Organisers of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series today announced the teams who will represent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the Omega Equine Pony Club Dressage Home International. Participants achieved their places through an open qualifying round system and have submitted their filmed dressage tests to be shown during the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series Livestream, from 1pm on Sunday 27 September 2020.
The online show was the obvious place to host a version of Royal Windsor Horse Show’s Pony Club Home International after the competition sadly couldn’t take place earlier this year. The Pony Club and Virtual Windsor teams collaborated in organising the competition, and it was a great example of how to leverage talents with a real ‘adapt and overcome’ spirit.
The Pony Club appointed Dressage Judges Clare Deithrick, John Robinson and Linda Pearce who bring their great experience to the competition. Each country’s team is composed of one Novice, one Intermediate and two Open riders. Places on the teams are awarded to the highest placed riders of each nation in the qualifying rounds. Their scores are then added together to give the final team scores. The innovative qualifying method has thrown the competition open this year, with the criteria for entry only being that the competitor must be a current member of The Pony Club and must have two verifiable scores of 67% or over at the level they wish to compete at (or its British Dressage equivalent) in the 2018 – 2020 season.
The teams are a real demonstration of the breadth and depth of talent which The Pony Club nurtures, and the competition has given a chance for riders from every corner of the countries to try out for places. For Laura King and Bellissima MKM, who ride the Open test for Northern Ireland, the Home International probably marks the last test they will ever ride for The Pony Club, having been a Member of the Iveagh since the age of eight. At the other end of the scale, Reece Cunningham and Inside Out II are just starting out on their Pony Club careers, having impressed the judges to take the Intermediate spot for Scotland. The Republic of Ireland are very much representing a talented new generation of riders, fielding a very young team which includes 10-year-old Charlotte Goor and Barkway State Affair, who ride their Novice test. The riders also show off am amazing array of horses and ponies from the British Isles and beyond, from fell pony Lownthwaite Savin (Rhona Forbes) who will compete for Scotland, to more traditional dressage types like Callum Robertson’s Irish Sportshorse, Ferro Curry.
The final teams are as follows:
Ellie Jones Winnie De Fontenel Cheshire Hunt South Novice
Callum Robertson Ferro Curry Hursley Hunt Intermediate
Rosie Boulton Dino 391 Pytchley Hunt Open
Florence Human Fulgencio Polden Hills Open
Alexa Ekin Kilcorban Blue Brigade Edinburgh Novice
Reece Cunningham Inside Out II Edinburgh Intermediate
Persia Bhatia Aughnacliffe Gem Peebles Tweedale Open
Rhona Forbes Lownthwaite Savin Dalkeith & District Open
Hannah Thompson Jemeela Charm Mid Antrim Novice
Fergal McKinney Western Star Boy Seskinore Harriers Intermediate
Laura King Bellissima MKM Iveagh Open
Jazmin Vollands Mo Chara Nua North Down Open
Anaya Stewart Rolo Tredegar Farmers Hunt Novice
Evie Vaughan-Jones Pentyla Eyelight Glamorgan Hunt Intermediate
Tirion Budd Wing Man Curre Hunt Open
Emily Jones Dexter Swansea & District Open
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:
Charlotte Goor Barkway State Affair Wicklow Hunt Novice
Grace Sandys Whitetree Ribera Bray Hunt Intermediate
Jessica Grogan Little Miss Sunshine Carbery Hunt Open
Jessica Grogan Stepping Spartacus Carbery Hunt Open