A CRACK team of riders representing Cornwall Trec will take centre stage at the London International Horse Show, Olympia, next month, after winning through to The SEIB British Riding Clubs Quadrille of the Year, in a hard fought qualifier at the Aintree International Equestrian Centre, Liverpool.
Michelle Pulley (Cultivo) of Redruth, Rebekah Gossan (Gimnasta) of Rosudgeon together with Katherine Davis (Mr Corbett) and Hannah Macey (Irish Dream) of St Erth, produced a magnificent performance to the theme of The Knights of the Round Table to book their place to this prestigious final on the club's first ever attempt at the Quadrille competition.
In a bid to wow the judges, the Knights of the Round Table incorporated colourful costumes, music, dressage movements and riding skills in a finely tuned routine mixing precision riding with the spectacle of pantomime.
With marks awarded for appearance, content of programme, performance and general artistic impression, Cornwall Trec ticked all the boxes to secure one of four coveted tickets to this world renowned Christmas Show which celebrates its 40th birthday at the Olympia Halls in December.
Cornwall Trec have made a phenomenal impression on the Quadrille scene with the club also fielding a second team in this qualifier consisting of Laura-Jane Russell, Nicola Davies, Jenna Payne and Rowen Hurst running under the theme of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
British Riding Clubs Area 19 (South West) representative, Jane Fisher of Mitchell, said: "It was so marvellous. I've loved being involved in every part of the training and proud that the Monty Python's Spamalot take on the Knights of the Round Table theme was my stroke of genius!
"I'm delighted with how our teams performed on the night and look forward to Olympia. We'll be doing our best to wave the Cornish flag although we feel that by getting a ticket to Olympia we've already won!"
The journey to Olympia has been a long and hard one with team coach Verity Perry of Rosevidney Livery and Competition yard, Penzance, providing the necessary inspiration and expertise in planning Cornwall Trec's fabulous routines. Verity said: "I think both teams were amazing. The Teddy team lost one of their horses at the very last minute due to a technicality and were up against the odds. But how they pulled it together on the night was just breathtaking.
"I'm so proud of my Knights and on a personal level thrilled that the Olympia team will include our riding school horse Ronnie Cob (The Irish Dream) along with Mr Corbett, formerly owned by my late best friend Val Croft and ridden in the Quadrille by his new owner and local vet, Katherine Davis.
"To ride at Olympia is such an amazing achievement for any rider and something I doubt I'll ever achieve personally. I'm delighted and proud to be the catalyst to get all this started."
Hours of work took place behind the scenes with wide acclaim going to Jenna Payne of St Day, for having the initiative to buy a sewing machine off eBay and then teaching herself the skill.
She toiled tirelessly with help from Trish Bosae in creating the Teddy outfits while dedication and expertise also came from Marge Fargrieve assisted by Michelle Pulley in designing and producing the Knights costumes.
Thirteen Quadrille teams travelled to Aintree from all over the country in their quest to impress the judges with a wide variety of themes ranging from birds of paradise and magicians to sailors and Shrek.
"The atmosphere at Aintree was electric," said Cornwall Trec secretary and team co-ordinator, Jamie-Lee Ball of Newquay.
"The evening performance kicked off with a costume side saddle display team which was a beautiful sight and provided the perfect warm-up for the Quadrille.
"The Knights opened our challenge and their Monty Python inspired routine had the audience laughing, cheering, clapping and dancing.
"Their performance was foot perfect and had our supporters and spectators shouting and whooping. Later in the evening it was the turn of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears team.
"With a new horse on the team they did an amazing job running through this children's favourite story with humour and fun to tremendous response from the crowd."
Knight's team member, Hannah Macey, who is the head girl at Rosevidney, said: "All our horses and riders have been on a huge journey since we started practicing for this back in February. We're all excited and looking forward to giving it our all at Olympia."
Planning, fund raising and preparing for the Olympia final is already under way.
Verity said: "We owe a great deal to so many people who supported our challenge at Aintree with huge thanks to the Regent Court Vets Penzance; Hungry Hector Dog Treats; Protexin Veterinary; Hayle Saddlery; Micheal Bowden; Cogegeos Farm and employees from Tulip, Redruth.
"We would still be stuck at Aintree in our broken down lorry if it hadn't been for Warren, Ryan and Paul from the 24 hour garage at Chatsfield coming to our rescue."
Cornwall Trec are determined to make the trip memorable.
Jamie Lee said: "Lucy Millard of Premier Healthcare Solutions has already come forward with a generous offer to supply rugs for the Olympia team including reserve member Jenna Payne and her stallion Blaengwen Lampard. It's all very exciting for Cornwall Trec and Area 19."
A gala evening has been organised on Friday November 23, at Rosevidney, Penzance, in aid of the Quadrille challenge and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
A coach trip to Olympia will leave Cornwall at 2am on December 21, with seats available for Cornwall Trec Quadrille supporters and the general public.
For further details call Jamie-Lee Ball on 07837186144 or visit www.cornwalltrecgroup.co.uk.
The London Olympia Horse Show takes place from December 17-23 with The SEIB British Riding Clubs Quadrille of the Year held on the Friday (December 21) of the show. For further details visit www.olympiahorseshow.com