Devon is No.1 for horse riders

  • DEVON (656,413 hectares, 1.07 people per hectare)


    • Riders: Mary King, Lucy Wiegersma
    • Horse trials: Bicton and Hatherleigh
    • Racing: Exeter and Newton Abbot racecourses, trainer Nerys Dutfield
    • Studs: Whorridge Farm, Maximillian Stud
    • Shows: Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Devon County Show, Newnham House Horse Driving Trials, North Devon Show, Honiton Hound Show, South Western Show Jumping Club (Bicton)
    • Hunting: choice of 24 packs
    • Others: native Dartmoor and Exmoor ponies. Bicton College, Exeter EC, Red Post SJC

    TOTAL SCORE: 256.5 pts

    HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT (405,912 hectares, 3.38 people per hectare)


    • Riders: Lucinda Green, Sarah Bullen, Tony Newbery, Peter Charles, Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Nicky Barrett, Mark Armstrong
    • Horse trials: Brockenhurst Park, Somerley Park, Tweseldown (left)
    • Racing: trainers Toby Balding, David Elsworth, Emma Lavelle
    • Studs: Catherston, Fleetwater
    • Shows: New Forest and Hampshire County, Romsey
    • Hunting: choice of eight packs
    • Other: Wellington Riding, Sparsholt College, Yateley, Langford Farm

    TOTAL SCORE: 248.5 pts

    SURREY (166,252 hectares, 6.37 people per hectare)


    • Riders: Blyth Tait, Brynley Powell, Rob Stevens, Pippa and William Funnell, Kyra Kyrklund
    • Horse trials: Stilemans and Munstead
    • Racing: Lingfield Park, Sandown Park and Epsom racecourses (above), trainers Jon Akehurst,Simon Dow, Terry Mills, Philip Mitchell
    • Studs: Furze Hill Stud
    • Shows: Surrey County Show
    • Hunting: choice of three packs
    • Other: Merrist Wood, Guards and Hurtwood Park polo, Vicarage Farm, Ridgewood, Oldencraig

    TOTAL SCORE: 224 pts

    Best in Wales and Scotland

    Welsh winner Dyfed (128.5 pts), which encompasses Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, has no less than 11 hunts, 12 riding schools and 13 Pony Club branches within its boundaries. Glamorgan was second with 106.5.

    Riders have access to plenty of bridlepaths and beaches, and the area has enjoyed a recent surge in horse owners – although horses have always played a prominent part of the rural community here.

    In Scotland, Strathclyde, which achieved a massive 156.5 points, scored more than twice as many points as runner-up Grampian (78.5).

    The region’s Pony Club area representative, Meg Jessiman, says: “The numbers joining the Pony Club are definitely increasing.”

    Although several British team event riders have their roots in Scotland, show jumping is the prime occupation here. Indeed, Ayrshire’s Rowallan Activity Centre, which holds competitions every weekend, is on target to become the biggest facility of its kind in Britain.

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    To find out where your county is ranked, and to read the feature in full, don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound (29 May), or click here tosubscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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