5th August 2018
Escrick Park results are up and can be found on the results page!
The final outdoor event 2018 season took place at Escrick Park over the weekend of 22/23 September. Despite a dire weather forecast, the rain and heavy winds predicted never materialised and although there was definitely an Autumn chill in the air, the sun shone and conditions were ideal for marathon driving. Around 44 competitors took part to decide not only the class winners but also the Northern Champions and the annual Club points league winners.
Best dressage test, not only in the class, but of the whole event went to Mark Riley in the Intermediate Horse Class, with an impressive score of 39.36 from Arena One judges Margaret Brockie and Angela Flanagan. Mark was the only driver to get a score in the 30s but over all, across both arenas (with Mary Lunn and Ray Brown officiating in Arena Two), 8 drivers posted a score in the 40s, 7 in the 50s, around 18 in the 60s, 6 in the 70s and one poor soul – who shall remain nameless – who suffered two errors of course which unfortunately pushed them over into the 80s!
A technical and testing cones course desiged by Birgitta Kronqvist and entirely suited to a championship event, certainly had a bearing on the final results. Only two people managed a clear round and only one of those did it within the time allowed and that was Mark Carruthers driving his team of four. Overall this year, the Club has not become bankrupt due to having to give out a large number of 'Double Clear' cones rosettes!
This time at the Escrick event, Sec A of the marathon was run in the opposite direction to earlier in the year, which made a nice change for drivers who do this event regularly. Tracks and field margins were in excellent condition after a very dry, hot summer and recent rain. For the first time in a number of years we had a vet at the end of the transfer. Sarah Hunter, from Station House Vets, recorded the equine heart rates of all competitors on arrival and shortly before leaving the halt. This provided interesting and useful information to drivers, although it could be argued that this late in the season, there was no excuse for ponies and horses not being fit enough for the job. However, no one was 'sprung' or held over for extra time to recover so all in all that was good news.
The first obstacle, known historically as 'the sheep pens' was very much benefitting from a make over following the removal of the old shed building and some new perimeter fencing. Allowing for a greater use of space and increased number of options for placing the gates, the new configuration drove extremely well. In the short format class, overnight leader Wendy Mason who was making use of this format following her participation at the National Championships in South Wales the previous weekend, increased her lead on the marathon to win the class from Kate Upsall. In the Novice Pony it was another overnight leader, Ginny Ashford, who has had an excellent season this year, who forged even further ahead to win from dressage leader Joanne Gadsby.
The Club was also hosting the Charriots of Fire Novice Championship at this event and here in what was a nip and tuck event over the first two phases, the overnight lead did change hands. Dressage winner Matthew Powell unfortunately suffered a corrected error of course on the marathon which allowed Charlotte Thompson to take the win from cones leader Sarah Gernie despite a hard charge from marathon winner Graham Smith, who finished in third place.
Lynn Riley won the Novice Horse class, thus adding Northern Champion to her National Novice Champion title, won at Cricklands the weekend before. In second place Melody Jones, who had very nearly managed a double clear in the cones, having done the time but just having one ball down, did an excellent marathon to finish only 7 penalties behind Lynn, with Junior Daniel Stafford in third place.
Entries in the Intermediate classes were thin on the ground, with only two drivers in each. The Pony class was won by Marnie Summers from Sandra Ormerod and the Horse class by Mark Riley from Paul Hart, competing HC with his young horse.
The Open Horse class saw a raiding party from parts further North and a successful one at that! Being very close in the first two phases, Northumberland's Susan Henry was the eventual victor from Margo Smith with Ian Bertram in third, both of whom had made the journey down from Scotland. Only six penalties separated these three drivers.
Open Pony class was another victory for the overnight leader Jane Wilson, who went on to produce the fastest marathon of the day to take the win from dressage leader Birgitta Kronqvist, who produced a good marathon herself and was able to keep the acknowledged marathon specialist Graham Clements in third place.
Teams and tandems was dominated by Mark Carruthers who, as previously stated, was the only competitor to produce a double clear in the cones. Already having a strong lead in the dressage on a score of 49.82, he didn't falter on the marathon to take the win from nearest rival Angie Smith with her pony team and Geoff Brown in third.
In an amalgamated class of horse and pony pairs, Tony Mould was another who banked a good dressage and cones score to allow him to keep the win from Ian Gilbert, who had the edge on him in the marathon. Third place went to Kim Usher with her improving pair of novice ponies.
