Equestrian endeavours - Hurstpierpoint College

Equestrian endeavours

Our equestrian season was finally given the go ahead to restart on 25th August with the postponed Eventer’s Challenge Finals at Hickstead.

The college was represented by five pupils on day one. Morten, who has only recently started riding during lockdown, jumped a lovely double clear on Molly to finish in the top 20 of the 70cm showjumping. Eloise, Mette and Maddie, who were all on new horses, were joined by Freddie in the 80cm. The girls jumped three lovely double clears which allowed Freddie to put his foot on the accelerator in the jump off. The team finished on zero faults to take second place and qualification for the National Finals at Addington in October.

Day two saw the final of the Windsor 90cm Inter-schools class, which was meant to take place in May, Antonia rode a beautiful double clear, but it was not to be Hurst’s day. In the 90cm showjumping qualifier there were lovely rounds from Harry and Mette, just touching a couple of poles each. The Hurst star of this class was Freddie on Pebbles who led the team out with a lovely double clear.

Finishing off day two we were represented by two teams in the Eventer’s Challenge Finals. The course was a testing one which caught out many, including our own teams. However, Maddie rode a lovely round picking up just four faults in the cross-country section after a beautiful ride round the rest of the course. Maddie had qualified as an individual for this final and finished in a brilliant fifteenth place out of more than 100 competitors.

The 1m Eventer’s Challenge Finals took place on day three, and the college was represented by Ryan, Harriet, Jess and Matilda. Another challenging course however, Ryan on Bobbie, and Harry on Arthur, rode beautiful textbook rounds to be the first two competitors of the class to go clear. Matilda, riding Murphy, also rode a lovely round, just tipping a jump to finish on four faults. There was an exciting finale to the class as all teams had finished with faults and Hurst took an amazing third place.

Next up was the 1m showjumping team of Harriet, Harry, Antonia and Ryan. Ryan and Harriet rode beautiful stylish clear rounds and Antonia just tipped a couple, but is growing in confidence. The team took another third place and Ryan on Ruby also took third place in the individual competition and qualification for the individual final at Addington. Ruby joins his other rides Sam and Bobbie who are already qualified.

In the horse section of the 1.10m qualifier, Jess ended her show on a high taking tenth place on Heidi. Matilda on Murphy rolled a couple of poles, but it was great to see them back out and competing at that level post-lockdown. In the pony section of the 1.10m qualifier there were no clear rounds so the top six places were decided by the quickest of the four faulters. Ryan was pipped to the top spot; Harry, with his new ride Robe Ruah, finished a close third; and Antonia on her lovely young pony was fifth. Ryan and Ruby have now qualified for the 1.10m finals at Addington.

It was great to see so many pupils competing and well done to all involved. A huge thank you to the NSEA for putting on a wonderful three days of competition in the new Covid world Georgina Black, Mistress-in-charge of Equestrian