TORRENTIAL rain failed to dampen the spirits of competitors in the annual New Forest point-to-point races on Boxing Day.
Riders splashed their way to the finish line at Godshill, enduring some of the worst conditions seen at the event for decades.
They were cheered on by hardy spectators determined to make the most of the annual spectacle organised by the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society.
Spokesperson James Young told the A&T: “I think it fair to say that this was the most difficult, long, cold, wet day for at least 30 years.
“It is a tribute to the resilience not only of the competitors but also of the many officials and helpers who somehow managed to get through the day and most importantly every pony and rider returned home safely.”
James added: “It is this Forest spirit and camaraderie that makes it so essential that this highlight of the commoning calendar is allowed to continue in its present form.”
Posting on Facebook, Maxine Long said: “Well done to everyone that competed today. Thank you to everyone that came and supported the event and for cheering on the competitors. Thanks to the point-to-point organisers.”
Finnula Barnes said it was “such a special event”. Also full of praise was Carole Gregory who said: “Such a lot of planning and then awful weather to brave for the sake of others enjoyment. “Everyone was so helpful and cheerful.
“I have two young boys who had the ride of their lives today. It wouldn’t be possible without you all.”
Riding in her first event was Joe Smith-Brown, who commented: “Have to say it was amazing! It’s a great tradition and every single rider and helper should be proud – great work!”
Rob and Naomi Forbes said there was some “very brave riding considering the conditions under hoof”.
Andrew Good remarked: “I’m slowly drying out and coming down after such a high. Sincere thanks to all the organisers. It was fabulous for my daughter to take part for the first time.”
RACE 1a VETERANS 55 YEARS AND OVER ON PART BRED NEW FOREST PONIES
- Wootton Heath Obi – owner and rider: John Adams.
RACE 1b VETERANS 55 YEARS AND OVER ON N.F. PONIES
- Obershade Topgun Terry – owner and rider: Anita Smith.
- Burley Dunedin – owner: Sue Peters; rider: Denise Leyland
- Mylor Diamond – owner and rider: Tina Campell.
- Mallards Wood Athena – owner and rider: Louise Booth.
RACE 2a CHILDREN 10-13 YEARS ON NEW FOREST PONIES (Odd numbers)
- Burley Hallmark – owner: Kerry Dovey Whiting; rider: Honor Humble.
- Armadale Sir William – owner and rider: Paige Taplin.
- Wootton Heath Tango – owner: Gregory Family; rider: Dan Gregory.
- Lucky Lane Loo Loo – owner: Sonja Waite; rider: Rowan Cranton.
- Brookshill Sonny – owner: Rebecca Tooley; rider: Peggy Tooley.
RACE 2b CHILDREN 10-13 YEARS ON NEW FOREST PONIES (Even numbers)
- Millersford Bramble IV – owner: Gregory Family; rider: Peter Gregory.
- Redknapp – owner: Silvie Atkinson; rider: Amy Good.
- Hollybrooke Brown Sugar (Transferred from Race 3) – owner Alice Rowe; rider: Lucy Bailey.
- Rowdown Red Baret – owner: Erica Dovey; rider: Sonny Lovell.
- Brock Bright Spark – owner: Davina Fairweather; rider: Summer Keit.
RACE 3 CHILDREN 14-16 YEARS ON NEW FOREST PONIES
- Ipersbridge Whisper – owner: Erika Dovey; rider: John Lovell.
- Janesmoor Tempest – owner: Anita Smith; rider: Madie Goulding.
- Farriers Reflection – owner: Katarzyna Smales; rider: Julia Smales.
- Nightingale Woodsman – owner: Erika Dovey; rider: Isaac Lovell.
- Silverlea Salsa – owner and rider: Tristan Ingram.
RACE 4a NOVICE NEW FOREST PONIES (Odd numbers)
- Delhurrens Iggle Piggle – owner and rider: Paris Wyles.
- Clayhill Fantasia – owner and rider: Rosie Dymond.
- Monksholding Forget Me Not – owner: Charlotte Lines; rider: Helen Booth.
- Fluders Fandango – owner and rider: Nariece Acworth.
- Ridley Jubilee – owner: Charlotte Lines; rider: Jehanna Stride.
RACE 4b NOVICE NEW FOREST PONIES (Even numbers)
- Janesmoor Paco Rabanne – owner and rider: Ellen Smith.
- Oakwood Jester – owner and rider: Abbie Horsburgh.
- Pilley Blue Sapphire – owner: Teresa I’Anson, rider: Paige I’Anson.
- Rushmoor Superb – owner: Atlanta Austin; rider: Satiah Lily Austin.
- Mallards Wood Corunna – owner and rider: Frances Hall.
RACE 5a LADIES ON PONIES n/e 15.2 HANDS
- Nutschullying Bewitched – owner and rider: Erica Dovey.
- Lyndhurst Frankie – owner and rider: Natasha White.
- Janesmoor Crack On – owner: Anita Smith; rider: Amy Howells.
- Penny Farthing Poppy – owner and rider: Atlanta Austin.
- Rowdown Union Jack – owner and rider: Louise England.
RACE 5b OPEN PONIES n/e 15.2 HANDS
- Wootton Heath Romeo – owner and rider: Jake Moore.
- Longslade Skipper – owner and rider: Colin Moore.
- Deepmoor Golden Virginia – owner and rider: Bob Mansbridge
- Wootton Heath Harper – owner and rider: Cody Green.
- Wootton Heath Razzamataz – owner: Mark Adams; rider: Troy Tams.
RACE 6a NOVICE PURE BRED NEW FOREST PONIES (Odd numbers)
- Combe Brambling – owner: Tina Hayward; rider: Dandy Kenard.
- Tiptoe Skywalker – owner and rider: David Allen.
- Farriers Foxtrot – owner and rider: Beth Elks-Smith.
- Fritham Utopia- owner: Sophie Grimes; rider: Andrew Luker.
- Brookshill Jacob – owner and rider: Jodie Thorp.
RACE 6b NOVICE PURE BRED NEW FOREST PONIES (Even numbers)
- Kingsrew ScoobyDoo – owner: Shelley Lawrence; rider: Caitlin Lawrence.
- Doorage Playmate – owner: Haydn Prince; rider: Emma Clitherow.
- Kilncopse Gina – owner and rider: Amelia-Mae Long.
- Daniels Rhythm – owner and rider: Lucinda Lang.
- Haywards Highwayman – owner and rider: Megan Gurton.
RACE 7 OPEN PURE BRED NEW FOREST PONIES
- Yewtree Trademark – owner and rider: Heidi Whetren.
- Warren Trail Layer – owner: Erika Dovey; rider: Tim Goldfinch.
- Hollybrooke Halo – owner: Helen Horsford; rider: Amy Bridgett.
- Sprattsdown Sunrise – owner and rider: Jenny Tillyer.
- Sladeshill Blue Spark – owner and rider: Kate Brown.
RACE 8 YOUNG COMMONERS ON PURE BRED NEW FOREST PONIES
- Staghill Forest Ranger – owner and rider: Nicola Denness.
- Brock Boudicca – owner: Trudy Nineham; rider: Steph Davies.
- Brookshill Bandit – owner: Anita Smith; rider: Holly Wilde.
- Copperridge Bramble – owner and rider: Carla Wateridge.
- Glenbeech Chick – owner: James Haynes; rider: Anna Dunford.