Sidcot Equestrian Team travelled to Devon at the weekend for their final competition of the year. Sophie Lee, Henry Blair (both J6), Erin Crofts and Lottie Gunter (Third Form) took part in the National Schools Equestrian Association arena eventing / jumping at Bicton Park.
Arena eventing involves a course of show jumps followed by a course of cross country fences, and as this was a jumping with style competition the riders were also judged on their technical skill. They can pick up faults for knocking poles and refusals and are also awarded a style mark. At Bicton the team had to first jump the show jumps in an arena and then ride through a spooky walkway out on to the cross country course where there were lots of interesting fences – logs, houses, corners, and drops to name a few. Show jumping requires a different skill set from riding a cross country course and it was important that the team were able to demonstrate the different abilities needed. To add to the challenge there is an optimum time to complete the cross country, too fast or too slow and penalties are picked up!
The team produced some lovely rounds and all the poles stayed up, they took the cross country in their stride and finished in third place in what was a very large class so were over the moon. Even better this means that they have qualified for the NSEA National Schools Championship Plate in December.
Individually Sophie came 2nd so she has qualified for the National Schools Championship in October and Lottie came 6th – well done girls!
In the second class (85cm) Lottie rode as an individual and together with Rohan produced a lovely round over the bigger fences. They were placed 9th out of the class of 87 starters.
The team will be out competing again as soon as term starts in September, there are lots of different competitions organised by the NSEA with opportunities for all levels of rider, so if you would like to get involved do please get in touch with me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07974 250098.