This year’s Blundell’s One Day Event took place once again at the stunning Pontispool Equestrian Centre, near Taunton. The event built on the success of last year, maintaining the entry numbers ensuring a busy and competitive day. Entries came from all over the South West, from as far as Dorset, Gloucestershire and Cornwall with sections for both schools and adults to compete. Many stated that this was their first ODE and found it to be a professionally run, yet relaxed and friendly event.
The sun shone and the ground was perfect for all our riders to showcase their horse or pony around the dressage arena, then fast but careful over the show jumps and finally the most exciting part, galloping across open country over solid, inviting natural fences of all shapes and sizes.
It was a long day with stewards, volunteers and competitors turning up to prepare for the day ahead just as the sun was rising.
All riders need a support crew of drivers and grooms and the lorries and trailers filled the parking fields, all carefully organised by our gate stewards. Everyone was kept fed and watered with a food van and ice creams for the day.
Blundell’s entered 14 riders, from the 70 cm to the 90 cm competitions. For some, it was their first event riding for Blundell’s and for others their first One Day Event, so a huge achievement to come and have a go. Our 70 cm team consisting of Daisy , Phoebe, Daisy and William who won their Team competition and in doing so won tickets to go and see the exciting equestrian spectacle, The London International Horse show at Christmas. We had some individual placings with Phoebe coming 6th in the 70cm and in the 90cm Bea was 4th and Mima 8th.
Lara, Tess and Emma made up our 80cm Team and Jess, Bea, Scarlett, Mima, Daisy and Isobel made up two teams in the 90 cm sections.
Fortunately, our paramedic and vet team were kept fairly quiet with no major, so all ended the day safe and sound.
Of course, an event on such a scale as this cannot run but for the goodwill, support and hours of work put in by the Blundell’s Equestrian parent body and some 120 volunteers, with husbands, wives, partners and children all roped in to play their part from starting the riders off cross country, to keeping the volunteers refreshed with hot drinks, wonderful packed lunches and cakes and picking up the poles in the show jumping. A huge thank you to the ODE Committee for putting in many hours to get the event off the ground once again this year.
The aim of running our event is to provide both an opportunity for riders to compete and also to raise funds to support our Blundell’s team attend qualifiers and Championships. We were therefore extremely fortunate to have many generous and supportive sponsors to help with the funding of our event and providing some very exciting prizes to the winners. Our incredible prize giving tent was full of trophies, rosettes and goody bags, which meant every participant left with an extra surprise, so there really was something for everyone.
The Rowcliffe Family