Report by Penny Webb

This year’s Kent Tournament saw 21 teams battle it out in 5 divisions. After a week of irrigating pitches, it was typical that there was a terrible weather forecast for the weekend! However, luck shined on Kent and the Sunday was spent bathed in glorious sunshine.

The A/B Grade saw 8 teams battle it out in a “Super 8” format. It provided an excellent opportunity for young players and horses alike to experience playing at a higher level amongst some of the top players and horses in the country. An experienced Welsh Dragons side beat Pennine in the Plate Final, with Simon Shearing looking to be back on good form. The crowd was then treated to an exciting Final between Arden and Kent. With Arden fielding two A grade sides, they were introducing some of their up and coming players such as Ashleigh Burbidge to their first taste of the top division and they coped incredibly well. Holding Kent to a draw after three chukkas, with Jason Burbidge back from a year out of the game combining well with Hamish Michael, Kent’s experienced side of Jason Webb, Wayne Henning, Kerry Bean, Islay Young, Annie Waterer and Chris Dunlop then got a run on the ball to draw away to a good win.

The C and D grades were run as a round robin between four teams. The U16’s (the majority of whom are in the UK Junior Squad travelling to Australia later in the year) put in an impressive performance over weekend to win all of their games and ultimately the C Grade division with Solent pushing them all the way to finish in 2nd place. The D grade was also a hard fought affair with a well horsed Arden side running out the winners over Kent.

The E grade was run with 6 sections, with an exciting final between Solent and Vale Impi. Solent’s experience over the youngsters of Vale Impi stood them in good stead as they took the division. In the Junior division, Pennine’s PJ’s were completely unstoppable and won all their games to take the title. However, there were some very good performances from the other youngsters who showed a lot of improvement over the weekend!

This report would not be complete without a run down on the party scene too. A lot of building work at Risebridge Farm meant that the hay barn was totally clear to make a perfect ‘dusty and dirty’ dancefloor! With vodka jelly on the menu (its meant to be eaten, Arden) the highlight had to be the Full Monty re-enactment from a certain horse dentist and a soon to be pilot on top of the Hay Bar!

Kent Target Club would like to thank all the players for their support and for making it such as great weekend.

The league continues to be lead by Arden after three tournaments thanks to good points scores in the A grade and the juniors. Arden are 60 points clear of Kent, who have climbed back to second place after a strong home tournament. Then Solent, Pennine and Ashfields all not so far behind them. When size is taken into account Solent continue to lead the league with Arden now in second place. Centaur are in third place with Ashfields in fourth but they are only a fraction ahead of the White Horse and the Welsh Dragons.

Best Sportsman sponsored by Mr Wilson – Tom Kitchen Dunn
Best Rider sponsored by Kerrioak Photography – Annie Waterer
Best Pony sponsored by the Hillier and Kish Families – Gilly (Max Pedley)
Best Horse and Champion Mare sponsored by Australian Horse Training (service fee to Risebridge Diesel) – Triple Strike (Sophie Lodder)

Full Results

A/B Grade Cup
A/B Grade Plate
C Grade
D Grade
E Grade
Sponsor Frogpool Manor Equine First Aid Zarrell Consulting Oncology Imaging Systems Grain Harvesters Wingham Kent Target Club
1st Kent Target Welsh Dragons UK Under 16’s Arden Solent Pennine
2nd Arden Pennine Solent Kent Vale Impi Arden
Best Numbers
1) Islay Young Charlie Wright-Roberts Jonathan Swift Oli Gardner Matt Smith Max Pedley
2) Jason Burbidge Matt Hale Gemma Stacey James Hiatt Ali Kelly Amy Harper
3) Chris Dunlop Joel Sics Emily Gilfillan Katie Marsh Lydia Rampin  
Best Horse and Rider Osha Williams & 10/4 Charlie Wright-Roberts & Patsy Lee Claire |Rowden & QT Tim James & Bushpig Jo Gale & Rocca Oz Wedmore