Last weekend more than 200 riders from all over the UK made their way to Cornwall to take part in the Boconnoc Estate Ride organised by Endurance GB, South West Group and with kind permission of Mr and Mrs Fortescue of Boconnoc Estate. This prestigious 2-day event is by far the largest staged in Devon and Cornwall and is fast becoming EGBSW’s Flagship event. Rides ranged from 17km (around 10 miles) to 82km (50 miles) with no less than three Pleasure Ride classes 17km, 26km and 32km being held on both days. Competitive classes included the Phoenix Field Arabians Deer Park Challenge, an 82km ride over two days, the CER 81km Boconnoc Bowl and three qualifier classes for the Pony Club Championships, as well as the usual Novice, Open and Advanced Graded Endurance Rides. Local Bodmin Company Woof Wear kindly supplied prizes, together with Farlap Photography, Saracen Horse Feeds, Verm-X and Blue Chip Feed Supplements.
The logistical planning for such an event must be something of a nightmare but true to form Ride Organisers Jo and Peter Claridge rose to the challenge and everyone agreed the event had been a triumphant success. Perfect riding conditions underfoot with some warm sunny intervals and a glorious breeze kept those pesky flies at bay.
Chief Route designer, Peter Claridge, cleverly put riders through their paces over beautiful parkland, hidden valleys and shady woods, across acres and acres of open farmland and forestry tracks all set in and around the historical Boconnoc Estate.
Competitors, like Ray and Sharon Davison who make the event a holiday, travelled down from Long Eaton in Nottinghamshire, pitted themselves and their horses against fellow equine athletes in superb examples of long distance riding. Ray riding Saintwestwell Silver Mask, won the Phoenix Field Arabians’ Deer Park Challenge last year but was beaten into second place this year by EGB Wessex Group’s Rosemary Henderson from Bristol, riding Argentina. Ray’s wife, Lincs. EGB group’s chairwoman, Sharon riding Zorro, came in 4th behind our very own SW Devon member Judy Holloway on AA. Talika. 5th, 6th and 7th places went to our EGBSW Cornish contingent; Jane James from St Just riding Kalaway, Val Hansen on Seadeke Mystif from St. Day and Catherine Woodford again from St Just riding Pigaro.
7 Advanced riders and their horses entered for the prestigious Boconnoc Bowl CER 81km ride which took place on the Sunday. There is always an exciting finish at the end of the afternoon for this ride and it didn’t disappoint. First was former British team member and International rider Nicky Sherry from St Breward, Bodmin, riding Silver Zourra closely followed by Ginny Gidley from Barnstaple on Desert Kudoss. 3rd place went to Newton Abbott’s very own, Lesley Knott and her trusty experienced steed Firebird.
This superb venue, set amongst some of Cornwall’s most breathtaking countryside, offers riders, horses and their crews a unique opportunity to enjoy not only the hospitality of the Fortescue family and their beautiful estate in which to ride, but a chance to ‘chill’, meet new friends and enjoy the special atmosphere on the Saturday evening’s renowned Feature meal; competitors relaxed in the park, corralled horses overlooked the lake and the historic Queen Anne mansion, and the WoodFired Pizza Company, using locally sourced ingredients making their delicious pizza’s, catered for even the biggest appetites. On the Sunday evening as tired competitors, crews and horses made their way homeward, everyone agreed that yet again, EGBSW and Boconnoc had delivered a truly memorable Endurance Ride Event. Make it a date in your diary for next year. Visit our website: www.endurancegbsouthwest.com.
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