Inter-club Show Jumping 2017

This year’s Inter-Club Show Jumping was a lot of fun so thank you everyone who came and made it such a success! We had lots of new members jumping as well as members who only jump in public on very special occasions (shout out to my mum! proud daughter moment) and it was great seeing everyone jump for their club teams.
Thanks to VVRC members’ jumping successes on the day, we won the inter-club show jumping trophy for the second year in a row! Our competitor of the day was Babs Williams who earned the most points overall for the team. It was particularly fantastic to see Babs take home the prize because she has competed for us every year and it has been amazing to see her grow in confidence each time.
This competition couldn’t run without a squad of kind and helpful volunteers from both clubs who pole-pick, score, and go on arena gate duty. Big thanks to Sally Evans who kindly judged and commentated, and Gaynor Morgan who used her accounting skills to score for us again this year. Also, thanks needs to go to Jane Yorke who did a fabulous job of judging the style class for us.
We’re hoping to run the competition again next year. I really would like to stress that Polly (Dolfor RC rep) and I want to make this competition accessible to EVERYONE and jumps will be made as big or as small as they people who turn up to compete want to jump. This year we started at 45cm with a jump off at 50cm, but if people want poles on the ground to start with that’s absolutely fine! Our aim is to give everyone a chance to fly the flag for their club, and your club team will gain points just for you entering.
The classes we generally run are three normal rounds of show jumping with a jump off for clear rounds, at heights depending on what people want to jump. We also have an accumulator (1 minute to jump as many fences as you can), pairs (each partner jumps a shorter round of jumps (no one steal Heather, she’s my jumping partner!)), style class (not only do you need to leave the jumps up, you need to do it smartly), and chase-me-charlie (jumps go up and up – complete opposite to the limbo).
Look forward to seeing you all next year – lets go for three years in a row! Kat

The Wobbleberry Challenge

This time last year I saw a post on Facebook about a challenge to raise money for Hannah Francis’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity.  Hannah was a talented young eventer who passed away last Summer due to osteosarcoma, and had set up a charity to help other young people with conditions like hers.  The challenge was for riders who had not evented before to complete a BE80 during the 2017 season.  The challenge was targeted at ‘wimpy, middle aged riders’ so I fitted the bill!  In my late 40’s and although a keen rider I limited my activities to low level dressage and hacking. Even the thought of jumping makes me feel very nervous so I knew it was going to be a big ask.  

I should say a bit about my Wobbleberry partner Bob.  I’ve owned Bob for 8 years and he’s a 15.3 ID x TB who is now 15.  As Bob has had the misfortune of being owned by me  his jumping experiences have also been very limited.  Fortunately Bob has taken to jumping very easily and seems to have some natural aptitude for it making up for my complete lack of talent in the discipline!!  
So having been accepted onto the challenge late last year, jumping lessons started in earnest in December and continued as often as I could manage.  I joined VVRC at the beginning of the year and having gone to a Wobbleberry XC training session at Kelsall and then the BRC grassroots XC training at Somerford, I began to go to some VVRC clinics.  First we went to an all day clinic with Alison Lewis in Meifod in April which was fantastic because we were able to do dressage, SJ and XC on grass all on the same day.  Then I took up the offer to train with Janet Green and those hoping to compete at Area horse trials over the Llanymynech BE course at the end of May.  I think this was the turning point for me as by this point I felt able to jump all the 80 fences.  
Having had a couple of practice runs in June and July at Area horse trials and then Radfords compact eventing, I entered the BE80 at Llanymynech at the end of August.  I can’t really describe how nervous I felt in the run up to this.  The SJ particularly bothered me – the thought of going into that ring!  I hardly slept the night before but the day started well and Bob warmed up lovely for the dressage.  The test itself was OK and we got 31.8.  Then onto the SJ.  I didn’t spend long warming up as it only serves to make me more nervous and tires Bob so once I was happy that he was jumping cleanly we went in.  I couldn’t believe we had a lovely clear round, even over all those really wide oxers that I’d had nightmares about the night before!! I then made the fatal mistake of thinking we were home and dry as Bob had been so reliable XC.  Just goes to show we must never take anything for granted with horses . We had a silly spook at fence 2 on the XC and I fell off!! No harm done so I got back on and flew the rest of the course clear.  Next time I will remember to keep my leg on!!  
I’m thrilled to have been part of this challenge, I’ve really enjoyed the year and with the help and support of so many people Bob and I have raised nearly £700 for Hannah’s charity.   I attended a presentation at Blenheim Horse Trials in September for Wobbleberries that have completed and was overwhelmed by what the challenge has done for people individually and collectively. Apparently the fund raising total is currently at nearly £220K.  
Wobbleberry HQ will shortly be taking registrations for 2018 if you’re interested, I can wholeheartedly recommend it!  

