WEST OXFORDSHIRE RIDING CLUB
Over 40 years ago, some adverts were placed locally to appeal to riders in the area and to start the ball rolling. After a few months the club was eligible to affiliate to the British Horse Society which it did in 1975. An extract from the inaugural minutes dated February 1975 state that the object of the club was to;
• Encourage riding as a sport and recreation
• Promote good fellowship amongst riders
• Improve and maintain the standard of riding and horsemanship
Looking back over the minutes of old Committee meetings from the 70’s and 80’s it seems apparent that the standard of riding was in need of improvement; as a recurring complaint was ‘not having people of good enough ability or standard to compete at team events’.
It appears that it was not until the 80’s that the club really started to achieve its goal of improving the standard of riding, which continued through the 90’s to the present day. West Oxfordshire Riding Club now has teams to compete in every discipline and they regularly win at Area Qualifiers and even at the National Championships.
With this success, good fellowship has also developed and the most enduring memory at all events is always the camaraderie and support from other members. This support is from the top down and the current Committee are ever grateful to our President, Mrs Janet Cope. Janet is always on hand for good advice and support and she also does an excellent job of keeping the AGM in order!
Over the years we feel we have done much to achieve those original aims and the club is now in a position to make regular donations to charities such as World Horse Welfare, Air Ambulance, Anthony Nolan Trust, and New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association to mention just a few.
The Club as it is today
The Club as it is today
We offer our members subsidised training covering all aspects of dressage and flatwork, show jumping and cross country using a variety of instructors who hold either group or individual training sessions at a selection of local venues in and around the Witney area.
Members receive a Membership Card and a monthly newsletter, which contains full details of forthcoming training, social events and competitions. There is the option to buy club clothing - polo shirts, sweat shirts, caps and the like which look very smart at rallies and team events.
We run low key competitions, such as a our Dressage Series with classes from restricted Prelim to Medium, Show Jumping and an Annual Open Horse Show. As we are affiliated to the BHS we are also elaigible to enter their Inter-Riding Club competitions for teams and individuals, which culminate in National Championships in each discipline for those who qualify.
All we ask in return is that members are prepared to ‘muck-in’ and help at some of the events, particularly the Dressage Series, Open Show and Show Jumping, all of which take a lot of manpower to be successful.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with team events; within our 'Area' of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Hereford and Worcester, there are competitions covering all aspects of Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing. Each discipline has its own qualifying competition and the winning teams and individuals of each class go forward to compete at National Championships. There are separate classes for Seniors and Juniors. There is also the opportunity to compete in show jumping teams at the RIHS Hickstead and the BRC Eventer Challenge held during Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
The club’s policy has always been to encourage and support any member who would like to ‘have a go’, providing you are capable of competing safely at Area level. We do not expect to go out and win at qualifiers although winning or being placed is always a nice reward and highly appreciated. Over the years, we have seen our teams steadily improving their performances and we now regularly have members representing the club at the National Championships - and winning there too!
For more information on joining a WORC team take a look at the BRC Competitions page!