Committee EHOA Owners

Chairmans Letter 2017

I sit here with great anticipation of an amazing season ahead writing about our great sport, comprising of fabulous people who have an immense passion for their horses. The Two Heart campaign launched for the Olympics in Rio 2016 was absolutely befitting but there was a part of me that felt a few more “Hearts” could be included, that of the Owner(s)! Unless you are one, and have experienced what it is like to sit on the side lines with your heart pounding whilst watching your horse and rider compete in any one of the demanding disciplines then I don’ t expect those that aren’ t to understand what it is like. For what it’ s worth, from my own experience, it was less stressful being a rider, albeit ‘ amateur’ than now my current status as an owner.

We now look forward to the season progressing, some changes a foot and we wish both Chris Bartle and Richard Waygood all the very best in their new positions as World Class performance coach and manager respectively. Likewise with other Nations who are currently appointing new performance managers, we wish them all every success and will be following all our Member Owners and their riders throughout the season.

The success of the EHOA over the past years is fundamentally down to the enormous support from our Sponsors. The Association is indebted to them for all they have done to enable us to evolve with the sport and to bring the “Owners” voice to the fore and to be now recognised as a leading stakeholder in the Sport. We thank you for your commitment to us and to the Sport and hope in some way that we have given you something back in return.

Finally, I would like to thank the large pool of stoic volunteers who year on year help us run the hospitality tents, once again without your enormous contribution we would have been unable to expand these Owners facilities across the Country. The EHOA is fortunate enough to have a membership that enjoys the sport at all levels, whether an owner/rider, owner, young rider, competing at the Grassroots level or on the International stage and part of a National Team, I wish you all every success in 2017 and look forward hugely to seeing you at the events and welcoming you once again to the Owners tents.


Zip Travel Holiday Winner

Fern Hordern was the lucky winner of the prize draw at Badminton in 2016
generously sponsored by Zip Trave. The month of January would normally herald short, grey winter days, the joys of cold hacking and muddy turn out rugs. But not this time around…

Mister Luck shone brightly on me in May last year when my name was pulled out of the EHOA prize draw and I found myself booking an adventure to Sri Lanka with ZIP Travel.

My sister and I set off mid January, flying out to Colombo and meeting our guide, Ralston (whom we secretly named Wally on account of his Where’s Wally T-shirt). He became our translator, driver and all round hero for the trip. A perfect example was on our train ride from Kandy to Nurawala Eliya which was a stunning 4 hour train journey over beautiful
hillsides and through the tea plantations.

At the station, Ralston positioned himself perfectly on the platform in order to leap onto the train before it had come to a stop, push past all the passengers waiting to get off and grab us two seats on the side of the train which would have the best views. By the time my sister an I had boarded the train, all the seats were taken apart from the two guarded by Ralston.

Highlights of our trip included: 1000 steps up to the rock fortress at Sigiriya, and the ancient wall paintings and Buddha statues at the Dambulla Rock Temple. Cheeky monkeys live at these world heritage sites and one tried to pull my sarong off! The safari in Yala National Park was a bit more hectic than we had imagined it would be. The Jeep drivers raced around like rally car competitors in their frenzied search for the elusive leopard. This resulted in “Jeep-jams” and general chaos. However once off the beaten track, we were thrilled to see brilliant green and blue bee eater birds, unbelievably huge crocodiles, pelicans, mongooses, and a rare sloth bear (a shaggy black bear the size of a chimpanzee).

There were some unexpected moments too: A swarm of silent crows at dusk as we sat on our balcony in Kandy turned out to be a colony of fruit bats (also known as flying foxes). We saw wild elephants wandering along the roadside and at our hotel in Yala, on the edge of the National Park, we had to side step water buffalo, wild boar and a land monitor to
get to breakfast!

Although we were sad to leave the warmth, sunshine and beautiful sunsets, it is always lovely to get back to family, dogs and horses (clean or otherwise). A wonderful trip.