Meet The Committee

Suzanne Willson – Chairman

I became a member of CVRC seven years ago and joined the Committee three years ago. This year I had the honour of being asked to be its chairman which I accepted and hope to continue the fantastic work of our previous chairman along with the current very experienced committee members. Having semi-retired from nursing I have also returned to coaching and have joined the BHS Accredited Professional Coach register last year.

Linda Fisher – Secretary

I attended a few of the imaginative events organised by Colne Valley and was struck by the really friendly welcome, combined with impressive organisation. Then I got excited about the idea of adultstyle pony club camp, so I joined. My first event as a member was Christmas dinner, a lovely evening.
I’m not sure how it happened but I’ve become secretary! I aspire to contribute to the sense of friendliness and and well organised events in this role.
My horse, Finjo, keeps me on my toes. We like doing dressage and hacking. Love the beach and forest! When he feels like working we really enjoy riding to music.

Carol Hipkin – President

I am am a BHSAI, RDA Coach, founder of CVRC and the club, president. I have a passion for dressage and I enjoy seeing members enjoying days out with their horses.

Shirley Haxell – Vice President

Colne Valley RC was definitely the Club for me to join in 2007 when I returned to riding after a very long break. With lots of encouragement I entered my first ever dressage test at the age of 47 and have been competing ever since. I have been pleased to have represented CVRC on several teams over the years in Dressage, Show Jumping, Combined Training, Arena Eventing and Quadrille, acting both as Team Manager and competitor. I have been fortunate to make it to the BRC Championships on a couple of occasions. In 2010 I became joint organiser of our Annual Summer Camp and joined the Committee in 2011. I have organised our Club clinics for many years with Tammy Ruffles.
I have been honoured to have served the Club as Chairman for six years, standing down in November 2020. I am now Vice President and continue to organise our Flatwork and Polework Training Clinics.
My wonderful equine partner, Hovis, must be mentioned, as he has enabled me to take a full and active part in all our Club events, has stood patiently during very long days at Qualifiers and even been ridden by a penguin whilst being dressed as a zebra. I owe so much to this horse whose wonderful temperament has enabled me to enjoy being part of such a brilliant Club.

Karen Launder – Treasurer

I have been a member of CVRC for eleven years and joined the committee in 2015, then in 2016 I became the Treasurer. I have been helping with the CVRC dressage shows for many years and also support our teams at many of the various events they participate in.

Karen Palmer

I came to the committee in 2015 having previously been a member for a few years. As I was returning to riding after a break – I was very happy to find such a supportive and encouraging club. First with my horse Flo and now with Mae, I have competed at dressage, taken part in our camps and clinics (from flatwork and crosspoles to Le Trec and Quadrille) and of course enjoyed our Fun rides. I have also, in the past, taken the role of supporting some of our Area Teams on their travels for Dressage to Music, Combined Training and Dressage. I am entry secretary for our shows throughout the year and enjoy working with Karen Launder who is our scorer and results secretary on these occasions.

Catherine Raffe

Hi, I’m Catherine, the club’s Membership Secretary. I live in Bradfield with my partner and two ex-racing greyhounds.
I started riding when I was 10 at Park Farm in Little Horkesley, joined the weekend staff at 16, and stayed with them for 30 years until the owners retired. I got so much pleasure from seeing riders of all ages growing in confidence and developing their love for not just the sport, but horses too, I just couldn’t give it up! I feel a real sense of privilege and pride at having helped start so many riders on their equestrian journey.
Some of you will know my cob, Billy. I bought him as a 5 year old in December 2000. After many years of varied fun, including joining the club’s dressage teams on several occasions, he retired due to arthritis early in 2020. He is well and happy, thoroughly enjoying life as a pet.

Chris Kimberley

I started riding when I was 6 . The days when you learnt to ride on felt saddles and croppers. Falling off was part of the course but I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to find the glue in my later years. I’m predominantly interested in dressage, showing and classical training. I’m one of the original members of the club and for the past 8 years an active member of the committee. Apart from the normal support for club events I’m responsible for the clubs clothing. With responsible prices and the rider in mind, the clothing range has been very successful and offers a wide variety of choice.

Joanna Dedross

I started riding when I was 9 after riding a horse on holiday. I used to work at the local stables for free rides in the days when you allowed to jump on a horse bare back and ride back to the field in a head collar.
I eventually saved up and bought my own horse at the age of 14.
My interests lie with Showjumping and Eventing enjoying in particular Cross Country which I did not take up till the age of 52.
I’ve been a member of CVRC for about 14 years, been so long I can’t remember?
I currently organise Showjumping/ XC teams for the club and I’m the club representative for the area 14 committee.
I’ve recently retired from teaching after 36 years hoping to spend more time with my 3 horses and 3 Grandchildren and of course riding club activities.

Lisa O’Sullivan

I joined Colne Valley back in 2014. I had a very difficult and challenging horse at the time, and Colne Valley were so supportive and understanding, so I also decided to join the committee! I help produce the newsletters.
I have been riding for most of my life, it has been the one constant that I have had, which for like many of us, has been a saving grace My Gramps sat me on a pony at the Suffolk Show when I was three years old and the rest is history! I compete in all disciplines but prefer anything to do with jumping! I have mostly competed with friends’ horses over the last 18 months as my horse, Roo (pictured), has been out of action on and off with fractured side bone and then Kissing Spine…but we seem to be on the road to recovery again and hope to be back out ASAP.

Sara Copland

I joined CVRC in 2012 and I enjoy participating in all the clinic from Tammy to Le Trec and love taking part in the camps. I often help out at the dressage shows. I joined the committee in 2019 and am really enjoying being part of the team.