Equestrian: Poole pony club performing in sport's annual show

7:00am Friday 14th September 2012

By Ian Wadley

MEMBERS at Poole & District Pony Club are celebrating after their riders earned a coveted place at the 2012 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

The club’s mounted games team will compete in the prestigious event after qualifying for the showpiece occasion in Birmingham.

Broadstone trio Charlie Sutton, Rosie Pratt and Alice Fossey, along with Caitlin and Chantelle Day from Bournemouth, will represent the club at the tournament next month.

They ride for the Poole & District PC’s Prince Philip Cup team and have reached the ultimate goal of qualifying to ride at the HOYS at the NEC.

The quintet will be joined by Ferndown’s Sophie Reis, aged nine, as the sixth non-rider, while Ian Mariner is the trainer.

At the beginning of the year, more than 250 teams from across the country challenge for the six finalist places for the HOYS.

Competitions are held in 19 areas across the UK, with the top-placed teams going forward to ride at the zone competitions. The winners of those tournaments qualify for the HOYS and the runners-up compete at the National Pony Club Championships.

Mounted games were first introduced at the 1957 HOYS and have been part of the world renowned equestrian event ever since. The Prince Philip Cup is the highest accolade achievable within the sport of mounted games.

A good degree of athleticism, hand-to-eye coordination and a competitive spirit are needed to compete in the sport, alongside the ability to work as a team.

The qualifiers from the Poole & District PC’s mounted games team have realised their HOYS ambition after spending a number of years riding for the club.

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