The Pony Club Winter League Show Jumping and Dressage Championships 2013, generously sponsored by Dengie Horse Feeds Ltd the UK’s leading manufacturer of fibre-based horse feeds, were held at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, during April 6-7th.
The sun shone, and the competition heated up over the two days, for the 200 Pony Club competitors who had qualified at Novice and Open level, during the winter months. Starting with the Show Jumping on Saturday the warm up classes, ahead of the Championships in the afternoon, saw success for Martha Newall (18) from the Cheshire Hunt South Branch riding Maddy in the Winter League warm up, and Jasmin Shiret (17) from the East Sussex Branch riding Zebedee in the Open warm up.
The Winter League Championship enjoyed an entry of near 90 competitors, with 26 going forward to the jump off; but it was Casey Webb, from the Iveagh Branch, riding Bluestone Bee who made the long journey worthwhile clinching the title in a time of 36.77. “The Dengie Winter League is always an important focus for the Iveagh Branch” commented Casey, “so I am delighted to have won on my second trip to the Championships, having won the Horsemanship Award in 2012”.
With the course height raised the *Open Grand Prix, which had a sound entry of just over 50, got underway. Following the first round, a third of the field went forward to jump in the second round, and a consistent seven reached the jump off; with Lydia Parrott (17) from the South Staffordshire Hunt Branch, riding Pip, jumping an effortless three clear rounds in total, to take the title in a time on 37.61.
Sunday saw yet more good weather and nearly 80 riders taking part across the Novice and Open level Dressage. The first and second placed riders going through to the Novice ride off had all cleared the 70% score and it was tight at the top, but it was Ffion Evans from the Pembrokeshire Hunt Branch and Glyn Coch Red Rascal, who improved on their section score to take the Novice title on 72.60%.
More impressive scores produced a clear four to go forward to the ride off in the Open where Anna Lawson and Carentino Z from the Chiddingfold Farmers Branch, who had already dominated in their section on 74.84%, proved they were in it to win it, securing the Open title on 73.06%. “I went to the Championships hoping that we would get to the ride off, but I never thought that we would win it!” commented a thrilled Anna, “Carentino Z was a star all day!”
“The Pony Club Winter League Championships are always a tremendously exciting occasion and Dengie is delighted to lend its support to something that is so important to the hundreds of young riders who take part,” said the brand’s marketing manager, Lisa Wilson. “It was great to have the opportunity to chat to so many families about the benefits of a fibre-based equine diet, hear all about their horses and ponies and find out what they’ve been up to over the past few months. Our congratulations go to all who took part, particularly those fortunate enough to win!”