Congratulations to Wellington College, who claimed both the senior schools individual and team titles at Hickstead’s Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.
Hannah Mateas, 16, called on the experience of 18-year-old former 4-star eventer Findas Keepas to win the individual title. She has only had the ride for a few months, but the gelding has a wealth of experience at Hickstead, having previously been placed in the Speed Derby.
“All the top riders compete here, so to have won in the same ring doesn’t seem real,” said Hannah.
Georgia Hockenhull (Perry V) and Miles O’Donnell (Jozefien R) joined Hannah in Wellington College’s winning Team A (pictured top), as the school claimed the senior team title for a second year in a row.
The junior schools section had a first-time winner in Godolphin School’s Blue Team. Katinka Brogaard (Sprite II), Emma Holmes (No Regrets VIII) and Imogen Yule (Miss Stella Artois) – who are all 14 – finished on a total score of just 4faults.
Last year’s individual winner Katinka Brogaard added the team title to her impressive Hickstead CV. “Mr Sprite is a very experienced showjumper,” she said. “He’s taught me to jump the bigger tracks.”
Her successor in the junior schools individual championship was Poppy Blokland riding Mr Skips. Poppy normally focuses on eventing with her dun gelding, but decided to return to Hickstead this year after have a disappointing performance last time. “We wanted to come back and have another go,” she said.
Beaufort Hunt finished top in the Pony Club championships. The team comprised Rachel Stanley (Quidelle Du Reverdy), Leonne George (Skyline II), Mary Spencer (Askan Van Overis) and Jasmine Punter (Clio V).
“To ride so close to the Derby bank is amazing, it’s such a prestigious showground,” said Rachel. “It’s a whole different atmosphere in such a big arena, and cantering around doing a lap of honour with your horse wearing a Hickstead rug is really special.”
The individual title went to Heather Larson and Any Time II from the Wylye Valley Pony Club in Somerset. Heather, 20, also competes in eventing up to 2-star level.
“To come and jump at Hickstead for the first time and win is amazing,” said Heather.
Photo by Julian Portch