Photos by Emrys Jones
5th August 2018
Arena Challenge results are up and can be found on the results page!
The first Arena Challenge of 2018 took place at Manor Grange on Sunday 5th August. Having had to cancel the first planned event when the date was needed for the rescheduled Regional event at Escrick Park, competitors were obviously keen to get back to a bit of arena-based fun and a good entry of 21 drivers gathered on a scorching hot day.
Running a format of two consecutive cones rounds, one for 'practice' and then one timed and scored, followed by two obstacles each driven twice, the arena challenge provided an excellent opportunity for experienced drivers bringing on young horses and also for newcomers to driving and/or competition.
Craig Murphy and Richard Moxley, both more used to the role of back-stepper, had the chance to take the reins in the Novice class for the first time at Manor Grange. In a reversal of roles, Craig took the drive of Mike Charlesworth's pony Jade, with Mike acting as groom, whilst Richard, driving Carol Wood's Bob the Cob had his Dad Nigel on the backstep. Although neither manged a place, both coped well with their separate challenges and greatly enjoyed the experience.
Another driver for whom the event was a 'first' was Pippa Ridley, who drove her own Fell pony, Sophie in competition for the first ever time. A steady, smooth performance was a really good building block or future events.
It was Amanda Axe who took the Novice win, driving her handsome Section A gelding Ben, from Julie Lockey with Sue Dunne in third and Julie Howard fourth.
In the Open class the win went to Ruth Bamforth, who drove her pair of horses as singles on this occasion. With Steve Hoyle in second, Wendy Mason third and Judy Hilditch fourth, only 8 penalties separated all four drivers.
Two tandem drivers contested the multiples class and there was a great deal of friendly banter between John Wilkinson and Pat Cooper. With Pat's leader deciding that on this day, it was quite acceptable that only the wheeler and carriage went through the cones and whilst he could go around, it was John who ended up the winner.
If fact the cones phase in general played a big role in the placings, with an optimum time which caught several drivers out! A big thank you goes to event organisers Ginny and Pete Ashford, who along with the Potter family set up the cones and obstacles, timed, stewarded and scored.
If there is anyone out there who feels they could offer some help to steward at the next Arena Challege, which will take place on 9th September then please get in touch with Ginny and Pete and make the offer. Ginny's contact details can be found on the entry form, which can be downoaded from the website.
Photos by Jane Wilson
17th - 18th June 2017
Allerton Park results are up and can be found on the results page!
NEDTL had a record entry for their Allerton Park Event, with 79 competitors spread across Regional and Club classes. Two dressage arenas were kept busy all day Saturday, starting at 9am in the morning and not finishing until 5pm – a very long day for the judges and stewards!
In Arena 1, best score of the day came from George Wood (Novice Pony) on 42.2. Other notable scores in Arena 1, in which all regional competitors did their test came from, Nicola Corby (Intermediate Horse) on 43.6, Jane Smith (Advanced Horse) on 47.25 and Mark Carruthers (Advanced Horse Pair) on 47.46.
In Arena 2 which looked after the club competitors, Tara Wilkinson driving Emma Burge’s pony pair had an excellent score of 39.2 - the only person to break the 40 barrier. New to competitive driving this season, Julie Lockey driving her very smart Sec C Pony in the Introductory class had a respectable score of 52.14. At the other end of the scale, Pat Cooper who is certainly not new to competitive driving posted a good score in the tandem class of 52.40.
Once again, the Allerton cones course, designed by Birgitta Kronqvist, had a telling effect on the overnight scores with only one person out of all the drivers gaining a double clear. That honour fell to Stephen Trebble driving in the Regional Intermediate Pony. Six other drivers did manage to go clear and a total of twelve people across various classes did the time, so the long, testing course certainly took it’s toll on everyone except Stephen!
