Cotley riders set for national finals

The Cotley Hunt Pony club recently qualified two eventing teams for separate championships. The Pony Club area 15 qualifier was held at Treborough, Exmoor, the horse trials being hosted by the Devon and Somerset Pony Club, writes Fiona Benger.

After all the wet weather it was a glorious sunny day with amazing views over the Bristol Channel to Wales.

The Cotley Intermediate team won the team event and will compete at the National Pony Club Championships held at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire on Saturday, August 18. The Novice team came second to the East Devon Hunt Pony Club and this qualified the team for the Novice Challenge competition which is held at Kelsall also in Cheshire by kind invitation of the Cheshire North Pony Club on Sunday, August 26.

The Intermediate team riders were Layla Felgate riding Ricas Moon Shadow, Sophie Benger: Mr Monty, Olivia Benger: Farney River and Billie Ann Warren: Siberian High. In the individual placings, Felgate came third, Olivia Benger fourth and Sophie Benger fifth - these three riders were in the winning event team last year.

Olivia Benger has also qualified Farney River as an individual in the open dressage and the intermediate show jumping held on Thursday and Friday, August 16 and 17, at Cholmondeley, Cheshire.

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The Novice team did well as they only had three riders, all three scores having to count. The riders were Georgina Ewell riding Zoretto, Henrietta Ewell: Pickles and Rosanna Hendley: Chilli Pepper. Georgina Ewell won her section individually, Hendley came sixth and Henrietta Ewell eighth. Henrietta, at 10 years old, was one of the youngest competitors and her pony Pickles was one of the smallest in the competition. Hendley has qualified her pony Chilli Pepper for the show jumping finals at the Novice Challenge held on Saturday, August 25, at Kelsall.

The Cotley team members are very grateful to Sarah Clist, their team manager, and Mrs Ford, the Cotley DC.

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