Anyone who owns a horse knows how expensive it can be, and if you own a livery yard you can multiply that expense by the amount of horses you have in it, which is quite a lot in our case. Therefore, the help of our sponsors is nothing short of invaluable when it comes to keeping George’s Ranch ahead of the competition.
Over the years, we have been extremely gratified by the number of friends and supporters who have gone out of their way to make this yard a success, and we have been incredibly lucky with the number of sponsors who have chipped in to help finance the equipment a working stables needs.
Last year was especially a bumper year for us financially as we upgraded our facilities to meet the growing demands of our clients, and we really couldn’t have done it without the help of sponsors such as Pauline and Brian Dickson, who half-financed our competition dressage arena boards, as well as Kalliopi Dive College, Peter Morton Removals, Korantina Homes, Jumps on Line and Cap St. George who all sponsored sets of first class competition show jumps.
Our own riders, and their ever-supportive mums and dads, also paid for a George’s Ranch set of jumps, which was very sweet and very much appreciated because most people don’t realise just how expensive this equipment can be.
For a professional set of jumps, you are talking about €700 a fence, which might be OK if they lasted forever, but they don’t. So it is a huge help to have the backing of local businesses and friends of the yard. Another advantage of outside sponsorship is the boost it gives to our riders who feel an even greater sense of pride in their achievements knowing their efforts are noticed by the wider community outside of George’s Ranch.
Without doubt, I am grateful to everyone who has helped make George’s Ranch the success it is today. However, I would like to make special mention here of two of our sponsors who have stood by me almost from the beginning – Pauline and Brian Dickson.
I’ve known Pauline and Brian for many years now and they were probably one of the first livery clients I had at the yard, when I was still young and still learning the ropes. As the founders of Derby House Saddlery, a very well-respected equestrian brand based in England, their knowledge was second to none and their support of me unswerving.
Both Pauline and Brian have been heavily involved with horses throughout their lives. Though Pauline rode as a child it wasn’t until she reached 21 that she owned her first horse – an unbroken, three-year-old Connemara strawberry roan. After a period of eventing, a discipline Pauline had developed a passion for by the time she got her second horse, a chestnut mare, she turned her hand to dressage, a discipline she had always admired because she enjoyed the challenge of it. Starting out on nice chestnut Danish horse, who was ten at the time and fairly green, Pauline rode her to intermediare standard. She then bought her little Dutch warmblood, Icarla, and took her to Prix St. George.
That super little mare, Icarla, is now happily residing at George’s Ranch, where she has been for the past 12 years, ever since Pauline and Brian retired and moved to Cyprus to escape the UK winters. Not that, Pauline or Brian have been idle in retirement!
There is rarely a show that goes by, large or small, that doesn’t have Pauline sat behind a desk, lending her support and her years of experience to judge our dressage competitions. In previous years, when Brian’s health was a little better, he would help judge the show jumping. The two of them have also been a tremendous help to me personally and in regard to my own ambitions, recently helping me secure the services of the very talented rider and trainer Amy Woodhead – which leads me on to some very exciting news for anyone interested in dressage.
From Oct 12th to Oct 16th, we are delighted to welcome Amy back to the Ranch where she will be available for private lessons on Thursday Oct 13th, Friday Oct 14th, Saturday Oct 15th (morning only) and Sunday Oct 16th. Lessons are subject to availability so interested riders are advised to book early. Please contact Michelle for prices and further details on 996 47790.
On Saturday Oct 15th, we will also host a training workshop with Amy where she will look at four very different horses at different stages of their training including two warmblood youngsters working from medium level upwards, a recently retired nine-year-old racehorse with 61 races to his name, and a ten-year-old Irish cob who had never done any dressage before she came to Cyprus three months ago, thanks to some fairly serious dental issues that made her shy of the bit.
As well as covering the basics at the workshops, we hope to touch on more advanced work including the beginning of training for half-canter pirouettes, half-steps in trot, the half pass and flying changes. The training workshop will start at 1pm and the €20 entrance fee will include all four training sessions, a glass of bubbly and a chance to talk with Amy at the end of the programme. It promises to be a great day out and I hope to see you there.
And don’t forget any mums and dads with budding equestrians at home, it’s the Trotting Toddlers Group this coming Sunday (Oct 9th). From 10am to 11am your little ones can meet and greet our wonderful ponies, help groom them and enjoy a little ride in one of our safe and sandy arenas. For more details and prices, contact Michelle on 996 47790.