Held over the hottest weekend we’d had in Yorkshire so far this year, with temperatures on Sunday reaching 26°, competitors had to pay close attention to their cooling regime at the end of the marathon. Luckily everyone finished safe and happy with no ill effects other than a few sunburnt (driver’s) arms and necks! Fastest obstacle time of the day went to Louise Kaiholm in the Club Open Pony Pairs class, who managed to get round the seven obstacles with just 71.65 penalties. Close behind her on time was Leslee Wilkinson in the Regional Open Horse class. Driving the horse she has taken over from husband John, Leslee finished with a very fast 72.40 penalties. Others who put up a speedy performance were Wagstaff-Myers (Regional Open Pony) on 73.14, and Jane Wilson (Regional Open Pony) on 74.15. In other club classes, Graham Clements (Regional Open Pony) was fastest on 74.03 with Gemma Smith (Pony Pairs), Lyn Riley (Novice Horse) Tony Mould (Pony Pairs) and Mike Charlesworth all posting respectable times in the 80s.
Best Novice Dressage: Ginny Ashford
Best Intermediate Dressage: Peter Carter
Best Open Dressage: Colin Walmsley
Best Multiple Dressage: Pat Cooper
Best Marathon Single Pony: Graham Clements
Best Marathon Single Horse: Lynn Riley
Best Marathon Multiple: Louise Kaiholm
Photos by Mike Cook of Action Stills (Watermarked) and Emrys Jones
21st August 2016
Feedale Farm results are up and can be found on the results page!
As a new venture this year, the club organised a one day event for novice and introductory drivers. Kindly hosted by Terry Mason over his land at Feedale Farm, (a gesture which involved him selflessly carving a dressage arena out of a field of the most beautiful clover haylage!), dressage and cones took place in the morning and a short, one stage marathon with four obstacles in the afternoon. Numbers were limited to allow for everything to take place easily within the day but there was still room to allow a couple of open drivers who were bringing on youngsters to compete HC.
With perfect weather and stunning views all around, the dressage kicked off at 10am. Scores were pretty level across the classes with only seven penalties separating the six competitors in the Introductory class. Best of those was Paula Kay who finished on a score of 49.08. Best dressage score of the day however, went to Christine Haddock with the second of her two entries, Mizzy, who scored 43.8 Unfortunately, no one managed a double clear in the cones; Vanessa Brewis was the only person who managed to do the time and Kate Henderson driving Toby went clear, as did Glenys Ellis, driving her homebred youngster Robbie HC.
Competitors briefing took place at 12.30 and the first one set off on the short marathon at 1.30. In the Introductory class, marathon honours went to Bryony Turford which allowed her to overtake Paula Kay, who had the misfortune of a corrected error of course in Obstacle 3. Claire Wright, competing in her first ever event driving Kate Upsall's bay horse, finished in third place. In the Novice Pony class, Mike Charlesworth recorded the fastest time of the day to finish with a marathon score of 34.39 overtaking Kate Upsall who finished second with Marnie Summers in third. In the Novice Horse, Charmian Haigh also had a good marathon driving Connor, which must have made up somewhat for his exuberant behaviour in the dressage! As the other competitor was Wendy Mason, driving her new horse HC, the red rosette went to Charmian.
As the lone competitor in the Small Pony class, Kate Henderson put up a solid performance across all three phases to win on a total score of 98.35 which would have been good enough to stand her in third place out of everybody!
Photos by Emrys Jones
6th - 7th August 2016
Nidd Hall results are up and can be found on the results page!
The Nidd Hall event continued the theme of good weather for NEDTL events in 2016. With a slightly smaller entry than usual, only one dressage arena was needed and judges Margaret Brockie and Mary Lunn did sterling work there all day. Good scores were posted across most classes, with best Intro/Novice being Jill Emmett who finished on a 41.3. In the Intermediate section it was Paul Ramage who came out on top with a 45 and in the Tandem class Judy Hilditch performed her best test to date this year to gain a 46. In the Open class, all three competitors finished with a mark of 44 and only the decimal points to separate them but it was Tara Wilkinson in the Open Pony who got the lowest score in this category with a 33.33. However, lowest dressage score of the day came from Fred Pendlebury in the Pairs class with a score of 32.4.
The cones course again proved decisive, with many twists and turns. Throughout the day only one person managed to do the time and only one person managed to go clear. Sadly, they weren't the same person so not one double clear rosette was awarded!
Despite a slightly shortened Section A, Nidd still provided it's traditionally rough, tough marathon, including it's usual river crossing. With the first obstacle coming at the 5km mark on Section B, this meant that horses needed to have plenty left in the tank for the final test. Fastest of the novices was Mike Charlesworth driving his smart Connemara pony who finished the marathon with a score of 72. Intermediate honours went to Jodie Dick on 73 and in the Open division it was Jane Wilson who had the fastest marathon on a 64. Fred Pendlebury made it a hat-trick of winning all three phases by putting up the fastest marathon of any of the multiples with a score of 71.
