Thursday, 29 July 2021

Pony Club's surprise celebrity guest

CLARE BALDING made a surprise appearance at a Pony Club awards evening in Nettlebed.

CLARE BALDING made a surprise appearance at a Pony Club awards evening in Nettlebed.

The TV presenter and former amateur jockey gave a talk at the Woodland Hunt branch?s annual meeting and awards evening at theNettlebed Club.

Her father, horse trainer Ian Balding, had been due to speak at the event but sent his famous daughter in his place when he was unable to attend.

Balding recounted tales of her childhood, growing up on a racing yard surrounded by dogs and horses, including champion racehorse Mill Reef.

She also talked about her pride at being TV anchorwoman for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and some of the athletes she met.

After a question and answer session, she presented the prizes as more than 50 youngsters were awarded test certificates and team badges. Among the winners was Emily Escourt, who won the Wynmalen Spurs for outstanding contribution to dressage at Pony Club national level.

Cliona Muir and Eva Barnett won the Special DC Award, while Ella Bollon and Jessie Burrough-Haq shared the Spirit of Woodland award.

Tack and turnout prizes were presented to Becky Lambton-Heys, Susannah Boddie, Maddy Dudley and Jessie Burrough-Haq.

Posy Knapp, district commissionaire of the branch, said: ?We were absolutely thrilled that Clare found time in her busy schedule to help Woodland Hunt celebrate another successful year.

?Her talk was both witty and inspirational and, as a former Pony Club member, she had a genuine connection with our members. We always try to find interesting speakers to talk at our annual meeting but Clare will be a hard act to follow.?

The branch holds its summer rallies at Upper House Farm in Harpsden Bottom.

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