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The latest news and updates from Wellgrove

Short-notice Pony Days on snow and inset days!

Kids off school for an inset day?

Schools are closed because of snow?

No problem!

Wellgrove Farm Stables can cater at short-notice for full and half Pony Days mid-term. Qualified, experienced, CRB-checked instructors will always be available on site to provide instruction – just get in touch if you need our help on those difficult days in the school term!

New adult weekday classes available!

We’ll be starting new special-rate tariff adult classes every weekday (term-time only) at 11am (walk and trot) and 11.45am (walk, trot and canter).

The cost for these 45 minute classes is just £20.

Pony Club badges and awards

Achievement badges were awarded to the following:

Native Breeds:

  • Katie Cook
  • Leah Faircloth
  • Imogen Saker
  • Millie White
  • Sophia Croft
  • Mary Lambert
  • Grace Brown-Griffin

Mini Points of the Horse:

  • Mimi Brown Griffin

Progressive Riding Awards

Bronze level 1:

  • Mimi Brown-Griffin

Bronze 2:

  • Sofia Croft
  • Mary Lambert
  • Phoebe Everett-Kately
  • Grace Brown-Griffin

Bronze 3:

  • Imogen Saker
  • Leah Faircloth
  • Millie White

Dressage results

These were the results from our dressage competition.

Class 1 – walk and trot:

  1. Annette Green and Mo 65%
  2. Evie Green and Mo 49.4%
  3. Mimi Brown-Griffin and Pumba 46.25%

Class 2 – intro

  1. Stephanie Witchell and Bart 66.7%
  2. Gemma Boorman and Penny 62.5%
  3. Sophie Whittome and Maggie 60.8%
  4. Grace Brown-Griffin and Foaly 55.8%
  5. Alex Witchell and Molly 40.8%

February photo contest winner

The February photo competition subject was Me and my favourite pony, and the winner is Annette Green with her pony Mo.

Annette and Mo

Gymkhana and Pony Club results

These were the winners of our Tack and Turnout competition and Gymkhana Games from half-term:

Turn-out competition: Leah Faircloth with Socks

Bucket Elimination: Emily Hooker on Babysham and Alex Witchell on Beano
Sweet Race: Gemma Boorman on Sweep, Victoria Thorne on Socks and Red Robinson on Marcus
Ring and Post Race: Emily Hooker on Babysham
Flat-Out Race: Evie Green on Molly

Pony Club Awards:
Bronze 1: Mimi Brown Griffin
Bronze 2: Sofia Croft, Mary Lambert, Phoebe Everett-Kately, Grace Brown-Griffin
Bronze 3: Imogen Saker, Leah Faircloth, Millie White

Go-ahead for Riding for the Disabled

We have been granted the go-ahead to set up a disabled riding charity on site, under the umbrella of the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association). This will take a little while to set up, but the main thing we will be doing over the next few months is consolidating volunteers and beginning volunteer training with the aim to take our first clients at the beginning of the summer.

Volunteering could be of any type from assisting with rides to paperwork and fundraising, so if you think that you might have any skills to offer then please do not hesitate to contact Emma with what you can offer and when so that you can be called upon when needed!

It would be nice if this could become quite social for the helpers too, so we will be organising a few social outings etc once organised too.

January photo competition winner

The winners of January’s photo competition Cute and Furry were Sophie, Emma and Joe Gower with their photo of Marcus:

Marcus - cute and furry

The runner up was Red Robinson’s photo of Mitmoo:

Mitmoo - cute and furry

Thanks to everyone who entered, and don’t forget to enter February’s photo competition – the subject is My favourite Wellgrove pony and me.

BHS commendations for Wellgrove

This is the most recent report on how the British Horse Society rated Wellgrove at the end of 2012.

  • Cross Country Course – N/A
  • Instructional Facilities – Commended
  • Customer Care – Commended
  • Riding Out – Commended
  • Feed Room – Highly Commended
  • Show Jumps – Commended
  • General Facilities – Commended
  • Stabling – Highly Commended
  • Indoor & Outdoor Arenas – Commended
  • Tack Room – Highly Commended
  • Instructing/Coaching – Highly Commended
  • Working Procedures – Highly Commended

(Possible ratings: Highly Commended, Commended, Approved)

Pony Club achievement badges

Achievement badges will be trained as usual on a Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday with the introduction of Wednesday as well from February, but testing will now only be done on special days run in all the holidays, rather than through continuous assessment as done previously.

