Tuesday, May 19, 2009
THE Wadebridge Ride started in the 1970s and is the first competitive endurance ride on the South West calendar.
Stevie Martin was ride organiser and received back up from a team of volunteer helpers.
Held at the Royal Cornwall Showground, the ride also benefited from generous core sponsorship from Sweet Meadow Horse Feeds.
"This ride takes in quiet lanes and forestry tracks and is perfect for a straightforward start to the season," said Jane Holden, of Endurance GB South West.
"Experienced members use it to bring on their young horses while novice riders make it their first competitive ride."
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One rider enjoying her first experience was eight-year-old Saffron Bishop from Altarnun who partnered her pony Scarlet alongside her father Tristan.
At 18-years-old, this little Exmoor cross Arab pony taught Saffron's elder sister Rachael to ride and to compete successfully in endurance riding.
In 2002, they were among only four competitors to finish the 100-mile Golden Horseshoe Ride on Exmoor and in the same year they secured the Junior National Championship.
Three years later they clinched the coveted U21s National Championship.
For the past two years, Scarlet has been on loan to the Chisholm family, from Lydford, and has taken sisters Tess and Abby up to advanced level endurance riding but this wonderful schoolmistress has now returned back to the Bishop family to start all over again with Saffron.
More than 90 competitors and pleasure riders took part at Wadebridge, completing with a high number of Grade Ones.
The Bodmin-based company Equus Health put up generous sponsorship enabling prizes to be awarded to the best turned-out horses and riders in the various categories.
These were won by Carolyn Thomas on Midnight Mischief, Ann Jobson on Samson, and Katie Came-Johnson on Pompei.
The Sweet Meadow Horse Feeds awards for the best in class came under scrutiny by the team of vets.
These awards went to Lesley Dore on Firebird, Valerie Crocker on Prince Nadem and Vicky Mosey on Betty. The farrier's award went to Arthur Bell of Truro and Alex Prout's mare Tilly.
Non members are welcome to take part in any of the South West Group's rides. For more details visit www.endurancegbsouthwest.com