Friday April 20, 2018
Royal Windsor Horse Show Tetrathlon

13th & 14th May 2017

Royal Windsor offers a great privilege to 24 Junior level Tetrathletes. Athletes are selected, usually one per Pony Club Area, to make up 8 Regional teams of three with all scores to count. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are up against 5 English Regions. Our own region, Central England, covers Pony Club Areas 7, 9 and 12.

This year Central England team was represented by Charlie Brown (Ludlow/Area 7), Tom Connors (Beaufort/Area 9) and Olivia Mahony (South Oxfordshire/Area 12).

On Saturday all competitors met at Windsor Leisure Centre for the Shoot and Swim phases. It was all remarkably calm and quick with only 6 targets and 4 details in the shoot and 4 swim heats.

Olivia shot a remarkable 980 to take the lead in this phase. Charlie’s 920 and Tom’s 900 provided a useful team score that put Central England in the lead.

Swimming next. The outstanding swimmer of the competition was Morgan Thompson from the Llangeinor who recorded over 10 lengths in 3 minutes. But again Central England put up a solid performance swimming just under 9 lengths (Tom) and just over 9 lengths (Charlie and Olivia). Olivia held her lead, as did Central England team, however the Scots were snapping at their heels.

Competitors then transferred location to the showground, basking in sunny weather below Windsor Castle. The run route was along the banks of the River Thames – as scenic as you could wish for. The scores were shaken up after the run – Hugh Dow and Morgan Thompson ran extremely well but Tom was not far behind. Olivia put up a very good performance and Charlie, who was suffering significant pain from patella tendonitis, ran with enormous courage although visibly “unlevel”. By the end of Saturday and after three phases, Central England still held top spot with Tom now in individual second place after Morgan Thompson. Charlie’s knee was packed in ice…

Sunday brought the ride phase – an Arena Jumping course set up in the Frogmore Arena, one step away from the Main Arena. The course included a slip rail and a mixture of rustic and show jumps. The Northern Irish team were lent horses by English teams. Central England went in near the start and put the pressure on everyone else by jumping clear – the only penalties being a few time faults. In fact, only 5 out of the 24 competitors achieved the max ride score of 1400 points.

Now Central England knew that they had nailed the team winners spot. Big smiles all round. It remained to be seen if Tom would hold second place or could he improve his position? When Morgan Thompson’s turn came to ride, he was unlucky to take a few poles with him. Bad luck for him after such a performance of athletic brilliance. Tom was elevated to the Individual winner’s spot which was in every way a dream come true.

The prizegiving took place in the Frogmore Arena and the team were delighted to receive embroidered Royal Windsor rugs that will be treasured.

There followed the opportunity to parade in the Main Arena in front of Her Majesty the Queen, alongside the Mounted Games teams who also represent the Pony Club so well. Nick Skelton and Big Star’s retirement swelled the crowd and there was standing room only.

All three team members greatly appreciated the chance to compete at this most prestigious event, racking up memories that will last a lifetime.

RWHS 2017 Central England Team