A company of Borders schools’ equestrian teams made the trip to Buckinghamshire for the prestigious National Schools’ Equestrian Association Championship.
Teams have been competing at qualifiers up and down the country over the last year to get to the final at Addington Manor, and there were over 900 horses at the event, participating over four days of fierce competition.
Locally, there were riders from Jedburgh Grammar School, plus Kelso, Earlston, Selkirk and Peebles High Schools, along with SRUC Barony College in Dumfries.
Kelso High School S2 pupils Katy McFadyen (Mileage For Milo), Katie Edgar (Eryns Og), Vicky Edgar (Ardagh Bobby) and Alex Edgar (Benaughlin Lady) had a very successful visit winning both the 75cm showjumping Championship and the 75cm Jumping With Style Championship.
This was an amazing achievement, as there were over 40 teams qualified in each class.
These four girls, along with Amy Ralston (Curravordy Builders Blue) from Kelso High School and Rachel Keddie (Bermos Lady) from Selkirk High School, were delighted to be asked to ride for Scotland in a Nations Cup Competition – and even more thrilled when they won after a very close competition against very good English and Welsh teams.
Vicky, Amy and Katy also got through to the final of the individual 75cm showjumping and, in a nail-biting jump-off, Vicky was second, Amy third and Katy fourth – with less than two seconds between the first six riders.
Jedburgh Grammar School was delighted when past pupil Samantha Martin (now riding for SRUC Barony College) and Touchwood won the Dressage Nations Cup on behalf of the Scottish team with a very good score of 74.58 per cent.
They also won the P19 test with a fantastic score of 80.20 per cent.
Borders schools had 25 riders and 35 ponies attending the competition.
Gillian McFadyen, Kelso High School’s equestrian team manager, said: “It was a mammoth logistical task organising the trip and it cost in the region of £23, 000 to finance.
“All the riders and schools are very grateful to all businesses and individuals who supported them in their fundraising efforts.”
She added: “This was an amazing achievement for small local schools and real chance for kids to shine who don’t do the more traditional school sports of football, rugby and hockey.”
Pictured top is the Kelso High School line-up of Alex Edgar (seated on Benaughlin Lady), Vicky Edgar (Ardagh Bobby), Katie Edgar (Eryns Og), Katy McFadyen (Mileage For Milo) which won both showjumping and Arena Eventing Championships.
Last year, they won the Showjumping Championship and Team Sport Award at the Borders INSPIRE Awards (nominated by Ian and Jenny Stark of Selkirk).
Above is Samantha Martin (ex-Jedburgh Grammar School) riding Touchwood.