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Stamina and Skill on show at  The Pony Club Endurance Championships

The Pony Club Endurance Championships were held on Sunday 08 October 2017 across two venues; New Park Rufus in Hampshire and The Royalties in South Lincolnshire.

Over 40 competitors took part in rides ranging from 20 to 55km around parkland, lakes, fields, surfaced horse trails and bridle ways and along quiet roads.

For the first time this year the Championships were held in two different locations to give more Members the opportunity to compete at them, and the scores from each venue amalgamated to decide the overall results.

Results were as follows:

• 19 year old Caitlin Birkitt won the Open level ride (52-55km) riding Llanfyllin Roseanne for the Vale of York Branch. A great result having been placed 2nd for the previous two years
• 16 year old Lola Chapman, new to Endurance this year, won the Intermediate level ride (40-45km) riding No Money No Honey for the Quorn Hunt
• 8 year old Jessica Lewis won the Novice level ride (32km) riding Farchynys Tecwyn for the Hurworth Hunt Branch
• The team prize went to the Area 3 team of Caitlin Birkitt, Jessica Lewis, Elizabeth Molyneux, Imogen Lockwood and Faye Greensit.
• In the Grassroots level (20km), the team prize went to The Tickham Red Team of Imogen Sims, Toby De Lucy, Jessica De Lucy, Leo Mulroney and Harry Foulds-Brant.

Robert Blane, Chairman of Pony Club Endurance, said: “The idea of moving our Championships to two separate venues was a great success. Some fantastic riding was achieved by our Members, resulting in good speeds and low heart rates which proved the fitness of their mounts. Many thanks must go to Thay Stephenson and Emma Moffat who ran the two EGB rides we used for these competitions; they were invaluable.”

Robert went on to thank the event’s sponsors; Silverfeet, and Emerald Green Fields in the north and New Forest Branch parents who organised the prizes for the Southern Championships.

He also paid tribute to the incredible army of volunteers who organised and ran the event and members of staff at the venues who ensured the smooth running of the Championships.

Endurance Riding is a ride, usually over open country, along a specified route for a set distance with specific speed requirements.  Competitors are issued with a map of the route a few days before the competition which they need to study carefully and measure in order to plan their ride. 

There are five types of Pony Club Endurance Rides, each differing in distance.  The shorter Robin and Merlin Training rides, open to Members aged five and over, are an ideal introduction to the discipline. There are three classifications of competition or qualification rides which are called Kestrel (Novice Qualifier), Osprey (Intermediate Qualifier) and Eagle (Open Qualifier).

Anyone with a sound pony or horse can participate in Pony Club Endurance; Members do not need a particular breed or type of pony or any specialist equipment.

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