magical Final to a unique competition
British Horse Society Equitation Competition for riding school
13 April saw almost sixty children complete with horses, ponies,
an army of volunteers, and a Royal Princess descend on a tranquil
corner of Warwickshire. The reason? The seventh Final of the British
Horse Society (BHS) Equitation Competition, sponsored by the Elise
qualified for the competition at BHS Approved Riding Establishments,
including one centre in Hong Kong! To be eligible for the competition,
children had to be riding school clients who did not own a horse
or pony. Success at the qualifiers earned them a place at the final,
held at Warwickshire College, in either the 13 years and under,
or 17 years and under class.
Tuesday the children demonstrated their skills and abilities in
a short dressage test, over a course of show jumps, and in a half
hour written theory test, containing questions on horse care and
welfare. The Society's President, HRH The Princess Royal attended
the day and spent time watching the classes and chatting to competitors.
Her Royal Highness then presented training vouchers, sashes and
awards to the winning riders and their instructors. Also in attendance
was Caroline Doulton, Chairman of Trustees of the Elise Pilkinton
Trust. Caroline helped The Princess Royal hand out prizes, and spent
time getting to know the children who have benefited so much from
the Trust's support.
of the 17 years and under class, Bethany Clench, said "I am
very excited to have won my class although it was extremely nerve
wracking! The pony I was riding, Native Splash, went really well,
especially since she gets as nervous as me during competitions.
" Bethany travelled all the way from St Veep Riding School
in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, with her riding instructor, Josephine
Baron, and riding school pony Native Splash. Josephine said "This
is the second time Bethany has been successful at the BHS Equitation
Competition Final. Back in 2002 she won the 13 years and under class,
and it is just fantastic that she has won in the higher age group.
Watching Bethany ride the dressage test brought a tear to my eye,
and I am sure I was more nervous then she was!" Owner of St
Veep, Ilene Barron, said "It was a brilliant, well organised
day, and having HRH The Princess Royal there was just magical."
of the 13 years and under class was Katie Cowan, from Penewin Stables,
Saltash, Cornwall. Katie was accompanied on the day by her instructor,
Helen Moore, and riding school pony May Sunday. Katie said of the
day "It was great fun. I am glad I got to bring May Sunday
with me. She was really good and I think she is brilliant."
Proud instructor, Helen Moore, said "The competition was really
exciting. This is the first year Penewin Stables entered and we
just couldn't believe it when Katie qualified. She has only been
riding for three years but definitely has natural talent. We are
looking forward to the 2005 competition already!"
Chairman, Mrs Pat Campbell, commented "The day ran like clockwork
and was a credit to the hard work of staff at the BHS. The aim of
the competition is to encourage non-horse owning children to progress
with their riding, and this has certainly proved the case today.
All competitors should be proud of their achievements, and their
riding instructors deserve praise too."
British Horse Society would like to thank everyone who took part
in the Final; the competitors, instructors, judges and everyone
who provided horses and ponies on the day. A special thank you must
go to the Elise Pilkington Trust, for their continued sponsorship
of the event, Warwickshire College, staff at the BHS, and HRH The
Princess Royal, for adding a touch of magic.