Countryside Regional Challenge 2013


Many congratulations to all the riders from Nottingham Group who took part in the Annual Regional Qualifier for the Countryside Challenge held at Somerby livery yard complex (home of Mount Group RDA) in May. The riders were Jack, Jordan and Sean from Foxwood School who ride at Lings Lane and Kira and Ellie who ride independently at Colston Bassett. The children all rode well achieving high marks (87.5% to 94%), and looked very smart in their pale blue and navy outfits. Ellie was placed second and Sean was third with only half a mark between them. Unfortunately, although qualifying for the National Championships at Hartpury, neither Ellie nor Sean (the place goes to the next highest placed rider) was able to go, mainly due to helpers having other commitments. This was very disappointing but the children thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences.

The riders from Lings Lane, assisted by Michelle Brown and Alison Beachell, rode a pony named Cinderella which was hired from Somerby Riding School. Kira and Ellie rode Lesley Davies’ pony Pumpkin led by Abi. On the morning of the competition, Pumpkin and her excited riders plus entourage arrived in plenty of time and were quickly organised.  Foxwood riders were late, leaving no time for Jack to walk the course; he rode first having previously taken part in the competition in 2012. Helpers were all anxiously waiting with pony and riding apparel at the ready in order to dress Jack and get him on board as quickly as possible. In the arena, Pumpkin behaved impeccably but Cinderella freaked when she spotted the spectators, Jack did very well to stay on board; he then proceeded competently round the course but stopped to inspect the sheep in the pen on the way!  During a break Cinderella was introduced to the spectators after which she behaved impeccably. After all that excitement everything else was an anti-climax, although our hearts were in our mouths for each rider as they all quietly and uneventfully completed the course and afterwards, whilst waiting for the results were questioned on horse care and knowledge for which they all received rosettes

When the results were announced we were thrilled to see that Ellie was 2nd. with 94% and Sean 3rd. with 93.5% and that all had done well, they were all very excited on receiving their rosettes which were presented  by Regional Chair Lesley   Davies.

Many thanks are due to The Mount Group for organising the competition and for their patience and co-operation.  Thanks also to Jon and Jane for compiling the results and to all the many volunteers who gave their time to help.

We are very proud of our riders and although the day can be challenging at times it is also exciting and fun. Why don’t you join us to help next year?