Experience, talent and teamwork carries riders to top spot
One of the Borders' most talented teams of young riders has competed together since the members were in P5 at Morebattle Primary School.
They recently completed a six-day, 700-mile round trip to Keysoe Equestrian in Bedfordshire to take part in the National Schools Equestrian Association Championship.
The team of Vicky Edgar, Alex Edgar, Katie Edgar and Katy McFadyen, all now in S4 at Kelso High School, broke three records over the duration of the contest.
The competition has run for nearly 30 years and, each year, riders from all over the country attend qualifying competitions to try and win a coveted place at the Championships, held in October.
The competition started well for Katy McFadyen on Seans Delight, who won the opening speed competition on the first night, beating 146 other competitors with a very well planned out jump-off course.
The girls went on to win the 85/90cm Jumping With Style, 85/90cm showjumping and 1m5/1m10 showjumping.
They also had top six placings in 95/1m showjumping, 95/1m Jumping With Style and 1m/1m5 jumping with Style.
Team members also had a number of top 10 placings as individuals.
This meant the girls had broken three records this year – the first team ever to win a Championship four years in a row, the first team to win seven championships over four years and the first to win three championships in one year – an amazing achievement for a small school.
A young team from Longridge Towers school – consisting of Monty Aplin, Matilda Aplin, Lottie Byass and Grace Manners – also won a very competitive championship.
They completed some nice rounds to triumph in the 75/80cm Jumping with Style, while they were also placed in the 85/90 showjumping.
There was also a Nations Cup Competition, with teams from Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and the Rest Of The World competing in both dressage and showjumping.
Some very good rounds and tests from local riders helped Scotland gain second in both events.
A few home riders with Irish ancestry also rode for Ireland and got third place.
There were over 850 riders competing over the five days and everyone was pleased to see such good representation from Scottish schools.
Borders schools included Jedburgh Grammar, Longridge Towers, Earlston High School, Earlston Primary, Peebles High School and, Langholm Academy, as well as Kelso High School.