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Saffron Walden RC ride into the spotlight at Olympia

Riding Clubs Quadrille

Saffron Walden Riding Club returned to the top spot in the popular British Riding Clubs quadrille championship at Olympia on Saturday.

The Essex-based squad, winners here two years ago, triumphedwith a programme based on King Arthur and the knights of Camelot – quite by chance, the same theme as that used by the show itself for the grand finale.

Another southern-based club, Faversham, took second spot with their Wizard of Oz routine. Nikki Turner, Pauline Hartley, Janice Vant and Carly Pinfold executed some intricate ground patterns to tell the story of Dorothy and the scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion.

Reigate was third, with Carol Alcock, Samantha Beatty, Claire Lilley and Bridget Parry-James showing Mary Poppins, and West End – whose programme was lively and imaginative – were, surprisingly, fourth. Sally Bullar, Jane House, Elisa Rees and Ros Stockeld had the audience clapping along to tunes from the musical, Grease.

Nerves were at a minimum for Saffron Walden’s Jane Hood, Vicky Rutherford and sisters, Claire and Suzannah Engelmann, who have been members of the club’s quadrille team here on three previous occasions.

Their mounts also favoured experience – Wesley, a retired Prix St Georges dressage horse, is 16; Lynwood, 15, has competed in show jumping and dressage; Rossway Masasa is 19 and Likou, Vicky’s medium dressage horse, is the youngest at seven years old.

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