We are delighted to announce that at the recent National Schools’ Equitation Association Competition held on 18 November at the West Wiltshire Equestrian Centre, King Alfred’s Riding Team took first place in the 80cm Fence Class.
Additionally, team member Mollie Hawkins (13) achieved an individual 5th place on her horse “Coquette” in the 80cm Fence Class, while fellow competitors Kayleigh O’Neil (12) on her horse “Blue” and Louisa Lawrence (12) on “Amy” achieved clear rounds in the 70cm and 90cm Fence Classes respectively.
Dauntsey’s School were the organisers and sponsors of the event, which was entered by 82 school teams in all. 18 teams entered the Class won by the King Alfred’s team, one of only 3 state schools competing.
The best 3 results achieved between riders Kayleigh O’Neil, Rex Winfield (12) on “Captain Flash”, Mollie Hawkins and Ella Ackrill (15) on “Mr Wesley Day” counted towards the team’s winning score.
The team was coached on the day by Ginny Halliwell, Old Berks Pony Club Chief Trainer, and was supported by Team Managers Samantha Creed and Caroline Ackrill.
Sam Creed explained: “It was touch and go as to whether half of the team would actually make it in time, as their horse box experienced a blow-out on the motorway which delayed them for 3 hours. The competition secretary kindly moved the time-slots back to enable the delayed team members to compete at the end of the Class.”
“The riders looked so smart in their matching stocks in KA’s colours. They were a real credit to the school and everyone was delighted they all performed so well on the day.”
Rider Rex Winfield commented: “I’m so thrilled to have been given the opportunity to ride for KA’s Equestrian Team in my first term at the academy. The result was the icing on the cake – thank you team mates, coach Ginny and our amazing support crew!”
Fellow team member, Kayleigh O’Neil, said “Riding has taught me the importance of team work and being on the team has been an amazing opportunity for Blue and I. It’s taken a lot of dedication and passion to do something we love with a partner we couldn’t imagine life without – we were thrilled at how well our amazing animals performed. Team work makes a dream work. Thank you King Alfred’s for this amazing opportunity.”
Louisa Lawrence summed up: ”We’re all very supportive of one another and have great partnerships with our horses. KA’s team is the one to watch this season!”