Over 100 riders qualified to represent thirteen riding schools from across the country and were last week given the chance to compete in dressage, show jumping and stable management at The British Horse Society’s (BHS) Riding School Championships which were held at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex in Rugby.
The one-of-a-kind, yearly competition provides riders from BHS Approved Centres, who don’t have their own horse with the opportunity to compete at a national level. This year, competitors were aged between eight to over 70 years-old and were even lucky enough to receive a special visit from a member of the Royal family, HRH The Princess Royal.
Phillipa Kemp, Stage 4 Accredited Professional Coach at Kimblewick Equestrian Centre in Norfolk said “My students may never have a chance to do something like this ever again and so they all arrived with the attitude that it doesn’t matter where they are placed, just so long as they enjoyed themselves. The BHS championships enable riders to experience competing as if they’re riding their own horse and this enables them to get a feel for the industry; I wish there was something like this when I was younger.”
Molly, who is eleven years old and rides at Cottage Farm Stables in Warwickshire said “It was my third year taking part in the championships and I loved every minute of it. This year was extra special because my younger sister, Lucy also got to take part for the first time and I felt very proud of her.”
Her younger sister, Lucy, eight years old added “I had a really good time at my first championships and I think I did really well, especially in my dressage test. We even got to meet HRH The Princess Royal; she was so lovely. I can’t wait to come back next year!”
Oonagh Meyer, Head of Approvals at The British Horse Society said: “We had another great year at our annual riding school championships; once again, it was lovely to see so many riders competing, who wouldn’t usually be given this opportunity without having their own horse. The BHS Approvals team would like to congratulate all those who took part and thank both Champion and Careers in Racing for kindly sponsoring this year’s competition.”
See the full list of results here