VVRC Camp 2016

Preparations for summer camp started early on in the year with everyone getting excited and planning their packing with key decisions being made between prosecco, beer, gin or in some cases, all 3! Justine assembled her team of help (Emily and Sally) and set about organising the logistics. Quite how she worked out the timetable of rides for the weekend, I will never know, but she managed to sort it so everyone had all the disciplines they wanted over the weekend and none of them clashed.
Camp itself took place at the wonderful venue of Berriewood Farm which boasts all the facilities we could need: roomy stables, 3 large arenas, grass flatwork and show jumping arenas, not forgetting the cross country course. Additional facilities include the RDA room with fridges, freezers and microwave and a new shower block. Luxury!
Twenty seven people arrived and lessons for some kicked off on the Friday afternoon, whilst others went for a hack around the fields or just settled in. Following a massive downpour, which some got caught out in, we had a great supper delivered from the local pub followed by a tricky quiz, which the geeks among us really enjoyed and everyone else remembered why they don’t like quizzes.
Saturday morning arrived without too many hangovers and the show jumping team headed off to compete in the area qualifiers. We had a very sick horse who thank fully made a good recovery after vet treatment. The rest of us had some great lessons with a variety of instructors. Saturday evening saw more food delivered from the local pub following a great talk on basic first aid for your horse. Simon Woods, ably assisted by Cassie, came over and Rupert allowed us to put bandages on his legs and stick Post it notes all over him. What a good boy!
Sunday saw the final day of lessons and then we had to pack up for another year. I think we all had a great weekend and learnt a lot from our instructors. Many thanks to the instructors, who included Paralympic gold medallist Nicola Tustain, as well as our more local instructors: Nicky Shipp, Ticky Fletcher, Janet Green, Kim Webster and Elspeth Carr. Thanks also to Penny from Berriewood who always makes us feel welcome and even found a horse for one rider. Finally, thanks to Martha Lily Photography for these fantastic photos.
Biggest thanks must go to Justine for her organisational skills and she kept the show on the road with a little help from Emily and Sally!

picture7

picture6

picture5

picture4

picture3

picture2

picture1

VVRC Summer Dressage League

Our monthly dressage competitions have proved to be very popular with club members and it has been lovely to see the improvements combinations have made throughout the summer. The standard of dressage this year has been much higher and we’ve seen club members ride tests from intro to elementary. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed these Thursday evenings and the Pimm’s seems to have improved our riding! As the summer progressed there was some stiff competition at the top of the leader board.

Thank you to John and Katherine Davies at Brithdir for making us so welcome and thank you to our judges whose comments were very helpful. Also a big thank you to everyone who has helped. League prizes will be awarded at the AGM.
picture19

picture20

picture21

Dressage to Music Area 20 Qualifiers

So I get a message one evening saying, ‘I am going to have a go at the area dressage to music -do you fancy a go?’ After a few minutes of imagining myself as Charlotte on Valegro, I said, ’Yes, let’s do it!’ A few weeks later and I was perfecting my test with a lot of help from family and friends and finally the big day arrived. I had only managed to practice in a field with an approximate size arena so it was a bit hit and miss as to whether the music would fit. I was due in first and was going around the outside of the arena, trying not to jump at the shadows and waiting and waiting – then ‘Your music won’t play on our machine!’ Oh no; disaster! All that work for nothing. The organisers were great and let the next one in while we sorted it. Elspeth went in with big Matt and did a fab test with great music, even though his centre lines were a little exciting. Elspeth’s experience on previous occasions stood her in good stead and they looked fab. Then we managed to get my music to play on Elspeth’s car CD player so after driving it into the arena and parking strategically in the corner we were off. We did a pretty good test and only missed one music marker and really enjoyed our first outing with music. We both ended up about halfway in the results and Sirius even got a rosette! Both of us then helped in the scoring office to do our help. All in all, a very successful first attempt, and I for one cannot wait to do more. 
Sally Evans

