The History of the Mercian
It 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 average weekend riders that Riding Clubs cater for. Things changed at Area Level since then, with the introduction of Novice Show Jumping and Eventing, but Mercian classes still
remain very popular.
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 – or so they say!
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) and points are even available for attending Mercian committee meetings. There are two levels of competition in the
various disciplines: in the dressage teams two members will ride a PC Walk and Trot Test and 2 will ride Prelim; 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, style 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, ie over 18 years old; horses currently registered with British Dressage or British Eventing have no points; horses registered BSJA have not been placed
1st-6th, more details in Mercian Rule book.
Nine Clubs at the moment currently make up The Mercian Group, Bewdley Bridle Club, Bromsgrove, Bromyard, Cropthorne and Evesham Vale, Malvern Hills, Shropshire South, Vale of Arrow, Worcester and Wyvern. So there is a minimum of nine competitions, plus any additional ones.
There is a very informal Steering Committee of representatives from each Club which meets once or twice a year. In previous years Clubs have donated towards the cost of photocopying, postage, etc but with e-mailing the costs have been cut. Representatives earn their Club a point for each meeting attended, and they may delegate as long as someone
reports from the Club and carries any news back to their own Committee.
7th February 2009