Strong support for equestrian event

Clair and Nicole Southern at the charity showjumping event. Picture by Derek Grant.
Clair and Nicole Southern at the charity showjumping event. Picture by Derek Grant.
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Horse and pony riders from across Northumberland and other parts of the North East enjoyed a fun equestrian event in aid of a good cause.

The Bay Riding Club is a local, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to amateur and non-amateur riding alike.

Hannah Graham in action. Picture by Derek Grant

Hannah Graham in action. Picture by Derek Grant

The recent showjumping event that it held at Lane Farm Equestrian Centre was in support of one of the club’s junior members, Nicole Southern.

She was involved in a serious car accident in May 2016 and spent time in hospital.

Since the accident, the Southern family and their friends have sought to fund-raise for the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI to support other young people who are treated at the facility.

Nicole is putting together a programme of various activities to raise as much money as she can for it over the next 12 months and this ‘celebration of life’ at the Bedlington venue, which brought in £2,166, was the first such event.

It had jumping classes ranging from 50cm to 90cm. The show attracted cash prizes in some classes, provided by local sponsors, and there was also a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

Clair Southern, Nicole’s mum, said: “It was what can only be described as an absolutely fantastic day.

“We are overwhelmed at the turnout and from all the lovely comments about how much fun the show was and how much everybody enjoyed themselves.”

The Bay Riding Club was formed more than 40 years ago to promote good horsemanship amongst riders and is still going strong today, with over 100 members across the North East.

It is widely supported by the local equestrian community, with events for both adults and children.

Hannah Graham, aged 13, was among the participants.

She said: “This was my first indoor event and I was a bit nervous at first as I’ve only had my pony since last summer.

“I came fifth in the 50cm and the organisers were really good about letting me take my friend into the arena for the 60cm to give me some guidance.

“I then went on to do the 60cm pairs and did a clear round. I was really pleased with my pony.

“I can’t wait for the next show.”

Sam Bass, co-owner at Denewood Stables in Seaton Delaval, said: “My daughter first started attending Bay Riding Club events when she was eight.

“She has since represented the club on their dressage and showjumping teams, competing at the British Riding Clubs National Championships in Lincoln.

“The club is very supportive of its members and organises events. We’ve made so many good friends within the club and we were so pleased to be able to support this event.”