Eight Pony Club members and associates achieved their A Test in 2010 — and one member, Gaby Cooke of the Cottesmore Hunt branch, achieved a pass with honours.

In 2008 the Pony Club set itself a new record with nine out of 27 entrants passing its highest exam, then beat the target the following year when 12 of 27 gained the pale blue disc.

But this year’s pass rate of eight out of 26 is still “a sound result”, said the organisation.

Chief A Test examiner William Blaine explained why Gaby Cooke deserved honours.

He said: “What made her stand out was her empathy with the horses. Gaby rode in balance, was determined with the difficult horses and had a really good connection between seat, leg and hand, instilling confidence in her horses.”

Passes at A Test during 2010 were achieved by:

  • Julie Donn, North Argyll
  • Abbie Hughes, Axe Vale Hunt
  • Polly Holbrook-Bull, South and West Wilts
  • Jean Smith, Atherstone Hunt
  • Caitlin Stokes, West Perthshire
  • Rachael Clark, Whaddon Chase
  • Jennifer Pearson, Cumberland Farmers’ Hunt (South)
  • Gaby Cooke, Cottesmore (with honours)