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Club News 2023

December 2023



































26th November 2023

BRC's new online membership platform is launching tomorrow, be sure to look out for emails from BRC with all the info you need, including a link to the online portal and 'how to' information sheets. 


The main differences with the new portal are listed below:

- Rolling membership, meaning you will have 12 months from the date of joining

- Online portal where you join and directly pay BRC membership fees 

- Member number is accessible on the online portal and this will remain your membership number forever

- BRC will send email reminders for your renewal, but if you lapse your membership you will be dropped off the WRC email list the next day (currently email lists stay until the AGM to give everyone the chance to renew!).

- There is a payment charge of £1.50 with BRC, so this is added on top of the membership fee.


As an incentive for members to renew membership before the end of the year, BRC have said that they will hold the club affiliation fee at the current level. This increases by £4 from January 1st. The committee have decided not to increase club 2024 fees inline with BRC, so if you would like to renew before the end of 2023, it means £4 more to witheridge and not BRC (helps with club funds!).


There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get this up and running for our club, so I'd like to give a special mention to Ros Fisher-Smith for spending HOURS going through it with a fine tooth comb and Kate Kellaway for supporting Ros with this too.


If you have any questions please email the WRC secretary and I'll do my very best to help, it's completely new to all of us, so we appreciate your patience.


























AGM @ Rackenford club - 9th February 2023

A great evening was had by all at our AGM, well done to all of the trophy winners and points leagues winners. Thank you to all of the volunteers, land owners, instructors and everyone who supports our club. Thanks to our members generosity, the raffle raised nearly £150 to support our dressage team heading to the champs at the end of next month.

Area 12 Showjumping @ KSEC - 5th February 2023

Congratulations to all that competed at KSEC at the Area 12 Qualifier. 

Congratulations to Nicky Day who qualified individually for the 80cm championships, Helen Halpin who came 4th individually and the team with Nicky, Helen, Carolyn Day and Carol Luxton who came 2nd.

The 90 team also did well and came 4th in a very competitive section, well done to Jess Cummings, Xanthe Smith, Fiona Rawle and Sarah Mercy.

Good to see new member Steve Green also putting himself out there in the 70 and Jess in the 100!

Well done all!

Club News 2022

Skittles Social Evening- 15th July 2022

A big heartfelt thank you from Alicia Balfor, Caroline Thompson, Nicky Day and Alex Mobbs for your support last Friday night. 

Our social evening (incorporating a game of skittles) was a very successful event, raising just over £200 for the team to help cover expenses for the eventing team at the championships this summer. 

Mary Baillie very kindly organized us into 4 teams and we all 'had a go' at knocking down some pins. 

There was one "Flopper" (Where you knock all the pins down in one go) and several "spares" (all the pins in two goes) 

The winning team was the 'Geriatrics' closely followed by the 'Miss-Fits'

Interestingly, the teams who came 3rd and 4th both had seasonal South Molton league skittles players in them (Mary Baillie and Kate Kellaway) This just goes to go that Skittles really is anyone's game! 

Anna's son Alfie worked hard helping to put the skittles up after each throw and did an amazing job!

Rackenford Club put on an incredible ploughman's supper for us and the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all who came. 

It was lovely to see so many WRC members and their family's and also reacquaint with some past members who came along to show their support. 

If anyone has any requests for future social events/ get together's please do let us know your ideas.

Thank you again for your support for our 90 cm Eventing team.

Area 12 Horse Trials - 4th June 2022 

Massive well done to our 90 team who won their class to qualify for the championships. They also all had individual placings with Caroline Thompson winning her section, Alicia Balfour and Nicky Day 5th and 4th and Alex Mobbs 8th. 

The 80 teams had great success too and saw 3 teams go forwards for the area competition as well as other individuals. Really well done to Amy Barton, one of our newest members, who finished 3rd in her section. Our team of Rose Partidge, Ameila Green, Helen Banbury and Lou White won the non-qualifying section and were 5th overall. Sharon Thorne, Nicky Day, Rebecca Brown and Caroline Lowes finished 6th as a team with Sharon taking 10th individually. Becky Stanbury also finished 10th and Helen 6th. 

