Children travelled from as far away as Hong Kong, as well as throughout the UK, to compete in the British Horse Society’s equitation competition at Warwickshire College recently.
The event, sponsored by the Elise Pilkington Trust, is open to children from BHS-approved riding schools who do not own their own ponies.
Katie Cowan and Louisa Blagon, both trained by Helen Moore from Penewin Stables in Saltash, Cornwall, came first and second in the under-13 category.
Bethany Clench from St Veep, also in Cornwall, instructed by Josephine Baron, was victorious in the under-17 group. Jodi Delande from Newton Hall Equestrian Centre, Ipswich, Suffolk, trained by Emma Walker, took second place.
Training vouchers, worth up to £100 to the winners, were presented to sixth place in each group by BHS president, The Princess Royal.
The competition comprises a dressage test and show jumping course, accompanied by an instructor, and a theory test on horse care and welfare. It has been running since 1997, and is growing in popularity each year.
“This event gives non-horse-owning riding-school clients the opportunity to take part in a national event,” says Chris Doran, manager of the BHS’s riding schools and approvals department, which organises and runs the event. “Without owning a horse or pony, in some cases clients are restricted to only a weekly lesson. This competition gives them something to work towards.”
Jane Goldsmith FBHS and Margaret Linington-Payne BHSI, BHS senior manager for training examinations and approvals, judged this year’s competition.
“All competitors should be proud of their achievements, and their riding instructors deserve praise too,” says BHS chairman, Pat Campbell.