Pony Club Home International teams announced

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Looking ahead to Pony Club Dressage Home International

Organisers of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series has announced the teams who will represent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the Omega Equine Pony Club Dressage Home International. Participants achieved their places through an open qualifying round system and have submitted their filmed dressage tests to be shown during the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series Livestream, from 1pm on Sunday 27 September 2020.

The online Show was the obvious place to host a version of Royal Windsor Horse Show’s Pony Club Home International after the competition sadly couldn’t take place earlier this year. The Pony Club and Virtual Windsor teams collaborated in organising the competition, and it is a great example of how to leverage talents with a real ‘adapt and overcome’ spirit.

The Pony Club appointed Dressage Judges Clare Deithrick, John Robinson and Linda Pearce who bring their great experience to the competition. Each country’s team is composed of one Novice, one Intermediate and two Open riders.

Places on the teams are awarded to the highest placed riders of each nation in the qualifying rounds. Their scores are then added together to give the final team scores. The innovative qualifying method has thrown the competition open this year, with the criteria for entry only being that the competitor must be a current member of The Pony Club and must have two verifiable scores of 67% or over at the level they wish to compete at (or its British Dressage equivalent) in the 2018 – 2020 season.

The teams are a real demonstration of the breadth and depth of talent which The Pony Club nurtures, and the competition has given a chance for riders from every corner of the countries to try out for places.

For Laura King and Bellissima MKM, who ride the Open test for Northern Ireland, the Home International probably marks the last test they will ever ride for The Pony Club, having been a Member of the Iveagh since the age of eight.

At the other end of the scale, Reece Cunningham and Inside Out II are just starting out on their Pony Club careers, having impressed the judges to take the Intermediate spot for Scotland.

The Republic of Ireland is very much representing a talented new generation of riders, fielding a very young team which includes 10-year-old Charlotte Goor and Barkway State Affair, who ride their Novice test.The riders also show off an amazing array of horses and ponies from the British Isles and beyond, from fell pony Lownthwaite Savin (Rhona Forbes) who will compete for Scotland, to more traditional dressage types like Callum Robertson’s Irish Sportshorse, Ferro Curry.

As part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series, Olympic dressage rider and long-time supporter of The Pony Club Richard Davison has been interviewed by commentator Nick Brooks-Ward, alongside Marcus Capel, Chief Executive of The Pony Club.

The three, who are all fathers of Members reminisced about their own time in The Pony Club, their ‘best’ dressage tests, their most nerve wracking moments as Dads, discuss equality and debate who gets to ride Big Star in a fantasy jump off! 

A great supporter of the organisation, the four-time Olympian, Davison said, “The Pony Club gave me the grounding for spending all the years that I have done as a professional in equestrian sport and training horses – and it’s funny because I actually didn’t ride a dressage test I don’t think during the time I was a member of The Pony Club!”

Family of wrens found in RDA stable

Good news to boost the spirits is always welcome, particularly given the current climate. So volunteers at Chalkdown Riding for the Disabled Group were surprised and thrilled to find a family of wrens nesting in an unexpected location recently.

Emma Ginger discovered the ‘self-isolating’ family in an old grazing muzzle that was hanging up in the entrance to the hay shed and snapped the fabulous photo as she was doing her usual daily yard duties looking after the ponies.

Members of Chalkdown RDA Group prepare for action: Photo and words by Joanna Sale

“It has been such a rewarding sight and gives us all a bit of hope in these unprecedented times.”

With the whole of the Riding for the Disabled operation shut down for Lockdown, it was a joyful boost to spirits when Eastbourne RDA discovered that they had a new addition to the Group on the way.

One of their lovely volunteers, Helen Waters, bought a cob mare called Coco last spring. “In the summer, we started to use her in our sessions and she was wonderful” says Sarah Groome from the Group. ”But by December, Helen began to have a suspicion that Coco was pregnant”.

At the end of January, her suspicions were confirmed by the vet and on March 21, right near the start of Lockdown, the adorable Arizona (Ari for short) was born!

Luckily, Helen keeps Coco and Ari at a friend’s yard and she arranged for Helen to ‘self-isolate’ in the groom’s accommodation so she could be close to the new arrival.

“I believe that this is Eastbourne’s first home-bred, RDA pony” said Sarah.

RDA ponies are very special as they have to look after their riders with a calm, well behaved manner. But Ari is already proving to be a great RDA mount in the making, having passed the ‘umbrella’ test with flying colours.

In the South East there are 35 groups across Surrey, Sussex and Kent with over 2,000 riders of all ages. They come to enjoy the experience of riding, carriage driving, show jumping, dressage endurance and western style, with opportunities to learn a new skill, enter competitions or even take a holiday.