Two small pony drivers took advantage of the short format marathon on offer here and competition was fierce. Although Kate Henderson had the edge in both dressage and cones, Amanda Axe driving her handsome Sec A gelding Ben had the faster marathon. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to allow her to overtake Kate who won the class.
Only two tandem drivers competed in this class at Nidd with Judy Hilditch taking the overnight lead with her best dressage score to date and the better of the two cones scores. Unfortunately she didn't have the chance of a battle to retain it on the marathon when Pat Cooper had to retire after obstacle three, handing her the win.
Best Novice Dressage: Charmian Haigh (51.80)
Best Intermediate Dressage: Paul Ramage (45.80)
Best Open Dressage: Tara Wilkinson (33.33)
Best Pairs Dressage: Fred Pendlebury (32.40)
Best Team/Tandem Dressage: Judy Hilditch (46.20)
Best Marathon Single Pony: Jane Wilson (64.80)
Best Marathon Single Horse: Lynne Longbottom (65.67)
Best Marathon Pairs: Fred Pendlebury (71.35)
Best Marathon Team/Tandem: Judy Hilditch (135.12)
Photos by Emrys Jones
16th - 17th July 2016
Allerton results are up and can be found on the results page!
The Allerton Park event turned out to be something of a home international with competitors from England, Scotland and Wales taking part. With classes divided between Club and National, two dressage arenas were kept busy on Saturday. In the regional classes Jane Isaac - having made the trip down all the way from Oban - put up the best score of the day with a 41 whilst in the club arena it was Mark Riley with his Novice Horse on a score of 43.8 who was best of the day in Arena 2.
The cones course at this event was truly testing, with Allerton's parkland undulations adding to the degree of difficulty. With cone number one sited down quite a slope, drivers couldn't even see it from the box seat until they were through the start gate and on their way down the hill! With only three double clears awarded all day – and those coming in the novice classes which have the luxury of slightly more time – many people gathered an absolute cricket score, with the biggest number of penalties being a whopping 75! However, there were several more who equalled their dressage score in the cones.
Marathon day dawned bright and sunny once more but luckily a good breeze made the conditions ideal for the horses and ponies. There were many excellent, speedy marathons but in the regional classes it was Becca Boswell, who had also made the trip down from Scotland, who had the fastest time round the obstacles, putting up an excellent score of 64.58 to win the Novice Pony class from Amanda Usher driving her mother's evergreen hackney pony. However, fastest marathon of the day went to David Wagstaff-Myers in the Club Open Pony, who just pipped Becca with a 64.09. This allowed David to take the win from Glenys Ellis as well as the rosettes for fastest open marathon and the fastest time of the day through Allerton's famous water obstacle.
In the club Intermediate Horse Steve Nichols had a convincing win with his young horse Skye, winning all three phases of the competition to give him a comfortable margin from second placed Gwyn Thomas who made the trip over from Wales.
Three drivers fought for honours in the Introdutory class with Paula Kay coming out on top with her “senior” driving pony Ariel. A good marathon allowed her to pull up from second place overnight to overtake Narda Streener who's in her first season of competing.
21st - 22nd May 2016
Ripley results are up and can be found on the results page!
One of the most traditional of venues in the NEDTL calendar, the event at Ripley Castle in 2016 was held with a short format marathon and a one day event running in conjunction with it. Saturday's dressage saw some very good scores posted with chief amongst them being Tony Mould in the Open Pony on 30.24. Amanda Usher in the Novice Pony also started her competition well with a 36.6, as did Rosie Mould in the Open Pony (37.8), Steve Nichols in the Intermediate Horse (40.0), Lynne Longbottom in the Open Horse (40.4) and Pat Cooper in the Multiples (48.4). The cones course, held as usual on the area next to the small lake was a mix of technical turns and long runs from one cone to the next and certainly took it's toll on some. Only three drivers managed a double clear with others gaining either a near miss or a cricket score!
