Henry showjumps and plans to ride in point-to-points in the future. His grey gelding loved jumping in the main ring. He said:
“He’s got loads of ability, but I’m now quite big on him so sadly he’s for sale.”
The individual winner in the Senior Schools division was Jemima Stratton and her own Jefke – who is known in the stable as ‘Rambo’.The rider from Marlborough College, who turned 14 last week said:
“He acts like his namesake! We event and compete in Pony Trials, and are aiming for the Europeans. He definitely finds the showjumping phase the easiest”
It was Jemima’s first time competing here. She said:
“I didn’t have a plan in the jump-off as I have never done one on him before. But he’s really quick and seems to turn for the next jump before I’ve even asked him to.”
The Portman dazzle in Pony Club Championship
The Portman Hunt Branch took team honours in the Pony Club competition for the first time ever at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.
The Pony Club competition sees branches from around the country qualifying to compete at the All England Jumping Course. The teams of four first jump in the outer rings before the top eight compete in the famous International Arena, with the best three scores counting.
The Portman Hunt team only had three riders come forward to the final, with fourth rider Flora Hall going out of the competition during the qualifying rounds. In the first round of the Championship, clear rounds from Francesca Grazebrook (Mr De II) and Archie Lowe (I’m Blusing), and just four faults by Luz Wollocombe (Suttons Cross) meant they finished on four faults to tie with Burghley Pony Club. However, a jump-off between nominated riders from both Branches saw the Portman finish on top.
Luz is another keen event rider, and competes up to Novice level. The 15 year old said:
“It’s so nice to ride here at Hickstead – and that’s definitely helped by the fact we won!”
Francesca, 15, who jumped-off to seal the team’s win, concentrates on showjumping. Her win came on her new ride ‘Troy’, who she’s only had for three weeks.
“It’s a thrill even to compete here – we didn’t dare dream about winning!”
Their team mate Archie also events up to Intermediate level. He has competed here at Hickstead, but never progressed as far in the competition before.
“I’ve never ridden in the main arena here – it’s huge, but so cool.”
Taking individual honours for the Lord Leconfield Branch of the Pony Club was 15-year-old Ellie Barnwell. She is the daughter of Donal Barnwell, co-founder of the Billy Stud with William and Pippa Funnell. Ellie’s mare Billy Crisp is both homebred and home-produced, something the family is really proud of.
“She’s a chestnut mare and she’s quite small so she didn’t get sold!” joked Ellie about her eight-year-old mare. “She’s coming into her own now as we move up the levels and she’s now competing in Foxhunters and we just did the Children on Horses Grand Prix here at the Longines Royal International Horse Show. It’s such an honour to compete here and follow in the footsteps of so many top riders.”
One such top rider is of course Hickstead Derby William Funnell, who was watching the action on the livestream on Hickstead.tv with Ellie’s father Donal.
Millfield School claims Junior Team honours
Millfield Prep School was victorious in the Junior Schools competition at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.
They finished eight faults clear of Newbridge College from Co Kildare, and Eastbourne College from East Sussex, who shared second place.
The winning ‘Orange’ team of Darcy Zander (riding Trewithien Bracken), Bronte Monks (Ardwholihan E Hero) and Marina Jolliffe (Blaencanaid) finished on a team score of zero, after all three riders secured clear rounds in the International Arena. They were the only team to also produce a clean sheet in the qualifying competition in the outer rings, meaning none of the three riders has touched a pole all competition.
All three riders mainly concentrate on eventing, but proved themselves to be equally adept in the showjumping arena.
Darcy returned to Hickstead for the second year in a row to compete in the championships. She events up to Novice and Pony Trials level:
“I came here last year but our team was 11th and missed out on qualifying for the International Arena. It was a bit overwhelming to ride in here today, but I just focused on my round.”
Her team mate Marina competes up to BE90 on her pony, who is known at home as Ed.
“I was really nervous today, but coming here is amazing.”
Team member Bronte Monks, who also finished second individually, is already competing at BE90, having won her first affiliated event, and is now hoping to move up to BE100 level this season.
“I feel really privileged to be at Millfield and to compete here”
Finishing just a fraction of a second faster than Bronte was our overall Junior individual winner, Georgia Thomson and her skewbald pony Super Snoop. Georgia has been riding the nine-year-old for only nine months, and she’s another keen event rider – competing up to BE100 level.
“I’m honoured to win here,” she said. “In the jump-off I have to just sit up and keep my leg on, and he sees the flags and jumps between them.”
Deputy Headmaster of Hurstpierpoint College Tim Leeper was on hand to present prizes to all the winning competitors.
“It’s been a wonderful day, with some excellent showjumping,” he said.