In conjunction with NAF, we supported Scunthorpe & District Pony Club through their time at the Pony Club Championships, held at Cholmondley Castle across the 20th-25th August. Read how both the Dressage and Eventing team got on below and what they thought of some exciting NAF products...
Blog written by Amber Major
Being true to form we can't ever have an event without some drama first! After qualifying two horses, one for the Open Dressage and one for the Open Eventing, of course one had to go lame! We spent the entire week leading up to the Championships with permanent frostbite from holding ice to hocks and legs. The decision was made the day before that he still wasn't quite right so poor Bertie was now to do the eventing and then dressage. Having never been asked to do simple changes or walk pirouettes I'm sure by now you may be starting to sense that internal panic that we were all feeling.
We arrived after a 4 hour journey at the Pony Club Championships on a very cold, wet Saturday night in the midst of a thunderstorm with the occasional lightening strike. Our stables were at the furthest end of the field and we trudged down the muddy walkways with bedding, feed, water and a very sulky horse - not the most glamorous start.
No one was more relieved than us to wake up to the sun on Sunday morning and most of it was spent plaiting horses and polishing everything in sight! We all had our tests at similar times and Kate and Charlotte produced two lovely tests to finish individually 2nd and 7th with Kate also going through to the ride off to finish 9th overall which was an incredible achievement. Kate and Charlotte also finished 4th and 5th in the dressage to music. Katie's lovely horse just spat his dummy out slightly
in what was otherwise a test to be proud of and my own horse who is just Mr Reliable, having stepped in as a substitute, coped brilliantly in his first time in a long arena doing movements his poor little feet didn't know existed and so with just a few mistakes we were incredibly pleased with him. With every single one of us at our first Championships and with over 20 teams entered we finished a very respectable 11th.
We returned on the Monday with the weather looking much nicer and enjoyed a lovely hack round the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle before getting all four horses settled in their stables - which just happened to be right at the furthest end of the field! The evening was spent checking out the challenging X country course and eating far too much! There were some big questions on course but the going was brilliant and we couldn't have hoped for better conditions. Camping was brilliant and gave everyone a real team feeling though I'm sure we passed a few skeletons in the queue for pizza!
NAF Event Grease
We had an early start to go and re-walk the XC before starting to get ready for our dressage. All four horses were fantastic with a set of very harsh judges that couldn't quite seem to agree! Everyone received very respectable scores as three of the horses were competing at the championships for the very first time. Next up was the show jumping which was up to height and technical enough but the arena was lovely and in a prime location right in the middle of all the trade stands and in the centre of the competition. The atmosphere was a little nerve wracking (especially as the show jumping is our worst phase!) but the entire team coped well to come away with a full spectrum of scores - clear, 4, 8 and 12 fault rounds! No one can say that this was a dressage competition or even a show jumping competition as the XC was causing absolute carnage. Only 1/3 of all competitors managed to complete the course and I'm incredibly proud to say that all four members completed and came home safely with two clears and just a couple of blips that were a real shame. The water was the centre of most problems and indeed ours too as poor Ben tripped going down into the water and Bertie took a severe dislike to the revolting fluorescent blue that Pony Club had decided to dye it! However everyone finished - which was quite a feat in itself- and we were over the moon with all four horses! The event grease was certainly needed! We spent the next couple of hours waiting for the final results and the presentation where we finished 5th as a team with Joe coming individually 5th and Nicola coming individually 6th with a brilliant double clear. Each member did the club proud and indeed Area 6 proud to finish with all four scores as most teams were eliminated or retired and only 7 of 20 completed. They all came home safe and sound and we're now all on our way to buy blue food dye ready for next year!
All four horses have now started their course of NAF Recover and are all feeling well after all the travelling and competition.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT OVER THE PAST WEEK HOPE WE DID YOU PROUD!
Eventing Team of Nicola Whitmore, Joseph Dowse, Lauren Wilson and Amber Major of the Scunthorpe & District Pony Club.
Read more about the teams time at the Championship on Facebook.