Taking place over the bank holiday weekend, Seaford had qualified three teams at three different levels as well as a team competing in the Elite Show Jumping class.
We began the weekend with the Mini Derby National Championships at 70cm for children aged under 14. Our team was made up of Emily Cook, Lauren Goldsmith & Lorna Leatherdale – Edwards from the Prep School.
In the Warm Up class our riders went for steady clear rounds and were placed 15th, 16th & 19th out of 75 riders and in the team class Lorna & Emily had fantastic clear rounds with Lauren just having a slight navigation issue over a long twisty course for a very creditable 8th team place.
The following day was a long hot day indeed. We met for course walks at 9.30am, jumped the warm up class at 10.30am and then the 85cm National class at 7.45pm due to several delays. This time our team was made up of a mixture of riders from the Prep & Senior School: Olivia Macdonald, Lorna Leatherdale – Edwards, Rufus Uloth and Jessie Shute riding her sister’s pony and standing in for Grace Bolton. Lorna’s pony took a dislike to the notorious water jump refusing to get his feet wet but the other riders jumped fast accomplished rounds and were really unlucky to roll a couple of poles to finish with a team score of 8 faults. Although unplaced this time it was a great experience and one we can definitely improve on.
On the final day, it was our Senior School riders turn for the National 95cm Eventers’ Challenge class. The team was made up of Flora James, Jessie Schute, Evie Marchant and Olivia Macdonald who jumped the Hickstead Elite 1.00m class as a warm-up coming 5th. They then went on to come a fantastic 4th in the National Championships which was an amazing achievement.
The parents on all three days were very supportive and the riders a pleasure to work with. We have many comments from other schools’ parents on our team camaraderie, cheerfulness and rider encouragement. In fact one mother, whose daughter goes to another school, told us that she wished she had sent her daughter to Seaford because of our riding teams.