Year 7 student Sophie Lee competed at the 25th NSEA National Championships (21 October) on her pony, Culdaff Billy. They had qualified in the ‘Jumping with Style’ at Bicton Arena as a individual earlier in the year.
The course at the championships consisted of 17 jumps. Seven show jumping fences, then followed by a steeplechase phase with steeplechase type fences and the arena cross country jumps. There was a timed phase at the end with an optimum speed of 300mpm.
The score is based on style marks (out of 30 with the lower number the better), then additional show jumping and cross country faults, and any time penalties added on the end. The person with the lowest number is the winner.
Sophie and Billy managed to get double clear over a very technical course and some very unusual fences! Their style mark was also a very credible 4.5. However, as this is the first time the pair had done the competition and the timing was very different from the qualifiers, they got 14 time penalties which put them into 16th place out of 30 individuals. Considering that they were one of the youngest with one of the smallest ponies in this under 14s competition, and the first time at this National competition they were extremely proud of their achievement.