Debbie Pennington

VVRC Camp at Berriewood Farm

July saw another successful Riding Club Camp at Berriewood, with 30 attendees!

Lessons began on Friday afternoon for some with Polework and Showjumping lessons with Kim Webster, with other campers arriving through the evening.

After a busy afternoon the hungry bunch were fed by a delivery from the local pub, followed by a ‘few’ drinks and some samples for our 4 legged friends from Horse Hage.

Saturday saw an early start for some, with others feeling a little worse for ware!

We welcomed Sally Poppe, Janet Green and Nicky Shipp for a full day of teaching. We also had a visit from Sarah, a Topspec Rep, who weighed our horses and provided us with some goodies, which I think was a highlight for some members.

The evening saw a demonstration from Emily Pryce, where we welcomed some extra members for the evening.  After the informative demonstration from Emily, a selection of food was delivered.

With the weather on our side, the campers enjoyed an evening Yoga session outside hosted by Kat, followed by numerous drinks and chit chat.

 On Sunday we got some weather that wasn’t ordered but this didn’t dampen our spirits! With instruction from Ticky Fletcher, Elspeth Carr & Nicky Shipp it was another great day.

 Camp drew to a close with lots of smiles from our members and even suggestions of a longer camp or 2 camps!!!

 Thanks to Penny for the fantastic venue and facilities, all of our instructors, our special guests Emily, Sarah and Martha Lily and last but certainly not least Sally whom I could not have organised camp without.

 Look forward to seeing you all next year.


BRC Area 20 Horse Trials Qualifier at Llanymynech

We had three teams and two individual competitors entered for the horse trials qualifier in June.

Cassie Woods, Rubie Taylor, Sam Pennington and Hattie Warner were entered as a team in the 80cm qualifier as were Vicki Luxmoore, Izzy Roberts, Debbie Pennington and Sian Bates. In the 90cm we had a team made up of Myfi Powell, Ali Harper, Helen Hathaway and Justine James with Vicki Robson running as an individual as well as Rachel Baines who stood in for Elspeth Carr after Elspeth injured her eye and was unable to compete.

Everyone produced good dressage tests and we were off to a good start. The showjumping proved to be quite tricky and we had two eliminated from our 80cm team where one horse didn’t like the fillers and the other combination had control issues which meant one team was out but the two remaining competitors could continue for individual placings.

We also had one technical elimination in the 90cm because the horse and rider missed going through the finish and then went back through the finish the wrong way. Whilst very unfortunate, it was a good lesson learned and one for all of us to remember next time!

The cross country course was lovely and rode very well. Some of our 80cm team were riding inexperienced or green horses and a few clocked up some time penalties but all got round. The 90cm riders all got round, many inside the time. When the results came out we were all thrilled as so many of our members had done so well.

80cm individual results
Sam Pennington 4th
Hattie Warner  7th

80cm team 8th
Izzy Roberts  3rd
Debbie Pennington 14th
Vicki Luxmoore 5th
Sian Bates  13th

90cm team 2nd
Myfi Powell 1st
Helen Hathaway 8th
Ali Harper 9th
Justine James

90cm individual results
Rachel Baines  22nd
Vicky Robson 4th

BRC Area Dressage + Dressage to Music + Championships

We had three full teams for area dressage this summer. Nine of us set off for Prees near Whitchurch on Sunday July 23rd. 

The Novice team of Justine, Janet, Irene and Ali all did the same test and did very well to come 3rd overall. Individual successes were Janet with a 1st, and Justine and Irene with 9th. 

The Open team of Izzy, Elspeth, Myfi and Sally all did separate Novice and Elementary tests and came 4th with individual placing of Izzy 1st, and Elspeth and Myfi 5th.

The Riding Test team of Meg, Justine, Ali and Izzy came 5th with individual placing Izzy 3rd and Justine 9th. Elspeth and Izzy also did the Pairs and came 2nd and Elspeth and Meg did individual tests with Elspeth coming 6th in the Medium. 

We had lots of help on the day from family and the support was great, so thank you to everyone who entered and helped. Hopefully we will have as much success in the Winter Qualifiers.

Three members entered the Area Dressage to Music competition at Reaseheath in August.

Christine came 3rd in the Medium test, Nicky 4th in the Novice and Elspeth 2nd in the Elementary. All 3 enjoyed their experience and are planning their next music outings.

Izzy and Janet both made the long journey to Lincoln to take part in the Dressage Championships having qualified in July. Both did extremely well and came 5th in their respective arenas; Izzy in the Novice and Janet in the Preliminary. Janet also entered the Veteran Rider class and came 1st getting a trophy to bring home. Well done! ladies!