"I was first introduced to showing when asked to be treasurer for a new branch of the Northern Counties Pony Association [Notts/Lincs]. After a year I became secretary before graduating to Chairperson, and all the time I was acquiring knowledge of how to run a show.
My local show was the Moorgreen Country Show, and I stewarded for them for several years before joining the light horse committee. Before long, I became the secretary and ran the light horse section for four years. It was there that I met my dear friend, the late Ray Streets. He ran the light horse section of Flintham Ploughing Match. I used to help by taking entries on the day, and once again, I was made secretary and ran the section until last year.
I am probably better known for my work as a steward at many shows including Derbyshire Festival, Ashby De La Zouch, Southwell Ploughing Match and NPS Area XI. There was seldom a weekend when I wasn’t stewarding somewhere. I also stewarded the NPS Summer Championship Show at Malvern and five years ago, I was asked if I would take on the role of sponsor co-ordinator.
I thoroughly enjoy my work for the NPS, and I have made some wonderful friends along the way. I get to meet and talk to like-minded people — those who want to support the NPS and see the society prosper. It isn’t really work — it’s more of a sociable adventure!
"I am based near Oakham in Leicestershire and my late husband, Peter Doyle and I, have a son, Keith Doyle, who is an international show jumper.
I started helping at Ponies UK over 35 years ago and also helped at local shows. I helped the-then chairman Joan Lee-Smith in the glory days at Peterborough with the catering and I was also involved with the sponsorship when Sky TV came on board.
I also sponsored the Star of The Future “rider only” class at Ponies UK where children had to ride four ponies (not their own) in the style of the show jumping world cup. Four riders made it to the big time from that class, including Laura Collett, now an international event rider.
I have stewarded the brown ring and mentored young stewards throughout many years and continue to sponsor and assist to this day. I am Ponies UK’s showing ambassador and still love it so much.’
"In 1987, having been riding at Pittern Hill Stables in Kineton for a number of years, I was asked if I would like to go to the National Side Saddle Championships at Newark to help groom for Peta Roberts and others who were competing; of course I jumped at the chance.
I only managed to help her on the first night, the morning before, Roger Philpot asked if I could help Ralph James in the scorers’ office as he was short of people and that was the beginning of my scoring years.
Ralph and I got on famously and so I kept going every year, even when pregnant and then with babies in playpens until they got bored. My husband then stayed at home with the children and I kept going. We moved to Keysoe from Malvern, Ralph was back with me and by this time we had a bigger team as the show had grown. Sadly, Ralph passed away so I did the last year at Keysoe as “Chief”.
We then moved to Addington where we have been ever since. Tricia Drake and Anthea Derby retired from the show last year and I decided to hang up my boots too. I have had a brilliant 33 years, made lots of friends and seen a lot of ladies ride sideways".
"Becoming a showing steward started for me about 18 years ago. I was lucky enough to train under the amazing Frances Youngs and when I joined the Hickstead team, I had the best, most respected and knowledge ‘guvnor’ ever, in the form of the late great Roger Stack.
The best part of stewarding is working in a team and there’s no better example than working with my wonderful colleagues at Hickstead, led by David Ingle. I started stewarding as I wanted to find a way of giving something back to the horse world, as horses have been and still are such a large part of my life and have helped me both mentally and physically.
I found that stewarding not only gives me a lot of enjoyment and fun but it has also introduced me to some fascinating and knowledgeable people as well as increasing my circle of friends.
I enjoy working with the Competitors, Judges and Commentators; in my spare time I also fence judge at local hunter trials, help organise our village horse show and have run the box office for our village festival for over 25 years, as well as competing in the National Indoor Carriage Driving Trials with my ponies in the winter season".
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