Nineteen riders, 21 horses and ponies, and a band of enthusiastic grooms and supporters will make the trip to Addington Manor Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire for the National Schools Equestrian Association Championships during half term. Over the three days of competition Cranleigh will be represented by two Dressage teams, three Show Jumping teams and seven Arena Eventing teams at all levels from Mini to Open. In addition five Cranleigh riders have qualified as individuals in the various events too. We will of course be defending our National Dressage title.
It has been a long and hectic road to these Championships with the final qualifying events of this term keeping our riders busy on most Sundays when their peers have been enjoying a lie- in! However, the hours spent on the road (and in one case extra hours on the hard shoulder waiting for the horsebox rescue) have produced some excellent results in all disciplines, with a final flourish over last weekend when at the Arena Eventing Qualifier organised by Cranleigh we won both the Mini (Jessica Edwards; Lulu Garlick; Amy Scheijde; Lila Millard) and Novice (Lila Millard; Jessica Edwards; Sarra Alayyan; Kate Legister) classes before coming third and second in the Intermediate and Open respectively. This event provided some challenging last minute practice at this most technical discipline and was a real confidence booster for all concerned. Josh Moore and Phoebe Osborn had been busy on the Saturday too, travelling to Quainton Stud, in Buckinghamshire, for an individual Dressage qualifier: Josh performed extremely well to win the Prelim class (of 53 riders) with 77%, with Phoebe posting 72% in her test and gaining fourth.
Final preparations will take place during the last week of this half term and Director of Riding Sophie Spear comments: “We will be one of the most highly represented schools at this year’s National Championships but whatever happens we must remember the number of schools who have not managed to qualify for this prestigious event. We will of course be hoping for success along the way but more important is that everyone enjoys the occasion and comes away feeling that their riding has benefited from the experience.”