Riding 2011/12

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South West Qualifier hosted at Millfield 24th June 2012

South West Qualifier hosted at MillfieldTwo teams competed at Millfield for qualification to the NSEA Championships at Addington Manor in October. They were very consistent across two Show Jumping heights of 70 and 80cm, with the team of Archie Hare, Flic Charlesworth, Didi Eaton and Bird Wood coming 4th in both, but the team of Didi Eaton, Tabitha Pring, Bird Wood and Georgia Wood came 2nd in both and thereby qualify for the Championships.

Blundell's is now qualified in more heights for Show Jumping and Jumping with Style at the Schools Championships than ever before.

South West Qualifier hosted at Millfield     South West Qualifier hosted at Millfield

Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier 7th June 2012

At the inaugural Blundell’s NSEA Qualifier, held at Pontispool Equine Centre, the heavens opened at 7am – all the helpers were drenched by 7:15am and with 220 yet to compete it promised to be a challenging day for the organisers. It was a huge relief to see the last horse conclude the competition safely at 8pm.

Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier, 7th June 2012   Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier, 7th June 2012   Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier, 7th June 2012

In spite of the most atrocious conditions ever faced at an equestrian event, with over 30 schools competing for a place at the National Schools Finals, it was still a hard fought competition producing a strong display of horsemanship in all classes.
In the 90cm Show jumping qualifier, with eight teams forward to the jump off, it was the youngest Blundell’s team of Bird Wood, Georgia Wood, Tabitha Pring & Didi Eaton that romped to victory, relegating the older Blundell’s team Rupert Batting, Lola Watt, Eleanor Ansell, Ed Barlow into 2nd, with Kings of Wessex 3rd, Exeter 4th. Ed Barlow became the 2nd individual also qualifying of the National finals.

The Jumping and Style 90cm class was judged by the BE U18 trainer Sorrel Warwick, who was clearly impressed by the standard of riding. Competitors rode a course of show jumps followed immediately by a timed course of simulated XC fences. Emily Proud, competing as an individual from Blue School, finished the competition on a style penalty of 2 and could not be beaten. Teams results: 1st Blundell’s (Alexa Batting, Lola Watt, Eleanor Ansell, Ed Barlow), 2nd Queens Taunton, 3rd Norton Hill, 4th Taunton School.

The Jumping and Style open class was hard fought between Blundell’s and Millfield. The inclusion of a bounce road closed fence provided challenge, but rode very well. The XC time proved to be the influential score allowing Eleanor Ansell, Amy Clarke, Alexa Batting, Rupert Batting for Blundell’s to snatch victory, 2nd Millfield, 3rd Blundell’s (Rupert Batting, Saskia Simonson, Ed Barlow), 4th Kings of Wessex. Rupert Batting also qualified for the National finals as an individual.

The open Show Jumping was dominated by Taunton school. Millfield and Taunton went forward to jump off against the clock and although a team of three, Taunton produced 3 clears in fast times to produce a convincing win, with Millfield 2nd, Blundell’s (Eleanor Ansell, Alexa Batting, Saskia Simonson, Rupert Batting) 3rd, Exeter School 4th.

Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier, 7th June 2012   Blundell’s NSEA Show Jumping and Jumping with Style Qualifier, 7th June 2012

The individual 1.15m show jumping track was expertly designed by Chris Johnson providing a nail biting jump off for the last two qualifications. Charlotte East of Millfield, produced a textbook clear round and breath taking jump-off confirming her to be the worthy winner, 2nd Katinka Brogaard, Goldolphin School, 3rd Evelyn Dyer, Malmesbury, 4th Alexa Palmer, Sherborne Girls, 5th Hettie Horler, Millfield, 6th Rupert Batting, Blundell’s School.

The rain and gales made it quite a day and Mrs Batting was so grateful to all the helpers, competitors and parents for their good humour under such testing conditions. The National Schools Finals will be held at Addington Manor in October with all those placed 1st and 2nd going forward to represent the South West. Blundell’s will have equalled its strongest representation yet at the Championships this year.

Blundell’s Flies the Flag for Devon and Cornwall at UK NSEA Champs 22nd Oct 2011

On Saturday 22nd October Blundell’s teams travelled to Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire, for the National Schools Equestrian (NSEA) Finals. Blundell’s Flies the Flag for Devon and Cornwall at UK NSEA Champs, 22nd Oct 2011The competition was closely fought all weekend. In the Intermediate Jumping And Style (JAS) the course proved challenging for many, with a combination of show jumps followed immediately by a timed cross-country round. Lola Watt, Saskia Simonson, Lydia Stuart and Alexa Batting did extremely well by securing 10th place. In the Open JAS a team of Alexa Batting, Rupert Batting, India Knott and Saskia Simonson rose to the challenge in an arena which caused endless trouble for some teams, with eight schools failing to get their teams around and only three individual clear rounds in the whole competition. Blundell’s Flies the Flag for Devon and Cornwall at UK NSEA Champs, 22nd Oct 2011The gutsy performance by the team gained them 7th place overall and was well deserved.

