Pony club’s new course impresses

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The welcoming sound of thundering hooves marked the beginning of a new era on Sunday as the Clyde Pony Club hosted its first competition since moving to new cross-country grounds.

About 115 riders from as far as Ashburton and Invercargill travelled to the event, which consisted of dressage, cross-country and showjumping phases.

After using the same grounds for about 30 years, the club had to find a new location following the sale of the land last year.

Clyde Pony Club head coach Michelle Harrex said the inaugural event was a “huge success” and the committee received good feedback.

“Everyone was really impressed with what we’d done and how it rode.”

Winners in all classes added no penalties to their dressage scores but the course still proved challenging for competitors, she said, especially because the event was held early in the competition season.

She praised the support of local businesses, families and community service workers involved in building the course.

“It was a big, big task. What we’ve achieved in that amount of time was literally just down to manpower and machinery.”

More jumps would be added and the club was gearing up to hold regular rallies, she said.

The club also held a ceremony at the event to unveil a plaque commemorating the late Dave Forsyth, who was involved with the pony club for about 12 years.

Full results from the event can be found online at www.equestrianentries.co.nz.