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Schools battle for jumping title

Second time lucky for a Cambridge girls school in the National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships at Hickstead

The National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships at Hickstead remains as popular as ever with more than 300 riders competing at last weekend’s event.

The Perse School for Girls in Cambridge triumphed in the schools senior championship at only their second visit to the All England Jumping Course. The team of 15-year-old Jesse Murray (More Miles), 14-year-old Joanna Magill (Clover Hill King) and 18-year-old Emma Day (Eriss) all competed at last year’s event but just missed qualifying for the final.

This year saw no such mistake and strong performances from all the riders, including a double clear by Emma on the evergreen 19-year-old Eriss, saw them claim the title by 11 faults over St Finians College from Ireland. Millfield School from Somerset was third.

“It was a marvellous day,” says Joanna’s mother Pat. “The girls were told to ride for themselves – not worry about the team – as strong individual performances make a strong team performance. We are absolutely delighted when the girls pulled it out of the bag to win.

All credit must go to their team trainer, Carol Mailer, who prepared the ponies and riders perfectly for the challenge.”

Juniors jump for title

In the junior championship, Winchester House from Brackley, Northants improved on its third place from the past two years to claim the win over Homewood School from Kent. Millfield School from Somerset took third.

The winning teamwas 12-year-old Fiona Hilton Jones (Gamble), 13-year-old Alice Parsons (The Irish Colonel) and 12-year-old Victoria Turneron (Dunni The Dun).

The teams’ success was all the more impressive because Alice was riding Fiona’s mother’s 15hh hunter, which she had only jumped twice before. The late change of mount was due to Alice’s pony falling ill prior to the event.

“Although we were hopeful that the girls would perform well, with Alice riding an unfamiliar horse we certainly didn’t expect to win,” said Isabel Hilton Jones.

The school’s success continued with the second Winchester House team taking fifth in the junior championships, and Victoria won her section of the inter-schools one-day event at Ardingly the followingday.

Iveagh PC from County Armagh, Ireland proved popular victors in the Pony Club Championship after the team of Darren McAlinden, Lisa Priestley, Laura McCann and Angela Percy spent two days travelling to the championships. They finished 20 faults clear of the Old Berkeley Pony Club. Hampshire were third.

Style prizes were awarded to Margaret McCann from Iveagh’s second team, Jessica McKie from Akeley Wood School, Buckinghamshire, and Tom Kneen from Ivybridge Community College, Devon.

Results

Pony Club 1, Iveagh – The Gangsters Diamond (Darren McAlinden), Dolly’sBuzz (Lisa Priestley), Queen of Down (Laura McCann), Jim’s Choice (AngelaPercy); 2, Old Berkeley – Chilterns Gemstone (Jasmin Dawson), Mr Happy(Sarah Walley), Lady Stargazer (Catherine Sadler), Dime (Michael Rogers); 3,Hampshire – William of Orange (Ben Wallace), Milly II (Sadie Oates), Zeus II(Katie Wallace), Fodlee Amarino (Nicholas Pepper).

Junior Schools 1, Winchester House – Gamble (Fiona Hilton-Jones), The Irish Colonel (Alice Parsons), Dunni The Dun (Victoria Turner); 2,Homewood – Little Star (Imogen Cowling), Blue (Jake Loader), Nobby (ChristieAlkin); 3, Millfield – O’Hill Princess (Melissa Freeman), Mungo (RobertMullins), Kiltincam Colin (James Baillie).

Senior Schools 1, Perse School for Girls – More Miles (Jess Murray),CloverHill King (Joanna Magill), Eriss (Emma Day); 2, St Finians College – Freedom(Lino Orlandi), Oliver (Kenneth Bray), Sir Scoobie (Richard Kellett); 3,Millfield – Sea King II (Robert Frampton), Royal (Jessica Brainch), FancyThat (Olivia Maxwell-Jones).

Read reports from the Pony Club championships:

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