IN THE SADDLE
Another wet and cold April didn’t stop Chipping Pony Club members or their ponies taking part in a working rally and hosting an inaugural ‘Pairs’ competition, writes Sarah Gibb. Photography: Jade Thompson
The traditional Easter holiday working rally was held at Osbaldeston equestrian centre – putting even the tiniest of riders through their paces. Each member received a flat work riding session in small groups of similar ability, followed by a jumping lesson. All the ponies and riders benefited greatly from such fabulous tuition, and they had the added advantage of being indoors on such a cold windy day!
Chipping then hosted its inaugural ‘Pairs’ competition at Myerscough international arena, and whilst competing several pairs from Chipping branch they also welcomed teams from as far as Glossop and Pendle Forest branches.
This competition is new to the Pony Club this year as traditionally, a member on getting to their 15th birthday, retires from the Mounted Games teams. So many members have opposed this ‘too old’ rule so the Pony Club has introduced a new competition in Mounted Games where members as young as 11, can pair up with another, up to the age of 18 and still enjoy the fun. It is fast-paced, adrenalin-fuelled and they can take their pair to the Area Competition and even qualify for the Zone Finals – this has made a number of Chipping’s 15 plus members very happy!
The Pairs competition proved to be a lovely family day out, which saw a number of dads running, organising and setting up equipment for each race. They were all handsomely repaid in home baked cakes and copious amounts of coffee!
As summer is on the horizon, Chipping members start training for the upcoming Area competitions in all disciplines. The first will see the Mounted Games teams compete in Lancaster, kindly hosted by Lancaster and District Branch of the Pony Club, followed by the Area 4 Dressage hosted by Haydock Park and held at Bold Heath in Cheshire.
Members will then travel up to Crooklands to take part in the show jumping Area competition hosted by Oxenholme branch, before heading back to Somerford Park to take part in Area eventing and the Cheshire Shield on the 7th July!
So they are off to practice, train and care for their beloved four-legged friends and they are looking forward to a fabulous summer season as members of Chipping Pony Club.
Once again anyone with a love of riding and horses can visit and have a taster day at any of Chipping’s rallies, either mounted or on foot, or just go along and watch members in action.
For more details contact Chipping’s DC Jo Conlon 07739 687972
Chipping Branch of the Pony Club