World Horse Welfare Magazine

World Horse Welfare competition 2008 / 2009

Congratulations to Sarah Finch and her friend Sarah Pearson who took the first prize in the competition held in support of the BBC children in need appeal, at the international showjumping masters held at unex towerlands equestrian centre last november. their prize was drawn by frankie dettori mbe in the presence of many international show jumpers, and we enjoyed having them here, as our riding holiday was the first prize......

Sarah Finch april 2009 – competition winner of the BBC children’s in need charity response at unex towerlands.

2008 / 2009 winner

Sarah Finch on Nieves & Sarah Pearson on Sirocco. (Ed.Note Both Sarah's had been to equine college together and progressed through their BHS stages and Sarah Finch is currently working with horses.)

2007 winner


Congratulations to Debbie Leonard who came to stay with us in May 2007 as the winner of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) Spanish Riding Holiday competition, which HorseridingSpain is proud to provide and sponsor. The ILPH is one of the world’s leading equine charities, and is an arm of the FEI, with four rehabilitation centres for horses in the UK and also rehoming more horses within the UK than any other organization.

The charity also provides overseas education and training in some of the world’s poorer countries as well as being active in political lobbying at home ‘to make the world a better place for the horse’. You can visit the ILPH website by clicking on the magazine icon below ‘A dream come true’.

2006 winner


Barbara Mills was the winner of this year's ILPH Spanish Riding Competition - a week-long riding holiday in Spain - sponsered by HorseridingSpain. She and her Mother, Doreen Cumming, spent a week at Coin, near Malaga in July


First and foremost I would like to say a really big thank you to our hosts for the week, Giles and Miranda, who went beyond the call of duty to give us a holiday we shall never forget. They are two really exceptional people, with big hearts, and this shows in the way they are with their horses - and with all of their animals in fact.

As an example, Miranda told us that, not long before we arrived, Giles had been out with some other guests down by the river when they spotted two puppies hiding under some rocks. As soon as they arrived back at the ranch, Giles asked Miranda to take the car and rescue them - despite already having five dogs! There was no stopping her. Into the car she jumped with one of the guests, and down to the river they went. Before long the puppies where safe and sound. The dogs, Leftie and Pif Paf, are now living a great life on the ranch along with the other animals, which just goes to prove what fantastic, caring people Giles and Miranda are.

I could write a book about our holiday, but for anybody to experience what I have, all I can say is that you need to go for yourself. Let me tell you about the beautiful horses and some of the fantastic sites I was lucky enough to see.

The horse which was chosen to be my first ride was a beautiful Andalucian bay mare called Pepsi. She was tacked up in a high school saddle which has to be the best I have ridden on, and after five hours, I was pleased to see how good the condition of my mount was. The only sweat on her was under her saddle, and to my surprise I did not hurt or ache at all. I think that I owe that to the way in which Pepsi was with me, going up and down the steep hills, taking things very carefully, and never giving me cause for concern. When we arrived back at the ranch, I asked if I could have Pepsi for the rest of the week and was delighted when Giles agreed.

Miranda took me out alone on all but one day, and on the rides the views were breathtaking. Just when I thought that nothing could surprise me anymore, we would turn another corner and there in front of me would be another fantastic sight. We would go over hills, through villages and down through rivers before eventually returning to the ranch ready for a well earned siesta! I don't think the smile left my face for the whole week!

After an excellent ride, I was able to relax by the pool. At around 3 p.m. we would be served dinner on the veranda, with more time to relax before supper. On some nights Giles and Miranda would join us and we would talk about life, listen to music and drink wine. Then it would be time for bed, ready for the early rise the next morning, always starting the day with a delicious breakfast at 7.30, ready to climb back into the saddle for another fantastic day.

I have spoken of Pepsi with whom I fell deeply in love, but it would be wrong not to mention the other horses. The first one who caught my eye was a beautiful grey stallion called Fulanito (Fully for short) who was in a paddock just outside my apartment window. What a joy it was to wake up to him every morning, as he was always happy to see us. Then there was Shikira, Evita, Madonna, Capri, Lucy, Balero, Valienty, Shikahn, Nikita and last but not least, Picasso. My mother, Doreen, who came with me, (although not riding), experienced the same excellent hospitality that I did. She also had the pleasure of giving Picasso his title after proposing the name over lunch.

I could go on and on, but if you want to have the horse-riding holiday of a lifetime, don't sit reading and dreaming about it, go and book - you won't be disappointed!!