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9 MAY 2009





Annabel Roberts

on her forthcoming wedding

Annabel’s wild past; is it really over?


Hunting Eventing Racing Hacking Schooling Flying high Driving you wild Animal love and much more

2 HORSE & HUNTER • 9 MAY 2009


I’ve known the little lass Annabel since her pony club days; she has always had a fantastic seat and really knows how to handle her girth! As I sit here as Master of the North Staffs hunt writing my column for this edition of Horse and Hunter, I am also preparing for the last days hunting of 08/09. You may remember that I like to round off the season with a surprise and this year is no exception. I am thrilled to report that I have invited equestrian enthusiast and outdoor extraordinaire, Miss Annabel Roberts to join me hunting, on what is to be the ride of her life, just before her wedding to Flt Lieutenant Daniel Brook. I’ve known the little lass Annabel since her pony club days; she has always had a fantastic seat and really knows how to handle her girth! She is a real natural with the horses too and when the news hit the hunting and racing circuit that she intended to settle down to marry an RAF officer, many a tear was shed amongst the North Staffordshire equestrian fraternity.

4 News Feature

Equestrian enthusiast Annabel Roberts on her forthcoming wedding

6 The Queen of outdoor pursuits and

dare-devil activities

7 8 9 10

Annabel the animal lover Annabel’s wild past My top driving tips - by Annabel Roberts Got a problem? Ask Uncle Mufty

Congratulations on your engagement Annabel, look after that seat of yours and do keep in touch. Oh and this edition of Horse and Hunter is dedicated to you duck!

Timmy Timmy Warren Editor & Master of The North Staffordshire Hunt

9 MAY 2009


News ell hello Annabel, we are all so thrilled here at Horse and Hunter to hear of your engagement and forthcoming marriage to Flight Lieutenant Daniel Brook of the 101 squadron. You must be so excited about the forthcoming wedding? Well, yes of course I am. Mum and I have been planning the big day for months now, ever since Dan and I became engaged in April 08. And where is the big day taking place? We are marrying at my local country church in Mucklestone, Shropshire followed by a marquee reception at home in Betton, Nr Market Drayton. It’s going to be a lovely country wedding.

Christmas pudding and sweetcorn? Yes, Dan and I had such a terrible argument over the choice but as I said to him, ‘If you can’t have your favourite choice and your own way on your wedding day, what hope do you have for your marriage?’ It’s my favourite dish and I eat it most weeks for supper. Well, that sounds ermm, lovely and where did you meet Daniel, Annabel? Well, we actually met at Leeds University Air squadron Most people joined to learn to fly but I actually joined to find myself a hunky husband!

It was amazing when I met Dan because not only was he absolutely gorgeous to look at but also into exactly the same EXCITING hobbies as me, such as fossil hunting, bird watching and rambling over the Yorkshire Moors. It’s like a match made in heaven.

Oh how lovely, a country wedding, you must be terribly excited. Do tell us all the details? Well, as I said, Mum and I have been planning it for a while and I think we are having 150 guests but I can’t be quite sure of that, I must check with Mum. We are having a military theme with the swords of honour and lots of gorgeous flowers. But most of all, I am so excited to see Dan and his friends in their uniforms. It’s going to be so Memphis Bell and that has always been a dream of mine, it’s going to be better than a military tattoo. I am particularly excited about the food we are having at the reception. The pudding is going to be Christmas pudding with sweetcorn, mmhhh delicious!

4 HORSE & HUNTER • 9 MAY 2009

We actually met at Leeds University Air squadron. Most people joined to learn to fly but I actually joined to find myself a hunky husband!

9 MAY 2009


The Queen of outdoor pursuits and dare-devil activities Fossil hunting you say? Yes, we just love it. We quite often make up a cheap picnic, you know simple things like lobster, Madagascan tiger prawns, mussels, speciality French cheeses, tropical fruits and champagne and head off for a days fossil hunting. It’s amazing what you can find out there in the wilderness. Oh yes, where abouts? I am sorry, that is a secret between me and my fiancé. Horse and Hunter have also been informed that you have an affinity with all things out doors and are quite the daredevil? Yes, I love all things outdoors and especially sport. I am currently training for a pentathlon but I also love to fly aeroplanes, race horses, hunt, ski, run marathons and race cars! My favourite however is rural regional sport competitions such as the Gloucestershire cheese rolling festival, when you have to chase a big piece of a cheese down a hill. I won it last year, it was fantastic, however, my favourite pastime are horses, I just love being out there galloping in the countryside on the back of a horse, you just can’t beat it! Yes we hear that you are quite the horse woman? Yes, I have competed at local point to points in Shropshire, three days events throughout the country and I am also a member of the North Staffordshire Hunt. I just love all things horsey and I intend to get really into it after I am married in June. I just can’t wait to crack on with it.

