Riders had an amazing day at the Regional Qualifiers

25 May 2017

in Events, The Latest News, The Riders

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West Mercia Regional Qualifier 2017 – Tuesday 23rd July

Despite arriving a little behind schedule, the ponies were soon tacked up and ready to go for our first ride of the day at a sunny Stourport Riding Centre.

All our practising in the Countryside Challenge paid off, as our riders showed off their skills and steered their ponies round the course. Jules couldn’t resist a squeal of delight when successfully completing the apple tree task and Ellis announcing “I’ve won” as he completed the course, made everyone smile. I was particularly proud watching Jack and Sasha ride the course independently. They both remained focused, and persevered, even when their ponies became inattentive.   Thinking about your riding and remembering the course is a huge achievement. Well done Sasha qualifying for the RDA National Championships. Charlotte and Alfie have a wonderful partnership, and she gave him so much confidence in his first qualifier competition, scoring several 9’s in the CC. First-timers, Sophie and Lewis, rode with confidence and focus, and showed no sign of nerves.  They both qualified – amazing debut performances! Sophie also won the Rosemary Stretch Trophy for the highest scoring Warwickshire rider, together with the trophy for the best score of the day.  A great achievement and giving her Grandma Gill “the best birthday present I could have”!

In the Dressage, Badger’s concentration and focus improved as the test went on. All credit to Jo for persevering.  The judges comment referring to “quite active paces” is definitely an improvement!! Everyone raised their game for the indoor Showjumping course.  Our riders and ponies seemed to enjoy the big arena atmosphere – once we’d sorted out the dress code!! Isabella and her new pony Cookie have really clicked.  They collected rosettes in all three disciplines; Dressage, Showjumping and CC and are off to Hartpury too.  Isabella also proved her knowledge in the Horse Care gaining a whopping 98%!  None of this is possible without our wonderful helpers. Particularly everyone involved in all the practising in the weeks beforehand, shifting CC equipment, tack cleaning, washing ponies etc.

On the day Martha was kept busy shepherding riders, Val became out walking “stirrup tree”, Sally and Donna assisted with stewarding, our amazing “grooms” Max, Liz, Jan and Jill managed to have the right pony, with the right tack, in the right place at the right time – no mean feat! Pat and Puffin gave encouragement and support to our riders, enabling them to perform to their optimum in the arena.  Lynn was a lifesaver with the drinks throughout a busy and warm day.

There were some very alarmed faces when I mentioned having a go on the weighing machine…. until I explained it was for the horses! The feed company Top Spec was offering complimentary assessment of our pony’s weight and condition. I’m pleased to say Badger is the perfect figure of a horse!  Alfie, Marco & Kiera are “a little too well covered” – apparently you’re supposed to be able to feel their ribs!

Once again we owe much to our ponies, who worked hard and were a credit to the Group, with rookie Alfie being much admired.

A busy, but very successful day for our Group and I was struck by the sheer enjoyment and personal achievement each of our riders gained from the day. There was tremendous camaraderie as everyone watched and supported each other.

It’s a privilege to be part of a great TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.  Karen – Group and County Coach

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