Following the final Regional Qualifier of the year Cranleigh riders are set to defend their National Show Jumping title at the National Schools’ Winter Championships at Addington Manor over the first weekend of the October half term.

It felt anything other than ‘winter’ at the Berkshire College qualifier on Sunday, however, as riders and their mounts sweltered in 25 degrees of sunshine, whilst spectators sun-bathed in between the mounting tension of the ringside tussles! Large entries had led to teams being balloted from this competition as schools from around the Central Region fought for the remaining qualifying places.

As reigning Open Champions we had not, before this, qualified an Open team for the championships, having been beaten into third place by less than a second at the only other Regional Qualifier in June. However, our team of Tom Lane, Millie Adorian, Fred Philips and Katie Bowser made sure of our place this time by finishing in a very safe second.  Our Intermediate team of Alex Adams, Hattie Allison, Millie Adorian and Katie Bowser finished in fifth position at the end of a very tough class, despite finishing with just four faults. Our Novices: Emily Brock, Zoe Solt, Alex Adams and Chloe Allison made doubly sure of another qualification at this height by winning their big class with the only team score of zero.  Mention should be made of Millie Adorian who, in less than one complete season, has moved through the ranks from Mini to Open level, helping us to our Reserve-Championship spot at Hickstead in August and now helping us on the road to Addington at the highest level.

Cranleigh will once again be one of the most highly represented schools at the Championships, with representatives in every class across the disciplines of Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing. In several of the classes we have qualified to compete with two teams.

As the season now ends in the Regional Zones, Cranleigh riders have successfully won the Central Regional Points League and finished as runners-up in the South East Region for the 2010-2011 season.