Wednesday 20th of March 2019
Pony Club

Array of Talent at The Pony Club Tetrathlon Champs

The NFU Mutual Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships took place from 12 to 14 August at Bishop Burton College, East Riding of Yorkshire, with the swim phase held at Beverley Leisure Centre.

Tet Prizegiving

There are four phases to Pony Club Tetrathlon; swimming, shooting, riding and running. In order to be successful, competitors train hard to become skilled horse riders as well as all-round athletes with a steady hand for the shooting phase.

Around 300 Pony Club Members took part in this year’s Tetrathlon Championships, including those competing in the increasingly popular Grassroots competition which gives more novice riders the chance to experience a Championship environment.  

 

After three days of hard fought competition, the top slot in the Open Individual Boys section went to George Budden from the Hursley Hunt Branch. George, who won the run phase and was one of ten to get the maximum points in the riding phase, scored a total of 4,536 to receive the coveted Wilkinson Sword.

George was delighted with the win, especially as it was his first competition at Open Level. He said:

“I have been working towards this title for four years, so to win is amazing! I have always struggled with the riding phase, so I’m really pleased to get a clear round.”

In the Open Girls competition, the individual top spot went to Wylye Valley’s Holly Parker who finished on a score of 4,320. A delighted Holly said the win felt ‘really good.’

In the team competition, Mollie Hansford and Georgina and Henrietta Ewell took the win for the Cotley Hunt. They were thrilled to finish on a score of 12,110 to clinch the title, which they have been working towards for nearly two years.   

In the Intermediate section, the Individual Boys winner was Jack Stephens from the Brecon & Talybont Hunt who finished on a score of 4,460. Meanwhile for the girls, Mali Howell took individual honours for the Llangeinor Hunt. Mali, who was competing for the first time at Intermediate level, finished on 4,340 points overall. Mali said:

“It feels amazing to win as I came second last year!”

The Intermediate Girls from the Beaufort Hunt claimed victory in the team competition. Emma Hatherell, Sasha Green, Jess Telford and Olivia Sealy were ‘very proud’ with their performance, which saw them finishing on score of 11,946.

It was West Warwickshire’s Guy Anderson who took the win in the Junior Boys section. Guy, who was one of just three competitors to score 1,000 in the shoot phase, was pleased with his final score of 4,822.  The Beaufort Hunt then took to the podium again, but this time it was Harry Barder, Henry Stratton, Jack Tucker and Tom Connors receiving the Captain P Doresa Challenge Trophy as the winning Junior Boys Team with a score of 13,513.

Lancaster and District’s Emma Whitaker claimed the Junior Girls Individual title with 4,760 points. Emma said:

“I’m very happy with my win. Everything went really well!”

In the team competition, the Beaufort Hunt’s Meg Stratton, Poppy Clark, Isla Green and Rachel Hatherell were proud to win the Junior Girls section with a score of 13,439.

In the Grassroots competition Olivia Mahony from the South Oxfordshire Hunt (Central) Branch took the win with a score of 4,564. Olivia visited the podium for a second time when she joined fellow South Oxfordshire Hunt (Central) Member Venetia Maheny and Elizabeth Jelfs and Isabelle Barnes from the Old Berkeley Hunt Chilterns Branch to take the team competition title with a total of 12,990 points.

Pony Club Tetrathlon Chairman, Tim Joynson, was delighted that competitors from Pony Clubs all over the UK gathered for three days of great competition which was enjoyed by everybody. He said:

“The theme of this year’s Saturday night fancy dress party was superheroes, which proved fitting as there were some real heroic efforts on display. The Members train incredibly hard all year, and showed determination and courage throughout the Championships which are the pinnacle of their Pony Club careers.”

Tim continued to thank sponsors NFU Mutual for their generous support, and the staff at Bishop Burton College and Beverley Leisure Centre for helping to keep the event running smoothly. He also paid tribute to the army of volunteers and staff from The Pony Club Office who make Pony Club events such as these possible.

Pony Club Tetrathlon rules are based on Modern Pentathlon, with points accumulated for performance across the four phases. Several Pony Club Tetrathletes have graduated onwards to compete in Modern Pentathlon at the highest level, including medal winners in three Olympic Games; Georgina Harland, Kate Allenby MBE and Heather Fell. Coral Kennerley, who began shooting when she started Tetrathlon with The Pony Club, represented Wales in two events at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, coming 6th in the 10m Air Pistol Women’s competition.

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