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A force to be reckoned with

At the start of the half-term break, the Eastbourne College Equestrian Team achieved their best ever set of results at the NSEA National Championships held at Addington Manor this. One of the organisers commented on how Eastbourne College had certainly become a force to be reckoned with.

Twelve riders represented the College having competed at a variety of shows throughout the year to qualify for the championships, and several had also qualified as individuals. The teams competed in both Show Jumping and Jumping with Style (Arena Eventing) at a variety of heights and showed a great amount of consistency and determination.

In Show Jumping, all teams jump a full course in the outdoor arena and the top eight teams go through to a final jump off, later the same day which involved completing the fastest possible clear round over a shorter course. 

In the 80cm class, one of the two Eastbourne College teams (Imogen Carr, Amelia Dipper,  Charlie Pincus and India Piper-Dadswell) qualified in 3rd place out of 48 teams and went on to present three quick, clear rounds in the jump off and finished 3rd overall.
 
At 90 cm, one of Eastbourne's two teams (Nick Crowther, Rosie Kelly, India Piper-Dadswell and Will Reeves) qualified again for the jump off, but this time in 1st place, which left them the unenviable task of competing last in the jump off. An extremely tense final saw Eastbourne ahead by 15 seconds however, just one fault too many resulted in an overall second place. The team should be hugely proud of their achievement.

In addition to the team competition, the College had two individuals in the top ten. Rosie Kelly went on to finish 8th overall, but with a nail-biting and thrilling performance, Nick Crowther finished in the top spot. 

Finally, the 1m competition proved a tough task. The team (Nick Crowther, Rosie Kelly, India Piper-Dadswell and Will Reeves) once again qualified for the jump off, this time in 2nd place, however the final round of the weekend was tough for all, and they finished finally in 8th place overall.
 
In Jumping With Style, the Eastbourne College  teams were ranked 2nd nationally at both 80cm and 90cm, in classes with at least 35 teams competing.  India Piper-Dadswell and Charlie Pincus also achieved individual success at 80cm being placed 5th and 7th respectively. In the 90cm class, the Eastbourne team matched winners' Farlington School's time but were beaten by just two style points and narrowly missed out on taking the top spot. 
 
Well done to both the 80cm team (Imogen Carr, Amelia Dipper, Charlie Pincus and India Piper-Dadswell) and the 90cm team (Serena Flower, Imogen Carr, Charlie Pincus and India Piper-Dadswell) who performed so brilliantly. Just a couple of errors on the final day of competition for the 1m team (Rosie Kelly, Serena Flower, Will Reeves, Nick Crowther) highlighted the quality of the competition resulting in them dropping out of the top 8 teams.
 

The Eastbourne College equestrian team's efforts in gaining top three finishes at national level in four of the six disciplines entered was not matched by another school.  The improvement across the whole team (listed below) in the last year has been phenomenal and they should be immensely proud of not only qualifying for the National Championships but of course, their performance across all disciplines and heights. 

Equestrian team: Nicol Bassett, Imogen Carr, Lauren Carr, Nick Crowther, Amelia Dipper, Harriet Dipper, Serena Flower, Charlie Hamilton, Rosie Kelly, Charlie Pincus, India Piper-Dadswell, Will Reeves.

Finally, a huge thanks must go to the College equestrian trainer, Judi Piper-Dadswell, who prepared the team so thoroughly for the qualifiers, and of course for the championships. It was very common for riders to comment during course walks, "this looks fine, we've done this with Judi".  Such thorough preparation undoubtedly gave them a great deal of confidence.

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