Jim McTiffin, national chairman of the British Show Pony Society (BSPS), announced that he was to step down in 2008, after 15 years in office.
Speaking at the BSPS AGM, held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough, Jim said: “It is time to pass on the torch, but I certainly will remain an active council member for the next few years.”
Alan Hall, vice-chairman for more than 10 years and owner of Imperator, the reigning hunter of the year, will take over.
“Jim has been a superb chairman, and the society has flourished under his leadership,” said Alan.
More than 250 people attended the meeting, where Lizzie Bunn was presented with the outstanding contribution to showing award by president Robert Oliver for her role at Hickstead and the Royal International (RIHS). Showing has expanded enormously at the RIHS and, as a result, has grown in popularity nationally. The BSPS felt this was due directly to the role Lizzie has played and that showing has benefited from her confidence and enthusiasm for the discipline.
Nigel Hollings, Tony Asplin and Tony Fluck were elected as executive members of council. Sharon Thomas was welcomed as a new council member.
The 2006 show pony scholarship was awarded to Jany Hendy; the Heritage to Elliee Stunt, and the working hunter pony to Polly West. Special awards were given to Janet Jenkinson and Ailsa Vines. The pony personality was Nuthurst Snowbird.
Outstanding achievements awards were made to Fairholme Rossetas Rhapsody and Chloe Willett, with special achievements to Trevaylor Tiger Lily (Alexandra Hollings) and Okewood Delightful (Clea Kapadia). Equestrian personality was Clarice Whiteway, equine achievement
winner Guy Fawkes III (Amy Underwood), and a long service award was made to Pauline Barfield.
Two hundred attended the preceding judges’ conference, where guest speakers included Joanne Griffin, Robert Oliver, Richard Ramsay, Tom Best and Chris Willett.
Chris tackled the difficult subject of “What the exhibitors think of you, the judges” and debated a series of competitor issues. These included how does someone feel qualified to be a judge when they have never ridden? “It would be like asking a virgin to be a sex therapist,” joked Chris.
This report was first published in Horse & Hound (15 March, ’07)