Sedbergh Equestrian Team Crowned National Champions
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12 riders and 14 horses, making up the Sedbergh Equestrian Team, headed down to Keysoe International in Bedfordshire during half term for the National Schools’ Equestrian Championships, which took place over 4 days. The team of Prep School and Senior School Riders had worked hard since Easter to gain the qualifications from events all over the North after COVID restrictions were lifted.
Our youngest team of Emma Beswick, Tink Longworth, Millie Jones-Perrot and Harriet Barker are now National Champions, with Emma riding “Caperann Karl” taking the Individual National Title in the tough and competitive 75cm “Jumping with Style” class. Each team member was given a stunning rug, gilet, sash, shield and, of course, an NSEA feed bucket from the generous sponsors, KBIS insurance. The class involved jumping 75cm high show jumps followed by tricky and technical arena eventing rustic fences including a water complex, steps and off-set skinnies which sorted many horses out. The event was against schools from all over the UK and each class had approximately 30 to 40 teams.
Faye Barker, Team Manager, said “We are so proud this team and all our other riders who achieved top eight results in the UK or just rode a super round. It is an achievement to just have qualified and be there and the Sedbergh team spirit was strong throughout. All the riders and parents helped and supported from start to finish and we all enjoyed homemade team dinners in our team gazebo.”
The 75cm “Show Jumping” team of Elise Barker, Emma Beswick, Harriet Barker and Millie Jones-Perrot did amazingly well to jump four fast clears to make the top eight, against 40 other schools, to jump off in the evening final. Tink Longworth just missed out in the individual section. The team kept their heads and rode under immense pressure to finish 4th, which is an incredible achievement.
A special mention must go to Elsie Barker who learnt to ride a different pony only a few weeks before the championships. She rode the wonderful “Mighty Moss” thanks to the Holden family and was expertly coached throughout by his usual rider, Scarlet Holden. It is also lovely to note that four of our 75cm riders were home-grown from our Prep School riding stables.
Kate Sanderson on the talented “Western Rebel” finished 3rd in the UK in the 85cm “JWS” class, which was a phenomenal round. There was nothing between the top four scores, so the judges had to see who was closest to the optimum time. Kate produced a seriously fast time in the 90cm show jumping too, but sadly had a pole down.
Hannah Carruthers, Tink Longworth and Millie Jones-Perrot rode three lovely Dressage Tests in the stunning main outdoor arena with Millie finishing joint 9th individually in the Prelim on “Garthfach Partytime”.
Rosie Wilson, who had travelled the long journey all the way from Scotland to join the team, did a tremendous 85cm “JWS” round, where she flew around the technical course on her lovely chestnut mare.
On the Saturday night, the Sedbergh Equestrian Team enjoyed supporting Ella Turner who was instrumental in helping the Northern England Team win the Nations Cup show jumping. The atmosphere was electric with a big crowd. Ella smashed it with a foot perfect round on her young horse who took the big occasion all in its stride.
On the final day, our 90cm Show Jumping Team of Katie Wood, Kate Sanderson, Emma Beswick and Tamsin Swan gave their all but sadly they had a few poles down, so did not make the top eight final. However, our 90cm JWS team of Katie Wood, Ella Turner, Tamsin Swan and Emma Beswick finished on a high, coming 3rd in the UK with Katie Wood finishing with the best score in the whole competition. Sadly, she could not be crowned a National Champion, as she had not qualified as an individual, but we are all so proud of her. Emma Beswick was placed 8th individually and Scarlett Holden rode a tremendous round on the fabulous “Mighty Moss” after two major injuries this year.
Thank you to the National Schools’ Equestrian Association for organising such a fantastic event and to Keysoe for your top hospitality and stabling.