Riders saddle up for contest

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NINE riders from the Pegasus Centre in Tranwell are heading for the RDA National Dressage Championships.

A qualifying event for the dressage competition was held at the centre a few weeks ago and five members of the Morpeth Riding for the Disabled Group achieved the required standard.

Now they have been joined by a further four riders – Michael Benson, Ryan Gillespie, Caitlin McHale and Stefan Storey – who were successful in an event held in Carlisle for the Countryside Challenge competition section.

Morpeth won the Gold Team Medal at the event, which also featured dressage contests. Stefan, Caitlin and Chloe Wyatt won their classes whilst Elizabeth Cockburn, Libby Sanderson and Jess Scott were placed.

In addition, Jess, Michael and Caitlin were successful in their horse care knowledge classes.

Some of the contingent have qualified in more than one competition class and between them the nine Pegasus Centre riders will contest ten different classes.

One of those who will be competing is Gayle Bloomfield. She became National Champion in the Restricted Grade 2 Class at the Winter National Para Championships riding her horse Bartie, which is stabled at the Pegasus Centre.

The others who qualified were Jess Southwick, Robyn Rowntree, Kim Chapman and Gillian McHale.

“We are delighted with the success of our riders”, said Martin Peagam, Centre Manager.

“This is a reflection not only of the dedication and hard work put in by the riders, but also of the wonderful support they receive from staff and volunteers.”

However, the success has also left the centre with a headache as there is a pressing need to secure funds to transport riders and horses to the championships at Hartpury in Gloucestershire in July.

“Whilst we are very pleased with the success of our riders, it now means that we have to find the funds to pay for the transport and accommodation for the horses and riders, as well as for the staff and volunteers who need to accompany them”, Mr Peagam added.

“It is a problem for us – but a nice one to have.”

He appealed to anyone interested in sponsoring the riders to contact him on 01670 518219.