The Sun shines on Warlingham & District Horse Club Hunter Trials – 14th October 2012
Thankfully WDHC Hunter Trials got a day of glorious sunshine despite the all-day heavy rain forecast earlier in the week for the Sunday. Having spoken to Warren Barn Farm, who confirmed that they felt the chalk land grass hunter trail course would be good to go, we decided to crack on. We had a working party the weekend before to fit all our new XC portable jumps with fixings now required by BRC (which cleared out 2 Screw Fix stores of their bracket stock!) and also giving our older xc portables some TLC, whilst Warren Barn Farm gave their permanent fences a makeover in the rain on Thursday.
Our thanks to all concerned. As we had all our army of helpers, caterer, photographer and paramedic lined up for the Sunday we decided to take a chance with the weather. Upon arrival early Sunday morning I was greeted with the sight of the course sparkling in the morning sun covered with a light frost, the first I have seen this year autumn, but which soon disappeared, leaving us in sunshine all day and with lovely ground conditions. The club had purchased 5 new XC portable fences, which we placed on the course to add some new challenges. These being a rustic house, 2 types of tiger traps, a wagon fence and in the Novice – the notorious skinny pimple fence. This we used as the last fence at a related distance from the wagon as riders came down a steep hill, which much to my surprise did not give many of our Novice entrants a problem! Also to add to the Novice challenge were skinnies on related distances coming out the sunken road and water complex. No one had any trouble steering here either despite the numerous turns between the sunken road and water. This was much to my relief, as it confirmed I got the striding right, having walked the related distances at least half a dozen time each way with Club Chairwoman Jean Bywater, and me nearly falling backwards into the water jump in the process, so 18 years in the horse club must have stood me in some good stead. We also had a new line home, directly from the water complex which rode well, so I can see us adding a few more portables along this line in the future.
Huge thanks must go to our Jump Judges who gave up their Sunday to come and Jump Judge and other officials, Secretary, Timer, Scorer, Starter, Commentator, Procurers and anyone else I have forgotten. It was great to see long standing members Ex-Chairmen Mike Potts and John Wickham judging along with our first timers and regulars. Without their help and support, this type of competition simply cannot be run and it takes a lot of willing people to run a cross county competition, so please doing consider offering organisers help if you are not competing at your local event. I must also give special thanks to Jean Bywater, without her support and encouragement I would not have been able to run the Hunter Trials. Jean gave up 3 of her weekend days, including missing out on going to the Club’s Drag hunt and competing at the Hunter Trial – riding cross county being her passion. Thanks also to our competitors who came along, many of who said thanks and none whom complained, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did on the day.
The Club hopes to see you all again at our Spring Hunter Trial on the 14th April 2013 at Warren Barn Farm. Mary Warlingham & District Horse Club Secretary