Half term started a little later for the riders than for most pupils, with an early start to Bury Farm in Buckinghamshire on the first Saturday for the first Arena Eventing Regional Qualifier of the year. Competition was fierce with only the top two teams gaining qualifying places for the National Championships in October, so although a third place for the Mini team of Jess Edwards, Issy Hollidge, Imogen Fortescue and Freddy Moore was an excellent result it is often the worst place to finish!
However, Jess and Issy learned from their experience when they stepped up to the Novice class and joined Sam Hollidge and Amy Scheijde to record four excellent rounds which gave them second spot. There were excellent style marks for all four riders and all of them managed to go inside the optimum time on the cross country phase and avoid time faults. A great start to their national campaign.
Our Intermediate and Open teams of Charlotte Livingstone, Fliss Bull, Lucy Collecott and Amy Scheijde (Intermediate) faced a tough challenge in the indoor arena with some technical challenges that saw off quite a few riders. Despite their best efforts, and with only three riders in the Open team, we finished in fifth place in both competitions, not at all bad results in such competitive fields but we definitely came away feeling we could have done better. Fliss Bull had an excellent individual result in the Open, coming fifth, however.
Phoebe Osborn (South U6th) finished high up the scoreboard in the British Dressage Winter Regional Championships last week too. A trio of riders on plus-68% headed the Section A Elementary 59 restricted class; Phoebe was one of them and placed third, just failing to qualify for the National Championships but nevertheless having the highest collectives by six marks in the class. Having only just stepped up to this level she was delighted with her result.