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North West crew takes BYRDS Inter Regionals title

last updated on July 06, 2017 09:34

North West crew takes BYRDS Inter Regionals title

More than 150 talented youngsters travelled to Bedfordshire last weekend to contest the BYRDS Inter Regionals championship which took place at The College Equestrian, Keysoe (1 – 2 July 2017).

A phenomenal number of teams – 38 in total - took part in the thrilling weekend of competition for riders aged 25 and under, each and every one proud to be riding for their region. This event is unique in that it features the BYRDS rider tests with the main focus being on the rider’s position, influence over the way of going, and accuracy. Plus the weekend never fails to cultivate an amazing sense of camaraderie and team spirit as riders put their training to the test with the support of teammates and friends.

This year’s teams put up amazing performances but only one quartet could come out on top, and that was North West Salinero (pictured left to right: Aimee Parry, Holly Clarke, Nancy Rollings and Matilda Machin) who won with an impressive five point lead. Following in the footsteps of their senior counterparts – North West Thunderbirds who won the senior equivalent of this competition back in May - these young riders have helped the North West to match the Eastern region's incredible inter-regionals double of 2016.

The most senior North West Salinero rider, Nancy Rollings, rode Melanie Rowley’s 13-year-old Welt Hit II mare, Wellbeloved, to second overall in the A Squad Rider Test section - they scored 90.9 on Saturday and 90 on Sunday. The twenty-year-old from Shropshire finished just behind the winner for Southern Atlantic, Holly Colgate-Hardaway (25) with Zoe Colgate-Sopp’s Danish 10-year-old, Dalvangs Lorenzo.

Aimee Parry (14), also from Shropshire, placed ninth overall in the B Squad category. Aimee and her British-bred partner Prototype, a handsome bay by Pro-Set, performed two strong tests for 83.8 and 85.5. While twelve-year-old Holly Clarke achieved overall third in the C Squad Section A aboard Newoak Truffel, her charming Welsh part-bred 15-year-old. Holly and Newoak Truffel have formed a successful partnership in their time together notching up some knockout scores at Prelim and Novice.

The youngest member of the winning team was Matilda Machin (10) with her grey pony, Jilly. Matilda and Jilly, who stands just 12 hands high, placed 11th overall in the Fledglings category for riders aged six to eleven. Matilda’s mature riding was rewarded with scores of 81.8 and 85.1 for her performances over the weekend.

“What an amazing weekend for my first teams competition in the role of BYRDS Rep,” Sue Blackshaw told British Dressage. “I could not have asked for more support from all the riders and their families. They were all brilliant and showed such amazing team spirit for the riders in the North West Squad. Fantastic results followed, with 1st, 7th, 8th, 11th, 17th and 26th out of 38 teams, we couldn't ask for more!

“The highlight for me was a competition on the Saturday evening in front of a panel, where each region did a five minute show. We had decided to honour the victims of the Manchester bombing which is in the heart of North West. We practised, and sang and danced our way through 'Where is the Love' [performed by Ariana Grande and Black Eyed Peas at the One Love Manchester benefit concert]. The riders were amazing with so much effort and feeling put into it. I think it will be our squad song from now on.

“The party continued with a BBQ organised by the parents with meat bought in the village and lots of laughter and giggling late in to the night (for the parents of course!).

“The atmosphere at Keysoe is always great, it is well run and chilled. The weather was kind to us as well so it made the icing on the cake!”

“I’m super proud!” added North West RDO Lou Jones. “Team Salinero and all the team riders [North West fielded six teams, each named after a famous dressage horse] rode so professionally and threw themselves into the spirit of the competition. They really did themselves proud.”


Team Competition
1. North West Salinero (Holly Clarke, Matilda Machin, Aimee Parry, Nancy Rollings)
2. South West Doritos (Sasha Bird, Lainey O’Neill, Kitty Palmer, Olivia Sealy)
3. Southern Atlantic (Holly Colgate Hardaway, Millie Gover, Eliza Moody, Phoebe Osborn)

A Squad Team Test
1. Southern Atlantic – Holly Colgate-Hardaway and Dalvangs Lorenzo
2. North West Salinero – Nancy Rollings and Wellbeloved
3. Southern Atlantic – Phoebe Osborn and McKenna

B Squad Team Test
1. Central Pikachu – Annabella Pidgley and Farbenfroh
2. North West Parzival – Hattie Kirby and Vales Blueberry
3. South West Chipsticks – Danielle Balsdon and Lord Lennox

C Squad Team Test - Section A (riders 12 – 14 years)
1. South West Doritos – Sasha Bird and Bochy Royal Cassidy
2. Wales Gobstoppers – Catrin Stewart and Yarty Welsh Jack
3. North West Salinero – Holly Clarke and Newoak Truffel

C Squad Team Test – Section B (riders 15 – 25 years)
1. South West Monster Munch – Tom O’Bryan and The Carnival Cavalier
2. Southern Mediterranean – Annabel Harwood and Doris
3. Northern Belle – Anna Bates and Jolianna

Fledglings Squad Team Test (riders 6 – 11 years)
1. North West Supernova – Olivia Georgetti and Bravo Freckles
2. Northern Anna – Isabella Rowley and Rosewater Cassius
3. Eastern Whippets – Poppy McDonald and Orpons Taro

For full results click here

Photo credit: Kevin Sparrow