Machars Riding Club open 2011 season

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DESPITE a dreadful forecast, the weather was absolutely perfect for Machars Riding Club members to enjoy the first date in their busy 2011 season.

Wednesday 6th April saw the club’s first Equitation / Fun Day held at Carty Port Equestrian Centre near Newton Stewart.

A great turn out of members, parents and spectators, all pitching in together to help and ‘cheered on’ the participants. Everyone had a great time. The day included horse riding games and jumping.

The first game was bending poles which involved four horse and rider combinations racing against each other around poles in a row. A game which really tests riding skill and also patience - as in parts you have to ride slowly, but are absolutely dying to gallop. Of the three groups, 1st place went to: Carla Campbell, Beth Qualter Buncall and Jill Kirkpatrick.

The second game was the brilliant and very funny sack race where the rider raced on horse back to the opposite side of the arena, jumped off their horse, climbed into a sack (not with their horse) and jumped back to the finish line. The very tall Jill just about managed to fit into her sack. Of the three groups, first place went to: Becky Dalrymple, Eilidh Fisher and Mairi Fisher.

Next came the egg and spoon race - all on horse back. Not an easy feat. Some amazing skill was displayed along with lots of flying ‘eggs’ and riders hopping on and off horses. Of the three groups, first place went to: Isla Campbell, Carolyn Fisher and Jill Kirkpatrick

Finally, the flag game was brilliant fun and involved just about all of the spectators as well! The riders had to collect a flag from a cone, weave between bending poles, deposit the flag in to another cone and gallop back to the finish line. Some brilliant skill on display and lots of team support encouragement and shouting!

Of the 3 groups, 1st place went to: Isla Campbell, Beth Qualter Buncall and Jill Kirkpatrick

Throughout the day the arena was in full use for ‘clear rounds’, where members tried their skill and practised their technique for the 1st show jumping event coming up.

The arena was then transformed into the next stage for the jumping games. The first game was ‘top score’ where the riders chose their own course over jumps within a given time period. Each jump was worth a certain amount of points, with a 1m joker worth 200 points! However should the joker be attempted but refused or knocked down, the rider would loose 200 points. Each rider did amazingly well and some superb riding and strong combinations were evident. Jill was the star with the most points followed closely by Iona Campbell in 2nd place and Lucy Fisher in 3rd.

The next game was ‘7 barrels’, where literally seven small barrels were made into a jump and each combination took it in turns to jump the obstacle. One barrel was then taken out and so on until there was just one barrel remaining - making a very narrow jump. A tricky one this and riders were knocked out as the barrels disappeared. Jill did brilliantly and made it right through to the end!

Finally, after a jam packed afternoon of events, tired and dirty but still smiling, all participants were awarded a well deserved Easter egg as a prize.

It was a great day, enjoyed by everyone!

The next Machars Riding Club Fun Day is on 2nd May. Show-jumping and dressage events run throughout the season. All information can be found on the web site: www.macharsridingclub.co.uk. Tel:07900 673441

Absolutely everyone is welcome to come and watch or join and take part! New members are always very welcome!