What is a Derby? One incarnation is a classic Thoroughbred read me2400 metre horse race for three year olds: however Berry Riding Club has introduced another kind of Derby to the events we offer. The Showjumping Derby is a test of skill, timing, versatility and endurance as riders must ride to optimal time over a challenging and varied course.  The course distance varies between 750 and 1300 metres and a Derby comprises both conventional show jumps and Cross Country or natural obstacles. World wide there are several prestigious and time honoured Derbies held each year which draw huge crowds of spectators and the cream of the show jumping horses and riders.
The most famous is at Hickstead in Great Britain which has been held every year since 1960. The notorious Hickstead bank stands 3.2 metres high and competitors must negotiate a 1.45m jump before getting to the top of the bank and sliding down the almost sheer face. How is that for an adrenalin rush! Berry Riding Club decided on a more conservative course but managed to maintain the thrill and fun of a derby for riders and spectators.

 On the 8th of May a large group of enthusiastic riders ventured to Schofields Lane to  try their hand at our first ever Derby Day. Anyone driving past on the highway would have seen a big turn out of floats and cars and lots of horses. The grounds were covered with brightly coloured show jumps and rustic cross country fences being negotiated by the brave and bold riders of all ages. Apparently a good time was had by all and course builders Marlene Battedou and Penny Rose are to be congratulated for making the event safe and pleasurable for riders of all skill levels. Thanks also to the judge Cathy and the helpers whose hard work makes events like this possible.

 Our Pink Ribbon Funkhana has been postponed until the 5th of November and will now be on the Saturday before Pink Ribbon Dressage. The good news is that the warm spring weather will make it far more pleasant to dress up in the pink lycra, tulle and sequins that make this day so much fun.

There are lots of photos of the Derby Day on our Facebook page.