Equestrian teams in national event

Eskdale School's equestrian team
Eskdale School's equestrian team

ESKDALE School students took place in the National Schools’ Equestrian Association (NSEA) Championships at Addington Manor.

This competition had been postponed from December due to heavy snow.

Six hundred competitors overall qualified to compete in dressage/show jumping/jumping with style classes supported by around 1,800 spectators, making it the biggest national schools competition in the country.

Competitors travelled down from Scotland, despite still battling against the snow and all points north, south, east and west. Three hundred horses were stabled on both the Friday and Saturday nights on site.

School teams and individuals qualified in regional qualifiers around the country to get to the championships which have been running annually for the past 15 years.

However, this was the biggest and best event so far - 22 teams and 22 individuals qualified for each section of jumping with style and show jumping (open, intermediate, novice and mini) and also the dressage.

The Eskdale School students competed in two team categories, the ‘jumping with style’ mini 13 and under team consisted of Katie Harrison-Walker, Rebecca Tindall, Alice Smith and Abi Christopher.

This team finished 4th overall out of 21 teams on the day.

The jumping with style novice team consisted of Abi Christopher, Holly Hodgson, Alice Smith and Katie Harrison-Walker, finishing 8th out of 21.

Katie Harrison-Walker also competed in the individual show jumping final at 85cm and her brother Tom, a student at Whitby Community College, competed in the 95cm individual show jumping class, coming 12th out of more than 20 competitors.

Famous parents spotted cheering their kids on included Tim Stockdale and international footballer Stuart Pearce.

NSEA chairman Jill Barker said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for riders from all over the country to represent their schools at such a prestigious event.

“Their sportsmanship and support for team-mates should make both their head teachers and parents feel very proud.

“The standard of riding has improved enormously over the past five years and we hope that this will help to create equestrian champions in all disciplines in the future.”