Wales took an early lead, winning the first two sessions, but England pulled out all the stops to win the third and close the gap on Wales who were leading by just one point going into session four. Wales were victorious once again, resulting in them taking overall lead with 107 points heading into the penultimate session; which saw England win, putting them just three points behind Wales going into the final with Scotland lying third.
Sunday saw a closely fought final, with England and Wales trying hard to benefit from the double points on offer. The teams played seven games including the DAKS Big Sack and the ever popular Bending Race. Eventually the Welsh team, trained by Lisa Pearson, triumphed to a second consecutive victory with England taking second place and Scotland third. The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland came fourth and fifth respectively.
The Welsh team, comprising of Owen Davies (Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hunt), Emma Lockyer (Monmouthshire), Eden Greaves (Flint and Denbigh), Ben Hopkins (Monmouthshire), Georgie Minshaw (Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hunt) and Drew Slater (Tanatside Hunt) were delighted to receive their prizes from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
Wales also won the Stable Trophy, awarded for a high standard of turnout, exceptional behaviour and attitude and for demonstrating excellent stable management throughout the week. Stable management was judged daily by officials from The Pony Club and celebrity guests, including Show Jumper Tim Stockdale.
Lisa Pearson said: “It really has been a week to remember. The competition was close all week, yet the teams have made lifelong friends. I’m extremely proud of this young team who were strong, determined and professional throughout the whole competition.” Lisa went on to thank everyone at DAKS and The Pony Club for the opportunity to be a part of “such a prestigious show.”
The DAKS Salver Award was presented by Mr Paul Dimond, Deputy Chairman of DAKS, to Maureen Fenn in recognition of her long association with the Fitzwilliam Hunt Branch.
Maureen was a Fitzwilliam Hunt Member prior to beginning work as groom to a family with three Members. She later went on to become Branch Secretary and has been Minutes Secretary for the last 32 years. Maureen continues to work tirelessly for the Branch doing whatever is required with enthusiasm and perfection.
Northern England took the title in the NFU Mutual Tetrathlon competition, held over Saturday and Sunday. The team, comprising of Sadie Abel (South Durham Hunt), Jack Donaldson (South Northumberland) and Emma Whitaker (Lancaster and District) scored 13811 points in total, just ahead of the Southern England team who took second place and the East of England who came third.
Emma Whitaker (Lancaster and District) also took first place in the individual competition; David Dow (Newmarket and Thurlow Hunt) and Monty Podger (Wilton Hunt) were second and third.
India Bussey (South Norfolk) rode Westwinds to a second consecutive victory in The Pony Club Show Jumping. Maddie Dudley (Woodland Hunt) came second and Millie Dickinson (Flamstead) took third position.