Pat Parker Legacy
Not all of you will remember my mother, Pat Parker, but she was a familiar figure within the BCPS for many years. After her death in 2015 I wanted to do something worthwhile in her memory and it seemed obvious that it should involve the Connemara pony. I discussed various options with Jane Powell who helped Pat with stud work and rode her stallion, Arrow Javelin, and we decided that Pat would have liked to be remembered for helping others. Therefore, I have given the society a sum of money to be used to give grants to BCPS members to enable them to further their knowledge and expand their experience in all things horsey! We both felt that any grant awarded should reflect Pat’s “spirit”.
Pat came from a non-horsey background and growing up in London, her only access to ponies was on visits to her cousin’s farm in Yorkshire. She first met Connemara ponies when she went as a working pupil to Eileen Thomas’s Calmore Stud. Aged 21, she bought her first pony, Carina of Calla, who was the foundation mare for the Arrow Connemara Stud. Throughout her life, Pat loved a challenge; she never took things at face value and never stopped learning. She ran a successful breaking and training yard in her 20’s and became an excellent rider competing in point-to-points, horse trials, show jumping and, in later years, rode classical dressage to a high standard. She continually sought to expand her knowledge and understanding of breeding, training, conformation, genetics etc… . However, her greatest legacy is her generosity to others. She helped many a young rider through Pony Club and was always on hand to offer support and encouragement to novice/new Connemara pony owners or breeders. She could be relied upon to give good, sound advice.
With this in mind, the criteria for awarding this grant are wide-ranging but its main purpose is the furthering of equestrian knowledge. If you have an idea or project that needs a bit of a financial leg-up, please apply. It goes without saying that the recipient must be a BCPS member and whatever the project, it must benefit the Connemara Pony and/or members of the BCPS in some way. It is expected that whoever receives a grant will share their new-found knowledge and experience with other members of the BCPS and the wider Connemara community. The grants are likely to be in the region of £500 to £1000 and cover a maximum of 50% of the anticipated costs and they will be awarded annually for as long as there are sufficient funds. I would like to think that additional money will be added to this fund over the years, so that more people can benefit from Pat Parker’s Legacy. Finally, you must be 16 years or over to apply but there is no upper age limit as Pat would tell you that “You are never too old to learn something new!”