The current topic for Pony Club study is Native Breeds, Colours and Markings.

These are the latest achievement badges that have been earned:

Millie White tack cleaning
Imogen Saker tack cleaning
Leah Faircloth tack cleaning
Francesca Iaquaniello tack cleaning
Eva Wilch points of tack
Freya Benton points of tack
Evie-Rose Green tack cleaning
Miriam Brown-Griffin points of tack
Grace Brown-Griffin tack cleaning
Anna Batchelor tack cleaning
Emily Cunningham points of tack
Caroline Hodgson tack cleaning
Molly Brignell points of tack
Elena Cook-Garcia points of tack
Jodie Barnes points of tack
Ellie Burcombe points of tack
Olivia Sparkes points of tack
Kathryn Leviton tack cleaning
Eve Simmons points of tack
Jennifer Hodgson points of tack
Lucy Delaney points of tack
Maisie Levy tack cleaning
Francoise Michel points of tack
Constance Michel points of tack
Flora Cournane tack cleaning
Lia Etheridge tack cleaning
Victoria Fraser tack cleaning
Juliette Fraser tack cleaning
Georgie Cogan tack cleaning
Jessica Miller tack cleaning
Ella Stanbury tack cleaning
Elinor Steward tack cleaning
Sofia Croft points of tack
Samantha Callander points of tack
Mary Lambert points of tack
Lydia Gregory points of tack
Abigail Gregory points of tack
Rebecca Headdon points of tack
Lucy  Bartlett points of tack
Charlotte Hudson points of tack
Lucy Hudson points of tack
Emma Horgan points of tack
Victoria Thorne points of tack
Robyn Burrows points of tack
Aoibhin Boles points of tack
Cydney Hines points of tack
Willow Hines points of tack
Tao Peacock points of tack
Mia Peacock points of tack
Tabitha Ballard points of tack
William Graville points of tack
Nell Fuller points of tack
Lauren Hill points of tack
Abbie Barter points of tack
Mimi Vo points of tack
Toby Sydenham points of tack
Harriet Barker points of tack
Emily Schone points of tack
Briony Walker points of tack
Eleonore Barraud points of tack
Georgia Ballard points of tack
Sophie Wise points of tack
Olivia Rayment points of tack
Perdy Josephine Hirst points of tack
Edith Wallwork points of tack
Alicia Ryan points of tack
Philippa Mitchell points of tack
Poppy Blake points of tack
Jessica Donmall tack cleaning
Isabella Donmall tack cleaning

Pony Club 2012 test passes

Congratulations to those who passed their pony club tests in 2012:

E test

  • Georgina Speight
  • Reiss Damper-Elms
  • Mary Lambert
  • Sofia Croft
  • Samantha Callander
  • Abbie Barter

D test

  • Lia Etheridge
  • Sophie Whittome
  • Lara Skilton
  • Fran Robbs de la Hoyde
  • Tom Conlon
  • Gemma Boorman
  • Isabella Iaquaniello
  • Francesca Iaquaniello
  • Edith Wallwork
  • Red Robinson
  • Jasmine Hargrave
  • Olivia Pingault

D+ test

  • Gemma Boorman
  • Lara Skilton
  • Isabella Iaquaniello
  • Francesca Iaquaniello

Snowy days

Beano in the snowA few brave riders rode in the snow on Saturday. Our road remained clear thanks to Steve and allowed us to ride up to our top fields for a beautiful view. Only Ella seemed to prefer the view from the ground!

We are also running progressive Bronze award riding tests this week for pony club members whatever the weather, so will release the results of these later in the week.

Wellgrove Riding for the Disabled

We are beginning the foundations of setting up a Riding for the Disabled Charity Centre at Wellgrove. Although this will be based at Wellgrove, it runs as a completely separate entity. I am currently training with Gilly Roper over at Bradbourne’s in Sevenoaks which has been an established centre for 50 years!

