I have had the horsey bug for as long as I can remember, I learnt to ride as a child and after several years of persistent nagging, I got my first pony aged 11 and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I sadly lost by beautiful old boy (Murphy) a couple of years ago at the age of 25.  We had a great partnership for over 20 years and had done a bit of everything together from hunting to dressage.  We now have three horses at home, which my daughter rides and competes to.  Luckily (I think) my boys prefer 4 wheels to 4 legs? I wanted to join a riding club that was local and active.  Wessex RC have a great venue for training and competitions as well as running lots for extra curriculum activities.  Everybody I have meet has been lovely, very supportive and not at all intimating.



After many years of being a happy hacker with my life long mare (Karris) who is now grazing in the big field in the sky ;-) I was offered the chance loan the beautiful Biscuit……. I soon got the BUG for dressage ;-)  both Biscuit and I are enjoying building our partnership together with the help of our instructor Sarah Mitchel-Shepard and my lovely son Matthew (as caller) because no matter how much I try to remember the tests my mind goes blank when I enter the dressage arena!! With the help and encouragement of my friends and family I have found the confidence to attend local low key events.

I can’t express how welcome I was made to feel at the Wessex riding club ;-)  their dressage events are relaxed but professional and there is always someone willing to help you ;-)

I have now joined the committee and look forward to being a closer part of the club ;-)



I started life on a farm in Scotland, with a big sister who was already riding horses, so I was put into a saddle long before I could walk and unlike my twin brother, I caught the bug. From thereon I have ridden wherever I have lived. After a dry spell my dear friend Janet persuaded me to start riding again about 5 years ago and of course I was bitten all over again!!!

My love of horses has never left me and now I’m the Dressage Co-Ordinator for the Wessex Riding Club. It has been a challenge to step into the shoes of those who have managed the Dressage Events in the past but I hope they approve with what I have done and I would like to thank them for their support and for passing on their knowledge.

Joining the club has been a wonderful way to meet new people all who have the same love for these beautiful creatures.

I now have a new challenge which is to do a dressage test myself!

TRAINING    - Catherine Shakespeare

I started riding at the age of 5 in weekly lessons and quickly caught the bug, spending any spare moment I could at the stables. This gradually progressed and after sharing a horse, Bianca who taught me a lot, for many years I eventually got my own, Dillon. He taught me even more and we quickly got out and about doings lot of hacking, dressage, a bit of show jumping and our favourite cross country. I was then gifted Copper by a friend of of ours who I did some dressage and lots of hacking on, but she is now 30 and in her well deserved retirement.
I now also have Noodles who is turning out to be a dressage superstar as well as a super jumper and has become a regular at the riding club dressage series.
I have joined the committee to try and help arrange some training a mixture of flatwork, jumping and maybe some cross country clinics in the summer to try and encourage more members and to provide (hopefully) a welcome variety for the existing members




AREA 17 REP - Sam Painter 

I started riding at the age of 7 in Germany. I went to the local riding school every week for lessons and this is where my passion for riding began. I got involved with as much as  I could, even pantomimes on horseback. The pantomimes were short lived though. I was the fairy godmother in Cinderella and sat in a cart that someone decided to put down without warning so went tumbling out headfirst, much to my families and the rest of the audiences amusement!
We moved around a lot throughout my childhood so I never really settled into a yard for long or had the chance to join any clubs.
I spent my school years working at the weekends at a hunting yard and a competition yard and then after my A-Levels took on a working pupil role at an event yard.
I worked at the event yard for a couple of years developing my riding but unfortunately also realised I couldn't afford to live on the pay so ended up trapped in the 9-5 office life, met my husband and had my son, Jamie. Riding had come to an abrupt halt.
When Jamie was 6 I took him to the local riding school and like me he loved every lesson. I was jealous of him riding so started up again myself. That was 8 years ago.
In Summer 2019 I took the plunge and bought our first horse, Ronnie, from the yard owner. We are slowly building on our relationship and I am trying to get Ronnie out as much as possible so Jamie can have lots of fun on him in the future.
I enjoy the social side of horses so wanted to join a club where I could meet new people but also get out competing, however, hadn't expected to be joining the committee!
I really love seeing people enjoying riding and giving things a go so I look forward to meeting you all at future club events and hopefully joining in at some Area 17 events too.