Competing inside the world famous International Arena, Millie lifted the title by defeating 13 other quality competitors in the final jump off, with a time of 34.82 seconds and no penalties.
Jubilant after the victory, Millie said, “This is one of the greatest achievements of my riding career so far, certainly for the school. It has been a great day and I have to thank my horse because we knew we had to go for it in the final and he produced an excellent clear round."
Hickstead Director, Lizzie Bunn commented, “It was particularly gratifying that Millie, a student representing Hurstpierpoint College took the top individual prize in the Senior Division - a reward for the College's support over the last six years".
To reach the individual final Millie first had to qualify as part of a Senior School team which included the skilful riders Laura Wells and India Dall. Laura also jumped clear and finished fourth in the individual category. The trio's combined score gave the College a respectable leader board finish in the team competition which was won by Wellington College.
More than 300 of Britain and Ireland’s best young riders from over 70 schools and 20 Pony Clubs began the day in search of a memorable win; one which takes time and dedication to achieve.
Millie’s mother and horse owner, Liz Singleton, has supported her daughter at this event since she was just 12. Having watched her compete in Hurst colours for the last time before leaving the Sixth Form, Liz reflected on the journey; “It’s an amazing feeling. We came here with no expectations at all. It's the end of busy period of both riding and studying with the College. I am so proud of them both.”
Hurst team manager, Sarah Miles, also fielded a Junior team of Georgia Brown, Harley Tusler and Megan Davies who were unfortunate on the day not to make the final. The team title was eventually awarded to St Leonards-Mayfield and the winning individual was Katinka Brogard of Godolphin School, Salisbury.
With the temperature rising above 30 degrees in the afternoon, it wasn't only the schools' riders in action. The Pony Club competition also showcased further great prospects with the Warwickshire Hunt Pony Club winning the team title and Ireland’s Aoife Dooley from the Iveagh Pony Club taking individual victory.
“This competition is always an outstanding event" said Hurst's Deputy Head and prize giver for the day, Richard Taylor-West. "The standard of jumping was incredibly high, the competition fierce and yet it was all conducted in the most mutually supportive of atmospheres; in every way, each team did credit to their respective schools and communities.”
Hurst's progressive commitment to show jumping continues the bond it has built with the sport and in particular with this prestigious Hickstead event, which will celebrate its 50th year in 2014.
To see Millie Singleton and Liz Singleton speak after her victory click the play button, once the video box below has loaded
22 May 2013