Friday, 3 April 2015

IWMT 2015: Meet event organiser, Tissie Reason

Tissie  Reason is a long-standing member of the eventing community and has supported the Ian White Memorial  Trophy since its inception. Here, Tissie tells us how she became involved in the sport, and gives us an insight into the life of an organiser.

How did you become involved in eventing?

Tissie and Tarquin in action, Stokenchurch Horse Trials
I competed, mainly on a super grey called Tarquin with whom I did Pony Club and then British Eventing competitions. The legendary Dick Stillwell was my mentor. Our jumping was great but dressage was always a challenge, so Dick sent me to Alison Oliver [former trainer of Princess Anne] to sort this out!

How long have you been organising horse trials, and in particular, Smiths Lawn?

My first involvement in organising was at my family's farm in Bucklebury - the Bucklebury Horse Trials ran in the late 1960's until the mid 1980's - which my brother organised and I did the secretarial work. In the late 1960's I organised the Crookham Horse Trials at Tweseldown. I started Smiths Lawn Horse Trials in 1981 on the site of the former Windsor Horse Trials after they moved into the Deer Park to become a three-day event. The cross country track was not being used and the then deputy ranger of Windsor Great Park, Roland Wiseman, was keen to see the event continue at the lower levels.

What other events are you involved with?

I am entries secretary for Aston-le-Walls Horse Trials plus their dresssage, combined training and arena eventing competitions, Rockingham Horse Trials and Catton Park Horse Trials. I also enjoy helping at other events, particularly Blenheim and at the Horse of the Year Show where I am chief rosette steward.
HOYS 2014

Why did you become an event organiser and what has been your highlight so far?

I wanted to put something back into the sport which had given me such fun. Rather cliche, I know, but true. The highlight was joining the organising committee of Chatsworth Horse Trials in 1998 and then becoming Director in 2009.

Tell us more about Smiths Lawn Horse Trials

The beautiful Royal Park provides a unique venue. We are privileged to run an event here. The polo games held at the neighbouring Guards Polo Club present their own challenges as we do our best to ensure neither discipline adversely affects the other. I remember Claire Balding's mother saying how nice it was when her daughter was eventing here and her son was playing polo because they could see both at the same venue on the same day!
The most recent challenge was moving the cross country course from around the lake near the Savill Gardens to the private area where it is now, behind Cumberland Lodge. This has better going and have given us more space while avoiding the public area by the children's playground. This year I look forward to even more improvements to the course by Andrew Hunter and his team.

Why did you become involved in the Trophy?

I knew Ian when he was competing. He epitomised the continued appeal of eventing to owner-riders. I wanted to support Kathryn in her mission to raise funds for and awareness of brain tumour research.

How do you relax 'out of season'?

Tissie out cubbing with Mosquij
I enjoy hacking with Mosquij, now 21 years old, who my brother bred and my daughter events, and walking my two Jack Russells. I also enjoy amateur dramatics, reading, swimming, going to the theatre and nice restaurants.
You can catch up on the latest news from Tissie and her team at Smiths Lawn on Twitter: @SmithsLawnHT and on Facebook  

Kathryn is owner and director of Cathean Ltd Writing Services. She is a published medical and equestrian writer with a passion for creating compelling text in collaboration with her clients from pharmaceutical, healthcare and equestrian businesses across the world.