Episode 2 – Sue-Helen Shuttleworth Traditional Show Cobs

sue-helens-shuttleworth-traditional-show-cobs

Sue-Helen Shuttleworth Traditional Show Cobs – Episode 2

Show Notes:

Country Frog:

Hi, welcome to FrogPod and today I’ve got with me Sue-Helen Shuttleworth from Traditional Show Cobs. She just happened to pop in to pick up her new De Niro showing boots and unbeknown to sue, I’ve got a list of questions for her. I’ve known Sue since she was about 12 years old, and she was breaking in a pony for a good friend of mine. And we’ve been firm friends ever since

Sue-Helen:

She’s lying, I think she sat there laughing while I got bucked off!

Country Frog:

Yes she did fall off quite a few times, but she did a good job. So you’re well known and respected on the show in circuit and you’ve had a fantastic success showing you horses over the years. So you started by breaking horses for people. How did you how did you actually get started and known for being a successful competitor in the ring?

Sue-Helen:

Well, unlike a lot of my fellow competitors, I didn’t start in pony showing, I was too busy racing around in Pony Club games and things like that. I didn’t actually start showing until I was in my late teens. It was just a little breaking horse I had in to sell and we took it to a show and she won. So I started, with a friend of mine, taking her around all the County shows and she did really well and qualified for HOYS, then that was it, I was bitten by the bug.

Country Frog:

And what made you specialise in the Coloureds? Traditional show cobs?

Sue-Helen:

That’s my husband’s fault. I was into hacks and pretty things with browbands. Then I met my husband and he bred and had a few coloureds. He had a coloured colt and he said ‘I bet you wouldn’t break that and show it’d I said ‘You’re right!’. But actually, we took him to a show for a laugh and he won, he cleaned up, and that was it. I was a member of CHAPS and away we went!

Country Frog:

Out of all your career, what would you what was the most momentous achievement that you’ve had?

Sue-Helen:

Probably without sounding too cliche, I think when the Dell Boy horse won Horse of the Year Show and he also went Reserve Champion that year. It was massive for me and all the family because we’d had him from being born really. We bought him ‘on his Mother’ and had him from very young.

He’s still going strong and still doing the job for his new owners, that are not new owners lol. She’ll have had him seven or eight years now, and  qualifies for HOYS every year so still does his job.

Country Frog:

So can you explain to our listeners, the different sections within the Show Coloureds?

Sue-Helen:

I’ll try! there’s

Country Frog:

Well, there’s hairy ones and non-hairy ones in my book

Sue-Helen:

Yes there is lol, they’re split in to different heights and there’s your Natives types and Traditional Show cobs. So your Natives would be crossed with a Welsh or a Fellow or something that was native to us. Along with the traditional, so they’re all in the same class and they’re split by height. So they’ll be split, usually at around 14.2hh, so you’ll have your ponies and your horses. Then you have your non-natives which are your ‘plaity up’ ones. Again, they’re split between ponies and horses.

Country Frog:

And there are lots of different Societies, so which are the main Societies that people join?

Sue-Helen:

So your main three are CHAPS UK, a longstanding Coloured Society and that’s the Coloured Horse and Pony Society, then there’s the British Skewbald and Piebald Association (the BSPA). CHAPS look after the HOYS qualifiers, that’s their domain and the BSPA organize and look after the Royal International qualifiers, and that’s their Championship show. then they have the relatively new TGCA and that stands for Traditional Gypsy Cob Association. They are now very Traditional Cob orientated and look after the Traditionals as a breed, so they have their own passport authority.

They have their own breed guidelines and standards. They now have their own Championship Show and they’ve also now started the SEIB Search for a Star, so the Traditionals can now go to HOYS, so far just for amateurs. I think that in the future they’re looking  towards having their own qualifiers hopefully for HOYS.

Country Frog:

I take it there’s an etiquette for each class?

Sue-Helen:

So it’s just like a basic showing class, you have your buff, beige or canary breeches, long black boots for adults. I prefer to have a white shirt. You can have cream , beige or blue shirts if you like. I have a red tie and people have different coloured ties to match the jacket, a nice tweed jacket.

