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View Full Version : Porlock Vale Students Unite!



mlrl2820
Aug. 3, 2009, 05:27 PM
Greetings, I am looking for anyone and everyone who may have attended the Porlock Vale Equitation Centre in Somerset, UK. We have a Facebook page and are sharing experiences, catching up with old friends, and so on. If you attended in any form or fashion, please join us.
Mary-Louise (Robey) LeVeen '75

cavalli
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:46 PM
I was there twice in 1976 for my AI and in 1978 for my II. Such good memories:yes:

mlrl2820
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:53 PM
I'm thinking you were there when John Lassiter was the Chief Instructor? I left in March or April of '76. Do you remember any of the horses, such as the one you looked after? Would you like to join the FB group? we already have 25 members and some you may remember. Check out the site anyway; just type in 'Porlock vale students' in the FB search box.
Marylouise

Gryhrs
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:35 PM
Does a week count?????? If it would give me extra credit points.......I loved every minute of it! I finally learned to look up when jumping down banks when my instructor would scream at me " LOOK AT WALES!!!!!!"

Do they still have an equestrian center there?

mlrl2820
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:45 PM
Absolutely it counts. I have heard the 'Look at Wales' cry before though did not hear it personally on my course. When were you there?
Unfortunately, the riding school recently closed but the house is available for weekly rentals. The photos indicate that many of the cross country jumps are still intact.
Please check out our Facebook page; you never know - you may find someone you remember! I don't know your email or I would send you a link, but just type in 'porlock vale students' in the FB search box and that will take you there.
MaryLouise

Ghazzu
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:57 PM
I read "The Horsemasters" about a dozen times as a kid.
I *so* wanted to go to Porlock Vale!

Dee
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:46 PM
My big dream was to attend Prolock Vale when I was 10 years old after seeing The Horsemasters Disney movie way back in 1966! One of my best buds who is also my wonderful trainer, Betsey Pack is a Porlock Vale alumni--I'll pass this on to her! Do you have the book Porlock Vale Riding School 1946 - 1961? I think I got it on Amazon; it's written by the founder's daughter I believe...lots of history and pics.

lintesia
Aug. 4, 2009, 02:01 AM
My dream was to do the "Horsemasters" course after reading the book "The Horsemasters" way back in the 60's. I must have been about 10 years old. Lo and behold, in my ripe mid-forties I took myself off to England (Yorkshire Riding Centre) and Scotland (Gleneagles) and did intensive BHS training. I even bought a wisp and I was actually asked to demonstrate its proper use during my Stage 1 exam!

P.S. I still have the book -- it's a cherished possession!

copper1
Aug. 4, 2009, 07:53 AM
Porlock was my dream as well after watching the movie! (I bought both the movie and book off Ebay recently!) Never got to go but went to Potomac Horse Center where several of the instructors had gone or worked at Porlock Vale!

mlrl2820
Aug. 4, 2009, 10:37 AM
That movie certainly generated interest in the school; unfortunately I was not allowed to watch the night it aired - something about a poor mark on a test. Jacqueline Peck who wrote the book about the early days at Porlock is in our Facebook group and has shared loads of memories and photos. Please check out our Facebook page!
Marylouise

Moderator 1
Aug. 4, 2009, 11:29 AM
Hi Marylouise ~

Welcome to the forums! We try to avoid crossposting threads to mulitple forums to reduce clutter and keep info together, so we merged your threads into one here in Off Course, which is seen by participants of multiple disciplines.

If you'd prefer it to be in another forum, just send me a note, and I can move it over there.

Enjoy the board!
Mod 1

lilblackhorse
Aug. 4, 2009, 11:29 AM
I read "The Horsemasters" about a dozen times as a kid.
I *so* wanted to go to Porlock Vale!

you an me both. I wonder where my book is? It was so little and fat, remember? I too had a wisp, probably still have it somewhere in my old tackbox

monstrpony
Aug. 4, 2009, 11:45 AM
That movie certainly generated interest in the school; unfortunately I was not allowed to watch the night it aired - something about a poor mark on a test. Jacqueline Peck who wrote the book about the early days at Porlock is in our Facebook group and has shared loads of memories and photos. Please check out our Facebook page!
Marylouise

OMG, you too!! I had some assignment that I hadn't completed yet, and I wasn't allowed to watch it that night, either! One of the worst punishments, ever, and I remember every second of it, while the rest of the family was down in the living room with the TV and a big bowl of popcorn, and I was on lockup in my bedroom! Too funny!

