Riding: NSEA Eventers challenge at Hickstead
Very excited riders left school on Friday at the beginning of half term with their ponies and parents for the journey to Hickstead in West Sussex for the NSEA championships.
On arrival the stables were found, beds put in and ponies unloaded from the lorries and trailers. Luckily all the parents managed to park together so camp was then set up. Tents were erected and nobody forgot the main centre pole this year!!
The ponies were taken for a short ride and then put to bed for the night. Meanwhile the parents were busy cooking burgers and sausages in one of the lorries and supper was eaten whilst a cricket game was being played. The only equipment was a bat so the stumps consisted of 2 shavings bales and the ball was a bandage wrapped in a sock (well done Will!)
The course was walked in the evening as the first team were due to ride at 9am. It was a long course of 17 fences but the riders soon learnt the way and were happy. It was a big class of 37 teams (271 individuals) which started at 9am and finished at 5pm.
After a good if cold nights sleep the first riders, Will, Molly, Daisy and Lily were up and ready on their ponies by 8.30. All very smart and plaited by mums (and 1 dad) Having warmed up they then went to the ring and all rode very well, a couple of poles gave them a team score of 4. It was then a quick change for Molly, Daisy, Lily to get to the dressage arena to meet Grace for the team dressage champs. This is the first time ever Sandroyd has had a dressage team and all went well with the team 8th at the end of the competition and our first ever dressage champs rosette.
Then it was the turn of Grace, Rose, Rosie and Willow to do their eventers round. Again all rode well and finished with zero score so it will come down to the team nearest to the optimum time. At the end of the class this team finished in 10th place and the first team was 16th.
The last class was Grace and Lily doing the individual dressage champs and they both rode good tests but were out classed by older riders on smart dressage horses but they enjoyed the challenge and did not let the school down so very well done.
By this time it was then pack up camp, clear stables, load up and return home with very tired but happy children and ponies!