The sudden loss of Captain Tony Collings reverberated throughout the Equestrian world but was felt most by the local population of Porlock.
Tony had been a figurehead to many and a friend to many more and it was very hard for local people to accept that his almost ‘taken for granted’ presence in the village was to be no more.
Badminton Horse Trials 1954 was overshadowed by the death of Tony Collings. He had been the inspiration for many horsy activities and particularly the horse trials side of Equestrianism. The work undertaken at Porlock during 1951 and 1952 preparing for the Helsinki Olympic games had laid a strong foundation from which unexpectedly strong results were built on contributing to our modern, successful horsemanship.
After many days of consultation at Porlock Vale Riding School, between Tony’s parents, wife and remaining staff, the decision whether to take Tony’s horse Killultagh to Badminton was made. It was decided that all his hard work and the training of the horse should not go to waste. The most difficult decision was who should ride her. Who was going to be able to do justice to the horse that Captain Collings should have ridden?

Many riders were discussed but eventually the ride was given to Lt. N. Arthur, who gave an extremely good account of himself under such sad circumstances finishing in a very creditable 8th position with a penalty score of 134.47.
1954 was the first year that women riders became a distinctive element at Badminton. Miss Margaret Hough entered and rode her horse Bambi V who, in 1952, had been one of the horse on the Olympic team trained by Tony Collings for Helsinki. In 1954 Badminton was won by Bambi and Margaret Hough.
Porlock had provided, directly and indirectly, three horses in four years all achieving high standards at Badminton. Captain Tony Collings won on Remus in 1950. Brian Young, Assistant Instructor at Porlock rode Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Hutton’s Dandy; while the horse was in training at Porlock for the 1952 Olympic team to second place that year. Perhaps Margaret Hough’s win in 1954 was an unwitting memorial to Tony Collings.
After the memorial service Porlock began to return to normal. Porlock Vale Riding School had to continue as before. The working pupils continued to look after the horses and the students on the equitation and Horsemasters courses finished their studies.
Mr. J. R. Schofield, who had joined Arthur Owen as an investor and advisor, were both now faced with the daunting task of finding a replacement senior instructor for Porlock.

CHAPTER 5

Decisions

Margaret Hough riding
Bambi to victory at Badminton
1954

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