Written by Isabel, Year 9
On Sunday 16 May, I was very lucky to take part in the British Eventing Area Festival Championships at Firle Place. This is one out of three final round qualifiers for the Badminton Grassroot Championships held at Badminton House.
In order to get to an Area Festival, you have to finish in the top few % of a qualifying round and I qualified by finishing in 3rd place last year. These events are open to all non-professional/elite riders in the UK and it is quite rare for U16s to compete. I was so excited to win a place and to have the opportunity to qualify for Badminton, which is a dream of mine! The course was bigger, longer, and a lot more challenging than the qualifying competitions I took part in last summer. Despite being the youngest competitor in my class and riding the smallest horse, I was confident that we would be OK (though it did feel a little like David v Goliath!).
The event consisted of riding a dressage test as accurately and beautifully as possible, followed by a round of showjumping and then riding cross country. Despite some awful weather, my horse, Mr Darcy, was an absolute superstar and we finished in 4th place overall. It was a great achievement! I love eventing the most as it combines all of the different disciplines (dressage, showjumping, and cross country) and my pony is a great all-rounder.
More recently, Isabel has qualified for the Pony Club National Championships in dressage, the National Schools Equestrian Championships in dressage, and the School Equestrian Games in eventing. We wish you all the best of luck, Isabel!