Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 by Sasha Melia
As we sat listening to the thunder and heavy rain on Sunday evening we wondered whether the ride would even take place on the following day. We had been out all weekend route marking and despite our best efforts we were worried that the route markings might be entirely washed away and the venue be too waterlogged to safely park lorries and trailers.
Sure enough, very early on Bank Holiday Monday morning we began to get enquiries from worried competitors asking if the ride was going to be cancelled due to flooding. We reassured them as best we could and whilst I set off for the venue, Jim very bravely set off on what can only be termed an extreme route re-marking adventure. Parts of the course were VERY waterlogged but by wading through them Jim established that the footing was still secure and was able to use electric fence posts to mark out the edge of the river so that riders were kept safely on the path.
To make life even more exciting the steward at checkpoint 1 reported that the Traveller encampment which we had spotted whilst route marking had expanded overnight and was now spread all across the Bradwell Abbey area, meaning that riders in the 29km class would have no choice but to ride right through the middle of it!
In the event all ran very smoothly; whilst some of the printed signs had suffered in the rain, the rest of the route marking was still clearly visible. Most riders earned their water wings successfully and we only had 3 riders whose horses refused to go through the water – even the smallest Pony Club pony managed fine (possibly they had packed a snorkel). The Travellers were all reported as being very polite and friendly and although we gave all riders in this class the option to downgrade to the 12km class which avoided this area, in the end only one pair chose to do so. However, what with all this, the course was somewhat more intrepid than usual and as a result rode far slower than normal with the fastest speed of the day being only 9.6kmph.
More importantly however, this was a charity ride, and I’m delighted to say that we managed to raise £552 for Potential Plus UK due to the generosity of our riders and their sponsors.I would also like to thank the stewards and helpers who gave so willingly of their time – we couldn’t do it without you!
EquineK9Branding very kindly sponsored awards for the best Go Bright themed turnout and the highest amount of sponsorship raised.
Go Bright Turnout
1st Kim Newton and Gypsy
2nd Emily Skinner and Cassie
Most Sponsorship Raised
1st Sasha Snell and Dee Dee (£120)
2nd Lara Williams and Sasha (£67)
Pony Club Grassroots Qualifiers
Olivia Rosin and Ziggy – Whaddon Chase (also won the award for best WCPC member)
Katrina Rosin and Molly – Whaddon Chase
Emma Harris and Dolly – Oakley Hunt West (also won the award for Best Pony Club turnout)
Sasha Snell and Dee Dee – Whaddon Chase
Lara Williams and Sasha – Whaddon Chase
Many thanks to Wendy Compton who donated prizes for the Handy Pony
1st Hannah Maskell and Echo
2nd Lara Williams and Sasha