KEEN RIDER: Sophie Richardson, of Barnard Castle
KEEN RIDER: Sophie Richardson, of Barnard Castle

A YOUNG rider from Barnard Castle has enjoyed a successful first year as part of the National Shetland Pony Performance Scheme.

Sophie Richardson, 6, has been a member of Zetland Hunt Pony Club for the past two years with her Shetland pony, Hedderwick Tara.

During the past year, Sophie has independently competed in Pony Club activities to gain points towards the scheme.

Among all of their award placings, Sophie and her pony, Tara, were first place in the scheme for Pony Club pony against riders from all across the UK. They have also competed in a range of rallies, competitions and camps.

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Sophie and her pony also competed in the Zetland Hunt Pony Club mounted games mini team with fellow Zetland Hunt Pony Club riders Jack Madden, Gabriella Boddy, Beth Rutterford and Freddie Nicolson.

The team had a successful season under coach Emma Langstaff, with the highlight of winning its class at The Kelso Mounted Games Weekend in Scotland.

Sophie’s mum, Jane Richardson, said: “Sophie has had a very successful season showing her pony and looks forward to winter training for the mounted games competitions in 2019.”