Midlands Carriagedriving

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Great competition at Thoresby Park
23 May 2019
Report by Wendy Nix
While the field may have been less in number than anticipated, there was plenty of competitive spirit among the drivers at Midlands Carriagedriving’s (MC) opener of the season at Thoresby Park (18 and 19 May) – and those who did take part enjoyed a delightful weekend in glorious parkland as well as the optional hot meal on Saturday evening, held in the estate’s village hall. Members of the public, enjoying a Sunday walk at Thoresby, were willing spectators, many showing a strong interest in the sport.

James Binns wins the tandem class by a tight margin.

The Pony Tandem class had the closest finish, with James Binns completing a bare 1.88 penalties ahead of Anne Chambers while David Wagstaff-Myers was only 4.25 penalties further back; a chance to rue the additional five penalties David incurred during dressage.

Glenys Ellis, who drove clear in the cones, takes third place in the Open class.

While nobody managed a double clear in the fiendishly deceptive cones, just two managed to avoid dislodging any balls. Emily Viller in the Intermediate class took things gently with her young pony and Glenys Ellis won the phase in the Open class. Emily also took the marathon with its six obstacles at a steady pace, finishing in fourth behind the current National Novice Champion, Lynn Riley, who came first just 3.44 penalties ahead of Ruth Auton – making a welcome competition come-back – who in turn had over 20 penalties in hand from third-placed Chris Patrick.

A welcome return to competitive driving for Ruth Auton.

In the Open, Glenys finished in third place, a creditable position given that she had both Nicola Corby and Julie Tomasik ahead of her; Nicola on 135.29, Julie on 142.94 and Glenys with 146.15. Cath Brockie stormed round with Steve Trebble’s pony to win the marathon but was still too far adrift to make a dent in the leader board.

Winner of the Open class Nicola Corby, under the trees with Thoresby House behind.

First-time MC competitor Alysha Lane took the honours with her little pony in the Novice class, winning all three phases to finish well clear of Wendy Mason and Christine Lyte.

Alysha Lane wins all three phases to take the Novice Class at Thoresby.

The Pony Pairs class was a ding-dong battle between eventual winner Emma Burton, Sue Hargreaves and Sandra Priestley. Less than five penalties separated the three after dressage with Sandra in the lead. Sue leap-frogged both to take the lead after the cones with Emma keeping second place, but Emma piled on the pressure round the obstacles to take the class by 5.31 penalties ahead of Sue with Sandra settling for third.

Angie Smith drives across the bridge at Thoresby Park.

Angie Smith managed to hang on to first place overall against Emma Young in the Pony Team class while Graham Clements, the sole competitor in the Short Format section, gave his youngster plenty of time to learn his trade on its first event outdoors.

Emma Burton overtakes her rivals to win the Pony Pairs class.

Drivers will have another opportunity to experience the grounds of Thoresby when the MC Club Championships take place on 14 and 15 September. Classes will be open to all – don’t miss out!

Enjoying the drive  across Thoresby's beautiful parkland.

For more information on MC events, how to join the club and enter competitions please visit: www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk