Sunday May 16, 2021
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to


A very successful start to XC this season was enjoyed today by ten junior members of the Cattistock Pony Club on the lovely cross-country course at Stour XC. Two groups of children and their ponies were expertly coached by Lorraine Roberts over some confidence building warm up jumps flanked by the pretty River Stour, followed by ditches, banks, roll-overs, ‘houses’ and everyone’s favourite, the water!

It was a very instructive session for everyone who attended, with Lorraine managing to cater for all, helping riders tackle their own specific objectives and ponies their own unique issues! Steering, lines, when to apply leg and when to take it off, riding straight, control, thinking ahead and the importance of heels down and bottoms in saddles were all covered at volume while ponies printed hooves on fast receding ground.

Highlights include the prompt exchange between two members of a broken stirrup leather for a neck strap to solve a potentially ruinous tack malfunction and the curing of a bad case of bank phobia in a pony whose jumping career had previously been confined to coloured poles. No falls, lots of lessons learned and even more smiles. Thank you for organising a great day, Cantie Soote!



A small tribe of Cattistock junior members decided to test their mettle on the arena eventing course at Dorset Showground today, in a competition kindly hosted by the Portman Pony Club. Thomas Worsley and his pony Maisey came home with an individual First in the 60-65cm class in which Bella and her sister Tilly Garton also won sixth and seventh place rosettes. Brilliant results demonstrating that Arena Eventing which is based on optimum, rather than fastest time, presents a fantastic opportunity for reliable jumpers with a steadier pace to really shine.
Thomas and Maisey also went on to scoop a Team Second in the 70-75cm class, together with fellow team team mates Alfie and Grace Lampson, and Constance Chapman. Constance was joined by senior member Bea Southcombe in the 80-85cm class, both delivering lovely rounds on their New Foresters, before Bea went on to win a 7th place rosette in the 90-95cm class.
Fantastic efforts by all over some lively looking fences requiring some tight turns.
If there was an award for courage and determination, it would have gone to Tilly Garton for jumping a fantastic round shortly after falling off her horse when it careered across the tarmac to be reunited with its friend at the other end of the car park! Undeterred by the ambulance visit, grazes on her nose, a bandage on her knee and ripped Robinson Crusoe style jodhpurs, she jumped a lovely round and completed her ever competitive foray as planned. Bravo Tilly!
Thank you to the Portman Pony Club for putting on a great event.



We started as we meant to go on…at Chard Equestrian 13/4/21


CHPC kicks off return to activities with an all day, all ages rally, and what a lot of fun we had!!


The Cattistock Hunt Pony Club descended in force today on the wonderful facilities at Chard Equestrian. Twenty-three members ranging in age from 6 to 18 enjoyed the expertise of Line Andreson, Pip Bailey, Jinks Bryer, Rosie Fry, Isobel Goodwin, Millie Tonks and Sarah Whittington.


Split into five rides across three beautifully surfaced arenas, ponies, children, teenagers and instructors moved seamlessly from showjumping to grid work and from arena XC to games, with the occasional wave between siblings and full-throated neighs between separated stablemates. Friends were reunited over packed lunches on lorry ramps while the children of less organized parents benefited from the delights of the famous Chard Equestrian café.


Younger members enjoyed a much-needed boost to confidence after a long and quiet winter while older members embraced the tussle between camaraderie and competitive spirit in the return of much loved games such as “Chase Me Charlie”. Juniors who were considering jumping the tantalizing false box hedging into Jinks Bryer’s neighbouring Mini ride were wisely advised: “it’s your funeral.” 


Meanwhile, certain minis were reprimanded in a voice that could be heard as far away as Crewkerne that “YOU CANNOT CANTER OVER TROTTING POLES!!!” When those same valiant minis tackled the largest jumping arena most of them had ever seen, they adopted an innovative new “shoal of fish” formation, proving that when it comes to scary jumps, there is safety in numbers.


There was also some ground-breaking cross-disciplinary activities including galloping in the dressage arena, identified as a highlight of the day by one junior member. A couple of falls with no harm done, ponies gently reminded of their place and riders of just who is boss: a great start to a return to post-COVID Pony Club life.


Huge thanks are owed to Cantie Soote for masterminding what was effectively three annual summer camps in one day, to the instructors for their valuable and patient expertise, to helpers, and of course to the members who came out in such enthusiastic force.