This can bring a new dimension to necessarily restricted lives, encourage independence and does much to improve a wide range of medical conditions. We have the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers who regularly and cheerfully give up their free time. Our instructors work closely with physiotherapists and other health professionals to encourage every individual to aim for attainable goals – some modest, others far more ambitious.



West Hants Pony Club victory

West Hants Pony Club did it again in the final of the Thistledown Developments Pony Club Mounted Games Prince Philip Cup. Entering the final round of games in the lead on 81 points, there was still all to play for with the double points on offer at Horse of the Year Show.

The four teams through to the final round were; West Hants Pony Club, Atherstone Hunt Pony Club, Staff College & Sandhurst Hunt Pony Club and Strathearn Branch of the Pony Club. The Games this year were themed around the Pony Club’s 90th birthday and included games such as the balloon race, the birthday cake race and the traditional flag race with a celebratory twist.

Winners of the Prince Phillip Cup- West Hants Pony Club                 Photo: Julian Portch

With three riders from last year’s winning team, West Hants members led the way in the Pony Club’s 90th anniversary year. Showing great camaraderie, athleticism and skill, they embodied everything Prince Philip wanted to achieve when he set up the games 62 years ago. Going into the last game over 20 points ahead of the other three teams, it was clear that they would be out right winners.

The final scores were as follows:

  • West Hants: 127 points
  • Atherstone Hunt: 95 points
  • Staff College & Sandhurst Hunt: 85 points
  • Strathern: 83 points

The West Hants Branch was established in 1967 and their mounted games team is trained today by Jo Morris. Team member Libby Hawkins spoke for the team: “It’s absolutely amazing to win here once let alone twice! We just wanted to go out there and have fun because it is the last year on the team for some of us. Competing in the arena in front of so many people is an amazing feeling.”

The Pony Club is a training organisation where you can take part in rallies, train for Pony Club tests and earn achievement badges. The Pony Club is the only equestrian organisation to cover every discipline, including dressage, showjumping, eventing, Mounted Games, pony racing, polo, polocrosse, tetrathlon and endurance. Above all, you can make friends and have fun!

Membership is open to boys and girls under 25 years of age. For more information, visit the website www.pcuk.org or call 024 7669 8300.

New sponsor for British Riding Clubs championship

British Riding Clubs (BRC) is delighted to announce the securement of a new sponsor for the BRC Intermediate Winter Championships 2020 with HorseHage & Mollichaff  taking over the role.

“These championships will be taking place on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 April 2020, at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, Buckinghamshire. We look forward to working with HorseHage & Mollichaff, producers of a range of high fibre forages, chaffs and complete feeds.

Past British Riding Club Champions ,Three Valleys Riding Club

“We are delighted to be able to support British Riding Clubs (BRC) through this sponsorship and recognise the importance of this organisation to the grass roots rider. We look forward to working with the team at BRC over the coming three years.” Said Chris Tar of HorseHage & Mollichaff.

The championship classes will be split over three two days, for teams and individuals, including both senior and junior riders.

Friday will include mixed junior and senior 100cm and 110cm show jumping and Novice to Advanced Medium level dressage.

Saturday will include senior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary level dressage. Sunday will include junior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary dressage.

The area qualifiers will get underway in October 2019 throughout the UK, with approximately 550 junior and senior riders qualifying for these championships. Further information on heights, course requirements and horse and rider eligibility can be found in the BRC Handbook.

“We are delighted to be working with HorseHage & Mollichaff for the next three years at BRC Intermnediate Winter Championships. These championships are now proving extremely popular with our members, with such a wide range of dressage and show jumping classes, appealing to riders competing at the higher levels.” Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

RDA dressage qualifier at Hickstead

 

New sponsor for British Riding Clubs

British Riding Clubs (BRC)  has announced the securement of a new sponsor for the BRC Intermediate Winter Championships 2020 by HorseHage & Mollichaff.

These championships will be taking place on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 April 2020, at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, Buckinghamshire. BRC looks forward to working with HorseHage & Mollichaff, producers of a range of high fibre forages, chaffs and complete feeds.

“We are delighted to be able to support British Riding Clubs (BRC) through this sponsorship and recognise the importance of this organisation to the grass roots rider. We look forward to working with the team at BRC over the coming three years.” Said Chris Tar of HorseHage & Mollichaff.

Show Jumping Champions Three Valleys Riding Club at a British Riding Clubs event  Photo courtesy of British Riding Clubs

The championship classes will be split over three two days, for teams and individuals, including both senior and junior riders.

Friday will include mixed junior and senior 100cm and 110cm show jumping and Novice to Advanced Medium level dressage.

Saturday will include senior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary level dressage.
Sunday will include junior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary dressage.

