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Ashbrook Equine Hospital - the venue Goostrey Social Ride
8th August 2006

From Pat Guerin (organiser):

The Goostrey Ride was most successful. 40 riders enjoyed the day and the excellent facilities provided by Ashbrook Equine Hospital. The Cheshire Group would like to thank Claire Shorthose & Andy Carnell for their help with the organisation and also for the provision of the venue.

From Claire Shorthose & Andy Carnell (hosts, co-organisers and helpers):

This year, Pat Guerin very kindly allowed us to host the perennially popular Goostrey Social Ride at Ashbrook Equine Hosptial, giving us the chance to try the place out as a potential future venue and letting me gain some insight into what really goes into organising a ride! I’m quite used to turning up on the day & helping as a steward, gate opener, vet writer, time keeper etc but this was the first time I had been involved in the process that goes on behind the scenes before a ride takes place. There’s risk assessments to be carried out, maps and ride info to produce & photocopy, landowners to inform, police to be notified, advertising to be done and entries to be processesd ..… and I’m assured that it’s all WAY more complicated for a competitive ride !!

We decided to keep the route essentially unchanged from previous years, simply making use of an ancient right of way across a field and a short stretch of roadwork to link into Brickbank Lane and then onto the fabulous bridleway network around Goostrey and Peover. The recent dry weather, coupled with some extensive drainage and resurfacing work certainly has improved the going on these tracks, some of which used to get a little ‘gooey’ to say the least! This year, however, they all rode perfectly.

The day of the ride was dry and bright, but not too warm. Perfect riding conditions, and soon groups of riders were heading out with smiling faces. A couple of hours later they all came back equally happy. Goody bags containing drinks and snacks were given to all riders along with their rosettes, and seemed to go down well as did the huge buckets of water scattered around the venue for the horses. Another successful ride for Cheshire Group!

Pat did seem a little concerned a couple of weeks before the ride when we only had 6 entries – but a sudden explosion of last minute entries brought the total number up to 44. Then it was my turn to panic… where were we going to park them all? In the end, I stuffed so many trailers into the front paddock that we ended up with bags of room to spare in the back field --- room for plenty more next year, then (– and apologies to those of you who were starting to feel a bit like tinned sardines!) We certainly look forward to welcoming you all back to Ashbrook next year.

Finally, we’d like to thank Pat for organising the ride, and all the staff at Ashbrook Equine Hospital who helped to make sure the venue was ready to host the ride and who supported the event by providing a qualified First Aider at the venue and putting together a team of three riders, all new to Endurance.

From Elaine Rippon (rider):

I did the Goostrey ride with two friends - it was absolutely fantastic. We all really enjoyed it - scenery was lovely, weather perfect and horses well behaved.

Thank you very much for organising the event and for your 'stewards' giving up their Sunday to marshall.

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