Michael Hodgson Ends Last Season with Shetlands on a High

Michael Hodgson Ends Last Season with Shetlands on a High

Abbey England sponsored driver, Michael Hodgson, had an excellent run at the National Championships, taking Reserve National Champion Pony Team Driver. Michael was competing with his team of Shetlands for the last time as he now prepares his new team of Welsh ponies from Templedruid Stud.

Michael made the difficult decision to purchase a larger team of ponies, as under FEI rulings, his Shetlands are too small to compete at the Pony World Championships; one of Michael’s future goals.

On the run up to the Nationals, Michael worked really hard on his dressage and a lesson with Emily Bennett the week before really made him focus on every point. This really paid off; Michael achieved his best dressage result of the year (58.03), putting him in 4th place.

Said Michael: “The rain didn’t stop on Friday and again Saturday morning so the marathon was deep mud in a lot of places. The ponies worked so hard for me but a couple of driving errors meant we came 3rd but maintained our overall 4th position going into to the cones on the last day.

“With only four penalties between 2nd, 3rd and 4th I desperately needed a double clear to pile on the pressure, which I managed to do coming in 16 seconds faster than the time allowed. Both Gary Power (3rd) and Susan Skeggs (2nd) went clear through the cones but both picked up time penalties; it was a nail biting finish!

The final results were:

 

1st Sara Howe 133.11

2nd Mike Hodgson 144.50

3rd Susan Skeggs 144.57

4th Gary Power 144.69