Alice at the Horse of the Year Show

An U5 rider spent four days competing at the Horse of the Year show, the biggest indoor Equestrian event in the UK.

Prior to the event, the Oakley Hunt West (OHW) mounted games team, of which Alice, U5, is a member, qualified for the Horse of The Year Show through a win at the Pony Club Championships. In total 150 teams attempted to qualify, with only six spots up for grabs.

The mounted games are a series of relay races on horses. Each session had six races. During the week of the competition there were seven sessions and the top four teams qualified for the final. The Oakley Hunt West team won four sessions and came second in three of them. This took Oakley to the final and just in the lead, ahead of their rival team, North Hereford. During the final, the team performed strongly, finishing second.

During the week the ponies were kept in temporary stables and everyone set up camp intheir teams. A temporary kitchen was assembled to be able to cater for 25 people at each meal. The team had training every morning at around 6.30 am so it was an early start each day, with Alice and her team snatching a little sleep before lunch ready for the busy schedule of afternoon and evening sessions.

“It has got to be the best week of my life. Riding in front of the crowds and meeting people from all over the country,” said Alice.

Mr Alex Williams, PE Teacher and Head of U5 said: “Alice has shown amazing dedication and commitment to get to such an amazing event and do so well and under pressure as well. Huge congratulations to Alice, we can’t wait to hear more about her Equestrian successes in the future!”