Highcliffe School pupils celebrate as West Hants Pony Club wins Prince Philip Cup at the Horse of the Year Show
WEST Hants Pony Club’s mounted games team has won the prestigious Prince Philip Cup at the Horse of the Year Show held in Birmingham’s NEC.
After a challenging week, the club lifted the Prince Philip Cup for the third time after previously winning in 2018 and 2019.
Team members Megan Pink, Layla Conrath and Amy Agg Jones are Highcliffe School pupils, while Bella O’Hara, Henry Chick and Phoebe Chick all attend schools in Dorset.
An added slice of history was revealed by show officials who informed the club that team member Pink is the only girl in the history of HOYS to win the Prince Philip Cup three times.
To qualify for a spot in the final, the team had to win two qualifying stages.
The quest for the title was far from plain sailing, and the night before the first qualifying round, one of the team broke their ankle while practising in the arena.
After some problematic team adjustments, the youngsters overcame a tentative start to qualify for the next round.
At the next stage, the team competed against some fantastic opposition that had qualified through regional competitions.
After three hours, the team managed to take first place and earn a place at the HOYS with just six other teams.
Jo Morris trains the team with her daughters Kate and Annie Morris, with the support of the district commissioner Susan Whitlock.
West Hants Pony Club first qualified for the HOYS in 2014 before winning the Reserve Prince Philip Cup and Butlins Cup in 2017. They retained the Butlins Cup and won the Prince Philip Cup for the first time in 2018 before becoming the second-ever club to lift the Thistledown, Butlins and Prince Philip Cup in the same year.