Competition


#WriteToRide

From 23rd May 2020 this competition is ONLY accepting entries in the OPEN category - see RULES section below. The deadline has passed for the younger age groups.

A FREE creative writing competition with superb prizes for Pony Club members.


The theme is horsey which can mean almost anything you like. It could be a short poem or a piece of flash fiction, or it could be a longer essay or story. Just keep within the rules listed below and send in your entries. Let your imagination run wild.



If you are studying for GCSE or A Level, check out the Top Tips section for ways to use this piece to help with your coursework. In addition, winning a prize in a prestigious national competition can be a valuable line on your CV.

Prizes

We are thrilled to announce our competition winners will appear in Equestrian Life magazine alongside all our fabulous sponsors and prize-hosts.  

A whole array of amazing prizes has been put together, including a stay in a luxury cottage, a day at the races, lessons with top professionals, visits to some of the country's top yards and many more: 


  • The best entry overall, as well as any other prize they might be awarded, will win a weekend stay at Moreton Morrell in Warwickshire in a luxury courtyard cottage
  • Accompany world champion, Ros Canter to an event in her lorry, watch her warm up, do each discipline and learn how to care for a horse on a competition day.
  •  A lesson in Yorkshire with Gary Parsonage, member of the British 3-day event team at the Atlanta Olympics, Technical Advisor for British Eventing and, until recently, Chairman of Selectors for the British Pony Squad. 
  • Stay with GB event rider Storm Straker and her family for two days and have a lesson on her 4* horse Versace. You can take your own horse too if you wish.
  • A personalised video from an equestrian event from Total Recall Videos (one video voucher for each age group).
  • A private showcase into the training of International Dressage and Showjumping horses plus a special horse training and management theory discussion session at their yard in Staffordshire with Richard and Joe Davidson Olympic riders in dressage and showjumping. 
  • Two Thursday admission tickets to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials plus a Thursday car pass. Note that admission is free for 12s and under, and that on the Thursday Land Rover Burghley is host to the Pony Club jumping competition all day in ring 2.
  • A lesson in either Yorkshire or Leicestershire with eventer and BE accredited coach Phil Brown.
  • A training clinic tailored to your own individual needs in dressage, showjumping or cross-country with Caroline Moore, FBHS BE Youth Performance Coach, to be taken either at Vale View in Leicestershire or at a venue nearer your home by arrangement.
  • Spend a day with Alex Tordoff, event rider, at his yard in Leicestershire. Bring your horse for flatwork in the morning, a yard tour before enjoying some jumping instruction. 
  • A course walk at the BE event at Askham Bryan in October 2020 (or 2021 if this year's event does not run) with BHSI BE accredited coach, Fiona Harrison.
  • A day at Port Royal EEC with 3 free entries and a £20 voucher for the cafe.
  • A visit to meet Katie Stephens-Grandy and her Connemaras in North Yorkshire, to include a lesson on either your own or one of Katie's horses. Katie is currently top of the grassroots BE leader board and won the arena eventing final on her Connemara, Belview Bobby. 
  • Attend an event with Katie Stephens-Grandy help out, and see how she cares for her horses on a competition day.
  • A course walk with 2008 European Champion, Ben Hobday at one of the major 3-day events (Badminton, Burghley, Bramham etc). This prize does not include admission to the event.
  • A private yoga lesson or deep tissue massage with BWY qualified instructor Georgie Adams - either a virtual lesson or at the Yoga Flow Studio near Hickstead. 
Note that in most cases, lessons and training from the top riders and trainers will be carried out with your own horse or pony. In some cases, horses or ponies might be provided.
  • The name of your favourite horse or pony featured in Horse of the Same Colour, the sequel to Horse of a Different Colour that is expected to be published next year.
  • The author of the best poem as well as any other prize they might win, will be invited to spend a day out with Billy Bank and his team at an event. The winning poem will be included in Billy's blog.
The best entry and runner up with a racing theme will win a day out at the races and Ascot British Champion tickets. Visits to racing yards will be won in each age group: 
  • A day out for four at any UK National Hunt racecourse (excluding festivals), to include race-card and restaurant meal.
  • 4 tickets to QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October, donated by Rod Street.
  • A morning on the gallops, yard visit and breakfast for up to six people at Tom George Racing, Slad, Gloucestershire.
Prizes will be awarded according to the age groups (see the rules below) but in addition there will extra prizes awarded in specific categories e.g. for under 7 year olds.





Judging

The entries will be judged by Danuta KotTimes best-selling novelist, English Language specialist and experienced GCSE & A-Level examiner,  and by Penny Grubb, award-winning crime novelist.
Racing-themed stories will be judged by author and TV producer John Fairley

Top Tips for Creating Winning Entries


Seven top tips from professional writers will be added here day by day from the launch date of the competition. Book mark this webpage and keep coming back to get the latest advice. 

Top tip 1: How to decide what to write about 

Top tip 2: How to get started

Top tip 3: Be your own critic



Rules

The theme: ponies or horses. Interpret this as widely as you like. You can write about anything from your experience at an event or a show to a scary moment out on a hack to a fiction tale about an undersea world involving seahorses. Just make sure that some kind of a horse or pony gets in there somehow.

Length, originality and number of entries: The work must be your own original work, not published elsewhere. You can send in up to 3 separate entries. The maximum word length is 1500 words. There is no minimum. You can write short pieces or you can use all 1500 words. NB Your entry MUST either be in a Word, PDF or TXT file OR be typed into the body of your email.

Pony Club: you must be a Pony Club or Centre member. If you’re not but you were thinking of joining, why not JOIN NOW and give yourself a shot at these amazing prizes.

Deadline: For the OPEN category, your entries must be sent in by 6 pm Sunday 14th JuneThe open category is for 16 and over, but we will accept entries from 15 year olds into this category.

For the younger age groups, the competition is now closed (the deadline was 6pm on 22nd May).

How to enter

The competition is FREE TO ENTER but please make a donation to a charity of your choice. You can do this online to a favourite charity or make a note to drop your change in a collecting tin next time you are able to go out shopping.

Please send your entry by email to pc.penandpencil@outlook.com

You can type your creative writing in the body of the email or as an attachment (Word, PDF or txt).

Please list the following in the cover email:
  1. Your name.
  2. The title of your entry - please say if it is story, poem or non-fiction.
  3. Your Pony Club branch or Centre.
  4. The name of your club's DC or your centre's proprietor.
  5. The name of the charity that you have (or intend to) donate to.
  6. A list of your 5 favourite prizes from the prize list above.
  7. Your age at the time you enter. 


There's no time to lose. Bookmark this page. Check for new prizes and top tips. 
Good luck!