ON Friday, January 4 Olympic silver medallist Nicola Wilson entertained riding enthusiasts and presented a cheque to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at Thirsk Auction Mart.

The evening was held to raise funds for the Hurworth Hunt branch of The Pony Club.

Nicola, from Northallerton, enthused about beginning riding at three and a half, progressing from her first pony Tom, through Pony Club, representing teams at mounted games, tetrathlon, eventing and show jumping.

She met past and present members of the Pony Club and eventing enthusiasts, who heard about her journey to London 2012.

Young and old alike were delighted to hear how her Pony Club experience in mounted games had taught her teamwork and how to sit tight in difficult situations; tetrathlon had taught her about human fitness, both benefiting her eventing career.

The audience also had an insight to eventing abroad, life in the Olympic village and Nicola’s personal experience as an Olympian, as she described the action from photos of competing at home and abroad. Nicola answered questions, ranging from her favourite horse and cross country course to how the new cross country format affected training and preparation.

Tony Doveston was presented with £700 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Nicola’s chosen charity.

Afterwards, children had their photos taken with her and had their rosettes signed, which had been made by Cottage Rosettes.

Tea and coffee was sponsored by Greens and refreshments were served by the social committee.

Hurworth PC district commissioner Pat Arrand thanked Nicola and wished her well for the coming eventing season.