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Eastern region on flying form at BYRDS Inter Regionals

last updated on June 28, 2016 12:04

Eastern region on flying form at BYRDS Inter Regionals

Twenty-nine teams took part in this year’s BYRDS Inter Regionals championship weekend, which was held at Richmond EC in North Yorkshire, owned by Paul Hodgson, chairman of British Eventing, for the first time.

Run by Donna and Rennie Wood, this superb venue hosted an excellent competition, with a generous welcome party (including a chocolate fountain) on the eve of the competition, ahead of two full days of hot competition for under-25 riders. This is a unique event, which features the BYRDS rider test with the main focus being on the riders’ position, influence over the way of going and accuracy.

This year’s result was a cliff-hanger with the Eastern region’s Navy Blue team proving unbeatable and taking home the winners’ title for the region for the first time. Pictured l to r: Eleanor Collins (Eastern BYRDS rep), Felicity Coles, Mollie Sears, Verity Tyrell and Sammi Wuidart.

Sixteen-year-old Sammi Wuidart and her nine-year-old Irish cob mare Blue P (Maisie), impressed scoring 90 in the A squad team test on the first day as joint overnight leader (with Southern Mistral’s Holly Colgate Hardaway) and runner up with 84.6 on the second day to claim the overall individual A squad title for an ecstatic Eastern Navy Blue team.

“’Maisie was simply amazing,” said Sammi, who has owned the former riding school pony for four years and trained her up the levels from prelim to medium herself with the help of Tasha Wakeley. “It’s been an exciting weekend -- I felt a bit of pressure being overnight leader, but luckily I’m quite a calm person and don’t get nervous, while Maisie just took everything in her stride and tried her hardest for me.”

Sammi, a member of Bedfordshire South branch of the Pony Club, keeps Maisie at a local DIY yard and is aiming to compete at advanced medium level later this year.

“Maisie’s nickname is ‘supercob ‘-- she has so much character,” said Sammi. “We’re very close partners, just like best friends.”
Eastern Navy Blue’s team captain Verity Tyrell, 22, who works as a rider/groom for Eastern’s BYRDS rep Eleanor Collins described the Inter Regionals weekend as “full of fun”

“We’re a very close team, all our parents are good friends and we enjoy supporting each other,” said Verity, who was placed fourth in the A squad team test with her 11-year-old Dutch-bred gelding Z-Vivaldo. “We didn’t go with the expectation of winning, we all just wanted to do our best and for our horses to enjoy themselves. We also wanted to do well to show our appreciation for Eleanor, who is so dedicated but never puts any pressure on us – she just says ‘go and have fun!’. As a team, we’ve never done this well at the Inter Regionals before, so to win was everything and it’s given us as well as the whole of our region a huge confidence boost!”

The highest score of the weekend went to 11-year-old South West Queen of Hearts Fledglings’ winner Poppy Burner (pictured) riding Danielle Balsdon’s 11- year-old Welsh Section C Reset Sir Lancelot This talented combination scored 97.1 in the warm up test, 85.9, in the first team test and 94.1 in the second team test.

Poppy, who started riding at just 18 months old, has been a BYRDS’ member for three years, and made the nine-hour journey north from her home in South Devon. She is trained by Danielle Balsdon and is a member of the South Pool branch of the Pony Club.

Twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth Thomas from Betws, Carmarthenshire, who is in her last year as a BYRDS member also enjoyed a weekend to remember riding Cynfelin Rockstar to win the B squad team test title for the Wales Alarch team.
Northern RDO Sarah Huntridge summed up this year’s Inter Regionals weekend: “Throughout the whole weekend the team at Richmond ran a well organised, slick competition and ensured everyone had an enjoyable time. Special thanks must go to Lynne Campbell and Michael Wilson, the official BD stewards, who worked together to keep everyone on time for their tack check and tests.

“It was an honour to see riders from the ages of eight to 25 compete together and how the BYRDS riders test help the development of our young riders. Credit must go to all of the riders who worked together as one team, were polite to all involved for the duration of the weekend and so well turned out.

