SIX-YEAR-OLD Abertillery rider Alex Powell enjoyed a successful trip to the Pony Club Endurance Championships in Milton Keynes.

More than 40 competitors took part in rides ranging from 12.5km to 44km around parkland, lakes, fields, surfaced horse trails and bridle ways and along quiet roads.

And Alex, who rides for the Crickhowell & District Pony Club Branch, won the Mid-South Endurance Great Britain (EGB) Grassroots Level 1 Ride with Rosie Icecream, also known as Kasper.

After successfully navigating the 12.5km course to clinch the win, she said: “I was very excited to win and very pleased with Kasper!”

Alex went on to thank the sponsors for her prizes, her mum Sam for her help and her grandmother Fiona, who escorted her on the ride.

Alex now plans to take part in 15km rides, and would like to qualify for the Pony Club Championships again next year.

Alex’s mum, Sam Owen, said: “I am so proud of Alex and Kasper, who is a pony from our riding school.

“Alex helped get Kasper ready and trotted him up on her own at the start and finish. He behaved really well; not only on the ride but with the journey from Wales.”

Pony Club endurance chairman Robert Blane said: “Pony Club Endurance is going from strength to strength.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of those taking part who thoroughly enjoyed themselves despite the early morning rain.”

Endurance riding is a ride, usually over open country, along a specified route for a set distance with specific speed requirements.

Competitors are issued with a map of the route a few days before the competition, which they need to study carefully and measure in order to plan their ride.

There are five types of Pony Club endurance rides, each differing in distance.

The shorter Robin and Merlin training rides, open to members aged five and over, are an ideal introduction to the discipline.

There are three classifications of competition or qualification rides which are called Kestrel (novice qualifier), Osprey (intermediate qualifier) and Eagle (open qualifier).

Anyone with a sound pony or horse can participate in Pony Club endurance. Members do not need a particular breed or type of pony or any specialist equipment.

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