this leaves so much open to the imagination. Over the years they have been fortunate enough to see some outstanding representations.

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 One such example was a horse dressed as a John Deere Tractor and this year is already promising some exceptional creativity. There is a huge excitement around the photographs that will be taken on the day highlighting the best moments.

The events are always ones to be remembered and this year WES will have a professional photographer on site, making sure every moment is captured and nothing is missed or left out. Throughout the weekend, the photographer will be working his magic and rest assured all the photographs will be made available a few days after the event.

WES is beyond excited and looking forward to the energy and creativity this show will bring.

The show dates are confirmed for 24th to the 26th August and the ever long awaited for Fancy dress pleasure class will be on Saturday the 25th. 

Bob's Comment - March 2017

Bob's Comment - March 2017

I'd forgotten that moving house was so stressful, but was quickly reminded when we were given two weeks’ notice. Thankfully, with the help of friends, family, and our excellent removal team — Move Fast, aka, Steve Hart, former owner of Quarter Horse Rio — it was successfully completed on time. Twenty-seven years of successful breeding, shoeing, and training came to an end on the 24th February. Wye Oak Quarter Horses finally closed its doors.

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Bob's Comment - October 2016

Bob's Comment - October 2016

As winter now approaches and our show season is over, it is time to appraise your efforts for this year. My suggestion is to take time out and write down all or any of the problems that you have had in low-scoring rounds so that you have a master plan to work on before next season. Remember, spring is only a few months away and if we take out Christmas, and bad weather days, we have probably got only six weeks left to get into shape for next year’s show season.

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Bob's Comment - September 2016

Bob's Comment - September 2016

There is no doubt that the growth of western riding, the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse Associations, and British Reining Horse Association would never have been so prolific, save for the efforts WES has made and continues to make. The many trainers and instructors would not be around, and the enthusiasm to ride western would not be so buoyant if it wasn't for WES members putting the “1860s cowboy movie ghost” to rest.

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Bob's Comment - June 2016

Bob's Comment - June 2016

I feel very privileged to be accorded the honour of judging the 25th anniversary WES championship show. I hope as many of you as possible will put the date in your diary and attend, either astride or on foot! I am sure a large proportion of you readers started western riding through the efforts of WES. Over the years, the society has probably been ‘responsible’ for a lot of sales of the American Quarter Horse as during the early days there was only one annual Quarter Horse show and three major WES shows.

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Bob's Comment - May 2016

Bob's Comment - May 2016

During our evening there, I was surprised to find out nine of our fellow guests were from the UK. What was fascinating was that they thoroughly enjoyed their Western riding and were keen to tell me how different it was from British riding! The fact was, despite the internet, they had never heard of Western riding, WES or Western Horse UK. This was a real shock and shows how much each area has hardly scratched the surface. Maybe we all need to get together to think further on exposure and promotion.

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Bob's Comment - January 2016

Bob's Comment - January 2016

Whilst there I came across a headline concerning the reining industry which was ‘Reiners  -  Tidy up your act or lose your sport’! Powerful words! So, I decided to investigate a little further. I am sure that some of the following can apply throughout the equine industry, especially when money and fame become the motivation and many rules are stretched or ignored but here are some of the things that I have witnessed or that have been mentioned to me.

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London New Years Day Parade 2016

London New Years Day Parade 2016

On New Years day rather than staying home and watching more Only Fools and Horses reruns we instead headed into London to meet the AQHA UK riders who were taking part in the New Years Day parade. We walked from Oxford Circus down to Green Park where they were getting ready. On the way every side street had participants of the parade getting reading, steel bands, dancers, mini steam engines, marching bands and giant inflatables. The noises were loud and varied, not conditions I would like to ride in!

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Bob's Comment - November 2015

Bob's Comment - November 2015

It’s that time of the year – no not Christmas – it’s time to appraise your efforts over the last ten months and set your goals for next year.

Take a notepad and jot down all of the things that went wrong at shows you attended. Was there a regular problem cropping up that you missed? Or were there many various problematic scenarios? Then put down what you did to try to correct these.

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Bob's Comment - August 2017

Bob's Comment - August 2017

We are halfway through the show season and according to Facebook , most riders seem to be extremely happy with their efforts and achievements, so super, well done. For my part it seems that lessons and clinics are moving to higher levels so these are exciting times. It is nice to know that my two youth riders that I have been coaching these last two years in conjunction with one mother and one uncle, have performed well…..well enough to catch the eyes of other trainers and selectors, so there is still some life in this “old parrot” yet!

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The Quarter Pony

The Quarter Pony

The Quarter Pony was developed in the USA in the 1960s to recognise Quarter Horses that did not make the height of 14.2hh, and were thus not able to be registered. That height restriction is no longer in force however the Quarter Pony has become a distinct breed of its own, celebrating the looks, versatility and competitive skills of the Quarter Horse with the stamina and temperament of the several excellent riding ponies that were introduced to the foundation stock.

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Show Secretary Jane Muir Reins Again

Show Secretary Jane Muir Reins Again

Beloved show secretary Jane Muir has agreed to 'ride a reiner' and be broadcast around the world via live stream at the Garden of England International Festival of Western Riding (Bodiam, East Sussex 18-22 July) in aid of MacMillan Nurses. Jane, usually to be found behind a lap top administering the UK's most prestigious western riding events, will be making her return to the arena on a horse provided by Sterling Quarter Horses.

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