Sunday's weather was fine and sunny with a good breeze, which allowed the ground to dry up somewhat for the marathon. With just one section of 6km held entirely within the park, a combination of soft ground, the old parkland turf and Ripley's undulations still made it a tough drive. Rosie Mould, driving the evergreen Flash was pathfinder as she was also acting as back-stepper for husband Tony. With 12 penalties separating them Rosie wasted no time in the obstacles to put up the fastest time of the day on 64.07. Although this allowed her to close the gap to only 8 penalties it wasn't enough to overtake Tony who won the class with Glenys Ellis third.
Other speedy marathons were driven by Lynne Longbottom (Open Horse 64.93), Jodie Dick (Intermediate Horse, 65.92), George Wood (Intermediate Pony 66.41), Mike Charlesworth (Novice Pony 66.44) Graham Clements (Intermediate Pony 68.51) and Tony Mould (Open Pony 69.59).
Charmian Haigh, who seems to find the energy and enthusiasm to go round twice at most NEDTL events with both of her Novice Horses, certainly did so at Ripley. On this occasion, her back-stepper Dean deserves a special mention as both horses showed a marked reluctance to enter the water at obstacle six, meaning he had to get off to assist, getting wet to his knees not once, but twice at either end of the day - what dedication!
In the multiples class, which consisted of two horse tandems, one horse pair and one pony team, it was John Wilkinson who led the charge on the marathon. Starting the day in second place to the far more experienced Pat Cooper (who has been driving tandem since God's dog was a puppy) John, who's turn it was to take the reins of the combination of his wheeler and Judy Hilditch's leader, drove a super marathon to squeeze past Pat by 10 penalties and take the win, from Angie Smith's pony team in third.
In the one day event it was Sara Bower who triumphed, driving one of her pair of ponies as a single. Of the five drivers who contested this section, Sara was the only one to find her way successfully round the obstacles, everyone else having been eliminated for error of course apart from Will Scarlett, who withdrew before obstacle one!
Best Novice Dressage – Amanda Usher 36.6
Best Inter. Dressage – Steve Nichols 40.0
Best Open Dressage – Tony Mould 30.24
Best Multiple Dressage – Pat Cooper 48.4
Best Marathon Pony – Rosie Mould 64.07
Best Marathon Horse – Lynne Longbottom 64.93
Best Marathon Multiple – John Wilkinson 99.34
Lowest Overall Score – Tony Mould 102.83
Double Clear Cones - Peter Carter, Graham Clements, Jodie Dick
30th April - 1st May 2016
Escrick results are up and can be found on the results page!
The weather had a great effect on the first outdoor event of our outdoor season at Escrick Park. After an extremely wet winter, causing the cancellation of the sponsored drive, the old parkland had recovered well but unrelenting rain on the Wednesday and Thursday before the event put it almost back to square one and with a good entry of over 60 competitors, it was necessary to employ the tractor to get people onto the ground as well as off again!
Of the two dressage arenas working on Saturday, one held up somewhat better than the other. In arena 2 it was obvious that horses and ponies were struggling to get their feet out of the mud let alone pull a carriage along. Leslee Wilkinson, in the Open Horse, had the delight of performing her test in the middle of a hailstorm of epic proportions and it's a credit to her horse that she appeared totally unphased by it. Early competitors certainly had the benefit of the slightly better ground and Steph Milner did well in the Open Pony class with the best dressage of the day on 35.52 and the only double clear in the cones. Kate Henderson driving in the Introductory class was the only other person who came close to a double clear with no knock-downs and only 1 time penalty!
Marathon day managed to stay dry if a little chilly and the six obstacles held up well throughout the day. Fastest marathon of the event went to Gary Brown in the Open Pony driving the evergreen Solomon who looked as keen on the job as ever. The Tandem/Team class saw the outdoor tandem debut of John Wilkinson. Driving his own Tilly in the wheel and Judy Hilditch's Bob in the lead, despite a cones round which I will not be unkind enough to mention, he put up a sterling performance on the marathon to come second only to acknowledged marathon master Jeff Ormerod.
Most horses and ponies dealt extremely well with the wet conditions despite it being early in the season and only a few looked to be finishing somewhat tired. It was decided not to hold the usual presentation at the end of the event in order to allow everyone to be towed off (where needed) and get on their way home safely – this included Jane Isaac who had made the 700 mile round trip from Oban in Scotland to compete!
