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National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA)

Our NSEA team have made us so proud again!! Just before half term our students (and parents) set forth on the 7-hour trip (transporting horses) to the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) Championships at the Hickstead All England Showground. Our team comprised; Chloe D riding Calder Diesel, Libbie A riding Carrick Diamond Craft, Brooke W riding Golden Liberty & Eleanor C riding I’m Spartacus. Emily Lrode as an individual on Toby with Chloe & Libbie also performing in some individual classes.

In Dressage, Libbie A competed as an individual and was in the ribbons in her class, coming a triumphant 8th in the country for her performance with Carrick Diamond Craft against some stiff competition. In the arena eventing, Chloe D & Calder Diesel had a fantastic and brave clear in their 70cm class which put them about halfway down the leader’s board. For arena eventing riders must complete a course of show jump and cross-country fences at a pace of 350 m/min, with no optimal time given. This makes hitting that elusive magic time tricky despite all efforts and good riding. Our equestrian team had an exciting time competing the following day in the arena eventing 80cm class. All 4 were fired up, with plans, lines, timings and positivity. They rode picture perfect routes with 3 beautifully ridden clears, only to elude the optimal time once again and finish halfway up the board, yet very pleased with their horses’ and performances.

In Showjumping, Emily L in Year 7, had her first championship competition with Toby and rode valiantly with an unfortunate 8 faults in the 70cm showjumping. It was tremendous to watch her and her pony cope in such a high-pressured environment in front of the crowds and amid all the excitement. Finally, our QEGS team had a really ambitious crack at the 80cm show jumping with Eleanor & Brooke pulling some great angles and tight turns to achieve two of the fastest times of the day, whilst unfortunately taking a pole each with them, which set the team back. Sadly, Libbie’s safe and brilliantly executed clear round wasn’t enough to secure a top placing.

All agreed that our game was very strong this year for QEGS, and it was notable how the team is growing in both numbers and experience. It was four days of teamwork, friendship, learning and fun. Horses and riders were all immaculately turned out throughout, representing their school to the highest possible standard. Despite all the competitive aspects and pressure to succeed for their school and bring home trophies. It was a delight to note that their team work, comradery and love for their ponies far exceeded everything else!

A huge thank you to everyone who supported and helped make this possible.

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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne Derbyshire