Horse Show

Nicco doing the countryside challenge

Sunday 1st July saw our annual Horse Show take place. Our riders could take part in dressage and/or countryside challenge classes and for the second year running the weather was very kind to us.

The morning was dedicated to dressage. First up were the off-lead dressage tests, which were kindly judged by Linda Nelson. This class was won by Holly riding Dusty. This was Dusty’s first attempt at RDA dressage and he was a very good boy. One of the great things about holding this competition at home is that all of our riders have the opportunity to compete. When we go out to competition we are unable to take all the ponies and horses as they have to undergo additional training to ensure that they will be safe in an unfamiliar environment with all the added complications of competition too. For our new horses this show at home introduces them to bigger audiences, a greater range of sights and sounds whilst still in a familiar environment so is a key part of their training.

Holly and Dusty in their dressage test
Holly and Dusty

The next class up was the freestyle, which could be completed with or without music. Here the riders choose what dressage movements to include and both the music and the movements should suit the horse. The winner of the freestyle was Claire riding Oural. This was Oural’s first off-lead RDA dressage competition and he had been drafted in at the last minute as Rafferty had gone lame. This was only the second time that Claire had ridden Oural (the previous time was a hack) and was an important competition as it was the dress rehearsal for the National Championships two weeks later.

Claire in her wheelchair with rosette
Claire receiving her rosette and trophy from Linda

The final dressage class of the day was the led class that was kindly judged by Gwen Egginton. This class was won by Evie riding Jaybee. Evie has not been riding long so this was a real success. She also had the highest overall dressage score and therefore won the ‘Jet the Blue Peter Pony’ trophy for the highest score across all dressage classes. The trophy was presented by Mrs Mary Mitchell. Well done Evie.

Mary and Evie with rosette and trophy

Following the dressage, the afternoon was spent doing the Countryside Challenge. Again there were three classes, one for riders with sidewalkers, a led class and an independent class. The first obstacle on the Countryside Challenge course is to post a letter in the post box.

Boycie standing by post box

It was a warm day and all the spectators tried to stay in the shade of the hedge. Here you can see our Chairman James and Scorer Gill, watching the activity in the Countryside Challenge ring. The winner of the class for riders with a side walker was Isabella who has only been riding since May last year. The winner of the led class was Andrew, which follows up his second place at the regional championship in May.

James and Gill

The final class of the day was the Independent Class. This was a very fiercely contended class that produced some of the highest scores of the day but more on that later. For William who has ridden with us for about 30 years it was a lovely celebration of his time riding at Barrow Farm as it was his last ride with us before moving to Oxfordshire. In the end the class was won narrowly following an excellent round by Isabelle on Tango.

Isabelle and Tango at the apple tree obstacle

We award a very special trophy to the rider with the highest score over all the Countryside Challenge classes. The John Adler Trophy celebrates all the hard work that John did for the group in over 30 years as a Trustee. The winner this year was Isabelle on Tango. The trophy and rosette were presented to Isabelle by last year’s winner Charlotte. Well done Isabelle!

Isabelle holding rosette and trophy with Charlotte

Thank you to all those who sponsored the classes including Kampa, Thermotel, Spring GM, Murphy and the Peck Family.

Finally we have to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who made this day possible. We needed lots of help stewarding as well as all the helpers working with the horses and ponies. Thanks also to all those who made scones and cakes for the strawberry tea, we raised £300.