Country Frog:

And is there as much importance on how the riders dressed, as to how the horse is turned out? that it’s the whole picture?

Sue-Helen:

Absolutely, yes. If it was me dressing a rider I’d say go traditional. Not too ‘in your face’. Your plaited horses, depending what type, you’d have a blue jacket on but then again still traditional and not too much bling.

Country Frog:

And these new boots you’ve just popped in to pick up, (they’re very shiny) they’ve got a garter strap, explain to me about the garter strap?

Sue-Helen:

So showing boots, up until very recently, you’d have your old fashioned show boots, they were baggy at the ankle, and then fitted towards the leg, but they fitted a lot lower down the leg you’d have the strap, when I first started. Then they went on to the dressage style. A lot of people started wearing them because they were more fitted and the silhouette looked better. People started wearing these dressage boots but it wasn’t absolutely correct because for showing you should have a straight cut top. So DeNiro have helped us out. We’ve got the best of both worlds. So you’ve got a beautiful leather that’s now user friendly and that moulds to your leg better than the old fashioned ones used to.

Country Frog:

You’ve come in today, and put them straight on and they fit perfectly don’t they?

Sue-Helen:

Absolutely amazing, I love them, love ’em, love ’em!

Country Frog:

I’m really impressed with the brand myself, it’s it’s an easy sell for Country Frog to to put De Niro boots out there. As long as we get our measurements right, which ‘touch wood’ so far we’ve we’ve done really well with.

Sue-Helen:

Me, I’ve only got skinny legs.

Country Frog:

You are your child like sweetheart!

So that’s your boots, now 3 years ago the hat regulations changed.

Sue-Helen:

Yes, I had a big sulk!

Country Frog:

She had a big sulk, she wasn’t happy! So the regulations and certifications changed and all societies adopted it. How do you think that’s been accepted into the showing world? because with dressage and showjumping, well the showing people have really had to ‘get their head around’ having a different look.

Sue-Helen:

Yes, as I said before, that people want the traditional looks you want a nice silhouette, you don’t want to bulkier fit and you want it to look smart. Not to stand out for the wrong reasons in the ring.

As well as the safety feature so yeah, so I think it’s been quite hard really to find a good showing hat that that does all the jobs

Country Frog:

And the KASK has worked very well for you hasn’t it?

Sue-Helen:

I love my KASK!

So when I first got it, everyone sort of said ‘oh my god, what’s that hat!’ but people getting are getting used to wearing these hats now that are more up to standard. I think as far as a traditional look goes, they are as near as you could get.

Country Frog:

I think so, especially as you was the first one I did, with a special ‘flesh coloured’ chin strap. Although the first one was an Italian ‘sunkissed’ flesh and it looked a bit strange, like you’d been on holiday for 6 weeks. So we got that changed over to more of an ‘English Rose’ colour and now we’re doing more and more of them.

We did do a velvet covered one, I think yours is velvet isn’t it? but they stopped doing them, they weren’t as popular and people are going back to just a standard KASK helmet, with a flesh coloured strap on it. I think it looks amazing. And plus you’ve got all the vents through the top. So when you’re riding around and your head is sweating …

Sue-Helen:

Yeah, and in the old hats you’d have been wet through.

Country Frog:

So that’s the rider. Can you talk me through getting a pony ready for a show day?

Sue-Helen:

No, we’ll need two hours.

Country Frog:

Okay, so well let’s pick up on little bit of something there then. ‘Feathers!’, very typical of the Traditional show cobs. Keeping them white and full?

Sue-Helen:

Yes, I get asked this question a lot. If I had to give advice on keeping feathers right and healthy and looking clean and white, it’s your ‘day to day’ management. So it’s a case of keeping your bed clean. We oil our hairy feathered horses every every week with pig oil and sulphur and that generally keeps them right. You have to make sure that you find a decent shampoo that won’t strip the natural oils out of the hair, the coat and the skin. Because if you dry a cob’s skin out you then get you difficulties with scabs behind the knees, etc. And so you want a good shampoo and a good conditioner. Then I usually dry them in the wood flour so they dry right to the skin. Then your end result is fluffy and white.

