Agile members of the Warwickshire hunt branch of the Pony Club were celebrating at the weekend, after being crowned the mounted games winners at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Six teenagers from the area displayed their acrobatic and riding abilities in front of a cheering crowd in Birmingham to take the Prince Philip Cup for the first time.
The Warwickshire, who were runners-up last year, weaved and vaulted their way to one better on Sunday (12 October), clinching victory. They narrowly beat mounted games stalwarts Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s.
More than 150 teams battled it out to qualify for HOYS but the Warwickshire hunt, the Eglington Hunt, West Hants, Wylye Valley and newcomers Romney Marsh — were the successful five.
The winning Warwickshire team was made up of Kieran Tuttiett,15, Isabella Holman-West,15, Zack Mallalieu, 15, Jess Wild,15, Ella Clark, 14, and Pete Fielding, 13.
“This has been the best week of my life — I have been training for it over the past eight years. I couldn’t have asked for any more from my pony, my team-mates and my trainer,” said Warwickshire rider Isabella Holman-West.
“To win this has made all our dreams come true.”
Team trainer Lisa Davis added: “We are absolutely over the moon, and the whole week has been wonderful from start to finish.
“The win means the world to the members, especially as some of them are coming towards the end of their Pony Club mounted games careers.”
The competition was first introduced by The Duke of Edinburgh in 1957, who suggested that Cavalry competitions could be adapted for young riders on ponies in a fun way.
Ros Slinger chairman of Pony Club mounted games told H&H the organisation was “very proud” of all of those taking part.
“Their astonishing riding skills were matched by their careful attention to the care of their ponies, tack and stables.
“The Prince Philip Cup continues to provide aspiration for our young members, who have ponies of no particular type, who put in so much dedication in order to fulfil their ambitions; well done to all of you, you were stars.”