Last weekend was another early start for team Sidcot and their final opportunity to qualify for a second class at the Eventers National finals to be held at Hickstead in May. The children were keen to do so to make the three day trip in May an even bigger occasion.
The first class facing Sidcot was the 75cm Eventers challenge which required riders to jump a set of eight show jumps, and a series of solid cross-country fences, but all, within an optimum time.
Millfield opened the class followed immediately by team Sidcot. Elsa Cardale was first to jump with her pony Cameron. The pair did an excellent job given Cameron wasn't feeling his normal self. Next to go was Sophie Lee riding Eden, who had a very unlucky four faults and picked up just a couple of time faults. Erin Croft's riding Rosco were next in, and the pair rode a well executed clear round, with just a few time penalties. Finally for the team it was Henry Blair and Ivy's turn. Henry rode a lovely clear round with 2 time faults. Given the average time faults within the competing teams was 38, team Sidcot did extremely well finishing third overall. Henry Blair finished 4th overall in the individual stakes and Erin Crofts 10th. A great result for Sidcot.
After a short break for lunch it was then the turn of the Sidcot 80- 85cm team. This was a tough ask for such a young team with Nine school teams (50 riders in total) competing for the two qualifying spaces to compete at the National finals.
Sidcot was the first team in, so under pressure from the start, as the team had no benchmark on what was the "best time" to beat.
Sophie Lee and Eden entered the arena first riding a beautiful round, with an unlucky four faults and two time faults. We were off to a good start. Neve Harvey and Scout went next, a few poles rolled but again a beautifully ridden round. Team Sidcot were looking good. It was the turn of Lottie Gunter and Rohan next , this pair went clear with a couple of time faults. Things were looking good for the team. Finally it was Henry Blair and Ivy's turn. They didn't disappoint either, a clear round with just 3 time faults.
At this point the team were delighted with their efforts but had a long wait as there were still eight remaining schools to compete, including Blundells, Millfield, Queens, Wellington and Hugh Sexeys to name but a few.
Sidcot had two more riders in this class riding as individuals. Lauren Wilkins and Beans were the first of these to go. This duo did extremely well over the showjumping section but Beans finding the xcountry a little too taxing this time, but a great effort from this pair. The last rider in the class was Yasmin Slyijmes riding Swallow. Finishing on a great note riding a lovely clear round with just five time faults.
As the judges remained tight lipped about the scoring , it's wasn't until the very end of the day that we heard Sidcot Equestrian team had come second, meaning they had secured their place in the 80-85cm Eventers Challenge class at Hickstead . Henry Blair was also awarded individual winner of this class also securing his place to compete individually at the upcoming Championships . Yasmin Slyijmes came an excellent seventh overall Individually.
Exciting times ahead for Sidcot Equestrian
The team has a couple more competitions over the next few weeks, but their main focus now is to prepare for National showjumping championships 2017 being held at Bury in April. Shortly after this championship , the team will be back in training preparing for the Eventers National Championships 2017 at Hickstead in May.
Well done to all of the competitors both two and four legged. Your dedication and hard work is paying off!