Best seats in the house

AT THE SHOW. Members of the Colten Care party including Susie Woodhouse, seated second from right.

More than 20 residents from seven of our care homes enjoyed luxury VIP treatment at a well-known equestrian show.

We laid on minibus travel, a champagne welcome, picnic lunches, strawberry cream teas and ‘the best seats in the house’ over the two-day Portman Horse Trials.

Parties of residents were enabled to move between two viewing positions, one for cross country and one for show jumping and dressage.

The excursions to the Rushmore Estate at Tollard Royal on the Wiltshire-Dorset border were an extra special treat for former competitive rider Susie Woodhouse.

VISIT. Blandford competitor Jo Rimmer, on eight-year-old Isaac Newton, was among the riders. With Jo is Monique Brady, Activity Organiser at Brook View in West Moors.

VISIT. Blandford competitor Jo Rimmer, on eight-year-old Isaac Newton, was among the riders. With Jo is Monique Brady, Activity Organiser at Brook View in West Moors.

A resident at Abbey View in Sherborne, Susie launched the trials in 1976 and was instrumental in their development and success. It was the first time she had been able to return in five years.

As part of a wider package of support this year, Colten Care was one of the cross-country fence sponsors.

When show announcers mentioned this over the tannoy, they invited friends of Susie to drop by and say hello.

Susie’s daughter-in-law Tessa Woodhouse said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that Susie was able to come back and enjoy the trials she started all those years ago. It was her life for such a long time and her name is synonymous with it. I cannot praise Abbey View enough and my thanks go to Colten Care for supporting this year’s event.”

Recalling her involvement as founder, Susie said: “The first event attracted great publicity as the Princess Royal, or Princess Anne as she was then, was one of the competitors. Since then the trials have grown enormously from a novice one-day event to include intermediate and advanced classes.”

Also making a visit was Abbey View resident and equestrian Sam Ayres, a former judge at the Horse of the Year Show.

As well as Abbey View, residents travelled from Whitecliffe House in Blandford, Brook View in West Moors, Amberwood House in Ferndown, Castle View in Dorchester, Newstone House in Sturminster Newton and Braemar Lodge in Salisbury.

Activities Organiser Jo London said: “We’re thrilled to have created a VIP experience, adding value to the event and giving our residents the best seats in the house.”

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