Sunday, August 28, 2005

RIDERS AND HORSES TEST THEIR METTLE



Published on Friday, August 26th 2005


THE endurance of riders and their horses was put to the test in one of Tynedale?s fastest growing equestrian events.

The Hexhamshire Trophy Ride has been growing in stature since it started six years ago, and this year was no different.

The gruelling 53-mile endurance ride started at Cooks House Farm near Hexhamshire on July 31, and attracted a good entry of 14 horses from as far afield as Sussex and Argyll.

Quickest off the mark was Danielle (Danni) Coulson, with Eyphorias Quest, from Northallerton, who was determined to win and make this race third time lucky.

After the second vet gate, Danni was one second ahead of Rachael Atkinson riding Oakthwaite Zara, from Burnley, Lancashire.

Finally, Danni won the Yorkshire-Lancashire war of the roses tussle after five hours of fast riding with four minutes to spare.

The ride organisers, Janet Lennard, of Hexham, and Viv Knight, of Haltwhistle, cheered home Viv?s daughter Lee-Anne, who was riding Janet?s horse Kavanagh.

It was the horse?s first attempt at this endurance ride distance, and he finished in an excellent eighth place.

Fifty-nine horses and riders took part in competitive classes in the event, which was organised by the Northumberland and Tyneside branch of the Endurance Great Britain Society.

Not only were they able to compete in one of nine different ability course routes, they were also given the opportunity to take part in a 12-mile pleasure ride along beautiful moorland tracks.

The rain and drizzle of the previous three days gave way to dry, cool, ideal riding weather.

The society thanked Ian and Jennifer Dodds, of Cooks House Farm, who provided ample stabling, camping and corralling, with a warm welcome.

Bedmax of Northumberland provided shavings for beds and Northumbrian Water provided three water bowsers at Hexham, Catton and Allendale for keeping the horses cool on the trail.

WCF of Hexham provided buckets for the hard working, and often forgotten, crews of the race riders.

The trophy and prizes of glasses were sponsored and engraved by Border Trails Endurance of Bellingham.

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