The area qualifiers will get underway in October 2019 throughout the UK, with approximately 550 junior and senior riders qualifying for these championships. Further information on heights, course requirements and horse and rider eligibility can be found in the BRC Handbook.

“We are delighted to be working with HorseHage & Mollichaff for the next three years at BRC Intermnediate Winter Championships. These championships are now proving extremely popular with our members, with such a wide range of dressage and show jumping classes, appealing to riders competing at the higher levels,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

BHS Riding School Championships

More than 100 riders qualified to represent thirteen riding schools from across the country and were last week given the chance to compete in dressage, show jumping and stable management at The British Horse Society’s (BHS) Riding School Championships which were held at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex in Rugby.

The one-of-a-kind, yearly competition provides riders from BHS Approved Centres, who don’t have their own horse with the opportunity to compete at a national level. This year, competitors were aged between eight to over 70 years-old and were even lucky enough to receive a special visit from a member of the Royal family, HRH The Princess Royal.

Fine facilities at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre

Phillipa Kemp, Stage 4 Accredited Professional Coach at Kimblewick Equestrian Centre in Norfolk said “My students may never have a chance to do something like this ever again and so they all arrived with the attitude that it doesn’t matter where they are placed, just so long as they enjoyed themselves. The BHS championships enable riders to experience competing as if they’re riding their own horse and this enables them to get a feel for the industry; I wish there was something like this when I was younger.”

Molly, who is eleven years-old and rides at Cottage Farm Stables said “It was my third year taking part in the championships and I loved every minute of it. This year was extra special because my younger sister, Lucy also got to take part for the first time and I felt very proud of her.”

Her younger sister, Lucy, eight-years old added “I had a really good time at my first championships and I think I did really well, especially in my dressage test. We even got to meet HRH The Princess Royal; she was so lovely. I can’t wait to come back next year!”

Oonagh Meyer, Head of Approvals at The British Horse Society said: We had another great year at our annual riding school championships; once again, it was lovely to see so many riders competing, who wouldn’t usually be given this opportunity without having their own horse. The BHS Approvals team would like to congratulate all those who took part and thank both Champion and Careers in Racing for kindly sponsoring this year’s competition.”

For a full list of results, visit:

https://www.bhs.org.uk/enjoy-riding/events-and-competitions/events/national-riding-schools-comp/2019-bhs-national-riding-schools-championship/bhs-national-riding-schools-championships-2019-results

Southdown Hunt West Open Spring Show

The Southdown Hunt West Open Spring Show  takes place on Sunday April 28 from 8.30am-5.30pm.
The venue is the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead and it is hosted by the Southdown Hunt West Pony Club.

Pony Club Spring Show takes place at Hickstead

Tickets for the event are available from sdhwpc.org
It is an event not to be  missed and bound to attract plenty of entries for this
pony club is highly competitive and last year took part in a tetrathlon at
Hickstead,  with 23 youngsters competing and all classes contested.
Definitely a date for the diary.

 

SEIB Novice Winter Championships

BRC welcomed a new title sponsor for this year’s event, SEIB Insurance Brokers, who have been involved with BRC sponsoring both the Quadrille and the Horse Trials Championships in previous years.

This year’s BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Novice Winter Championships, took place on March 30 and 31 2019, at Arena UK in Grantham, Lincs.

This was a two day competition, for senior and junior riders, with almost 500 competitors taking part in team 80cm show jumping championships and a range of prelim and novice dressage championship classes for both teams and individuals.

The weather was superb over the weekend, with the five dressage arenas bathed in glorious sunshine all day Saturday. This year BRC also introduced several direct entry dressage classes for both veteran horse and rider, grassroots intro and native type dressage at prelim and novice level.

South Durham Saddle Club senior dressage team winners

Nicolina Mackenzie, SEIB Insurance Brokers Marketing Manager was on hand all weekend to present rosettes and sashes: “SEIB are delighted to be sponsoring these Championships this year, it gives riders something to look forward to, and compete in, during the long winter. I have been very impressed with the overall standard of the competitors and their lovely horses and ponies.

“This is the first time we have been involved and it has been a great experience, I have really enjoyed chatting to the riders. SEIB are the complete equestrian insurance broker offering cover for everything from the horsebox and trailer to horse and pony, riding school, livery yard and private home with stables.”

This year’s winners were: Senior Novice Winter Dressage Team Championship 1, South Durham Saddle Club from Area 2, which finished on a team score of 12, just one point ahead of last year’s team winners Atherstone & District RC from Area 5. Dawn Dalby riding Myshall Travis won her arena with Helen Williams riding Secretly Unique and Caroline Tough riding Trevoulter Silver Replica continuing in great form following their tremendous successes last year. Victoria Parker riding Thornbeck Andrew, also put in a great performance to finish fourth in her arena.