Going there was my dream, as well. And my Monstrpony was the reincarnation of that big horse with the messy stall (tho he never lived up to the XC ride at the end).

arabianeventing
Aug. 4, 2009, 02:02 PM
Hello! What a nice 'memory jog' this thread is. I got my BHSAI from Porlock in 1971. I just dug my old pictures out and here are the horses I have photos of: Dunkery (the mare I took care of), Bracken, Teal, Whiskey, Picadilly, Sport, Jigsaw, Scrumpy, Aer Lingus, Rambler (Rosy), Killarney, Roulette, Thistle, Panther, Piege, Madam, Sunrise, Selworthy, Ben's Pride (Pridley), Honeymorn, Recorder, and Jonathan. The instructors (whose last names I do not remember) who were there at that time were Josephine, Cheryl, and Tony; Colonel John Crawford was the head of the school and occasionally gave us lectures or instruction. I have some old 8mm movies of a couple of our jumping lessons, as well as of us swilling down the yard (we even had a song that we sang while we did it, and I still remember one verse and the refrain!). Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

mlrl2820
Aug. 4, 2009, 02:04 PM
Hi Marylouise ~

Welcome to the forums! We try to avoid crossposting threads to mulitple forums to reduce clutter and keep info together, so we merged your threads into one here in Off Course, which is seen by participants of multiple disciplines.

If you'd prefer it to be in another forum, just send me a note, and I can move it over there.

Enjoy the board!
Mod 1

OK, you're the boss, but I don't see that someone searching in 'Dressage' would necessarily also look in 'Off Course'.
Thx for the heads up.
Marylouise

msj
Aug. 4, 2009, 03:27 PM
Porlock was my dream as well after watching the movie! (I bought both the movie and book off Ebay recently!) Never got to go but went to Potomac Horse Center where several of the instructors had gone or worked at Porlock Vale!

Ditto Copper1.:) I was there after Stretch Harding brought Betty Howett and Collette Stevens over. Lockie Richards was there also but I believe that Lockie came from Fulmer, not Porlock Vale.

Did my horsemasters AI in the fall '65 I think. I stayed on and managed the 'top barn' for maybe a yr after Lockie and Jane left for PA. I loved every minute of it. :D :D :D

mlrl2820
Aug. 5, 2009, 03:26 PM
Desperately seeking fellow alumni of Porlock Vale Equitation Centre!
Are you one of us or do you know someone who is?
We have a Facebook group and are growing by the day.
Come join us and relive some of those great days on the muck heap and moors!
MaryLouise (Robey) LeVeen '74-'76

Bostonbadger
Aug. 11, 2009, 10:24 PM
Thanks Mary Louise for starting the Facebook page. It's so much fun "meeting up" with former classmates and students too. There are so many of us out there, I only hope that they will join in the fun, especially since we're talking reunion! Great seeing the pictures posted so far and hope that there will be many more.
Side note to msj, Lockie Richards was on staff at Porlock and in the early 70's here, still talked fondly of the old school.

msj
Aug. 12, 2009, 09:33 AM
Thanks Mary Louise for starting the Facebook page. It's so much fun "meeting up" with former classmates and students too. There are so many of us out there, I only hope that they will join in the fun, especially since we're talking reunion! Great seeing the pictures posted so far and hope that there will be many more.
Side note to msj, Lockie Richards was on staff at Porlock and in the early 70's here, still talked fondly of the old school.

Thanks for the update on Lockie. I do believe I remember hearing or reading in the COTH that he had died.

Does anyone have any information on Betty Howett or Collette Stevens?

