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We are delighted to have supported the Countryside Alliance Hunt Tumblers’ Club competition for the 2015-16 season and to reveal the winning entries. Here at Champagne Pol Roger we are eager to support those that truly share the Churchillian view of celebrating sporting highs and lows; ‘In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it’!

Out of hundreds of photos sent in from hunts across the UK and Ireland, Colin (Joe) Birds’ picture sequence of Kitty Kemp-Welch taking a tumble out with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt was judged to be the top tumble of the 2015-16 season. Kitty, aged 10, who is a regular hunt follower and a member of the Cowdray Hunt Pony Club, hit the deck at the Opening Meet held at Petworth House. Kitty’s parents have kindly offered to store her winning Magnum of Pol Roger Brut Reserve until she reaches adulthood.

Kitty said; ‘I was a bit nervous and so waited to go last; I wanted to do it as well as my sister Coco had the year before (she was on my pony Cracker then). My mum says I kept circling round before presenting him to it, and I think when I did finally go for it, I jumped the hedge as well as the pony! Firstly I was thinking yay I’m doing it, it’s all going to be OK, and then I was thinking oh no, uh-oh!’

Photographer Colin (Joe) Bird who has followed The Chiddingfold, Leconfield & Cowdray Hunt for many years and, along with his wife Sue, is regarded as the official hunt photographer said; ‘I did not see Kitty coming but luckily had my camera up and ready on the spot where she took off. As I saw her in the air I could tell that she was going to make a bit of an interesting sequence of shots so I continued to follow her as she jumped. When Kitty hit the ground I ran over to make sure she had not hurt herself and could see her pony was fine. She was full of excitement at her attempt at the jump and it was only after realising the size of the hedge and a bit of delayed shock from falling that she had a few tears, which were soon forgotten when I told her I had managed to capture the whole sequence on camera.’

The competition was judged by Pol Roger Portfolio’s Business Development Director, Paul Graham, Alexandra Henton from The Field magazine,Three-Day Eventer and Pol Roger Ambassador Harry Meade, and Henrietta Rutgers of the Countryside Alliance’s hunting campaign.

Henrietta Rutgers said: “It was great to have some younger entries in this year’s competition and really felt that our winner deserved to be recognised for her bravery in the field. We particularly liked her ‘Thelwell’ impression over the large hedge, which made us all laugh and it was such a great sequence captured by photographer Colin (Joe) Bird. The photo made us all reminisce on childhoods spent in the hunting field and it is so important that we encourage the future generations onto the hunting field.