Fun Showjumping Competitions at Rhos Farm

We ran six show jumping competitions over the spring and summer months and they were all well attended, except the last one when rain put many riders off.
Riders had lots of fun and it was very pleasing to see how so many of our riders improved in confidence over the months.  We catered for nervous and novice riders and young and inexperienced horses, as well as the more experienced riders. 
 I am most grateful to my wonderful team who helped on each show jumping day.  We could not have run these competitions without their help.
So a special THANK YOU is due to the following members:
Elspeth was the course builder and also our judge for each competition.  She also helped anyone who needed help with their horse.
Lynda Haigh was entries secretary and  Jane Walker was writer for the judge and they were wonderful in their respective roles.
Sue Biltcliffe came to help us build the course each Friday before the competition and was a great help.
Alison Schmeinck was also a great help as was Ros Swanston and many other members who came and gave us a hand – thank you all
The Burgoyne family have been so very helpful and we are grateful for their support
We hope to run again in the spring and summer


Team Showjumping Competition 2019

We had a great day at our Team Show Jumping at Radford’s, everyone seemed to enjoy the day and we were amazed at the turnout with 21 teams competing plus lots of individuals.
Several riders fell off but no one was seriously injured.
The winners were:
1. Too hot to trot
2. Slushy
3. Chicks with sticks
4. The Prosecco Posse
5. One Dunn two to go
6. Desperate Horsewives

The full details of results are here:

VVRC Team Show Jumping Results 2019

We had some super helpers on the day and they all deserve a special mention and a BIG THANK YOU as the event could not have run without them.
They were: Sue Biltcliffe who came at 8am to help Janet Green and I build the course, and then Sue worked all day pole picking until she went home at 5pm; a very long shift! Sally Evans was our judge and Jane Yorke her writer, they also worked a long day. Julie Phillips kept the riders coming in and Ros Swanston was on the gate. They also worked a long day as did Jessica Jones our treasurer for the day. Paula Jeffreson, Debbie Pennington and Lynn Lewis were all excellent helping treasurer, pole picking and scoring.
Sadly, the day was soured by someone who trashed Radford’s toilets by stuffing lots of rubbish and toilets rolls down them so that they were totally unusable
However, we have had lots of requests to run another next year. Thank you all for coming to jump at our event

Showjumping update Area Show Jumping at Caerwys in July

We all set off early on a dry sunny day but when we turned left at the Chester roundabout, the rain hit us……and did it rain……it poured all the time we were there.    We all got soaked to the skin.
 However the girls all remained cheerful as did their parents and supporting friends.
Our team jumping 80cms were:  Rebecca Furniss , Helen Hathaway and Hannah Burgoyne. Shelly Colohan jumped the 100cms, they all rode extremely well.  The grass was wet and slippery, but the girls jumped so well that they were placed 2nd as a team and Hannah got an individual 5th which was wonderful.  Shelly rode amazingly well, but was just out of the ribbons.
All the girls did us proud, they were a great group and I am very proud of them all.
Take a look at their photos, they are brilliant, and if you look carefully, you will see the rain drops all around them

Area Horse Trial Qualifier at Somerford Park

This competition was originally planned to be at Llanymynech in June, but the terrible wet weather at the start of June meant that it could not run and had to be rearranged. This was a shame, as some of our members, who had originally entered, were unable to make the new date, but it was great that Meg and Helen were able to step in.

Area 20 joined Area 3 at Somerford Park in July. The 90 team, made up of Helen Hathaway, Janet Brereton and Shelly Colohan came 5th. 

Myfi Powell had a fantastic double clear and Meg Higginson was thrilled to complete the 80cm as an individual.

Everyone enjoyed the day and the opportunity to compete at that venue. We would also like to thank our helpers, Tara Taylor and Sarah Hanmer who are not club members, but kindly helped for half a day each and thank you to Gill Powell for being chef d’equipe on the day.
Well done everyone
Ali Harper

Dressage Update

Summer Area Dressage

Sadly, we only had 2 competitors in this year’s summer qualifiers, but they both represented VVRC very well with some great results. Kat Morgan and the lovely Pick Nick and Caroline and Ulis De Vassy

The venue boasted stunning views with lovely weather -apologies to the show jumpers who had rain the following week.
Kat and Nick came 4th in their arena. This was a great result made even more remarkable because Nick broke his leg in the field five years ago. He had a protracted recovery and Kat, and we, are extremely proud of her miracle horse for being able to compete in dressage competitions at all never mind representing VVRC at Area.

Caroline took Ulis De Vassy and her mum Ruth went along as groom (we couldn’t manage without them). Caroline entered P12 as an individual. Vas warmed up well, did his test and Caroline was super pleased with him for doing one of his best tests to date. They then had to wait for the scores! They were worth the wait as they got 66.85% and finished 2nd. As the winner was part of the winning team, this meant qualification passed down.

Unfortunately, Caroline didn’t attend the Championships after a little incident at the RoR Championship held at Aintree Racecourse. Vas thought he was back at the racetrack evoking bad memories of his racing career. This upset him so much Caroline decided not to take him to Lincoln the following weekend (a 3hr plus drive). Vas is now on his winter holidays.

Vas is 11 years old and ran a total of 58 times (over hurdles and chase fences winning 8 of his races. He last ran in a steeplechase on 16 December 2018 so Caroline has done an amazing job of getting him this far in such a short space of time.

Winter Area 20 dressage
This is in November and I will be sending out more details nearer the time and hope to get some entries.

