Saffron Walden & District Riding Club were once again victorious in the SEIB/British Riding Clubs Quadrille of the Year at Olympia, this time with a clown-themed routine.
H&H spoke to them and second-placed Bath Riding Club to find out the secrets behind their success.
The Saffron Walden riders told H&H: “It felt amazing. It was a new experience for me because it was my first year. My pony’s a jumping pony so it’s a bit of a shock for him, but he coped very well. All the ponies were great. We had a few little moments where we thought it wasn’t going to work out, but overall it was really good.”
When asked where the theme of their display came from they answered: “Because we are all on ponies and some of us can vault, we thought we wanted to do something fun and colourful where we could utilise the ponies’ cheeky nature.”
And is it difficult to fit training around work? “Two of us work with horses and one of us has an office job so we tend to work around her, but otherwise we practise at weekends in a friend’s outdoor arena. We don’t have an indoor school so we are out in all the elements – rain or hail – we have to practise in daylight as well.”
When asked how they got started in quadrille, they explained: “I did my first quadrille in 1995 and we found ourselves at Olympia! Ever since then we’ve been coming back.”
Second-placed Bath Riding Club explained how they decided on their costumes and routine for this year’s show: “We decided in the car on the way home from Olympia last year. It’s just a case of brainstorming between us what we think will be bright and colourful.
“The routine starts with toy trains sat on a carpet for endless hours. We’ve also been known to be seen running [through the routine on foot] around my street!”