News | 2 April 2024

Barrier Spring Festival Competitors Make Us Proud

Update on 3 days competition at Barrier Spring Festival by Kelly Skinner.

What a fabulous first day at Spring Festival Championships:

Dressage – Day 1

Early start with Ava Skinner going first for RPC in PC70 at 8.44am. A lovely consistent test with great transitions and an amazing 4th place, just fabulous riding and lovely turned out.
Next up was Kayla MacDonald doing the PC80 at 10.05. Popcorn warmed up beautifully and then went into the arena and decided to spook at everything meaning Kayla had to work very hard to try to contain him finishing up in 10th place and again lovely turnout.
Next up was Rhyian competing in the Novice at 11.45. A really nice test to take 2nd place and get through to the ride offs at 4.10pm to take 5th place overall.
Rhyian was back in again to do the Intermediate test, a very long test in a 20×60 arena with 2 judges and the arena taking centre place in the indoor arena. Another lovely test with encouraging comments and beautifully presented. Kayla and Ava admiring the harder tests and proud of their Senior rider in the club.
To top it all off we were part of a dressage team who came 13th overall out of 32 teams, three riders doing their very best.
What a great start to the Championships, all girls showed great team spirit were motivating and encouraging to each other, all great fundamentals taught through PC, bring on day 2!

Ava & Lollypop finishing their test to take 4th place.


Kayla on Popcorn strutting their stuff


Rhyian & Mouse looking fabulous

Spring Festival day 2 – Arena Eventing

Another early start with Kayla doing the 70cm Arena Eventing at 8.44am. 20 jumps, a mix of SJ and XC all timed with an optimum time for the XC phase.
Kayla was of to a flying start keeping up the pace until fence 15 where Popcorn didn’t like the look of the bridge fence! 2 stops there accumulating 60 penalties as it was the XC phase and foot to the throttle to complete with just 7.2 time penalties ending up 39th out of 55. An educational round and ready for the 80cm round.
Onto the 80cm round for Kayla. New course as your not allowed the same course for 2 consecutive rounds and again foot to the throttle with a rolled pole in the SJ phase and 3 unfortunate stops at separate XC fences, but delighted to complete such a technical course and gaining confidence for the season ahead. Finishing up 34th out of 53.
Next up was Rhyian Skinner doing the 80cm round. Not chasing time and looking to give Mouse a good experience, she piloted Mouse around the 20 fence course taking a pole in the last fence but placed 7th out of 53. Super pleased with her calm attitude in that surroundings.
A few hours later back to do the 90cm track, course changed again and all about the experience allowing Mouse to trot to work things out for a pole in the SJ phase and a pole in the XC phase and getting 6.4 time penalties finishing 21st out of 39.
Ava was not competing today but was a great support for the other 2 riders.
There is a league for riders who have qualified for all 3 phases and Rhi is currently sitting in 1st place with the SJ to do tomorrow.
Oh and the Easter bunny arrived to our stables which was a great surprise and definitely needed for the energy levels, thanks so much Alanna Skinner. Not forgetting Andrew Skinner and Luna for team support and head chef!!
Back early tomorrow for day 3 – Show jumping for all 3 girls, what another great day and lovely support and encouragement from other PC teams.
Good night all from Team Ross-shire PC

Kayla & Popcorn doing what they both love


Rhyian & Mouse pleased with their efforts


Kayla getting some words of encouragement from team mate Ava.

Day 3 – Show Jumping

Another early start with Kayla’s 70cm round at 8:16am. Another beautiful course and a faultless performance to go clear and placed 18th out of 70 competitors.
Next up was Ava in the 70cm, unfortunately not the round she had hoped for with 3 stops resulting in elimination, but lots to take and lots leant from this round. With team mates by her side a comforting and encouraging hug, inspiring you not to give up.
Back in Kayla went for the 80cm class with 83 entries and a course change, up against the countries super speedy ponies for another faultless round, to finish up 26th. A day of building lots of confidence for both horse and rider for the season ahead.
Last up was Rhyian at 4:10pm in the 90cm class, with 51 entries and being so late in the day, Rhyian’s goal was to pilot Mouse around the jumps confidently and not pushing for time to gain experience in a large arena, she unfortunately had 3 poles rollled but more through tiredness. Mouse made the round look easy and jumped confidently in a very tricky track that was causing real issues. She finished 31st out of 51.
The 3 day league table for those competitors that qualified in all three disciplines, Kayla 26th place and Rhyian 15th place out of 51 other riders. The girls received championship rosettes and chocolate for their efforts.
All round an incredible experience for the girls and ponies.
A huge thank you for our generous sponsors for making the journey possible and for the lifelong memories that were created. Thanks to Libby for our lucky mascots, who also had their first outing of the season!
A big shout out to Caithness Pony Club for their help, support and encouragement over the weekend.

Ava looking fabulous in the big arena.


Kayla & Popcorn jumping clear in both 70 & 80cms


Rhyian letting young Mouse gain confidence in a big environment

A huge well done to all 3 members who competed and done us proud.  We were all cheering you on from home and keeping an eye on the results or awaiting Kelly’s updates daily.  You all did amazing and thank you also to the mums and dads who took you down and supported you so well.  It was great getting the updates throughout the weekend.