Shelley News

Welcome to The Shelley Centre’s 12 month rolling update of past, present and future events for every one that has an interest in the activities of The Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding.

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2nd July 2019. Shelley Centre AGM and Barbecue.  Chairman Jan Derbyshire welcomed the 74 members and guests to our 30th Anniversary AGM – including our Landlords Mike and Jane Crowe and the Deputy Mayor of Hadleigh Carolyn Cammack with Councillor Carol Schleip. After the business meeting 17 awards for long service were presented to those who have volunteered for 5,10,15 and 20 years as well as three for 25 years – Jan Derbyshire, Linda Redlich and Jenny Aldir. The Shelley Volunteer of the Year was Louise Reynolds. RDA National’s Over & Above Award was presented to Lyn Bensusan in recognition of her dedication to the smooth running of The Shelley Centre, not only in her job as Stable Manager and her care and love of our equine family, but also all her extra involvement with fundraising, shows, and numerous other events. Her attention to detail, high standards and progressive thinking have helped to make the Centre the very special place that it is. She was warmly applauded by all those present.

The Meeting was followed by a delicious BBQ, prepared by the stalwart team of chefs. Salads and accompanying dishes were provided by the Management Committee. The Strawberries were generously donated by Mike and Lisa Townrow of Assington Fruits. Our grateful thanks to all who helped with this enjoyable social occasion, enjoyed by all on a rather chilly evening.

23rd June. Shelley Show. A beautiful warm day saw 24 riders taking part in the Countryside Challenge Competition. The horses were a credit to Lyn and her team of helpers who had bathed and groomed them to look their best. The riders too were well turned out, plenty of smiles and they all seemed to enjoy the challenging course – with a forest of Christmas trees included to brighten it up. Grateful thanks to the Judge for the day, Suffolk County Coach, Heather Campbell with Charlotte Ditchburn from the Woodbridge Group as her writer. Val and John Cadman judged the Turnout Class and rider with the biggest smile of the day. Full results of the event can be downloaded here in the form of a pdf document.

The special celebration tea, organised by the Tuesday group, was greatly appreciated at the end of the day, and included a splendid cake expertly made and decorated by Debbie Lock to reflect our 30th Anniversary at The Shelley Centre. It did not last long!

Very many thanks to all who helped in so many ways to make both days run smoothly and to be so enjoyable for the riders, their parents and friends. All of us at Shelley are so proud of the riders’ achievements.

18th June. Shelley Centre Dressage Competition took place. 11 riders took part – 3 of whom did both a Walk & Trot and a Walk test. Grateful thanks to the Judge for the day Mary Thornley. All the riders looked splendid, rode their best and enjoyed the competition. Awards were presented on Shelley Show Day.

29th / 30th May. Suffolk Show. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of RDA the Suffolk Region had a presence at the Suffolk Show with Mike Daniels and Carriage Driver Tim Dignon providing three driving demonstrations, over the two days. Several members of The Shelley Group helped man the publicity tent. Thanks are due to Mike Daniels, Ros and Tim Dignon, Clare Phillips, Isabel Lilley and the West Suffolk driving team for their enthusiasm and determination to bring this all together.

24th May. Thirteen engineers from Zurich Insurance Company chose Shelley for their Charity Challenge day and did a huge amount of grass cutting, strimming, gardening, ragwort clearing, gutter cleaning and general tidying up. The Centre looked splendid when they had finished. They each sponsored themselves, and some us added to that, before the Zurich Company matched the sponsorship 300%, so not only did they work very hard on the day but they donated £1,288 to The Centre as well. Our grateful thanks to them and the Zurich Company for their support.

18th May. Hadleigh Show. The wonderful weather brought out the crowds and we sold out of cakes and nearly all the plants, and were awarded 2nd prize for our stand. A new experience for many of the new Fundraising Team so well done to all of them.

28th April. Adam Bensusan ran the London Marathon on behalf of RDA National and The Shelley Centre. Several blisters and “never again” !, but a brilliant result, so very many thanks to Adam and all his sponsors.

27th April. Sadly the Race Night had to be cancelled again through lack of sufficient support. The horses were put back in their stables for another occasion!

Paul Ballard7th April. Paul Ballard (right), the father of one of our Wednesday riders, bravely ran the Greater Manchester Marathon on behalf of The Centre, which he completed in 3hrs 56 minutes. Very many thanks to him, and his firm for matching his sponsorship.

2nd March.  QUIZ NIGHT - Huge thanks to everyone who attended the Quiz Night at Polstead you raised sufficient funds to cover the cost to RDA for Adam Bensusan’s entry to the London Marathon on 28th April.  All monies raised will now go direct to The Shelley Centre so please do sponsor him for this mammoth effort.  This can be done on-line through my or by sending a cheque made out to ‘The Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding’ to The Centre, with your name and address and whether or not you would like us to claim Gift Aid on your donation.  PLEASE do encourage him by your support. Many thanks.

