CHESHIRE - MAELORS EQUESTRIAN CENTRE
The indoor arena at Maelor Equestrian Centre in Cheshire was the venue for our latest 'away' leg of the 2024 season. A great facility with long indoor arena, decent parking area and a good surface. The arena is slightly narrow for a full size barrel pattern so any PB's set are a non standard pattern.
17 riders in total booked for the clinics with only the regular riders 'The Coopers' being classed as experienced. It was great for Greg to showcase barrel racing and demonstrate how Barrel Racing can become your full time equestrian discipline.
Lots of youngsters were in attendance and all in various abilities from lead rein upwards and plenty showing potential for further barrel racing lessons and racing. Sadly not a huge amount stuck around for the racing, most admitting they were a bit too nervous to try this time and prefer to watch but the ones who did stay to race really improved as the afternoon went on.
New member for 2024, Dawn, rode brilliantly on Winston and took home not only a share of rosettes but also prize money and some valuable hi points in the league table !
Also for their first event, Rose bagged 2 first place rosettes along with a lovely saddle charm prize from our sponsor. Owen and Seren also rode well throughout the day, Owen showing he's ready for a faster steed and Seren showing great determination and composure to learn the barel pattern and progress steadily throughout the day.
Greg hd a clean sweep winning all the classes he enterered, long with the Hi point trophy and the fastest barrels and fastest poles. Well done Greg. He's really getting the events and points in the bag early this season as later on there will be uncertainty on his attendance.
Rupert makes it 2 Coopers in the top 4 in the Hipoint league and had a steady but consistant time around the barrels in Cheshire.
We hope the next event in Cheshire in June will be as greatly attended as this one and we look forward to welcoming some of our riders for some racing action too !
The new points system was again in operation, and after 3 events the table can be seen below.
Next event is Lincolnshire (25th Feb) and a new venue for 2024 Soverign Quarter Horses on 3rd March and then our first event of 2024 at Northampton on 17th March.
LINCOLNSHIRE - FULBECK
Our second event of 2024 fell exactly 1 week after our first for the first back to back weekend of the season. This time it was at Fulbeck - The home of 4 Strides Barrel Racing. These early in the season events often see a mixed bag of the number of riders due to weather conditions and bringing horses back into work, but with nearly 2 full clinics and additional riders coming in just to race, there was plenty of competition out there for all abilities.
The 2 youngsters (Tillie & Eva) battled it out throughout the day in a number of classes, with Eva prevailing and taking the 1st Rosette in the NBHA Junior, Under 14.1HH & Under 18 classes, Tillie was hot her heels and this will prove great competition throughout the year. Rupert joined the young riders in the NBHA Junior class but was having a few steering issues and resulted in heavy penalties on his first 2 runs. He did recover nicely after that.
Complete newcomers Emma, Tom & Elizabeth all rode well for their first try around the barrels, Tom definitely looked the part and exposed his inner cowboy clocking a 22.663 second run as his fastest time of the day. Emma took the honours in the first time turners class with a 22.066 while Elizabeth grabbed some Cash ££ in the Jackpot class.
Hopefully all had a great time and we can see them again soon.
Helen made the short journey down to us and entered the NBHA Senior class and finished with a very respectable average time of 23.110. Well done Helen !
Seasoned team rider Mark, was able to just pip rival Greg to the Jackpot Cash, but Greg took his own payback and smashed the arena record from 2023 with a 17.818. Not bad for the second event of 2024 !
Sarah also haad a good day, consistantly in the mid 19's bracket and picked up plenty of rosettes and points along the way, including Class 5 over 18's win.
The new points system was again in operation, and after 2 events the table can be seen below.
George Parish was on haand with his camera and they can be purchased and viewed directly HERE.
Next event is Cheshire on 17th February follwed by Lincolnshire the week after (25th Feb) and a new venue for 2024 Soverign Quarter Horses on 3rd March.
YORKSHIRE - BISHOP BURTON COLLEGE
Our first event of a brand new season in 2024 saw 4 Strides head north to Yorkshire for the first of 3 clinics at Bishop Burton College. A mixture of new riders and seasoned riders guaranteed a great display in contrast and showed our new riders what to aim for.
It was great to see so many youngsters in attendance trying the sport of barrel racing. Anyone is welcome to attend just to race but dont forget a bit of training next time will see a huge improvement.
Down to the racing and Tillie picked up where she left of last year and constantly set quicker times as the day progressed, im sure she will be in the 20-23 second bracket very soon. Rupert and Tillie went head to head in the NBHA UK Youth category, with Rupert grabbing the coveted 1st Place after a disasterious final run for Tillie completely missing out the 3rd barrel !
Claire came along and raced in a couple of classes and took home 2x Second Places. Showing great potential for the future, we look forward to seeing Claire again soon.
Annabel and Kim were trying out barrel racing for the first time and having both done the clinics, Kim tried her hand at competitive racing, a great effort and a great big smile made it worthwhile for Kim.
Down to the business end of the day and 2 seasoned riders went at it head to head, trading fastest times, but it was Jemma who came out victorius in the fastest time of the day just pipping Greg by 1 tenth of a second. The new points structure was in play for the first time and showed how punishing it can be to not have a clean run but also keeps the points tally fair and within reach of everyone else. Greg took the Hi Point trophy away with him with 12 points, followed by Jemma with 7 and Tillie with 3.
All in all we enjoyed our first 'away' day of 2024 and are looking forward to Lincolnshire on Sunday 28th January. Book Now.