Friday 18th May - 08:00 And finally, for this year, here is Press Officer Nicky Moffatt's press release after the event:
Great success at Golden Horseshoe
Riders from across the UK took part in this year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride, which was held on Exmoor from the 13-15 May. Not put off by the recent bad weather, almost 300 endurance enthusiasts made the journey to Somerset to take part in the pleasure ride and competitive classes at this year’s event.
David Yeoman riding Marlouf de Norvavre (who gained a silver medal) and Linda Kidd on Drastik with AK (who won a bronze medal) were the only two to finish the course and pass the final vetting in Class 1 – The Golden Horseshoe – which covers 100 miles/160kilometres split over two days. Says Linda: “Finishing this year’s course means everything to me. I am thrilled to bits with Drastik and depending on how she goes from here, I hope to bring her back next year.” Linda also gave a huge thanks to ride organiser Barbara Wigley and her husband Ian, who made a great effort to keep the ride running this year despite the persistent rain leading up to the event.
There were more medals to be won in classes 2, 3 and 4 – The Exmoor Stag, The Exmoor Experience and The Exmoor Eighty. Last minute entry Lisa Adshead and her Arab gelding Shakmari Gold travelled from Carmarthenshire to ride in the 80-kilometre Exmoor Experience and finish on gold time. Says Lisa: “I was very grateful to the organisers for keeping the ride on despite the recent wet weather. I am lucky because my riding at home in Wales is open mountain, similar to the conditions on Exmoor. Bryn (Shakmari Gold) gave me a lovely ride, eating up the ground with his big floating stride – a typical Arab!”
Of course the Golden Horseshoe wouldn’t be the same without its native pony, the Exmoor, and this year there were two Exmoor ponies taking part. Mary Hannah and her daughter Katy took part in the Exmoor Experience aboard their two ponies Kingsby Nutmeg and Kingsby Elderberry. Says Mary: “Our ponies are half sisters and they gave us a great ride. While Exmoor ponies aren’t built for speed, their sheer determination and stamina is what makes them a good choice for endurance riding. Also, the breed is used to the boggy patches on the moor, so you know they’re going to look after you well.”
Setting out over a revised course, which kept to the drier areas of the moor, riders were far from disappointed about not being able to ride further afield. “It was a beautiful ride across a stunning part of the country,” says Linda, “yet still as challenging as ever. Horseshoe is a firm favourite in my book.”
For more information about this year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride, visit www.goldenhorseshoe-ride.co.uk
Nicky Moffatt 07889 234796