Best Novice Dressage – Rebecca Boswell 41.2
Best Inter. Dressage – Diane Longbottom 48.6
Best Open Dressage – Steph Milner 35.52
Best Pairs Dressage – Fred Pendlebury 42.8
Best Team/Tandem Dressage – Jeff Ormerod 56.8
Best Marathon Pony – Gary Brown 61.63
Best Marathon Horse – Leslee Wilkinson 67.13
Best Marathon Pairs – Fred Pendlebur 70.73
Best Marathon Teams/Tandems – Jeff Ormerod 80.88
Lowest Overall Score – Steph Milner 98.30
26th - 27th September 2015
Escrick results are up and can be found on the results page!
Having come round with alarming speed, the NEDTL's last outdoor event was held at Escrick Park the week after the National Championships. This important event would decide not only class winners but also the summer points league winners and the Northern champions in each category.
With two dressage arenas operating in Satuday's sunshine, two drivers in the open pony class made their mark in an emphatic fasion. Both Tony Mould and Birgitta Kronqvist scored a low 30.2 and 30.4 respectively, to give them both an 18 penalty lead in this phase from their nearest rival. The largest class of the weekend, hearteningly, was the novice pony, in which ten drivers were forward. It was Mandy Usher, having taken over the drive of her mother's hackney pony Chapelhowe Firecracker who headed the dressage phase, although ten year old Harvey Brown, son of team driver Geoff was only just over one penalty behind her.
However, the tight, twisting cones course laid out by John Wilkinson saw not a single double clear all day across all of the classes Although some of the novices, taking advantage of the more generous time for that class managed to do the time, the only others who did were Tony Mould, Gary Brown (Open Pony) and Mark Winder (Open Pony Pairs), all of whom are experienced National competitors.
At the Saturday evening get-together, Chairman Barry Hilditch was prompted to say that due to the club's saving on double clear rosettes, the wine left over from Friday's welcome drinks party could be consumed at Saturday night's get-together!
Sunday morning dawned cool and misty for the first competitors to set off on the marathon. With an extra obstacle having been placed in the second dressage field, rather than using those down in the woods at some distance away, it meant that the club were able to offer a short format marathon to those driving small ponies or funbugs, something which is not usually possible at Escrick.
However, across all the classes – and despite a very detailed briefing from the TD - there were a handful of drivers who fell foul of the “course flag of doom”, which came after obstacle three and were sadly eliminated. The usual suspects in the open classes put up the fastest times through the obstacles but Mandy Usher in the novice class was hard on their heels. Special awards were as follows:
Best Novice Dressage – Amanda Usher 55.42
Best Inter. Dressage – Steve Nichols 46.0
Best Open Dressage – Tony Mould 30.24
Best Pair Dressage – Mark Winder 50.40
Best Tandem/Team Dressage – Jeff Ormerod 58.0
Best Marathon Pony – Amanda Usher 68.32
Best Marathon Horse – John Wilkinson 64.43
Best Marathon Pair – Mark Winder 71.39
Best Marathon Team/Tandem – Alex Hughes 106.99
Lowest Overall Score – Tony Mould 105.25
25th - 26th July 2015
Allerton results are up and can be found on the results page!
The NEDTL'S flagship event took place at Allerton Park on the weekend of 25/26th July. A good entry of 60 drivers took part across both club and regional classes, with coveted places at the National Championships up for grabs.
On a weekend which saw several such events across the country, Allerton faired slightly better in the weather stakes than some others, with Saturday and most of Sunday being fair and sunny. Only those last few to go on the marathon had to do so in the odd shower of rain.
In the club arena on Saturday, it was Birgitta Kronqvist who put up yet another excellent score of 34.4 to take the rosette for the best Open Dressage. In the regional arena this honour went to Fred Pendlebury, making an appearance with his horse pair on this occasion. Fred scored 40.4 under judges Philippa Thompson and Margaret Brockie to take the lead in that category.
The cones course was a nice mix of open and flowing with some slightly tighter, more technical elements which everyone agreed drove extremely well. No fewer than 9 double clear rosettes (which represents a success rate of 15%) were handed out on Saturday evening – a rare occurrence nowadays!
