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The Robinsons' Prince Philip Cup goes to the final game of the final session to decide the winner.

Last week at the NEC Birmingham, the top six Pony Club Mounted Games in the country fought long and hard to win the coveted Robinsons' Prince Philip Cup.

The quality of competition was brilliant and no team should be disappointed with their performance.

Eglinton Hunt, the past masters of this competition, this year came with a young team and their slight lack of experience meant that they did not manage to get into the final four on the Sunday evening. Robert Noble the Eglinton trainer commented, "we'll be back next year with more experience and take the cup back to its rightful home in Scotland."

Rob Price the Clydach and District trainer, said "luck was not on our side this week" and if there was a flag to be missed, or a pile of blocks to fall over, it was often Clydach that it happened to, despite brilliant riding for the rest of the time. So unfortunately Clydach also did not make the cut.

This was really not going to form, as the two rookie teams Crickhowell and District and South Trent, both reached the final four and were not overshadowed. With double points given on the Sunday evening at one stage they were all so close that there was not one game between all of them.

Eventually though, experience shone through and with only two games to go the battle really hotted up between Wylye Valley and Oakley West. Wylye were trailing and rode like demons to take two seconds and a first place over those last three games. Oakley only had a two-point advantage just one place. Oakley won the last but one game, putting more pressure on Wylye. The last game went to Wylye but Oakley came in second to clinch the Robinsons' Prince Philip Cup by the narrowest of margins just two points.

On Robinsons stand at HOYS, celebrating after their victory in The Robinsons Prince Philip Cup:
L to r Back row: Lauren Poole and Melissa Dell
Front row: Adam Frost, Charlotte Castle, Maureen Thomas (team trainer) Holly Howson, Rebecca Moore.

Maureen Thomas the Oakley trainer was really in a state of shock after such a tightly fought competition, but in her usual humble mode commented "the team have trained since January to get here. We were desperate to win this year in a new venue at the NEC and with our new sponsors in Robinsons."

Jim Bentham the Managing Director of Robinsons' said after the competition "we chose to sponsor the Prince Philip Cup through The Pony Club, because they are the future generation of adult riders, but the professionalism and skill shown by these boys and girls is way beyond their age and a credit to them, their trainers and Pony Club Branches. We hopefully look forward to sponsoring them again next year."

The teams were: -
Clydach and District
Keri Hopkins (15) from Clydach, riding Dancer, Victoria Jones (14) from Clydach, riding Rosie, Natalie Gill (14) from Port Talbot, riding Perdie, Rob Price (14) from Ystradgynlais, riding Nutkin, Gemma Walters (11) from Crynant, riding Dancer and Kirsty Williams from Clydach riding Flicka. The Clydach team trainer Steve Price is from Ystradgynlais.

Crickhowell and District
Sally Griffiths (15) from Crickhowell (Dorian), sisters Sophie (14) and Aimee Richards (12) from Abergavenny (Jimmy and Lucky), and the second pair of sisters Katy (15) and Holly (12) Rauch from Newport riding Monty and Millie, and Bethan Gold from Crickhowell riding Jimmy. The Crickhowell trainer is Iain Hopkins from Coed Morgan, Llanarth.

Eglinton Hunt
Heather Ridland (13) from Ayr riding Sisco, Emma Keirs (14) from Mauchline riding Clair, David Ingram (13) from Irvine riding Dolly, with brother and sister Donald (14) and Neah Evans (12) from Saltcoats riding Bobby and Bilbo. The trainer is Robert Noble from Stewarton.

Oakley Hunt West
Charlotte Castle (14) from Market Rasen riding Vimto, Holly Howson (14) from Long Buckby (Nipper), Lauren Poole (14) from Wooton (Beds) (Poppy), Melissa Bell (14) from Nash, (Lucy), Adam Frost (13) from Wooton (N 'hants) (Mandy) and reserve rider Jessica Cox (9). The Oakley West trainer is Maureen Thomas from Wooten End.

South Trent
Alice Burditt (13) from Ibstock, riding Minty, Katie Harding (13) from Blackfordby, Ashby-de-la Zouch (Romeo), Rosie Wathan (11) from Mountsorrel, (Jet) Sam Vincent (13) from Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Pepsi) and Sophie Renou (14) from Oakwood Derby, riding Tarquin. The South Trent trainer is Peter Renou from Shepshed.

Wylye Valley
Brother and sister James (13) and Michelle Stark (15) from Stanton Drew riding their ponies Magic and Rossi, joined their cousin Chris Clinton (13) from Chewton Mendip riding Misty, Mary Chivers (14) from Stratton on the Fosse (Rosie), Tayah Barrs (13) from Freshford (Bouncer), and reserve rider Vicky Andrews (15). The Wylye trainer is Maria Gibson from East Compton.


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