As a force to be reckoned with in Mounted Games, only narrowly missing a win in 2010 by one point, the Oakley Hunt West have now held the Prince Philip Cup an incredible eight times!
The team of Florence Bish-Jones (14), Harry Gates (15), Thomas Kitchiner (15), Sally Kitchiner (13), Samantha Garrett (13) and Aimy Eales (reserve) took the title in style on a score of 114 points – 18 points clear of second placed Strathearn.
Six Pony Club Branch teams including, Oakley Hunt (West), Cheshire Hunt (North), Strathearn, Poole and District, Angus and for the first time Old Berkeley Hunt (North) went forward to the final at HOYS, after battling it out at the Zone Finals around the country during the summer. The competition at HOYS hot’s up from Thursday evening onwards, and after the Sunday afternoon session teams that have accumulated the most points during the week go forward to the prestigious final, to compete for the Equimax Prince Philip Cup.
It was however a bitter sweet victory for the Oakley Hunt West, as they sealed another dream win but said farewell to their Branch trainer of 17 years Maureen Thomas, or ‘Mo’ as she is affectionately known by the team members.
“This year was very special for me” commented Maureen, “I was very proud of the way the team rode and so grateful to them for such a good result”. “I am now looking forward to visiting HOYS 2013 as a spectator and avid fan of the show!”
The Pony Club Mounted Games is a competition requiring courage, determination and all round riding ability. The concept of the competition was first introduced by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, who suggested that Cavalry competitions could be adapted for young riders on ponies in an entertaining and visually engaging format. The first competitions were held in 1957 and the winner received the coveted Prince Philip Challenge Trophy.