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Kelsall - 23rd May 2010

Report by Steph Wagstaff Bethell.

I volunteered to host the Riding Club Teams at the Cheshire Forest Frolic, Kelsall Ride on Sunday 23rd May....volunteering also involved liaising with John Yeoman (EGB) as event co-organiser with his wife Jane and advocating the Riding Clubs across the region with an invitation to take part – the latter was more challenging – with the major challenge finding my way around the respective RC websites only to find that contact details were mostly restricted due to data protection! Great start! I finally cobbled together a few e-mail addresses and made the contacts. The Riding Clubs Team Endurance Challenge is a nationwide event designed by EGB and hosted by EGB. Each RC may submit up to two teams with a maximum number of 4 riders in one team, but no more than 6 riders in total. 12 qualifying events have been allocated across the country and this was the first – so no pressure! The final will culminate in Nottinghamshire on Sunday 5th September with the best performing team from each qualifier being forwarded.

The day arrived, and the teams arrived – mostly event horses and a couple of dressage horses! Despite a couple of riders not being able to turn up for various (but valid) reasons, 3 teams competed in this qualifying event: Delamere RC ‘pony’ Team; Delamere RC ‘horse’ Team and East Cheshire RC.

Each team was guided through the farrier inspection and vetting procedure and started their ride. No rest...due to the unusual hot weather spell, I too headed out onto the course and set myself up at CP1 as a crew for all. Armed with yet more water from Kate Williams, I also crewed her and Anna Collins – 13 horses in total, plus a few more who desperately needed a slosh bottle. Each team had been primed to bring a crew if possible – which they did – and the horses were kept well watered enroute. How on earth the teams managed to accrue so many brand new fabric conditioner bottles as slosh bottles in such a short time I will never know.

Unfortunately one horse went lame halfway around and was picked up at Delamere Railway Station. The remaining riders successfully finished their ride, the riders a little tired – the horses looking less so! The work continued with washing the horses to cool them down before being presented for vetting. All horses passed with flying colours – sound and with great heart rates.

The final results were:

First place – Delamere RC ‘Pony’ Team – forwarded to Southwell
Second place – Delamere RC ‘Horse’ Team – forwarded to Southwell
Third place – East Cheshire RC

Horse and riders had a great day, thoroughly enjoyed the ride and are planning to join us again to do some more pleasure or competitive rides.

A few words from Jenny German (dressage rider) ...

“Well now what can one say other than absolutely fantastic experience for first timers. Well organized route great although did have hic-cup sat nav not working as it should took wrong track!!(amateur). Check points well manned and stewards couldn't do enough to help horses and riders found everyone friendly and helpful.

So very proud to have been part of this ride and just like to Thank everyone who took part making this a special event, did find it challenging especially with the heat am sure few competitors might have a touch of sunburn have now ticked yet another box of dreams. We will be back to join you all again soon.

See you soon
Still on a high.

...and a cartoon summarising her day from Katie Monton:

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