Well, here we go…… “taskmasters”, new deadlines, and I am sure you will join me in wishing the new owners of the magazine well. Here’s to success in keeping the flag flying for western riding in its many forms.

On a nostalgic note, I’d like to wish Tally a happy “retirement”, though I’m sure she’ll be up to something soon, and she has promised to call just to nag me and make me normal!

We are halfway through the show season and according to Facebook, most riders seem to be extremely happy with their efforts and achievements, so super, well done. For my part, it seems that lessons and clinics are moving to higher levels so these are exciting times. It is nice to know that the two youth riders that I have been coaching these last two years in conjunction with one mother and one uncle have performed well…..well enough to catch the eyes of other trainers and selectors, so there is still some life in this “old parrot” yet!

On the youth subject, I wish ALL youth riders competing for places on the AQHA UK youth team, the very best of luck in the up and coming selection process. I would like to pay credit to one young rider, namely Olivia Lockheed, who, when attending the Buck Branagan clinic at Liverpool, got the maestro to donate for the youth team, and also mucked out stables to raise £350, for the team, whether she’s on it or not…….now that is REALLY T E A M spirit……...may all our youth riders and mums and dads follow this example, truly splendid and if I can be of help I’d be delighted!

One little moan I have is that it appears we are again using an American trainer again for the youth team. It seems strange after the last debacle, but more to the point I am wondering what is wrong with British coaches to coach a British team? I am sure there are some who would gladly go, but more to the point it makes a mockery of the UK Coaching system, if those coaches are deemed not good enough……a  point for discussion possibly?

Exciting times lay ahead, especially after the various Championships that are fast encroaching on us, so I wish you all well in those. Enjoy them, have fun, but most of all, even if you are not competing, turn up to support and maybe offer your services to help those beleaguered and wonderful people that will be giving up spare time for nowt to put a show on for you. If you want to see a smile on a show manager’s face, call in at the office and ask if there is anything you could do to help!

Onwards and upwards,