EACDG Club Championships 2015 at Ashfields

Wow and amazing just about sums up our Club Championships this year. Being our last event of the year and having 3 days to savour the event made for a very relaxing and social event! I know it was a strain for some to make the 3 days, but for those that did we could not have imagined how much fun we would have! The atmosphere was magical, bringing out the very best in everyone, horses and the weather! What a successful event in every way!

Terry Chambers kindly allowed us to use his gorgeous property, how lucky are we to have such a great patron of our sport?

The flags were quite literally out for us along the drive, the grass manicured perfectly, every road way and path swept, all this and the flower arrangements gave the championships a national feel!

Wilf designed us a great marathon course and yet again the sun shone on us!

Our TD Malcolm Aickin did a great job and always seemed in the right place at the right time! Lorna was everywhere, not sure how she does it!

The sashes (organised by Emily Viller) were very popular with our winners, as were our massive Rosettes! Thank you Fiona Powell for sharing a photo of your prize with us!

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Thanks to our judges Jacki Clarke – Annabel Jenks – Sarah Jane Cooke and Barry Marshal. A massive thank you to Carol and John Meredith for a great cones course! Thank you to our writers Catherine Aickin and Lucy Fletcher and A movers Patricia Goodrum and our TD Malcolm Aickin also covering this job.

A massive thank you to all the many hands that helped to steward, build, organise and tidy, as well as Jen and her team in the kitchen for keeping us all so well fed all weekend!

Sonny Hillier and Dan Naprous brought along young horse teams for their first taste of competition, looking good! And great to see Derek Mayes out competing after sadly losing one of his horses.

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Sonny Hillier and his new team!

The cones competition was followed by a driven presentation of prizes for each class. I loved watching the Novice class, Louise Garnham won Novice but her horse Ben doesn’t enjoy presentations, she came in on foot while Wilf drove Ben round outside the ring, dear Alfie Budd, ever the gentlemen, offered Louise a lift for the lap of honour. I think this summed up the whole weekend for me, the sportsmanship and friendliness of carriage driving captured in this picture.

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Geraldine Stephenson and her über fast ponies won the pony barrage competition!

Wilf came up with the idea Saturday night that we should have a cones Barrage event at the end of the competition on the Sunday, he started the pot off with £250 and donations came in to make the pot up to a massive £500, this was divided between the first 3 ponies and first 3 horses! The pair drivers were limited to the trot and the cones were at team width, just to make sure everyone drove flat out! The winnings ensured we kept about 18 teams back at the end of the 3 days to compete for the pot! I so enjoyed myself not just taking part but watching on, my favourite was Amelia and Graham Roose, was it just the start of the year Amelia was feeling a little overwhelmed by her dear Pluto’s turn of speed? Well no more they positively galloped round the course, I know that Wilf wondered if they would make the turn from 14 to 16, but they did and came 3rd overall and in the money! The winner was Susan Skeggs (also winner of open horse) and her super fast horse, what an amazing pairing they are! The pony winners were Geraldine Stephenson pair of greys, they were like the proverbial —- off a shovel’

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