The East Kent Hunt Branch of The Pony Club have won the Virbac 3D Worming Cup and the Prince Philip Cup after five nail-biting days of competition at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
They also won the Stable Cup earlier in the week, so completed an historic triple.
The team, consisting of Brooke King (15), twins Megan and Ellie Tutt (15), Imogen Lyons (15), Charlotte Giles (15) and Abbie Bean (14) finished on 108.5 points to clinch the victory, just 3.5 points ahead of runners up Oakley Hunt West.
Four other teams, including defending champions Monmouthshire, Romney Marsh, Wylye Valley and Eglinton Hunt also qualified to compete at HOYS after battling it out at the Area and Zone competitions.
The final on Sunday evening at HOYS captivated the crowds, with the teams giving it their all to thrill spectators with some very close finishes. Classic games such as the Virbac Stack tested the Members’ control and athleticism, but the loudest cheers were for the novelty games which included the ‘Bending Race’ and the ‘Big Sack’ race which provided moments where the audience held their breath and gasped in anticipation.
Shelley Aylott, trainer for the East Kent Hunt team was delighted with the win, and commented how the team had done themselves, their parents and their Pony Club proud. Shelley said: “The team trained so hard for this; I couldn’t be happier! They put an incredible amount of time and effort into training and it’s really paid off.” Shelley was also proud of their efforts to raise funds to buy new kit especially for the event, by holding cake and sweet sales, a dog show and a quiz night.
Speaking after their win, the team agreed it felt ‘amazing’ especially as for five of them it is their final year competing in Pony Club Mounted Games. “We’d like to thank everyone involved, especially our parents and Shelley,” said Imogen. “We’d also like to thank our DC Michele Dingle for coming to watch the final.”
The Pony Club Mounted Games is a competition requiring courage, determination and all round riding ability. The concept of the competition was first introduced by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, who suggested that Cavalry competitions could be adapted for young riders on ponies in an entertaining and visually engaging format. The first competitions were held in 1957 and the winner received the coveted Prince Philip Challenge Trophy.
A full set of results for the Prince Philip Cup is available HERE