Championship Successes Spring 2022 

We had a team go up to Arena UK earlier this year who finished 11th out of over 20 teams at the National Show Jumping Championships. Well done to Nicky and Carolyn Day, Sharon Thorne and Katie Maddox! 

Massive well done to Helen Govier who came 4th individually at the dressage nationals at Hartpury earlier this year.


Another massive well done to our 80 and 90 teams who represented us at the Combined Challenge NAF National Championships - our 90 team was 3rd and our 80 team 9th - Nicky also had an individual win! 

Area 12 Combined Challenge - 9th April 2022

Well done to all those who competed at the Area 12 Combined Challenge over the weekend! A well done to the NQ 80 team of Sarah Midwinter, Sharon Routley, Abi Mobbs and KT English who WON their class and a special mention to Sarah Midwinter who WON individually! The other 80 team finished 2nd qualifying with Carol Luxton, Sharon Thorne, Nicky Day and Katie Maddox! The 90 team also did amazingly and WON their class and QUALIFIED for the championships at the end of May with Mary Coe, Nicky Day, Jessica Carter and Alex Mobbs and a special mention to Alex and Nicky who were also placed individually! Helen Govier also competed as an individual and was in the placings! Well done Witheridge

Club News 2021

Area 12 Horse Trials - 5th June 2021 


A massive congratulations also to Louise Salilsbury who WON her 100 class as a qualifying individual so qualifies for the championships later in the year. Caroline Thompson also competed in the 100 however was just outside the placings. 

90cm Juniors  

A massive massive congratulations

also to our junior 90 team consisting of Fiona Wedden, Donella Phillips, Hattie Barnes and Freya Wiggins who WON their section qualifying for the championships with Witheridge 1st 2nd and 3rd individually too! Individually Fiona was 1st, Freya was 2nd and Hattie was 3rd.  

We also had Phoebe Banbury competing as an individual who finished 4th who also qualifies for the championships as an individual!  


Unfortunately, after a lost shoe and a withdrawal the 90 team was not to be, however, Nicky Day finished 5th individually and Leanne Gibbs 7th individually.   


We’d like to congratulate our 80cm team on coming 3rd consisting of Helen Banbury, Becky Stanbury, Nicky Day and Rebecca Brown.  Nicky also had a great 6th individually. Demelza Barnes and Mary Coe also finished the course, however, we just outside the placings in our second team of Demelza, Mary and Ameila Green.  

Cathy Crang also competed as a non-qualifying entry storming clear round the cross country with a couple of unfortunate poles to finish 12th in her section.  

National Arena Eventing Championships - Aston Le Walls - 22nd May 2021 

Witheridge had a team who had the opportunity to compete at the Arena Eventing Area 12 competition in December 2020 who travelled up to Aston Le Walls on Saturday 22nd May 2021. 

The team of Demelza Barnes, Rebecca Brown, Kate Kellaway and Mary Coe finished 6th out of 18 teams helping by Rebecca and Demelza's clear rounds. 


Club News 2020

Area 12 Novice Winter Dressage - Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre : Sunday, 6 December, 2020

Witheridge had two teams competing at the Area 12 Novice Winter Dressage Qualifier at Kings Sedgemoor on Sunday 6th December.

Sharon Routley riding Holly was 2nd in the Novice 27 with a score of 69.11, Helen Govier riding Marvin was 4th in the Preliminary 2 with a score of 71.55 and Emma-Jayne Auger riding Noble Crest was 4th in the Novice 24 with a score of 70.43. Amelia Green and Joanne Parker also had very respectable 6th places in Preliminary 7 and Novice 24 respectively.

Other team members were Kim Gough, Preliminary 2; Tamsin O’Connor, Novice 27 and Tanya Gale, Preliminary 7.

Special mention should be made of Sharon Routley and Emma-Jayne Auger who had been competing at Area 12 Arena Eventing at Bicton the day before.

All competitors scored well and Witheridge came 7th overall!

Very well done to all those who competed.

