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A huge well done to all the competitors and beautiful horses who had reached such high standards to qualify!
Congratulations to all the Seaford riders who represented West Sussex in the Inter County Show Jumping and Eventers Challenge Championships held at Hickstead (28-30 May).
“The teams trained hard for this occasion and thanks must go to the parents for all their support as well as helping the riders and horses who were immaculately turned out,” said Lucy Sanders, Seaford Equestrian Team Manager.
Qualified teams had come from schools all over the UK and there were huge classes of more than 200 riders in each event.
On Saturday 28 May, the Seaford 80/85cm Eventers Challenge team of Eloise Hudson, Otis Wibaut, Daisy Dace and Bella Crowley finished on a respectable team score of eight faults and although not placed this time, had some super rounds over the long and tricky arena, show jumping and cross-country course which included water, a ditch, a bank and a ‘skinny’ style fence.
On Sunday 29 May, it was the turn of the 80/85cm Inter County Show Jumping team of Oliver Allison, Eloise Hudson, Daisy Dace and Bella Crowley representing West Sussex who all jumped the fastest clear rounds taking them forward to the final jump off for the top eight counties. “They all rode very well and competitively unfortunately knocking a couple of poles to end up in 7th place overall, which was still an excellent result,” said Lucy.
Results: 1st Taunton, Somerset; 2nd Hardenuish, Wiltshire; 3rd Denmark School, Gloucestershire; 4th Beachborough, Bucks; 5th Dragon’s, Oxfordshire; 6th Culford, Suffolk; 7th Seaford, West Sussex and 8th Highcliffe, Dorset.
The 90/95cm Eventers Challenge class was proving to be exceptionally difficult with more than 40 riders eliminated for refusals. “There was a combination of skinny fences preceded by two steps down a bank and there was much discussion at course walk as to whether to choose either the most difficult direct route or a slightly slower alternative,” said Lucy.
The Seaford team of Eloise Hudson, Jack Dace, Izzy Baird and Otis Wibaut finished on a good team score of eight faults with Eloise and Jack jumping great clear rounds. “Jack and his lovely pony Peggy were fractions off the optimum time coming an amazing 3rd in the country out of 213 competitors,” said Lucy. “Well done Jack and Peggy, who obviously loves this type of competition.”
It was also great to see our new Seaford Equestrian banner featuring Jack and Peggy up on the banner wall at Hickstead, and it was fitting to take a photo of the poster boy with his prizes from the National Schools' Equestrian Association (NSEA). “We were also delighted to see our Headmaster, John Green, who had come to support us,” said Lucy.
“Sophie Jones and her pony Freddie then took part as an individual in the 1.00m/1.05m Eventers Challenge, jumping a super round with just one mistake having navigated all the tricky jumps perfectly,” said Lucy.
The next class was the 90/95cm inter County Show Jumping featuring the ‘dream team’ of Bella Crowley, Emma Perrett, Jack Dace and Oliver Allison that won at Windsor last month. “Proving just how difficult a win can be and the ups and downs of life with horses, we didn’t qualify for the jump off this time and although disappointed the team were still cheerful and supportive of each other which was great to see,” said Lucy.
The final class was the 1.00/1.05m Inter County Show Jumping class with our team of Emma Perrett, Lulu James, Alice Crowley and Sophie Jones representing West Sussex. “The girls needed to jump fast and clear to get into the top eight schools for the jump off and managed this with eight faults as the course proved to be tricky with many teams on cricket scores,” said Lucy. “However, they pulled out all the stops in the final to jump four fantastic clear rounds to end in a team 4th place with Emma jumping three fantastic clear rounds to end up in 5th place individually.”
Results: 1st Mayfield, East Sussex; 2nd Langley, Norfolk; 3rd Brentwood, Essex; 4th Seaford, West Sussex; 5th Dean Close, Gloucestershire; 6th Cranleigh, Surrey; 7th Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire and 8th St Hugh’s, Oxfordshire.
Lucy said: “A big thank you to the NSEA for putting on such a great three-day event, to Hickstead for allowing us to use such an amazing venue, to the sponsors for their rosettes and prizes, and a huge well done to all the competitors and beautiful horses who had reached such high standards to qualify. The atmosphere was very friendly between schools and the competition was suitably tough for such a prestigious event. Thank you also to both Mr Green and Mrs Fiona Askew (Seaford Equestrian Team Administrator) for coming to support us. It was it great to see you.”
- Seaford Equestrian