This academic year has seen the revival of Harrogate Grammar School’s equestrian team, and what a return it is proving to be. The team is fortunate to comprise of students specialising in both showjumping and dressage.
The first success for the Showjumping team was in at Bishop Burton, where Amelie Sullivan (Year 8), Emily Gaskell (Year 8) and Connie Russell (Year 9) were placed, and Connie won the more than 50-strong 80cm class. All three girls turned in some superb performances.
More recently saw the first outing for the Dressage riders at Northallerton Equestrian Centre, where competition was fierce with nearly 20 different schools represented. The day got off to a good start with Amelia Jesson (Year 7) winning the warm up class. Megan Harrison (Year 7) then won the Individual Prelim 14 and Novice 27 classes, and Beth Harrison (Year 8) was well placed in both classes.
The highlight of the day came in the Team class when, after three superb tests, Harrogate Grammar School took first place awarding them the title of North Yorkshire Champions, they now go through to the next round, which is the National County Championships in April.
The team worked really hard to make this happen, as Amelia explains:
To win this award is amazing as it is my first competition on the team. I really wanted my pony and I to do our best, and it paid off! We trained almost every night, whatever the weather – even in the snow! I have really enjoyed meeting the other members of the team and by working together we made it through to the finals, we are all very supportive of each other.” Beth added, “I was very excited when I found out Harrogate Grammar School was starting a riding club as it is my favourite sport. My sister and I ride every day and train together. I am really proud to ride for the school team.
The Harrogate Grammar School team are all looking forward to the long trip south as North Yorkshire Champions, as team member Megan expressed:
We couldn’t believe it when our team won, I felt really proud of us all and our ponies. We can’t wait to go to the National Finals; it will be amazing to represent Harrogate Grammar School and North Yorkshire.
Next in the pipeline, the Showjumping riders will be competing at Northallerton, where the girls hope to join the Dressage team in qualifying for the Championships.