Kim Gough

Area 12 Arena Eventing - Bicton Arena : Saturday, 5 December, 2020

We had lots of members competing at the Area 12 Arena Eventing on Saturday 5th December.


Demelza Barnes had a fabulous result and came 4th individually in the 80cm with just 1.2 time penalties; her other team members also performed well (Mary Coe, Poppy Whewell and Rebecca Brown) to finish 3rd narrowly missing out on a qualifying placing. 


Our other 80cm team finished 8th (Nicky Day, Katie and Vikki Maddox and Rebecca Stanbury). 

Louise White came 8th individually with 0.0 penalties (!) in the 90cm and was in the team who came 4th with Alex Mobbs, Samantha Englefield and Sharon Routley.

Emma-Jane Auger was competing as an individual and finished in 13th place with a lovely clear and only a few time penalties. 

Well done to all those who competed. 

Mary Coe/Nicky Day


Area 12 Novice & Intermediate Show Jumping - King Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre : Sunday, 23 February 2020

Delighted to report that our 80/85 cm show jumping team (Tamsin O'Connor, Sarah Midwinter, Sally Watts and Emily Northam) WON their class to qualify for the Winter Novice Championships at the end of March!! Sarah had a fab double clear for individual 1st. Sally also finished 3rd. 

Sian Brown


An Evening with Lizzie Kelly - Witheridge Parish Hall : Monday, 20 January, 2020 (in aid of The Injured Jockeys Fund)

A group of some 29 members and non members enjoyed an evening of conversation with British National Hunt Jockey, Lizzie Kelly in January. 


Lizzie, who rides mainly for her mother and stepfather, Jane & Nick Williams, based at Culverhill Farm, George Nympton kept us entertained as she spoke frankly of her early years based with various well known trainers and how it prepared her for her famous victory in the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton in 2015, aboard Tea for Two, where she became the first female jockey to win a Grade One race in Britain.


During the interval we all enjoyed a cup of coffee, cake and biscuits and took part in the prize raffle which helped raise funds to the sum of £193.00 for The Injured Jockeys Fund. 

Thank you so much to everyone for coming along to support this event and to our all our very generous sponsors who donated prizes for the raffle.

Teresa Sparks

Club News 2019

Charlotte Warman Bitting Clinic Talk - Mill Barton : Thursday, 21 November, 2019

What a fabulous night we all had at our Bitting Clinic talk with Charlotte Warman. I’m sure all will agree it was absolutely fascinating to hear all of the history back to the first bit that was invented. We had a great first session on Caroline’s lovely guinea pig horse in the stable yard then back for some fabulous warm food and cake followed by another session of chat and questions and passing around of ‘Winston’ (Charlotte's horse skull). 

Thank you all so much for coming. We were still going at 10.20 pm! I shall be organising another clinic at mine at some point so please get in touch if you would like to join us with your horse.

Debbie Dyke


Area 12 Intermediate Dressage - Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre : Sunday, 17th November, 2019

Our Senior Intermediate Dressage team all put up a strong performance at KSEC back in mid November. Tamsin O'Connor and Gallway View were 3rd in the Prelim warm up before finishing 6th in the Qualifying team Novice class. Rebecca Brown and Rathmorrissey Ransom hit the magic 70% in their Preliminary Q test and finished 4th. Andrew Parry and Autumn Bright Starr also came 6th in the other Qualifying novice class and then Jane Phillips and Fair Duchess looked really classy in the Elementary , finishing 3rd.


It was a tense finish as there was a 3-way tie of teams with the 3 bestt scores of 13 so all four placings had to be used to decide the results and luckily this gave WRC the edge, as we had such consistent results, for 4th rather than 5th or 6th place.


Tamsin and Jane had only recently stepped up to this level and both looked very confident and their results were impressive. Poor Rebecca was still recovering from a nasty bug and was struggling to breathe and Andrew had been away working for 10 days but you wouldn't have known as both did very smart and accurate tests.


