Equestrian Team Update

The Abbey Gate College Equestrian Team have been busy recently! On Sunday 19th March we held the 8th Annual Abbey Gate College NSEA Dressage Qualifier, where schools from all over the North West came to compete for the coveted Abbey Gate College Shield, and a place at the National
Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) National Championships in October.

This year saw around 80 entries across 3 classes, and 11 teams, so it was a full day of hotly contested competition. Our teams were made up of Mary Goodridge, Abbey Rimmer (With 2 horses), Ellie Studley, Amelia Santangeli and Iyla Gallacher, with Neamh Mills and Jodie Bennett competing as individuals, and all rode really well in some challenging conditions with high winds. In the final reckoning all the Abbey Gate riders excelled themselves, with Mary taking a win in the Prelim test, 3rd in the Novice and 2nd in the Elementary, and our teams coming 1st and 2nd
overall, so huge congratulations to all the riders, who have well and truly qualified for the National Championships in October!

A mention must also go to the generous sponsors for the day, Tony Rimmer and Rostons Ltd for horse rugs to the winners, Sarah Pickering and Darlingtons and Daughters for the rosettes and a wonderful selection of Mrs Darlingtons Jams for the top 6 teams and individuals, and Peter and Emily Bennett for the pile of Easter Eggs that were also donated as prizes.

Finally a huge thank you to all the parents of the Equestrian Squad who were essential in making the day run smoothly - Scoring by Lesley Mills, Sarah Pickering, Susan Goodridge and Neil Pollard; Stewarding by Susan Goodridge, Tony Rimmer and Tammi Gallacher; essential sandbagging by Tony Rimmer and Neil Pollard, and not forgetting Mollie Pickering and Jodie Bennett (Y7) for their tireless score sheet collecting all day. Thank you everyone for a really enjoyable, successful and happy day.

On Saturday 25th March we were out Show Jumping, this time for the NSEA County Qualifier. We had a team of 4 riders, Iyla Gallacher Mollie Pickering and Jodie Bennett (Y7) and Isodore Ramsey-Smith from J6. They were competing first in the 70cm class, where Iyla, as path-finder, 1st in the team and 1st on course, rode a text-book clear round setting the bar high for the class. She was followed by Mollie who rode another beautiful clear, then Jodie who also rode a lovely round but was really unlucky to have the lightest touch at the very last fence, just enough to topple the pole off the cup
at one end. Final rider Isodore then gave us our 3rd clear round on her lively pony Ozzy, leaving the team on a zero score. There then followed a tense wait whilst all the other teams completed, but we had done enough and the girls claimed 1st prize, so they had qualified for the County Championships.

The 2nd class was bigger, at 80cm, with some of the fences decidedly generous in size, and again Iyla was drawn first to go. Despite high expectations following their win the pressure did not get to her, and Iyla again opened the class with a beautifully judged clear round, followed by Mollie who
this time was unlucky to have a pole down on a tricky upright half way round. Jodie then rode her socks off and pulled out our second clear, and Isodore changed ponies to the lovely Rusty who she piloted beautifully to claim another clear for the team.

There was a tense wait, as we were not the only team to finish on a zero score, and we were narrowly beaten by Packwood Hough, but as the top Cheshire team the girls still claimed the ticket.

Congratulations to all the girls, who showed great team spirit and excellent horsemanship! Well done to all of you, you should be proud of your results.

Published: Tuesday, 11th April 2017