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Equus Success

Equus 2002 attracted 20,185 visitors during the 4 days and 3 evenings of the event, an increase of nearly 10% on last year. With bright sunshine all week and media attention focused on the activities surrounding the funeral of The Queen Mother, some wondered if visitors would stay away. But they need not have worried and on Thursday morning a queue formed as visitors waited for the show to open.

"We are delighted that the show has attracted so many people again this year. Equus 2002 has been a great success and a number of trade stands have already signed up for next year," said Event Director, Sarah Cartwright.

ILPH Bob The Cob and his handler, Liz, with Richard Dunwoody
Richard Dunwoody and ILPH Bob The Cob opened the show before Richard took to the saddle in a display of arena polo. "I would like to play more polo and it helps keep me fit," he said. "I am running in the London Marathon next week in aid of SPARKS, before embarking on an arctic expedition, also in aid of charity."

Bob the Cob and Michael Peace
Bob The Cob, equine ambassador for the International League for the Protection of Horses, is a 4 yr old and until now had only been trained to lead in hand. He was introduced to saddle and bridle and backed for the first time by specialist horse trainer, Michael Peace, during his demonstration in the main arena. Later, Bob launched the ILPH 75th Anniversary Celebrations with a special equine carrot cake.

Blyth Tait signing autographs
Blyth Tait had an attentive audience during his eventing clinic. "It is great to be here at Equus, and the crowd seemed to be enjoying the display" he said. Tim Stockdale entertained packed stands during his amusing and informative clinic on Saturday, when he compared riding a horse with being an airline pilot in terms of keeping calm. "It is important that people enjoy the show, as well as learning something" he said. Lucinda Green taught two riders who had won a competition to take part in her clinic. Both were nervous but Lucinda soon put them at their ease and had them going well over different obstacles. "If you make a mistake the audience can relate to what is happening much more than if it is foot perfect" said Lucinda.

Tim Stockdale during his demonstration

Saturday's Grand National was made very special for 40 children in the Main Arena. Mounted on hobbyhorses, each one represented a real horse in the race during the live commentary, with prizes being awarded to the winner.

Many different aspects of riding provided a full programme of entertainment in the Main Arena including Horseball, Polocrosse, Dressage, Western Riding, Side Saddle and Carriage Driving.

Richard Dunwoody
Elsewhere, demonstrations in the Healthy Horse Stable Yard were popular and business was brisk around the hall. "We are very pleased with the show. This is our second year and trading was up on last year," said Andrew Laver of Alltime Equestrian. Caroline Carpenter of Country Style was also pleased. "We were rushed off our feet, especially when Blyth Tait and Lucinda Green came on the stand". First time exhibitor, Ayrshire Equestrian said the event had lived up to expectations. "We were very busy with many genuine new customers. The show is excellent," said Kevin Galbraith.

The Evening Extravaganza attracted more visitors to the show and stands were keen to stay open during the evening, a likely development for next year's show. The majority of visitors proved to be horse owners and leisure riders and were interested in all aspects of riding and horse care.



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Updated: October 2005.