THE Vale-based Riders 2000 Riding Club produced a great set of results at the British Riding Club's Winter Showjumping and Dressage Championships.
The small club, which has regular lessons at Alps Park in Wenvoe, sent a record five teams to the championships, including two senior dressage teams - Samantha McDonald (riding "Regent as Red"), Tracey Beadle ("Hartpury Cyclone"), Rachel George ("Classic De Revel Red") and Angela Rogers ("Dulais Dihafel") and Aaron Smith ("Ottis of Ochdraw"), Anna Miller ("Montoyamist"), Lisa Thomas ("Safe Oasis") and Julie Tarney ("Nibeley Daja Vue"). Enjoying their experience, the seniors competed to a high standard.
Also in action on the Saturday was a senior showjumping team comprising father and daughter Rhys and Lucy Williams, from Barry, Ceri Gambold, from Dinas Powys, and Gary Moore, from Usk. Facing disappointment after the first round, the riders upped their game in the second round, with Rhys, Lucy and Gary all going clear to put the team into a fantastic seventh spot.
Sunday was the turn of the juniors, with the showjumping team comprising Rhys' second daughter, Katy, from Barry, and team mates Jordan Hillberg, from Barry, Lois Crandon, from Penarth, and Anna Saunders, from Castleton. Having a couple of fences down in the first round, once again the team didn't hold out too many great hopes, but the second round proved too difficult for a lot of the other teams and the outcome was an outstanding eighth place for the girls.
However, the most amazing result of the weekend for the club came from the junior dressage team.
Coming from a club that doesn’t specialise in junior dressage, the girls really did give it their all and Rosie Welsh, from Barry, together with Anna Saunders, and sisters Lucy and Katy Williams rode tremendously well, With individual second and sixth placings for Rosie and Anna respectively and a ninth spot for Lucy, even with an injured arm, the team placed third overall, and Rhys Williams, who is the junior team chef d'equipe, said: “It was a tremendous performance and I am really proud of the riders. They all pulled together and, indeed, both the showjumping and the dressage teams achieved placings they didn’t expect.
“Dressage has never been our club's forte but, after hard work this winter, the girls really did up their game. Hopefully, the club will have more to offer in the future."
Senior riders Rhys and Lucy Williams, Gary Moore and Lisa Thomas, together with juniors Katy Williams, Jordan Hillberg, Lois Crandon and Jade Williams, have qualified for the Festival of the Horse Championships in Aston Le Walls in June.