Riding is the only sport or activity at Cranleigh that fully involves pupils from 7-18, with teams being made up of riders from both the Senior and Prep Schools and both boys and girls competing together, and it was our youngest riders who set the trail to the NSEA Championships 2014 at the first Arena Eventing Qualifier of the year. They travelled to Bury Farm in Buckinghamshire on the Friday of half term and the early start (and late return for some) around the M25 was rewarded with some stunning results!
In the Mini qualifier Lila Millard, riding Choccy, rode a faultless and stylish round to win individually and gain our first qualification for this year’s championships: she was placed 9th on her second pony Pebbles, closely followed by Josh Moore in 11th and Freddy Moore in 17th. In a class of 66 riders these results were excellent and bode well for the future. The team of Lila, Josh, Sam and Issy Hollidge finished in 3rd place, missing a qualification by 0.5 marks!
Lila, Josh and Sam were then joined by Freya Hough in the Novice qualifier, producing four storming rounds over both the show jumping and cross country phases of this discipline to beat the other 24 teams into 1st place and gain a team qualification. Of the 125 riders who contested this class, Freya finished in 4th place, Josh in 7th, Lila in 8th and Sam in 12th: they were always going to be hard to beat!
Freya contested the Intermediate class as an individual, again producing a very stylish round that would have placed her more highly had she not had a slight navigational error at the start of the cross country phase! The time faults that this incurred, however, put her down the order despite another excellent clear round over the jumps!
The next qualifying event for the riders is in April when they will be hoping to build on this early success.