Organiser Alwin Harrison and his team had laid out a superb marathon course, covering some 16 kilometers and barely touching a public road other than to cross one on a couple of occasions. Utilising grass and woodland tracks it was a real treat to trot along with the regions numerous red kites wheeling overhead. All of the marathon obstacles, which include Allerton's famous water, drove extremely well and even the wooden bridge in number 6 caused little problem. Fastest obstacle time of the whole day went to John Wilkinson in the Open Horse class, whose obstacle time of 78.03 earned him the rosette for best single horse marathon and lowest overall score of the event. Amongst all the multiples – pairs, tandems and teams – it was Peter Shannon with his pony pair in the club class who put up the fastest obstacle times of 89.38, closely pressed by Mark Winder in the regional class on 90.03.
4th - 5th July 2015
Nidd results are up and can be found on the results page!
Marking the half way point in the outdoor season, the Nidd Hall event took place over the weekend of 4th/5th July near Harrogate. The weather was excellent despite some thunderstorms on the Friday evening, with a pleasant breeze on marathon day – much appreciated due to the toughness of Nidd's marathon. Dressage honours on Saturday went to Steve Nichols in the Intermediate horse class with a score of 39.8. Driving his young blue and white cob cross Skye, Steve has been thrilled with her progress. In the cones, despite Brian Anderson's course not seeming particularly difficult on the face of it, there was not a single double clear all day. Although some managed the time, and some managed to go clear, no one managed to put the two elements together, with penalties occurring throughout the course.
First off around the marathon on Sunday were the small ponies and funbug drivers who, in deference to the toughness of the marathon, drove a short portion of Section B and the obstacles only. Of the four, it was Amanda Axe and her beautiful Sec A pony Ben who were leading after the dressage but it was Molliemay Campbell who came through to drive the obstacles the fastest and win the class from Paula Kay in second. The Open Pony class saw yet another battle between Rosie Mould and Kim Usher who once again could only be separated by the smallest of margins. Equal on penalties in the cones, Rosie won the dressage but Kim put up the fastest time of the day in the obstacles to win the class and also the Malcolm White Trophy which is awarded at Nidd each year for that particular honour. Unfortunately it was not quite enough and Rosie stayed in first place with Kim second overall.
In what turned out to be something of a theme for the weekend, scores were similarly close in the Open Horse class, with John Wilkinson taking the win on 121.6 from Lynn Longbottom on 124.3 Two pair drivers contested the multiples class, with Jackie Parkinson finishing on a score of 193.37 and Ruth Bamforth taking second place on 213.61. However, it was only their cones score which separated them as their dressage marks were only .8 of a penalty apart and their marathon scores closer still with Ruth being only marginally faster on 89.61 with Jackie on 89.67!
20th - 21st June 2015
Witton results are up and can be found on the results page!
An extra, short-format event was held to take advantage of a brand new venue at Witton Castle near Bishop Auckland on 20/21 June. Comprising the usual dressage and cones on the Saturday and a one section, 8km marathon with four obstacles on the Sunday, all competitors enjoyed the great facilities and fabulous views provided by the extremely friendly and welcoming land owners and staff.
Event organisers, Kim and James Usher made the best use of scenic countryside with the four obstacles placed adjacent to the castle with its restaurants and bars, which provided a good number of spectators for the marathon on Sunday! The only downside of this was that it meant a steep pull up from the flat valley floor to the obstacles, which did test the fitness levels of some.
In the Introductory class – largest of the weekend - whilst mum Kim was busy with her organisational duties, daughter Amanda took over the reins of Chapelhowe Firecracker to make her competition début as a driver, rather than a back-stepper!. She did so extremely well to win all three phases of the competition and take the class. Best dressage test of the day came from the Open Pony class, with Birgitta Kronqvist scoring an enviable 32.4 Driving a double clear in the cones to boot, this allowed her to maintain her class lead from Rosie Mould who performed the fastest marathon of the day to finish second. The combined tandem and teams class saw a convincing win for new pony tandem driver Alex Hughes, who overcame a deficit in the dressage and cones to win the marathon and the class from Pat Cooper (horse tandem) and Geoff Brown (horse team).
The Intermediate Horse class which had six entries was won by Amanda Nisbet driving her young arabo-friesian stallion. Closely followed by Christine Twigg in dressage and cones, it was Steve Nichols who eventually split the two ladies with a double clear cones and speedier marathon.
All in all it was a relaxed and enjoyable event and all concerned are looking forward to returning to this super venue next year for a full event.
