A HORSE and rider from Peter Tavy proved the perfect combination as they rode to victory in the inaugural Horse and Hound Grassroots Eventing Champion-ships.
Sally Pidsley, aged 71, riding Tranwheal Tineth Moon — known as Storm — won a hard earned first place in the 70 centimetre class at the competition which took place at the The College Equestrian Centre at Keysoe on May 28.
The grandmother has owned her 13-year-old mare for seven years and is delighted, though taken aback by her unexpected success.
She told the Times: ‘I have never won anything like this before. I have been placed in other competitions but this was such a prestigious event I never dreamed of even coming close. Before the competition I would have been happy to achieved 10th place — at least I would have come away with a rosette - but to win, I was absolutely gobsmacked!’
Sally, a retired nurse who used to work on the neo-natal clinic at Derriford Hospital and now lives at Langstone Farm with her husband Michael, said her mount Storm was ‘absolutely brilliant’.
She and Storm rode to the top of the leader board after the cross-country section with only 12 out of an entry of 28 inside the time limit — they were the only combination to go around without any time penalties.
Sally, a member of Lyd Valley Riding Club, admitted to being nervous before the final show jumping section, especially as she was in the lead and, therefore, rode last with ‘everything to lose’.
In her early seventies, Sally has no plans to rest on her laurels, and although she did not take up eventing until her late forties is determined to hold onto the reins.
‘I think riding is a disease’, the former nurse joked, ‘I love it and I certainly don’t intend to give up now.’
Sally thanks Lyd Valley Riding club, Angela Coward from Bridestowe and John Chubb for all their support.