THE odds were stacked against riders at the first Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt team relay and gate jumping at Coombelands.
The wind was in excess of 40mph and the rain hit hard, but it didn’t deter the teams going foot to the floor to gain the fastest round.
In the 75cm class, Little Highhurst Juniors from Cowfold won with a speedy round, clearing the joker fence three times and only lowering a pole.
In the 90cm class, the Crawley and Horsham Airborne Division flew to take top honours.
The meter class saw the ‘Bog Snorkellers’ consisting of Hartley Crouch, Patrick Beirne and Kyle Bedford swim their way through the rain to first place in a blink-and-you-missed-it class of six very competitive teams.
In the turnout section, the Surrey Union 1, Triple Trouble from Petworth and the Masters of the Universe won beautiful rosettes kindly sponsored by Vanessa Lawes of Northchapel and goody bags kindly donated by Stockley Trading in Midhurst.
The junior gate jumping had most spectators watching through their fingers or biting their nails.
The winner was Jess Hall who cleared 1.20m. The biggest cheer went not only to the winner but also to Sasha Lawes on Make a Splash who jumped a gate bigger than her pony and just tipped it off the cups.
The winner of the open gate jumping, Kyle Bedford, cleared 1.40m having gone on to jump two extra rounds once second-placed Rachael Morley was knocked out. The event was hindered by the high winds and amendments were made to get the gate and jumps to stay upright, however the atmosphere was electric and the cheers must have been heard in Petworth as spectators got in on the act.
Coming up next and involving just as much cheering will be the point to point on Saturday, April 25.