Machars Riding Club celebrated a successful 2013 season recently with a prize giving held at Creebridge House Hotel.
Machars Chairperson Hazel Campbell opened the formal proceedings by thanking all members and supporters for their continued efforts to ensure the club continues to be recognised as friendly and welcoming to all who attend. Throughout the season she commented that members go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure smooth running of events.
Continuing on she recapped on many of the successes which members have enjoyed throughout 2013 including: Emma McCornick and Miami Bobby who were placed fourth at the Scottish Pony of the Year 128 80cm final; Rachael Baillie, Iona Campbell, Emma McCornick and Leona Wallace all of whom qualified for the Riding Club final at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Miami Vice team of Heather Vance, Emma McCornick and Beth MacDonald who won the team showjumping competition at Stranraer and District Riding Club. In summarising she stated that all members have really done the club proud with achievements too numerous to mention.
The formal presentation of prizes then took place with dressage awards being presented by Mrs Pam Taylor. This season once again the dressage has been very kindly sponsored by Giles Insurance. In the Intro section Junior Champion was Darcie Spencer and Elvis with reserve going to Georgie Barr and Fudge. These achievements were to be commended given that Darcie only started to enter dressage this season and Georgie is a new member to the club. In the Senior section champion was Lesley Ferguson and HB. In the Prelim section junior champion was Carolyn Fisher and Apache with Charlotte Service and Tally taking reserve. Both girls have performed consistently throughout the season and were selected to represent Galloway Pony Club at the area finals. Heather Vance and Topper likewise have enjoyed a successful season and this was rewarded with winning Senior Prelim Champion in front of Jacqui Service and Daisy who took reserve. The popularity of dressage continues to grow and for the first time in 2013 a novice champion was awarded to Jacqui Service. In 2014 the club hopes to offer more Novice tests to appeal to the more advanced competitor. A presentation was then made to Pam for her on-going support in selecting tests and judging at events in 2013.
The showjumping awards were then presented by Hugh Paterson, an original member of the club. Hugh has done a great deal to promote and support the club over the years. The first award was for the Elaine Ramsay rosettes sponsored Lead Rein section. The club has been delighted by the attendance of many new members in 2013 and this was no more obvious than in the lead rein section. From wobbly foundations Ruby McCornick has come on a great deal with her consistent little grey Ollie to be awarded champion ahead of Finn McMiken and Sparky who took reserve. Both competitors are new members for 2013.
Isla Campbell came off leadrein in 2012 and has managed a successful transition to riding unaided. Her liver chestnut gelding Henry has done a great job in showing her the ropes of showjumping and their nifty turns paid dividends when they took not one but two championships in the Priory Vet Centre Wibbly Wobbly and Rug Bugs sponsored 50cm classes. In reserve for the Wibbly Wobbly was new showjumping member Joanne Wallace riding George. Joanne and George have grown in confidence throughout the season. Reserve in the 50cm class was Izzy Miller-Smith and the speedy Chilli Pepper.
Although there has been a great deal of competition in most sections the most closely fought battle has undoubtedly been in the Kevin Ball farrier sponsored 60cm class and Carty Port 70cm. Throughout the season the fastest times of the day have been achieved in these classes by Carla Campbell on-board Brady resulting in them being awarded champions. Emma McCornick and Joost have been consistent throughout the season and this resulted in them being awarded reserve 60cm champion with reserve in the 70cm class going to Caitlin Jolly riding Ace of Spades.
The 85cm Helen Ryman Arts sponsored class saw a well-deserved champion award being presented to Charlotte McDowall and Miami Bubblegum. Nearing the end of her time as a junior Charlotte used experience to her advantage at Carty to win numerous classes. Reserve Champion went to Rachael Baillie and the speedy Connie. This partnership is one which continues to go from strength to strength with Rachael enjoying many successes both on home soil and further afield as the combination have entered into British Showjumping ranks. At the presentation they also took reserve champion in the McNabney Sport Horse 1m class champion in this section was Beth MacDonald and the novice Miami Moonbeam. Both Beth and Rachael were presented with beautiful saddle cloths which were kindly donated by McNabney Sport Horses.
In the Caledonian Cheese Company 75cm senior section Heather Vance and Topper showed their versatility to take champion. Heather and Topper are one of very few senior competitors who can turn their hand/hoof to both dressage and showjumping. Reserve went to regular well-travelled visitors Donald Beaton and Celtic Storm.
The A B and A Matthews 85cm class was won by Leona Wallace and Saffy with reserve award going to Charlotte McDowall riding Ashley Burns’ Armani.
Beth MacDonald has shown herself to be a talented young rider and one to watch for the future. This season saw her make the very successful transition from ponies to ponies and horses. Riding Hugh Paterson’s magnificent grey stallion Miami Hulabalou she has shown many of the more established seniors a clean set of hooves. Her dedication was rewarded by taking Champion in not only the Glenquicken Engineering 1m class but the 1m 10 class also. Reserve champion in both sections was presented to Arlene McNabney and her consistent coloured Earl of Eaghan. Many a close jump off has been had between Beth and Arlene and the battle for first place looks set to continue into 2014.
A final award was presented for the most improved rider. Always a difficult award to present, never-the-less it was a unanimous decision that it would be awarded to Isla Campbell for her smooth transition from leadrein in 2013.
The club presented a token of its appreciation to Hazel Campbell for her sterling efforts over 2013 ensuring the club’s smooth running. With that the party really started with members old and young dancing well into the night to music from local D Colin Ferguson.
Machars Riding Club will be holding their next meeting at Creebridge House Hotel on Wednesday 20th November 2013 starting at 7.30pm. All Welcome to attend.