Victory – Bitless and Sidesaddle – in a Traditional Steeplechase

Winner of the Dianas of the Chase sidesaddle steeplechase at Melton Mowbray: Susan Oakes, who set a new sidesaddle puissance record last year, and O’Muircheartaigh – by a length sideways AND bitless (yes, that’s a Micklem bridle). Liz Harris finished second, chasing the winner home. Sixteen started, three fell at the first but there were […]

Dianas of the Chase!

Get ye to Ingarsby Hall, Melton Mowbray on Saturday February 2nd to witness the Dianas of the Chase! Sidesaddle daredevils both male and female are travelling from far and wide to take part in the Bernard Weatherill Sidesaddle Steeplechase  in aid of Forces in Mind, a charity which helps former servicemen and women reintegrate into […]

Is it the Cocktail’s Hour Once More?

“The evolution of the sport of steeplechasing during the nineteenth century was from makeshift races over lines of natural country to races on well-drained, regular courses, with artificial and carefully tended, though formidable, birch fences. These courses were enclosed so that gate money could be charged in order to defray the high cost of building […]

First Sidesaddle Lesson: Not Quite “Posed Audaciously Like a Wing”

My Christmas present this year was an hour’s sidesaddle lesson at the Pine Lodge School of Classical Education in Norfolk, with top teacher and judge Sarah Walker. Aside from actually buying me a pony, this was probably The Best Gift Ever. Not only did I get to try a style of riding I’ve been curious […]

A Buswoman’s Holiday

When I was little I exasperated my parents and teachers by being able to find a horsey angle for every last thing. Eventually I (largely) outgrew that habit until I started writing the pony book (which appears to be called Horsedrawn just now), but sometimes these equi-cryptic meanings are just lying there, waiting to be […]

The Whip Banned?

Bosses of the National Hunt course at Towcester in Northamptonshire have announced they will outlaw the use of the controversial stick in all meetings from October 5. Riders instead will race using a system known as hands and heels in which they can carry a whip but only in the back hand position and can […]