May 15, 2009
Strong winds, sunshine and moderate temperatures gave almost perfect conditions for this year's Golden Horseshoe Ride over Exmoor - and it resulted in a record Gold tally of 20 over the four classes.
But in spite of some superb riding and on-course judgement, biggest cheer of the final day went to the diminutive Kingsby Nutmeg, the first Exmoor pony to take part in one of the competitive classes in the ride.
Owned and ridden by vet's receptionist Mary Hannah, from Brompton Regis, the pony finished the first day and 25 miles of the 50-mile Exmoor Experience class in Silver position and then completed the second day with a Bronze award, losing the one place on time only.
The 65 riders competing in the four classes - the 100-mile Golden Horseshoe, the 75-mile Exmoor Stag, 50-mile Exmoor Experience and one-day, 50-mile Exmoor 80 - netted a total of 20 Gold awards, 20 Silver and 10 Bronze.
Barbara Wigley, who heads the organising committee, said: "It really was one of the best rides yet. Exmoor is very tough and can be hard on both horses and riders, but each year we see an improvement and this time everyone was impressed with the way the horses responded to the demands made on them and their fitness and condition at the end."
In the 100-mile class, David Yeoman and Haszar were particular impressive, pressing ahead of the field for most of the day, closely followed by Lorna Hogg on De Marco and Carol Jones with Ptolemaeus.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
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