The spirit of London 2012 set the theme for this year's Winter Fayre

The Winter Fayre has become one our annual traditions at Washington Riding Centre, an opportunity to welcome regular visitors along with their family and friends, and other supporters in the local community, to share a seasonal celebration.  Of course our horses and ponies always take a starring role, including a parade of the nine in our new sponsorship scheme (see the Can You Help? page for more details).

This year's programme drew on the enthusiasm surrounding the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, including our own opening and closing ceremonies. The centrepiece was a riding drill inspired by the stirring Grand Prix Freestyle dressage performance which won individual gold for Charlotte Dujardin at Greenwich Park in the summer.  It was devised and performed by volunteers from the Centre: Holly Telfer on Ciska, Annemarie Matthews on Marley, Jess Adam on Ed, Louise Davis on Tully, Sarah Louise Matthews on Strider, and Jane Cherry (last-minute sub!) on Apollo

Parade of sponsorship scheme horses
In order of appearance: Jade, Jazz, Ed, Codie, Rio, Strider, Tom, Jake Apollo

Opening Ceremony
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II escorted by
Mr James Bond lead the parade

"Olympic" Riding Drill
WRC volunteers give a display inspired by Charlotte Dujardin's gold medal winning dressage test

Closing Ceremony
Horses and riders take a final bow before HRH and 007 take their leave to close the afternoon's proceedings

The afternoon was rounded off with a dressage competition and the awarding of trophies and rosettes to worthy winners and runners-up.  Congratulations to Vicki Steel who won the Intro A (walk & trot) class and Bill Robson who won the Prelim 12, and special thanks to Mercedes for sponsoring the trophies.

As well as celebrating the work of the Centre, possible only through the dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters, the Winter Fayre is of course one of our major fundraising events.  This year the combination of tickets, merchandise sales, raffle and dressage entries raised upwards of £1,000, so many thanks to everyone who contributed to the planning and running of the fayre, took part in the performances, and all those who attended.