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The Pony Club Championships 2013

The Pony Club Championships took place, August 16th-19th, at the fantastic venue of Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire by kind permission of The Marquess of Cholmondeley; the organisation of the event is a joint collaboration between The Pony Club and Musketeer Event Management (MEM) headed by Alec Lochore, Eventing Manager at the London 2012 Olympics.

The four day Championships enjoyed equestrian sporting action across the three Olympic disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing as well as Mounted Games, Polocrosse, Centre Equitation, Musical Ride, Horse and Pony Care and for the first time Endurance.

Highlights at Open Team level included North Shropshire Hunt taking the Equest & Equest Pramox Show Jumping top spot, the Cotley Hunt dominating in the NAF Superflex Dressage and the VWH Hunt storming home with the highly coveted Strutt & Parker Eventing title.

The Open Individual Dressage was dominated by Carmen Gammie, from the Deeside Branch, whose long journey was made more than worthwhile taking the win in the NAF Superflex Open Individual Dressage Championship and also in the new *Elite Dressage competition riding Champagne Bubbles.

The Musical Ride competition, supported by NAF Magic, yet again produced some incredible displays of ridden choreography to music, in teams of up to 12 Members wearing amazing in costumes; with local Branch Cheshire Hunt North’s ‘Pied Piper of Chester’ blowing the judges away in both the ridden display and with their costumes to lift the trophy.

In the Mounted Games it was a highly successful weekend for Pony Club Area 7 Branches, with the Warwickshire Branch taking the Junior championship win, whilst the Senior Games, offering two finals slots for the Prince Philip Cup finals at Horse of the Year Show, saw the Warwickshire again emerge victorious from the morning session, followed by the Atherstone Hunt in the afternoon session.

In the Windsor Partners Centre Equitation Croxteth Park dominated the top two spots in the Team competition, with their Croxteth Members taking the top hours in three of the four individual sections!

For the first time, Pony Club Endurance also enjoyed its Championship as a part of the action at Cholmondeley, using the surrounding estate, local land and some quieter roads to give those at Novice, Intermediate and Open levels a scenic route for their competition. Hampshire Hunt’s team enjoyed success in the shorter distance Novice competition, whilst Bedale & West of Yore Hunt recorded some fantastic times on the longer Open route to take the top spot.

Pony Club Mentoring, supported by NFU Mutual, proved a more than welcome addition to the line up with Mentors that included Kate Allenby MBE, Spencer Sturmey, Jeanette Brakewell, Ros Bevan, Pat Crann and Maria Eilberg. On hand throughout the Championships in their distinctive jackets courtesy of Ariat, Mentors chatted to hundreds of competitors, drawing on their experiences and using the mentoring resources to help competitors perform at their best in the electric Championship atmosphere.

Watch some of our Members experiences and hear their thoughts about the 2013 Championships at Cholmondeley Castle (courtesey of Total Recall Videos):

“I have talked to hundreds people during the past four days, and I have heard nothing but praise for the 2013 Championships” commented Cherry Michell, Chairman of The Pony Club. “the event organisation in conjunction with Musketeer has been brilliant, the venue looked stunning and there was an incredible atmosphere, it has been absolutely brilliant”.

Full results from the Championships can be found HERE

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