A YOUNG disabled rider wasn’t horsing around when she entered a national equine competition.

Sixteen-year-old Elain Morgan, from Llanrug, was put through her paces in the National Riding for the Disabled National Championships, held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

She achieved a fourth place in the Countryside Challenge, against a majority of riders who were much older than herself.

The championship is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world for disabled horse riders and carriage drivers, and was featured on the BBC TV programme Countryfile.

Elain, has been riding since she was four years old with the Treborth RDA group, formerly based in Bangor. The group recently relocated to the Snowdonia Riding Stables at Waunfawr.

Two of the Treborth group’s riders had qualified for the championships after taking part in the North Wales Regional Competition, at Penycoed Riding Stables, near Oswestry.

They were then put forward for the Countryside Challenge, a testing event which requires riders to engage in a number of difficult manoeuvres and to navigate obstacles.

Unfortunately, one of the Treborth riders was unable to compete due to illness, but Elain went ahead and achieved fourth place in her class.

She was joined in the activity by her coach-in-training, Yasoda Melville, from Bangor. Several other coaches also offered her support travelling with her to Hartpury.

Elain, who is a pupil at Ysgol Hafod Lon, was judged on her skills to control her pony, in various movements including posting a letter, guiding the pony around obstacles such as a barrel and over a bridge, picking an apple from a tree, whilst placing it in a bucket, and opening a gate and riding through it.

Mary Axford, who runs the Treborth Group said: “We are all very proud of what Elain has achieved, she did extremely well. She is a very capable rider.

“She had to control her pony in school movements which are not easy and it required a lot of control of the pony.

“Her achievement is even more notable as Kestrel, the 15-year-old Dales pony that she rode was not her usual pony and she he didn’t even have have a practice run.”

The Treborth RDA is always looking for more volunteers to help accompany disabled riders as side walkers, leading the ponies, or to help with fundraising.

Anyone who is interested, particularly on Tuesdays, is asked to contact Mary Axford on 07949 626 520.