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Riders still waiting for missing prize money

Two riding club members who won £800 prize-money at a show last summer have yet to receive three-quarters of their winnings.

The unaffiliated Ultimate Showcase of Champions (USOC) was held at the Great Yorkshire Showground on 6-7 August 2006. A privately run show, directed by Cathy Bertram and Emma Verity, it was in its second year.

Ahead of the event, riding clubs local to the Yorkshire region were asked to nominate members to compete for the bursaries, intended to help them in their training and development. British Riding Clubs’ head office, however, told H&H it had no knowledge of the scheme.

Sam Cook and Danielle Snowdon won the event’s ultimate ridden and in-hand bursaries respectively. To date, they have received just £200 of the £800 they were promised.

“This year I paid to join the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) and Ponies (UK), as I wanted to do their championships,” said Danielle, 22. “I have qualified, but won’t be able to go now unless I get the money.”

“It was a fantastic show, and it is really disappointing that it has come to this,” said Sam who, along with Danielle, was nominated by the West Craven and District Riding Club.

Ackworth and District Riding Club was also invited to nominate members for the bursary.

“The bursaries are a good idea,” said its secretary Diane Ridgeway, “but perhaps the organisers were a bit overambitious.”

H&H was unable to contact Cathy Bertram directly, but received an e-mail from her on 24 February, in which she asked us to supply the winners’ bank details and stated: “We now have sponsorship and have funds to cover the bursary winners.”

But following an article about the bursaries in a local paper on 23 February, Danielle’s mother, Debra, received an e-mail from USOC stating: “We did not get a sponsor for the bursaries. After the adverse press received in the Yorkshire Post generated by Sam, I doubt anyone will come forward now.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (8 March, ’07)

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