Winter Ball & Presentation Dinner – Friday 1st December 2017
A Fabulous Night was had by All
The Annual Ball and presentation of awards for SHB (GB) in the North West was held on Friday 1st December 2017 at Park Hall Hotel, Charnock Richard and what an night it was. All our guests were dressed in their finery and it was hard to recognise some not being in their normal riding attire. A photographer was on hand to record the event and photographs could be purchased on the night.
Guests were greeted on arrival by a complimentary glass of fizz prior to sitting down to dinner. After our Chairman, Mr Mark Fitton had said Grace, crackers were pulled, party hats donned (by some) and then a 4 course Dinner on a Christmas theme was served. We then moved onto the main part of the evening with the presentation of the awards together with photographs of our winners, compered by Sue Stockley-Bridges and presented by our President Mrs Anne Leigh.
The first award was for the In-hand Section. This was for the horse that has gained the most points throughout the year from either in hand hunter or sport horse classes and there were 4 main contenders. In joint third place with 11 points were Mrs Ravenscroft-Jones’ Indigo Feel the Warm and Glenys Sanford’s Primitive Magic Impact. Second place with 19 points went to Michelle Hennessey’s Chelledream Lavinia.
Our winner this year with 23 points and also the winner of the Gilbertson Trophy was Grand Design II, owned by Mr & Mrs Hodkinson. His sire is White Design (Anglo European) and his dam is Ebony (Hunter Mare). As Ruth says “This beautiful boy just loves having a fuss made of him. He has been backed and is going nicely under saddle and has an amazing jump. We have had an amazing journey since I saw and bought him at 3 months old and it now breaks my heart to have to sell him, due to my ill health”
Our next award was for the Ridden Points Winner. This is taken from shows held within the North West region and we use Ridden Hunter, Working Hunter, Ridden Sport Horse and Irish Draught classes to award points from. We had 3 main contenders all within a point of each other. In joint second place with 16 points were Zara Owen’s Griffin Bridge and Kelly Wards’ Noble Gladiator. However, our winner this year by just 1 point and also winner of The Master Daniel Trophy was Katrina Braithwaites’ Killderry Rupert or better known to his friends as “Rupert”. He is a 10 year old by the ID Cloneen Clover out of Emerald Breeze (Sport Horse). As Katrina says “He is my horse of a lifetime and has made all my dreams come true.”
The Breeders Award is decided by the committee from nominations received throughout the year. It goes to the breeder of the outstanding horse which has been bred in the region. The horse must be by a SHB graded stallion or out of a SHB graded mare. The award is open to any horse that has excelled in any sphere in its lifetime or that of its progeny.
This year’s winner had an exceptional year and had previously been the winner of our in-hand awards. It went to Northern Chapter owned and bred by Joanne Heaps. By Roulette (Oldenburg) out of Diva La Scala and known as Harvey. Joanne showed him in hand very successfully, but injury to her meant that for a few shows as a 3 year old she was not able to do so. He was broken by Tracey and Vicki Brooks and due to Joanne’s work commitments Vicki became his main rider at shows. As a 4, 5 and 6 year old he was lightly shown, but managed to qualifying for Royal International and the Blue Chip Finals. However this year that he has come into his own. He has started to compete successfully in unaffiliated dressage at Preliminary and Novice level. He won his class and was reserve Champion at BSHA Northern show and then in August he qualified for HOYS at Stoneleigh. At the BSHA final he was 7th in the Classic Supreme Large Riding Horse Class. Whilst not being placed at HOYS, Joanne says “that he behaved impeccably and she never dreamed that her little baby could be so successful”.
Following the presentation there was a vote of thanks for a couple of people and their hard work that had made the night possible. Firstly, Julia Lewis our points coordinator and the other person was our Chairman, Mark Fitton.
With the formalities completed it was the opportunity for the fun to begin. This year our entertainment was “Bosom Buddies” as seen on “Britain’s Got Talent”. From the opening of their show with Mark escorting Brenda (one of the “ladies”) onto stage to impersonate Adele signing Skyfall, they kept their audience enthralled. For anyone that had forgotten their glasses or had missed the handlebar moustache, it was only during their second duet that the penny dropped that the singers were actually men! Not only did they sing like some of the best known Divas, but had the dance moves to match.
Their clever good humoured joking with some of the men in the audience just had the rest of us in stitches with laughter. They had no problems getting the dance floor filled and from start to finish their act was superb. They even managed to get the commentator Simon Richards up on the dance floor – a very rare event I am told – albeit to pick up some broken glass. The “Ladies” left the stage to a standing ovation and told us that they had also enjoyed the evening with a fantastic audience.
The evening continued with a disco ensuring that all could dance the night away or for some it was a time to catch up with people that they had not seen for some time. Before some had realised it was time for carriages and the finish of our events for this year.
2018 is a special year for SHB North West. We started life as the HIS Lancashire/ Cumbria Area and we will have been in existence for 40 years. (More details about our beginnings can be found on our web site.) As a committee we wish to celebrate this special anniversary with our loyal members and have a ruby theme for next year.
Mr Simon Richardson and Mrs Janet Bushell
Mr Mark Fitton & Guests