By now I am sure most of you are aware that Lindsey Cartwright has resigned as DC of the United Pack and that I have been voted in as the new DC.
If you could please bear with me as I settle in to this new role. I hope to carry on where Lindsey left off (some big shoes to fill) and keep the United Pack moving forwards. By sending teams to compete at the bigger events and to continue the progress with the mounted games teams and our MG competition in May.
I will be making some small changes, nothing too drastic, the first of which is that I would like all members to wear either United Pack polo shirts or sweatshirts at all rallies and discipline trainings ie Dressage, SJ, PX etc. As you will appreciate when we have prospective new members coming to see what we do, the first thing they see is how smart we are, and first impressions always count.
I just wanted to make you all aware that we are having to do a lot more paperwork regarding health and safety and safeguarding, some of which should have been in place before or has just come in from headquarters. Which means we are playing a bit of catch up and that is why some of you are seeing some changes with how we are doing things.
Due to the GDPR I should now send out emails blind, however we found that there was a problem with this and some people are now not receiving my emails, I have asked and others are having this issue. To address this, we are going to go back to sending the emails open, which means all email address can be seen by everyone. I will be sending out an email that I need everyone to reply to with either a yes or no, so yes that they are happy for the email to stay open and be seen by all or no in which case I will put your email in a separate group and send them blind, but I cannot guarantee you will receive them. I have checked, and we are allowed to do this, but we must first get your permission.
To move forward on a positive note. One of my first duties as DC was to attend the Royal Welsh Show with the Mounted Games team, I was glad I could be there to support them in front of the crowded cattle arena on the Wednesday afternoon where they were up against some very good teams. Unfortunately, they didn’t qualify this year to compete in the main arena on the Thursday, hopefully we will be invited again and can have some better luck next time.
After this we were invited by the Kings Troop for a behind the scenes tour, where we were shown their dress and swords and it was explained how everything was made to have multiple purposes, which was very interesting. We were also shown the guns and around the stables, which were very busy as one horse was doing his final performance at the show before being retired to one of the Queen’s stables. They are a fully functioning unit with their own medical team, farriers, saddlers and tailors, all of which have been trained through the unit, which seems a very good career path. It was a very interesting tour and I hope all of those that came enjoyed it, we also invited the Flint and Denbigh team to join us. We have been told that in the future we are welcome to take a group around again, so if you are there next year let me know and I can try to arrange that for you.
The following week saw us send two teams to Burwarton show for the mounted games, the senior team and a very young junior team. Both teams did very well, I think the poor mini team were very tired by the end of the day though, hopefully they aspire to be as good as the seniors one day.
We also sent members and teams to the area dressage, show jumping and eventing. Well done to everyone who went and represented the branch. In the Novice and Intermediate very few get to qualify so despite some good results, especially Meg Williams who was 8th in the intermediate, unfortunately no qualifications. However, in the grassroots we had a number qualifying with Freja Bedell in the show jumping and Philip Watney, Alice Leeke and Becky Morris all qualifying in the eventing.
We sent a team down to Gatcombe Horse trials to do the 90cm. They had a good day, and well done to Freja Bedell for a cracking clear round. No places this year but looking forward to the next.
Finally, the main event of the year was upon us, camp. This year we had a smaller group which was unfortunate, however it was a nice number for me to settle into my first camp. We had a great time with a lot of extra activities including; a talk from the Wellington Animal Rescue Service, the United Pack hunt, a movie night and nightline, an intro to pony club racing, a bbq and the hobby horse competition. Culminating on the Friday with a one-day event which was changed to a combined training due to the downpour of rain making the cross country unsafe. I hope everyone enjoyed camp and so far, the feedback has been positive from children and parents with everyone enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. A big thank you to all the instructors and all my helpers throughout the week and to Rachel and Liz for putting on the excellent catering.
At the end of the week we had the flower show, starting in the morning with the team show jumping consisting of Chloe Sturrock, Jess Clarke, Issie Ellis and Meg Williams, they all jumped two very good rounds with two fabulous clear rounds from Issie and Chloe to finish 4th which is a fantastic achievement. In the afternoon, we performed the musical ride to the theme rain, our thunder at the start caused a stir amongst the horses; however they coped well and rode on to do a great job and as always give us a good pre-run for the champs.
To bring this to a close, I would just like to say if anybody have any questions or issues please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone I am happy to talk about anything. Good luck to everyone at Champs in the coming weeks and for the competitions in the autumn.