A PE teacher and her GCSE pupil went head to head at Blair Castle International Horse Trials (22 to 25 August), where they were both contesting the CCI*.
Former British team pentathlete Louise Waugh has been working at Strathallan School in Perthshire for five years, and 16-year-old Rowan Laird is one of her LVI form pupils.
It was Louise’s second time tackling the prestigious Scottish event with her 15hh Connemara-thoroughbred cross Kiljames Brown Thomas, while Rowan was making his debut there with 15.2hh Village Crescendo.
Rowan was the youngest competitor to complete, finishing in 63rd place after adding a cross-country stop to his dressage score. Although he beat his teacher by nine penalties in the dressage, Louise gained some ground round the icross-country track to complete six places ahead in 57th.
“I knew he was entered and we had a good giggle at the trot-up about how he’d better not beat me,” said Louise. “I had a little girl last year and took the year off eventing, and he’s been out competing a lot more than me, so he was a bit more prepared — he’s been on the Scotland under-18 team at Crickley, so he’s had a really good year.
“We always have a good chat at school about how his horse is going and what his goals are,” Louise added. “The school has been supportive — we work Saturdays but they have let me have some off to do some novice competitions in order to qualify for Blair.
“They’re also really good to their pupils who are competing at a high level, a lot of riders are able to go off in games lessons to ride their horses.”
A spokesman for Strathallan School said it was a “huge achievement” for Rowan to complete the one-star against professionals.
Brook Walker, who is in the same year as Rowan at Strathallan, also did well in the British Showjumping classes at the venue during the week. She was named leading newcomers showjumper, also placing 11th in the Scottish 90cm championship.
Director of sport Audrey Sime said: “Rowan, Brook and indeed Louise work incredibly hard in their equestrian activities and seeing these great results makes it worthwhile.
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“At Strathallan we work to provide as many opportunities as possible for our pupils both in school time and in supporting their extra-curricular activities.”
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