Chipping riders see winter of success

Chipping Pony Club quiz team  Jack Mellin, Rachel Airey , Victoria Hargreaves and Vanessa Lace
Chipping Pony Club quiz team Jack Mellin, Rachel Airey , Victoria Hargreaves and Vanessa Lace

Chipping Pony Club members are celebrating a very successful winter season.

Several members have qualified to compete at Pony Club Dengie and NFU Championships held at Moreton Morrell Agricultural College Warwickshire on April 6 and 7.

The quiz team, which has had numerous successes over the past few years, has once again qualified for the NFU Quiz Championships.

Having been reserve champions last year they are working harder than ever to get Chipping’s name back on the trophy.

Team members are Vanessa Lace, Jack Mellin, Rachel Airey and Victoria Hargreaves and they will be competing against members from all over the country, answering questions on subjects as diverse as the history of the Pony Club, horse and pony care, equestrian Olympics medallists and the British countryside.

Maddie Ainsworth, who is 15 and a pupil at Westholme School in Blackburn, has qualified her mare, Escobar, for the Dengie Novice show jumping finals after coming third in a very competitive semi- final held at Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre.

Maddie and her pony are true all-rounders as they have represented their club in most disciplines, including horse trials and dressage along with show jumping.

Associate member Pippa Weld-Blundell - a trainee solicitor with Blackhurst Swainson Goodier LLP Preston - has qualified her ex-racehorse George (Firmout XX IRE) for the Dengie Open dressage finals.

She won her heat and then a very competitive semi-finals at Abram Hall Equestrian Centre in Wigan.

As an associate member, Pippa is more used to instructing and assisting at club level, but is delighted to have found the time to compete and qualify for this prestigious event.

The dressage competitors are also celebrating winning the winter league series with excellent results throughout a very cold and wet outdoor season.

They beat off competition from all over the north west (area four) to succeed Wheelton into second place and West Lancs County into third.

Two of the club’s senior members, Lucy Hughes and Abby Austin, helped contribute to the win along with Pippa Weld-Blundell.