In the outdoor arena, the Open Show Jumping attracted very impressive show jumping ponies in particular. With a team of Alexa Batting, Rupert Batting, Maddie Simonson and Amy Clarke we managed to secure 10th place, just missing out on qualification to the Indoor Final. However, in the Intermediate Show Jumping on Sunday 23rd October the same team as in the Open Show Jumping put in a great round to finish on four penalties to qualify for the Indoor Final that evening. The pressure was on, but the need for speed to secure the win resulted in some unfortunate poles down, finishing 6th nationally at the school’s first attempt at NSEA Show jumping finals. In the special advanced class Rupert just missed out on a top placing by one fence, however still achieved 10th place individually. Sarah Harrison, the team trainer was delighted with such consistency of performance at the UK School Championships, with the teams finishing in 10th place or higher in every class.

South West Schools Finals JwS 2nd Oct 2011

Millfield hosted the NSEA Jumping and Style competition - a qualifier for the Indoor National Finals at Addington, Buckinghamshire. As always Millfield provided a challenging track, including a combination of fences that required horses to jump into a pen without knowing if there was room for them to jump out, which caused a number of rider falls as horses decided better of it. South West Schools Finals JwS, 2nd Oct 2011This resulted in several teams failing to complete, some of which included the hosts. Fortunately, in both classes the Blundell's riders negotiated this fence clear with bold brave riding.

In the Intermediate Class, the team of Alexa Batting, Rupert Batting, Saskia Simonson and Lydia Stuart, together with Hebe Lanyon as an individual, produced gutsy performances over a course requiring tight turns and accurate riding. The team qualified for the NSEA UK Championships later this month. Thomas Hardye were worthy winners, with Blundell's 2nd and Stonar one point behind in 3rd. Rupert was also 6th individual.

In the open class, the Blundell's team of Alexa Batting, Rupert Batting, Saskia Simonson and Hebe Lanyon all jumped around without difficulty and in an intensely fought competition finished on the same score as Stonar but as three teams can't qualify, the style judge had to award final placings and so Blundell's narrowly missed out. A special mention to Hebe, who rode a demanding track on a horse she has never competed before and was pivotal in ensuring team success. 1st Millfield, 2nd Stonar, 3rd Blundell's.

Blundell’s wins National Eventing Title 24th & 25th Sept 2011

Blundell's enjoyed their best representation yet at the UK Championships, 24th & 25th September, hosted by Stonar School.

Blundell’s wins National Eventing Title, 24th & 25th Sept 2011On Sunday, it was the Senior Open team of Saskia Simonson, Maddie Simonson, Alexa Batting and Rupert Batting which dominated the weekend. They all produced impressive dressage scores and complemented this with three clear rounds show jumping and four superb cross country rounds inside the time. With all four placed individually, three finishing on their dressage scores, the consistency of performance within the team guaranteed them the title of National Champions in Senior Eventing. The closest Blundell’s have come before to National Eventing success at this level was as runners up in 2009 with three of the current team members. Sarah Harrison, Blundell’s team trainer, was absolutely delighted as Blundell's has never won this title before in 25 years. Of all the schools competitions, the Eventing Championships is considered the most prestigious.

1st Blundell’s 2nd Prior Park 3rd Dean Close 4th Godolphin 5th Hurstpierpoint College 6th Millfield.

Blundell’s wins National Eventing Title, 24th & 25th Sept 2011On the Saturday, the Junior Novice Team of Lydia Stuart, Didi Eaton & Georgina Wood, produced gutsy performances to secure 5th place out of 24 teams. Lydia produced a phenomenal dressage to secure 3rd place on her Novice pony.

1st Pinewood 2nd Mayfield 3rd Malvern St James 4th Godolphin 5th Blundell’s 6th SW Wilts Grammar.

In the junior Intermediate Section, Lydia Stuart, Lola Watt and Eleanor Ansell, were impressive across all three phases to also secure 5th place as a team, in one of the hardest fought classes of the weekend with 3rd to 5th place separated by less than 1 penalty. Lola finished on her dressage score to gain 3rd place individually, with Eleanor 11th.

1st St Edwards 2nd Cheltenham ladies College 3rd Mayfield 4th Norton Hill 5th Blundell’s 6th St Johns Marlborough.

South West Schools One Day Event 18th Sept 2011

One Day Event 2011Blundell’s hosted the South West Schools One Day Event, in the most turbulent weather, with the tractor in full flow on pull out duty.

In the Novice class South Dartmoor were outstanding winners with four excellent scores, notably Alice Crocker and Harriet McGovern winning their sections. One Day Event 2011Queens College were worthy 2nd place team, with Blundell's Green team Edward Barlow, Lydia Stewart, Didi Eaton and Bird Wood 3rd place, with Lydia Stuart winning her section.

The Intermediate brought a Blundell’s “one – two” with Blundell's Blue team securing 1st place, Emma Selby, Saskia Simonson, Lydia Stuart, Amy Clarke, and Blundell’s Black comprising Rupert Batting, Sara Wright, Didi Eaton, Eleanor Ansell in 2nd Place, with last year’s winners the Kings School Ottery, 3rd. Eleanor Ansell and Emma Selby both winning their sections to help secure team success.

The Open Class became the local derby, with a 1st Place for Blundell’s Red team comprising Rupert Batting, Charlotte Hare, Eleanor Ansell, Alexa Batting, closely followed by Wellington School in 2nd, with Uffculme School in 3rd. Taggy Forrester Bennett produced a useful win in her section for Wellington. With donations towards Hospicecare Pine Lodge Appeal and Devon Air Ambulance the organisers were delighted with the support from schools across the South West with a good representation from Cornwall.

Images courtesy of Jayphotos: www.jayphotos.co.uk

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