Another successful Regional Qualifiers for ‘Team Stratford’

31 May 2016

in Events, The Latest News

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Having been washed and coiffed the day before, it was an early start for Marco, Kiera and Badger, who were in for a busy day at the new venue, Stourport Riding Centre. Our new boy, Alfie, also joined the gang on the lorry, for his first RDA outing.  Pat resembled the Pied Piper, as she showed our riders round the Countryside Challenge, familiarising them with the course in an attempt to calm nerves, especially for our first-timers Sasha & Ellis.  These classes are popular and very competitive.  However, our weeks of practising paid off.  Our riders produced good performances, despite our ponies’ lapses in behaviour – trying to eat the hay bale and fidgeting when they should be standing still!!  Well done Ellis, who was really focussed and remembered the whole course unprompted.  Also, full marks to Matthew, who rode an occasionally un-cooperative Badger with determination and focus to come 4th.  Many congratulations to Sasha, who won with an excellent round, scoring 79.5% and qualified for the RDA National Championships in Hartpury, along with our independent rider, Isabella who came 2nd. Jack, on Marco, just missed out on the rosettes, coming 5th with a very creditable 72.75%.  Next up was Badger and Jo competing in her dressage class in the smart indoor arena.  Badger was rather distracted & kept calling to his girlfriend, Kiera.  However, Jo managed to keep him focussed and completed an accurate test, coming 2nd and also qualifying for Hartpury. Isabella, riding Henry won her dressage class and qualified for this as well!  Once again Stratford was well represented in the showjumping arena.  In the junior led class, Charlotte and Kiera scored an excellent 86% to win – “well ridden” commented the judge. Jack was a very close second; Sasha was 3rd. and Ellis 4th, with everyone scoring over 73%.  Great results, especially for those competing for the first time.  Well done Jules and Kiera, who were convincing winners of the senior led class, showing “straight approaches & good light seat” to score 75%.  Badger redeemed himself and Matthew showed “great control and good light seat” to come 1st= in the unled class with an amazing 88%. Isabella and Henry came a creditable 3rd in the Level 2 jumping, just missing out on qualifying.  Once again our ponies were a credit to the Group – with the exception of Marco – I have the scars to prove it!! It’s a big ask, taking them to new venues, but they quickly settled and got on with their job.  We had success in the Arts & Crafts section; Henry’s wonderful horse-shaped collage was much admired and won a 4th rosette.  Isabella proved her knowledge of grooming and looking after ponies, coming 2nd in the Horse Care & Knowledge with 98% and to top it all Sasha was awarded the “Rosemary Stretch Memorial Shield” for the Warwickshire rider with the best Countryside Challenge score presented by Rosemary’s son, Gordon.  As many of you will recall, Rosemary was our County Chairman for many years and the Countryside Challenge was her passion.  A great day for everyone involved with the Group.  A huge thank you to all our helpers for your time, effort and dedication.  Whether its accompanying our riders on the day, practising beforehand, tack cleaning, preparing ponies, bringing chocolate flapjack, baby-sitting Alfie, helping at the event or clearing up afterwards…YOU ARE AMAZING AND IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU! Karen Arnold, Group Coach

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