During the summer break, three students from Taunton School took part in the prestigious NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) Eventers Challenge Championships held at the internationally-renowned Hickstead in West Sussex, one of the most famous showjumping venues in the world.

Emily Miller, Fliss Gostling and Cecilia Fawden had to qualify for the event at King Sedgmoor Equestrian Centre back in January where all three girls did exceptionally well individually and won the team event, qualifying as a group for the 80cm class at Hickstead.

With the onset of lockdown, the championships were initially postponed but the girls continued to train throughout to keep their horses as fit as possible.

As the lockdown started to ease, the event was re-scheduled for late August, much to the excitement of Emily, Fliss and Cecilia.

Year 7 student Emily and her horse Jessy took part in the 70cm showjumping and the 80cm    arena eventing – a mix of showjumping and cross country with 20 fences to clear. In the latter, she finished 28th out of 96 competitors.

Cecilia from Year 11 entered both the 80cm and 90cm arena eventing classes. Unfortunately in the 80cm class, her horse Knockbawn Jack (or Jeremy for short) stopped short just before a jump causing Cecilia to have an unexpected dismount!

Year 10 student Fliss and her horse Ted managed a hugely impressive 6th place in both the 80cm and 90cm classes.

Kate Walters, Head of Horse Riding at Taunton School says, ‘The fact that they qualified at all is excellent – it’s a really high standard of competition and a professional venue so really intimidating for both horse and rider.’

We are so proud of all three students for representing the school at such a high level of competition. There are already plans to enter the event next year with even more riders from Taunton School.