Last Saturday saw the first of this term’s qualifiers for the NSEA Championships in October and Cranleigh riders were on top form despite having only a week of training to get ready. Director of Riding, Sophie Spear, used the week to great effect, however, to get the best out of everyone in this technical event that combines the skills of show jumping and cross country riding.
An early start that was eventful for all the wrong reasons (stuck wheel locks on trailers and break downs on the way to Mayfield) might have left us feeling that this was not going to be Cranleigh’s day, but the Mini teams dispelled such gloom in the very first class of the day, winning it in fine style with the team of Sam Hollidge; Josh Moore; Daisy Roberts and Lily Hibbert, and coming fourth with a very young team of Lila Millard; Freddy Moore; Sam and Issy Hollidge. Sam won the class individually on his first ride, thus taking a team qualification and an individual one.
The Novice team of Chantelle Phillips; Sophie Miller; Caileigh Faure and Issi Rennocks rode four very accomplished rounds to take second place and a qualification in this big class, just ahead of another Cranleigh team of Phoebe Wates; Jess Pilling; Ella Pilling and Poppy Watkinson in third. An outstanding achievement to have two teams in the top three.
The technical demands increased significantly for the Intermediate riders who once again found themselves against a large field. Thus we were delighted to repeat a second place in this class for the team of Briony Pearson; Jess Pilling; Phoebe Wates and Christi Radkiewicz and a sixth place for our team of three: Hattie Allison; Ella Pilling and Poppy Watkinson.
The Open team faced the biggest technical challenges of the day and with our team reduced to just three riders it was always going to be hard to make it into the top two qualifying spots. All three riders (Hattie; Briony; Christi) rode well, however, to finish in fifth place.
This was an excellent start to the term and with riders out at Stonar next weekend, back to Mayfield in two weeks’ time and then at our own two day qualifier at the beginning of October, it is going to be a busy few weeks leading up to the Addington Championships.