College equestrian team through to nationals!

College equestrian team through to nationals!

By Alicia Lee (L6, Q)

A Cheltenham College team of Tom O’Bryan (3rd, S), Archie Garbutt (3rd, S), Belle Channing (4th, W) and I competed in a National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) dressage competition at Allen’s Hill against other schools.

As a team, we were all on inexperienced or young horses but it was incredible to see the huge improvements from our training sessions on Tuesdays, as equestrian is now an official summer sport at College. Tom and Archie both competed in the preliminary tests, Belle in the novices and I did a novice and an elementary test. Tom completed a great test for the team scoring 73.75 percent, which was a large contribution to our team’s overall score and meant that he also qualified individually for the Nationals! Belle also did a lovely test scoring 62.68 percent, which was brilliant for her first time competing at this level. I didn’t feel that my horse and I performed our best, however I was really pleased to score 72.8 percent. I saw a big improvement in my second test and was delighted to qualify individually for the Nationals at the elementary level. It was a lovely atmosphere and great team spirit as everyone supported each other.

We were very exited that our team managed to finish a close second to the team from Kings’ Worcester (who had won the Nationals only two weekends previously), and to qualify for the Nationals in October. This bodes very well for the future of equestrian sport at College and I can’t wait to continue training and do our best at the next competition!

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