16 Jun What Forces Equine means to me
I joined Forces Equine a fair few year ago now when it was very much in its infancy. It was an organisation that brought together riders and like-minded people from similar backgrounds – armed forces and emergency services. As a police officer, we did not really have a centralised body where we can all connect with each other as equestrians whereas the armed forces do. FE gave us this opportunity.
Through FE I have been able to compete at some amazing venues – Hickstead, Arena UK, Blenheim to name a few. They’ve also sent teams to Royal Windsor, Bolesworth and Jersey. The opportunities that are presented to members know no bounds, for example, for two years running we’ve sent one officer to the Longines Global Champions Tour to compete .
But more importantly than that, it gives a sense of belonging. I’ve met people I would never have crossed paths with. I’ve made connections with people who helped me get to the position I hold today. Most importantly, I’ve made some amazing friends.
FE is open to those that wish to be competitive but also to those who just want to have fun. Our social gatherings are famous – one member even has a self-built bar in a skirt locker of her horsebox that we gather round on stay-aways! Members are also there to help one another, whether it’s assisting in moving horses from one end of the country to another, to finding horses to buy, to helping out with a broken-down box on the way to a show.
We’ve grown from a small organisation to a wider membership that welcomes all walks of life – serving members to retirees to friends and family of. We’ve also become a registered Riding Club which presents even more opportunities for riders. We’ve joined forces with Arena UK as our base and we’ve got some amazing ambassadors who help promote our sport.
I am proud to wear kit stating I am a member of FE and will continue to support this organisation as long as I can. It’s more than being competitive, it’s about having a great time whilst doing it.