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Sunshine and Success at The Pony Club Championships 2012

Over 1600 Members of The Pony Club headed for The Pony Club Championships, August 16th-19th, at their new home of Cholmondeley Castle, by kind permission of The Marquess of Cholmondeley.

The four day Championships hosted the finals for Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Mounted Games and Polocrosse, as well as the Centre Equitation Competition, Horse and Pony Care Championship and Musical Ride. Full of inspiration from the equestrian success at London 2012, The Championships attracted a crowd of over 5000 spectators, and with over 200 Pony Club Branches being represented from across the country the atmosphere was electric!  All the results for the weekend can be found HERE.

Thursday got underway, with the sun shining, and the Windsor Insurance Centre Equitation competition bringing 14 Riding Schools and 68 competitors to take part.  Winners in the Team and Individual sections came from Naburn Grange Riding Centre, Friars Hill, and Talygarn.

The Equest & Equest Pramox Intermediate Individual Show Jumping saw local competitor Martha Newall, from the Cheshire Hunt South, take victory with Maddie.

In the Dressage the Eridge Hunt made the trip north worthwhile to take the Intermediate Team honours, and Katie Bettison from the South Oxfordshire Hunt (South) was the Intermediate Individual Dressage winner, with Synod Rumpus.

There was also success for the West Hants Branch, who won the NFU Countryside Junior Mounted Games.

Friday proved to be a little more wet, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the South Notts who came out with all guns blazing to take victory in the Equest & Equest Pramox Intermediate Team Show Jumping, including the Team Horsemanship Award!  Anna East from Polden Hills was the recipient of the Equest & Equest Pramox Individual Open Show Jumping honours.

In the Intermediate Mounted Games the North Warwickshire Branch enjoyed success, and the Deeside Branch celebrated as Morgan Hartley (Intermediate) and Carmen Gammie (Open) won their respective sections in the Worshipful Company of Loriners Dressage to Music.

The South Oxfordshire Hunt (Central) also had a great day taking the hotly contested Open Team Dressage competition, and Daisy Coakley of Old Berkeley Hunt (North) won the Individual Open Dressage.

As the first of the Eventing competitions got underway the sun came back out, and it was the Beaufort Hunt who emerged victorious after a long day, to win the Strutt & Parker Intermediate Eventing Team competition. Individual winners from the Strutt & Parker Eventing included:  Arena A Nadia Marcus (Albrighton Woodland Hunt), Arena B Will Bell (Cottesmore Hunt), Arena C Holly Hollinshead (Badsworth Hunt), Arena D Elspeth Jamieson (Eglinton Hunt), Arena E Bella Lloyd-Webber (Royal Artillery Hunt S.P)

Over at the Junior Horse and Pony Care stable yard, a full complement of marks in one section helped the South Northumberland Branch to a successful win.

In ring one the South Notts were again stamping their authority to emerge the eventual winners of the Equest & Equest Pramox Open Team Show Jumping, and the tack and turnout competition.

There was everything to play for over at Mounted Games with the two final Prince Philip Cup places up for grabs; Angus Branch qualified for their first ever trip to HOYS, alongside the Poole and District.

The NFU Mutual Polocrosse was also very much underway, with 31 teams working their way towards the finals on the Sunday, and there was more success in the Worshipful Company of Loriners Dressage to Music for Immie Jones (Novice), Emma Parkinson & Nancy Rollings from Ludlow Hunt (Pairs), and Charlotte and Suzie Vickery from the Old Surrey & Burstow Hunt (Family Pairs).

Despite a less than positive forecast the weather held up well for the final day, which saw the finals in the NFU Mutual Polocrosse with winning form for North Warwickshire (Senior), the mixed Ledbury Hunt team (Junior), and the Over Dalkeith Stables (Mini). 

Out on the stunning cross country course, running around the Cholmondeley Estate, there was success for the VWH Branch in the Strutt and Parker Open Eventing Team competition. Successful Strutt & Parker Open Eventing individuals were;  Arena A Caroline March (Essex & Suffolk Hunt), Arena B Alice Bibby (VWH Hunt), Arena C Pumbaa Goess-Saurau (VWH Hunt), Arena D Imogen Gloag (Heythrop Hunt), Arena E Rosie Alcorn (Route Hunt)

The Chipping Branch worked hard against 20 other teams to be the eventual winners Senior Horse and Pony Care competition.

The Musical Ride competition, supported by NAF, produced some amazing displays of ridden choreography to music, in teams of up to 12 Members wearing incredible in costumes.  The West Lancashire County Branch wowed their way into the top spot with their ‘Patriotic Pony Club’ ride with Ludlow Hunt’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ winning best costume. 

“Everywhere I looked at The Championships people were smiling” commented Cherry Michell. “We would like to say a huge thank you to Musketeer Event Management, the Cholmondeley Estate and ‘the weather’ for holding up for us, all of which has allowed us to host this incredible event; where I have seen so many examples of our next generation of equestrian talent”

Full results can be found HERE

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