September 2019: Riders set for national competition

HORSE riders from our school are members of the first Lancashire team to earn a place in a prestigious national competition.

Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt pony club mounted games team meets twice a week at student Marnie Green’s farm in Guide, Blackburn, where her brother Finnley, 18, who also used to attend Haslingden High, is their trainer.

Marnie, 15, and friend Daisy Cook, 14, from Waterfoot, along with two riders from North Yorkshire and one from Oldham, make up the team.

Daisy has been riding horses for 10 years and has three of her own at her farm, while Marnie has been riding since she was four or five and has 14 horses.

They described mounted games as similar to dog agility and very skilful.

Marnie said: “You get asked to jump off the pony and then you have to catch it back up and jump back on. You have to have good hand eye co-ordination because you have to do different activities while on horseback.”

They will be competing in the Prince Philip Cup at the Horse of the Year Show at the NEC Arena in Birmingham from October 2-6 when they will face the five best pony club teams from Great Britain.

Marnie said: “We will be competing twice a day and will have to be up at 5.30am every day for a training session.

“We have a good chance because we have beaten all the other teams in previous events.”

They have been training in all weathers to prepare themselves for the competition.

In the summer Daisy was also crowned under 14s European individual mounted games champion following a competition in Ireland.

The team has to raise £15,000 to cover the costs of stables and equipment for the riders and ponies and have been fundraising through a Facebook group Our Road to HOYS2019 where they have held auctions.

So far they have raised more than £10,000 and they also have an online donation page