The Foundation had a very busy end to 2011 and Emile looks forward to a busy and rewarding 2012 hoping to be able to fund even more projects.
Our Fundraising event STRICTLY COME DRESSAGE was once again a great event this time no snow and held in the afternoon ensured everyone kept warmer !! As usual amazing costumes from all competitors and our judges Emile, Steven Geer, Vicky Thompson Winfield and Mark Ruddock found it difficult to decide winners so WIZARD of OZ- Hannah Sands and HARRY POTTER- Morgan Bloquet were tied Strictly Champions! With Amy and Buddy Williams becoming PAS DE DEUX Champions for the 2nd year running and MOULIN ROUGE (Melody Motana group!) taking the Quadrille Championship. We had fantastic displays by GB Vaulting Squad and a lovely spanish piece by Nicola Smith accompanied by a flamenco dancer! Emile did a short Masterclass with Vicky which delighted the audience. As usual Vicky and Ian were great hosts and all their staff so a huge thanks for all their support!
Not only does this event raise funds it also raises awareness of the work the Foundation is involved in – many thanks to our sponsors – JACKSONS' FENCING -– MIRRORS 4 TRAINING -MYOPLAST EQUITOP. Artists Sally Martin, Judy Boyd and Amy Goodman.
The day after Strictly 30 school children from St Charles Primary School accompanied by their teachers and Sarah Fitton from Ryders Farm where the children ride . This is one of the EFF- projects in Manchester and they were invited down to Oldencraig by Ian and Vicky for the day. The children arrived and were given a fantastic goody bag by Ian containing lots of nice things and lunch! They watched Emile work with Vicky riding and were encouraged to count tempi changes and piaffe steps much to Vickys amazement when they continued to count the changes round the corners!! After lunch they had a tour of the yard and met most of the horses and then were treated to their farrier demonstrating how to put on a shoe and then were given a horse shoe to take home with them!.. A day to remember, a delighted Ian and Vicky later received 30 thank you letters accompanied by drawings!! Emile was delighted with the day and had some very emotional good byes from the children who expressed their thanks at all he does for them! It was fantastic to see how much joy these children got from just being around the horses!
The same week Emile visited Hull a project which has been funded now for the last 2 years and works in one of the poorest areas in England (infact in the 10% poorest in Europe!). The project works with Kingswood school through the Compact project run by Dave King who works very hard to help these kids. Emile first visited the school and met the teachers involved and spoke to the children on the projects, and told him what impact riding had n their lives. Emile then went to the riding school - Bleach Yard in Beverley where they ride and watched them groom, tack up and both groups ride (last years and the new group). It was amazing to see how much they had progressed in a short time only riding for under a year during term time and they were up to cantering round the school and jumping! All credit to the dedication of their teacher and encouragement! Emile is committed to ensuring both groups can continue to ride and with the help of the funding from the BEF this will be possible. We then visited Bishop Burton College where the children had not been before and I think were amazed to see the facilities they have their. Emile gave a short lesson to two riders and had the kids in the centre with hi m so they could ask questions. It made them feel very special! Emile is returning to the College in February to do a Lecture/Demo and will be inviting the kids from Hull project and also from our project in Newcastle to come and watch.
The busy week ended in a Ball which we held with the Southern Region for BD at the wonderful Ashdown Park Hotel. It was a wonderful evening and we had an Auction of Promises and some great raffle prizes so special thanks to Toni Terry, Sally Martin, Lydia Keirnan, Judy Boyd, Judy Goodman, Mirrors 4 Training, NFU Mutual Insurance, Grange City Hotel, Ashdown Park Hotel and everyone else who donated prizes!
Also in October Emile visited Vauxhall Farm where a project which was funding through Westminster Borough allowed families from the area to go riding through out half term week – the response was amazing and Linda Hinds and her team gave over 900 lessons through that week with some continuing at weekends. Emile assisted by leading some of the kids and had a photo call with local press. Emile is very grateful to Westminster Council and to Angela Harvey in helping with this project.
Now 2012 is upon us it is hoped to mantain funding for all the EFF Projects. We have 9 projects part funded with the BEF which is a great help but still need to reach a target of at least £50.000 to keep this years going, we also have 2 new projects we hope to fund in Bolton and London but do need continued support from you to do this. Our Friends of the EFF is growing steadily but would urge to join if you have not already done so (details on website.) Any fund raising would be great thanks to the Quorn Pony Club and Euro Bale who recently sent in £300 from an event. Emile is also very grateful to the generous private donations that the Foundation has received. It is hoped to hold another Equestrian Art
Exhibition towards the end of this year and we are currently looking for sponsors so if anyone would be interested please contact us.
Many thanks and all the best for 2012.
Hi, Mary-anne here with my reporters hat on :)