Thirty teams from Pony Clubs up and down the UK gathered at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire, on 02 April 2016 for The Pony Club National Quiz Finals, kindly supported by NFU Mutual.
A total of 120 members took part in the final, which followed qualifiers at Area level. All were keen to demonstrate their knowledge across a range of equestrian and non-equestrian subjects to be in the running to take the Branch or Centre title in this popular annual competition.
The teams were tested on a diverse range of topics across the eight rounds:
Round 1 – The Pony Club Round 2 – Rider, Tack & Turnout for Rallies, Competitions & Hunting Round 3 – Well Known Equestrian Venues in the United Kingdom Round 4 – The Numbers Game & Missing Words Round 5 – Practical Round (Individual) Round 6 – Points of the Horse (Juniors) and Know Your Horse’s Ailments (Seniors) – (Pairs) Round 7 – Picture Round Round 8 – All The Queen’s Horses
The Branch competition was hotly contested, with teams including the Hampshire Hunt who took top honours in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and the Chipping Branch who were victorious in 2014. Just one mark separated them at the interval, with Chipping lying on 104 and Hampshire Hunt on 103, but the team from Chipping – brother and sister Jack (16) and Charlotte Mellin (12), Charlotte Gibb (13) and Victoria Hargreaves (19) – finished on 271 points taking the win and beating Hampshire Hunt by just six points. The Croome Hunt team came in 3rd place with a total of 253 points.
Laura Hughes, manager of the Chipping team, was delighted to have re-gained the trophy. Laura said: “I’m thrilled for the team and I was amazed at how they remembered so many facts.” Laura continued “We would like to thank the NFU Mutual very much for sponsoring the event, and staff at The Pony Club Office for organising the day.”
In the Centre competition the team from Silvermere Equestrian Centre, who qualified for the finals for the first time, stormed ahead to a strong lead and by the interval were 10.5 points ahead of 2nd placed Friars Hill Stables. The Silvermere team, consisting of birthday girl Cadence Webley (12), Kayleigh Lubin (12), Maddie Skelton (14) and Georgia Stanton (17), kept up their form to clinch the top spot with a score of 234; just 3.5 points ahead of runnersup Friars Hill Stables. Last year’s 2nd placed team, Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre, finished in 3rd position on 222 points.
Silvermere Equestrian Centre’s Team Manager, Lara Lubin, said: “The effort the members put into this was out of this world; they studied morning, noon and night for weeks on end and their hard work has certainly paid off. It meant so much for our riding school just to qualify for the finals, and to then go and win it was so, so rewarding for us all.” Lara went on to thank her Yard Manager, Beth, for encouraging her to join the Pony Club Centre scheme and helping with the training of the quiz team. Lara continued “The Pony Club Centre scheme has been fantastic for us and I would like to thank all of our members, even those who weren’t part of the team, as they provided much needed support.”
The Mill Riding Stables won the Home Made Collage or Display Competition with their windmill display which cleverly featured moving parts. Blanche Surman, Affinity Marketing Executive, NFU Mutual said: “I’m always delighted to represent NFU Mutual at the final of the National Quiz, an event which we have sponsored for many years. It was lovely to see over 100 children taking part, puzzling over the questions and then celebrating when they got the right answer.”