Summer Successes for our Equestrian Team
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.
Top Dressage Score for Maisie
King’s Hall Year 7 pupil Maisie H is a keen and talented young rider. She and her pony Serenity recently took part in a dressage competition, scoring a particularly impressive mark. Competing against adults, Maisie came first in the dressage to music class and was overwhelmed to have beaten such stiff competition.
In the final comments box the judge said: “Just amazing, would love to see it again. Congratulations.” Maisie scored top marks (10/10) for her halts at the beginning and end of the test, for the harmony she displayed between her and Serenity, for her use of the arena, and her choice of music and interpretation. She scored 9/10 in all other categories.
Maisie has now been offered a place to join the King’s Schools Equestrian team.
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