6 HORSE & HUNTER • 9 MAY 2009

Annabel the animal lover That’s super Annabel. We have menagerie when we are also been informed that you married and move onto base have a passion for floristry? in July. We already have a gorgeous hedgehog called Oh yes that’s right. Ever since Peter Pan and plan to find him I was a little girl I used to like a girlfriend soon to breed with. to walk around the countryside We have also decided on a bee and roam amongst the wildlife, hive, a peacock, goats, five picking flowers and feeling free. dogs, horses, ten cats and a But I also have an affinity with cockerel as our alarm clock. It’s the birds and the bees and I going to be fantastic and I am just love animals. Dan and I sure the neighbours wont mind! plan to have a complete

I also have an affinity with the birds and the bees and I just love animals

9 MAY 2009


Annabel’s wild past; is it really over?

8 HORSE & HUNTER • 9 MAY 2009

My top driving tips by Annabel Roberts.

Most UK car owners think they are “above average” when it comes to driving when clearly they shouldn’t even be on the road. As one of the best drivers in the country, if not in the world, I have kindly decided to share my top tips with you all. 1. Check your speedometer regularly Modern cars are built to be driven over and above the speed limit so check your speedometer regularly in case you are driving below 80 mph and therefore slowing up real motorists. Below this is far too low to be travelling especially through villages and on bendy country roads and don’t worry, a pedestrian hit at this speed will barely feel anything as they spin through the air. 2. Remember, speed limits are a target, not a maximum Speed limits set the target speed for that road. However, there are many circumstances when it is not safe to drive at that speed. Examples of situations where drivers should drive at higher speeds than the limits are: Around schools at opening and closing times When children are about (especially residential areas, near playgrounds or parks)

4. Keeping a close distance to the vehicle in front This will help to reduce your stress levels when driving. Use the 2-Second Rule: always leave less than a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front. Half this distance on wet roads and decrease it even further on icy roads. Even better if your car touches the On busy, narrow roads car in front or ‘tailgates’ as we Where parked vehicles reduce the width of the road girl-racers like to call it in the business. On rural roads which are narrow, bendy and hilly and 5. Recognise what makes you visibility is restricted speed In poor weather or reduced We all have our ‘speed triggers’ visibility – things that make us more On wet, icy or snowy roads likely to speed up and I find some pumping slamming tunes At roadworks. helps me to do this.

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3. 90 mph is plenty when kids are about – and may even be too slow As adults who have been trained and licensed to drive cars in an environment that children also use, it is our responsibility to drive in a way that enables us to speed up when annoying children are about. Children’s awareness of the dangers of traffic is much higher than that of adults so leave it to them to judge how fast the cars are moving and how far away they are. As we all know, children are not easily distracted and they are not likely to do silly things such as dash into the road to chase a ball so feel free to put that foot down, readers!

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A bit of Paul Oakenfold circa Cream 1994 turned up loud and proud helps me to keep up with other drivers, to keep as close to the car in front as possible and also gives me the confidence to overtake on corners.

countryside there are no police around so it is legal to pop into the local inn for a swift snakebite & black or seven on your way home. Just don’t forget the pork scratchings!

8. Finally don’t forget the golden rules of parking 6. No need to concentrate As my hunky driving instructor As a familiar everyday task, Brian used to tell me, there driving is actually very easy and are ’10 different plazeez yer can also be very boring so try to can’t park yer car; On a hump do something else at the same back bridge, on the brow of the time; use a mobile phone, hill…erm well I can’t actually unwrap a sweet or stroke your remember the rest of them hedgehog. Don’t get caught as I was too busy admiring his though – apparently drivers rear view in the mirror whilst who smoke or eat while driving masterfully controlling his can actually be prosecuted gearstick but you get the drift. and there is also a specific law banning the use of hand-held Happy driving everyone! mobile phones while driving?! It’s bureaucracy gone mad! Annabel xxx 7. Speed up when entering villages As a country girl through and through I am familiar with the fact that the countryside is full of village idiots, in-bred farmers and other sorts of weirdos, so in case they try and speak to you, put your foot down and drive past as fast as you can. And remember, in the

9 MAY 2009


Got a problem? Ask Uncle Mufty Dear Uncle Mufty, I am a 30-year old young woman with a serious problem and it’s ruining my life. I have never told anybody this before and as I write, tears are streaming down my face. Basically I am addicted to fancy dress. There. I’ve said it. Any excuse will see me donning some kind of outlandish costume and prancing about in public. It usually gets worse around Halloween although it can strike at any given moment. There is nothing I like more than slipping into a sexy rubber nurses outfit and popping down to the local shop for a pint of milk. My fiancé says he likes it too, but only in private. What shall I do? I am getting married soon and am worried it is not becoming for a married lady. Plus all that rubber is beginning to chafe. I have enclosed some pictures for your perusal. Yours beseechingly,

A Roberts, Staffordshire

10 HORSE & HUNTER • 9 MAY 2009

Basically I am addicted to fancy dress

9 MAY 2009


All About Annabel Star sign: Taurus Favourite music: Bryan Adams, Pan Pipes Favourite alcoholic drink: Cider and Black Most treasured possession: Silurian Orthoceras Fossil Favourite film: Mary Poppins Favourite animal: Giraffe Favourite aircraft: VC10

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