Learn from top Irish event guru

  • Eric Smiley Pictured, one of Ireland’s leading three-day eventers, is presenting next month’s British Horse Society Convention in Cumbria.

    Based in Northern Ireland, Smiley represented Ireland at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996. He was part of the bronze-winning team at the European Championships 1993 and 1995, and has been chairman of the Irish Horse Trials Association and is an international eventing judge.

    Smiley is one of the few competitive riders to have gained fellowship of the British Horse Society, and the convention will be a unique opportunity to work with him on the theme of ‘indoor cross-country’.

    “Guinea pigs” for the training session will include multi-medal winning Olympian Ian Stark and up-and-coming young rider Ruth Friend.

    Ian Stark was a member of the silver-medal winning British Olympic eventing team on two occasions, and won many European team gold medals, before retiring for the British team. The highlight of his career, perhaps, was victory at Badminton in 1988 on Sir Wattie, when he also took second place on Glenburnie.

    Ruth Friend, 24, hit the eventing scene in 1996 as a junior, and has gone from strength to strength since, winning the CCI*** at Blair Castle in 2003 with Matthew II.

    The convention, which will take place at Blackdyke Farm Riding Centre on Monday 29 March, is the latest in the BHS twice-yearly series of seminars engaging leading names from the equestrian world of training.

    Although primarily for professional instructors, the South Essex Insurance Brokers-sponsored convention is open to anyone who wishes to attend. It counts as a refresher for the Register of Instructors and 10 hours for holders of the Preliminary Teaching Certificate.

    For further information and tickets contact the BHS Training Department. (tel: 01926 707820).

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