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Stars of the Future Shine through the Rain at The Pony Club Championships

Kindly supported by Berkeley Group, the 2018 Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle kicked off with Novice level competitors giving it their all in the Show Jumping and Dressage, and introduction of a new Open Novice competition.

In the Novice Team Show Jumping it was an unexpected win for the Worcestershire Hunt team of Lily Elliott riding Brickell Jackson, Ellie Wilson riding Irish Dancer Rose, Madeleine May riding Llechfryn Cadno and Olivia Turner riding Ardnaranla Tom. They said they felt ‘amazing’ and they all thanked Coach Hannah Jackson and their parents.  They hope to return next year.

Individually, Anna Wood took the top spot with two clear rounds riding TJ for the Glaisdale Hunt. Anna said: “I’ve waited years to get here! I’ve been to a lot of Championships, but as an individual this is the first time I’ve got as far as I have.” TJ has been part of the family for 15 years, and was ridden previously by Anna’s sister. “It was well worth the five hour journey to get here,” continued Anna, “and I’d like to thank my mum and my sister for their support.”

Over in the Arenas, Novice Team Dressage top honours went to the Avon Vale Hunt team of Chloe Brown riding Carranduna Diamond, Olivia Patterson riding Loughnatousa JD, Amber Fletcher riding Dissington View and Luke Bull riding Jerry. Chloe commented: “To win feels incredible! It’s been my dream to come here, and to do it on a horse I’ve only had for four months is amazing!” Olivia and Amber were delighted to win on their mum’s horses, and Luke praised his horse who he has owned for four years which has recently retired from Eventing to concentrate on Dressage.

The ride-off saw some strong performances for the Individual Novice Dressage title, but the win went to Sarah Gordon and Clonleigh Strike from the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt.  An overwhelmed Sarah said: “It’s such a surprise to win! My horse is lovely and such a good boy!” Sarah and Clonleigh Strike are also competing in the Eventing Championships, which is their main sport. Sarah continued: “I’d like to thank my mum, my Coach Sharon Edwards and everyone from the Old Surrey and Burstow Branch for their support.”

Being trialled for 2018, the Open Novice Dressage, Show Jumping and Open PC90 has been brought in for Members who have worked their way up to competing at Open/PC110 level but who have a novice or younger horse they wish to compete at Novice/PC90 level.

Taking the top spot in today’s Open Novice Dressage was Iveagh Branch’s Laura King riding Bellissima MKM. At just six years old, Laura was surprised that Bellissima MKM coped ‘perfectly’ with the Championship atmosphere on only her second trip overseas. Laura said: “My horse was broken late and we only started to compete last year, so I’m delighted with the win. I hope to be in the Open next year.”

Branch DC Vanne Campbell, who was elected in 1978 and is one of the longest ever serving DC’s within the organisation, commented “Laura is great at helping the younger ones with their Dressage, which will help improve all areas of training.”

It was another win for the Iveagh in the Open Novice Show Jumping where Emma-Jane Orr rode clear with Jazzy Susie. Emma-Jane said: “I was a bit worried about the double because my pony is short strided, but we went clear.” Emma-Jane continued to thank everyone involved with organising The Pony Club Championships and Branch DC Vanne Campbell.

Skill and dedication shone through in the Elite Dressage, where 18 riders took to the stage. The winner was Holly Kerslake from the Lamerton Hunt Branch, who rode Valhallas Zorro. Holly said: “He was a really good boy. It was only his second ever competition on grass so I rode a safe test.” 

Tomorrow sees a multitude of sports across the day including Dressage, Dressage to Music, Show Jumping , Eventing, Polocrosse, Mounted Games and Horse and Pony Care.

If you’re taking part, or supporting someone who is, look out for our team of NFU Mutual Mentors who will be out and about each day offering advice.

A full timetable can be found HERE

Keep up to date with all the latest results and news via our Championship Website

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