Last Thursday the Sidcot Equestrian team set off for the National Schools Equestrian Association County Championships in Leighton Buzzard. Representing Avon, the team which consists of pupils from both the Senior and Junior schools had qualified for both the dressage and show jumping competitions, so had riders in every class over the weekend.This in itself was a great achievement.
The first day started early with the dressage, which meant parents plaiting and sprucing up the equine members of the team while the riders made sure they knew the tests! All the members of the dressage team produced a great performance in spooky conditions with wind blowing and some very large and noisy flag poles sited around the arena. The team were up against some much older and more experienced riders and came a very respectable 16th out of 29. Sophie Lee, who also rode in the individual competition, scored a commendable 67.09% which put her in the middle of the final score board.
Then followed a warm up show jumping class which gave the team a taste of the big stage environment of the international indoor arena.
The next day was another early start as Sidcot were the first team to go in the first show jumping class of the day. Each competition comprised of one round in the outdoor arena then a second round in the indoor. The day started well with the whole team going clear in the allotted time. The indoor round saw a couple of poles hit the ground giving the team faults, but all the students coped well with the highly charged atmosphere of a national stage and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The jumps went up for the next class, and unfortunately a couple of poles were knocked giving the team faults, but again the team held their own against larger and more established equestrian teams.
Special mention needs to go to Elsa Cardale (J6) who with her pony Cameron jumped clear all day – Well done Elsa!
Frida Cardale competed as an individual in the higher classes that took place on the Sunday. The higher the jumps, the more technical the course and both Frida and Sienna coped well in all five rounds. Poles on the ground equals penalties and whilst they picked up a few penalties, they cleared some meaty jumps with style.
The teams were made up of..
Dressage – Henry Blair & Coco, Lottie Gunter & Rohan, Erin Crofts & Rosco, and Sophie Lee & Billy
Show Jumping – Erin, Henry, Sophie, Elsa, Maisie Warren & Rupert, Caomhie Collery & Zed, Lottie & Toby and Frida Cardale & Sienna
There was an honorary member of the team in the form of Wanderberry, who is 6” high and knitted (seen pictured with Mr Kilpatrick). Wanderberry is traveling the country raising money for Teenage Cancer and local young event rider Hannah Francis, who has a rare form of bone cancer. When they weren’t busy riding, the team and Wanderberry were selling wrist bands at the show and raised £165 towards this worthy cause.
We would like to say a big thank you to all the parents for their help and support both over the weekend and in the preparation running up to the event, and especially to Lorraine Curtin – Blair who helped coach the team when the stress levels started to rise.
Well done team Sidcot!!!
Annica Cardale & Penny Gunter