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Blenheim office besieged by Pony Clubs!

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Heather Dodd

Once again the Blenheim Horse Trials office has been swamped with entries for the Eventer Challenge Competitions for Riding and Pony Clubs which are sponsored by one of its long term sponsors, Dodson & Horrell.

“The class is incredibly popular” says Event Director Mandy Hervieu.

“We have been having calls for weeks from team captains itching to get their entries in, lots of emails and even one lady who wanted to drive for three hours each way to make sure her team got a place!”

So popular is this class that there is already a wait list for the Pony Club Class and the Riding Club entries are coming in thick and fast.

“We love sponsoring these classes” said Dodson & Horrell Marketing Director Sam Horrell.

“It’s fiercely competitive but the riders are so happy to be able to take part in a great competition especially in such a prestigious setting and so we make sure they all get a goody bag to go away with and for the top teams there are lovely rosettes, rugs and prizes too.

“Plus, our judge Kay Graves kindly donates a rug and rosettes to the most stylish individuals.”

The classes are arena-based competitions where teams of four compete against one another trying to get four clear rounds within the optimal time over a cleverly designed course of cross country and show jumps of 90cm to 1m designed by Eric Winter and Di Boddy.

In 2012 the fence that caught many out was the wavy planks zebra designed by local school girl Ellen Coles and it is planned that the zebra will appear again in 2013 but with some new challenges for the ultra competitive pony clubs to tackle.

This year the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials will be held on 12th – 15th of September with a packed programme which not only includes the CCI*** and 8 and 9 year old CIC*** international eventing classes but also the Eventer Challenge Classes for Pony Clubs, Riding Clubs and BE 100 competitors plus a full schedule of demonstrations and displays, a wide range of shopping opportunities and children’s attractions, craft marquee and a food and drink hall.

Tickets start at just £10* per adult with children under 12 getting in free and a complimentary parking pass for all who book in advance (car parking fees apply for on the gate sales).

More information on the event can be found and advance tickets purchased online from www.blenheim-horse.co.uk.   

New ‘Compete at Home’ Championship for Pony Club Members

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Heather Dodd

Dressage Anywhere and The Pony Club, are excited to announce the NEW Pony Club Online Dressage Championships! 

All young riders, whether they have their own pony or ride at a Riding School, will have the opportunity to compete against others from all over the country, all without leaving their own yard or field; they may even get the chance compete internationally, as it is hoped that Pony Club Branches and Centres from overseas will also take part! 

The qualifying classes for The Pony Club Online Dressage Championships will run from 1st April – 30th July, with the highest placed riders in each class being eligible for The Online Championships running through 15th August – 30th September.   The qualifiers are open to any young rider, but in order to take part in The Online Championships competitors must be a Member of a Pony Club Branch or Centre.

“This is a marvellous opportunity for riders of all levels, as the tests run from walk and trot up to intermediate to introduce the competitive experience” comments Nereide Goodman, Director of Dressage Anywhere and List 1 British Dressage Judge.  “For regular competitors it gives them a chance to have feedback from a top judge to whom they might not normally have access, and competing from home is fun and develops the ability and confidence of both pony and rider before going to a live competition”.

To take part riders simply need to register, free of charge, online at www.dressageanywhere.com and choose one of four tests from the monthly schedule suitable for their experience, before getting a parent or friend to video their test and uploading it to Dressage Anywhere, or to YouTube. As soon as the test has been judged, by one of a panel of experienced British Dressage judges, the rider is notified and can download their score sheet with comments and marks, before visiting the scoreboard to see their current position in the class.

Lucy Goler, Centre Membership Executive Officer for The Pony Club comments “The Pony Club Online Dressage Championships will be a great opportunity in particular for our Centre Members, who do not have their own ponies, to compete on a national level without the need for the Centre Proprietors to take their ponies off-site. With Pony Club tests at all levels available, it will mean our most novice young riders will have the chance to take part as well as the more experienced, so everyone will benefit”.

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