Two of our talented horse riders were in the first team to represent Lancashire in mounted games at the Horse of the Year Show.
They had a hectic few days at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, having to be up at 5am every day to get the horses and ponies, tack and stables shipshape and ready for inspection.
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 is also one of our ex-students, is their trainer.
Marnie, 15, and friend Daisy Cook, 14, from Waterfoot, along with four other riders took part in the prestigious national competition.
Marnie said: “The horse I rode to get my place went lame, so I had to find a completely new pony to ride with just weeks to go.
“I began riding Sundae; she is nine years old and had never done mounted games before.”
Mounted games is all about teamwork between horse and rider and the rider has to dismount and remount continually, weave the horse through a slalom, pick items up on a course and set them down carefully, so there needs to be a close bond between the two.
Marnie said: “We bonded straight away; she is so sweet and put 100 per cent in. Sundae tried so hard and the crowd were shouting but she just focused hard on what she was doing.”
Daisy was riding Strawberry and Marnie said she also did very well.
The hectic training and competition schedule from Tuesday to Sunday was gruelling, but Marnie said they were pleased with how well the team did for the first ever Lancashire representatives.
The team started strongly and had been placed second and third in some of the sessions, finally finishing sixth.
She added: “It is mostly about friendship and when the games are over there is no rivalry between the teams and we are all good friends. We also held a great party at the end.”