A crisp, cold January day provided Cranleigh riders with the ideal opportunity to show their potential at the start of the new year. Several new combinations, particularly from the Prep School, put on their Cranleigh colours for the first time and Director of Riding, Sophie Spear, was delighted with our team performance on this first outing of 2012.

Our Prep School 60cm team put in a plucky performance to finish in 6th place and, although we could not match this in a very large 70cm class, there is plenty to be excited about in our youngest riders. Ella Pilling, Poppy Watkinson and Autumn Brown all competed for Cranleigh for the first time and we hope to see more of them as the season continues.

Our 80cm team of Zoe Jackson, Phoebe Wates, Poppy Watkinson and Jess Pilling (also making her debut for the School) produced four lovely clear rounds to finish on a team score of zero. Their slightly slower time left them in 5th place in this large class of 18 teams. Caileigh Faure produced a lovely clear as an individual in this class, bringing her horse back after a six month lay-off through injury.

The 90cm class saw 17 schools contending for the placings and our Gold team of Tom Lane, Hattie Allison, Christi Radkiewicz and Lise Taunton-Fenton were unlucky to be pipped into 2nd place after holding the lead for quite some time. The team finished on a zero score with Hattie going fast enough to be placed 3rd individually out of the 80 plus riders in this class.  Our two other teams in this class finished in 7th and 8th places (Zoe Solt, Emily Brock, Caileigh Faure, Zoe Jackson, Chantelle Phillips and Amelia Shotter.)

The open track was big and required both bold and careful riding. Tom Lane produced a lovely clear round and was ably supported by Christi Radkiewicz and Hattie Allison, who are just moving up to teams at this height, and Lise Taunton-Fenton. Clear rounds do not come so frequently at this height so with a final team total of just 12 faults this was good enough for another 2nd place.  Mention should also go to Chantelle Phillips who jumped at this height for the first time and, despite her nerves nearly getting the better of her, rode with real determination to complete the course with just three fences down.

There was certainly much to be encouraged by in these results and the riders will be hoping for further success in their first National Qualifier in February.