Doodlebug1
Aug. 12, 2009, 07:09 PM
My dream was to do the "Horsemasters" course after reading the book "The Horsemasters" way back in the 60's. I must have been about 10 years old. Lo and behold, in my ripe mid-forties I took myself off to England (Yorkshire Riding Centre) and Scotland (Gleneagles) and did intensive BHS training. I even bought a wisp and I was actually asked to demonstrate its proper use during my Stage 1 exam!

P.S. I still have the book -- it's a cherished possession!

Hi there - did you know there is a YRC group on Facebook too - just search under Yorkshire Riding Centre. there are some good photos of the old days - and lots of new ones too.

Bostonbadger
Aug. 20, 2009, 07:00 PM
It's official, there is going to be a Porlock reunion at the Ford in October 2010 and we're looking for alumni from all years whom attended!
If you know of anyone whom attended the school, please let them know about the Facebook page for Porlock Students and ask them to check in there.

Dr. Ruth
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:25 PM
I came to Porlock Vale in the summer of 1973 with a friend. We took the AI course and then stayed on to teach there. Yvonne Nelson wa the head Instructor and Col. Crawford was there. Jane was his secretary. The man who owned Porlock Wier Hotel owned the School then.

I ended up staying there for 3 years. I did one and three day eventing on a horse called Serenade. I also was 'head girl' for one year and ran the stables. Then I worked more on the teaching staff.

I got the Stable Management part of my "I" and was very happy about that.

As most of the posting remark, it was a wonder time in my life and I fondly remember all my time there. I espically liked riding on the Moor. I spent a lot of time there getting my horse fit for eventing. No other place have I found where you could ride 'for ever' it seemed with out fenses or roads to heam you in.

We would take some of the horses hunting so they could be sold. I remember going fox and stag hunting. It seemed like no place in the world could you have all you had there in that small part of the world!!

I was back to Porlock about 9 yrs ago and they had the house and the stables were still the same. Yet it was not really a riding school as I had remembered it.

I do thank God that I had the opportunity to be there when it was in its 'hay day' so to speak.

Dr. Ruth Cox

Dr. Ruth
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:32 PM
Desperately seeking fellow alumni of Porlock Vale Equitation Centre!
Are you one of us or do you know someone who is?
We have a Facebook group and are growing by the day.
Come join us and relive some of those great days on the muck heap and moors!
MaryLouise (Robey) LeVeen '74-'76
Mary Louse Robey, you must have been at Porlock the same time I was there, 73-76.

What are you doing these days?? Do you have contact with others who were there during 73-76??

Ruth Cox

Event4Life
Jan. 31, 2011, 06:57 AM
Hi there - did you know there is a YRC group on Facebook too - just search under Yorkshire Riding Centre. there are some good photos of the old days - and lots of new ones too.


I went to YRC - Summer of 2004!! Oh, the memories....some great, some not so good. But what a intensive summer & amazing learning experience.

JMurray
Jan. 31, 2011, 07:46 AM
I read "The Horsemasters" about a dozen times as a kid.
I *so* wanted to go to Porlock Vale!


Me too!

How about a wannabe group!

mlrl2820
Feb. 13, 2011, 10:34 AM
Update to all PVEC students and friends:
Our Porlock Vale Student group on Facebook has grown to 70 members - and this is without any advertising!
Lots of new photos and discussions are being posted.
Join us!!!

For all who are not FB fans; a new website is in the making.

DeeThbd
Feb. 13, 2011, 03:51 PM
My lovely gelding's breeder (from FL) identifies herself as having attended there - she is infrequent on FB, but I will PM her and direct her to this thread.
Cheers!
Dee

Francine
Oct. 1, 2014, 03:26 PM
I spent many happy holidays at Porlock in the 1980s and eventually did a stint as cook/housekeeper in 1987 - Keeley Davies and Josephine Batty Smith were the owner and chief instructress at the time. I went there again when Pat and Paddy bought it but have not been anywhere near there for many years. Thinking of renting the house for husband's big birthday next year. Loved seeing the video and Orlando under sidesaddle...