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This year, the annual Southern Shetland Pony Group get-together was held in the pleasant surroundings of Hamptworth Golf Course, to celebrate the 2018 season and new beginnings in 2019. As usual, many of our members joined us and it was a pleasure to all be together without ponies for once; although the topic of ponies was never far from anyone’s lips naturally. After a lovely buffet lunch, we worked our way through the overflowing raffle table and Lynda’s popular quiz, which was won by Buxted Stud for the second year in a row. The afternoon continued with a round of thanks to our team of helpers and of course an applause for the members themselves, who have continued to support the activities throughout 2018........
Last, but by far the least, we presented our two group awards; the Greenhurst Trophy for outstanding contribution and a young person’s award to a well-deserved youngster. Looking back over 2018 there were many moments and achievements worth celebrating, and it was a difficult decision picking the winners. However, a decision was made to present the Greenhurst Trophy to Mandy Sargeant and Daphne Pickett of the Champlers stud. This was awarded for their commitment to the Shetland breed, evident in their show ring success, excellent breeding programme and their long-standing involvement with the Southern Group. Sadly, Daphne was unable to attend our lunch due to ill health, however Mandy proudly accepted the award for them both.
Not to forget the kids, the young person’s award was presented to the very talented ten-year-old Claudia Groves for her outstanding riding achievements in 2018. Not just within our group, Claudia has excelled across the country and is turning heads with her show jumping and cross country. She even competed in the Shetland Grand National for the first time in 2018; there’s not stopping her and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to in 2019.
With full tummies and armfuls of raffle prizes, the afternoon was a success and we thank everyone who managed to attend. Here’s to a successful 2019 for all.
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