Horse riders encouraged to sign up for ‘very exciting’ event

Pic: Crystal Clear Images.
Pic: Crystal Clear Images.
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Horse owners are being encouraged to enter a “very exciting” event in aid of a cancer charity this summer.

The Oxman Five Star Jumping Challenge, which is open to riders of all ages, will see a host of qualifying events take place ahead of a grand final on August 31.

It’s a very, very exciting event, even for people who don’t ride horses

Nigel Oxman

The Puissance contest involves horses and ponies jumping over obstacles which increase in height.

To qualify for the final, which will take place at Bowes Manor Equestrian Centre, in Birtley, horses must jump at least 1.3m, with ponies needing to clear 1.1m.

Qualifying events are to take place throughout the summer on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at Bowes Manor, as well as Penshaw Equestrian Centre and Leamside Equestrian, both in Houghton.

The event is being sponsored by Sunderland-based company Oxman Five Star Car Sales, whose owner, Nigel Oxman, has also helped to organise it.

Mr Oxman said: “It’s a very, very exciting event, even for people who don’t ride horses. There has never been a show like this before in the North East, and it’s really entertaining.

“It has generated a lot of interest, and just last week young Hollie Gair beat adults on her pony, which jumped higher than its own height. It was unbelievable.”

In the grand final, there will be a £500 cash prize for both the winning horse and pony, while it costs £5 to enter a qualifying event.

All of the money raised goes to South Shields-based charity Cancer Connections.

Mr Oxman added: “I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible with this event, and whether we raise £1,000 or more, it will make a great difference.”