“As RDO for the region I was very proud to be involved in this competition and to work alongside the team at Richmond, my fellow RDOs and the amazing BYRDS reps who are all volunteers.

Eastern RDO Katharine Parry added: “We were thrilled to take the title at the BYRDS Inter Regional for the first time. The hard work put in by our riders this spring, practising the rider tests and doing lots of training has paid off.

“We have a brilliant region with friendly riders who all get on really well, and that helps so much in team situations. All the girls in the team are friends beyond BYRDS and riding, and it showed in a weekend of solid performances and great riding.

Most thanks has to go to our brilliant BYRDS’ rep Eleanor Collins who works tirelessly to motivate and inspire our riders, supporting them at all their events, always having time to help those who need it and motivate the ‘sky blue army’!

“We also had our fab BYRDS ambassador Jess Brown with us for the weekend. Jess is the best person to have at team events, she gets everyone involved, is fun and lively, boosts those who are a little down, and celebrates with those who do well - and brings all the riders together.

“With Eleanor and Jess, our riders, their parents and supporters we are truly a GREAT team - the East rocks!”

• To find out more about selection and how you can be part of next year’s BYRDS Inter Regional Championships, contact your local BYRDS rep, or RDO.


1, Eastern Navy Blue (Verity Tyrell, Samantha Wuidart, Mollie Sears, Felicity Coles)
2, North West Gigolo (Holly Lucas, Aimee Parry, Harriet Brick, Matilda Machin)
=3, Central Sapphires (Alice Mc Call, Emilia Nelson, Demi Howard Cartwright, Amy Rose)
=3, Southern Mistral (Holly Colgate Hardaway, Maisie Hodge, Chloe Hill, Lucy Thomas)

A squad team test

1, Eastern Navy Blue - Samantha Wuidart and Blue P
2, Southern Mistral – Holly Colgate Hardaway and Dalvangs Lorenzo
3. North West Bonfire - Emily Watts and Rascalini
4, Eastern Navy Blue - Verity Tyrell and Z-Vivaldo
5, North West Salinero - William Blackshaw and An Absolute Snip
6, North West Gigolo - Holly Lucas and Abby

B squad team test

1, Wales Alarch - Elizabeth Thomas and Cynfelin Rockstar
2, North West Gigolo - Aimee Parry and Siglan Edward
3, Central Sapphires - Amy Hose and Lenninger
4, North West Salinero -- Naomi Young and Landis Black Pepper
5, South West Cheshire Cats -- April Joynson and Bryntegllwynau Rocky Robin
6, Southern Mistral -- Maisie Hodge and Coednewydd Beauty Star Albert

C squad team test – Section A
1, Central Sapphires -- Emilia Nelson and Radway Harlequin
2, South Pampero -- Anna Dalrymple and Mighty Mac
3, North West Bonfire -- Ottilie Horn and Rosedew Monet
4, South West Queen of Hearts -- India Griffiths and Clintonstown Windy
5, South West Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum -- Sasha Bird and Bochy Royal Cassidy
6, Southern Sirocco -- Betsy Smetham and Glyncoch Red Rascal

C squad team test – Section B
1, North West Don Primero -- Amber Morris and Bernwode Golden Delicious
2, South West The Mad Hatters -- Destiny Billings and Dovenca
3, South West Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum -- Phoenix Lewis and Kapela
4, Central Emeralds -- Alice Smith and Woodland Gamble
5, Highland Bling -- Emily Sutherland and Grace X
6, Wales Erye -- Katie-Leigh Rees and Mumbles Amber Promise

Fledglings squad team test
1, South West Queen of Hearts -- Poppy Burner and Reset Sir Lancelot
2, Southern Pampro -- Kate Hewson and Newoak Jester
3, Wales Barcud -- Catrin Stewart and Yarty Welsh Jack
4, Southern Mistral -- Lucy Thomas and Longbourne Sugar Plum
5, South West The Mad Hatters -- Erin Da and Maesllwch Roisterer
6, Wales Eryr -- Morgan Haerr and Yaverland Tumbleweed