FOUR gifted Ayrshire equestrian aces are celebrating a "Monster triumph in South East England the weekend before last.

The Cookie Monsters, comprising Troon duo Libby Cooper (12), riding her six-year-old pony Tin Tin and Morven Easton (13), riding Tin Tin at Intro level, Niamh Murray (14) from Kilmaurs, on her six-year old horse Colourville Zarina, again in Intro and Hannah Ullrich (13) from Dundonald on her nine-year-old pony, Larnleighs Los Angeles, competing at Novice level, took the title of Under-18 National Team Quest Champions’ at the British Dressage Team Quest National Championships.

The event was held at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire.

Some 20 teams from all over England, Wales and the Isle of Man took part, with the Ayrshire girls forming the only Scottish team.

Morven borrowed Libby’s pony for the Regional Qualifier just a few weeks before and again at the Championships as her pony, 21-year-old Jasmine (owned by team manager, Heather Stewart), was injured only weeks before the Regionals and forced into early retirement. They had been competing at Prelim level all year and had contributed hugely to the team's success throughout the season.

Fortunately for all, Libby very generously allowed her friend and team-mate to borrow her super pony Tin Tin. At only six-years old, he accepted the change of riders and all that goes with this type of competition as though he were a seasoned professional. On the final day of competition, Morven and Libby were first and second place in their arena, proving both riders' and ponies' abilities.

New partners of only 14 weeks, Niamh and Za Za produced two super scores for the team and were also placed eighth individually in their ‘My Quest’ Final.

Hannah and Louis were competing for the second time at the finals together, last year riding at Intro level but this year riding two levels higher, at Novice. They did themselves proud amongst some truly talented competitors in both their team tests and their individual My Quest classes. This was sadly their very last outing together as Hannah has outgrown Louis and he is off to his new home soon.

Both Hannah and Morven have new ponies to start working with now and are hopeful that they can all return to the TQ National Finals next year together.

Being part of any team is so rewarding, with friendships built and confidence gained, it’s a wonderful experience for these young riders. As well as competing as a team they worked together to raise some funds to help with the costs of travelling on the nine-hour journey south, by selling tablet and home baking, holding a couple of Tombolas and three auctions.

The girls and their parents would like to thank all who donated money, prizes and baking.

They would especially like to thank Hillhouse Quarry Group, Laura Meader Photography, David Otto, supplier of Hot Horse Showers, Muirmill Equestrian Centre, Morris Equestrian Centre and JetClean Pressure Washer Sales & Repair for both their support and generosity.

Special thanks goes to team coach, Caroline Paterson who not only helped get a team together in the first place nearly three years ago but also has coached the girls and supported them throughout.