The Equestrian team have continued their run of success over the summer holiday with an outstanding performance by the Junior team to take the runner-up spot in the Hickstead Schools’ National Show Jumping Championships.
This two round competition offers the riders the chance to ride in the iconic International Arena at Hickstead in the ‘hoofprints’ of many famous horses and riders.
The team of Issy Hollidge, Scarlett Stehlik, Bella Barker and Tom Smith rode superbly in the first round over a course that for three of them was the biggest they had tackled, to secure their spot in the final top 10. Four nervous riders, followed by even more nervous mothers, entered the International Arena to walk the course for the second round— it was big— the only real advice to give them was to ‘kick on’!
The second round was contested ‘Nations Cup-style’ with the first rider from every team going, then the second, third and fourth so the final result is not fully clear until the last round of riders from each team.
Lying in fifth place after the first round meant we were the sixth team to go each time and with an excellent clear round from Tom Smith (which put him into the individual jump off) and just four faults each from both Scarlett and Bella we climbed the leader board. Only after the final rider had gone was the result clear; we had secured second spot, our best ever result in this prestigious competition. Tom finished in an excellent fourth place individually.
The previous day the Senior team competed in the Hickstead NSEA 1m Elite Team Final which they had qualified for earlier in the season. Having only a team of three, consisting of Phoebe Going, Darcy Zander and Freya Hough, it was always going to be a difficult job to get through to the second round but all three riders jumped stylish clear rounds. It was disappointing therefore to finish in seventh place by less than a second when only the top six went through to the final in the International Arena. Freya got her chance, however, as she had qualified for the Individual 1.10 Elite Championship which went straight into the International Arena for the final. In her last competition for the School, she rode a beautiful clear to finish in ninth position.
Josh Moore and Lila Millard also represented the South East team in the BE100 U18 National Championships at the end of July. Both riders performed extremely well to be part of the winning team with Josh securing a superb fourth place individually too. Josh and Daisy Roberts have also qualified for the Pony Club Championships at the end of August and Freya will be heading to the British Show Jumping National Championships later this week.