Since Lucy Sanders, Seaford’s new Equestrian Team Manager, joined at the beginning of the term there have been many notable success stories. Lucy is also District Commissioner of Cowdray Pony Club and brings a wealth of experience to her role at Seaford having owned horses all her life.
Seaford’s first equestrian competition was the Inter-Schools Arena Eventing in October at the Berkshire College of Agriculture. The team had a great day in the sunshine with both the pupils and ponies looking very smart in their new Seaford College uniforms. More than 30 schools attended and the competition was fierce as this was the last opportunity in 2015 to qualify for the National Schools Finals.
Lucy reported: “After a warm up in the first class in the outdoor arena, the girls rose to the challenge riding a very technical, long and twisty course at 85cm in the indoor arena. Arena Eventing consists of a short course of show jumps followed immediately by a timed round of cross country-style fences with each combination of horse and rider also being judged on style.
“Zoe Lunt riding Ghostie, Olivia Macdonald riding Dusty, Felicity Hitchcock riding Mohill Moon and Flora James riding Harley all rode beautifully to finish on only a few faults between them. Although not placed in the top six schools this time, the girls showed talent, excellent sportsmanship and team spirit. Sabrina (Beanie) Bradley, who is 11 years old and in Year 6, came fourth in the 85cm/19 years & under class, and although she didn’t qualify for this final it was a very good effort.”
At Bryanston later in October, Beanie Bradley rode some tremendously fast rounds against the clock to qualify for the National Inter Schools Show Jumping Championships. Lucy proudly said: “There were approximately 80 riders in the 13 years and under class and only the top two qualified so Beanie did very well indeed. She is a talented rider and has a lovely pony. It was a good day for Seaford who will now be represented at National level.”
Video of Beanie Bradley qualifying for the National Inter Schools Show Jumping competition.
Beanie Bradley then went on to fly the flag for Seaford College at the National Inter Schools Show Jumping Championships at Addington Manor, Bucks where she was placed a fantastic sixth place in a very hotly contested competition at the Nationals.
Lucy added: “It was very exciting as Beanie for Seaford College was lying in first place after the first half but ended up being pipped at the post by older riders in this 75cm, 13 years and under class.
The NSEA have commented on their website that the judges were impressed by the very high standard of riding at this event.”
In November, Beanie Bradley won the Inter Schools 70cm Show Jumping County Qualifier. Competitors from counties across the South of England took part, with Seaford College for West Sussex coming first. Beanie has qualified to compete at the 70cm height in the National Championships in April 2016. She also took part in 80cm class with an unlucky four faults but was four seconds faster than the others.
The Seaford College 90cm Show Jumping Team was then out competing at the beginning of December at the Felbridge Show Ground, East Grinstead. This was a qualifier for the County Championships for schools from West Sussex, Surrey, Greater London, Kent and East Sussex with 28 teams competing.
Lucy commented: “Braving the cold and windy weather as well as the early start – some families had got up at 4.15am in order to prepare the horses and arrive in time – Seaford finished on only four faults after our four riders had jumped.
“There were super clear rounds from Olivia MacDonald and Flora James on her new horse, with all members of the team riding well and supporting each other. Xenia Truman competed as an individual and also rode a good clear round and was unlucky not to be placed this time. Sadly, in the team competition we were beaten in to second place in West Sussex by Hurst but are determined to improve on this result next time!”
Seaford also fielded a team in the 1.00m class with a super result of sixth place out of all schools in West Sussex, Kent, Greater London, Surrey and East Sussex. In West Sussex we were placed second behind Hurst.
Lucy reported: “There were excellent rounds from Lucinda Humphrey (Year 12), Piers Fairston (Year 11) and Xenia Truman (Year 9) and it was good to see this mix of ages supporting each other.
This is the first time that we have been out competing at the higher level and we have much talent to build on. Beanie returned the following day to compete, coming in a very good fifth in the 70cm and sixth in the 80cm.”
Photo from left to right:-
Piers Fairston, Zoe Lunt, Olivia Macdonald, Sabrina Bradley, Xenia Truman and Flora James.
There is more to come in December with two more Seaford pupils taking part in events.
On Thursday 17 December, Oliver Shone in Year 12 will be at the London International Horse Show in Kensington to be presented with the Young Equestrian Leadership Award gold level. Lucy said: “We are not sure yet who is presenting the awards but an Olympic gold medal show jumper has been mentioned. This is a very prestigious occasion and we are very proud of Ollie for completing 100 hours of voluntary service in the Equestrian industry.”
Lucy added: “Also at The London International Horse Show, Olympia on Sunday 20th December Sabrina Bradley will be competing in the Mini Major class which is a relay class against the clock between well-known International show jumpers and young riders on small ponies. We wish her good luck.”
Reflecting on her first term as Seaford’s new Equestrian Team Manager, Lucy said: “It has been a very exciting start to Seaford’s equestrian pursuits. I have really enjoyed working with all of the riders who have all shown talent, determination, excellent sportsmanship and team spirit. I am looking forward to next term and our aim is to qualify Seaford teams in Dressage, Show Jumping and Arena Eventing for the 2016 Inter Schools National Championships.”