Country Frog:

Wow, I’ve never heard of wood flour, you don’t put that in your bread? ha ha, don’t think you want to eat that!

So that’s the showing, what about Mrs Shuttleworth, You. For the last 10 years you’ve had a young Son to bring up as well as running a successful business, Traditional show cobs, and still getting out on the circuit. That must have been quite difficult at times?

Sue-Helen:

I think it is with any family Really. If both parents work. The showing does take you away from home for quite long periods of time. It’s long hours, early starts late finishes. Luckily, he’s quite an amenable chap. He’s busy anyway with this football and his BMX biking and things like that. He’s not interested in ponies at all. His dad is amazing with him. He spends a lot of time with him and he does all of his activities with him outside, tractors, diggers, riding his bike, etc. He does come to shows with us if we’re staying away at Championship Shows. He comes with us and he’s getting quite a following now with the young girls.

Country Frog:

Yes, he reminds me a lot of his Dad. Do you think he’ll go down the farrier route too?

Sue-Helen:

Unfortunately, I think he might, with a long line of ladies after him!

Country Frog:

So this is the first year that Traditionals can enter ‘Search for a Star’.

Sue-Helen:

That’s right, yes.

Country Frog:

Is that something that you’re going to be doing?

Sue-Helen:

So, I can’t do that because I am a professional apparently haha. At the moment, the series is just open to amateurs. But having said that, I think that’s amazing. I think in the future, if that gets busy, and if it gets popular, which I think it will be, I think the class will be opened up to professionals.

Country Frog:

Excellent. So have you got anything exciting on the horizon for this year and any new prospects?

Sue-Helen:

I’m just thinking of keeping injury free. That would be good, and stay in the saddle.

No, I’ve got some lovely, exciting novices for this year, so I’m excited to bring those out, for a couple of lovely long standing clients.

Country Frog:

Any new Dell boys in there?

Sue-Helen:

There might be!

Country Frog:

Ooh excitable, you might get me on a cob one day, you never know. That would be fun!

Sue-Helen:

That would be hilarious.

Country Frog:

And that would be posted, no doubt!

So, shall we finish up with what advice would you give to anybody who wants to either have a change of direction with the horses or somebody wanted to start ….

Sue-Helen:

Sell them and buy a nice car!

Country Frog:

Hahaha, maybe that wouldn’t be very good for Country Frog, so we won’t go down that route.

What would be your top tip to somebody, either a looking for Traditional Show Cobs?

Sue-Helen:

Shall I put my phone number at the end of this? haha

Country Frog:

Yeah, that’d be really cool! (The girl’s a trier!) I mean, you know, you’re looking for your future horse, what’s the first thing you’re looking for?

Sue-Helen:

It would be dependent on what you want to do, but probably, you know, you’d be looking at a good combination to keep the the horse sound and a good temperament and attitude. If you go to see one of these and it’s scowling at you over the door, I’d be thinking well, perhaps he’s going to be doing that in the show ring.  Look for a nice smiley animal that moves well, that can carry itself in a nice way.

Country Frog:

… and doesn’t want to kill you at the same time.

Sue-Helen:

Yes preferably! Like I said, if you if you’re not sure then probably take someone with you that knows the job a bit better. It’s always better to have two ‘sets of eyes’.

Country Frog:

Well brilliant. That’s been really, really good Sue.

Just so followers can keep up with your work, where can they follow you? And so Facebook Instagram, what’s your Instagram name?

Sue-Helen:

Sue-Helen Shuttleworth on Facebook click here

Traditional Show Cobs on Facebook click here 

Instagram click here 

Website click here 

 

Country Frog:

You can always catch it on country frog as well. Well, thanks for listening today. It’s been really good and thank you Sue Traditional show cobs.

Sue-Helen:

I’m off to try my boots on!

Country Frog:

You try your boots on and a selection of all the new goods that have just come in for Spring/Summer.

Thanks for listening.

Bye

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