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8th  December. Our 20th annual Carol Service at the end of the autumn term was well attended and very enjoyable, starting with mulled wine and refreshments at The Centre, then the Shetlands led the candlelit procession to Shelley Church where the presence of the Boxted Methodist Silver Band and members of the Serendipity Choir, along with our congregation of parents, riders, helpers and friends,  helped raise the roof with music and singing. There were more angels than shepherds this year which was appropriate because Father Jo’s talk featured the presence of angels.  'Baby Jesus’ was very well behaved as usual, and the Church was beautifully decorated and warm. Very many thanks to all involved.

Congratulations to Rebecca Jackaman who has received her Silver Horse Care Certificate.

29th September.  The Quiz Night was very successful and greatly enjoyed by those who attended.  Many thanks to them for their support and to Jan our remarkable Quizmaster and the fund raising team.

6th October. Pony Day.  9 young riders braved the only wet day for weeks to come to Shelley to look after their favourite pony.  After catching and grooming their pony we went for a hack in the fields by the river. They enjoyed learning more about horse care and stable management, and went home damp but happy after lunch. Very many thanks to the helpers who gave their Saturday to help with this event.


3rd July.  Shelley AGM and Barbecue.  A warm summer evening encouraged 79 helpers, supporters and friends to attend this event.  After the business part of the meeting, awards were presented to Volunteers for long service - 7 for 5 years, 2 for 15 years, 3 for 20 years and 2 for 30 years. An RDA National ‘Over and Above’ award was presented to Marion Lindsey Smith for her dedicated service to the Group in very many areas over the years, but especially in recognition of the 21 years that she has acted as the Group Treasurer.  Our Shelley Volunteer of the Year was David Hills.

Congratulations to Rebecca Page who achieved her Gold Award for Horse Care knowledge.  A first for Shelley and a huge achievement for Becky which involved a lot of research, learning, practicing and remembering the syllabus. The Award was presented by the Proficiency Test Examiner Sue Diggins.


The Masonic Charitable Foundation Grant. The final project to be financed by this grant was completed in July.  This was the levelling, grading and resurfacing of our riding arena.  The work was undertaken by Andrews Bowen Ltd and it will ensure a comfortable experience for both horses and volunteers when our new term starts in September.

Ipswich Building Society - Hadleigh Branch - chose The Shelley Centre as their nominated Charity for the year 2017 - 2018 and have donated £850 from their charitable fund in connection with their Mutual Advantage Accounts. They have also held other fundraising events for our benefit and sponsored one of the ponies.  Very many thanks for their continued support.

The AV Unit in Ipswich have very kindly designed and donated a television and video system which allows Ebony riders to see themselves when riding, or have a horse-eye-view of a ride in the countryside at walk, trot or canter. We are really grateful to Adam Clark and Jonathan Kerry for their expertise, persistence and generosity in providing this exciting facility for our riders.


24th June.  Shelley Show was basked in sunshine this year and with a record number of 30 Shelley Riders taking part in the Countryside Challenge. Those riding independently started at 9.30am, followed by those who had someone walking with them, but not leading the horse. In the afternoon those being led had their class.  We are hugely grateful to Pip Thody and Shirley Green for being our judges for the day.  The results of the Dressage Competition which took place on 12 June, were announced at lunch time, together with the morning competition results and the Nominations for Special Achievement in Riding Progress. The stalwart team of Shelley Helpers prepared and looked after the ponies for the day whilst others helped the riders in the ring, provided refreshments, cleaned tack, polished boots and helped with the grand tidy-up of the Centre ready for the event.

The spectators, parents and friends all seemed to enjoy the occasion and the Riders can be justly proud of all their achievements.  We were delighted that the Chairman of the Dr Franey Charity was able to present a new Trophy this year, donated by the Charity in memory of Lesley Legge. It is called the Dr Franey Challenge Cup and was awarded to the winner of the Led class of the Countryside Challenge.


Dressage - Senior - Walk and Trot Class- Lady Aldous Cup - 1st Sarah Mitchell riding Alfie. 2nd  Ruth Snowling riding Bob
             - Junior - Walk and Trot Class - John & Val Cadman Cup - 1st Abbie Smith riding Parys
             - Senior - Walk only Class -  The Lawrence Cup - 1st Sarah Mitchell riding Alfie. 2nd Ruth Snowling riding Bob
             - Junior - Walk only Class  - The Crowe Cup - 1st Annie Austin riding Belle, 2nd. Abbie Smith riding Parys,
3rd Jennifer Hammock-Sheen riding Bob, 4th Millie Smith riding Alfie and Dawid Gooch riding Belle.

