Teacher’s blog: NSEA Championships
If not quite from the horse’s mouth, then this report from our Head of Riding, Charley Pearson, about the NSEA Championships is surely the next best thing…….
NSEA National Championships 2023 at Addington Equestrian Centre
Myself, four girls, Kitty, Ellie, Aline and Chloe, their ponies and families all arrived at Addington Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire on a Thursday afternoon in October. It was then a team effort to get the stables ready for the ponies and to store away the kit in the right place! We very proudly put up our new Hanford bunting, made by Matron Lindsay, over the stables before the girls fed the ponies and got them ready for bed.
Friday morning was an early start with showjumping courses to be learnt, ponies to be cleaned and plaited and all the kit prepared. The girls looked really smart walking the courses in their Hanford tops, they were already representing the school so well and we hadn’t even started competing!
On to the reason we were all there….the showjumping! The girls jumped brilliantly in the 75cm championship class gaining a clear round team score with a fast time. It was then a nail biting wait to see if the team stayed in the top 10 to make it through to jump in the final in the main international arena. The competition was fierce but the girls held on to their placing and soon enough we heard that we were heading in to the final! This was televised on Clip My Horse TV so a quick email was sent round to let everyone back at base know they needed to tune in.
While we waited for the final to start we had another showjumping class, this time at 80cm to give the girls a practice ahead of the 85cm championship class the following day. This was a great opportunity to ride fast and tight lines before the evening class. Chloe put her foot firmly to the floor to come second individually.
Having learnt the new course in the indoor arena, and walked the tight lines they needed to aim for in order to get the fastest time possible, the girls were on their ponies warming up in an electric atmosphere ready to give it their all on live TV. And that they did, all four girls dealt with the pressure and excitement fantastically and supported each other brilliantly. This effort, skill and team spirit resulted in the girls coming 6th in the 75cm National Championship class.
The celebrations started in the stables with pats and polos for the ponies and finished with sweets and drinks for the girls, but it was early to bed before another day of competition on Saturday.
The girls jumped again on Saturday, continuing to show huge team spirit and a great desire to win; they went in to the ring to give it everything and did themselves proud. Sadly they didn’make it through to the final in this class but should be very proud of the way they rode and how conducted themselves both on and off the ponies.
It was a fantastic experience for the team and such an achievement to reach the national championships. A huge thank you to all the parents, grandparents, siblings, supporters and grooms for everything they did over the course of the event to ensure it all ran smoothly.