THE Iveagh Branch of the Pony Club returned home from the UK Pony Club Championships 2018 at Chomondeley Castle with three Championship Titles and many more rosettes from their impressive squad of qualified riders.
In the Dressage Championships, Hannah McKinstry and her horse ‘Dernhatton Delight’ made their first and last visit to the Championships, as Hannah is in her last year of Pony Club. She made it one to remember, scoring an impressive 63.3% in the Novice Dressage to finish in the top half of her arena. Laura King and her horse ‘Bellissima MKM’ made an impressive start to the week in the Open Novice Dressage competition, scoring an incredible 73.3% to win the class and take home the Champion Title.
In the Show Jumping, Iveagh had more success, the first of the week’s competitors was Emma-Jane Orr and her incredible pony ‘Jazzy Suzy’, who were the only combination who managed to jump two clear rounds in the Open Novice Show jumping Class to land her the title of Champion.
Not to be outdone, the four Iveagh Intermediate Individual Show jumpers (Meabh McIlduff, Kiara Malcomson, Victoria Lee and Sarah Clarke), showed just how good the coaching and training of Mickey McCann is, with all of them jumping foot perfect first rounds to all finish on a zero score. Three of the Iveagh riders jumped themselves into the jump-off, where the course was adjusted and left a very technical challenge for all the riders. Meabh and Kiara finished up just outside the placings, however, Victoria Lee jumped an incredibly well executed round to shave vital milliseconds off the leader’s time to slot herself and her mount ‘Duffy’ into first place and take home the championship title!
The Novice Show jumping Team of Rory Osbourne, David Kehoe and Felicity Ferris all jumped superb first rounds to leave the team on a zero score. The second round proved a lot more technical for all the teams, with the team finishing on eight faults, which slotted them into sixth place – a brilliant achievement for such a young team! Again, credit must go to Mickey and all the other trainers and coaches, who work so hard with these riders throughout the year.
Next, all eyes turned to the two Intermediate Show Jumping Teams, the course as always proved challenging, with big bold fences and very technical lines. The Iveagh Team of Laura King, Sarah Moore, Chloe Harrison and Helen Sinton all jumped incredibly well to finish in the top half of the class. The Iveagh Team of Kiara Malcomson, Meabh McIlduff, Victoria Lee and Sophie Hanna all showed their consistency to finish the first round on clear. Again, a very technical second round proved problematic for a lot of teams, however the girls all rode with great skill to finish in fifth place.
The eventers also showed they weren’t to be forgotten about – although no placings, the Iveagh riders rode some of the best cross-country rounds of the day, with time being an unfortunate deciding factor. The level of skill shown by every one of the Iveagh riders again must be credited to the coaches, who spend all year practicing not only their cross-country, but also going through dressage tests and show jumping techniques to ensure the riders are well capable of any course they are presented with.
Lastly, Emily McCleane was the sole Iveagh representative on the polocrosse field, playing for the Area 17 Team. Again this is Emily’s last year as a member and she will be sorely missed. Her team came a very impressive second in the Senior Section, as well as walking away Tack and Turnout winners.
Iveagh wouldn’t be the club that it is without Vanne Campbell holding everyone together! Always first in the queue to get passports checked and numbers collected, Iveagh members would be lost without her guidance when it comes to these big competitions. As well as the rosettes, the enjoyment of the week is rarely rivalled when it comes to such a great atmosphere between club members and their families and friends.
The members all owe a massive thank you to everyone who travelled to help or support, to those who stood at Area Competitions to enable the riders to get there and who have spent hours training and driving around the country to practice at every competition they can – the unsung heroes!