Long-Reining & Driving Event

April Showers didn't dampen competitor's enthusiasm

The rain and chilly temperature didn't stop competitors at our April event enjoying a range of long-reining and driven carriage driving classes. Our long-reining Agility class was held in the fabulous indoor arena at World Horse Welfare, Snetterton, which is so spacious it allowed us to provide an undercover warm up area complete with a set of cones for those competing in the Long-reining Cones&Obstacle class and one purple Gym Ball for a bit of practice!

Those scary purple Gym balls mounted on lime green pots proved no hassle at all for the competitors who skilfully weaved their way between them. Other tasks included crossing a rubber mat (which most horses do every day in their stables, yet found it rather spooky in the arena), reversing out of a box, crossing a rocky road and ducking under the Arch which our winner of Group A, Emma Scoutney's Percheron Dezzy performed to perfection, he even ducked his head as he passed under the arch which delighted the spectators.  Winner of Group B was Samantha Kingdon with her Shetland pony Too Hoots Summer Breeze.

Mr Justin Cowles had the pleasure of judging the turnouts of all shapes and sizes, from heavy horses to a miniature pony. His advice to the competitors was well received and we all appreciate the fact that everyone has a lot to learn about these new competitions.

Our Driven Agility was based on most of the long-reining tasks, with the arch removed and replaced by the water challenge - where groom and driver have to transport a glass of water spilling as little as possible. Just two competitors forward, with a very close result Cherly Middleton took the red rosette from Linda Porter-Cohen.

Outside in the all weather arena the long-reining Cones&Obstacle competition was taking place. The course included an obstacle, this time around a tree with gates A,B,C & D to be negotiated, and 13 cones including a slalom. This Fault Cones competition had an optimum time, with competitors incurring penalties either side of the ideal time plus any penalties for dislodged balls.  Winner of Group A was Mary Fuller with Manny (pictured) and Group B was Laura Priestley with Rolo.

With the presentation of awards over for the morning's activities, we moved onto the Combined driving competition and for the first time competitors drove the British Carriagedriving Evolution dressage test in the 80x40m arena followed by two rounds of cones. Despite the continual downpour of rain the ground was good for both dressage and cones; it was just rather miserable conditions for competitors, judges and stewards.

Winners of the combined driving:

Pre-novice/Grassroots class - Brenda Lane

Novice - Rosemary Armstrong

Open - Lesley Young

Multiples - Claire Bourne

Once again we could not hold an event without volunteers and wish to thank Justin Cowles (Judge), Deleyse Masters-Brown (Steward/Writer), Colin and Angela Pyke (Safety Check and Cones), Ian Priestley (Cones Judge), and Linda Porter-Cohan and Jade Ashby for help packing away, and anyone else who helped with clearing the Cones course at the end of the day.  Your help is very much appreciated.