Bishop Luffa sent five pupils to compete in the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) Eventers Challenge Hickstead qualifier, held at Coombelands, Pulborough, on Sunday 19 November.
The Eventers Challenge consists of a set of show jumps followed by a series of rustic fences, over which the competitors are timed to see how close they get to the optimum. They get penalty points for any fences they refuse or knock down. The placings are decide on minimum penalties and nearest the optimum time.
Millie Simpson (8Sherborne) was the first competitor in the 70/75cm class, bravely riding on her own without her teammates for support in a very large field. The School's only team of the day, Hannah West (8King), Jodie Moore (9Burrows) and Alice Parker (11Otter) did really well and came third in the 80/85cm, narrowly missing out on qualifying for Hickstead. Again, this was a big field of very experienced teams. Hannah was also 7th in the individual placings.
In the final class of the day, 100/105cm, Bethany Stonefrost (10Sherborne) rode as an individual and was placed 10th.
The Equestrian Team then competed in the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) Eventers Challenge on Sunday 3 December.
The team of Hannah West (8King), Jodie Moore (9Burrows) and Bethany Stonefrost (10Sherborne) were third in the 90/95cm class, again narrowly missing out on qualifying for Hickstead. Hannah rode a lovely clear round in the 80/85cm class, but was just out of the placings. In the final class of the day, 100/105cm, Bethany was placed 4th.
The girls did incredibly well, as these competitions are contested by many schools who offer specialist equestrian training within the curriculum, and invest in training their teams specifically for these events.