Category Archives: 16+ Camp

AREA 5 16+ CAMP 2021

Belated report on the Area 5 16+ camp held in Somerford this year July 13th.  It was never a certainty that it would go ahead because of Covid but it did, and was a great success. There were 26 brave Campers this year.  There were 6 rides of 4 or 5.  The weather was perfect which always helps but the food was disappointing.  Catering was made more difficult by Covid as certain precautions had to be taken.  Fortunately, it was possible to eat outside in the sunshine.  Campers were given the option to arrive the night before and many took advantage of that.

We had some wonderful coaches – some of the best in the Area – including William Blane ex Chairman of PC Training.  Campers had coaching every day in Care, flatwork, Sjumping and XC.  An extra arena had been booked with a grid and every group had 30 minutes in there on Thursday.

On Monday evening, the topic was “What the Pony Club did for me”.  We had 3 speakers who spoke about the influence their time in the Pony Club had had on their professions.  We had a Tetrathlon shooter via Zoom, an Equine Physiotherapist and a Vet whose specialism was Cardiac.

The 2nd evening, we had a talk from an Equine Behaviour specialist when we saw how horses interact with each other and what their body language means.  This was followed by an Equine Quiz in teams.

On the 3rd evening, as is usual, campers were treated to Mucky games which ended in the inevitable water fight – all Covid compliant of course!  Great fun.

There were a number of falls but nobody injured and no horse went lame as far as I can remember. Somerford is an amazing place and we are lucky to have such a facility virtually on our doorstep.  I have to say, the behaviour of the campers was excellent apart from one or two latecomers to their ridden sessions.  Camp is all about being organised.

Thank you to the many Parents who helped especially Maggie Braunton(FnD), Sally Green(Gwynedd), Lisa Smith Edwards(FnD) and Bethan Edwards(FnD), Tina Owen(FnD), Alun Davies(FnD) and Anthea Pilkington.

The date next year is a provisional July 11th – 15th.  Put it in your diary.

Area 5 Somerford Camp … two happy campers

After years of attending our own branch camps, this year was to be different.

On the way home from three days at the Area Tetrathlon, we diverted off the M6 to Somerford Park for our first Area 5 Associates camp. We were both a little apprehensive as we didn’t know quite what to expect, but as soon as we arrived and unloaded the horses we soon realised we actually knew many of the others on the camp and it certainly didn’t take long to become friends with everyone else!

As all 34 of us were over 16 we were left to organise ourselves and get on with everything, which made the atmosphere very relaxed and easy.

The riding venue and instructors were world class, including 4* event rider Michael Owen teaching us over the amazing XC training field.

When we weren’t riding we were watching others or just chilling in the stables. We had a system where we helped each other with feeding, mucking out etc. so everyone got to their rides on time, even with the early starts!

The food was great and the evening entertainment was always hilarious – especially Meg’s Mucky games.

We would definitely recommend it and can’t wait to go again next year. Thank you Debbie Miller & Team for organising such a great experience for the older riders.

Russell Wingfield (Aberconwy) and Ben Read (Flint & Denbigh)