Olympian shares tips of the trade with Waveney Harriers Pony Club

From left, Lucy Clarke, Violet Congdon, Caroline Powell, Lydia Sida-Page, Gracie Weymouth and Thomas

From left, Lucy Clarke, Violet Congdon, Caroline Powell, Lydia Sida-Page, Gracie Weymouth and Thomas Grayston. Photo: Christopher Doyle - Credit: Archant

Caroline Powell, Olympian and world-class eventer, took time out from her busy schedule to teach members of the Waveney Harriers Pony Club at Humberstone Equestrian Centre, Great Yarmouth, last Saturday.

The sessions were booked out and there was a waiting list of super keen riders some of whom turned up anyway to join the spectators lining the indoor arena.

Small groups throughout the day were treated to a masterclass in show jumping. Powell started each session with simple looking, but challenging, warm-up exercises over poles on the ground and then graduated to jumping a full course.

What was immediately striking, was that this international competitor, used to tackling Burghley's Cottesmore Leap, did not focus on height and kept the jumps within each rider's capability. Powell was emphatic – 'it's not the height that matters, it's the way you jump; the technique, that's important'.

Judy Haythornthwaite, assistant District Commissioner of the WHPC, was delighted with the day and said: 'We have got a lot of very good and keen riders in our branch who are taught by our excellent instructors throughout the year but it is a privilege to have input from a world class competitor and coach like Caroline Powell.

'Because of our successful fund raising last year, we're investing in our children by subsidising some of our rallies and special trainings like this.'

Lucy Clarke, a 14-year-old who rode her horse Dora at the clinic, said: 'The warm up exercises got my horse and me really thinking and were so effective. I'm definitely going to be doing them at home.'

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