As well as the paperwork behind the formation of a charity, the main and overwhelming task is to gather up volunteers to assist in all the duties involved. Not all of these duties are horsey or even people-related, and could consist of anything from making tea and running fundraisers to being a trustee on the committee. Please contact us at Wellgrove if you think you can commit any time or skill to this as I really feel that horses have so much to offer everyone that we need to open the door to those we have not been able to cater for in the past.

Information can be found on the RDA website which will tell you about the ethos of the charity and Bradbourne’s RDA website is also worth a view as to looking at how a very well run centre is functioning. (They are also always in need of volunteers!)

Achievement badge update

We are updating how we run the achievement badges.  From now training will continue as usual, with a new slot being introduced on a Wednesday again from Feb 2013. Achievement of badges will only be done by attendance on our testing days that will be run on every school break. This will allow for fairer testing and the organisation of outside testers for the more difficult badges to make it fairer. We will also be offering the ABRS tests and certificates on these days as further achievements to add to your string. Please contact us if you need any special help in how you learn as our aim is for everyone to find these as encouraging as possible.

We will also be running lots of ridden tests this year both through The Pony Club and the ABRS so please look at the website and check out the syllabi as you may find that these prove to be quite fun and a good way of proving your abilities to the outside world.

Monthly update – January 2013

This year, 2013, we plan to focus on offering outside and different experiences to our riding school clients. With the renovation of our old arena imminent, we aim to use the much-needed extra space that it will provide to act as a forum to try new things. We have lots of Pony Club competitions planned with a championships points structure being put in place. We are also planning to try to get our reticent adults involved and there will be lots for them too, from evening jumping to video judged dressage tests and demonstrations.

It would be great to get some feedback on what kind of things we could offer, so please email us with any ideas and I can work on arranging it.

Please check out the events diary regularly as event details will be updated there and will only be able to run if we have sufficient interest.

Photo competitions

Please submit your photos for us each month. The winner of each competition will win a half hour private lesson with us , so it is well worth entering! This month, the competition theme is cute and furry, so please send us your Wellgrove-connected photos that come under this category. We’ll be displaying galleries of all the entries, so please email us your best shots so we can get a great gallery display going!

Horse and pony videos

We’d also like to be able to feature video of Wellgrove’s horses and ponies on each of their profiles. If you have video (five minutes or shorter please) of a Wellgrove horse or pony at their best that you’d like us to consider putting on their profile, please let us know!

Wellgrove horse and pony rosettes

Rosettes with a picture of your favorite Wellgrove horse or pony are available now – an ideal last-minute Christmas gift! £2.50 from the office.

Farewell to Tuppence

Unfortunately Tuppence had to be put to sleep on 11/12/12 as she had a tear in her gut that could not be repaired. I remember Tuppence being born, but only just as I was only 5/6 years old, so she had a good innings. Her mum was called Sixpence and her dad Twinkle, and Tuppence had never known anything but the yard (she never travelled in a lorry or trailer even). As a foal she used to graze around the gardens of the house. As a young pony to ride she was a little crazy, loving cantering with her head vertical on hacks, catching clods of mud in her mouth from the pony in front. As teenagers we cracked riding Tup, who was very fast and loved jumping (not scary fillers) We used to call her Tangerine Tiptoe Tuppence due to her colour and speed. In later life, Tuppence taught nearly every current child rider at Wellgrove in the beginning due to her lovely lead rein nature. Once a year she still went crazy in the summer in the gymkhana, and still had the satisfaction of being able to ditch the odd child in the process. Tuppence and Sixpence were only separated when Sixpence died five years ago and I know both of them will be truly missed both as individuals and also the era of Wellgrove that they represent. Only Babysham still remains of Mr Whittaker’s (Grandad’s) old breeding stock.

Please leave your memories of Tuppence on her profile page, which will stay on the website in memorial to her.

Pony Clubbers pass their tests

Congratulations to the following Pony Clubbers on passing their tests.


