MHA Easter Event 2005

The weather was the only aspect of the MHA Easter Event which could have been improved upon. Eight visiting horses and their bands of handlers and assistants descended upon Wells Park Farm in Pampisford, Cambridge for a weekend of fun and training. It was, as usual, a time to renew old friendships and make new ones, the hard work being punctuated by lots of food, drink and chat about Morgans.

Good Friday saw the arrival of most of the visitors, and lessons for those who wanted them began that afternoon. David Baker worked tirelessly all weekend to help improve a variety of horse/handler combinations: Gill Bridgeman came along with her new youngster, “Aspen” (and companion “Toby”) to begin lunging; Sylvia Sullivan continued the groundwork and ridden work with “Troy”; Gail Dunsbee divided her time between mother and daughter Morgans “Choccie” and “Wiz”; Donna Heys continued preliminary Western work with “Scout”; and Graham Carpenter brought along the newly acquired and quite beautiful Canadian import, “Sadie”, who had only arrived in the country a couple of weeks previously. Member Linda Sutherland was unable to bring her morgan but enjoyed a lesson on Midget in the round pen.

Saturday evening saw the guests entertained with an exhibition of horsemanship skills by David and some of the Sealmaster Morgans, which demonstrated what could be achieved by way of the techniques we were learning during the day. Fortunately for the audience, hostess Tessa Reeve had had the foresight to erect a gazebo next to the arena and serve mulled wine to those watching, a welcome and warming aspect to the grey and chilly evening.

Most of the catering for the weekend was done by Tessa and her assistants, the indefatigable Marion (sister-in-law) and Marion’s husband Ken. Saturday night, however, saw a spectacular meal produced by caterers Gordon and Julia, who supplied a delicious main course of chicken with mozzarella and pesto. A quiz followed the evening meal, this time being won by Jilly Baker and her team, who proved to be the “Clever Clogs” of the evening and won a pair of wooden shoes for their efforts.

On Sunday the competition turned to dressage, with many members “having a go”. It was a delight to see the Kent family arrive for the day with their beautiful dressage mare “Highland Park”, although the bravery award would have to go to Gill Bridgeman who suddenly found herself on a borrowed Sealmaster horse about to ride an unlearnt dressage test! It was all in good spirit, however, and the judge’s comments (both written and verbal) were found to be very constructive by all concerned.

As usual, Jilly Baker spent much of her time giving junior lessons on the Sealmaster horses, and of course no Easter Event would be complete without an Easter Egg Hunt and Egg and Spoon Race- both organised by Tessa. Cadbury Cream Eggs and flat wooden spoons make a difficult combination, however, so no doubt a little cheating went on within the ranks!

With the 90 acres of Wells Park to hack around in our spare time, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend which went by all too quickly. Thanks must go to Tessa, David, Jilly and all else concerned with what must be one of the highlights of the MHA calendar.