We are delighted to report that ‘The Cookie Monsters’ were crowned the Under 18 Team Quest National Champions.
The team of 12 year old Libby Cooper from Troon, riding her 6 year old pony Tin Tin at Intro level, 13 year old Morven Easton also from Troon and riding Tin Tin at Intro, 14 year old Niamh Murray from Kilmaurs, on her 6 year old horse Colourville Zarina, again in the Intro section & 13 year old Hannah Ullrich from Dundonald on her 9 year old pony, Larnleighs Los Angeles, competing at Novice level, took the title ‘U18 National Team Quest Champions’ at the British Dressage Team Quest National Championships held at Bury Farm Equestrian in Buckinghamshire held on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th October. 20 teams took part from all over England, Scotland and Wales with one team travelling 13 hours from The Isle of Man. The Cookie Monsters were the only junior Scottish team to make the journey.
After the first day of competition, the Cookies were sitting in 2nd place with scores all very close! After some very good tests and just a little bit of luck, they managed to creep up to 1st place, with only 0.25% between them and 2nd placed WMDG Bluebirds Team 5. The Pocket Rockets came 3rd only 0.1% behind them!
Morven borrowed Libby’s pony for the Regional Qualifier just a few weeks before and again at the Championships as her pony, 21 year old Jasmine (owned by team manager, Heather Stewart), was injured only weeks before the Regionals and forced into early retirement. They had been competing at Prelim level all year and had contributed hugely to the team’s success throughout the season. Fortunately for all, Libby very generously allowed her friend and team mate to borrow her super pony Tin Tin. At only 6 years old, he accepted the change of riders and all that goes with this type of competition as though he were a seasoned professional! On the final day of competition, Morven and Libby were 1st and 2nd place in their arena, proving both riders’ & pony’s abilities.
New partners of only 14 weeks, Niamh & Za Za produced two super scores for the team and were also placed 8th individually in their ‘My Quest’ Final. Hannah & Louis were competing for the 2nd time at the finals together, last year riding at Intro level but this year riding 2 levels higher, at Novice. They did themselves proud amongst some truly talented competitors in both their team tests and their individual My Quest classes. This was sadly their very last outing together as Hannah has outgrown Louis and he is off to his new home soon.
Both Hannah and Morven have new ponies to start working with now and are hopeful that they can all return to the TQ National Finals next year together.
Being part of any team is so rewarding, with friendships built and confidence gained, it’s a wonderful experience for these young riders. As well as competing as a team they worked together to raise some funds to help with the costs of travelling the 9 hour journey south, by selling tablet and homebaking, holding a couple of Tombolas and 3 auctions.
The team would like to thank all who donated money, prizes & baking. In particular thanks goes to Hillhouse Quarry Group, Laura Meader Photography, David Otto, supplier of Hot Horse Showers, Muirmill Equestrian Centre, Morris Equestrian Centre and JetClean Pressure Washer Sales & Repair for their support and generosity.
Last, but certainly not least, the team would like to say a massive thank you to the team coach, Caroline Paterson who not only encouraged the girls to come together as a team, nearly 3 years ago but has coached the girls and supported them throughout.