East Region Dressage and Countryside Challenge

Well done to all our riders who took part at the East Region Countryside Challenge and Dressage competitions on Sunday 22nd May. All the riders, ponies, volunteers and staff were immaculately presented and did an amazing job representing Barrow Farm. The horses and ponies behaved themselves (apart from giving in to the temptation of eating the lush grass in the ring) and all the riders did fantastically. We came home with rosettes of all colours.

Louise and Lula at the apple trees
Louise and Piper Lou picking an apple to put in the bucket

In the Countryside Challenge juniors with a helper Molly came 4th on Oural, Elodie came 5th on Oural and Louise came 6th on Piper Lou. In the led juniors Charlotte came 1st on Piper Lou and Harry came 3rd on Oural. In the unled juniors Emma S did a fantastic job of rising to the challenge of doing the course off-lead and came 2nd on Piper Lou. In the seniors Kirstie did a great job coming 5th on Rafferty who found the temptation of the grass just a little too much but Kirstie managed to keep him going. In the Introduction to Dressage Charlotte came 1st in the led juniors (a big well done to Charlotte who won both her classes – having already won Countryside Challenge  – and she took home three trophies as well!). Kirstie came 4th in the led seniors. Charlotte and Emma S both on Piper Lou qualified for the National Championships at Hartpury in July.

Molly and Owly doing the bending
Molly carefully steering Oural around the obstacles

In the Dressage qualifiers, in the 1b class Claire and Rafferty came 1st, Emma H and Piper Lou came 2nd. In the PVI class Lucy came 2nd on Rafferty. In the Freestyle to music Claire and Rafferty came 1st, Lucy and Rafferty came 3rd and Emma H and Piper Lou came 4th. All three riders qualified to go to the National Championships at Hartpury.

Rafferty warming up for dressage
Rafferty and Lucy warming up for dressage with coach Sally

None of this could have happened without the dedication of the staff to train the horses and ponies, the commitment of the riders and parents for all the practice and attending on the day, our great team of volunteers who do a lot of running around on the day and to the Augustine Courtauld Trust who provided financial support to enable us to provide this opportunity to so many riders. And of course a big shout out to the three ponies and horses, for Rafferty and Oural this was their first year competing and Piper Lou had her busiest year and rose to the challenge of doing more off-lead than ever before. I think we can safely say everyone had a great day, there was lots of concentration but also lots of smiles so well done to all and now we are we can look forward to the 15-17th July!

Take a look at our Facebook page for a video compilation of the day.

Thank you for your support at Open Day

Thank you to everyone who came to visit us at our Open Day on Saturday 14th May. It was amazing to see so many people there and it provided a great atmosphere for our riders and our horses and ponies to showcase their skills. Highlights of the day included a rainbow themed musical ride with the riders dressed up as ‘Red and yellow and pink and green’ to follow the words of the song they were riding too.

Rainbow ride with Oural, Tawny and Starra

Emma demonstrated her freestyle to music dressage test that she will ride at the RDA regional dressage competition on the 22nd May. Emma had to show her versatility when the CD with her music on was not in her riding bag and she had to change music at the last minute – I didn’t even realise it was not the correct music!

Lula and Emma doing dressage

The ponies showed off their skills in a Grease themed ride with Liv and Taylor riding Tawny and Boycie. Tawny was presented with his rosette and trophy for being the Exmoor Star of 2015. For more about Tawny see his Pony Page.

Tawny and Boycie do Grease

Tawny, Boycie, Tango and Starra also demonstrated their long reining skills to a farming themed music which caused much amusement to the audience.

Tango, Boycie and Tawny long reining

The 2pm Friday ride did an excellent country music themed ride and there was also a musical ride by the staff and Isobel on the big horses that did not all go quite according to plan.

Rafferty, Jaybee, Louie and Owly at start of musical ride
Thank you to Taylor Kearney for use of her photo

There was birthday cake to celebrate Barrow Farm RDA’s 40th birthday, thank you very much to Julie for making it!

Anne cutting birthday cake

There was also presentations for some of our many volunteers. We could not offer riding to disabled adults and children without our dedicated team of volunteers. A range of volunteer certificates were given out from 1 – 20 years (the highest number it goes up to I believe). Volunteers don’t just help with the rides. Receiving their certificates below is John our longest serving trustee (for more information about our trustees see the Trustees page) who organised the car park on Open Day and Sue a long serving ride volunteer who did an amazing job in the kitchen. As usual a big thank you to all our volunteers who did so many things to keep us going.

John receiving long service certificateSue receiving long service certificate


To see the video highlights of the day please see our Facebook page. It was a great celebration of Riding High for 40 years!