As a Pony Club centre we have always been very active at Talygarn. Over the years we have taken part in area and national competitions with some excellent wins and places. Approx 6 years ago the pony club introduced a competition at the championships for all centre members, which involved 2 riders 12 or under and 2 riders over 12 with a 2 horses who would each ride a dressage test and and a show jumping round. they would be judged as individuals and as a team. In 2008 we decided to enter a team This was quite a challenge to accomplish but we managed to get 2 horses and 4 kids to the event at Draycott house in Derby It was a lovely day and the team did well overall placed 3rd. It was a very long day having to leave at 2am and not arriving back until after midnight. On this basis we decided that in future years we would at least have to stay 1 night. The competition was generally held thursday to tuesday with the centre comp on a tuesday. This worked perfectly for us. As we are closed on a Monday as most riding schools are. We could travel up on the Monday stay over night and travel back on Tuesday evening after the competition We did this in 2009 the team came 3rd again in 2010 the Talygarn Senior Horse Care team qualified for the Champs on a Sunday. We travelled up on the sunday the horse care team too part in the afternoon, We entered a rider in the dressage to music on the Monday and the Talygarn Team won the centre equitation on the Tuesday. In 2011 we did the same competitions and the team were 5th. In 2012 the Pony Club changed the days. The centre equitation comp was on a Thursday and the horse care which our team had qualified for was on the following Sunday. We travelled up on Wednesday and stayed overnight. This caused problems straight away. One little boy who suffers from autism couldn’t ride the pony he normally rides because we had him at the champs. The little boy ran away which caused a major incident for my staff at home to deal with on a very busy evening involving police searches, police dogs and helicopters fortunately he was found 8 miles away. The team was placed 3rd we arrived home after midnight with a busy couple of days ahead for us and horses. We could not attend the horse care at all and parents had to take the team back to derby on the sunday. Dressage to music we didn’t even consider. In 2013 the Pony Club have decided to hold the competition on a friday – We won’t be going. They have pushed us right out. Maybe they have plenty of centres who can travel there and back in one day, or are large enough to have enough horses to spare 2 for a couple of days but we don’t. In comparison to many riding schools we are very small we have approx 28 horses in lessons. Thurs, Fri, Sat is our busiest time of the week and we are 4 to 5 hours drive away from the champs. Steve is over 60 and doesn’t like doing all that driving in a day anymore. To leave Thurs would mean not having 2 of our regular horses of lessons Thurs and Fri and I don’t suppose they would feel up to 3 hours lessons on a Saturday after arriving home later than midnight on friday. In these times of a recession we work very hard to keep our heads above water. It is a bit of a luxury and expense taking time out to go anyway (over £200 in diesel stabling etc) but we cant justify that over the weekend we would lose lessons and it would cost us a fortune in staff. The annoying thing is that on the schedule for the pony club champs the field spaces that have been allocated for the competition on friday are completely free on monday. The pony club claim they want to encourage centres but have given no thought to the logistics of this for centres who are small or travel a long way to support this event which is a shame we have thoroughly enjoyed it over the years and the children who have taken part have thoroughly enjoyed it and it gives them something to aim for. This was the only competition away from home our centre children could take part in which involves riding because they could share a horse.