Summer Dressage League
We have had a mixed summer with this. We have had to cancel a few due to bad weather and in some cases too few entries. Hopefully next year we can revamp and have more people coming along to enjoy some low-key dressage in a friendly atmosphere .

Sally Evans

Sara’s Wobbleberry Challenge

The Wobbleberry challenge is for “middle aged, wimpy riders to compete at a BE80 and raise money for the wonderful Willberry Wonder Pony – inspired by Hannah Francis”
“A shy, elusive creature, the wobbleberry’s natural habitat is spectating at BE events, and supporting other riders
Key Characteristics:
– not currently fit enough to get round a cross country course
– not currently brave enough to get round a cross country course
– old enough to know better, and know that this will hurt!
– dedicated – to raising money, to training, and conquering the fear
– supportive of each other – aiming to be weeble-esque, “we wobble, but we don’t fall down”.”

Dammit. That had me written all over it!

I have had the goal of competing at a BE90 since I got my first horse Uni way back in 2000 but we never achieved it.
Sadly, Uni does not share my enthusiasm for competing, she prefers to stay in the warm up ring with the other horses. I have genuinely been eliminated at jump 1 more than any other person on this earth (I even broke my thumb getting eliminated at jump 2 at my first and last affiliated British Showjumping Novice competition). About 8 years ago, I decided to retire Uni from competition and concentrated on finding myself a second horse who would help me achieve my dream.
In March 2015 I met and fell in love with Gus, 17 hands of gorgeous gingerness. He was PERFECT. A gentleman and very laid back. THIS IS IT! I thought, I will manage that BE90!
His temperament is fantastic, so we started training and I started regaining my confidence on the big man.
When I saw the Wobbleberry challenge I knew I had to sign up.
Gus was diagnosed with Navicular Syndrome in January 2017 and we started on a long road of barefoot rehab and the Wobbleberry Challenge and a BE90 once again became a distant dream.

Later that year I had the unbelievable good fortune of being able to loan Alton, another big gentlemen and we were back in the game.
Alton has a fantastic temperament, like Gus, and he really helped me to get my confidence back, but the thought of jumping anything larger than a log came and went.
In 2018 though we completed the 80cm Hunter Trials at Berriewood and came 7th in the BRC HunterTrials at Llanymynech, so full of positivity, we entered the BE90 at Llanymynech on the August bank holiday weekend.
You’ll remember we had a fabulous hot summer last year, except on the day we were competing we had torrential rain. It chucked it down. Still, we did a good dressage test and I flew around the show jumping with 1 down. Sadly on the cross country we had a stop at the first, and scrambled over the second and third, which is just not like Alton so I retired.
Another year gone.
At the start of 2019 Llanymynech (1) and Berriewood BE events were cancelled and feeling rather despondent and wondering whether I even wanted to do a BE90 any more the first half of the year just disappeared but then we went to VVRC camp and all that changed. We had an amazing time and were flying over all the 80 jumps like a pro.
Now I was in a quandary. I was talking to the vet while he did Alton’s vaccination, saying I couldn’t decide what to do or if I should be doing anything and he basically said, “ Just bloody get on with it and enter the 90 at Llanymynech!”. So as soon as he left, I did.
I had 6 weeks to go. I started C25k (again), got my mate to give me a circuits routine (she had me jumping jumps in the arena and rolling over bedding bales, and pushing my old garden roller around) and Alton and I had a cross-country lesson at Berriewood;he FLEW the 90 jumps so we were prepared!
It was a gloriously hot day and I tried not to think about the previous year. I was very pleased with our dressage, scoring 36.3, an improvement on the previous year, we flew around the show jumping and had one down again. Off to the cross country. Well, what can I say. Alton was AMAZING. BRILLIANT. He FLEW around the XC (we did have 1 stop at the owl hole but no probs on representing). I didn’t even have time to get scared, we were over them before I even saw them. He’s the best horse in the world.
Luckily for me, completing a BE90 also completes my Wobbleberry Challenge and we raised £275 in the process
So what will we do in 2020?
Who dares to dream?
Sara Wright and Alton

VVRC Camp 2019

It was great to be back at Berriewood for camp again in early July. Berriewood has such fantastic facilities and a lovely relaxed atmosphere, it’s the perfect location.
A few early birds kicked off on Friday afternoon with a clinic to get the party started while the rest of the gang started arriving. Once we’d got our horses settled in to their lovely large stables and before people had a chance to pop a cork, Emily Price gave us a class in exercises for rider fitness which was a lot of giggles.
Saturday started bright and early and we each had two lessons of either flatwork, polework, jumping or cross country schooling in small groups. Our instructors this year were Elspeth Carr, Ticky Fletcher, Kim Webster and Janet Green.
In the evening we had a demo from Voltora trick riders, which was very entertaining and we all fell in love with the rather gorgeous Brugie.
We then had the chance to practice trick riding on a vaulting horse.
Rather you than me!

Saturday night’s dinner was provided by The Fox and was tasty and generous as usual, followed by some socialising helped along with a drink or two.
Sunday started bright and early again with beautiful weather and we each had two more lessons of our choice and before we knew it camp was over for another year.
This year’s camp was particularly good, with everyone leaving with a smile on their face, good memories and everyone looking forward to a rest!
Thank you to all of our instructors for your excellent tuition, to Justine James and Sally Evans for organising and to Berriewood for having us
Looking forward to seeing you all next year.
Sara Wright