Helen Govier and Mr Armani were competing as non-Qualifying individuals and were also in the placings with 4th in their warm up Novice test and 2nd in the Elementary with a really strong 68.8%


So, it was an excellent day for Team Witheridge and as Team Manager, I was very proud of them all and was able to sit back and enjoy watching as they were all so smart and well prepared.


Helen Goff

Area 12 Arena Eventing - Bicton : Sunday, 10th November, 2019

The sun shone. The courses were widely considered to be pretty beefy and the going in the Everys arena for the 80 class was very wet and holding.

We had 2 teams for this competition. In the 90 team was myself, Alex Barnett, Sam Englefield and Sharon Routley. Alex did a lovely clear to start the class and ended up 3rd individually. The team were 6th with good rounds by Sam and Sharon. The 80 team was Claire Owen, Tamsin O’Connor and Vikki Maddox. Claire and Tamsin has clear rounds. Vikki has a couple down but did very well on her young horse. The team did really well to come 4th of 9 teams even though they only had 3 members.

A lovely day out and, as always, I appreciated the friendliness of our club members.

Mary Coe

Area 12 Winter Novice Dressage - Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre - Sunday, 6th October, 2019

Witheridge had a successful and enjoyable day at the Area 12 Novice Winter Dressage competition held at Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre on Sunday 6th October. It was a very long day, with huge entries of a high standard. We sent out three full teams, (two qualifying) and one individual qualifier, Claire Owen, who must have been chuffed with her 6th place as it was her horse's first dressage competition, well done!

Our 'blue' team, Charlotte Underhill and Sharon Routley (prelim), Caroline Thompson and myself (novice) were delighted to win the area team competition, and we were placed 3rd in the qualifying team competition. Charlotte came away with two individual second placings, Sharon 6th, Caroline 2nd and 5th and I had a 3rd and 6th. Our 'red' team, Kerry Sleep and Carolyn Day ( prelim), Tamsin O'Connor and Kate Kellaway  (novice) came away with a 6th place in the team qualifier. Individually, Kate came second in her qualifying test, and Carolyn 5th. And the 'green' non qualifying team, Debbie Down and Katherine Govier (prelim), Sian Brown and Emma Jane Auger ( novice)  also had a super day coming 3rd in the area teams. Congratulations to Katherine Govier who won her individual test with a massive 74.26%! and Emma Jane had a second.

I'd like to thank everyone for coming, supporting each other and performing so well for our club, but more importantly I hope everyone enjoyed the day and well done to you all!

Jane Phillips



Witheridge Riding Club’s Showing Show, at Paxtons’ Field, Rackenford on Sunday, 1st September, 2019

The day started early for the organisers and Cliff Richard Catering.  Luckily the sun shone all day and the gentle breeze ensured that everyone kept cool and competitors and their mounts did not get hot and bothered. 32 horses attended, with owners/members from WRC and other local BRCs.  47 in-hand classes were entered and 32 ridden classes giving the judges some difficult decisions to make.  There was also a Handy Pony Ring and a Clear Round Jumping Ring.

The In-hand judge, Lorna Norris, who runs the successful Oakfield Showing Shows series at Codden Hill Equestrian Centre near Barnstaple and breeds Welsh Section A ponies at her stud near Black Dog, had some large classes to judge.  Largest was the Prettiest Mare/Filly class which had 9 forward and was won by Claire Owen’s Kannoodle with Verena Blyth’s Kilnamona Countess a close second.  


The Championship was a huge class with 12 coming forward and was eventually won by Claire Owen’s beautiful 3 year old bay filly Kannoodle who moved beautifully round the ring.  The Reserve Champion was Pam Wills’ very smart coloured cob, Thunder Flash.  This super gelding was judge, Lorna Norris’ ‘take home’ horse of the show.  

The afternoon Ridden section was judged by Jess Talbot of Peasedown Stud, who breeds Welsh and Part Welsh ponies.  Although still relatively young, Jess is very well known on the showing circuit, riding and producing professionally full-time, and she says she was riding ponies before she could walk.  So far this year Jess has qualified two ponies for the Mountain and Moorland ridden finals at Horse of the Year Show: her mum Helen’s young Dales gelding and a black Shetland pony stallion.  Jess has also qualified for the Mountain and Moorland WHP finals at Horse of the Year Show this year with a young Connemara pony. The first two classes of the day, Best Combination and Novice, were very well attended with 5 and 6 horses forward.  The Best Combination was won by Tamsin O’Connor on Galway View.  Tamsin and Galway View had an amazing day with three firsts and a second in the ridden classes.  The novice class was won by Connie Isaac on Micoh.

