Competition was fierce at the Cricklands Junior Winter League Finals, with several titles won by the minimum margin of five points. Lucy Gilsenan from Scarborough in Yorkshire made sure her long journey to South Wales was not in vain when winning both the 2’6” and 2’9” Pony Open Junior Winter League Finals at Cricklands. In the former Final Lucy and her pony served up a top class performance by winning both heats. However, in the 2’9” Final things did not go quite so well. In the first heat they were unplaced but another emphatic win in the second, deciding, heat made sure of victory by the smallest margin.
Two other riders went on to record double heat wins to take their Finals; Zoe Fuller from Brecon took the 2’3” Pony section on board Shadow – who must have seemed like one to his rivals as the pair had the greatest margin of the whole event with 105 points over the runner-up.
In the 3’3” Pony & Horse Open, James McLachlan (Honiton, Devon) also had a comfortable win, finishing 75 points ahead on board Clover Jess.
Five riders from the south east featured in the winner’s enclosure including a clean sweep in the three age Finals; young Harry Fouldsbrant from Bredhurst in Kent had a 25 point lead to take the 10 and Under 2’0” Pony Final on board Anni. The pair won the first heat while a third in the second heat clinched the win.
Destiny Billings and Jess travelled from Ringwood in Hampshire to land the 11 and Under 2’3” Pony Final. Destiny upped her game after coming third in the opening heat to win the decider and take the title by 35 points.
The third age Final, the 12 and Under 2’6” Pony, went to Sarah Hickling from Broad Oak in East Sussex. Despite not being in the top three in either heat, Sarah’s consistent performance of fifth and fourth on board Blossom ensured victory by five points.
Slim Shady, ridden by Isabelle Smith from Billingshurst in West Sussex, headed the 2’9” Horse Open Final by 20 points after a third place and a win in the decider. Harriet Gillam from Osted in neighbouring county Surrey steered Rob Roy to the front by a good margin of 55 points following a second place in the opener and a win to ensure victory.
Honiton was again represented, this time in the 2’3” Pony Open Final when Chloe Howard took the honours on board Alfie Moon. In a close fought contest, her third place and a win gave her the title by five points.
Welsh riders completed the line-up; Molly Blackwood from Cwmbran comfortably led the 2’6” Pony Final on board Super Seren. Their margin of 70 points came after a runner-up position and a win.
Molly Chick made sure her home of Whitchurch, Cardiff, was put on the map when taking the 2’6” Horse Final. Riding Sandy, she had a fourth place in the opening heat and clinched the title by five points after leading the field in the decider.
Full results can be found on www.cricklands.com