6th - 7th June 2015
Ripley results are up and can be found on the results page!
A smaller but no less enthusiastic number of competitors than usual came to Ripley Castle to take part in the second outdoor event of 2015.
Held several weeks later than usual in the calendar, calving deer meant that some areas of the beautiful park were out of bounds, but organiser Julian Hartley managed to work around this to plan a picturesque 10k marathon.
Extremely strong winds on Saturday presented some challenges, particularly in the cones, when on a couple of occasions a violent gust sent several cones flying! Luckily it never happened whilst someone was mid-round but it still kept cones stewards on their toes. (Up in the box park even one of the portaloos was knocked on it's side but fortunately, no one was in it at the time!)
Best dressage test of the day came from Rosie Mould in the Open Pony, who scored 40.4 driving her diminutive but aptly named pony Flash. The battle between her and Kim Usher in this class was very close and when Kim performed a well-judged double clear in the cones to Rosie's two down, this meant she was able to make up the small dressage deficit and take the lead by a mere .40 of a penalty! Other good tests came from Leslee Wilkinson in the Open Horse (48.0), George Wood in the Intermediate Pony (48.8) and Judy Hilditch, also in the Open Horse (49.4).
In the cones, Mike Charlesworth in the Novice Pony was the only other competitor to manage a double clear.
Weather on Sunday was much better for the marathon, the wind having dropped considerably. The battle between Rosie Mould and Kim Usher continued; however, a small but costly error from Kim allowed Rosie to snatch the lead back with the two drivers finishing just 0.10 penalties apart!
In the Novice Pony Graham Clements almost equalled the Open Pony times, finishing with an extremely respectable marathon score of 66.50 to overtake Mike Charlesworth and take the win.
In the Open Horse class Leslee Wilkinson was another driver to hang on to a narrow overnight advantage to finish ahead of Judy Hilditch who has returned to this class from the Tandems for this year.
25th - 26th April 2015
Escrick results are up and can be found on the results page!
The NEDTL held their first outdoor event of the season at Escrick Park over the weekend of 25/26th April. With a staggeringly good entry of 73 drivers, it was just as well that the weather was bright an sunny – if not warm – as it meant there were no problems with getting the large number of lorries on and off the site and the obstacles held up perfectly. In fact so dry was the ground that the the biggest problem was the amount of dust which was being kicked up!
The two dressage arenas were kept very busy all day with the last competitor trotting up the centre line at almost 5 o'clock! Best dressage of the day came from Owen Pilling, just one member of a several-strong raiding party from North of the border. Driving his smart chestnut pair Owen scored 38.02 in the mixed horse/pony pairs class giving him the lead in dressage from Amanda Nisbet's more diminutive pair on 47.4 and Geoff Wood on 59.85. In other classes, good scores came from Deborah Daniel in the Intermediate Pony (42.4) and George Bowman in Teams/Tandems (44.6) together with a few more around the 45 mark, across all the classes. Birgitta Kronqvist's cones course provided an excellent mix of open and flowing with tight and trappy and despite a larger than usual number of double clears still managed to sort some of the wheat from the chaff. Out of the ten categories, only three dressage leaders managed to stay at the head of the class going into Sunday's marathon.
The weather on Sunday was ideal for the job, being sunny and bright but will a rather sharp, cooling breeze. Once the numerous stewards were in place on the sections and obstacles, Ginny Ashford and her Welsh pony Belchford Georgia, in the lead in the introductory class, was first off around the marathon. Several people pulled out all the stops to put up extremely fast marathon times in this first event of the season. As has come to be expected, the Wilkinson family were well to the fore, with father John putting up the fastest marathon in the open horse class with a score of 63.00. But daughter Tara, competing in the Open Pony just managed to pip him with a speedy 62.25. However, the fastest marathon time of the day came from the Intermediate Pony class, with young driver Steph Milner posting a score of 60.25. This meant that she took the rosette for fastest marathon and lowest overall score of the competition.
Five drivers were forward for the Novice Pony qualifier with Paul Ramage taking the win from Becca Pflanz. Only two drivers took part in the Novice Horse qualifier and it was Margo Smith who was able to take advantage of some slight lapses in Lucy Barclay's memory during the cones to grab a place at the Championships despite the latter's more speedy marathon.