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SIDE SADDLE : DEMONSTRATIONS, TUTORING, SOURCING
My sister Aoife & I were lucky to be given a side saddle by our very indulgent mother - rural Ireland demanded eccentric entertainments for bored children. This came in the form of a pristine Champion & Wilton from the estate of Patricia Hanson - a regular winner at Ireland's most pretigious equestrian event, the RDS and founder of the Side Saddle Association of Ireland. We were hooked from the word go and were fortunate to attend a clinic run by the famous Roger Philpot whose pronouncement on my seat "straight to the top of the class" meant the world to an 8 year old me. The same indulgent mother realised a second saddle was necessary and procured a Mayhew so that Aoife & I went on to win countless equitation championships apiece, hunt side saddle with a dozen Irish packs as a twosome aboard wild ponies & to compete regularly at the Dublin Horseshow.
I have donned my vintage Busvine habit in Ireland, Britain, Spain & the USA. Being"Irish, side saddling sisters" won Aoife & I the privilege of being invited to the Charlton Hunt Revival at Goodwood - a wonderful excuse to commission a bespoke habit from Trish Hearn in Charlton blue cloth. I have been a sideways roving reporter for The Field magazine and have chased a falcon on Dartmoor "on the wonk" aboard a one-eyed ex-racehorse. Competing in the third Diana's of the Chase I came a commendable 5th aboard what was described by one onlooker as a "carthorse" - I missed the first running having broken my leg on the giant slalom & the second running as I was back on skis! Devon photographer Hazel Mansell-Greenwood produced a stunning image of me decked out in my ex-Royal Opera House costume aboard a borrowed 18.2hh steed that was snapped up by The Times. In Autumn 2023 I flew to Los Angeles to join the Charra Internationale de las Americas to perform alongside 7 other Amazonas as part of a side saddle cultural cxchange organised by Christina Cabral. This was an historic event with riders from Spain, France, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador & USA, gathering to perform at Los Angeles Pico Rivera Sports Arena.
My side saddle has taken me to some extraordinary places but most importantly, through my side saddling adventures I have made many lifelong friends - Martha Sitwell, Lucy Holland, Georgina Preston, Devon Zebrovious, Tokyo Cabral, Susan Oakes, Antoinette de la Bouillerie & so many more remarkable women, each in their own right a true Amazon. But of course my passion really boils down to my encouraging mother & my original side saddling sidekick, my sister Aoife. Through demonstrations, teaching & sourcing my mission is to promote this incredible discipline & nurture more incredible connections.
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