“Horse riding is a popular and successful activity at King's College, and is the ideal place for your son or daughter to pursue their passion for riding and/or competing.”
Horse riding is a popular and successful activity at King's College. King's is the ideal place for your son or daughter to pursue their passion for riding and/or competing, as well as take part in a number of additional, varied co-curricular activities, and get an excellent academic education.
It is common to hear in an assembly report the name of a rider who has played a pivotal role in a rugby, hockey or netball fixture on Saturday, as well as being part of a triumphant equestrian team the following day! We do not select riders for teams; entry is open to all who wish to compete and have fun – this makes all our successes even more rewarding!
We are delighted to be an official sponsor of nearby Pontispool Equine Sports Centre. As one of the country’s leading competition and schooling venues, Pontispool is a professional and innovative centre, catering for all levels of horsemanship across various equestrian disciplines.
Inter-school competitions take place throughout the year and almost every Sunday during the Michaelmas Term. As members of the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) we regularly enter teams and individuals in NSEA competitions for eventing, show jumping, dressage and jumping with style (JWS) as well as other local school events. Our teams are regularly placed at these events and the riders thoroughly enjoy competing. In the past we have worked with top riders including world-class gold medallist and six times Olympic Three-Day eventer Mary King, who delivered an inspirational private cross-country clinic.
As part of our weekly equestrian timetable, pupils can opt to have riding lessons as part of the co-curricular and sporting options available.
Depending on experience, pupils will have lessons at the equestrian centre, under the guidance of our Head of Equestrian Laura Bennett.
We can cater for all abilities from complete beginners to experienced competitors.
Head of Equestrian
Laura is our Head of Equestrian, who brings a wealth of equine knowledge and experience to the role. She started riding as a child at Stowe Ridings in Buckinghamshire and has competed in many different disciplines as part of the Grafton Pony Club, but her love at this age was show jumping. She went on to have holiday jobs at show jumping yards and attended national competitions including Hickstead. Laura then worked at a riding school in Oxfordshire where she was able to teach and continue to compete her own horses in cross-country, dressage and show jumping. Laura holds an NVQ Level 2 in Horse Care & Management as well as a BHS Stage 3 in Stable Management & Riding.
Laura has worked at various yards including point-to-point and eventing, and spent one summer as Head Girl at an eventing yard, travelling around the country to prestigious events. Over the past ten years, Laura has branched out into other sports and disciplines. She completed a BSC (Hons) degree and is a Level 3 Hockey Coach, plus she manages the yard and delivers ridden and stable management instruction during the week.
King's Schools Equestrian Centre
With a growing interest in riding at both King's Hall and King's College, and with increased expressions of interest about pupils bringing their own ponies to school, we developed and established the King's Equestrian Centre in September 2018.
Having moved to a new location, the centre is a self-contained yard with 12 stables, tack room, feed/store area, grazing, a 20m x 40m outdoor arena, and access to off-road hacking close by. Located just fifteen minutes' drive from King's Hall, and five minutes from King's College, pupils with their own ponies and those who have opted for the King's Horse package, ride three to four times a week as part of an equestrian timetable.
King's Schools Equestrian
LIVERY AND RIDING OPTIONS
We have three options available:
Option 1 – FULL LIVERY: You can bring your horse or pony to school with you!
Option 2 – KING'S HORSE PACKAGE: You will be able to ride and care for a horse, as if it were your own.
Option 3 – WEEKLY LESSONS: These will take place as part of an equestrian timetable.
If you already keep your own horse locally we can help you to integrate riding into your school day. A timetable will be in place to enable pupils to ride and care for their horses on a regular basis.
If you would like further information and to express your interest, please contact us. Places will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please contact our Head of Equestrian:
British Horse Society Qualifications
We are delighted to be able to offer training towards BHS qualifications. Working with Bridgwater & Taunton's Equestrian Centre at Cannington, and under the guidance of our Head of Equestrian, pupils can undertake their Stage 1, as well as their Riding and Road Safety Test.
During the Michaelmas Term, pupils will study the care management part of the Stage 1 qualification. In Lent Term, pupils will be able to study for and take their Riding and Road Safety Test, and in the Summer Term, they can take the riding aspect of their Stage 1.
Hickstead – National Schools Equestrian Association Eventers Championships 2020
This year the equestrian calendar, along with other sports, was inevitably disrupted by the Covid pandemic. However, when we received news that the NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) were going to stage their National Eventers Challenge Finals at Hickstead – an event that should have happened back in May – we were all incredibly excited. It meant some last minute riding and training in preparation, but we were just relieved to be getting back out on the competition circuit again.
So it was that at the end of August, our teams set out to ride at the iconic venue, which is always is one of the highlights of the riding year. Our pupils had worked so hard to gain qualification for this event and in total King’s had 10 different horse and rider combinations entered over the four days – in both the championship and the show jumping classes.
Everyone did so well and rode brilliantly in all manner of weathers – sunshine, gales and torrential rain all meant that the riders were tested in the most difficult of conditions. But, team spirit was high and combined with their love of riding, the smiles were always sported widely from ear to ear! The championship classes were long and testing courses and included water jumps, arrowheads, devil’s dyke, and water trays along with the usual show jumping and cross-country obstacles.
Our youngest rider Wilf from King’s Hall jumped well in both of his classes and finished 19th overall in the 70cm show jumping class – after jumping a super clear round on his pony Milo.
King’s finished 7th as a team in both the 75cm championship class (Tilly, Dandi, Jamie, Josh all completing lovely clear rounds) and again in the 85cm championship class (Josh, Harriet, Tilly, Bella all doing extremely well) – a superb effort in what were huge numbers of competitors and with the optimum time often being quite tricky to gauge. King’s College pupil Josh C also picked up individual placings – 5th and 7th in both classes, having jumped some super rounds, going clear in all five of his championship classes. Older brother Sam was our only rider in the 1 metre championship class on Thursday and did very well to get around what was proving to be a very tricky course, finishing 15th overall.
Everyone finished the show on a real high and all played their part in some superb rounds – many going clear. It was great to be back out competing at a national level and despite the necessary restrictions, it proved to be a very successful and fun-filled four days away.