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Sunshine and surprises on the final day of The Pony Club Championships - Day 5

The sun shone over the fifth and final day of The Pony Club Championships, kindly sponsored Berkeley Group, and competitors and their supporters were out in force enjoying the Stonar Intermediate Eventing and Howden Centre Equitation.

It was the Burghley Pony Club team of Greta Mason (18), Lucy Daly (15), Maddie Price (16) and Catherine Davies (20) who took the Intermediate Eventing win, with Greta and Maddie also picking up Craddock rosettes for achieving double clears with no time penalties and coming second in their sections.

The team, who were surprised with their victory, said afterwards they train individually but the Championships gave them a focus point to work towards. They also spoke about how their friendship helped them succeed as they support each other and want to do well for everyone else. They all thanked their parents for their support, and Catherine paid special tribute to her mum as her horse Montiny takes a lot of looking after. Greta commented “We’d also like to thank Patrick Campbell our DC as he is so excited for us and he has been a big part of our win here today.” Lucy and Maddie also thanked their coaches Lynne Cornell and Josine Chambers.

Over in the Howden Centre Equitation competition, the Regal Equestrian team of Megan Gibson (13), Sophie Bickell (13), Charlotte Shevket (11) and Annabel Jenkins (12) clinched the top spot with a score of 241.17. Speaking afterwards, they said that they had worked extra hard this year to clean their tack after coming in 7th place last year. They thanked Regal Equestrian Proprietor Fran Bird and her family for their support, as well as Fran’s right-hand lady Steff Savage who helped train them. They also said a huge thank you to their parents, and to ponies Gadget and Bandit for working hard in their Dressage tests and Show Jumping rounds.  Last but not least they thanked sponsors Howden and said how excited they are to receive Toggi jackets as part of their prize. They now plan to try Grassroots level Dressage and Show Jumping next year, and would like to qualify for the Land Rover Regional Championships and go to a One Day Event to try riding Cross Country in a competition.

Fran Bird, who established Regal Equestrian just five years ago, thanked The Pony Club for the opportunity and Steff Savage for helping to train the team. A proud Fran said: “The girls helped on yard in return for training and worked really, really hard. They got the horses ready for today and packed the lorries themselves.”

Shortlisted entries for The John King Young Artist competition were on display throughout the Championships, and judges Mary Tuckett (Chairman of The Pony Club) and Jennifer Bell (Member of The Society of Equestrian Artists) found it hard to choose their winners from the thirteen paintings and drawings which went through to the final stage.

The theme for this year was ‘Seasons’ and over 50 Pony Club Members captured their favourite horsey moments from the year in paint, pencil or ink, from which the shortlist was chosen by Pony Club Area Representatives. It was Sorrel Penman from the South Devon Hunt (Moorland) Branch whose beautiful painting of a horse and rider cantering through bluebells wowed the judges to take the top spot, and be part of the display at the Society of Equestrian Artists exhibition, where she will see her painting on display and receive a trophy.

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