Devon & Somerset Pony Club claim HOYS silverware
The Devon and Somerset Branch of The Pony Club have won the final of The NFU Countryside Prince Philip Cup Mounted Games held at the Horse of the Year Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
The winning Devon and Somerset team comprised of Scarlett Cooksley, Rory Capel, Zoey Cape, Tom McCanlis, Matthew Seabourne and Anna Weatherlake (Reserve). Having previously made it to the Prince Philip Cup finals, including a 3rd placing in 2009, this was a first time win for Devon and Somerset, which proved to be truly nail biting with just one point between them on 104 points, and 2008 winners Oakley Hunt (West) on 103 points!
“We are in utter shock!” commented Devon and Somerset team trainer Bella Capel. “It’s been a fantastic week, and all of the teams have ridden so well, it was a real battle right until the end”.
Six Pony Club Branch teams including, Badsworth Hunt, Berwyn and Dee, Devon and Somerset, Oakley Hunt (West), Orkney and Rockwood Harriers went forward to the final at HOYS after battling it out at the Zone Finals around the country during the summer. At HOYS the competition really builds on the Thursday evening, and by the end of Sunday afternoon teams that have accumulated the most points during the week go on to Sunday night’s prestigious final to compete for NFU Countryside Prince Philip Cup.
The Pony Club Mounted Games is a competition requiring courage, determination and all round riding ability. The concept of the competition was first introduced by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, who suggested that Cavalry competitions could be adapted for young riders on ponies in an entertaining and visually engaging format. The first competitions were held in 1957 and the winner received the coveted Prince Philip Challenge Trophy. Pony Club Mounted Games is a true team event, with five riders in each team the onus is definitely on working together as there are no individual events in this discipline.
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