The Mercian group started in 1984, when Jan Williams of Wolverley (then Stourbridge) Riding Club invited representatives from Affiliated Riding Clubs in an area roughly defined as being `along the M5` to an informal meeting at which The Mercian Group was formed.
The original aims were to avoid too many clashes of show dates; to exchange schedules and information, and to foster inter-club competition at a level below official Riding Club Area level, which was felt to be getting beyond the reach of many of the riders that Riding Clubs cater for.
Whilst all these original aims still apply, the inter-club competition aspect became paramount. This was formalised when a splendid trophy was purchased, to be won by the Club amassing the greatest number of points in the designed classes held throughout the season. Each of the participating Clubs hosts one team competition every year, and as many disciplines as possible are covered, with the season culminating in a quiz. These are all team classes, no individuals, as it is much more fun to share the thrills and spills involved in representing your Club!
Each team taking part earns one point, with additional points being awarded for first to sixth places (12 for first, 10 for second and so on). There are two levels of competition in the various disciplines: in the dressage teams one member will ride a Walk and Trot Test and two will ride Prelim and one a novice test; show jumping, equitation jumping and cross country will be at 2 ft 3ins. For the more experienced novice riders: in the dressage teams, three members will rider Prelim tests and one will ride Novice; show jumping, equitation jumping and cross country will be at 2 ft 9 ins. The major restrictions on taking part are that all riders must be senior Riding Club members, restrictions on horse and rider combinations to not have won more than 10 dressage points or competed with British Eventing (for eligibility speak to Pip).
Nine clubs at the moment currently make up The Mercian Group: Bewdley Bridle Club, Bromyard,
Cheltenham, Cropthorne and Evesham Vale, Malvern Hills, Shropshire South, Worcester, Vale of Arrow and Wyvern. There is a minimum of seven competitions per year plus any additional ones.
Arlene’s role is ‘Mercian Mentor’ for CDRC, so if you have any queries, or would like to be on a Mercian Team, get in contact with her. Mercian competition dates and schedules will appear on the CDRC website as soon as they are available. Let’s bring home the MERCIAN CUP this year!!!