Toothill School successfully defends Hickstead title

Toothill School, from Bingham in Nottingham, successfully defended its senior title at the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Championships. 

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The championships, held at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, drew entries from 80 schools and 17 Pony Club branches, fielding more than 300 riders in three classes - junior and senior schools and the Pony Club. Finalists in each class competed on the new £500,000 all-weather arena.

Tim Manly, headmaster at Hurstpierpoint College - in its fourth year of sponsorship - said: "Our relationship with Hickstead has enabled us to significantly raise the profile of showjumping at the college.

"We have entered four teams this year and we have a number of younger jumpers waiting in the wings to compete in future years."

Toothill School put up a team with two of the same riders as last year - Rosie Gunn riding Sophie, and her sister Stephanie on Shiraz E. New team member was Paige Shipstone with Violetta.

Individual senior champion Claire Redmond and Zapata, a member of the Colaiste Bhride team, had made the journey from County Wicklow in Ireland to compete.

Akeley Wood School, from Buckingham, previously winners in 2000 and 2001, went forward to a jump off against Cranleigh School before clinching the junior title. The winning team was Ellie Davis and Greybrook Lara, Georgia Wakelin riding Bobby Sox and Philippa Stacey with Aztec Princess. Individual junior champion was Thea Gordon-Wingfield on Katie Clifdenstarlight from Headington School, Oxford.

The Garth Hunt Pony Club branch, which last won at this meeting in 1967, took the Pony Club title, with the individual title going to Kerry Grimster riding One Diamond, also from the Garth. The Garth team, based at Holyport, Berkshire, was Lillibet Toomey and Mai-Lis, Amy Halstead with Allrise, Charlotte Baker riding Vito III and Kerry Grimster.

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