Monday February 6, 2023
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NHHPC win Prince Philip Cup

It was all to play for in the Naylors Pony Club Mounted Games Prince Philip Cup Final on Sunday evening at Horse of the Year Show. Crowds were cheering and the pressure was on for the four teams through to the final round.

In the end, the competition was between Oakley Hunt who have won the title on nine occasions, and the North Hereford who were flying through their first time at HOYS having also won the Naylors Cup on Thursday afternoon. Oakley Hunt were in the lead going into the final race of the night – the sack race. In a neck and neck race to the finish line, both teams took a tumble, but the North Herefordshire were quicker to recover and hopped over the finish line just in the nick of time.

Topping the leader board and making history, North Herefordshire Pony Club had bagged their first ever Prince Philip Cup on a score of 117, forcing Oakley Hunt to settle for a close second on 114 points.

Celebrating their monumental achievement with trainer Ian Hopkins it was high-fives all round for the deserving young riders who did their Branch proud tonight.

“That was just the best feeling ever. It means everything. We have all worked so hard to be here,” said team member Heidi White riding her pony Squirt, age 18.

On asking trainer Ian what the secret is to a winning team, he said: “there is no secret, it is just sheer hard work. I am really proud of these guys. We were a pony down this evening as well due to lameness, so we rode with just four ponies in there instead of five and they still did it. It’s a great achievement.”

First contested in 1957, the Prince Philip Cup is one of the most respected and traditional team competitions in equestrian sport, with 200 teams attempting to qualify for HOYS this year.