Countryside Challenge
Junior un-led class - Paton & Lee Challenge Cup - 1st Callum Myes - Parys. 2nd Jennifer Hammock-sheen - Bob,
3rd  Abbie Smith - Parys,  4th Annie Austin - Belle, 5th Millie Smith - Alfie and Dawid Gooch - Belle.

       Senior ‘Attended’ class   - Sneezum Cup -
                             1st Daniella Ruocco - Alfie, 2nd Georgia King - Bryn, 3rd Eleanor Hopegood - Parys.
       Junior ‘Attended’ Class -  Derbyshire Cup.
                             1st Katelyn Dixon - Alfie. 2nd Maddie Reader - Bryn.  3rd Lily Collis - Parys.  4th Piper Regan - Tilly                               and Jason Hudgell - Tilly. 6th  rider of April  7th Martha Evans - Belle

     Senior and Junior Led Class - Dr Franey Challenge Cup in memory of Lesley Legge.
   1st. Tom Driver - Alfie. 2nd Mia Hermon - Cindy.  3rd Cameron MacSephney - Belle, 4th Danny Gillbanks - Belle and     Edward Wilson - Tilly and Max Saunder - April. 7th Spencer Pengelly - Cindy. and Keziah McNeill
   Cindy and Leah Rolph - Bryn. 10th Roxanne Aldridge - April. 11th Katie Bezencenet - Parys.
   12th Callum Clements - April.  and Jessica Chambers - Squidgy.

     Turnout Senior. The Lions Club of Ipswich - Katie Bezencenet
     Junior    The Elaine Crowe Cup    -  Katelyn Dixon
     Winner of the trophy for the Biggest Smile on the Day went to Danny Gilbanks.

Nominations for Special Achievement in Riding Progress went to.
Danny Gillbanks, Morgan Ballard, Jason Hudgell, Callum Mayes, Bradley Saunders, Georgia King,
Dashiel Kemal, Alex McLauchin, Annie Austin, Alexia Sinclair.
Winner   Junior  Liz Greene Cup  - Bradley Saunders
Senior Leslie Dixon Cup - Georgia King
BABS/Ebony Cup - Dashiel Kemal.

18th June. Members of the Hadleigh Rotary Club came to officially present a bench which was donated to The Centre through their Charitable Fund following the funeral of Mike Sands, a long time supporter of The Centre. His wife Kate is a Group Coach and has been working with the RDA for over 30 years.  We are pleased to have this reminder of Mike in the yard

12th June. Our in-house Dressage Competition took place in the afternoon and the riders, dressed for the occasion, will be anxiously awaiting the results which are to be announced at the Shelley Show on June 24th.


19th May. Hadleigh Show dawned warm and sunny with very little wind - perfect day for bringing out the crowds to the show ground.  A really good day for us as we celebrated the Royal Wedding Day, wearing our wedding hats, and raising £1,200 .  Thanks to all who bought the cakes and plants and to those who made enquiries about joining our team of helpers. We look forward to seeing you all soon.  Also to the team who worked so hard all day.


12th May. Students from the Essex University took a break from revising for their exams to come to help clear nettles, dig up ragwort and groom the ponies at Shelley. We are very grateful to them for giving their time and help.




6th May. It was a lovely warm day for a walk in the spring bluebell woods, which looked splendid as usual. A stop at The Cock pub in Polstead was a welcome break for the intrepid few who then continued on to complete the whole 10 miles, whilst others took advantage of a lift back to The Centre for tea and cakes. Thank you to all who took part and raised over £400.


19th April. Our fund raising event ‘House of Colours’ at Boxford Village Hall was well supported with 63 ladies learning to tie scarves and listening to Claire Bannister delivering an amusing talk on how to look good in the right colours. There were clothes, scarves and jewellery for sale too. The evening raised £700.

17th March. The General Knowledge Quiz was well supported, in spite of the ‘Beast from the East’ ! Helen our Quiz Master did a very good job.  The fish ’n chips managed to get through the snow, which was very welcome.  The evening raised £857.65.

March - The Tuesday morning group are thrilled to announce that their Grand Easter Egg Raffle raised £575 for The Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding.

The winning ticket for the grand prize was sold by Tuesday volunteer Margaret to a lady called Carol at Ringshall Village Hall Bingo club. Our congratulations to Carol.

Many other Easter eggs were won (1 per sheet of tickets sold) and our thanks to all our families, riders, fellow volunteers for all their hard work and support.

Particular thanks go to Linden Lady Chocolatiers for so very kindly donating the egg.

24th January. Members of the Hadleigh Branch of the Ipswich Building Society visited The Centre to present a cheque for £233 which they had raised through their Christmas Raffle. They are kindly supporting The Centre throughout this year in various ways, including Sponsorship of Camilla and Squidgy - with whom they are pictured here.  The Shelley Centre will also receive an annual 1% bonus of average account balances of the Mutual Advantage Accounts during the year.  We are very grateful for their support and their enthusiasm in fund raising on our behalf.


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