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Top results for Blundell's in the national qualifiers

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: June 19, 2012

Blundell's School pupil Bird Wood clears a fence on her horse during the National Schools Equestrian Association qualifier

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BLUNDELL'S School came first in three separate categories at the National Schools Equestrian Association qualifier in Somerset.

The Devon school won the 90cm show jumping, the jumping and style 90cm class team event, and the jumping and style open class category in what were appalling conditions.

Torrential rain early in the morning did not stop Blundell's enjoying a hugely successful day though at the Pontispool Equine Centre, although it did mean competition did not end until after 8pm.

More than 30 schools were competing for places in the National Schools finals at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire, in October, leading to some hard-fought competition and a strong display of horsemanship in all the classes.

In the 90cm show jumping qualifier, with eight teams going forward to the jump off, it was the youngest Blundell's team of Bird Wood, Georgia Wood, Tabitha Pring and Didi Eaton that romped to victory.

This win relegated the older Blundell's team into second, with Kings of Wessex third and Exeter fourth.

The jumping and style 90cm class was judged by the British Eventing under-18 trainer Sorrel Warwick, who was left impressed by the standard of riding.

Competitors rode a course of show jumps followed immediately by a timed course of simulated XC fences.

Emily Proud, competing as an individual from Blue School, finished the competition on a style penalty of two and could not be beaten, but Blundell's School scooped the team event.

The jumping and style open class was hard-fought between Blundell's and Millfield, with the inclusion of a bounce road closed fence providing challenge.

The XC time proved to be the influential score, allowing Blundell's to snatch victory, with Millfield second, Blundell's' other team third, and Kings of Wessex fourth.

The open show jumping was dominated by Taunton School, who went forward with Millfield to jump off against the clock and, despite being a team of three, Taunton managed three clears in fast times to produce a convincing win, with Millfield second, Blundell's third, and Exeter School fourth.

The individual 1.15m show jumping track provided a nail-biting jump off for the last two qualifications.

Charlotte East of Millfield was a worthy winner, with Rupert Batting of Blundell's School coming back in sixth.

The rain and gales made it quite a day and the organisers were grateful to all the competitors and parents for their good humour under such testing conditions.

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