This past Sunday, the Sidcot Equestrian Team represented Sidcot School at Bicton Arena, Devon in the Qualifiers for the NSEA KBIS National Schools Championships 2016. It was an early start for all involved with a 5am wakeup call for many of the riders and their ponies. As the sun rose over the misty moors and the journey to Bicton concluded, the excitement grew for the day ahead. With 174 riders in six classes representing schools throughout the south west and beyond, this was a big stage event with some very stiff competition.
In the 70cm class a total of 18 schools were represented by 54 riders. First to ride the track for Sidcot was Henry Blair on Ballyladen Ivy, followed by Erin Crofts on Sydmondsbury Roscoe, Elsa Cardale on Cameron and Sophie Lee on Billy. With a number of clear rounds and only eight faults in total, the team put in brilliant rides to come fourth overall in the class and now go on to represent Sidcot in the NSEA Championships Plate 2016 at Keysoe, Bedfordshire on 4 and 5 of December.
With the jump heights now going up to 80cm, Sidcot had two teams competing. The first team was Henry Blair, Elsa Cardale and Sophie Lee. The second team to ride was Erin Crofts, Caoimhe Collery on Harper Seven and Lottie Gunter on Just Rohan. Some great riding in stiff competition put them just out of contention in the team standings. With each rider also competing as an individual as well as a team member, Lottie Gunter on Just Rohan rode a fabulous clear round in an impressive time to claim 9th place out of 103 riders. Caoimhe Collery and Harper Seven also posted a clear round and were just outside of the top ten on time.
In the 90cm class both Lottie Gunter and Caoimhe Collery rode impressive rounds but were just outside the ribbons.
As the sun set the team made their way back home with smiles and laughter. A wonderful day in fabulous weather that was thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended.
The event was the first opportunity for Sidcot riders and ponies to showcase their hard work since the reopening of Sidcot Equestrian Centre. Graham Jones, Director of Sports Development commented: “The Sidcot Equestrian Team represented themselves and the school superbly at Bicton. The hard work by all the athletes, horses and riders, bodes well for the future of equestrianism at Sidcot.”
Graham further commented: "Having contracted Ed Hobbs over the summer period as our equestrian consultant, we are looking to build a Sidcot Community of Riders and provide a fun and safe environment for all students interested in riding at all levels. We are now busy preparing for upcoming events and are encouraging all interested students to participate in open training sessions."
The first open training is being held at the School on Friday 16 September with additional open training sessions planned for the near future. All students with an interest in riding, participating in training or representing the School are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Gavin Collery