Equestrian Team Shines at Royal Windsor

In a triumph for our equestrian team, Sedbergh School have placed fourth at the 2023 Royal Windsor Horse Show, a national show jumping event undertaken in teams of four. The event is held in the grounds of Windsor Castle and is extremely popular – attracting thousands of visitors and media (and some royalty) in addition to the teams themselves. Our team didn’t see any royalty, but the event was dizzyingly frantic. Although Sedbergh School competed at Royal Windsor in 2022, for three members of the team, this was their first visit. Scarlett, in Year 13, is the oldest member of the team.

It’s massive! It’s a huge arena, its a huge occasion. Every school is very competitive.”


Scarlett describes the level of commitment needed to compete and be good enough to qualify for an event like Royal Windsor; she trains on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is usually competing on Sundays. Riding involves a lot of constant work, travelling, packing, cleaning and just generally looking after your horse.

You can’t just turn up and ride at Royal Windsor if you haven’t ridden in four weeks. It’s not like that – it’s time and it’s effort. Then when you’re at the competition you get up in the morning and feed them [your horse], take them out for grass – it’s all of that. It’s not as simple as hopping on a bus or picking up a racket. Looking after a horse is a very big job.”

Scarlett has a full schedule; she is studying for her A levels in Biology, Business and Psychology. She has to be very regimented with her time although sometimes she does end up studying in the horse lorry!

Sedbergh has been incredibly supportive [of my riding]. Mrs Christie [Housemistress of Robertson House] has been great. She gets it. She understands that you can’t get on an animal with four legs and another brain without the endless hours of training. There are also a lot of riders in Robertson [House].”

Scarlett plans to study business management at university. For the future, Scarlett hopes to continue riding as a hobby whilst she is at university; she enjoys riding but doesn’t want it to be more than a hobby.

What the Sedbergh equestrian team also has is incredible team spirit.

There’s something about the riding team, we’re so connected as a group. Whenever someone needs help, we’re always there. We’re very reliant on each other; supporting each other. For example, we have children in year 2 who are coming up riding so when we’re at competitions and we see them and we cheer them on. The camaraderie is something else. It’s so nice, we’re really tight – a really tight-knit team.”

It’s weird, its not a lot of pressure. We all understand each other and we know we have down days and good days, so you never really feel the whole pressure of thinking you have to do really well. You’re allowed to have bad days. I think that’s why we’re so successful; we’ve got two national titles and top placings everywhere! We’re quite a decorated team – and it’s because we never put a ton of pressure on ourselves. We all do it because we enjoy it.”

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