The National School Equestrian Association (NSEA) showjumping season started with some fantastic riding from De Aston’s new Grass Roots and senior riders.
Bishop Burton’s International Arena was the venue for the recent NSEA County Challenge Qualifier, with schools from South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire competing against one another to be crowned county champion team and individual in there region.
Year 7 student, Georgie Marriott, riding Princess Dee Dee, pulled out all the stops and beat her nearest rival in the 70cm competition by an unbelievable seven seconds to gain the title of Lincolnshire Schools County Individual Champion and qualify her for the Championships at Bury Farm representing Lincolnshire.
But the success did not stop there.
Beth Freer, riding Mr Mischief, managed to complete a flawless double clear to take an individual third and the team of Natasha Crawford, Beth Freer, Georgie Marriott and Team Captain Charlotte Emmerson came second in the 80cm team competition.
And they managed to fend off Kesteven and Grantham Grammar School with some superb riding and accurate jumping to take the title of Lincolnshire Schools County 80cm Showjumping Team.
Charlotte Emmerson also competed for the Individual 90cm County title, but despite an incredibly fast time, she was just pipped into an individual third place by a couple of small nippy ponies.
The girls will be heading down to Buckinghamshire at the end of the month to compete in the National Championships representing Lincolnshire.
The Grass Roots team, consisting of year 7 novice riders Emily Towndrow, Cody Furniss, Sian Bontoft, Imogen Priestley and Bea Spivey, has only recently joined the De Aston school team.
They recently completed an extracurricular training course at Brook House Farm Riding School, Scamblesby, which enabled them to take part in a NSEA Grass Roots Qualifying and RPL Competition hosted by De Aston at Hill House Equestrian Centre.
Ten schools from the region, including one from East Yorkshire, took part in the Interschool competition which included the first Grass Roots Qualifier ever held in the Lincolnshire.
It was an exciting day which saw children as young as six competing for a place at the Regional Championships at Kings Bromyard, Herefordshire.
Most of the Grass Roots girls only started riding six weeks ago and, thanks to Brookhouse Farm, were able to borrow a pony to take part in this competition.
In the 40cm assisted class, the De Aston Team finished with just eight faults to take second place, with Bea Spivey riding a super, safe and stylish clear round giving her an individual second place.
In the 50cm class, the team gained a very respectable third place and again Bea Spivey rode exceptionally well to gain a credible fifth place individually.
Class 5 saw De Aston’s senior team of Georgie Marriott, Natasha Crawford, Beth Freer and Charlotte Emmerson compete against local school William Farr and South Hunsley School finished on 12 faults, putting them in the lead to win the 70cm class and also taking the 80cm class, with Georgie Marriott again leaving no room for error, flying into first place.
The last class of the day was the 90cm and Charlotte Emmerson was De Aston’s only rider taking part as an individual and she managed to take a super third place.
“We would like to congratulate all the riders, as well as Emerald Green Feeds and EquidGel who sponsored all the prizes and Tesco Market Rasen for providing a superb buffet during the day,” said Sandra Murphy, one of the event organisers and De Aston’s team manager.
“We would also like to thank Hill House Equestrian for the fantastic venue and facilities and the Judge, course builder and supportive parents and helpers, without whom these shows would not be possible.”
The next NSEA show will be held in May and anyone who would like to sponsor a class or provide some prizes can call Sandra on 07903 993879 for more details.