Farlington host equestrian qualifierMarch 21, 2019
Farlington School held a National Schools Equestrian Association Championship Qualifier at Merrist Wood Equine Arena in Guildford. It featured 140 individual riders from over 35 schools including Wellington College, Millfield, Pangbourne, Cranleigh School, Hurst, St Catherine’s and Millais. It was a very successful show which was enjoyed by riders, parents, volunteers and spectators, with some great wins and qualifications for Farlington.
The day started very early with organisers and helpers getting to the venue before 7.00am to finish setting up and preparing for the busy day ahead. The first class – the 70cm – started promptly at 8.15am with the Farlington Team, comprising Lily, Iona and Bethan, kicking off proceedings as the first team to compete. They didn’t disappoint and put in three cracking clear rounds of jumping to lead from start to finish to win the class and qualify for the National Championships in October at Addington Equestrian Centre. There were also individual placings for Iona and Bethan: fourth and sixth respectively, giving them individual entry to the Nationals at Addington and the Plate Championship at Keysoe.
After a brief change of course the 80cm class started. The team – Sophie, Anna, Lily and Roseanna – put in four great clear rounds to be the only team to finish on zero penalties. This meant they won the class and qualified for the National Championships in October! Lily was 5th individually, qualifying for the Plate Championship.
The next class was the 90cm. The Farlington Team of Anna, Sophie, Lucy and Roseanna put in a great effort and finished second, with Roseanna finishing 4th individually: another two qualifications for the Nationals; a great achievement as this was the biggest class!
The final team class was the 1m. This was a very up-to-height and challenging course, but this did not stop the team of Lucy, Lucia and Gracie putting in three great rounds, with just a few poles being tapped. The team finished fifth and qualified for the Plate Championships at Keysoe in November. This is a great achievement for a team of only three riders, with Lucy stepping up to this height for the first time on a horse that is still quite new to her.
The final class was the 110cm. This was an individual competition, with Lucia the only competitor for Farlington. She put in a great round, just tapping a pole. Lucia still got a great result as she came fifth and qualified for the Plate Championships.
Louise Higson, Farlington Headmistress, said, “It was a fantastic event and a real pleasure to welcome so many riders to the Show. We hope the visiting competitors enjoyed it as much as we did. The Farlington Riding Team rode well with some excellent results for a comparatively small team against some fierce competition. They also conducted themselves impeccably and were a real credit to Farlington.
“We could not have made this day happen without all of the volunteers, who worked tirelessly throughout the day on everything from car parking duty to pole picking. Crimble Lunt, Katy Pocock and the rest of the Farlington Riding Team parents with Sara Whittaker, Farlington’s Director of Sport, worked for months to put this show together and their thorough preparation really showed. The whole Farlington family came together – our superb Riding Captains, Lucia Mayhew and Suzie Lunt, who support the younger riders; the parents, staff and pupils who volunteered and supported the event; and the Boarders and pupils who came to spectate.
“A massive thank-you must also go to our sponsors – Universal Trailers, Mayes and Scrine, Whipley Manor Farm and Mark Hawksworth Photography- for their support. Special thanks to our main sponsor, Equine America, who has kitted out the team in branded jackets along with branded numnahs for horses and a centrepiece, branded showjump for the competition.
“We are looking forward to meeting many of the competitors again at the National Championships in October!”