Despite more than three inches of rain, riders at the Boulter Mead Hunter Trials held at Pontispool, near Taunton, braved the weather and had a fantastic day.
Very wet conditions overhead did not daunt the riders and the ground held up remarkably well. Richard Mitford Slade, from Pontispool, set an interesting course utilising the new water complex and a challenging timed section.
On the day the speed section of the course was replaced by a steady optimum time to ensure that there were no unnecessary slips in the wet conditions.
On the main course, the pairs class was won easily by Lucy Jenkins and Giles Hawkins who rode together beautifully to post the only clear with no dressing penalties. They were delighted with their prize of Silverfeet Hoof Balm, a new product on the market.
The top class on the main course was won by April Clough. It certainly was an heroic effort and she was delighted with the Maxavita rug that she won for her horse Pearcross Hero.
There was also a mini course at the event which gave very young and novice riders the chance to ride cross country over a shortened course, which nevertheless had its challenges.
Many of these riders were first timers – especially the winners who came away with some fabulous prizes: TriZone Airlite Tendon Boots, Snuggy Hoods, Global Herb treats and Silverfeet Hoof Balm.
Other notable performances were by Flo Norris, a Polden Hills Pony Club member, who won class 8 on the mini course and came away with a brightly-coloured pair of equestrian socks by Carrots.
Flo had an unfortunate fall in the following class when her cheeky pony dived for some grass, and amid deep concern, was transported to A & E on a spinal board. Fortunately the board was only precautionary, and she came away with only scrapes and bruises.
Another Pony Club success was Helena Massey who was the best Polden Hills rider in the 2ft3in class. It was her first ever hunter trials and she came away with a best member cup and rosette.
The junior classes on the course were won by Jemma Cannington and Suzy Benny both riding almost exactly on the optimum time.
"We had a great turnout despite the weather," said Sam Small, the district commissioner of the Polden Hills Branch. "We have such fantastic helpers – we are so grateful to them, as we could not run the event without them, and they turn out year after year."