Report from Croft Castle 2016

Well Croft 2016 has been and gone!

The morning started in beautiful autumn sunshine and a magnificent view over the Herefordshire countryside enjoying coffee and cakes – perfect! Soup and buns were served later in the day.

Twelve competitors from seven counties, fourteen horses and ponies were fantastic. The only people that were even better were the volunteers that helped to make the day successful – supporters, stewards and judges. This year we set up a carriage driving Centre/Gazebo as an Information centre.

The competition started with two presentations in front of the castle our judges Amy Bracey and Stephen Pond were kept hard at work all morning. There were two routes, modern vehicles with either a horse (class 1) or a pony (class2) again tackled the old carriage ride through the park beautiful off road pathways but nicknamed The Mountain Route! For traditional vehicles and smaller ponies a gentler drive around Herefordshire lanes, to my amazement they both measured out at the same 8 miles.

Last year we thought the difficulties were too easy so this year they were more interesting. Having looked at the overall marks The Brain Teaser, was clearly the easiest for the horses but was the most challenging for the human brain!  The Herefordshire Cider Drinker was more difficult for the horses but approached with more enthusiasm by the whips! Should we perhaps reflect on this!!!

Kay Walton filled a short delay in the last results coming through to inform the spectators about the amazing horses and people standing awaiting the presentation. They (the horses!) ranged from 10 to 16 hh plus, they came with many backgrounds the family pet, the show and from horse trials even one from the plastic shop! She mention the range of participants the young (two junior whips) and the not so young, also the diversity of the range of carriages from the late nineteenth century to the twenty first century.

Surely it was a showcase for this type of competition

Congratulations to the winners of each class, Faith Saunders, Robbyn McClements, Felicity Stubbs  and Marian Dunevein. Competitors have their individual results but this year just completing was a win.

Brigit Graham has again taken some fabulous picture and can be seen on her Facebook page and she can be contacted Brigitgraham@aol.com