The Ridden Championship saw fewer horses forward as it had been a long day and some horses were showing signs of being tired and their owners made the sensible decision to leave.    The eventual Ridden Champion was the Veteran Class winner, Stella, ridden by WRC Chairman Caroline Lowes with Connie Isaac and Micoh in Reserve.  Judge, Jess Talbot, commented that Caroline and Stella improved greatly during the ridden classes in the afternoon and Stella came into the Championship bright and enthusiastic.

Kim Gough


Area 12 - BRC National Show Jumping Championships - Lincolnshire Showground (31 August - 1 September 2019)

On the weekend of the 31st August, Witheridge Riding Club had a Senior 80 Team competing at the BRC National Championships in Lincoln. The team (Zoe Boyles, Nicky Day, Carolyn Day and Carol Luxton) qualified at King Sedgemoor earlier in the year where they finished 1st of the qualifying teams and 2nd overall, and made the 6 hour journey up to Lincoln to represent Area 12 and Witheridge nationally. They rode a great mix of horses - Carol on Foxy the cob, Carolyn on her Connemara, Fred, Zoe on her coloured, Robin and Nicky on her Irish Sports Horse, Sam - but all pulled it out the bag after 2 tough rounds and finished 3rd overall out of 21 teams, albeit with a pole here and there! The second round was challenging - lots of teams had riders retiring or eliminated due to the slippery conditions - but all of Witheridge completed and were pleased with their performance finishing on an overall total of 12 faults! All riders and horses enjoyed their weekend and would like to thank Witheridge RC for the opportunity and Paul Hulbert Transport for looking after their horses on the long journey!

Nicky Day

Open Dressage - Paxtons’ Field, Rackenford on Friday, 23 August, 2019

On Friday 23rd August the WRC Show Jumping Team ran an Open Dressage Event at the Paxtons' Field, to raise funds for their transport to the championships in Lincoln. This was a successful event with 34 entries for the dressage, with great results all round, as well as lots of entries for the clear round jumping too. A cake sale was also taking place for the duration – thank you to all the donations from WRC members – this was sold out by the end of the evening.  We had a few tack stalls too with varying success, but all round was a successful evening with a great variety of events to get involved in. The raffle offered some lovely prizes donated by the team, which were won by various competitors and helpers on the night.

Fundraising events are always stressful when there is an end goal to be achieved, but the team managed to raise over £500 which partially funded their transport to the championships.

The team would like to thank all their helpers on the night as well as the competitors who made the event such a lovely friendly affair that ran smoothly. We would also like to thank Irene Perrett and Carolyn Day, our friendly dressage judges, their writers and all of the stewards who helped on the day!


This event was greatly supported by members and non-members, all of whom had lovely things to say about the event. They would also like to encourage other members to get involved with qualifying teams, as these are great opportunities that are sociable and enjoyable for all!

Nicky Day

Piers Willmott Talk at Mill Barton on Wednesday, 10 July, 2019

On Wednesday, Piers WIllmott, who practises Horse Osteopathy, Cranial Osteopathy and Myo Fascial Relief, gave a talk to sixteen of us.  He explained his work, the combination of long years of study, experience and instinct which leads him to treat a horse in a holistic way, and told  plenty of amusing anecdotes along the way.  The audience was so enthralled that they were still chatting to him after three hours!  We have sent £55 to the Devon Air Ambulance as a result of everyone's donations.

Caroline Lowes

BRC HorseQuest Arena Eventing Championship 2019 at Aston Le Walls on Sunday 10th March 2019.