AREA 20 Horse Trials Qualifier 2016

At Lower House Farm, Llanymynech
We entered two teams for this year’s qualifiers at Radfords, Llanymynech in June. We had a team of 4 for the 80cm class, plus Nicole as an individual. The course was well designed and rode very well, but as the day unfolded, it seemed a lot of combinations were having problems out on XC and a couple of fences were proving to be difficult. About half the competitors did not complete, so to get all 5 from our team round was quite an achievement and the team finished 6th. A great start to the morning! In the 90cm, our team had their ups & downs with Elspeth finishing 8th and the team 10th. We only had Emma Duncombe in the 100cm, who unfortunately didn’t complete. Many thanks to all the helpers who offered their services to help set up beforehand and also on the day.

80cm team – 6th overall
Rachel Wooley (Ballyowen Rose) 8th
Vicki Luxmoore (September Draw) 7th
Ali Harper (Garthfach Rubix) 3rd
Helen Hathaway (Bechan Delinquent) 6th
Indv 80cm Nicole Bartholomew (Mark Twain) 8th

90cm team – 10th
Vicky Robson (Tempest River Queen)
Sue Jones (Springtime Lover)
Meg Davies (Go Go Rio)
Elspeth Carr (My Top Diplomat)
My 3rd place qualified us for the BRC championships at Swalciffe which is a fantastic venue using the undulating landscape to build a challenging, twisty XC course; much more difficult than the courses I have ever ridden before.  We went down the day before and were stabled next to other riders in our area who were very friendly.

Jack didn’t do his best dressage, which was frustrating. He was very lively having been stabled somewhere strange the night before, but we stayed within the boards which I was determined to do, as my aim was to complete all 3 phases

The SJ was busy with lots going on, but Jack jumped very well and only rolled one pole, so I was very pleased.

We had a fantastic XC round and went clear.  We picked up a couple of time penalties which was down to my lack of experience riding such a twisty and hilly course, but Jack bounced round and gave me a fantastic ride. I’m really glad I did extra fitness work with him in preparation.

We finished 22nd which I am really pleased with.  I had so much fun and learned lots from having the opportunity to go and compete at this level, I’m already thinking about how we could do it better if we ever get the chance to go again.

Ali
ht-qualifier-2016-5

ht-qualifier-2016-4

ht-qualifier-2016-3

ht-qualifier-2016-2

ht-qualifier-2016-1

Area 20 Show Jumping Summer Qualifier

We had two fabulous teams represent us at the Area Summer Qualifiers at Ashmoore Equestrian Centre, Stafford. Our novice team comprised of Sue Jones, Hollie Hindley and Justine James, and the intermediate team was Becky King, Elspeth Carr, Emma Duncombe and Vicky Robson.
It was a sunny day and despite the heavy rain the day before (anyone at camp will remember the heaviness of the rain!) the ground was solid in the intermediate ring so Elspeth, Vicky and Emma decided not to jump a second round. However, Becky jumped a lovely clear in the first round and then jumped another clear in the second round but picked up an unfortunate time fault which knocked her out of competing in the jump off.
The novice team had a better covering of grass in their arena and all three horses and riders performed brilliantly in both rounds. Poor Sue only jumped a cross pole before jumping her first round as they were running early (unheard of!) but it turns out that she didn’t need to jump anything else in the warm up because she went in to jump a perfect clear round! The team finished just outside of the placings but I think everyone was happy with how their horses jumped – I was a very proud team cheerleader!
Everyone pulled together to do our afternoon helper job which was car parking. Thank you Cassie Woods and Sue and Ray Duncombe for also helping!
It has been a pleasure being VVRC’s Show-jumping Coordinator for the past three years but I am now stepping down as I’m going back to university for a few years. The very lovely Patsy Pyke is taking over from me and I wish you all the best in the future area competitions! I won’t be gone from riding club though – I’m still on committee and hopefully I’ll get to see you at the odd competition
Kat

area-20-sj-comp-2016-3

area-20-sj-comp-2016-2

area-20-sj-comp-2016-1