Ackworth celebrates as eight riders head for championships

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Ackworth & District Riding Club are riding high after qualifying success for next month’s British Riding Club National Championships.

The Area 4 qualifying event was held at Breckenbrough, Thirsk, and eight Ackworth riders beat off competition from Yorkshire and Humberside.

Eighteen riders from Ackworth made the trip for the Horse Trials competition, where riders have to compete in three phases (dressage, show jumping and cross-country) and are then placed on their accumulative score.

The all-girls 90cm team consisting of Jenny Blyth, Toni Ford, Tracey Wrench and Steph Eden took second place in the team event.

There was an individual arena win for Jenny Blyth on her own Sonic Boom Bounce with a fantastic dressage score, thus earning her the first qualifying place for Ackworth.

“I have had a great day and couldn’t have wished for a better result,” Jenny said. “I’ll now be focusing on practicing hard for the National Championships.”

In the 80cm competition, the Manor Grange Stud team of Jane Steers, Andrew Games, Kayleigh Nichols and Sarah-Jane Hall had good runs – Kayleigh coming a respectable third in her arena individually – but finishing just out of the team placings.

But Ackworth’s second team managed to claim victory swiping another two individual wins with Liane Patrickson on her own ex-racehorse Sixth Zac and Barnsley-based Amy Meecham on her horse Killybreen Masterpiece.

Their wins once combined with a second-place from fellow team member Charlotte Ward, riding Salvador II, and fourth member Charlotte Marshall’s score meant a team win and another qualifying place for the championships.

Amy Meecham said: ‘I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing and supportive team, I’m on cloud nine!”

Fellow team member Charlotte Ward added: “It has been a hugely successful year for the club, this will be my third time representing the club at a championship and I can’t wait! The girls all jumped amazing double clears so hopefully we can do the same in August.”

The last class of the day was to be the 100 class, the Ackworth senior team finishing fifth with Abbi Helliwell claiming first. There was also an individual win for junior star Eliza Yeardley, and a second place for senior Ian Pycock in the challenging 100+ class.