ENDURANCE GB Cumbria riders have won seven national awards this year and picked up place rosettes in another five categories.

The outstanding achieve-ment came from Kath McGee, a 50-year-old garage owner from Ambleside, who with her pony Foxghylls Folly won five awards and finished fifth in the Senior National Championship.

Henry, as Foxghylls Folly is known at home, is about 18 years old and of an uncertain breed, but possibly a Welsh cross.

He was acquired by Kath in 1999 when he failed to grow big enough for a friend's trekking business - he is 14.2hh and a bay in colours.

Kath explains he is a bit of a character: “Henry has a real taste for cider and will chase anything that comes through his field to see if they’ve got some for him.”

Kath got into Endurance Riding in 2003 when she took part in a charity ride at Brampton.

From there she has gone from strength to strength, winning all of the novice trophies in Cumbria in their first year and a national trophy in the next season.

During her early years of riding, Kath was supported and crewed by her husband Sam but he became very ill and passed away three years ago.

Helped by friends, Kath was able to start the next season and then met Jeff, who did not know much about horses but loved the outdoor life and now follows the team as a very competent crew.

Said Kath: “A very big thankyou must go to Jeff for his support and, of course, to my fantastic pony that just loves to please, has the heart of a lion and never gives up no matter how cold, hot or tired we get.”

Kath’s horde of trophies is the Regent Trophy, the Cotswold Trophy, the Veteran Trophy and the Performance Equestrian Challenge Trophy.

Sarah Ollis from St Bees was runner-up in the Senior National Championship with part-Arab bred Cwrtycadno Zeus and won two trophies, while other awards went to Ann Aldridge from Kirkby Thore and Jean Gilbert from Keswick.

Kath, Sarah and Jean were joined by Barbara Jordan from Seaton to take the National Green Dragon Team Trophy.