“We did well at the qualifier and we have four consistent horses but you never know what will happen on the day or how you will compare as everyone who is here is really good,” said Victoria Parker. “To win overall is fantastic and we will definitely be having a night out to celebrate.”

The senior overall individual dressage champion, Kerry Tyrell riding Himoons Spellbound – New Forest RC in Area 17 was absolutely thrilled with her homebred, gelding.

“My biggest problem is remembering the test so when I went down the centre line at the end I was so happy to have got that far that I forgot to set up for the halt and we fell into it,” said Kerry.

“I only have a field to work in so we mainly hack out and only tend to canter at competitions or during lessons. Recently he has been really struggling when transitioning from canter to trot as he nosedives because his back end is so powerful but today I managed to put my leg on and ride him into it and it was one of the best tests we’ve ever done.”

Senior 80 Winter Show Jumping Championship    

Nick Staines once again built a bright, exciting championship show jumping track, which saw two teams finishing on eight faults after the two rounds, requiring a jump-off. Finn Valley RC from Area 14, kept their cool to post slightly quicker jump-off rounds to lift this year’s title. Longton RC from Area Area 3 took second place and Bath RC finished third.

The overall individual winner was student, Kayleigh Bowen riding her 14.2hh, Welsh, light bay, mare, Blaencwn Brenhenis from Cwmaman RC in Area 21, producing the fastest clear round jump-off time, from the ten double clear rounds during the day.

 

Junior Novice Winter Dressage Team Championship New Forest RC in Area 17, lifted the junior title, finishing on a team score of nine, two points ahead of an Area 9 team on eleven. All four New Forest RC team riders produced excellent individual tests and were so pleased with this result. Both Matteo Lallo riding Morrigian Bernardino and Callum Robertson riding Ferro Curry won their respective dressage arenas.

Junior Individual Champion Charlotte Lane riding New Oak Thyme from Ingatestone & Blackmore Riding Club

The overall individual junior champion was Charlotte Lane riding New Oak Thyme from Ingatestone & Blackmore RC Area 8. Charlotte and her diminutive bay pony produced a beautiful, expressive individual N24 test, which also helped her team to finish third.

“All I can say is ‘wow’,” said Charlotte. “I’m really proud of his test – particularly of the medium trot and the stretch in his walk – and of him, he tried so hard and was just brilliant today.”

Junior Novice Show Jumping Championship

This year saw Barnard Castle & Teesdale RC from Area 2, in County Durham secured the win, finishing on a team score of eight faults. The girls were so excited to clinch this title. Penistone & District RC and Billericay & District RC were second and third respectively, both on 16 faults, but Penistone had the quicker team round times.

The overall junior individual winner was 18 year old Sarah Endean riding her 23 year old ISH coloured, gelding, Bunnow Magpie from Tendring Hundred RC in Area 8, who finished in the quickest jump-off time, with three clear rounds.

BRC would once again like to thank sponsor SEIB Insurance Brokers and all the tremendous volunteers who helped made this such a successful weekend.

All results can be found on the BRC website:

http://www.bhs.org.uk/enjoy-riding/british-riding-clubs/brc-championships/winter-championships

New British Riding Clubs’ championship

A new arena eventing championship for British Riding Clubs in 2019 has been kindly sponsored for the first time by HorseQuest UK, whose the team will be welcomed at  the first of this season’s exciting BRC Championships.

These will be taking place at Aston le Walls in Northamptonshire on March 9 and 10. The senior and junior riders, competing in teams and as individuals, have already pre-qualified in their areas across the UK.

These area qualifiers have been a great success and have resulted in more than  470 riders coming to this year’s inaugural event.

Arena Eventing action
Photo: British Eventing

They will be contesting a range of classes which will run across the two days as follows:

Saturday March 9 – 70cm (mixed), 80cm (juniors), 90cm (juniors)

Sunday March 10 – 80cm (seniors), 90cm (seniors), 100cm (mixed)

“This brand new Championship was originally introduced as a result of member feedback, and it will give clubs another chance to compete and have fun together,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

Arena Eventing is now proving to be extremely popular throughout the UK, especially during the winter months. The BRC Championship classes will consist of a course of show jumps immediately followed by cross-country fences, and will finish with the last fence as a show jump, called The Joker.

This key fence will be set at a discretionary 10cm higher than the rest of the course. There will be a maximum of 20 jumping efforts,  nine show jumping, ten cross-country fences as well as the joker show jump fence.

British Riding Clubs will welcome everyone to Aston le Walls for the climax of this new Arena Eventing series, where visitors will be able to browse the latest adverts on its tradestand, and find out more about our membership club HorseQuest Advantage.

Plus there will be the chance to win a show jumping lesson with its Ambassador Bex Mason, which will subsequently be featured in the BRC Rider magazine.