This is a new BRC event on the competition calendar for 2018/19 for Senior and Junior teams and individuals. It takes place on a surface and consists of a course of show jumps immediately followed by cross country fences, and finishes with the last fence as a show jump – the joker fence, which is set 10cm higher than the rest of the course and must be jumped. There are a maximum of 20 jumping efforts, 9 show jumping, 10 XC elements and the joker SJ fence. The whole competition is timed and there is a set speed for an optimum time. There are classes at 70cm, 80cm, 90cm and 100cm.

Area 12 Arena Eventing qualifier at Bicton Arena on Saturday 24th / Sunday 25th November 2018.

Due to a large number of entries this qualifier took place over two days. It proved to be a challenging course having had a large volume of rain and part of the course was flooded, particularly on the Saturday when some of the show jumps and XC jumps had water on landing and / or take off! Sarah Midwinter and Marley jumped on Saturday giving the team a great start with a clear round and just 6 time penalties. On Sunday one of the XC jumps was still sitting in water and was causing an awful lot of problems. However, the rest of the team also rode brilliant solid rounds – Rebecca Brown and Jimmi just had one SJ down but within the optimum time for 4 penalties, as did Nicky Day and Fred. Tamsin O’Connor and Cooper had a clear round with 2 time penalties. The team finished on a fantastic score of 10, and WON!!! They were the only team in the 80cm class to achieve 4 completed rounds and individually they all finished in the top 8 – Tamsin 3rd, Rebecca 4th, Nicky 7th and Sarah 8th. They qualified for the Championships at Aston-Le-Walls in March. A massive well done to them all! Witheridge also had another 80cm team originally but unfortunately this depleted just before the competition leaving Mary Coe to compete as an individual who finished with 16.4 penalties, so well done to her too for completing the tricky course. Huge thanks to Helen Goff for organising the teams, quite a tedious task!

The team made the long journey to the wonderful complex at Aston-Le-Walls Equestrian Centre, Northamptonshire on this windy weekend to compete early on Sunday morning at the national Championship. Rebecca Brown and Jimmi were first to go and managed a clear round, just 5 seconds off the optimum time for 2 time penalties.  Nicky Day and Fred had an unlucky pole down in the SJ and a speedy round to finish with a few too-fast time penalties. Sarah Midwinter and Marley also had a clear round but did incur some time penalties.  Last to go, Tamsin O’Connor and Cooper had a lovely clear round in the exact same time as Rebecca for 2 time penalties.  The scores were incredibly close and the team finished on a score of 13.6 to gain a very creditable 5th place out of 17 teams, bearing in mind that every team there had previously won at their own respective Area qualifier.  Rebecca and Tamsin also finished joint 9th individually out of the 82 entries.  This is a great achievement and the first time this competition has been run.  It was a very exciting competition with the time penalties not being announced immediately. It was great for spectators too, being able to watch the whole course – the SJ took place in one arena and then after the first XC jump competitors moved straight on to the linked XC arena through the water and onto the rest of the XC elements, which included a ditch, slopes and a bank, and finally the joker SJ fence. Incidentally, all four horses had won different awards for their performance last year at our AGM recently. Huge congratulations to them all, very well deserved!! Many thanks to Witheridge Riding Club for paying the Championship entry fees and stabling.

Tamsin O'Connor

Riding club sweatshirts, rugby shirts etc.

Can be purchased from Maritime Motifs, Southley Road (opposite bottom end of pannier market and Market Vets) South Molton EX36 4BL.

T: 01769 572 727

  • Polo shirt unisex or ladies : motif left chest and right sleeve - £14

  • Hoody: motif left chest and large lettering on back - £22

  • Rugby shirt : motif on left chest and on right sleeve - £23

  • Regatta Dover jacket waterproof with fleece lining: motif left chest and large lettering on back - £37

All items are good quality and come in a range of colours.

Sizing: it is best to call in and see her and payment to be made to her direct.

Dressage to Music CDs

Further to training, the club have Prelim Dressage to Music CDs (produced by Sapphire Sounds) available to hire. The CD has music by Mantovani with walk, trot and canter movements. Please contact Ros Fisher-Smith stating whether your horses's paces are similar to 15hh or16 hh. 

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