A Junior Tetrathlon Regional Team Competition took place at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at the weekend. Teams of 3 (under 15) were selected from eight regions – Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Borders plus 5 teams from different regions of England. Twenty four of the best Juniors in the country took part and it was a weekend they will all remember for a very long time.
The Wales and Borders team was made up of 3 members from Area 5 as they were considered to be the best that Wales could offer. The members were Leah Lamb (Flint and Denbigh), Oliver Loud (WWW) and Harry Taylor (Ch H S).
After the shoot phase on Saturday morning, the Welsh were in the lead. Oliver Loud shot one of the only two 1000’s of the day and Harry close behind on 980. After the swim phase they dropped to 2nd place but Oliver and Leah both swam PB’s and Harry equalled his. So they swam well too. The run took place along the banks of the River Thames after which the Welsh fell to 3rd place.
The ride took place quite late on Sunday afternoon in the Frogmore arena. Normally a Tetrathlon would be XC but this was Showjumping. The leading team rode first but made mistakes. The 2nd placed team rode 2nd and also made mistakes. By this time, the Welsh were beginning to think they could have a chance ! They were the 2nd to last to ride and the wait was almost unbearable. First to ride was Harry who completed a fault free round in the time in spite of the huge aeroplanes overhead, and the horseguards and drum horse going into the main arena alongside. Oliver was next but his horse was spooked by some flags in the adjacent arena so he did another circuit and tried again. His horse is 17.2 hh and the steering not always perfect, but he also managed a fault free round. The tension was now mounting but as Leah entered the ring, the cavalry appeared so everything had to stop. Leah had to wait in the ring until they had all gone before she could start. We could hardly watch because it all depended on Leah’s ride but she kept her cool and rode a faultless round. There were only 8 clear rounds altogether and Wales had 3 of them !
The Wales and Borders Team won by 184 points, their score being 12,613. Brilliant.
Individually, Harry (4284) and Oliver (4283) were 3rd and 4th there being just ONE point between them. Well done all, and to the back up teams as well. It was an exciting weekend at a very special show. Memories to treasure.