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I have been a member of the BSPS for some 33 years, and on Council for 26 years. I was deputy chairman for 3 years and have now been National Chairman for the last 6 years.

The interest in horses and ponies has never waned from my time as a young boy helping to deliver milk by horse and dray just so I could ride the horse back to the field, then help muck out and clean tack. My wife, Maureen and her family looked after all the working horses for Chester Corporation, they also showed Shires at Cheshire County Show, which they would buy in from Ireland, so she was involved with equines from being a baby. I married Maureen in 1960 and at that time I had a very active sporting career which meant travelling all over the world and consequently meant that I was missing for long periods of time.

When Jimmy and Karen came a long we decided we needed some leisure, pastime activity that we could do together as a family, and thinking about Maureen's and my own interests, we decided to take a refresher course of lessons at Shay Lane Riding School in Halifax and I have got to admit we were soon hooked on riding all over again. I bought a pony for Jimmy, a horse for me, and for Maureen. Jimmy was the first to enter the showing ring and got a second rosette at his first attempt. Then as soon as Karen was old enough to sit on a pony she was taught to ride she then entered her first show at the ripe old age of 3 years. We have been showing ever since.

Joining the BSPS for me and my family was the best thing that we ever did, it means we always have something in common to talk about with having the same shared interest. My children have maintained friendships with other members from all over the country, since their very early days of showing.

But I would like to make it very clear there is more to showing than a rosette, they have to look after, care and groom their pony so that they are proud of it, and to care about their own appearance and have expertise to ride and show an animal to the best of their ability, at the highest level, but most of all to learn about sportsmanship.

For all the above reasons I decided long ago that I wanted to put something back into the sport that mine, and other families have so much pleasure, happiness and enjoyment from. Jim McTiffin.