  • Reiss Dampner
  • Georgina Speight


  • Lia Etheridge
  • Caroline Hodgson
  • Briony Walker


  • Lara Skilton
  • Francesca Iaquainello
  • Isabella Iaquainello
  • Gemma Boorman

Thanks to Roz for her patience and kindness and well done to the girls. More tests will be run in the New Year, so keep working hard on the achievement badges in preparation.

End of summer show results

The weather for the 2012 summer show just about held. Thanks must go to the judges, Megan and Lyndsey, and the shouter Lucy for all their hard work. Thanks also to Faye for the wonderful Trilby award for the winner of set 3, and to Sal for the much-needed doughnuts. Ponies all behaved themselves and all the girls (and boy!) rode well apart from a small area of carnage at the start of the novice show jumping! Work was diverse from a prelim dressage test to show jumping and walking over babies (those who weren’t there won’t understand this!) but all performed well and looked very smart doing so.

Competition results

Mini Show jumping

1st Olivia Pingault and Molly
2nd Tabitha Ballard and Ronnie
3rd Alex Witchell and Beano
4th Briony Walker and Pumba

Best Rider

1st Briony Walker and Pumba
2nd Olivia Pingault and Molly
3rd Alex Witchell and Beano
4th Red Robinson and Princess

Handy Pony

1st Alex Witchell and Beano
2nd Olivia Pingault and Molly
3rd Tabitha Ballard and Ronnie
4th Victoria Thorne and Socks

Novice Show jumping

1st Lucy Sutton and Babysham
2nd Erin Hollands and Beano
3rd Olivia Pingault and Molly
4th Gema Boorman and Penny
5th George Ballard and Beano
6th Jess Donmall and Socks

Riding Club Horse

1st Elinor Steward and Princess; Jess Donmall and Socks; Erin Hollands and Beano
2nd Olivia Pingault and Molly, Gemma Boorman and Penny, Georgia Ballard and Beano
3rd Coral Salter and Foaly, Ella Stanbury and Pumba, Katrina Briers and Blue, Lucy Sutton and Babysham

Bucket Elimination

1st Gemma Boorman and Penny, Lucy Sutton and Babysham
2nd Olivia Pingault and Molly, Georgia Ballard and Beano
3rd Jess Donmall and Socks, Erin Hollands and Beano, Georgie Cogan and Babysham
4th Ella Stanbury and Pumba, Elionor Steward and Princess


1st Gemma Boorman and Penny
2nd Lucy Landmore and Molly
3rd Bella Donmall and Beano
4th Sophie Whittome and Apple
5th Red Robinson and Marcus

Working Hunter

1st Bella Donmall and Beano
2nd Sophie Whittome and Apple
3rd Gemma Boorman and Penny
4th Lucy Landmore and Molly

Intermediate Show jumping

1st Sophie Whittome and Apple
2nd Bella Donmall and Beano
3rd Gemma Boorman and Penny
4th Lucy Landmore and Molly

Winner of the Trilby of Trewint Award: Bella Donmall

Autumn and winter events added

We’ve just added details of all the events at Wellgrove for the autumn and winter, including:

  • autumn half term Pony Club test prep and exams
  • Pony Days
  • November show day
  • Christmas hacks, tinsel rides and opening times over the Christmas holidays

Wellgrove rider and horse in print

Regular Wellgrove rider Tony Brown-Griffin has been featured in two magazines this week – the September issue of Horse and Rider and the summer 2012 edition of Forward, the Guide Dogs for the Blind newsletter.

Tony is blind, and the articles focus both on her assistance dog Hetty and on her riding at Wellgrove Farm Stables – with some fantastic photos of her riding and jumping Apple!

You can download and read the Guide Dogs newsletter here, and September’s Horse and Rider is currently on newstands.

Horse and Rider magazine article

Loans and new website features

We’ve been updating the site recently and you’ll notice a few new things!

Our Loans page has been updated with details of all the horses and ponies available for one, two and four-day loans this year.

We’ve added several new horse and pony profiles to the Horses page, including our newcomers Delia and Indy, as well as Sparky, Marcus, Chalky and Mouse.

And you’ll also see Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons around the site – you can use these to share the Wellgrove website with your friends, and post your favourite horses and ponies to your Facebook walls!

