Halton star at equestrian event

RAF Halton’s equestrian team, Sgt Sarah Elwood, Cpl Flo Dent, Cpl Clare Stoddart and SAC Lois Russell took part in a dressage event in Sep at Hideaway Farm, Oving, near Aylesbury. They were competing in dressage and show jumping against RAF Northolt for the Inter Station League (ISL).

On arriving at Hideaway Farm the team was allocated their horses by British Horse Society (BHS) judge, Miss Jo Crabb.

Sgt Elwood rode the first dressage test on Follie and gained exceptional scores. Clare Stoddart, the  novice of the group, and nervous about competing, did the whole dressage test in full and surprised herself, with the judge commenting: “Overall she  rode the straightest centre line out of everyone in the competition”

After the dressage came the show jumping, with all the riders feeling nervous.  Sgt Elwood said: “We walked the course, trying to memorise the sequence of the jumps. There were eight jumps in total, starting at a height of just over two feet.

The horses allocated for the jumping were Sarah on Pandora, Flo on Passion, Clare on Nellie and Lois on Darcy. All the Halton team performed clear rounds in the jumping phase which means no one knocked any of the fences over and everyone demonstrated some very impressive skills. The horses loved it and had their ears pricked forward the whole time round!

At the end of the jumping we were invited by the photographer to jump the Armed Forces Day flag. We nominated Flo on Darcy for this and the funniest bit was getting Flo to smile as she jumped the fence, but we found saying “big cheesy grin Flo” seemed to do the trick, and well done to Darcy for been our little trooper!

At the end of the competition the judge added all the scores up giving individual placing and overall team score.

1st Individual Cpl Flo Dent

2nd Individual SAC Alison Cartlidge

3rd Individual SAC Lois Russell

4th individual Sgt Sarah Elwood


RAF Halton triumphed over RAF Northolt with 13 points to 8.

Sgt Elwood said: “We had a fantastic time and a huge well done to Clare Stoddart for overcoming her fears and riding as well as she did under an enormous amount of pressure, and to Lois for actually staying on the horse this time! Well done RAF Halton!