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Festival of the Horse Championships 2016

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A win for Pat and Secret

I am a primary supply teacher in my early fifties and was thrilled to qualify for the Senior 90 Challenge Championship at Aston-le-Walls with my 14 year old mare Secret, an IDx I have owned for the last eleven years. She has always been a brilliant, clever jumper and she absolutely loves cross country so show crosses are her best events. Once I knew I had qualified I worked hard on improving her fitness and speed as she is not the fastest horse. The Sunday before the Championship I had a final practice competition, a showcross run by our local hunt, unfortunately Secret took exception to the second part of a double and slammed on the brakes, I flew off her and smashed into the very solid jump. To cap it all our horse box broke down on the way home. I thought the extent of my injuries was a badly bruised arm but by the Thursday my back had seized up and I was in immense pain. I was booked to have some cross country training at Epworth and had arranged a lift as the box was still at the garage. I managed to ride but the pain was extreme and I thought about pulling out of the Championship. Luckily, I got an emergency appointment at the chiropractors and she managed to relieve the pain and get me functional again.
On the day, I was last to go and had the advantage of watching a lot of the other competitors over the show jumps, which helped me make the choice about the route I would take (there were two alternative routes from fence 5 with the next six jumps mirrored across the arena). Secret is one of those clever horses (mares, I should say) that like to think for themselves and I am often just a passenger that she tolerates. I was worried that she would find the experience a bit overwhelming but she was very calm and went absolutely perfectly for me. She likes a flat course and firm ground, so everything was in our favour. She flew round the cross country, just steading up to trot through the water and over the bank. Even meeting another competitor coming back towards us on a narrow part of the course did not put her off her stride.
It was a complete surprise to learn that we had come first and I almost expected them to say they had made a mistake. I am so proud of my super mare and our achievement on behalf of Penistone and District Riding Club and Area 4. The Showcross was our first event since coming to Area 4, we look forward to many more!

Pat Haisman, PDRC Secretary


Top ten finishes for Harewood teams at the Festival of the Horse Championships

Harewood were proud to represent Area 4 at the Championshiops and had a brilliant weekend at Aston le Walls on June 4th & 5th.

Three teams were competing over the weekend; 100 and 90 show cross teams on the Saturday then a combined training team on Sunday.

The Clubs job at the Championships was to help build the the show jumping courses for both the show cross and combined training so the 100 team who were first up on Saturday had already seen the somewhat challenging course that gave two route options from fence 6 to 11.

With 4 clears cross country and good show jumping rounds the team finished 6th in a close fought contest.

The afternoon saw the 90 show cross team in action and 4 fantastic performances in what was an even closer competition saw the team secure a brilliant 2nd place.  Kelly Lazenby took the lead from early on in the day and had an agonising wait until the very last competitor, another Area 4 member; Pat Haisman from Penniston and District Riding Club, who just piped her to top spot by 0.4 of a penalty.


Harewood 2nd placed team.

As to be expected of a championship the combined training proved to be another challenging competition. Team members were also the arena party on the day and had seen many competitors hopes dashed by the long, technical and twisting course, however all stepped up to the challenge and followed up solid dressage performances with good jumping rounds to secure 8th place.

Aston is a fantastic venue and everyone had a great time there.  The camaraderie and team sprit of team events can’t be beaten and everyone finishing in the rosettes was an added bonus.

Combined Training win for Judith and Legato II


The long wait until the very end of the day at the FOTH championships was worthwhile for Judith and Legato II as it turned out to be a winning performance for the pair.

Legato is very sensitive and has a particular aversion to flags.  Knowing that there were plenty of flags at Aston Judith decided something needed to be done before the Championships so a selection of flags were purchased and put up in his field at home, much to his horror! Anyway, it seemed to do the trick as despite a breezy day and flapping flags he settled well to perform a super dressage test scoring 26.8.

The show jumping had caused a great deal of problems through out the day, with time also proving to be influential on the very twisty track, however an immaculate clear round secured the win in their arena.

The combined training competition also had an overall championship prize for the best result across all 6 dressage arenas and it was announced at prize giving that Judith had also won this.