Three generations of the same family rode to victory in a team chase after overcoming a host of challenges.
The Chequered Hearts team — made up of Debbie Molloy, her daughters Sophie Howe and Addie Carter, and Debbie’s granddaughter Mirrun Carter — competed at Fair Oak Hunter Trials and Team Chase in Hampshire on 22 September.
The competition differs from British Team Chasing rules in that the team chase is run over all three hunter trial heights (from 2’3” to 3’) and style marks are also given for how competitors tackle two “dressing fences”.
The family bond proved a recipe for success and the team finished bang on the optimum time and scoring 18.5 out of 20 for style.
“We were all quite excited to be truthful,” Addie told H&H, adding the whole family had an “amazing feeling”.
“The nice thing about it is that none of us have a lot of money or big flashy lorries or horses.”
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Debbie, who sourced the bright blue ear bonnets, hat silks, numnahs and base layers for the family on eBay, bought her mare Lily in March.
She discovered the mare had had numerous owners in her past, at one point being sold for £1 as a field companion, but the pair have hit it off together.
Mirrun, aged 10, rode Irish import Paddy, who came to the family as a “very nervous, jumpy and spooky” pony.
“Mirrun and him have just struck it off and have an amazing bond, it is sweet to watch,” said Addie.
“Sophie is riding a big black horse called Trevor — she fell off another horse last year and had to have a complete reconstruction of her kneecap, then she bought him.
“I’m riding the big chestnut Tuco, who has only just turned seven and hasn’t really done a lot — before him I had a pony, so he is my first real horse.
“Put us all together and we are a bit of a crazy bunch really to have gone and won!”
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