Galloway Pony Club member Erin Jamieson made the long journey from Scotland a rewarding one with an emotional win in the NEXT Just For Schools 70cm individual Final. Riding her mother Louise’s 15 year old Kyleston Chasing Dreams, Erin took a dominating lead by over 3 seconds to land the title ahead of her nearest rival Lydia Dawson riding Colours of Romeo. Leswalt Primary School student, Erin has only been riding the pony since November however the experience of being 2nd in the final last year with previous rider Emma Clarke provided Erin with the confidence she needed ahead of the class. “He is a one in a million pony for Erin and the win means so much more coming from such a small school” commented a tearful Louise after the win.
It was a hard fought contest for the team title in the NEXT Just For Schools 70cm final with both the eventual victors Sidcot Stars and JS Teamwear sponsored Minster School equal on just four faults ahead of the jump off. First time visitors Southwell based Minster School were first to jump and pushed hard throughout but it wasn’t meant to be as Sidcot Stars just edged ahead on time to reign supreme for the second year in a row.
Somerset based Sidcot Stars defended their title from last year with two riders remaining from the 2018 winning team. Comprising of brother and sister duo Harriet and Hugo Blair along with close friends Archie Stamp and Holly Cooke the Sidcot Team have been in training 3 days a week with trainer Sophie Clarke ahead of the final here at the British Showjumping National Championships. Team Manager Lorraine Blair was thrilled with the win “It means everything to defend our title. I really can’t fault the dedication of the riders, they work as hard on their flat work each week as they do on their jumping to prepare for today. They are strong supporters of the British Showjumping in the South West and have travelled all over ahead of this final.”
It was the turn of 10 year old Cecilie Sykes and her ride of only four months, Colours of Romeo to go one better than their second place in the 70cm final to take the NEXT Just for Schools 80cm individual title. Making the journey from Berkshire, Lambrook School pupil Cecilie has been training with Kelly Grimster, whose mother bred the pony in preparation for the championships as she only started affiliated showjumping in January of this year. A delighted Cecile acclaimed that this was “the best day of her life with the best pony ever”.
It was the turn of the Lincoln Minster School making their first trip to the British Showjumping National Championships, to take to the top step of the podium for the NEXT Just for Schools 80cm team competition. Kelly Beale, Team Manager of the Lincolnshire based school team was “extremely proud of the riders today and couldn’t have been more delighted with the way Lilia Beal, Harriett Pykett, Ellie Hancox and Fenella Hancox have ridden to take the win”. Runner up to the Lincoln Minster School were the Sidcot Diamonds team of Archie Stamp, Henry Blair, Harriet Blair and Hugo Blair.
The NEXT Just For Schools 90cm Team Final provided the second win of the day for the riders from Lincoln Minster School. With just one change to the team who claimed 80cm honours, Jasmine Staunton added her consistency to triumph over the team from Berkhamsted consisting of Anthony Berry, Edie Mae Coles, Maddie Nagele and Georgie Beeby Wynn. Benefitting from the training provided by their local Pony Club, The South Notts Branch, the team made light work of the track with many of the riders now taking a step up in height over the coming months before turning their focus to the Just For Schools League.
It was John Curl High School student, Ronie Thomas who rose to the top in the individual 90cm NEXT Just For Schools Final riding Zoe Thomas’s Killy Colour Code. Now taking a step down from top level competition, 13 year old Killy Colour Code has only been with Ronie for a few months. At just 14 years old, Ross Harriers South Hereford Pony Club member Ronie has also qualified for the 1m final due to take place tomorrow. Following her win, Ronie was quick to praise her pony and said “he’s a quick pony but she needed to just check before the fences in order to win today.”
The Just For Schools incentive which was introduced in 2017 has proved increasingly popular, organised by British Showjumping in conjunction with The Pony Club and British Riding Clubs. It allows schools and colleges across the UK to submit teams of three or four riders and individuals within a specific height category: 70cm-1.10m. Each of these height categories are underpinned by a league table to determine who makes it through to the Championships as well as there being two direct qualifiers. For more information on Just For Schools, visit http://www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/membership/Just-for-Schools-Membership
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