Sunday 1st October gave rise to another 5am start for the Sidcot Equestrian team. This time making our way to Bicton Arena in Devon. It was the last opportunity to qualify for the National Championships to be held in just under two weeks at Addington Manor. We had three teams already qualified, so to have another one would have been a great achievement. This competition was jumping with style involving jumping a series of show jumps followed by cross-country fences. Not only were the riders timed, they were also awarded style marks.
Nerves were building as Sidcot watched Bundells, Millfield, and Kings Taunton jump first in the 70-75cm class. It was then the turn of team Sidcot, the first competitor was our junior school rider Harriet Blair. Next we had our senior team members Archie Stamp, Sophie Lee and Erin crofts all riding skilfully around the tricky course. Sidcot’s results were great with no time faults being added, all riding clear with excellent style marks. The waiting game began. It was a long wait for all the schools to jump until it was announced that team Sidcot had won the class. This meant we had another team qualified for the National Championships. Sophie Lee was also announced as the individual winner. Could this day get any better...
It did just that. The second class of the day had another Sidcot team competing. This time Lauren Wilkins, Yasmin Sluijmers, Archie Stamp and Sophie Lee, making up the 80-85cm team. Yet again the Sidcot pupils did themselves and their Horses proud all riding clear within the time and again excellent style marks. At three o’clock it was announced that team Sidcot had won this class also.
The final class of the day 90-95cm saw two individual riders Caoimhe Collery and Lauren Wilkins compete over a tricky course. Both rode very well and did themselves and their ponies proud.
It is fair to say that all Sidcot Equestrian pupils left Bicton Arena Sunday evening, feeling extremely proud of their results. To have five teams qualified to compete at the National Schools Championships is a fantastic achievement. All our riders train extremely hard and are dedicated to making themselves and Sidcot School proud. A word of thanks has to be given to their trainers Sophie Clarke and Holly Whitcombe, both of whom are equally as dedicated to helping team Sidcot achieve their goals.
Training will continue over the next ten days preparing for the championships so by all means pop into the Equestrian office if you would like to watch the team train, or if you are interested in learning more about Sidcot equestrian.
Well done everybody.
Director of Equestrian Development