East Down Branch of the Pony Club celebrates year of success

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East Down Branch of the Pony Club recently held their annual prize giving at the Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch.

A large turnout of members and their families filled the room to capacity and it was a great opportunity to catch up and reflect on the success of the club during 2014.

The members had the opportunity to see themselves in action over the summer thanks to a fantastic display of photographs put together by Nicky Burns and anticipation was high with the silverware and many rosettes lining the awards table.

Joint District Commissioners Alison Bissenden and Donna Quail thanked the many people who support the club over the year. This included Richard Lyttle and his team from Downpatrick Racecourse who host the annual summer camp and Marion Turley and her team at Tullymurry Equestrian Centre who host the Junior camp, many rallies and, also in 2014, the Area 17 Home Championships. Also Nicola Manningham-Buller and Eric Pele for the use of their facilities for rallies and training as well as their expertise, Terry and Roz Murphy for hosting Junior Rallies and the members, family and friends who work together to ensure such events are a success. Also to Pat Turley and family for kindly allowing the club to use their ground during camp.

In 2014, East Down was delighted to have great success at Area competitions and Home Championships. The club had representation in all disciplines which resulted in Senior members travelling to England to compete in show jumping, Eventing, Dressage, Tetrathlon, Endurance and Toni Quail was selected to represent Team GB in Games. The Junior members also had a very successful summer at Area Dressage, Show jumping, Tetrathlon and the Home Championships. These young members are extremely competent and competitive giving East Down Branch a strong future.

The show jumping team of Chloe Rooney, Toni Quail, Andrew Turley and Molly Evans were presented with the District Commissioner’s Award to acknowledge their success in England where they won the Horsemanship Award.

This is presented to the Team who show ability, talent and effectiveness and is judged during the first round of the Intermediate Championships.

All team members must ‘maintain rhythm and balance, intervening only when necessary and giving their mounts confidence to jump in a settled, supple way with effective leg position while riding on the flat and when jumping’.

It is judged from the moment the rider enters the arena and reflects the talent that these four riders displayed.

Senior Russell Cup (nominated by instructors during Senior camp) – Henry Evans

Junior Russell Cup (nominated by instructors during Junior camp) – Ella Kincaid

Most improved Mini member – Lucy Keyes

Most improved Junior member – Sam Hamilton

Most improved member under 14 years – Alex Cleland

Most improved Senior member – Andrew Turley

Best Ambassador for East Down – Toni Quail

Best East Down Pony Clubber – Sophie Truesdale

Most successful rider at Area level – Emma Holmes (dressage), Ellen Erskine and Paddy Erskine (Tetrathlon)

Most successful team at Area level –Intermediate Eventing Team (2nd place at Areas) Chloe Rooney, Toni Quail, Cathy Campbell and Andrew Turley

Most successful Novice Team – Novice Eventing Team (4th place at Areas) Ryan Truesdale, Alex Cleland, Ben Rowlatt-McCormick and Olivia Hughes

Most successful Tetrathlon Team – Open Boys Team (1st place at Areas) of Andrew Turley, Paddy Erskine, Ewan Findlay and Rory McMullan

Fledgling Tetrathlete – Tom Rowlatt-McCormick

Attendance and Turn-out

Junior – Lara Kelly

Intermediate – Aoife Hamilton-Quinn

Senior – Ryan Truesdale

Under 14 year’s Show jumping – Charis Vinaccia (fifth place individual at Novice Championships)

Senior Show jumping - Tilly Mae Horder (qualified for and travelled to Dengie Championships)

Junior Dressage – Zara Burns – (first place U10 at Areas)

Senior Dressage – Emma Holmes - (first place Novice at Area Dressage and attended Novice Championships)

Junior Team at Areas – Tetrathlon Team – Ben Rowlatt McCormick, Johnny Erskine and Tara Findlay

Mini Team at Areas – U10 Dressage Team (first Place) – Zara Burns, Emma Burns, Dylan Torrens and Aaron Dugan

Best Individual at Home Championships – Zara Burns - (first place)

Home Championships team – 45cms assisted Team - (first place) – Sam Hamilton, Ellie McDowell, Andrew Sharvin and Harvey McGladdery

Home Championships Team – (65cms team) – (first place) – Thomas Murphy, James Murphy, Zara Burns and Zara Sharvin

Novice Eventing Award – (fifth place Individual at Areas) – Olivia Hughes

Intermediate Eventing - (second place Individuals at Areas) – Cathy Campbell and Toni Quail

Napier Family Trophy (awarded to the family within the club who have helped over and above the norm) - Campbell family, Gavin, Rosemary, Cathy and Stewart

The members of East Down Branch of the Pony Club are continuing with their hard work over the winter with many gaining their Efficiency Badges and Road Rider Badges. Rallies and Training are underway with a new programme of Events being drawn up and the Summer Championships already in mind.

The next big event for the Club is the Dengie Dressage Qualifier, Triathlon and the One Day Event.

East Down Branch welcomes new members and details can be found on membership and events on the Pony Club website www.pcuk.org.