RAF Halton’s equestrian team are flying high after beating rivals Northolt in a dressage event at Hideaway Farm, Oving, near Aylesbury.
The team of Sgt Sarah Elwood, Cpl Flo Dent, Cpl Clare Stoddart and SAC Lois Russell were competing in dressage and showjumping for the Inter Station League.
On arriving at Hideaway Farm the team was allocated their horses by British Horse Society (BHS) judge, Miss Jo Crabb.
Sgt Elwood rode the first dressage test on Follie and gained exceptional scores. Clare Stoddart, the novice of the group, and nervous about competing, did the whole dressage test in full and surprised herself, with the judge commenting: “Overall she rode the straightest centre line out of everyone in the competition.”
After the dressage came the showjumping, with all the riders feeling nervous. Sgt Elwood said: “We walked the course, trying to memorise the sequence of the jumps by memory. There were eight jumps in total, starting at a height of just over two foot.
“The horses allocated for the jumping were Sarah on Pandora, Flo on Passion, Clare on Nellie and Lois on Darcy. All the Halton team performed a clear round in the jumping phase which means no one knocked any of the fences over and everyone demonstrated some very impressive skills. The horses loved it and had their ears pricked forward the whole time round!”
At the end of the competition the judge added all the scores up giving individual placing and overall team score.
1st Individual Cpl Flo Dent
2nd Individual SAC Alison Cartlidge
3rd Individual SAC Lois Russell
4th individual Sgt Sarah Elwood
It meant Halton emerged as winner with 13 league points to Northolt’s eight.
Sgt Elwood said: “We had a fantastic time and a huge well done to Clare Stoddart for overcoming her fears and riding as well as she did under an enormous amount of pressure, and to Lois for actually staying on the horse this time! Well done.”