Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH PREP EQUESTRIAN TEAM TRAINED BY AN OLYMPIC EVENT RIDER AND A BRITISH GRAND PRIX DRESSAGE RIDER

Sedbergh’s Equestrian Team experienced a day of dressage and jumping training from Alex Hua Tian, China’s top Olympic Event Rider and Sarah Higgins, top Grand prix Dressage Rider. 

Team Captain, Darcey Wilkinson (Year 12, Carus) organised the day which was a huge success. Each rider had an individual dressage lesson with Sarah and a jumping lesson with Alex at their stunning yard in Cheshire.  Alex and Sarah commented that “it was immediately obvious how much our riders loved riding for the school and how supportive they were of each other and that each showed great talent.”

Riders and accompanying parents had a tour of the impressive yard and met past and future Olympic horses including Don Geniro, who went to Rio 2016.  They learnt about training schedules and what it takes to compete at world class level. Finally, they were shown an inspirational dressage demonstration of Sarah Higgins teaching a future Asian Games dressage rider.  

Faye Barker, Equestrian Team Manager said, “These two talented professionals had our riders and their horses sussed within minutes and gave them invaluable advice to work on. The team came away from the day buzzing and will put into practice all the advice given over the next few months of training.”

The Sedbergh Equestrian Team was formed in September 2015 and have achieved huge successes in a short period of time, including two individual National titles and team results in the top 10 in the country in all disciplines from Dressage, Arena Eventing to Show Jumping. 

Their squad of twenty riders compete at a range of heights from 50cm with the younger Grass Root Team, who were Regional Champions in 2017, up to 1m 10 with the older senior riders. Their first major competitions were the 2017 Regional Grass Roots Championships where they won the 50cm Show Jump class, 40cm Show Jump class and the 40cm Individual class – a fantastic achievement!

They also competed in the 2017 National Championships where all teams came in the top 10 in the classes they entered. The Dressage team are placed third in the Country while the 70cm Show Jumping Team are placed fourth.

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