A Horse & Hound team has completed the Golden Horseshoe and came third behind stiff competition.

Showing, vet and point-to-point editor Aimi Clark, designer Emily Secrett, news writer/digital sub editor Rachael Hook and dressage/print sub editor Polly Bryan took on the 23km pleasure ride at the 50th anniversary event last weekend (17-19 May).

Their team section was won by the Golden Oldies, experienced endurance riders Liz Finney, Sally Hall, Marie Maclean-Foreman and Jane James, who finished with a score of 127.58.

“We all absolutely loved the experience, the ride was beautiful and everyone was so welcoming,” said H&H team member Rachael Hook.

“Our team has little endurance experience and it was far more challenging than we anticipated, but it was a brilliant introduction to the sport.”

Credit: Ian Wigley

Credit: Ian Wigley

In second position was the Tawbitts Team (pictured right) riding Exmoor ponies. Sheralee Matravers, Ann Bassett, Charlotte Matravers and Jessica Pryce scored 75.7. The Horse & Hound team closely followed with a score of 71.51.

Scores were calculated via the horse’s heart rates and the time they completed the course.

This year’s Golden Horseshoe was thought to be the last as event organiser Barbara Wigley, 67, and her six-strong committee had decided to step down.

However, Barbara, who has been involved in the ride for more than 30 years, is feeling more positive about its future since several people have expressed an interest in forming a new committee.

“We have got a few people who are interested and who know others that would join a committee,” she told H&H. “We hope it will stay down here [on Exmoor].”

Discussions will be made over a new committee in the next couple of months.

“This year’s Horseshoe was wonderful — just like the old times,” added Barbara.

“The past few years we haven’t had quite as many entries but this year we had well over 200.

“I’ve loved organising it. The Horseshoe has such a special atmosphere. I first rode it in 1984 and came back year after year.

“Everyone helps each other along, from the pleasure ride to the 100 mile. To me that’s what endurance is about.”

Credit: Ian Wigley

Credit: Ian Wigley