Four young riders from Soham Village College have qualified for the finals of a national jumping competition at the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead later this year.
Twelve-year-olds Ruby Leonard and Lillie May, both from Soham, together with 11-year-old Mickie Jakes and his brother Vinnie, aged 13, who are from Freckenham, finished second in the National Schools’ Equestrian Association (NSEA) qualifying competition held at The Jays in Bury St Edmunds at the end of last month. It secured their places in the finals at the Sussex track at the end of May.
The talented quartet, who are all members of Soham Pony Club, took part in the eventers’ challenge which is over a course of 15 jumps comprising half of show jumps and half more rustic cross country-type fences. The aim was to get around the course in the fastest time with no faults or refusals.
Riders from some 12 schools from across the area took part in the team event with around 60 competing for individual places. Ruby riding her pony Flicker also managed to qualify for the individual competition.
Ruby’s mum, Sally, said: “They have done really well and we are all very proud of them. It will be so exciting competing at Hickstead.”
Also qualifying from the event at The Jays on January 27, was 15-year-old King’s Ely Senior student Katie Cameron riding Call Me Kev, who finished second in both the 90cms and 1m classes, securing her place in the Hickstead final.
The previous day, Katie had also qualified for the British Eventing Jumping and Style (JaS) Arena competition being held at Hartpury College later this month, after they won both the 90cms and 1m classes.
Her success came just a week after she and two other members of the King’s Ely Equestrian Team — Rebecca Everitt and Harriet Froud — qualified for the NSEA dressage county championships, which are being held in April this year.
The NSEA is the recognised body in schools across the UK, providing inter-schools competitions for teams and individual riders.