Pony Days

Pony Days are available throughout the summer.

Give us a call to book in.

Gymkhana Games results

We went on despite the weather, so well done to all the participants who were very wet, and the audience who probably won the record for how many humans crammed into a summerhouse!

Fancy Dress

  1. G Boorman and Penny
  2. L Skilton and K Cashford and Wonder Dream and Pie-oh-Pah
  3. K Muysken and R Robinson and Pumba and Mitmoo

Bucket Jumping

  1. I Iaquainello and Socks
  2. B Donmall and Sweep
  3. S Whittome, F Iaquainello, L Sutton and Pie-oh-Pah, Babysham and Beano

Bucket Weaving

  1. J Donmall and Socks
  2. K Muysken and Pumba
  3. E Brinson and Pringle Sandpiper
  4. L Skilton and Ronald Reagan

Sweet Races (run in three heats)

  1. K Briers and Cheap as Chips
  2. L Skilton and Ronald Reagan
  3. J Miller and Bobby Socks

Musical Chairs (run in two heats)

  1. J Miller – Bobby Socks
  2. G Boorman – Penny
  1.  I Saker – Socks
  2. M White – Ronald Reagan

Pony Club test results

Well done to the following for passing their tests in June 2012.


  • Mimi Brown-Griffin
  • Harriet Barker
  • Freya Benton
  • Dilly Palmer-Joy
  • Abigail Barter
  • M Lambert
  • S Croft
  • S Callender
  • E Simmons


  • R Robinson
  • F Robbs de la Hoyde
  • G Boorman
  • T Conlon
  • S Whittome
  • L Skilton
  • L Landymore
  • F Iaquainello
  • I Iaquainello
  • O Pingault
  • I Saker
  • L Faircloth
  • A White
  • M White
  • E Wallwork
  • G Brown-Griffin
  • J Barnes
  • E Stanbury
  • E Steward
  • J Hargraves
  • L Sutton

Summer half-term events

  • 4 June 2012 – closed
  • 5 June 2012
    • Pony Day (see below for details)
    • Pony Club E and D tests (see notice board)
  • 6 June 2012
    • Pony Day (see below for details)
    • Progressive Riding Tests for Pony Club achievers (see notice board)
    • 11am: 1 1/2 hour hack (includes canter) – £30
  • 7 June 2012
    • Pony Day (see below for details)
    • 2pm – Gymkhana Games – £4.50 per game (booking form required – download one here)
      • Race 1: fancy dress (must wear hat and boots)
      • Race 2: bucket elimination a) jump / b) bend
      • Race 3: sweet
      • Race 4: round the world
      • Race 5: musical chairs
  • 6 June 2012
    • Pony Day (see below for details)

Special note

Pony Days are now priced as follows:

  • Half day (10am – 2pm)
    • Ride once: £20
    • Ride twice: £27
  • Full day (10am – 4pm)
    • Ride once £28
    • Ride twice £35

Easter and Summer events

We’ve just posted details of our Easter holiday courses and events and our famous Wellgrove Summer Camps.

Check the Events page for full details, or see the Summer Camps page to learn more or download a booking form.

Christmas loans

A variety of Wellgrove’s horses and ponies will be available for short-term loans during the week between Christmas and New Year (27 – 30 December).

This scheme could be an ideal Christmas gift to your friend. Ponies may be looked after for the morning between 8.30am and 2pm and ridden for 40 minutes in the school. It is expected that they will be mucked out, groomed and loved in this time period!

All riders taking part in this scheme must be members of the Pony Club at Wellgrove, on the Helper Scehem, proficient at walk, trot and canter, and have ridden the pony/horse  before.

The price of this loan is £12 per day, or three days for £30. Please contact Emma on 07887 777 191 for details, and booking is on a first-paid, first-served basis.

Horses and ponies available:

David accepted to British Racing School

Congratulations to David Murphy upon being accepted to the British Racing School. David has been a keen member of our Pony Club and deserves this for all the hard work he has put in. See the Courier this week or next for a picture of David and our steed Wonder Dream (aka Tom).